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World and Olympic Champs bring the heat to NYC

NEW YORK- World Champions and Olympic gold medalists including Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner and Allyson Felix headline the field at the 2011 adidas Grand Prix this Saturday, June 11, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in NYC.

The adidas Grand Prix is the second stop of the 2011 Outdoor Visa Championship Series. The meet will be broadcast live on NBC, June 11 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET and the action is also available online at starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Men’s 100m
Tyson Gay
©Lisa Coniglio, Photo Run

Tyson Gay and his training partner Steve Mullings of Jamaica are set to battle in the men’s 100m. Mullings’ victory at Prefontaine last weekend in 9.80 seconds was a sizzling personal best for the 2009 World Championships 4x100 relay gold medalist, and sets up a duel for supremacy with Gay, who recorded a world-leading 9.79 on the same day. They hold the two fastest times in the world for 2011.

Among those looking to upset the duo of Gay and Mullings are Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, who owns the fastest 200m time in the world so far this year; American Mike Rodgers, the 2010 World Indoor silver medalist at 60m who finished second at the Prefontaine Classic in a PB of 9.85; and 2008 Olympic relay gold medalists Michael Frater and Nesta Carter of Jamaica.

Men’s Triple Jump
World Indoor record-holder Teddy Tamgho of France, who lit up Icahn Stadium last year with one of the best jumps in history of 17.98m/59-0, is returning to the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday. The crowd will be treated to a rematch of the top three jumpers here last year: Tamgho, Phillips Idowu of Great Britain and Christian Olsson of Sweden. Among them, they have won six World Championship titles. The top American entrant is Kenta Bell, the 2010 USA Outdoor Champion.

Women’s Western Union 200m
Three-time World Champion Allyson Felix will face 100m Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica. They have plenty of strong competition in American Carmelita Jeter, whose blazing 10.70 seconds last weekend is among the top 10 fastest 100m times in history.

VISA Women’s 100m Hurdles
In the women’s 100m hurdles it’s another USA-Jamaica rivalry, with reigning World Champion Brigitte Ann Foster-Hylton of Jamaica meeting two-time World Indoor 60m Champion Lolo Jones and 2011 world leader Kellie Wells.

Grete Waitz Women’s 1500m
With a victory last weekend, Jamaica’s Kenia Sinclair solidified her spot as the world’s top 800m runner so far this year. in New York, she will step up to the 1500m, meeting Americans Anna Pierce, Morgan Uceny and Shannon Rowbury.

VISA Men’s 800m
Also coming off a big win in Eugene is Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, who brings a world-leading time of 1:43.48 to the men’s 800m against reigning World Champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Khadevis Robinson, the American veteran who staged an upset victory over a top field in Rome late last month.

Women’s High Jump
Posting her own world-leading mark on Sunday was IAAF Female Athlete of the Year Blanka Vlašić of Croatia, with her high jump of 1.97m/6-5.5. Vlašić, the second-highest jumper in history, will be making her U.S. debut at the adidas Grand Prix. The top American in the field is 2010 USA Outdoor runner-up Liz Patterson.

NYRR Men’s 5,000m
Bernard Lagat is coming off a 2-mile triumph at Prefontaine, where he ran a smart strategic race to defeat a world-class field in 8:13.62. He will face another fast field with 10 Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who have sub-13-minute personal bests.

Men’s 400m Hurdles
Emerging hurdle star LJ Van Zyl from South Africa holds the five fastest times in the world this year in the 400m hurdles and has already defeated all of the top three hurdlers from 2010. Fifth in the 2008 Olympics, Van Zyl leads in the Diamond Race and is an early podium favorite for this summer’s World Championships. Van Zyl’s top challengers include Bershawn “Batman” Jackson who ended his 2010 campaign ranked #1 in the world by Track & Field News, and David Greene of Great Britain who won last year’s Continental Cup.

Women’s Long Jump
Britney Reese, ranked #1 in the world for the past two years, is the 2009 World Champion and 2010 World Indoor title holder and the favorite in the women’s long jump. Reese’s winning jump in Rome (6.94m/22-9.25) is the longest so far this season. She will face, among others, Americans Funmi Jimoh, a 2008 Olympian and current Diamond Race leader thanks to a win in Doha, and Tianna Madison, the 2005 World Champion.

Men’s Pole Vault
Renaud Lavillenie, the French pole vaulter who will return to defend his adidas Grand Prix title, also posted a world leading mark (5.82m/19-1.25) in winning Rome. Ranked #1 in the world for 2010, he is the 2009 World Championships bronze medalist and 2010 European Champion. Malte Mohr of Germany, the #2 jumper in the world so far this year, and American Brad Walker, the 2007 World Champion, are among those who will challenge for the win.

Women’s Discus
Stephanie Brown-Trafton, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the discus, enters the competition with the farthest throw of the field this year (64.13m/210-4). The top five women on the current U.S. standings lists are entered in the meet, and all have thrown over 200-feet this year.

Men’s 400m
Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner lost to 400m hurdle specialist Angelo Taylor in Eugene, but he will be looking to get back in the top spot to defend his 2010 Diamond Race title. Wariner will face stiff competition from current world leader Rondell Bartholomew of Grenada who has already run 44.65 and from Belgium's European champion Kevin Borlee. Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner", will be making his second Diamond League appearance after running 46.33 at the Prefontaine Classic.

Women’s Javelin Throw
Christina Obergfoll of Germany, who threw a season's best to win in Eugene of 65.48m/214-10, enters with the best mark of the field. American record holder Kara Patterson and South Africa's Sunette Viljoen will be the main challengers for the top spot.

Western Union Men’s 1500m
Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku of Kenya enters the field with the fastest time this year of 3:32.02. He recently finished fifth in the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic  in 3:49.77 and will face 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong who finished in 3:53.85 in the same race. David Torrence took second in the International Mile in Eugene and also recently won his third-straight USA 1 Mile Road Championship title.

Women’s 100m
Marshevet Myers ran to a personal best of 10.86 to take the runner-up spot at last week’s Prefontaine Classic. With many of the top 100m athletes moving up to run the 200m this week, Myers’ top challengers will be Alexandria Anderson who is currently #3 on the U.S. list with a time of 11.01 and  Schillonie Calvert of Jamaica  who won in Hengelo in 11.05.

Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase
Current world leader Milcah Chemos Cheywa of Kenya won in Rome in 9:12.89, and Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia was the runner-up in Rome in 9:15.04. The two will face each other once again, in addition to top-challengers Lydia Jebet Rotich of Kenya  and two-time USA Outdoor Champion Lisa Aguilera.

Women’s 400m
Francena McCorory leads the field by nearly half a second with her P.R. of 50.50 set at an early season meet in April. McCorory’s closest competition will come from 400m hurdle specialist Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica who has  run 50.95 this year for the 400m flat.

Women’s 800m
In a race filled with American talent, Geena Gall leads the field, as she recently dipped under the 2-minute barrier with a PR performance of 1:59.76 at the Prefontaine Classic. Molly Beckwith will be her closest competitor, with a 2010 best of 1:59.83, and a current season best of 2:00.08.

Women’s Pole-Vault
In an all-American field, the top six women on the current U.S. list will converge at Icahn Stadium. Jenn Suhr’s indoor American Record of 4.86m/15-11.25 still stands as the best U.S. mark this year; however, Kylie Hutson has the best outdoor mark this season in 4.60m/15-1.

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