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Jamaicans Have Plenty To Cheer About At 2011 Adidas Grand Prix

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The adidas Grand Prix has long been known for bringing dozens of exciting Caribbean track-and-field stars to Icahn Stadium each June, and this Saturday will be no exception: 34 top Caribbean athletes – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Richard Thompson and Jamaica’s newest sprint superstar, Steve Mullings – are on the way.

As the latest in a long line of great Jamaican sprinters, Mullings’ huge new personal best of 9.80 seconds ranks him right up with Tyson Gay (9.79) on the list of fastest men in the world so far this year. The two will face off in the 100 meters on Saturday in what is sure to be a headline matchup of the meet, but they won’t be alone on the track, because Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson, relay gold medalists Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, and rising young star Nickel Ashmeade will all challenge them. While Gay and Mullings are the two fastest 100-meter men of the season, Ashmeade tops the list at 200 meters, so the lineup in New York may be the best anywhere in the world so far this season.

In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world and the home of Usain Bolt’s first 100-meter World Record, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit. Dozens of Olympic and World Champions – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Brigitte Foster-Hylton – are among the superstars expected.

Fraser-Pryce, the reigning Olympic and World Champion at 100 meters, will square off against three-time World Champion Allyson Felix in a star-studded 200 meters that promises to rival the men’s 100 meters for title of “Best Jamaica-USA Duel of the Meet.” Giving those two a run for their money will be Olympic medalists Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Sherone Simpson, in an event that features five of the top six athletes in the world for 2010.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, it will be 2009 World Champion Foster-Hylton and three-time world medalist Delloreen Ennis against Americans Lolo Jones and Kellie Wells. Not to be outdone, the men’s 400 meters is loaded with top Caribbean talent, led by Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica and Christopher Brown of the Bahamas, who will go up against American Jeremy Wariner.

In the 400-meter hurdles, it will be World Championship silver medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico mixing it up with American Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 World Champion, and world #1 LJ van Zyl of South Africa. Can Culson break into van Zyl’s string of the five fastest times of the year. Then there’s Kenia Sinclair, the world leader at 800 meters who will lead the charge for Jamaica in the women’s 1500 meters.

And that’s not all. Check out this full list of Caribbean athletes:

Christopher Brown – BAH – M 400m
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie – BAH – W 200m
Leevan Sands – BAH – M Triple Jump
Tynia Gaither – BAH – Girls’ Dream 100
Erison Hurtault – DMA – M 400m
Rondell Bartholomew – GRN – M 400m
Adam Harris – GUY – M 100m
Deon Bascom – GUY – M 800m National Race
Moise Joseph – HAI – M 800m National Race
Brigitte Ann Foster-Hylton – JAM – W 100m Hurdles
Delloreen Ennis – JAM – W 100m Hurdles
Jermaine Gonzales – JAM – M 400m
Jovanee Jarrett – JAM – W Long Jump
Kaliese Spencer – JAM – W 400m
Kenia Sinclair – JAM – Grete Waitz W 1500m
Mardrea Hyman – JAM – W 3000m Steeplechase
Michael Frater – JAM – M 100m
Nesta Carter – JAM – M 100m
Nickel Ashmeade – JAM – M 100m
Renaldo Rose – JAM – M 100m
Ricardo Chambers – JAM – M 400m
Samantha Henry – JAM – W100m
Schillonie Calvert – JAM – W 100m
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – JAM – W 200m
Sheree Francis – JAM – W High Jump
Sherone Simpson – JAM – W 200m
Steve Mullings – JAM – M 100m
Beverly Ramos – PUR – W 3000m Steeplechase
Javier Culson – PUR – M 400m Hurdles
Jehue Gordon – TRI – M 400m Hurdles
Keston Bledman – TRI – M 100m
Marc Burns -TRI – M 100m
Renny Quow – TRI – M 400m
Richard Thompson – TRI – M 100m

All of the latest news, photos and additional information on the adidas Grand Prix can be found at www.adidasgrandprix.com and the event’s pages on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #agpnyc when referencing or searching for the event. The adidas Grand Prix, part of the Visa Championship Series, will begin at 1 p.m. on June 11. For the latest Diamond Race standings and other news on the Samsung Diamond League, visit www.diamondleague.com.

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Written by jamarch