New York – Chinese megastar Liu Xiang and World-champion sprinters Veronica Campbell-Brown and Lauryn Williams – whose photo finish at 100 meters provided one of the most-dramatic moments of the 2007 World Championships – will be among the headliners at the Reebok Grand Prix on May 31, organizers announced today. On the heels of a sell-out last year, 1,500 seats are being added to Icahn Stadium to meet the expected demand in this Olympic year.
Among them, the three won 11 medals at the 2004 Olympics and 2007 World Championships – six of them gold – and head toward Beijing as three of the top stars in the sport.
Campbell-Brown returns to New York as 100-meter World Champion, thanks to her gold medal at that distance in Osaka last summer. Add her title as the reigning Olympic gold medalist at 200 meters and the Jamaican sprint queen is perhaps the most-lethal female sprinter in the world as the 2008 season gets under way. Last year, Campbell-Brown – who married fellow Jamaican sprinter Omar Brown last fall – ran four of the five fastest times in the world for 100 meters, including her victory here in 10.93 seconds.
Liu, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and World Record-holder at the 110-meter hurdles who is ranked #1 in the world, will return to Icahn Stadium to defend his hurdles title. Last year, Liu won here in a scorching 12.92 seconds, the fastest time in the world for 2007 and tied for the fourth-fastest in history. Liu added the title of World Indoor Champion in his only race so far in 2008.
Williams brought home silver from Osaka, after a virtual tie with Campbell-Brown at 100 meters. The popular American is the 2005 100-meter World Champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist, and is a two-time 4x100m World Champion as well. Her rematch with Campbell-Brown at 100 meters in New York will be closely watched as a preview of the Olympic final later this summer.
The Reebok Grand Prix will begin at 5 p.m. on May 31, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. The new bleacher seats, along the backstretch with clear views of the finish line, will be available for $15. Grandstand tickets range from $50-$24. Tickets are on sale now by phone at 1-877-TIX-TRAC and will go on sale on-line soon at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com.