Ryan Whiting of the USA celebrates after winning gold in the men's Shot Put - WIC Istanbul (© Getty Images)
Freshly minted World indoor champion Ryan Whiting will top a stellar field in the men's Shot Put event that will kick off the 85th edition of the Kansas Relays on Wednesday 18 April.
While the relays portion of the long weekend gets underway the same day at Memorial Stadium, the men's Shot Put competition will be held in downtown Lawrence with a field made up of some of the best throwers in the world.
Whiting, 25, took down a strong field when he struck surprise gold in Istanbul last month. The six-time NCAA champion reached a 22.00m personal best at the Atakoy Arena, the farthest throw indoors in the world this year.
In Lawrence, Whiting will face Reese Hoffa, a former World champion; Canadian record holder Dylan Armstrong, who won the Diamond Race Trophy in the event in 2011; another former World champion Adam Nelson; and Corey Martin, another 22-metre man outdoors.
The following day the downtown spotlight will fall on the women's Long Jump. Janay DeLoach, who leaped to World Indoor silver in Istanbul, will lead the field and will take on 2008 Olympian Funmi Jimoh.
Other fields are taking shape. The men's 100m will feature Rae Edwards and Ivory Williams while the women's will be led by Olympians Muna Lee and LaShaunte'a Moore.
Organisers and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF