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World and Olympic Discus champion Robert Harting and Ethiopia’s leading distance-running sisters Tirunesh and Genzebe Dibaba are among the latest athletes to sign up for the 52nd Ostrava Golden Spike, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, on June 27.
The men’s Discus will return to the meeting’s programme for first time since 1996, so it goes without saying that this will be Harting’s first appearance in the Czech city. The German has not lost a competition since August 2010 and he will be keen to extend his winning streak to a third full season. The meeting record of 68.06m – set in 1983 by Cuba’s Luis M Delis – could be under threat. The Discus will be held on June 26, the day before the main meeting, along with both Hammer competitions which will feature 2012 Olympic champions Krisztian Pars and Tatyana Lysenko.
The Dibaba sisters will run different events. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba will contest the 10,000m, an event in which she has never been beaten. Dibaba holds the Ostrava meeting record with her 31:03.37 clocking from 2008, but her main aim at this year’s meeting will be to clock a time that will confirm her selection for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
Younger sister Genzebe Dibaba, the 2012 World indoor champion, will run the 1500m. “I am looking forward to coming to Ostrava,” she said. “I know I am in good shape at the moment as I ran a PB in Doha (3:57.54). But unfortunately I did not win there, so I will be extra focused to win in Ostrava. It will be a good competition in my preparation for the World Championships this year where I hope to win a gold medal.”