Valerie Adams will make her traditional appearance in the shot put at the Porritt Classic Grand Prix series meeting in Hamilton on Saturday.
Fresh from her opening performance of the season in Christchurch of 20.35m Adams should eclipse her Porritt Classic record of 20.25m set in 2010. The World and Olympic champion has improved at each outing in Hamilton from 18.97m in 2005 to 19.38m in 2006 and 19.66m in 2008.
Adams is using these competitions along with an entry in the shot put in Sydney on 18 February as a build up to the world indoor championships in Turkey on 10 March. Adams, the world indoor champion in 2008 will be all out to avenge her defeat at the hands of Nadzeya Ostapchuk in Doha two years ago, where she recorded 20.49m to Ostapchuk’s 20.85m.
Stuart Farquhar will be in action in the javelin on his home ground. Two years ago in the same meeting he sent the spear out to a meeting record and personal best 85.35m. Ben Langton Burnell who is edging closer to the 70 metres barrier is also entered
Middle distance action will come from New Zealand’s latest sub 4 minute miler Malcolm Hicks, and his Canterbury teammates Matt Harris and Brett Tingay, along with juniors Julian Oakley, and Kieron McDonald in the 1500m while in the women’s 1500m Hamilton’s Camille Buscomb will face Fiona Crombie. In the Dianne Rodger schools 1500m Ariana Harper heads the girls and Jacob Priddey the boys in the Dick Quax 1500m. A total of over 120 athletes are entered in the 1500 metres races. Brad Mathas looks set to continue his domination of the 800 metres races in New Zealand this season.
Elizabeth Lamb and Billy Crayford feature in the high jump while Julia Ratcliffe should take out the women’s hammer throw and challenge her own meeting record.
The men’s 400m hurdles has attracted a top field with national champion James Mortimer, Daniel Dyet, Shay Taylor, Michael Cochrane and Campbell Wu all entered.
The men’s 400m should produce a fast time with Frazer Wickes going head to head with Tama Toki, while the fastest two women over 400 metres in the country this season, Hamilton City Hawks’ pair Talia Horgan and Kristie Baillie will battle out the women’s 400m.
Isaac Tatoa will pit his latest good form against national champion Carl Van der Speck, Joseph Millar and Ryan Howe in the 100m. Van der Speck, Millar and Jeffrey Thumath will later compete in the 200m.
The women’s 100m will see Rochelle Coster and Fiona Morrison with a possibility of former national triple sprint champion Monique Williams making her debut for the season following a long injury break. Morrison and Coster are also in the 100m hurdles and long jump.
Organisers are very excited by the record entries for this year’s Porritt Classic, building up to the climax of the season, the New Zealand Track & Field Championships and Olympic Trials in Waitakere 23 – 25 March.
The meeting starts at 3.20pm and concludes with the men’s 1500m at 7.00pm.