World and Olympic sprint champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica , American sprint star Tyson Gay, Ethiopian distance standout Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam and reigning three-time world champion Swedish heptathlete Carolina Kluft, will be among the headliners at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix, organizers announced today.
The Reebok Grand Prix is the third stop of USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series and will be held at 3:00pm on May 30, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, New York City.
Campbell-Brown, 26, the reigning 100-meter world champion, will attempt to win her third straight Reebok Grand Prix title in the 100-meters. A five-time Olympic medalist, she captured gold in the 200-meters at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, becoming only the second woman in Olympic Games history to successfully defend her title.
The 26-year old Gay was a three-time world champion in 2007 in the 100-meters, 200-meters and 4×100-meter relay and is the current American record holder in the 100-meters. For his 2007 performances, Gay was named IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, USOC Sportsman of the Year, Track and Field News Man of the Year and awarded the Jesse Owens Award. Injury however kept him out of the 2008 summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Just two weeks ago, Gebremariam, 23, won the IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Jordan. The Ethiopian distance champion previously won World Cross Country individual medals in 2002, 2003 and 2004. With his individual gold and team silver medals, Gebremariam has now earned 15 medals at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, second only to compatriot Kenenisa Bekele.
Sweden’s Kluft, 26, who will compete in the long jump, is considered one of the world’s greatest female athletes. Kluft won the Olympic heptathlon in 2004 and is the reigning three-time world and double European heptathlon champion.
The Reebok Grand Prix, in its fifth year, is one of the nation’s premier outdoor track & field invitational meets. It features Olympic stars, top high school athletes and a Fastest Kid in New York competition for 7- and 8-year-olds.
Louis Grant, head of IrieJam Media Group said that the programme remains the same as last year and will include men’s and women’s sprints, hurdles, middle-distance races, pole vault and invitational high school races.
He noted that interest from fans in the metro New York area has prompted organizers to increased and upgraded seating at track level on the backstretch.