A look ahead to this weekend’s Great CityGames action in Manchester

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (150m), Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (long jump), world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (100m) and world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (200m) are just some of the athletes who will be in action at the BT Great CityGames Manchester on Saturday.

The 2011 world 100m champion Blake will race over 150m on a temporary track on Deansgate as part of the unique street event which, as well as the IAAF-certified purpose-built track, features a pop-up athletics arena in Albert Square in the city centre.

Below we take a look at a few events worth keeping an eye on as part of an action-packed programme.

For a more in-depth event-by-event preview see the May 15 issue of AW, which is available here or digitally here.

Men’s 150m

As an Olympic silver medallist at 100m and 200m, not to mention the joint second fastest man in history at 100m (9.69) and second fastest at 200m (19.26), the 150m distance should suit Yohan Blake on his debut in Manchester.

The big question is: how much ground has the Jamaican Beast made up on the comeback trail following the hamstring injury that kept him out of last year’s IAAF World Championships.

He clocked 20.49 for 200m at the UWI Invitational meeting in Kingston in March but will need to have improved to get anywhere near Bolt’s world best of 14.35 from Manchester in 2009.

Also in the field is Chris Brown, who formed part of the Bahamas gold medal-winning 4x400m team in London.

Women’s 200m

Christine Ohuruogu runs her first race on British soil in 2014, looking for a sharpener at half her specialist distance as she prepares for an outdoor summer season in which she will be challenging to regain the Commonwealth 400m crown she won in Melbourne in 2006 – and to win the European 400m title for the first time.

On Saturday she faces the likes of another quarter miler – Christine Day – a member of Jamaica’s bronze medal-winning 4x400m team at the London 2012 Olympics.

Women’s IPC 100m

Marlou van Rhijn, known in her native Netherlands as “the BladeBabe,” competes against Britons Sophie Kamlish and Laura Sugar plus fellow Dutch athlete Irus Pruysen, the 2013 IPC T44 long jump world champion, in Manchester.

Van Rhijn, who studies economics in Amsterdam, is the current IPC T44 world champion at 100m and 200m.

Men’s long jump

Greg Rutherford’s first event in Britain since his British record of 8.51m in Chula Vista just happens to pit him against Chris Tomlinson, who questioned the validity of the Olympic champion’s mark in California.

At the Birmingham indoor Grand Prix this year, Rutherford was third and Tomlinson eighth.

Also in the field is Panama’s 2008 Olympic champion Irving Saladino.


11:30 Women’s pole vault
12:00 Men’s 2x100m relay
12:10 150m School sprint girls
12:20 150m School sprint boys
12:40 Men’s IPC 100m T44
12:50 Women’s IPC 100m T44
13:24 Men’s long jump
13:27 Men’s 110m hurdles
13:35 Women’s 100m hurdles
13:45 Men’s IPC 200m T44
13:57 Men’s 100m
14:10 Women’s 200m hurdles
14:19 Men’s 200m hurdles
14:29 Women’s 200m
14:39 Men’s 150m

As well as being free for spectators, the action will be televised live on BBC One from 13:15-14:45 on Saturday.

» For a more in-depth event-by-event preview see the May 15 issue of AW, which is available here or digitally here