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World’s fastest hurdlers look forward to a thrilling Aviva London Grand Prix

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Dayron Robles

22 July 2010

The two fastest men in the 110m hurdles this year will be going head to head in a guaranteed showdown of world class athletics at the Aviva London Grand Prix.

Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver (USA) and current Olympic Champion and World Record Holder Dayron Robles (CUB) will compete at Crystal Palace next month and with times of 12.89s (Oliver) and 13.01s (Robles) recorded so far this season, both athletes will be looking to seal victory, and potentially a new World Record.

Oliver, who won the Aviva London Grand Prix in 2008, will arrive at Crystal Palace after two superlative performances this month in Eugene and Paris, where he clocked the two fastest times of the year so far, extended his unbeaten record to a dozen races this season, became the new American record holder as well as third fastest hurdler of all time, and brought the world record (12.87s) within reach. But Robles - last year’s winnerand current world record holder - defeated the American hurdler to win the World Indoor title last March, although he was beaten by Oliver in Daegu the last time they met in May.

“In Paris, my form was pretty good, my start was excellent but I did hit quite a few hurdles but, overall, I am happy but there is definitely room for improvement,” said Oliver.

“I'm an athlete that does well with the rounds. My second race of the day is generally better because I am fully warmed up. The finals of the Aviva London Grand Prix should be pretty exciting if the conditions are right.”

The Aviva London Grand Prix will also be the first opportunity to see top British athletes in action at home after the European Championships. William Sharman will be looking to improve on last year´s performance at Crystal Palace, after his win at the Aviva European Trials & UK Championships.

“It is proving to be a good summer – coming back from my wrist injury I was not sure what to expect, but things are going really well and I am going into the European Champioships with the goal of making the podium. I will then relish the opportunity to take on the rest of the world’s top athletes including Oliver and Robles at the Aviva London Grand Prix – It is always an excellent meet with a packed house – I hope the atmosphere will help lift me to be up at the front of the race.” said Sharman.

Oliver also has our top British athletes on his mind; “Sharman seems to be a big meet performer coming off his win at the UK Trials and his performance at the World Championships last year so I wouldn't be surprised if he was on the podium at Europeans. I think the medals will be between Sharman, (Andy) Turner, (Artur) Noga and (Petr) Svoboda”.

The Aviva London Grand Prix is part of the new Samsung Diamond League - an international series of 14 events, of which the UK is one of only three countries to have the honour of hosting two events, in both Gateshead and London. Furthermore, the Aviva London Grand Prix is the only event to have a two-day programme.

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at the Crystal Palace on August 13 and 14 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk 

For Tier 2 tickets the prices are £20 for Adults and £15 for Concessions.

If you can’t get down to Crystal Palace to see the live action make sure you catch it on BBC 1 on Friday 1800-2100 and Saturday 1330-1630.