Diamond League brings top performances to adidas Grand Prix, courtesy of USATF, note by Larry Eder


Allyson Felix, hitting the turn, adidas Grand Prix 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Another view of the adidas grand Prix, from USATF's McKenze Rogers...



Diamond League brings top performances to adidas Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS -- Celebrating its sixth year as a world-wide athletics attraction, the adidas Grand Prix threw an internationally renowned, record-breaking, and heart-stopping party in New York at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island. Saturday's adidas Grand Prix, part of the Visa Championships Series and IAAF Diamond League, had a sold-out crowd chanting, screaming, and begging for more as a VIP list of track & field Olympians and world champions set nine meet records, four world-leading marks and two national records. 
Two-time Olympic Gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and three-time World Champion Felix have established the most celebrated women's sprint rivalry in the world. In the Visa women's 200m on Saturday, Campbell-Brown opened a powerful lead off the curve, leaving Felix trailing by several meters. But the American closed the gap in the final 50 meters and both women leaned mightily at the tape. Still, Campbell-Brown's strength won out as she crossed the line in 21.98, a 2010 world-leading time and meet record. Felix was second in 22.03.
"I ran out of grand at the end," said Felix. "My start set me up to play catch up. I'm used to her [Campbell-Brown] getting out on me, but I just ran out of ground."
Campbell-Brown's run took a toll on her body as she lay on the ground clutching her hamstring. But the standing Jamaican ovation encouraged her to her feet as she jogged off the track, waving and saluting the crowd. Felix's performance was good enough to score 1,220 points and place her on top of the Visa Championship Series.
As Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" boomed over the loud speaker, another Jackson - Bershawn "Batman" Jackson" - tried to steal away the gold in the adidas men's 400m hurdles.  Although Kerron Clement owns two world titles to Jackson's one, both were tied in the Diamond League standings coming into the adidas men's 400m hurdles. Jackson showed his strength by charging over the ten hurdles, but Clement's long stride gave him an advantage in the homestretch to win in 47.86. For his performance, Clement also earned the leading spot (1,229 points) in the Visa Championships Series as well as the Athlete of the Meet, presented by Visa.
"I knew by the sixth hurdle I had to go," said Clement. "I didn't expect to run 47.8. I've been working on my starts, working on a lot of 40s and 60s before practice and its showing that my speed is coming back."
Improving on her world-leading time from the Oslo Bislett Games and further staking her claim on the Diamond League first-place standing, Lolo Jones finished the women's 100m hurdles in 12.55 seconds. Perdita Felicien of Canada was behind her in 12.58.
"At about the fifth hurdle I started to feel Ginnie Crawford beside me," said Jones. "I stayed calm and collected. At 7 or 8, I got a little sloppy, but I tightened up my finish, and it's all good. The time is good. This was a tough field; it's probably like the Olympic final in 2012."
Another Olympic sprinter and celebrity guest for the evening, Maurice Greene, joined Jones on the field to offer special congratulations. As the crowd clapped and cheered for the two sprint sensations, Jones responded by leading the crowd in a wave.
Other events:
In the women's 1500m, Christin Wurth-Thomas took a commanding lead by the bell lap but she was soon overtaken by Kenya's Nancy Langat, who won in a world-leading and meet record time of 4:01.60.
In his usual fashion, two-time USA outdoor champion Nick Symmonds started the adidas men's 800m in the back of the pack. Kicking hard was not enough to beat out South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi in a meet record time of 1:44.38. Symmonds finished as the runner-up in 1:45.05.
In the Western Union men's 100m, Trinidad's Richard Thompson (9.89) captured first with Jamaica's Yohan Blake (9.91) taking second.
For the men's 3000m steeplechase, Kenya swept the top three with Paul Koech (8:10.43), Patrick Langat (8:15.52) and Kiprop Kipruto (8:15.52), respectively. 
Reigning Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m gold medalist, Tirunesh Dibaba, "the baby faced destroyer", extended her dominance in the NYRR women's 5,000m, finishing in 14:11.15.
A world-leading triple jump and three meet records made the field events an exciting sight. Teddy Tamgho's world-leading triple jump (17.98m/59-0) was not only a French national record, but also the best jump in the world in twelve years. Valerie Vili of New Zealand set a meet record (19.93m/65-4.5) in the women's shot put, France's Renaud Lavillenie set a meet record (5.85m/19-2.25) in the men's pole vault, and Andreas Thorkildsen also set a meet record (87.02/ 285-6) in the men's javelin.
In other field events, four-time USA outdoor champion Aretha Thurmond's best toss of 61.19m/200-9 in the discus was out-thrown by Croatia's Sandra Perkovic's 61.96m/203-3. 
Brianna Glenn's 6.78/22-3 long jump earned her gold over Canadian Ruky Abdulai's 6.66m/21-10.25 finish.
 Sweeden's Linus Thornblad captured the top spot in the men's high jump with a clearance of 2.30m/7-6.5, while Jesse Williams reached the same height but finished second.

Long jump champion, Brianna Glenn, adidas Grand Prix 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The women's three-event challenge saw Hyleas Fountain, Jessica Ennis, Bettie Wade, and Kasey Hill to compete in the overall best result in the women's shot put, long jump, and 100m hurdles. Fountain won the triple competition with Ennis second.
For more information on the 2010 adidas Grand Prix and USATF's Visa Championship Series, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com. For more information and complete results from the IAAF's Diamond League, visit http://www.diamondleague.com/Home/.

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.

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