The Samsung Diamond League in New York City, showcased the Adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island last Saturday, June 9 whiche produced outstanding performances across the board. American Tyson Gay, coming off an injury and two surgeries last year, competed in the Men’s ‘B’ race to test his fitness and outsprinted the field in a 10.09 win going into a -1.5 headwind which, according to meet announcer Ato Boldon, would have easily been a 9.90.
Gay stated, “He felt healthy and pretty good and it was good to see so many familiar faces. It has been a year since I ran and it feels good to be out here”. He jokingly added, “I think my agent tricked me, he said we’re going to run in a low-key race and then I saw all these cameras out on the field. I was pretty nervous but it really did feel good to be back out here”. He also stated he has aches and pains but he has to run through it. Gay would like to get one more race in before the trials but if he doesn’t he stated, “I’m just going to go in there with a positive mind frame and put it together to make the team”.
The meet seemed to be a matchup for Jamaica v. the United States as most races had beenmatch-ups between these two countries.
Jamaican and reigning 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake won the Men’s 100 Meters ‘A’ race. Slow out of the blocks, but he was able to gain control of the race with only a lean to overtake Trinidad & Tobago’s Keston Bledman in a close race of 9.90 to 9.93. American Michael Rodgers was third in 9.99. World Record-holder and fellow teammate Usain Bolt refers to Blake as “The Beast”. “When you guys are sleeping at night I’m out there working; that’s why they call me ‘the Beast’ said Blake. However, Blake did say he felt really flat and had hoped for a better time. “I’m ‘The Beast,’ right? I don’t expect anybody to be beside me,” the 22-year-old said.
The Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles was won by American T’Erea Brown in a meet record of 54.85, ahead of Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, (54.91) who was ranked number 2 in the world last year. American Queen Harrison was third in her season’s best in 55.32.
The Women’s 400-Meter race was won by American Francena McCorory (ranked number 4 in the world last year) in a personal best time of 50.09, ahead of Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills, who ran a 50.10. McCorory made her move at the 200-Meter mark and held on for the win. McCorory said, “It was a good race, I felt good, I felt strong and I’m happy I ran 50 point. I have been working on my first turn. Asked what she felt about the Jamaican’s and the USA now being a dominant force in the race, McCorory replied, “I think all the athletes are great no matter what country they are from. It’s going to be tough and all the athletes are working hard. I wasn’t really focused on anyone in the race; I was just trying to run my own race”.
The Women’s 100-Meter race comprised of a field of Jeter, Felix, Fraser-Pryce and Madison in contention for the win. It was Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who exploded out the blocks for the win in a time of her season’s best, 10.92. Surprisingly, American Tianna Madison was second in her personal best time of 10.97 while American Carmelita Jeter was third in 11.05. Sprint queen sensation, (USA) Allyson Felix was fourth in 11.07. Felix stated she has a few things to tweak before the Olympic Trials. Asked about her start, she replied, “I have to go back and look at my race, the 100 is so quick. Felix stated that she hasn’t decided whether to compete in the 100/200 or 200/400 at the trials but she did say she has told the coaches regarding the Relays that she will be available to run both. (Felix got a Gold Medal on the 4×100 and 4×400 Meter Relay at the 2011 World Championships)
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce said she gets her confidence from her coach and she runs for him only. “Every race is a confidence booster.” Asked about Jamaica’s chance in the 4×100 Meter Relay, Fraser-Pryce replied that “When the time comes we will rise to the occasion”. About the Jamaica Trials, Fraser-Pryce said, “You have to be prepared and confident because it’s not going to be all right every day. It’s up to you to go back home, train hard and come back here and do your best”. She stated that, “I’m never an athlete who runs a lot of sub-11 before the National Championships, but to get a sub-11 here is really amazing and I think my training is going really well and I never doubt my coach because I have to be confident in him”.
2004 Olympic Champion (USA) Jeremy Wariner was upset in the Men’s 400 Meters by the Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos, who last year ran a 44.71 at the age of seventeen, held off the Olympic Champion in a time of 45.24 to 45.30. According to Ato Boldon, he predicted this eighteen-year-old will be on the medal podium in London as he beat out veterans five years his senior. Santos is the second-fastest 400-Meter runner thus far this year.
The Women’s 200-Meter race was won by American Sanya Richards-Ross, in a personal best and world-leading time of 22.09. American Bianca Knight was second in 22.46. Richards-Ross, who fist-pumped across the finish line, was elated. Richards-Ross is the only female American to run a sub-11, sub-23 and sub-49 seconds. She was asked regarding doing a 200/400 double at the trials and stated, “We’ll have to wait and see”.
Good luck to Team USA as the Olympic Trials will be held at the Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon from June 21 – July 1. For more information, please visit: http://tracktown12.gotracktownusa.com
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