TEN MORE OLYMPIC OR WORLD CHAMPIONS ADD DEPTH TO ADIDAS GRAND PRIX ATHLETE FIELD
Double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba to compete in New York Diamond League meeting
NEW YORK (May 25, 2010) — Double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia headlines the 10 Olympic and World champions added to a stellar world-class international field scheduled to compete in the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday, June 12, organizers announced Tuesday.
The sixth edition of the adidas Grand Prix will be the deepest in history—and possibly one of the most impressive lineups outside of the Olympic Games in the United States—as 29 global champions and six IAAF Diamond League ambassadors have been announced for the meet. The event, held at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, will be the fifth stop on the inaugural 14-meet, international Diamond League circuit.
Thrilling match-ups are expected for the New York event, led by the six previously announced Diamond League ambassadors, including Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt, American sprinter Allyson Felix, Australian pole vault king Steven Hooker, javelin rivals Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway and Tero Pitkämäki of Finland making their U.S. debuts and New Zealander shot putter Valerie Vili.
Dibaba, still only 24 years old, has established herself as one of the most decorated women’s distance runners in history. At the 2008 Olympic Games, she won double Olympic gold at 5000 and 10,000 meters, making her the first ever woman to win both events at the same Olympics. She also set the 5000m world record at the 2008 Oslo Golden League meeting prior to the Olympics and is an eight-time World champion.
A trio of Americans—Lopez Lomong, Leo Manzano and Matt Tegenkamp—will join their previously announced compatriot and World champion Bernard Lagat in a deep men’s 1500m. Lomong, 25, who currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., was a 2009 World Championship finalist and the 2008 NYC Grand Prix champion in this event. Born in Sudan, he was selected as the U.S. delegation flag bearer during the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympic Games. Manzano, 25, of Austin, Texas, set a meet record in winning this event at last year’s Grand Prix and was a World Championship finalist at 1500m. Tegenkamp, 28, of Portland, Ore., holds the American record at two miles and finished fourth in the 5000m at the 2007 World Championships.
Kenyan Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop and American Olympian Nick Symmonds will take on previously announced World champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa in the men’s 800m. Kiprop, 20, is the second-fastest 800m runner in the world this year. He finished second to Lagat in the Wanamaker Mile at the 2010 Millrose Games. Symmonds, 26, of Springfield, Ore., is the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials champion and was the sixth-place finisher at the 2009 IAAF World Championships over 800m, becoming the first American to make the men’s 800m final since 1997.
Felix Sánchez of the Dominican Republic will join an already strong field for the men’s 400m hurdles that includes previously announced Javier Culson of Puerto Rico and former World champion Bershawn Jackson. Sánchez, 32, made history in 2004 when he captured the Dominican Republic’s first ever Olympic gold medal in winning the 400m hurdles. Born in New York City and raised in California, Sánchez owns two World titles in the event.
The men’s triple jump will showcase a match-up between Swedish Olympic champion Christian Olsson and previously announced Teddy Tamgho of France. Olsson, 30, has swept all of the top international honors as the Olympic, World and European champion and is the former world indoor record holder, a record now owned by Tamgho. Beset by injuries the past few years, he is looking to make a comeback in 2010. Tamgho will look to unseat Olsson, the defending European champion, at this summer’s European Championships.
Two World Championship medalists will face off in the men’s high jump as Donald Thomas, 25, of the Bahamas and Poland’s Sylwester Bednarek, 21, both make their adidas Grand Prix debuts. Thomas was the 2007 World champion, and Bednarek captured the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships.
Hooker will face stiff competition in the men’s pole vault from Germany’s Malte Mohr and France’s Renaud Lavillenie. Mohr, 23, most recently won the pole vault at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting on May 23. Earlier this year, he finished second to Hooker at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha. Lavillenie, 23, was the 2009 World Championship bronze medalist and the European Indoor champion. He owns the French national pole vault record.
On the women’s side, Kenya’s Nancy Langat, 28, adds the glitz of Olympic gold to an already deep women’s 1500m race that includes all three medalists from the 2009 World Championships and the 2008 World Indoor champion. Langat is the reigning 1500m Olympic champion. A slew of Americans bring even more depth to the field. Erin Donohue, 27, of Haddonfield, N.J., finished sixth at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships over 1500m and was a 2008 Olympian. Jenny Barringer, 23, of Boulder, Colo., set an American record in the 3000m steeplechase in finishing fifth at the 2009 IAAF World Championships. Last year, Barringer ran 3:59.90 and is the fourth-fastest 1500m runner in U.S. history. Treniere Moser, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn., is a four-time U.S. champion. Morgan Uceny, 25, of San Diego, Calif., is the 2010 U.S. Indoor champion.
In the women’s field events, Sweden’s Olympic heptathlon gold medalist Carolina Klüft will face off against Estonian Ksenija Balta in the long jump; American Olympic champion Stephanie Brown Trafton will compete in the discus; and Natalia Khoroneko-Mikhnevich and Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus will take on Vili in the shot put. Klüft, 27, is a four-time World champion in addition to winning the 2004 Olympic heptathlon title. She is the No. 2 heptathlon performer in history. Balta, 24, is the 2009 European Indoor champion. Brown Trafton, 30, of Oceano, Calif., was the United States’ first gold medalist in the women’s discus since Lillian Copeland in 1932 when she won the event at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Khororenk-Mikhnevich, 28, won silver to Vili’s gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. She is also the 2006 World Indoor and European champion in the event. Ostapchuk, 29, owns eight Olympic or World Championship medals in the shot put and defeated Vili to win gold at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, claiming her second World title and snapping the New Zealander’s 28-meet winning streak in the process. Additionally, Ostapchuk and Vili have a 10-8 record against each other in the Belarussian’s favor.
The adidas Grand Prix, in its sixth year, is the nation’s premier outdoor track & field invitational meet. It features Olympic stars, the Jim Ryun High School Dream Mile for top high school athletes and the NYC Mayor’s Cup Fastest Kids competition for youth in the tristate area. 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.
Tickets and transportation information is available now at www.adidasgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC. Remaining tickets for the event will be made available on June 2 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
Athletes announced for the adidas Grand Prix (as of May 25) include:
Daniel Bailey (ANT): men’s 100m; World Championship bronze medalist
Yohan Blake (JAM): men’s 100m; World Junior Championship bronze medalist
Usain Bolt (JAM): men’s 100m; three-time Olympic and World champion
Richard Thompson (TRI): men’s 100m; Olympic silver medalist
Asbel Kiprop (KEN): men’s 800m; Olympic champion
Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA): men’s 800m; two-time World champion and Olympic silver medalist
Nick Symmonds (USA): men’s 800m; Olympian
Bernard Lagat (USA): men’s 1500m; four-time World champion and two-time Olympic medalist
Lopez Lomong (USA): men’s 1500m; Olympian
Leo Manzano (USA): men’s 1500m; Olympian
Deresse Mekonnen (ETH): men’s 1500m; two-time World champion
Matt Tegenkamp (USA): men’s 1500m; Olympian
Brimin Kipruto (KEN): men’s steeplechase; Olympic and World champion
Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN): men’s steeplechase; Olympic bronze medalist
Javier Culson (PUR): men’s 400m hurdles; World Championship silver medalist
Bershawn Jackson (USA): men’s 400m hurdles; World champion and Olympic and World medalist
Danny McFarlane (JAM): men’s 400m hurdles; two-time Olympic silver medalist
Isa Phillips (JAM): men’s 400m hurdles; Olympian
Felix Sánchez (DOM): men’s 400m hurdles; Olympic champion
Donald Thomas (BAH): men’s high jump; World champion
Sylwester Bednarek (POL): men’s high jump; World Championship bronze medalist
Walter Davis (USA): men’s triple jump; two-time World champion
Christian Olsson (SWE): men’s triple jump; Olympic champion
Teddy Tamgho (FRA): men’s triple jump; World champion
Steve Hooker (AUS): men’s pole vault: Olympic and World champion
Renaud Lavillenie (FRA): men’s pole vault; World Championship silver medalist
Malte Mohr (GER): men’s pole vault; World Indoor Championship silver medalist
Tero Pitkämäki (FIN): men’s javelin; World champion and Olympic bronze medalist
Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR): men’s javelin; Olympic, World and European champion
Gelete Burka (ETH): women’s 1500m; two-time World champion
Jenny Barringer (USA): women’s 1500m; Olympian
Lisa Dobriskey (GBR): women’s 1500m; World Championship silver medalist
Erin Donohue (USA): women’s 1500m; Olympian
Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN): women’s 1500m; two-time World champion
Nancy Langat (KEN): women’s 1500m; Olympic champion
Treniere Moser (USA): women’s 1500m; four-time U.S. champion
Anna Pierce (USA): women’s 1500m; Olympic finalist
Shannon Rowbury (USA): women’s 1500m; World Championship bronze medalist
Morgan Uceny (USA): women’s 1500m; U.S. champion
Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH): women’s 5000m; two-time Olympic champion and eight-time World champion
Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI): women’s 200m; Olympian
Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM): women’s 200m; two-time Olympic and two-time World champion
Allyson Felix (USA): women’s 200m; three-time World champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist
Carmelita Jeter (USA): women’s 200m; three-time World Championship medalist
Marshevet Myers (USA): women’s 200m; Olympic finalist
Jessica Ennis (GBR): women’s multi; two-time World champion
Hyleas Fountain (USA): women’s multi; Olympic silver medalist
Delloreen Ennis-London (JAM): women’s 100m hurdles; three-time World Championship medalist
Dawn Harper (USA): women’s 100m hurdles; Olympic champion
Lolo Jones (USA): women’s 100m hurdles; two-time World champion
Susanna Kallur (SWE): women’s 100m hurdles; European champion
Ksenija Balta (EST): women’s long jump; Olympian; European Indoor champion
Carolina Klüft (SWE): women’s long jump; Olympic champion and four-time World champion
Chelsea Johnson (USA): women’s pole vault; World Championship silver medalist
Jenn Suhr (USA): women’s pole vault; Olympic and World Championship silver medalist
Natalia Khoroneko-Mikhnevich (BLR): women’s shot put; World champion and Olympic silver medalist
Nadezhda Ostapchuk (BLR): women’s shot put; two-time World champion and Olympic bronze medalist
Valerie Vili (NZL): women’s shot put; Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion
Stephanie Brown Trafton (USA): women’s discus; Olympic champion