CHAMPION: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
SHELLY-ANN Fraser-Pryce, the double Olympic 100m champion, will compete at the BT Great CityGames Manchester for the first time on May 25 this year. The 26-year-old Jamaican became one of only three women to have ever retained the 100m title, when she successfully defended it at last summer's London Games.
Already showing good form this year with a sound 200m victory at last Friday's Doha Diamond League, she is preparing herself to compete on the streets of Manchester, as she builds up to the World Championships in August.
Fraser-Pryce is expected to attack the world 150m best performance down the elevated straight track on Deansgate in the city centre - which her arch rival Carmelita Jeter achieved in September 2011 at the sister Great CityGames event on Tyneside.
Jeter of the USA flew to a superb performance of 16.50m in Gateshead. Fraser-Pryce, who enjoys a very competitive relationship with Jeter, will be aiming to run even quicker, at the unique CityGames set-up, which allows spectators get closer to the action than would ever be possible in a traditional stadium meet.
If successful, she will add another Jamaican world 150m mark to the one her countryman Usain Bolt achieved at this event, when clocking 14.35 in the 2009 men's race.
Just as importantly, it will offer the Caribbean superstar the opportunity to get another race under her belt, as she bids to regain the world 100m title she won four years ago in Berlin - before losing it to Jeter at the 2011 Championships in Daegu.
"Overall, I'm just happy to come away with a win," said Fraser-Price after her Doha success. "Today I didn't run according to how I wanted but still came out with a victory. That made me happy.
"There is a lot more room for improvement in the 200m and I'm looking forward to more races to see how best I can put a complete race together."
Now Fraser-Pryce, who will contest a titanic 100m clash with Jeter in Shanghai on Saturday, knows an eyeballs out 150m dash down the streets of Manchester against Great Britain's former World junior gold medallist Jodie Williams, will fit the bill and be another helpful stride in that direction.
The women's 100m will be a domestic competition featuring 2012 London Olympians Margaret Adeoye and Anyika Onuora plus fellow British internationals Asha Philip and Laura Turner.
The BT GreatCity Games Manchester will take place on May 25 on an IAAF certified, purpose built track and pop-up athletics arena in the city centre. All events are completely free to spectate and no tickets are required.