adidas Grand Prix NYC: Blustery Day in Big Apple does not stop Tyson Gay, Blanka Vlasic, Jenn Suhr, Ryan Whiting from performing! by Larry Eder


The adidas Grand Prix Meet, held on Randall's island, and featuring the new speedy track, made of MONDO- Super X, at the Icahn Stadium, rose above cold and blustery conditions, to showcase some exceptional performances. 

This writer, sitting up on the top row of the Icahn media area, spent six hours freezing and being blown around from the cold and windy conditions. Despite that, now that my body is thawing out, I can happily remember the number of fine performances today. 

The sun came out just at the end of the meet, as the Jamaican high school girls 4 x 400 meter was run. This proves, once again, that god is not only Jamaican and also a women. 

Here are the highlights, in my mind, of the meet:


Tyson Gay wins the 100 meters, photo by

Blanka Vlasic clears six heights on six attempts, wins, 
photo by

Ryan Whiting, wins, again, 
photo by

Tyson Gay is back. And that is an understatement. 

Men's 100 meters: It's Tyson Gay

On Thursday, Tyson Gay told us that he was healthy, really healthy, for the first time in five years. In the first heat, Tyson Gay ran 10.30, with Kemar Bailey-Cole of Jamaica (10.46) and Rakieem Salaam, USA, who finished third in 10.58. In heat two, Nickel Ashmeade ran 10.20, with Ryan Bailey, in 10.28, Keston Bledman, Trinidad, third in 10.29 and Nesta Carter of Jamaica fourth in 10.29. Ryan Bailey had a near false start, but all were called back after his slip in the blocks. 

In the final, Tyson Gay got out well, as did Ryan Bailey and Keston Bledman. Tyson Gay, took off about fifty meters into the meet. Knowing that he had it won, Gay shut it down about 80 meters, and won in 10.02. Ryan Bailey finished second in 10.15 and Keston Bledman finished third in 10.16, with Jamaica's Nesta Carter in fourth in 10.24. A statement? The ease with which Tyson Gay played with the field suggests that the American record holder is capable, in warm conditions. 

Men's 200 meters: Warren Weir

Warren Weir ran a very good turn, to win the 200 meters in 20.11. Alonzo Edward of Panama ran 20.38 for second and Jeremy Dodson of the USA took third in 20.65. Again, the conditions were just crazy cold. 

Men's 400 meters: two races, Joshua Mance wins over Borlee and Wariner

In the first race, Mario Forsythe of Jamaica won the first race in 46.65 in windy conditions. 

In the second race, Jeremy Wariner showed that he is rounding into shape, as Joshua Mance ran him down in 45.59. Kevin Borlee of Belgium was second in 45.71 and Jeremy Wariner was third in 45.72, after having a bit of a lead with 100 meters to go! 

Men's 800 meters: Rudisha! 

Matthew Sherer took the field out in 24.6 and 50.34, and the best pacer in the world lead through 500 meters. Then, David Rudisha battled the wind more than the field, as he ran 1:45.15, winning by a second over Andrew Osagie of Great Britain (1:46.44), and Timothy Kitum of Kenya (1:46.93). Mbluaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa was fourth in 1:47.46. Erik Sowinski was battling up the straightaway, when he got into a tussle with a group of hard finishing 800 meter runners. Welcome to the big times, Erik. 

David Rudisha has shown, in Doha and in New York, that he is ready to roll. Let's see how it goes in Eugene, Oregon next week. Rudisha's long, elegant stride was barely seen today as Rudisha was battling the winds more than the field.

Men's 5000 meters: Hagos Gebrhiwet battles wind in WL 5,000 meters

Hagos Gebrhiwet won the 3,000 meters in Doha, Qatar on May 10, in 7:30.36, the world leader. He sealed that race with a 53.8 last 400 meters. On May 11, Hagos turned 19. 

In one of the toughest conditions for a world class 5,000 meters that this writer has witnessed, Hagos Gebrhiwet took the lead at 3,000 meters, leading in 7:53 (one kllometer hit in 2;41, two kilometers hit in 5:18), and did not look back.  Hagos Gebrhiwet, with the wind in his face on both sides of the track, ran a world leading 13:10.03. 

Vincent Kipop Chepkok was in no man's land most of the meet, finishing second in 13;15.51. Ibrahim Jelian of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian who won the 2011 Daegu 10,000m, and then pretended he was a bull fighter, held off Ben True, 13:16.46 to 13:16.94. Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico ran 13:28.17, and Dejan Gebremeskal of Ethiopia was sixth in 13:31.02. 

Ben True ran another stellar race, showing that he is developing into one of the most consistent world class top Americans. All of the top five look like they are ready to run close to thirteen minutes. 

110 meter hurdles: Ryan Brathwaite is back

Ryan Brathwaite won the 2009 World Champs 110 meter hurdles in 2009, and since then, has battle injuries and inconsistencies. Today, Brathwaite won over a strong field, running 13;19, with Orlando Ortega of Cuba in 13:24, European Indoor champ, Sergey Shubenkov in 13.29 and Omo Osaghae in 13.49. Tough conditions show that Brathwaite may be on the right direction for Moscow. 

400 meter Hurdles: Tinsley does it again! 

Michael Tinsley, the 2012 London Olympic silver medalist, is a tough hurdler. Mr. Tinsley runs a superb ninth hurdle, setting himself up for a brilliant finish. Michael Tinsley is on a roll, and his finish today was textbook! Tinsley caught Javier Culson, the 2011 World Champs silver medalist, and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, and went to win in 48.43, a seasonal best. Javier Culson, who finished in second in 48.53, with Johnny Dutch, who took Culson down in WL 48.02 last weekend in Ponce, was third. 

Triple Jump: Compaore upsets Taylor

In conditions that reminded one of Antartica, the triple jump was held in just hellacious conditions. Benjamin Campaore of France, a strong triple jumper, won the triple jump in 16.45m. Christian Taylor of the US, as is his modus operandi, warmed up and finished just a scant .03 behind Campaore, with Gaetan Saku Bafuanga Baya of France, jumped 16.15m. If conditions had been better, and warmer, this writer believes we would have seen some keen triple jumping as Icahn Stadium is a fast runway and Teddy Tamgho (you remember France's bad boy of the Triple jump?), flew 17.98m here in 2010. 

Men's Shot Put: Ryan Whiting knows it

Ryan Whiting just blew the snot out of the field in Doha with his monster making 22.28 meter throw on May 10. " I was not surprised by that, as I had thrown a 22.58m throw in workout, which is a workout personal best" noted the affable Ryan Whiting. 

Ryan Whiting won here today, making short work of the field, with a throw of 21.27m, again in just blustery conditions. This day was not Winnie the Pooh Blustery day conditions, this was conditions where one's hat could blow off, where bags blew across the track on one occasion and sponsor signs were knocked around. Reese Hoffa of the US was second in 20.69m, with Cory Martin third in 20.60, Joe Kovacs fourth in 20.46m. Tomasz Majewski, two time Olympic champion, and the Polish giant, is rounding into form with his 20.11m for sixth place. Miss seeing Christian Cantwell out here, hope he is ready to roll in Des Moines, Iowa. 


100 meters

Aileen Bailey of Jamaica runs the 100 meters in 11.37, with Mikele Barber in second in 11.39, LaKeisha Lawson, USA, in third in 11.44. Tianna Madison Bartoletta was fourth in 11.52. 

200 meters: VCB rules

Veronica Campbell-Brown ran that turn like she owns it, and she does, winning in 22.53, her seasonal best. Anneisha McLaughlin of Jamaica was second in 22.63. Shalonda Solomon of the US ran 22.91 for third and Sherone Simpson ran 22.96 for fourth and DeeDee Trotter, bronze medalist from London in the 400 meters, ran 23.03. 

When I asked Veronica Campbell-Brown what makes her come alive when she hits the turn. " I am just blessed, I love that race" smiled VCB during the pre event press conference on Thursday. Now, VCB can focus on the Jamaican Champs where she wants to make the 100 meters. 

400 meters, women

In race one, Patricia Hall of Jamaica ran 51.85 for the win. Shana Cox of GBR ran 52.01 for second and Shericka Williams of Jamaica was third in 52.15.

In the second race, Amantle Montsho broke the meet record with her smooth run, hitting 49.91 for the win. Natasha Hastings ran 50.24 for second, with Francena McCorory was third in 51.06. Christine Ohuruogu, the 2007 WC and 2008 Olympic champ at 400 meters, was sixth in 52.08. 

Not running was Sanya Richards-Ross, who was planning this as her first race of the season. We have not heard, but conjecture is that Coach Hart probably pulled her out in the bad conditions. 

1,500 meters: Aregawi wins, Brenda Martinez runs strong race

Abebe Aregawi of Sweden has been on a roll this year. She won the European Indoors in March. Then, she ran 3:56.60 in Doha, with four women under 4:00.71 and ten under 4:05.62.

Aregawi and Hellen Obiri duked it out, once the rabbits left the race, The pace was 67.79, 2:13.79 and the bell was hit in 3:04.50. Using a last lap of just under sixty seconds, Abebe Aregawi won in 4:03.69, holding off Hellen Obiri of Kenya, in 4:04.84. Running a brilliant last 150 meters, Brenda Martinez continues her great racing, taking third in 4:06.25. Nancy Lagat of Kenya was fourth in 4:06.57, and Shannon Rowbury ran a smart, tactical race, taking fifth in seasonal best of 4:07.36. Sheila Reid of Canada was sixth in 4:07.47 and Morgan Uceny finished sixth, in her seasonal best of 4:08.49.   

Abeba Aregawi is going to be difficult to beat in Moscow, and she just adds to her mantle with races like this, run into headwinds and in very cool conditions. 

3,000m steeplechase: Lydia Chepkurui wins, in just rough conditions

The steeplechase is said to have been inspired by messengers running over hill and dale. The barriers are not only a physical challenge, but without the careful management of one's strength and the tactical use of speed when needed, one can become lost in this race. 

Lydia Chepukurui is a yeoman hurdler. She keeps her cool, and then, starts to build some room between herself and the field. Today, in just rough conditions, Lydia Chepkurui won in 9:30.82, by three seconds, over Ethiopia's Etenesh Diro (9;33.76) and Sofia Assafa (9:33.41). Running the guttiest race Bridget Franek has run in several years, with her fourth place, 9:35.42. 

Ashley Higginson, the Oxy steeple winner, was tenth in 9:49.30, with Stephanie Garcia in ninth in 9;45.78 and Sara Hall in eleventh in 9:54.88. 

High Jump: Blanka Vlasic opens, and wins

In her first competition in twenty months, Blanka Vlasic cleared six straight heights, using only six straight jumps, finally winning at 1.94m. She made three attempts at 1.97m, not making them. But Blanka Vlasic is back, smiling, dancing and enjoying the crowd, and knowing that they remember her.

Emma Green Tregaro, European indoor silver medalist, was second here, clearing, 1.91m. Briggitta Barrett, who left Arizona at 4.15 am this morning, arriving just before the meet, finished third in 1.91m. 

The story here was Blanka Vlasic, who after having her ankle reconstructed and foot rebuilt, is jumping once again, hoping to soar above the clouds. 

Pole Vault: Suhr survives

Jenn Suhr is fit, and she is ready to jump high. The key is to keep her healthy and find some conditions where she can jump high. 

At the adidas meet, the first place she cleared sixteen feet (4.87m), Jenn Suhr was to use the Millrose runway, but the wind conditions made it quite dangerous. Using the management brains that god gave them, the meet management had set up alternative area to vault, or the vault runway used in the past. 

How bad was the vaulting today? Well, there were eleven vault attempts before 4.23m was cleared for the first time. Angelica Bengstton of Sweden, did not clear a height. Silke Spiegelberg did not start. It came down to Yarisley Silva of Cuba, Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Jenn Suhr duking it out. 

Suhr cleared 4.63m on her second attempt and the event was won. Silva had saved one attempt for for 4.73m and did not make it, relegating her to third. Jenn Suhr did not make 4.73m, in bad conditions, but she did get the win and did not get hurt.

How things have changed: in 2005, Jenn Suhr, without a manager and having cleared 15 feet, could not get into this meet. Now, Jenn is the Olympic gold and silver medalist in the pole vault. 

Long Jump

Brittney Reese had a bad day at the office; foul, 5.99m and foul. Brittney finished eighth. 

Janay DeLoach Soukup won the whole ball of wax, with a jump of 6.79m in just cold and windy conditions. Shara Proctor of Great Britian took second, in 6.72m, with Eloyse Lesuer of France in third in 6.67m. 

Discus Throw

This was the Sandra Perkovic show. The Croatian super discus star threw 68.48m today, to win by seven meters over Gia Lewis-Smallwood of the US. Perkovic throws well in good weather and bad! 


Christina Obergfoll of Germany just blasted the javelin into a nice place, with her 65.33m throw. Maria Abakumova of Russia threw 64.25m for second and Kimberly Mickle of Australia was third in in 63.93m. 

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