Three of the world’s top female sprinters have been added to a spectacular field in the women’s 200 meters at the adidas Grand Prix on June 11, organizers announced recently.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM); the reigning Olympic and World Champion at 100 meters; Carmelita Jeter (USA), ranked #1 in the world last year at 100 meters; and veteran Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (BAH), the 2001 World Champion who earned a #4 world-ranking in 2010, will compete in what is fast becoming one of the marquee races of the meet and perhaps one of the best sprint matchups in all of 2011.
The trio will join previously announced Allyson Felix (USA), the three-time World Champion ranked #1 in the world last year; #5 Sherone Simpson (JAM), the reigning Olympic silver medalist at 100 meters; #3 Shalonda Solomon (USA); and #6 Bianca Knight (USA).
In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit. Nine athletes ranked #1 in the world for 2010 – including Blanka Vlašić, Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson – are among the superstars announced to date, along with new Jamaican sprint sensation Nickel Ashmeade and “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, the 400-meter Paralympic gold medalist hoping to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. Tickets are available at the event website, www.adidasgrandprix.com, or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC.
The women’s 1500 meters is equally loaded, with the top three women in the world for 2010 headlining the field. Nancy Langat (KEN), ranked #1 last year and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, returns to defend her adidas Grand Prix title, while #2 Anna Alminova (RUS) ran the fastest time in the world last year (3:57.65). Gelete Burka (ETH), ranked #3, is the 2008 World Indoor Champion. Kalkidan Gezahegne (ETH), the 2010 World Indoor Champion; Kenia Sinclair (JAM), the fastest 800-meter runner in the world so far in 2011 and World Indoor silver medalist in 2008; Anna Pierce (USA), the four-time U.S. champion who in 2010 ranked #2 in the world at 800 meters and #6 at 1500; and Jenny Simpson (USA), the 2010 USA Indoor Champion at 1500 and 3000 meters, are among the athletes who will challenge the top trio.
Leading the field in the women’s 100-meter hurdles are Brigitte Foster-Hylton (JAM), the current outdoor World Champion, and Lolo Jones (USA), two-time World Indoor Champion in the 60-meter hurdles. Challenging them will be Delloreen Ennis (JAM), a three-time World Championship medalist, and Kellie Wells (USA), whose winning time of 12.58 in the season’s first Diamond League meet, in Doha, is the fastest in the world this year. They join Tiffany Ofili-Porter (GBR), five-time NCAA Champion and 2011 European Indoor silver medalist in the 60-meter hurdles, and of course Jessica Ennis (GBR), the 2009 World Champion in the heptathlon who was previously announced. More top athletes are expected to be announced soon.
In the men’s 100 meters, Richard Thompson (TRI), Nesta Carter (JAM), Michael Frater (JAM) and Wallace Spearmon (USA) join previously announced Gay (USA) and Ashmeade (JAM) in the field. Thompson, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, is the defending adidas Grand Prix champion, while Carter ran 9.78 seconds last season to tie Gay for the fastest 100-meter time of the year. Frater, the 2005 World Championship silver medalist, was on the 4×100-meter relay team, along with Carter, that won gold en route to their World Record in Beijing. Spearmon is a three-time World Championship medalist at 200 meters and ranked #2 in the world last year at that distance.
The men’s 5000-meter field is headlined by Bernard Lagat (USA) and Imane Merga (ETH). Lagat, the popular two-time Olympic medalist at 1500 meters and 2007 World Champion at 1500 and 5000 meters, is the American Record-holder at the distance and has found great success in New York as the eight-time winner of the Wanamaker Mile. His top rival is Merga, ranked #1 in the world last year at 5000 meters and the 2011 World Cross Country Champion.
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.
In addition, 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.