Olympian joined by likes of Americans Jordan Hasay, Brenda Martinez and Gabe Grunewald in women’s field while Bernard Lagat runs men’s race

Double Olympic finalist Julia Bleasdale will return to the Carlsbad 5000 road race in California on Sunday to begin a season she hopes will end with success at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Bleasdale, who was eighth in the 2012 Olympics over 5000m and 10,000m, will seek to improve on her sixth in the 5km from two years ago.

Since her breakthrough year leading up to London 2012, the Hillingdon AC athlete missed last summer with injury and returned over the winter, which included a seventh at the European Cross Country Championships.

She will be using the Carlsbad race as preparation for the Stanford Invitational in California the following week where she will attempt to gain a Commonwealth Games qualifying time.

She will be joined in the women’s field in Carlsbad by Jordan Hasay, making her road race debut, 2013 world championships bronze medallist Brenda Martinez and US indoor 3000m champion Gabe Grunewald.

Their fellow American Bernard Lagat lines up in the men’s race, running his first ever road race over the 5km distance. The 39-year-old, who has three world indoor and two world outdoor track titles to his name, more recently won silver in the 3000m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot.

He will face the likes of Ethiopians Dejen Gebremeskel, the Olympic 5000m silver medalist who bagged world indoor 3000m bronze behind Lagat in Poland, and Tariku Bekele, Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist.

» You can read an interview with Bernard Lagat in the April 27 issue of AW, which is available here or digitally here