Reebok Grand Prix NYC Ends with a WR: Usain Bolt runs legal 9.72 for 100 meters!

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The Reebok Grand Prix NYC is one of those prime examples of an event that has grown comfortable with itself, and flourishes. The crowd, estimated at over 8,000 was SRO as over five hundred additional fans paid $5 for an opportunity to stand near the stands or the track and watch a fine track meet.

The Icahn Stadium was dressed up for the occassion, with signage from Reebok, Western Union, Digicel, Visa, Nissan and Nutrilite. The crowd was a lively combination of Jamaican, Chinese, Trinidad & Tobago ( More on that later), and just your average New Yorkers. But the Jamaicans were in force to see two of their fave athletes-Veronica Campbell-Brown, the World Champion at 100 meters and silver medalist at 200 meters, and also Usain Bolt, the silver medalist at Osaka, who had run 9.74 for 100 meters the first weekend of May.

The showdown of the meet, the last event, was the 100 meters. It was Usain Bolt versus Tyson Gay, who had run 10.07 and 20.08 to win his double at the adidas Track Classic. And the meet played along with the drama, as event after event, the crowd was treated to a truly memorable night of track and field.....

The Reebok GP gave its fans a real show! From the start of the throws, with Reese Hoffa and Ian Waltz taking the shot and discus,the meet did not stop to showcase the true essence of our sport-it is always about the competition!

I will spend more time writing about the meet on Sunday and Monday, but I wanted to get in the highlights, for me of the event.

For the second meet in a row Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica showed why she is the class of the 100 meters. Running from the beginning as if she was in total control, Campbell-Brown ran a fine and world leading 10.91! And if that was not enough, she lead Marshevet Hooker of the US in second, who ran a fine 10.94 and Muna Lee (who had won the 200 meters at the adidas Track Classic) in 10.97. Fourth place was Lauryn Williams in 11.13 with Alyson Felix fifth in 11.13! This may have been depth, wise the best event of the entire meet! Well, until a few events later.....

Veronica's approval by the Jamaican crowd was something to behold! The crowd was there to see her perform and had weathered a rain squall which held up the meet for twenty minutes, but..after the rain, the entire stadium, was filled up again, all to see two amazing sprint races!

Paul KIpsele Koech of Kenya gave all who watched a lesson in steeplechasing. Running by himself for most of his eight minute race, Koech ran the fastest steeplechase ever run in North America, breaking the record of Henry Rono, I believe, way back from 1978, when Rono broke the World record in a dual meet. Koech has a unique hurdle form-he pushes himself over the hurdles, but is all about his speed between the hurdles, this man willed himself to a fine 8:01.85! Steve Slattery was second!

Yusuuf Said Kamal of Bahrain took the 800 meter crowd through 51.5 and did not have any company until about fifty meters to go. Khadevis Robinson showed a new tactic and made a move with less than five meters to go and almost got Kamal at the finish, but it was Kamal, 1:45.53 to Robinson's 1:45.55. Gary Reed of Canada and Sam Burley also ran very, well , with Reed in 1:45.81 and Burley in 1:45.87.

The women's 5,000 meters was a small field, but a great race. Kim Smith, just off her 10,000 meters at Payton Jordan, was in her own words, " still tired." Kim Smith of New Zealand, Lauren Fleshman of the US, and Sentayehu Ejigu of Ethiopia were in the front pack. Running very solid kilometers, 2:55, 3:00 and keeping it on three minutes a kilometer, Kim Smith lead until six hundred meters to go, when Lauren Fleshman took the lead and did not let go. She made a quick ten meters, then kept spreading it to
out, as the crowd, lead by field announcer Lewis Johnson and stadium announcer Scott Davis, cheered on Fleshman as she ran a fine 67 last lap to record a personal best of 14;58.48 with Kim Smith in 15;03.83 with Ejigu in 15:06.

Afterwards, Lauren Fleshman said, " I want to thank the great crowd who cheered me on to my personal best! "

Note should be made of the amazing announcing. During the rain squall, Lewis Johnson kept the crowd entertained, with jokes and his American Idol take off, as well as his interplay with Scott Davis, the stadium announcer.

Davis, who besides being a first rate announcer, has a first rate sense of humor (My modus operandi when Mr. Davis is in the house-ask for a joke, which he a) takes one to the side of the room to tell, b) is normally without any redeeming social value and c) he laughs as hard as you do at his jokes). Scott Davis was first with encouraging the fans to cheer for a half crazed squirrel who was trying to cross the track. As the crowd cheered, the squirrel would race ten meters, then run off, then cross the finish, then stop, perhaps thinking that he was about to be devoured by a loud creature. Davis's announcing skills were perfect for the rain break!

Lewis also came up with an American idol take off that was priceless. He had a fine singer from the US, one from Jamaica, one from Trinidad and Tobago and a couple from China. They all sang their national anthems and the crowd was wildly appreciative. I have never seen anything like it! During the break in the meet, which could have been a disaster, Lewis Johnson kept the fans laughing and relaxed, so that when the second part of the meet started, they were ready for a most amazing hour and a half of track and field!

The men's 400 meters was won by Xavier Carter, who ran a smart 44.70 and showed again how tough this event will be in Eugene.

In the women's 200 meters, Bianca Knight, the newly turned nineteen year old professional has won two of her three pro races, winning the 200 in 22.43. Carmelete Jeter was third in and Lauryn Williams, both doubling, were third and fourth.

In the 400 meters for women, Sanya Richards took the lead at 200 meters and that was all she wrote, as Richards ran a stellar 50.05, looking strong and relaxed during her race. She was well received by the Jamaican crowd as she thanked them and waved to the crowd after her race.

Lopez Lomong showed how dangerous he will be at the Olympic Trials with his win here in 3:37.81. Kevin Sullivan of Canada, looking better than ever, ran 3:38.21 for second with Nate Brannen and Chris Lukesic in the 3:39.7 range.

The men's 110 meter hurdles was won by Terrance Trammell in 13.11, who looked fantastic. Aries Merrit ran 13.24 for second. Liu Xiang had pulled out just before the race, which was two hours later than planned, due to the rain. Xiang had a muscle cramp and did not want to risk it. He did have Lewis Johnson tell the crowd in English and then Liu spoke in Chinese and the crowd gave him strong applause. Again a class act at a very classy meet.

And then, the race of the evening.

There was one false start and the field was called back to the blocks.

The sprinters paced back and forth as Jenn Stuczynski, who had already won the women's pole vault in 15-9/4.80 meters, made her third of three attempts at a new world record height of 5.02, or 16 feet, 5.5 inches. She came quiet close, but no record this year.

Kudos to announcer Scott Davis for keeping the fans updated on Stuczynski's progress during both the hurdles and the 100 meters. Lewis Johnson had the crowd clapping for Jenn on her first world record attempt.

The wind was pretty still ( wind reading was actually 1.7 meters per second).

Out of the blocks, Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt were both pretty even. It was their race, and by forty meters, it was Gay and Bolt. Then, it happened, Usain Bolt using all six feet five inches of his frame, just took off. It was nearly a blur! He took off and just kept running, all six feet, five inches of him.

Tyson Gay did not give up and did fight back, but he was running another race tonight, as Gay could not respond to the gear Usain Bolt showed to the crowd who knew something spectacular was going on!

Last year, Gay had run a wind aided world leader here, but this was a eerily quiet evening as the crowd erupted ! This was what they had come to see and neither Bolt nor Gay gave up. Tonight, as Tyson Gay would say later, was Usain Bolt's.

This sprinter, who is built like a quarter miler, was frightening to watch. The strength and speed of Usain Bolt all came together, the promise of the last five years all came together and Usain Bolt ran an amazing 9.72 ! A new World Record by .2 !

This was the first world record at 100 meters in North America since Canada's Donovan Bailey did in front of 80,000 screaming fans in the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta!

The crowd was whooping and smiling as I left the stands trying to find a bus home. I congratulated several of the smiling Jamaicans and said, " He can run faster!" And they all agreed.

If Usain Bolt can keep this form, Michael Johnson's world record at 200 meters is in jeapardy.

Later that night, I met up with Tyson's coach, Lance Brauman. I congratulated him on Tyson's class in the situation. No excuses. Lance just smiled and noted that it was early in the season and Tyson is focused on one thing--Beijing.

There will be some real sprint wars this summer!

But for now, we are left with one amazing, amazing night of track and field which this writer will not soon forget! On to the Pre next week!


For more on this amazing meet, please check the IAAF coverage: http://www.iaaf.org/GP08/news/kind=100/newsid=45117.html


31/05/2008

Reebok Grand Prix

New York City, NY, 31/05/2008

Men' results

100 Metres - Men (Summary)

Pts

1 Bolt , Usain JAM 9.72 16

2 Gay , Tyson USA 9.85 8

3 Patton , Darvis USA 10.07 7

4 Armstrong , Aaron TRI 10.10 6

5 Rodgers , Michael USA 10.11 5

6 Bailey , Daniel ANT 10.12 3.50

6 Martin , Rodney USA 10.12 3.50

8 Agyapong , Ashhad USA 10.13 1

8 Crawford , Shawn USA 10.13 1

100 Metres - Men Race 1 Wind: +1.7 m/s

Pts

1 Bolt , Usain JAM 9.72 16

2 Gay , Tyson USA 9.85 8

3 Patton , Darvis USA 10.07 7

4 Rodgers , Michael USA 10.11 5

5 Bailey , Daniel ANT 10.12 3.50

6 Crawford , Shawn USA 10.13 1

7 Dixon , Leroy USA 10.24

8 Edwards , Monzavous USA 10.33

100 Metres - Men Race 2 Wind: +2.4 m/s

Pts

1 Armstrong , Aaron TRI 10.10 6

2 Martin , Rodney USA 10.12 3.50

3 Agyapong , Ashhad USA 10.13 1

4 Hargrett , Chris USA 10.14

5 Omole , Abidemi USA 10.20

6 Carter , Xavier USA 10.28

7 Blanton , DaBryan USA 10.39

8 Kimmons , Trell USA 10.42

200 Metres - Men Wind: +0.6 m/s

Pts

1 Spearmon , Wallace USA 20.07 10

2 Martin , Rodney USA 20.30 8

3 Christian , Brendan ANT 20.39 7

4 Williams , Christopher JAM 20.75 6

5 Hargrett , Chris USA 20.78 5

6 Hogans , O.J. USA 21.28 4

7 Burnett , Junior JAM 22.33 3

400 Metres - Men (Summary)

Pts

1 Carter , Xavier USA 44.70 10

2 Quow , Renny TRI 45.04 8

3 Neville , David USA 45.33 7

4 Nixon , Greg USA 45.54 6

5 Ayre , Sanjay JAM 45.79 5

6 Williams , Andrae BAH 46.30 4

7 Hurtault , Erison USA 46.32 3

8 Steele , Edino JAM 46.49 2

400 Metres - Men Race 1

Pts

1 Carter , Xavier USA 44.70 10

2 Quow , Renny TRI 45.04 8

3 Neville , David USA 45.33 7

4 Nixon , Greg USA 45.54 6

5 Ayre , Sanjay JAM 45.79 5

6 Williams , Andrae BAH 46.30 4

7 Steffensen , John AUS 46.99

400 Metres - Men Race 2

Pts

1 Hurtault , Erison USA 46.32 3

2 Steele , Edino JAM 46.49 2

3 Homewood , Dirk USA 46.58

4 Brew , Derrick USA 46.60

5 Ashley , Jamel USA 47.03

6 Willie , Kelly USA 47.25

7 Blassingame , Kellen USA 47.32

8 Gonzales , Jermaine JAM 47.46

800 Metres - Men

Pts

1 Kamel , Yusuf Saad BRN 1:45.53 10

2 Robinson , Khadevis USA 1:45.55 8

3 Reed , Gary CAN 1:45.81 7

4 Burley , Samuel USA 1:45.87 6

5 Ellerton , Andrew CAN 1:47.10 5

6 Harris , Jebreh USA 1:47.28 4

7 Johnson , Jonathan USA 1:47.29 3

8 Willis , Nicholas NZL 1:48.05 2

9 Krummenacker , David USA 1:50.05

10 Peterson , Derrick USA 1:52.14

Hatch , James USA DQ

Smith , Savphan USA DNF

1500 Metres - Men

Pts

1 Lomong , Lopez USA 3:37.81 10

2 Sullivan , Kevin CAN 3:38.22 8

3 Brannen , Nathan CAN 3:39.21 7

4 Lukezic , Christopher USA 3:39.74 6

5 Stroup , Shane USA 3:41.28 5

6 Wyner , James USA 3:42.66 4

7 Mahoney , Brendon USA 3:43.84 3

8 Robison , Grant USA 3:49.97 2

Joseph , Moise HAI DNF

5000 Metres - Men

Pts

1 Kosgei , Shadrack KEN 13:14.46 10

2 Abdosh , Ali ETH 13:14.50 8

3 Chelanga , Samuel KEN 13:24.73 7

4 Cragg , Alistair Ian IRL 13:25.36 6

5 Overall , Scott GBR 13:56.29 5

6 Koborsi , Radwan USA 14:09.30 4

Boit , Josphat KEN DNF

3000 Metres Steeplechase - Men

Pts

1 Koech , Paul Kipsiele KEN 8:01.85 10

2 Slattery , Steve USA 8:28.21 8

3 Kandie , Solomon KEN 8:29.40 7

4 Iwamizu , Yoshitaka JPN 8:29.78 6

5 Morse , Jake USA 8:30.19 5

6 Huling , Daniel USA 8:32.17 4

7 Sallberg , Jacques USA 8:32.47 3

8 Pierce , Jonathan USA 8:44.55 2

9 Olinger , Brian USA 8:49.63 1

10 Emilsson , Erik SWE 8:53.93 1

11 Holts , Brett USA 8:57.49 1

12 Forys , Matt USA 9:20.86 1

Langat , John KEN DNF

110 Metres Hurdles - Men Wind: +0.6 m/s

Pts

1 Trammell , Terrence USA 13.11 10

2 Merritt , Aries USA 13.24 8

3 Hicks , Antwon USA 13.37 7

4 Payne , David USA 13.38 6

5 Shi , Dongpeng CHN 13.47 5

6 Lindsey , Justin USA 13.84 4

7 Phillips , Richard JAM 13.90 3

400 Metres Hurdles - Men

Pts

1 Clement , Kerron USA 48.40 10

2 McFarlane , Danny JAM 48.95 8

3 Tinsley , Micheal USA 49.25 7

4 Johnson , Brandon USA 49.47 6

5 Kamani , Bayano PAN 49.60 5

6 Bennett , LaRon USA 49.61 4

7 Williams , Derrick USA 50.71 3

Shot Put - Men

Pts

1 Hoffa , Reese USA 21.29 10

2 Nelson , Adam USA 20.91 8

3 Cantwell , Christian USA 20.83 7

4 Taylor , Daniel USA 18.90 6

Discus Throw - Men

Pts

1 Waltz , Ian USA 66.17 10

2 Rome , Jarred USA 65.65 8

3 Robertson , Michael USA 65.19 7

4 Gowda , Vikas IND 63.84 6

5 Godina , John USA 62.66 5

6 Conwell , Will USA 62.06 4

7 Kuehl , Adam USA 61.88 3

8 Morgan , Jason JAM 60.14 2

Women' results

100 Metres - Women (Summary)

Pts

1 Campbell-Brown , Veronica JAM 10.91 10

2 Hooker , Marshevet USA 10.94 8

3 Lee , Muna USA 10.97 7

4 Williams , Lauryn USA 11.13 6

5 Barber , Me'Lisa USA 11.13 4.50

5 Felix , Allyson USA 11.13 4.50

7 Jeter , Carmelita USA 11.16 3

8 Edwards , Torri USA 11.18 2

100 Metres - Women Race 1 Wind: +0.9 m/s

Pts

1 Campbell-Brown , Veronica JAM 10.91 10

2 Hooker , Marshevet USA 10.94 8

3 Lee , Muna USA 10.97 7

4 Williams , Lauryn USA 11.13 6

5 Felix , Allyson USA 11.13 4.50

6 Jeter , Carmelita USA 11.16 3

7 Edwards , Torri USA 11.18 2

8 Brooks , Sheri-Ann JAM 11.19

9 Knight , Bianca USA 11.20

100 Metres - Women Race 2 Wind: +0.3 m/s

Pts

1 Barber , Me'Lisa USA 11.13 4.50

2 Solomon , Shalonda USA 11.28

3 Moore , LaShauntea USA 11.29

4 Dowdie , Peta-Gaye JAM 11.29

5 Guy , LaDedra USA 11.31

6 Lewis , Mechelle USA 11.53

200 Metres - Women Wind: +0.8 m/s

Pts

1 Knight , Bianca USA 22.43 10

2 Jeter , Carmelita USA 22.65 8

3 Solomon , Shalonda USA 22.68 7

4 Williams , Lauryn USA 22.70 6

5 Brooks , Sheri-Ann JAM 23.00 5

6 Moore , LaShauntea USA 23.15 4

7 Palmer , Nadine JAM 23.40 3

400 Metres - Women

Pts

1 Richards , Sanya USA 50.04 10

2 Williams , Novlene JAM 50.70 8

3 Wineberg , Mary USA 50.93 7

4 Lloyd , Shereefa JAM 51.49 6

5 Henderson , Monique USA 51.61 5

6 Hastings , Natasha USA 51.98 4

7 Sutherland , Sonita JAM 52.89 3

8 Trotter , DeeDee USA 53.31 2

800 Metres - Women

Pts

1 Jamal , Maryam Yusuf BRN 2:00.42 10

2 Bernard-Thomas , Neisha GRN 2:00.92 8

3 Donohue , Erin USA 2:02.04 7

4 Uceny , Morgan USA 2:02.43 6

5 Cook , Nicole USA 2:02.79 5

6 Erdman , Katie USA 2:03.09 4

7 Cummins , Diane CAN 2:03.60 3

8 Clement , Treniere USA 2:03.91 2

9 Green , Nikeya USA 2:05.32

10 Bennett , Kameisha USA 2:05.84

Clark , Hazel USA DNF

Hargrove , Monica USA DNF

1500 Metres - Women

Pts

1 Jamieson , Sarah AUS 4:06.93 10

2 Corrigan , Lisa AUS 4:07.57 8

3 Mortimer , Amy USA 4:07.62 7

4 Gallo , Lindsey USA 4:09.15 6

5 Douma-Hussar , Carmen CAN 4:09.61 5

6 Hall , Sarah AUS 4:15.00 4

7 Tadesse , Mestawot ETH 4:16.47 3

8 Elmore , Malindi CAN 4:16.53 2

9 Hinds , Korene JAM 4:16.71 1

10 Culley , Julie USA 4:17.22 1

11 Deatherage , Jenelle USA 4:18.87 1

Hyman , Mardrea JAM DNF

5000 Metres - Women

Pts

1 Fleshman , Lauren USA 14:58.48 10

2 Smith , Kimberley NZL 15:03.83 8

3 Ejigu , Sentayehu ETH 15:06.37 7

4 Lambie , Arianna USA 15:19.42 6

5 Slattery , Sara USA 15:26.38 5

6 Clarke , Georgie AUS 15:27.41 4

7 McGregor , Katie USA 15:42.60 3

8 Hastings , Amy USA 15:47.62 2

9 Cook , Melissa USA 15:51.93 1

10 McCandless , Maureen USA 15:55.72 1

11 Tollefson , Carrie USA 15:56.72 1

12 Grove , Andrea CAN 15:58.31 1

13 Wellings , Eloise AUS 16:02.36

Lucas , Julia USA DNF

Muncan , Marina SRB DNF

400 Metres Hurdles - Women

Pts

1 Demus , Lashinda USA 55.17 10

2 Stoddart , Shevon JAM 55.54 8

3 Williams , Tiffany USA 55.78 7

4 Tosta , Sheena USA 56.49 6

5 Huang , Xiaoxiao CHN 57.23 5

6 Wallace , Latosha USA 57.29 4

7 Perkins , Angel USA 57.35 3

Pole Vault - Women

Pts

1 Stuczynski , Jennifer USA 4.80 10

2 Janson , Lacy USA 4.55 8

3 Schwartz , Jillian USA 4.55 7

4 Steiner , April USA 4.55 6

5 Gao , Shuying CHN 4.55 5

6 Sauer Vincent , Mary USA 4.40 4

Dragila , Stacy USA NM

Discus Throw - Women

Pts

1 Breisch , Becky USA 63.70 10

2 Thurmond , Aretha USA 63.06 8

3 Brown-Trafton , Stephanie USA 62.34 7

4 Powell Ross , Suzanne USA 61.89 6

5 Söderberg , Anna SWE 61.87 5

6 Barnes , Cecilia USA 60.65 4

7 Pierson , Summer USA 60.52 3

Hammer Throw - Women

Pts

1 Henry , Britney USA 66.73 10

2 Hart , Bethany USA 66.65 8

3 Smith , Crystal CAN 65.13 7

4 Skolimowska , Kamila POL 62.33 6

5 Gilreath , Erin USA 61.91 5

6 Yush , Kristal USA 61.78 4

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