Three World-Class Sprinters to Compete at Kansas Relays

April 9, 2010


This year at the 83rd Annual Kansas Relays, fans and spectators will have an opportunity to witness three outstanding international athletes competing in a variety of men’s sprint events.

The men’s Invitational 100-meter dash will feature Churandy Martina, a two-time Olympian from the Netherlands Antilles, where he holds the national record in the 100 and 200 meters.

Martina competed in both sprint events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, just missing the podium in the 100-meter dash after he finished fourth in the event finals with a personal-best and national-record time of 9.93. Martina also recorded his personal-best 200-meter time at the XXIX Olympic Games, clocking in at 20.11 in the semifinal round. In the finals of the 200-meter dash, Martina actually finished second behind world record-holder Usain Bolt with a time of 19.82, but he was later disqualified due to a lane violation.

In 2007, Martina won gold in the 100 meters at the Pan American Games, while finishing fifth in both the 100 and 200 meters at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

Martina will make his Kansas Relays debut on Saturday at 2:45 p.m.

Following the men’s Invitational 100-meter dash will be the men’s Invitational 200-meter dash at 3:45 p.m., which will showcase two-time Olympian Brendan Christian of Antigua and Barbuda.

Christian is his nation’s record-holder in the 100 meters and 4×100-meter relay. He won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in the 200 meters, while earning bronze in the 100 that same year. Most recently in 2009, Christian claimed a bronze medal in the 200 meters at the IAAF World Athletics Final. He holds a personal best time of 20.12 in the event.

As a collegiate athlete, Christian competed for the University of Texas and University of Houston. While at Texas, he was a five-time All-American, and still owns the Texas school record in the 100 meters at 10.11.

The men’s Invitational 110-meter hurdles will see the return of former Kansas Relays champion Dexter Faulk. Faulk won the event in 2003 while racing for Barton County Community College. Now, as a professional athlete, Faulk will return to Lawrence to compete in the event at 1:50 p.m. Saturday.

In 2009, Faulk earned a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Final, clocking in at 13.26, which incidentally is the same time as the current Kansas Relays record, set by Antwon Hicks in 2008.

Faulk’s PR in the event is 13.13, which he accomplished last summer in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Admission into the 83rd edition of the Kansas Relays will be granted to those wearing a 2010 Kansas Relays button. The buttons are $10 for adults and $5 for students, youth and seniors. Children under five are admitted for free, as are KU students with a valid KU ID. There is also a Kansas Relays family plan which includes two adult and two student/youth buttons for $20.

This year, Kansas Relays is partnering with Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Research Center to promote breast cancer awareness. The Kansas track and field team will be wearing special singlets during the event to show their support, while fans and spectators who donate to the “Jayhawks for a Cure” campaign will receive a commemorative button.