Trae Williams will be taking on some of the big names of world sprinting as part of his Commonwealth Games preparation.
Trae Williams will be taking on some of the big names of world sprinting as part of his Commonwealth Games preparation.

Quadzilla versus the stars

AUSTRALIA'S sprint king Trae Williams will top-off his Commonwealth Games preparation by measuring himself against visiting stars, including Olympic silver medallist Andre De Grasse.

England's 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Adam Gemili and the best of the Jamaicans, such as Yohan Blake or Asafa Powell, will line up in pre-Games warm-up meets in Brisbane on March 22 and March 28.

Dual national 100m champion Williams, who became the fourth-fastest Australian of all time in the event last Friday, said he would race on March 28, seven days before the Gold Coast Games' opening ceremony.

"The one in Brisbane on March 28 is when I'll probably be running and from what I'm told De Grasse is going to be at that one,'' said Williams, who clocked 10.10sec at Carrara Stadium last week, a time which would have won a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"To race against any of them would be an amazing experience. Asafa Powell was one of the names I looked up to when I was younger.''

‘Quadzilla’ Trae Williams celebrates after winning the 100m at the Australian Athletics Championships.
‘Quadzilla’ Trae Williams celebrates after winning the 100m at the Australian Athletics Championships.

De Grasse has a 9.91 personal best in the 100m, winning a bronze medal in the 100m final at the 2016 Olympic Games behind Usain Bolt and a 200m silver in Rio.

"We might not have had in Brisbane someone who has run well under 10sec since the 2001 Goodwill Games, with Maurice Greene and Ato Bolden,'' Queensland Athletics CEO David Gynther said.

"It's going to be a fantastic opportunity for Trae to test his mettle with international athletes before the Commonwealth Games. The way he is racing he could take some scalps and set himself for the big task ahead.

"One of the things still to emerge is that the Jamaicans are among the countries yet to formally announce their team.''

(Canada's Andre de Grasse celebrates winning silver in the 200m at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
(Canada's Andre de Grasse celebrates winning silver in the 200m at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

After clinching her Games 100m hurdles spot last Saturday, Sally Pearson said that she plans for the March 22 meet in Brisbane to be her last race, two weeks before her Games heat.

Gynther said Canadian Angela Whyte, a heptathlete with a 100m hurdles personal best of 12.63, could be among Pearson's competitors at the SAF.

"She is interested in running both meets, a couple of events both days,'' he said.

Gynther said the March 28 meet would be at the State Athletics Facility, the more intimate of the two arenas at Nathan, which had a new track laid last year.

The male sprinters will have a 4x100m relay scheduled early in the meet with several 100m races later that night so the top Games medal hopes would not necessarily have to race each other so close to the Games.

Asafa Powell will miss the Commonwealth Games.
Asafa Powell will miss the Commonwealth Games.

Queenslander Brittany McGowan, who last Sunday ran the fastest 800m by an Australian woman since 2008, will likely have opposition from Scotland's Rio Olympics finalist Lynsey Sharp (1:57.69) and England's Jessica Judd (a 1:59.7 runner).

South Africa's dual Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya is in her country's Games team but it is not yet known if she will race in Australia before she reaches the Gold Coast.

The English team will train at Nathan late next month, with most of the Australian athletics team training at Brisbane's Nudgee College.

The world's no.1 ranked 400m hurdler of 2017, Kyron McMaster, of the British Virgin Islands, is expected to race on March 28 at the SAF.


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