Women’s PV stars 6 of top 7 in world; special runway is planned
May 21, 2013
NEW YORK CITY —Clashes involving dozens of Olympic gold medalists and World Champions will abound at Saturday’s adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium.
While several athletes are strong favorites, including 2012 Olympic gold medalist and World Record-holders David Rudisha in the 800 meters, the deep fields across the board are the best in the meet’s nine-year history and promise a day of thrills.
The adidas Grand Prix will kick off the summer Saturday at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. Running events begin just after 11 a.m., but some of the best field-event athletes in the world begin competing at 9 a.m. Gates open at 8:45 a.m.
Three events in particular stand out for remarkable fields: the women’s pole vault, women’s 400 meters and men’s shot put.
In the pole vault, 2012 Olympic gold medalist—and new World Indoor Record-holder—Jenn Suhr of the United States will again have to contend with 2012 silver medalist Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who has just been added to the field. But that’s only the beginning, because the field includes six of the seven top-ranked women in the world last year. Right behind Suhr (#1) and Silva (#3) were Silke Spiegelburg of Germany (#4), Jiřina Svobodová of the Czech Republic (#5), 2011 World Champion Fabiana Murer of Brazil (#6), and 21-year-old Holly Bleasdale of Great Britain (#7).
To showcase what is perhaps the best women’s pole vault field ever assembled in this country, organizers have made the bold decision to construct a temporary runway to offer fans the best-possible views of the competition. The runway, borrowed from the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden, will be laid down in the infield along the homestretch, parallel to the main stadium. The permanent runway, at the south end of the infield, is perpendicular to the stadium, and not as spectator friendly.
Reigning Olympic gold medalist and American Record-holder Sanya Richards-Ross (#1) of the United States, making her season debut, headlines the field for the women’s 400 meters. She will be challenged by Amantle Montsho (#3) of Botswana and Christine Ohuruogu (#4) of Great Britain, giving the women’s 400-meter field not only the last two Olympic gold medalists—Ohuruogu won in 2008—but also the last three IAAF World Champions. Ohuruogo won the world title in 2007, Richards-Ross in 2009, and Montsho in 2011. Montsho has run the fastest time in the world this year (49.88).
Rounding out a field that boasts the depth of an Olympic final are Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica (#3), Francena McCorory of the United States (#5), and Sherika Williams of Jamaica (#10). That means fans will be watching the top five women in the world for 2012 and five of the eight women in the 2012 Olympic final.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Tomasz Majewski (#2) of Poland owns the most impressive hardware in the men’s shot put, but given the quality of the field he will have to work hard for the win. Also in the circle on Saturday will be the American trio of Christian Cantwell (#6), the 2009 World Champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist; Reese Hoffa (#1), the 2007 World Champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, and Ryan Whiting (#3), the 2012 World Indoor Champion who owns the longest throw in the world so far this year (22.28m/73 feet, 1.25 inches).
Also in the field are Dylan Armstrong of Canada (#4), Asmir Kolašinac of Serbia (#9), and Justin Rodhe of Canada (#10), so fans will have the opportunity to see seven athletes ranked in the top 10 last year and four of the five top finishers in the London Olympics.
Other key matchups include:
Men’s 100m: 2007 triple World Champion and American Record-holder Tyson Gay, whose 9.86 is fastest time in the world this year; Nesta Carter (JAM), two-time Olympic gold medalist, 4x100m; Ryan Bailey (USA), 2012 Olympic silver medalist and American Record-holder, 4x100m; Richard Thompson (TRI), 2008 Olympic silver medalist.
Women’s 100m: Marshevet Hooker (USA) 2011 World Champion, 4x100m, who is making her return here missing the 2012 season to childbirth; Tianna Madison-Bartoletta, the 2005 World Champion in the long jump and 2012 Olympic gold medalist and World Record-holder, 4x100m; Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI), 2011 World Championships bronze medalist.
Women’s 200m: Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM), the two-time Olympic gold medalist at the distance; Bianca Knight (USA), the 2012 4×100-meter gold medalist and relay World Record-holder.
Men’s 400m: Jeremy Wariner (USA), 2008 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion; Kevin Borlée (BEL), 2011 World Championships bronze medalist; Tony McQuay (USA), 2012 Olympic silver medalist, 4x400m.
Women’s 1500m: Morgan Uceny, ranked #1 in the world in 2011; Nancy Langat of Kenya, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist; Kalkidan Gezahegne of Ethiopia, the 2010 World Indoor Champion; Shannon Rowbury of the United States, the 2009 World Championships bronze medalist; and Abeba Aregawi, who has run the fastest time in the world this year.
Men’s 5000m: Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH), the 2012 Olympic silver medalist; Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH), the 2011 World Champion at 10,000 meters; Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH), the World Junior Record-holder and 2013 World Junior Cross Country Champion with the fastest time in the world this year at 3000 meters. Add John Kipkoech (KEN) and the field features three men who have run under 12:50. The fastest time ever run in the United States is 12:56.98.
Men’s 400h: Michael Tinsley (USA) and Javier Culson (PUR), the 2012 Olympic silver and bronze medalists, respectively, and Johnny Dutch (USA), who last weekend defeated Culson at the Ponce Grand Prix in 48.02, the fastest time in the world this year.
Men’s Triple Jump: Christian Taylor (USA), 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Champion; Phillips Idowu (GBR), 2009 World Champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist.
Women’s Long Jump: Brittney Reese (USA), 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion; Olga Kucherenko (RUS), 2011 World Championships silver medalist; Janay DeLoach Soukup (USA), 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.
Women’s Javelin: Christina Obergföll (
The third stop on the international IAAF Diamond League circuit, the adidas Grand Prix is in its ninth year at Icahn Stadium, in conjunction with the Randall’s Island Sports Alliance. The latest news, photos and information on the event can be found at www.adidasgrandprix.com; on Facebook; on Twitter; and on Tumblr.