Newly crowned world indoor champions Bernard Lagat of the United States and Jessica Ennis of Great Britain as well as American record-holder Hyleas Fountain will ride the wave of their recent successes when they compete at the adidas Grand Prix on June 12, organizers announced Wednesday. The adidas Grand Prix, held at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, will be the fifth stop on the inaugural 14-meet, international Diamond League circuit.
Lagat joins previously announced Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt, the Olympic and World champion at 100 and 200 meters and world record holder in both events, as the featured athletes in their respective events, the 1500 and 100m. The golden girl of British Athletics, Ennis will face-off against Fountain, the Olympic heptathlon silver medalist, in a special multi-event challenge featuring the long jump, shot put, and 100m hurdles. The adidas Grand Prix will be Ennis’ U.S. debut, and it will be Fountain’s first appearance.
“Winning the world indoor title gives me a load of confidence heading into the summer, and now what a great opportunity it is for the multis to be included within the adidas Grand Prix’s Diamond League structure,” Ennis said. “This meet is known for producing great results, and I’m excited to use the energy and support of the New York City crowd in making my U.S. debut.”
Lagat, 35, of Tucson, Ariz., captured his second world indoor title in the 3000m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha in early March, making him the first U.S. champion in the event. The victory brings his career World Championship medal count to eight—four of them gold. A two-time Olympic medalist, Lagat most recently made history in New York, winning his record eighth Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden in January.
Ennis, 24, is dubbed the world’s greatest female athlete after becoming the first British woman to win both indoor and outdoor world titles in 2009 and 2010. She was victorious this month in Doha, and just seven months prior, Ennis dominated in similar fashion, setting a personal best in becoming the world heptathlon champion at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin.
Fountain, 29, of Kettering, Ohio, also had a stellar performance in Doha, finishing fourth in the pentathlon and equaling the American record of 4,753 set in 1999 by DeeDee Nathan. It was an encouraging performance for Fountain, who was forced to miss the World Outdoor Championships last summer due to an injury after winning the Olympic silver medal in Beijing a year earlier.