A star-studded field of Olympic and world champions prepare for the USATF NYC Grand Prix
NEW YORK CITY — International elite track and field competition returns to the Big Apple as the World Athletics Continental Tour – Gold makes its ninth stop on Sunday, June 12 at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island.
A selection of star-studded Olympians and World Champions will compete for prize money and valuable World Athletics Ranking points in more than a dozen events, with an emphasis on sprints and hedges.
World record holder and Olympic champion in the women’s 400m hurdles, sydney McLaughlin will do an unusual double running the 100m hurdles and the 400m flat. McLaughlin has a best time of 12.65 in the short hurdles and clocked a time of 50.07 in the barrier-free round. She will face the Olympians of the Tokyo hurdles Gabbi Cunningham and Christina Clemons as well as the second fastest American this year, Alaysha Johnson.
Among McLaughlin’s top competitors in the 400m are his teammates who won gold in the Tokyo 4x400m relay Lynna Irby, Kaylin Whitney and Kendall Ellis. Kyra Jeffersonpreviously best known as a 200m runner, will also be in the running.
Reigning world champion in the men’s 200m Noah Lyles, a bronze medalist in Tokyo last summer, headlines a field that includes Jereem Richards of Trinidad, this year’s world indoor champion in the 400m. In the men’s 100m, reigning world champion Christian Colman collides with Marvin Bracyand the duo finished second and third in the World Indoor 60m in March.
One of the more intriguing matchups involves the men’s 110m hurdles, which could provide a glimpse of what’s to come this July at the World Championships in Eugene. olympic silver medalist Grant Holloway came within 0.01 of the world record last year and he will be pushed by Devon Allenwho finished fourth in Tokyo and has won four of his five outings this season.
The who’s who of women’s shot putters in the NACAC region will be led by the Tokyo silver medalist Raven Saunders and current American leader Chase Ealey. Saunders’ Olympic teammate, Jessica Ramsey, and Jamaican Danniel Thomas-Dodd, silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships, are both capable of throwing big throws.
Olympic bronze medalist in the 200m Gaby Thomas will attempt the sprint double and clocked the fastest time by an American this year in the 200m at 21.98, which she ran to claim victory in the Doha Diamond League. She also ran a windy 10.80 in the 100m and will need every part of that top speed against Sha’Carri Richardson, the fastest American last year at 10.72. Seventh Olympic place Teahna Daniels is still a threat, just like last year’s NCAA 100m/200m champion, Cambrea Sturgisand Tokyo 4x200m relay silver medalist Aleia Hobbs.
World Indoor Champion and former American record holder Ajee Wilson is the best participant in the women’s 800m, but she must be careful Allie Wilson, Sage Hurta and Olivia Baker, all of which have dipped below 2:00 this year. Tokyo teammates Bryce Hoppell and Isaiah Jewett line up against a busy field in the men’s 800m. Hoppel was a bronze medalist at the World Indoor Championships in March and finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Among the challengers is the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton MurphyMexican Tonatiu Lopez, a 1:43.44 performer in 2021, and 2019 World Championships fifth runner-up Wesley Vazquez of Puerto Rico.
Diamond League Champion Michael Cherry has already clocked 44.28 in the men’s 400m this season and is favorite in his specialty, while the Olympic semi-finalist David Kendziera faces the fourth of the Trials Aldrich Bailey, Quincy Room and Bitter Latin in the men’s 400m hurdles. Four-time silver medalist at the Olympics and World Championships Will Clayewho finished fourth at this year’s World Indoors, meets the man who finished one place ahead of him in Belgrade to claim bronze, Donald Scott. Claye won seven US titles and was just out of medals in Tokyo, and Scott won six US titles and was seventh in Tokyo.
Gianna Woodruff of Panama finished seventh in the women’s 400m hurdles in Tokyo and provides the toughest challenge for Cassandra Tatetwo-time World Championship finalist and bronze medalist in 2015.
Watch live on NBC from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.
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