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Posted: May 5, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: adidas Track Classic To Feature Top Early Season Distance Matchups

Shalane Flanagan, Bernard Lagat among stars set for The Home Depot Center May 16

Carson, CA (May 5, 2009) -- The adidas Track Classic, one of the premier track and field meets in the country, will feature international matchups of Olympic medalists and World Champions at the middle and long distances, meet officials announced today.

Headlining the women's 5000 meters will be U.S. star Shalane Flanagan, the top female distance runner in America. Flanagan, the Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000 meters in Beijing, owns four American records including the 5000m. She has already broken one American mark this year, for 5000m indoors. Among her top rivals will be Ethiopian sisters Ejegayehu and Genzebe Dibaba. Ejegayehu is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist at 10,000m and 2005 World Championships bronze medalist at both 5000m and 10,000m, while younger sister Genzebe is a two-time World Junior Cross Country Champion and last weekend won the Ethiopian senior 5000m national title at only 18 years old.

The men's 1500 meters, meanwhile, will feature the entire 2008 U.S. Olympic squad of Bernard Lagat, Lopez Lomong and Leonel Manzano. Lagat, the American record holder at 1500m, is the reigning World Champion at 1500m and 5000m - the first man ever to win that double. Joining them will be three-time U.S. indoor 1500m champion Rob Myers; Canadian 1500m record holders Kevin Sullivan (outdoors) and Nate Brannen (indoors); and Mexican national indoor record holder Pablo Solares.

The 2009 adidas Track Classic will also highlight winners from the major Jamaica Invitational in Kingston last weekend. Among them are Americans Dawn Harper, the surprise 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter hurdles, and Darvis Patton, a 100-meter finalist in Beijing; Jamaica's Novlene Williams, a 4x400m World Championship bronze medalist; and Rennie Quow, the 2006 World Junior Champion at 400m from Trinidad and Tobago.

Featuring some of the best athletes from across the globe, the adidas Track Classic has showcased track and field superstars from more than two-dozen nations including World Champions Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Meseret Defar and Veronica Campbell-Brown.

Among the biggest changes to this year's event will be a move to an evening program that will allow for world class times in the middle and long distance races, while still taking advantage of Southern California's warmth and the Home Depot Center's fast track for the sprints. The meet will begin at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. PDT.

Produced by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., the adidas Track Classic is the third stop on USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series. Tickets, from $40 (finish line) down to $10, are now available by calling Ticketmaster at 213-480-3232 or visiting For group sales, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS. Visit the event website at for updates and more information.

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