Frank Fredericks, BYU's All-American sprinter, will face Ben Johnson, among others, when he competes in the 50-meter dash Friday night in the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles.
Johnson, who was stripped of his gold medal and world record after testing positive for steroids in the 1988 Olympic Games, returned to competition last week for the first time since the Olympics."I have never run the 50 before, so I really don't know what I can do at that distance," said Fredericks, whose best performances have come in the longer sprints.
Fredericks was recently ranked No. 8 in the world in the 200-meter dash by Track & Field News, based on his performance last season. He finished second in the 200 at the 1990 NCAA championships, .01 of a second behind Baylor's Michael Johnson, who was voted the Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News.
Fredericks, 23, a senior from Namibia, was allowed to compete internationally for the first time last summer. Namibia had been banned from such competition by the International Amateur Athletic Federation because of South Africa's apartheid policies. Namibia won its independence last year, and the IAAF lifted its ban, but the International Olympic Committee continues to ban Fredericks' homeland from the Olympics.