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Athletics | International

Sally Pearson © Getty Images

Pearson, Merritt headline Newcastle line-up

Olympic champions Sally Pearson and Aries Merritt will headline the hurdling races at the Great North CityGames in Newcastle, organisers announced on Wednesday.

The fifth edition of the event will take place on the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside in northeast England on September 14.

Australia's Pearson will race against former Olympic champion Dawn Harper, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells and World Championship bronze medallist Tiffany Porter in the women's race.

In the men's race, world record-holder Merritt faces a challenge from fellow-Americans David Oliver, the world champion, and reigning US champion Ryan Wilson.

Oliver, an Olympic bronze medallist in 2008, is likely to be the focus of attention, having only recently returned to competition after injury forced him into a career hiatus.

"He's certainly proved himself a worthy world No 1, but he knows he can't rest on his laurels," said Peter Riley from event organisers Nova.

"The Great North CityGames will be the closing race of his successful 2013 season and he'll want to go home with a win – as will Merritt and Wilson."

The Great North CityGames, which takes place on a purpose-built city-centre track, falls a day before the annual Great North Run half-marathon.


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