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Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison Join Adidas Grand Prix 100m

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Allyson Felix and Tianna Madison, both of whom have exploded this season as surprise contenders to make the U.S. Olympic Team at 100 meters, have been added to the field for the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday, organizers have announced.

They join a women’s 100-meter field that already includes American Carmelita Jeter, the reigning World Champion ranked #1 in the world for 2011; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2009 World Champion; and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, the reigning World Championships bronze medalist. The top three times in the world this season are owned by Jeter (10.81), Baptiste (10.86) and Felix (10.92)

In its eighth year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, will begin at 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 9. Headlining the world-class international roster, which features athletes from 42 countries, are 72 Olympic or World Championships medalists, 40 of whom are Olympic gold medalists and/or World Champions. Tickets are available at adidasgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-849-8722.

Felix, a three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist at 200 meters, ran a personal best 10.92 in defeating a strong 100-meter field at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Doha on May 11. Felix, 26, also has two World Championships titles in the 4×100-meter relay. Madison, the 2005 World Champion in the long jump, suddenly emerged as a sprint threat this indoor season when she won the U. S. indoor title before earning a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships. In her only 100 meters this season, the 26-year-old set a personal best of 11.01 in winning the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico on May 12.

Also joining the field for the adidas Grand Prix are Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica (200 meters), who finished fifth at the 2011 World Championships at 200 meters and last week notched a personal best of 9.93 at 100 meters in the Prefontaine Classic; Valerie Adams of New Zealand (shot put), the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion; Fantu Magiso, the 19-year-old Ethiopian 800-meter sensation who has smashed her national record twice in the past three weeks by running 1:57.90 in Doha and then 1:57.56 in Rome; and Yargelis Savigne of Cuba, a three-time World triple jump champion (2007 and 2009 outdoors, 2008 indoors).

Two athletes previously announced—Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (800 meters, injury) and Matthew Centrowitz (1500 meters, focusing on Olympic Trials preparation)—have withdrawn. Entry lists will be available and updated throughout the week at the following link: http://www.diamondleague-newyork.com/Live-StartlistsResults/Overview/.

A look at the rest of the major match-ups for the adidas Grand Prix:

Men’s National 100m: 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica faces Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, and Trell Kimmons, the 2012 U.S. Indoor Champion.

Men’s 400m: Jeremy Wariner, 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion (2005, 2007) goes up against Jamaican National Record-holder Jermaine Gonzales and Oscar Pistorius, the four-time Paralympic gold medalist who is seeking to run 45.30 or under to be considered for the South African Olympic team.

Men’s 800m: David Rudisha of Kenya, the World Champion and World-Record holder who is making his U.S. debut, will face Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya, the 2007 World Champion; Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, the 2011 World Championships silver medalist and two-time World Indoor Champion; and Boaz Lalang, the 2010 World Indoor silver medalist. Making his major professional debut in the Northeast will be former New Jersey high school star Robby Andrews.

Men’s National 1500m: Two-time Olympic medalist and 2007 World Champion Bernard Lagat of the U.S. will be challenged by Augustine Choge of Kenya, the 2012 World Indoor silver medalist at 3000 meters; Craig Mottram of Australia, the 2005 World Championships bronze medalist at 5000 meters; and 2009 World Championships finalist Leonel Manzano of the U.S.

Men’s 110m hurdles: A star-studded field is led by Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the reigning Olympic gold medalist and World Record-holder who is competing in the mainland U.S. for the first time. He faces stiff competition from 2011 World Champion Jason Richardson; 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and American Record-holder David Oliver; 2012 World Indoor Champion Aries Merritt of the U.S.; and surprising 20-year-old Cuban Orlando Ortega, who upset Robles for victory in a meet in Havana late last month. Another young phenom, 21-year-old Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, is also on tap.

Men’s High Jump: 2011 World Champion Jesse Williams of the U.S. takes on 2012 World Indoor Champion Dimítrios Chondrokoúkis of Greece.

Men’s Long Jump: Australia’s Mitchell Watt, ranked #1 in the world for 2011, will meet Greg Rutherford of Great Britain, whose jump of 8.35m/27 feet, 4.75 inches is the longest in the world so far this year.

Women’s National 200m: Sanya Richards-Ross, the 2009 World Champion at 400 meters and two-time 4×400-meter Olympic gold medalist, faces Bianca Knight, a 2011 World Championships gold medalist in the 4x100m relay ranked #5 in the world at 200 meters for 2011.

Women’s 800m: Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World Champion at 1500 meters, comes up against one of the hottest young talents in the world this season in Magiso. Also in the field are the two U.S. high school stars, Ajee Wilson of Neptune, N.J., and California sensation Amy Weissenbach.

Women’s 5000m: The 5000-meter World Record-holder and 2008 double Olympic gold medalist (5000 meters, 10,000 meters) Tirunesh Dibaba will be seeking to impress the Ethiopian Olympic selectors with a fast time. Also in the field are countrywoman Werknesh Kidane, the eight-time World Cross Country Championships medalist, and three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines.

Women’s 400m Hurdles: Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, fourth in the World Championships in 2009 and 2011, meets young Americans Queen Harrison, a 2008 Olympian, and T’erea Brown, the 2010 U.S. Champion.

Women’s Triple Jump: Savigne will face Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, the 2010 World Indoor Champion and two-time silver medalist (2011 outdoors, 2012 indoors).

Women’s Shot Put: Adams will go up against American Jill Camarena-Williams, the 2011 World Championships bronze medalist.

The adidas Grand Prix will begin at 1 p.m. June 9 at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. The sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit, it is also part of the Visa Championship Series.

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