Caribbean stars at Adidas Grand Prix

Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce - Olympic Champion.
Courtesy Images Newsletter
Courtesy of Images Newsletter

NEW YORK CITY – The Adidas Grand Prix has long been known for bringing dozens of exciting Caribbean track-and-field stars to Icahn Stadium each June, and this Saturday will be no exception: 34 top Caribbean athletes – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Richard Thompson and Jamaica’s newest sprint superstar, Steve Mullings – are on the way.

As the latest in a long line of great Jamaican sprinters, Mullings’ huge new personal best of 9.80 seconds ranks him right up with Tyson Gay (9.79) on the list of fastest men in the world so far this year. The two will face off in the 100 meters on Saturday in what is sure to be a headline matchup of the meet, but they won’t be alone on the track, because Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson, relay gold medalists Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, and rising young star Nickel Ashmeade will all challenge them. While Gay and Mullings are the two fastest 100-meter men of the season, Ashmeade tops the list at 200 meters, so the lineup in New York may be the best anywhere in the world so far this season.

In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world and the home of Usain Bolt’s first 100-meter World Record, the Adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit. Dozens of Olympic and World Champions – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Brigitte Foster-Hylton – are among the superstars expected.

Fraser-Pryce, the reigning Olympic and World Champion at 100 meters, will square off against three-time World Champion Allyson Felix in a star-studded 200 meters that promises to rival the men’s 100 meters for title of “Best Jamaica-USA Duel of the Meet.” Giving those two a run for their money will be Olympic medalists Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Sherone Simpson, in an event that features five of the top six athletes in the world for 2010.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, it will be 2009 World Champion Foster-Hylton and three-time world medalist Delloreen Ennis against Americans Lolo Jones and Kellie Wells. Not to be outdone, the men’s 400 meters is loaded with top Caribbean talent, led by Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica and Christopher Brown of the Bahamas, who will go up against American Jeremy Wariner.

In the 400-meter hurdles, it will be World Championship silver medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico mixing it up with American Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 World Champion, and world #1 LJ van Zyl of South Africa. Can Culson break into van Zyl’s string of the five fastest times of the year. Then there’s Kenia Sinclair, the world leader at 800 meters who will lead the charge for Jamaica in the women’s 1500 meters.

And that’s not all. Check out this full list of Caribbean athletes:

Christopher Brown – BAH – M 400m

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie – BAH – W 200m

Leevan Sands – BAH – M Triple Jump

Tynia Gaither – BAH – Girls’ Dream 100

Erison Hurtault – DMA – M 400m

Rondell Bartholomew – GRN – M 400m

Adam Harris – GUY – M 100m

Deon Bascom – GUY – M 800m National Race

Moise Joseph – HAI – M 800m National Race

Brigitte Ann Foster-Hylton – JAM – W 100m Hurdles

Delloreen Ennis – JAM – W 100m Hurdles

Jermaine Gonzales – JAM – M 400m

Jovanee Jarrett – JAM – W Long Jump

Kaliese Spencer – JAM – W 400m

Kenia Sinclair – JAM – Grete Waitz W 1500m

Mardrea Hyman – JAM – W 3000m Steeplechase

Michael Frater – JAM – M 100m

Nesta Carter – JAM – M 100m

Nickel Ashmeade – JAM – M 100m

Renaldo Rose – JAM – M 100m

Ricardo Chambers – JAM – M 400m

Samantha Henry – JAM – W100m

Schillonie Calvert – JAM – W 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – JAM – W 200m

Sheree Francis – JAM – W High Jump

Sherone Simpson – JAM – W 200m

Steve Mullings – JAM – M 100m

Beverly Ramos – PUR – W 3000m Steeplechase

Javier Culson – PUR – M 400m Hurdles

Jehue Gordon – TRI – M 400m Hurdles

Keston Bledman – TRI – M 100m

Marc Burns -TRI – M 100m

Renny Quow – TRI – M 400m

Richard Thompson – TRI – M 100m

Nickel Ashmeade – 19.95s (best time in 200M this year).
Photo Run, Courtesy Images Newsletter
Photo Run, Courtesy of Images Newsletter

More from Around NYC