Robles hoping to race in New York for 1st US visit
Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles is hoping to visit the United States for the first time and compete at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York in June.
The defending Olympic champion and world-record holder said he has recovered from problems with his back and right leg and would be fit to compete in the June 9 race. The injuries kept him out of the world indoor championships in March in Istanbul.
Robles, who would need a visa to compete in New York, said he plans to travel to Ecuador on Saturday to train.
''I am very fired up to run in New York,'' Robles told The Associated Press. ''I want to arrive and be at full speed. This is the home of hurdling, and the Americans are the kings of the event.''
The 25-year-old Robles has hinted he may retire after the London Olympics. Despite having complained about the training facilities in Cuba, he is one of his country's best hopes for gold with Liu Xiang of China his main rival in the 110-meter hurdles.
''It's going very well and I feel right on target in my preparations - the stretching, the strength programs so that I will be at my peak in July,'' said Robles, who ran a world record of 12.87 seconds in 2008. ''The objective is to do things well in London.''
David Oliver of the United States has run 12.89 for the fastest time since then.