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Posted: May 29, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Gay returns to 200m at Reebok Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS - In his first 200m race on American soil since the disastrous 200m quarter-final at the Olympic Trials, Tyson Gay will look to reclaim the form that won him the 2007 100 and 200 World Championship titles when he competes Saturday at the 2009 Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York City.

The fourth stop of USA Track & Field's 2009 Visa Championship Series, the Reebok Grand Prix will be televised live on NBC from 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The most medaled entrant in the Western Union men's 200m, the race is far from a sure win for Gay, whose personal best is 19.62. He will be facing two-time World Outdoor medalist Wallace Spearmon (19.65 PB) and 2006 quadruple NCAA champion Xavier Carter (19.63 PB). And don't forget Rodney Martin (19.99 PB), who took fourth at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. Two men who specialize in the 400m, two-time Olympic medalist and World Outdoor champion Jeremy Wariner and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Neville, also are entered.

In the Visa men's 100m, former world record-holder Asafa Powell (JAM) is the favorite, but don't overlook two-time Olympian Darvis Patton, who has a silver medal from the 4x100 in Athens and was a 100m finalist in Beijing. Also in the race are Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, two of Powell's teammates from the gold-medal winning, world record-setting 4x100m in Beijing, and collegiate record-holder Travis Padgett.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist and current world leader LaShawn Merritt headlines the field in the Nutrilite men's 400m. The 2008 Olympic silver medalist and 2007 World Outdoor champion in the 400m hurdles, Kerron Clement will move to the flat race to challenge Merritt.

After winning this event last year in a meet-record 10.91, Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown enters the Visa women's 100m amidst a field that includes four of the top American sprinters. Four-time World Outdoor medalist Lauryn Williams, who ended her 2008 campaign ranked #5 in the world by Track & Field News, is joined by 2008 Olympian Marshavet Hooker and two-time Olympians Muna Lee and Torri Edwards, ranked #s 6, 7, and 8, respectively, in the world.

Williams will be doubling, as she is also entered in the women's 200m, where she will face stiff competition from 2008 NCAA Indoor champion Bianca Knight, who ended her 2008 season ranked #8 in the world to Williams' #10. 2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Shalonda Solomon, who took third here last year, also is entered.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist and World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix will be stepping up to run the Nutrilite women's 400m. Felix, who was world-ranked #5 over 400m for 2008, will challenge Beijing silver medalist Shericka Williams (JAM) and Natasha Hastings, her U.S. teammate on the 4x400m gold medal-winning relay at the 2008 Olympic Games.

The focus of the men's 5,000 race this weekend will be to break the 13-minute barrier, thus eclipsing the U.S. all-comers records. Highlighting the field are 2007 double World Outdoor champion Bernard Lagat, 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Micah Kogo (KEN) and 2009 World Cross Country champion Gebre Gebremariam (ETH).

2008 Olympic and World Indoor silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski leads a field in the Nutrilite women's pole vault that includes 2000 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor champion Stacy Dragila. Also watch for Chelsea Johnson, who currently has the second highest clearance in the world so far this year behind only Stuczynski, and 2008 Olympic finalist April Steiner Bennett.

2008 Olympic gold medalist and current world leader Stephanie Brown Trafton leads the field in the women's discus. Challenging her will be American record-holder Suzy Powell-Roos and four-time USA Outdoor champion Aretha Hill.

The Reebok men's 400m hurdles will be a race of redemption for two-time Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor, who took second two weeks ago at the adidas Track Classic where hurdle eight was set in the wrong place. 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and 2005 World Outdoor champion Bershawn Jackson and 2005 World Outdoor silver medalist James Carter are also in the mix.

The Irie Jam women's 400m hurdles will see 2008 Olympic gold medalist Melaine Walker (JAM) in her first race of the outdoor season. She will be challenged by Beijing bronze medalist Tasha Danvers (GBR) and 2008 Olympic Games finalist Tiffany Ross-Williams.

Two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time Indoor Visa championTerrence Trammell, fresh off his victory at the adidas Track Classic, will look to continue his winning ways in the men's 110m hurdles. 2008 Olympic silver and 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist David Payne and 2005 World Outdoor champion Ladji Doucoure (FRA) will challenge Trammell for the win.

Other athletes to watch include 2008 Olympian Christin Wurth Thomas in the Reebok women's 1,500m, and 2008 NCAA Outdoor champion Leo Manzano and American mile record holder Alan Webb in the Reebok men's 1,500m.

Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark and 2007 USA Outdoor and NCAA champion Alysia Johnson are entered in the women's 800m, in a race that will see former American 3,000m steeplechase record-holder Anna Williard continue her quest for excellence in other events. Four-time USA Outdoor champion Khadevis Robinson is entered in the NY Running Company men's 800m.

The Reebok Grand Prix, in its fifth year, is one of the nation's premier outdoor track & field invitational meets. 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 are on sale now by phone at 1-877-TIX-TRAC or on-line at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com. USATF welcomes you to pay with your Visa.

For more information on the 2009 Visa Championship Series and the Reebok Grand Prix, visit www.VisaChampionshipSeries.com.

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States, with oversight of programs ranging from youth track and field to selecting and managing Team USA for international competition. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit USATF.org.

About WICT
For thirty years, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) has partnered with cable and telecommunications leaders to provide leadership programs and services, and create professional advancement opportunities for women. With over 7,800 members, WICT is the oldest and largest professional association serving women in the cable and telecommunications industry.

WICT develops women leaders who transform our industry through highly regarded professional events, educational programming and networking opportunities. Comcast, Rainbow, Time Warner Cable and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. are WICT's 2009 Strategic Partners providing the highest level of financial support for WICT programs, services and advocacy.


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