The organizers of the 2015 International Meeting Region de Guadeloupe have attracted no fewer than nine (9) Top 10 World Ranked athletes who will compete in the men's 110m hurdles, the women’s 100m hurdles and both 400m hurdles events on the first Saturday in May. The highlighted athletes in each event include:
Women's 100m hurdles:
The United States has historically produced the best sprint hurdlers in the world. Guadeloupe is pleased to welcome the 2013 World Champion and American Record Holder Briana Rollins for her first visit to the French territory. Rollins set the world on fire in 2013, winning the NCAA Championships, US Championships and World Championships all in the same summer posting an astounding time of :12.26 (US Champs), barely missing the World Record of 12.21 set by Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova, in 1988. Rollins was ranked #6 in the world in 2014.
Fellow US hurdler Kristi Castlin was ranked #9 in the world in 2014 and brings her best of 12.56 to Guadeloupe looking to battle Rollins. Newcomer, Sharika Nelvis should not be ignored as last year she ran 12.71 and went undefeated this past indoor track season over 60m hurdles. Jamaica's Danielle Williams comes in with her 12.69 PB to line up with the Americans, as does Jamaica's Shermaine Williams (Danielle’s elder sister) who opened her season in 2015 running 12.91 and has a PR of 12.78.
Men's 110m hurdles:
The Baie-Mahault Stadium will be rocking when the men's 110m hurdles hits the track as local Guadeloupe star Willem Belocian will look to start his first professional outdoor senior hurdles race. Belocian shocked the world and himself last July by breaking the World Junior Record, becoming the first junior ever to run under 13 seconds. His time of :12.99 in Eugene Oregon indicates that he could be a future World or Olympic Champion.
At this winter’s European Indoor Championships, he won his first major senior medal placing 3rd in the 60m hurdles event. Like the women's sprint hurdlers, the US will send 3 of its best hurdlers to challenge the home favorite.
They are led by 2013 World Championships silver medalist, Ryan Wilson who was ranked #9 in the world in 2014 and has a 13.02PB and Ronnie Ashe who ran :12.99 in 2014 and was ranked #7 in the world. But the young man hottest in the event this past winter and already this spring is USA's Aleec Harris who ran a career best 13.14 last year. Last weekend at the Florida Relays, Harris posted a world-leading time for 2015 – 13.23, defeating Olympic medalists and World Champions Jason Richardson and David Oliver.
Men's 400m hurdles:
An impressive list of the world's best 400m hurdlers will report, seeking to improve the current world leading time of 48.44. The 2014 #1 ranked hurdler in the world Javier Culson (Puerto Rico) will again travel in but faces world-class competition from fellow Olympic medalists and World Champions.
Culson is the 2012 London Olympics Bronze Medalist, 2009 and 2011 World Championships Silver medalist with a career best of 47.72. Bershawn "Batman" Jackson looks to continue his long battles with Culson in Guadeloupe. Batman is the 2005 World Champion, 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and 2009 World Championships Bronze medalist who has run 47.30.
Not to be overlooked is the #10 ranked world hurdlerJohnny Dutch who last weekend at the Florida Relays ran the #2 best time in the world for 2015 at 48.82. Dutch's career best is 47.63. Cuba's Omar Cisneros (47.93 career best) looks to start his season off well, after placing 4th at the last World Championships in Moscow. Caribbean hurdlers Jeffrey Gibson (BAH) and Leford Green (JAM) will look to keep the favorites honest and could score an upset as both have run 48 seconds.
Women's 400m hurdles:
The women's hurdles start list contains the #6, #7 and #8 ranked one lap hurdlers in the world for 2014 led by USA's Georganne Moline who has a career best of 53.72. Moline was 5th in the 2012 London Olympic finals. Veteran Tiffany Ross-Williams returns to Guadeloupe with her career best of 53.28, a top 10 world ranking along with a long history of major championship racing.
Ross-Williams was 5th at the 2009 World Championships and 8th in the Beijing Olympic finals. Cassandra Tate won a gold medal at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in the 4x400m relay and is looking to win an individual medal in this, her specialty event. Tate's career best is :54.70.
Previously announced as confirmed to compete in the meeting. are Olympic medalist Will Claye, Olympic & World Champion Jeremy Wariner, World Champion Kim Collins of St Kitts & Nevis and 3-time World Champion and Olympic Champion Brittney Reese.
Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.