A round-up of some of the latest global athletics news, including a professional debut for Cunningham and Australian Olympic selection news
Cunningham outdoor pro debut
World indoor high jump champion Vashti Cunningham will make her outdoor professional debut at the Prefontaine Classic on May 28.
Cunningham faces a strong field which includes European champion Ruth Beitia, Poland’s 2014 World indoor champion Kamila Licwinko, Lithuania’s Airine Palsyte who was fourth in Portland.
Others in the field are Alessia Trost of Italy, St Lucia’s Levern Spencer, Germany’s Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch and Great Britain’s Isobel Pooley.
Australia Rio selection
Twenty-eight more names have been added to the Australian Olympic team following the conclusion of the four day Australian Championships.
Of the 28 named, 17 will make their Olympic debut, seven will appear for a second time, and Sally Pearson, Alana Boyd, Benn Harradine and Dani Samuels will compete in their third Games.
All three spots have been filled in the women’s javelin by Kim Mickle, Kathryn Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Roberts, and in the women’s steeplechase by Madeline Hills, Genevieve LaCaze and Victoria Mitchell.
In the long jump Fabrice Lapierre and Henry Frayne have been selected for the men, and Brooke Strattion and Chelsea Jaensch for the women.
Commonwealth high jump champion Eleanor Patterson is the youngest member and 3000m steeplechaser Mitchell is the eldest of four 33-year-olds.
By mid-July the team could be 50 athletes – the largest of any sport wearing the green and gold in Rio.
Jamaica International Invitational Meet
US hurdler Jasmin Stowers and Bahamian 200m/400m star Shaunae Miller will seek to defend their titles at next month’s Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the National Stadium on May 7.
Male sprint hurdlers Andrew Riley of Jamaica and Americans Jeff Porter and Aleec Harris, as well as American sprinter Ryan Bailey, have each been included in the men’s hurdles field.
Abayneh Ayele, who finished fourth at the World Half Marathon Championships, has been added to the elite field for the Haspa Hamburg Marathon on April 17.
Ayele, from Ethiopia, is the third fastest entrant in the field with a PB of 2:06:45 behind Feyisa Bekele (2:06:26) and former winner Shumi Dechase (2:06:43).
Ethiopia also look to have the favourite in the women’s race with reigning champion Meseret Hailu the fastest in the field with a PB of 2:21:09.
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