The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 25, 2013

Purses lure elite athletes to relays

(Continued)

This could be the year the pole vaulters overshadow the big guys.

U.S. gold medalist Jenn Suhr will again face Cuban Yarisley Silva, along with American Becky Holliday, a finalist at the 2012 Olympics. French gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie headlines the field for the men’s pole vault, which also features London silver medalist Bjorn Otto of Germany.

Gold medalist Brittney Reese will be the favorite in the women’s long jump, and Christian Taylor (gold) is the only reigning Olympic medalist in the men’s triple jump.

Drake and Des Moines officials were hopeful that the buzz generated by the increased stature of the Drake Relays might help it land the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016. But that meet went to Eugene, Ore., again, leaving the city to focus on a bid for the trials in 2020. If the Drake Relays can continue to lure more elite talent to Des Moines, they may have a better shot in seven years.

“We’re vibrant. We have leverage. We have a strong event,” Brown said.

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