Adams pledges backing for Christchurch international meet
Two-time Olympic Games shot put champion Valerie Adams has pledged her support for February's International Track Meet in Christchurch and former middle-distance medallist Nick Willis will compete again.
Meet promoters are also introducing a novel quadrathlon - 100m, shot put, long jump and 800m events contested by both men and women under the international points scoring system.
London Olympic Games decathlon finalist Brent Newdick is a confirmed starter.
Newdick, who was in Christchurch last night for the event launch, said he was a big fan of the International Track Meet (ITM), which will be held at Christ's College on February 3.
Newdick said the ITM was an important event because "it creates a bit more of an environment and a lot more excitement around the sport".
"We are quite far away from the rest of the world and we normally have to travel all the way to Europe to get the same sort of feeling [the ITM meet has]."
ITM co-promoter Paul Coughlan said Willis had said he would race again in 2013, although the distance had yet to be confirmed.
"Valerie [Adams] has confirmed her support for the meet through her management, but at this point, she's still competing in Europe, so it's too early to know whether will be able to compete down here."
This year's ITM programme - held 50 years after Peter Snell broke the world 800m and 880 yards records at Lancaster Park in 1962 - had a strong "middle distance focus" but the 2013 edition would "put a lot more emphasis on throwing, to celebrate Valerie's Olympic gold medal and Jacko Gill's world junior shot put title", Coughlan said.
- The Southland Times