Friday, February 17, 2012

Thurmond and Patterson continue their tour Down Under, while Lagat runs in Birmingham...

Throwers Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Vancouver and Renton native Aretha Thurmond continue their summertime tour of Australia as the duo compete in Saturday night's Sydney Track Classic at Olympic Park.

Thurmond faces the defending Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton and the 2009 world champion and home town favorite Dani Samuels in an exciting discus competition.

Thurmond opened her season last week in Perth, throwing 200-0 (60.96m) finishing second to fellow American Brown-Trafton.

Patterson, the three time US national champion in the javelin, faces a domestic field comprising of Karen Clarke, Emily Debrot, and Lauren Foote. Patterson threw 194-2 (59.18m) in her season opener in Perth.

Notable Americans competing in Sydney include Nick Symmonds of the Oregon TC Elite/Eugene in the 800 against Olympic 1500m champ Asbel Kiprop; former Idaho discus thrower Russ Winger; and Will Leer and David Torrence in the men's 1500.

The meet gets under way at 6 pm, local time (Sydney is 19 hours ahead of Seattle), and can be watched online here.

The start list for the Sydney Track Classic can be downloaded here.

In Birmingham, Bernard Lagat faces a strong field in the men's 1500m at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix indoor meet on Saturday in the British city.

Lagat, who set an American record in the 5000 last week in New York faces the world number two Bethwel Birgen, another victor in Karlsruhe, plus fellow Kenyan Nixon Chepseba, the winner in Dusseldorf last week.  There's also defending champion Augustine Choge of Kenya, and Ethiopia's Gebremedhin Mekonnen is also in the field.

The start list for the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix is available here.

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