STUTTGART (AFP) - The world's elite athletes gather here this weekend for the IAAF World Athletics Final with some big battles on the cards. The focus in the sprints will fall on Jamaica's former world record holder Asafa Powell over 100m, with double Olympic sprint champion and current world record holder Usain Bolt missing. Powell has run faster than 9.85 seconds in five 100m races this season and is expected to sizzle in Stuttgart. The Olympic final had a strong Caribbean flare last month, and a similar line-up is expected on Saturday with Trinidad's Richard Thompson and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands' Antilles set to challenge. With Bolt away, the role of 200m favourite could fall on American Wallace Spearmon, who was disqualified in Beijing, as was Martina soon after beginning their celebrations and the pair are expected to shine. In the 110m hurdles, Beijing bronze medallist David Oliver looks good for victory, especially after the withdrawal through injury of Games gold medallist and world record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba. "Robles has withdrawn from the final due to a foot injury sustained in the IAAF Grand Prix in Zagreb on Tuesday," the IAAF said. Robles has dominated this year, but Oliver had beaten him twice this season in 13 races. "Coming to Stuttgart is always nice," said the American. "It's a great culmination of all your hard work." Perhaps the most eagerly-awaited duel of the weekend is in the men's 400m, where Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt is up against the man he succeeded, Jeremy Wariner. Merritt powered off the final turn and ran a personal best 43.75sec leaving the two-time world champion nearly a second behind. After Shelly-Ann Fraser led Jamaica's women to a 100m clean-sweep in Beijing, the Americans - led by Lauryn Williams and Torri Edwards - will be looking to seize back control in the sprints. Just as with the men, the women's 400m race features a prominent duel between Briton Christine Ohuruogu and American Sanya Richards. World champion Ohuruogu produced a strong finish in Beijing, but in nine races this season, Richards' only loss came in Beijing and she will be aiming for her fourth straight World Athletics Final title in Stuttgart, where Ohuruogu finished third last season. After successfully defending her Olympic title with her third pole-vault world record of the year in Beijing, Russia Yelena Isinbayeva brazenly insisted her rivals "know their place." With seven victories in seven outings this season, the reigning world champion has few serious rivals and added leaps of 5.03m, 5.04 and 5.05 to her vast collection of world records and should dominate in Stuttgart. Much has been written about 800m runner Pamela Jelimo as the 18-year-old Kenyan has redefined the women's two-lap race in just her first season of running the event. Four times the teenager has cracked the 1min 55sec barrier, territory that only six others have ever entered. Unchallenged, she took the Olympic title in Beijing and last week concluded her season-long romp by winning the one million-pound Golden League Jackpot in Zurich and is another expected to win in Germany. In the women's 100m hurdles, Lolo Jones will be looking for a big win after a clipped hurdle cost her in Beijing. Her American teammate Dawn Harper crossed the line first in Beijing and both will be eager to stamp their authority in Stuttgart.