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Jamaica’s New Sprint Sensation Headed To Adidas Grand Prix

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Nickel Ashmeade, the 21-year-old Jamaican who last weekend stunned a world-class 200-meter field at the JN Jamaica International Invitational, will compete at the 2011 adidas Grand Prix on June 11, organizers announced today.

In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix on Randall’s Island is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit. Tickets are available at the event website, www.adidasgrandprix.com, or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC.

Ashmeade, the former St. Jago High School star who won his first senior title in 2009 when he became the Central American and Caribbean Champion at 200 meters, has long been a rising star. Also in 2009, he won gold at 200 meters in the Pan-Am Junior Championships, after earning silver medals at both the 2008 IAAF World Junior Championships at 200 meters and the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships at 100 meters. Since January of 2010, he has been training in Clermont, Fla., with American Record-holder Tyson Gay under coach Lance Brauman. Gay has previously been announced as headlining the 100-meter field in New York.

In winning the race last Saturday in Kingston, Ashmeade – who turned 21 just last month – ran a world-leading time of 19.95 seconds, demolishing his personal best by .45 seconds and handily defeating a field that included former 100-meter World Record-holder Asafa Powell and Wallace Spearmon, a three-time World Championships 200-meter medalist.

“I was really amazed,” Ashmeade said in an interview. “My mom, she was amazed because Sunday was Mother’s Day, as you all know, and that was part of her gift.”

In addition to Gay, Ashmeade joins previously announced stars such as Blanka Vlašić, Jeremy Wariner, Jessica Ennis, Allyson Felix, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Clement, Bershawn Jackson and Abubaker Kaki, as well as four-time Paralympic gold medalist “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, as the fields for the 2011 edition of the adidas Grand Prix begin to take shape.

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.

Media accreditation is now available at www.adidasGrandPrix.com, under Media. The application deadline is Wednesday, June 1. The adidas Grand Prix, part of the Visa Championship Series, will begin at 1 p.m. on June 11.

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