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US Stars Set for Palace

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Allyson Felix
London Bound - Felix in previous UK action


05 May 2010

Reigning World Champions and US teammates Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix will go head-to-head in the 400m at Crystal Palace for the Aviva London Grand Prix on August 13 and 14.

The American pair have only competed against each other over the one-lap race on five occasions, the first of which came in London in 2007, when Richards-Ross took the win ahead of Felix, who ran a personal best.

Both athletes are world champions and ranked number one in the world over their respective specialist distances, Richards-Ross the 400m and Felix the 200m. Although they have only lined up against each other a handful of times prior to the IAAF Diamond League, they have regularly joined forces as half of the formidable US 4x400m team who are the reigning World and Olympic champions.

Richards-Ross, who married New York Giants’ Cornerback Aaron Ross earlier this year, was famously beaten by Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu in Beijing for the Olympic title, but she bounced back to win in Berlin last year.  This will be the 25-year-old’s third appearance at the Aviva London Grand Prix.

Richards-Ross said: “I’m really looking forward to competing at the Aviva London Grand Prix – I have competed there before and it will be a fantastic experience to go back to such an awesome city, and I know we'll be greeted by a great crowd.
“The Diamond League is a really exciting prospect, I find that when elite athletes compete against each other, we push ourselves to run faster and get better results. The Diamond League will allow me to pit myself against these athletes and really strive to find faster times. 

“My husband and I both have really fond memories of London, the last time we were there in 2007, Aaron played in the first NFL game at Wembley and I performed really well at Crystal Palace. London 2012 is my long term goal right now so we are really looking forward to returning.” 

Meanwhile Felix is the most successful female athlete to have competed at the World Championships, having uniquely won six gold medals.  The 24-year-old currently holds four global titles; World indoor, outdoor and Olympic 4x400m as well as the World 200m. 

Felix finished sixth in the shorter distance of the 100m at the Aviva London Grand Prix last year, but plans to compete in the 200m and 400m this summer.

She said: “I have competed at the Aviva London Grand Prix previously and loved the experience of competing in London. The crowd was fantastic, it's great to compete in front of a crowd that truly appreciates athletics – to add to that I lined up against a fantastic field of athletes which always pushes me harder and helps me run faster.

“The fact that the Aviva London Grand Prix is now part of the Diamond League makes me more excited, I will be lining up against the best in the world, some of whom I don’t get the chance to compete against much. It gives me a great platform to run as hard and as fast as I can and put up a real strong fight against my competitors.

“Obviously I’ll be hoping to be competing in London in 2012, so it’s a great experience to be able to compete there before that great event and really get a feel for racing there.”

Both Felix and Richards-Ross will be opening their IAAF Diamond League campaign at the first meet in Doha on May 14.

The new IAAF Diamond League is an international series of 14 events, of which 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 August 13 and 14 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk