Olympic and World champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker of Australia and Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones of the United States will compete in a star-studded lineup at the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday, June 12, organizers announced Thursday. 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. Hooker is one of the original nine IAAF Diamond League Ambassadors.
Hooker and Jones, both recent World Indoor champions, will be joined by American Olympic silver medalist Jenn Suhr (née Stuczynski), who will headline the women’s pole vault. Also in the field are previously announced Olympians Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Americans Bernard Lagat and Hyleas Fountain and World champion Jessica Ennis of Great Britain
This is Hooker’s first meet back in New York since he attempted the indoor world record height of 6.15 meters (20 feet, 2 inches) at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in January 2009.
“New York City was good to me at the Millrose Games last year, so I am hoping for big jumps in my Diamond League return to the Big Apple,” Hooker said.
Hooker, 28, continued his recent success at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in March, clearing a championship record of 6.01m (19 feet, 8 1/2 inches) to notch his first World Indoor title. Since turning professional in 2006, he has dominated the pole vault scene and is the only man to win Olympic gold, World Indoor and Outdoor titles, and gold at the Commonwealth Games in a single event.
Jones, 27, of Baton Rouge, La., had a breakthrough performance in Doha, becoming the first woman to win back-to-back World Indoor titles in the 60-meter hurdles and breaking the American record set by Gail Devers in 2003. She is a three-time USA Indoor champion, claiming titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Jones was also the U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the 100m hurdles in 2008.
Suhr, 28, of Churchville, N.Y., is both the indoor and outdoor American record-holder in the pole vault, making her the No. 2-ranked jumper in history behind world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva. Suhr was the Olympic silver medalist in 2008 and has won seven U.S. national titles. She married long-time coach Rick Suhr in January 2010.
The adidas Grand Prix, in its sixth year, is the nation’s premier outdoor track & field invitational meet. It features Olympic stars, top high school athletes, and a “Fastest Kid in New York” competition. Increased and upgraded backstretch seating at track level is being added to accommodate the growing demand and interest from fans in the New York area.