10 Olympic gold medalists and six athletes ranked #1 in the world for 2012, are set and ready to face the starter at the ninth staging of the adidas Grand Prix (aDP), at the Icahn Stadium (Randall’s Island), in New York City, on Saturday, May 25, starting at noon.
Led by 2012 breakout American superstar Aries Merritt in the 110-meter hurdles, the meet organizers are hoping to cash in on the wealth of talent available as athletes prepare for the World Championship in Moscow, Russia, in mid Summer.
Ranked #1 in the world by one of the sport’s leading publication, the 27 year old American did not disappoint, striking gold at the London Summer Olympiad before going next door to Brussels, to set a new world mark of 12.80 seconds over the short obstacle course.
Among the latest stars to confirm their availability for the ninth-annual event are; Brittney Reese (USA), the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Champion in the long jump, who has been ranked #1 in the world for the past four years.
She is joined by compatriots, Morgan Uceny – 1500 meters; Christian Cantwell, WC and Olympic silver medalist in the Shot Putt; Ryan Whiting (SP); Stephanie Brown Trafton (Discus); Ryan Bailey (sprints) and David Oliver - 110 m hurdles.
Brazilian Fabiana Murer, the 2011 World Champion in the pole vault, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia (Discus), and Holly Bleasdale of Germany (PV), make the cut as well.
In addition to Suhr, and Gay, previously announced athletes include; David Rudisha (800 m), Veronica Campbell Brown (VCB), Blanka Vlasic, Javier Culson, Jeremy Wariner (400 m), Bianca Knight (100 m) and Michael Tinsley.
Gay and VCB recorded impressive victories in the short sprints at last week’s Jamaica International Invitational meet in Kingston, Jamaica.
Four of the top high school relay teams from Jamaica have been added to the schedule this year. Coming off impressive medal winning performances at the Gibson (Memorial) Relays (JAM), ISSA Boys & Girls Champs (JAM), the junior CARIFTA Games (BAH) and the Penn Relays Carnival (USA), Vere Technical and St. Jago girls will go head to head in the four lapper (mile relay) event.
On the HSB side, Manchester High will get another crack at Munro College in the 4 x 400 m event. The rest of the field in the HS section should come from the tri-state area teams.
Louie Grant, EVP at Irie Jam Media Group and team coordinator/HS, would only say that the Jamaicans will test skills against some of the Tri-state's best!
The adidas Grand Prix is the third stop on the IAAF sanctioned Diamond League circuit and will be staged in NYC in conjunction with the Randall’s Island Sports Alliance, Global Athletics Marketing and Irie Jam Media Group.
By Aubrey Campbell