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London 2012 Olympic Preview: What Track Results at Paris Diamond League Reveal

Sally Pearson.
Sally Pearson.Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Mark SmoyerFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2012

The first Diamond League track and field meet since the U.S. Olympic trials played out in Paris on Friday, giving a forecast for some of the most anticipated events at the London Games.

Expect Australian hurdler Sally Pearson and Kenyan 800-meter runner David Rudisha to win gold in London after they proved they are in near-world-record shape.

According to the Telegraph, reigning world champion Pearson won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.40 seconds, the best time in the world this year. 

Rudisha set a world-leading time in the event at which he is world champion and world-record holder. His time was 1 minute, 41.54 seconds.

It might be that only a hurdle could stop Pearson in London. Rudisha would need to make a major tactical error to concede gold in the 800. It's not that the competition is weak in either event. However, Pearson and Rudisha have a combination of very low times and very strong championship experience that will make them tough to beat.

Not so for Tyson Gay. The American sprinter did win the 100 in the Paris meet on Friday, but his time was a relatively average 9.99, and, according to the Telegraph, he got off to a slow start. That will not do in London, and Gay doesn't have the recent championship success that breeds confidence in the Olympic spotlight.

Justin Gatlin, the U.S. trials 100 winner, also turned in a lackluster time, finishing second in 10.03.

Besides Pearson and Rudisha, three of the other Paris winners who have a strong shot at gold in London are French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, Botswana's women's 400-meter world champion Amantle Montsho and Puerto Rican 400-meter hurdler Javier Culson. Culson's world-leading time of 47.78 beat a personal best of 47.84 by the defending world champion, Great Britain's Dai Green.

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