Jamaicans have plenty to cheer about at 2011 adidas Grand Prix

Mullings, Ashmeade, Fraser-Pryce, Foster-Hylton lead 34 Caribbean athletes

NEW YORK – The adidas Grand Prix has long been known for bringing dozens of exciting Caribbean track-and-field stars to Icahn Stadium each June, and this Saturday will be no exception: 34 top Caribbean athletes – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Richard Thompson and Jamaica’s newest sprint superstar, Steve Mullings – are on the way.

As the latest in a long line of great Jamaican sprinters, Mullings’ huge new personal best of 9.80 seconds ranks him right up with Tyson Gay (9.79) on the list of fastest men in the world so far this year. The two will face off in the 100 meters on Saturday in what is sure to be a headline matchup of the meet, but they won’t be alone on the track, because Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson, relay gold medalists Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, and rising young star Nickel Ashmeade will all challenge them. While Gay and Mullings are the two fastest 100-meter men of the season, Ashmeade tops the list at 200 meters, so the lineup in New York may be the best anywhere in the world so far this season.

In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world and the home of Usain Bolt’s first 100-meter World Record, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit. Dozens of Olympic and World Champions – including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Brigitte Foster-Hylton – are among the superstars expected. Tickets are available at the event website, www.adidasgrandprix.com, or by calling 1-877-849-8722.

Fraser-Pryce, the reigning Olympic and World Champion at 100 meters, will square off against three-time World Champion Allyson Felix in a star-studded 200 meters that promises to rival the men’s 100 meters for title of “Best Jamaica-USA Duel of the Meet.” Giving those two a run for their money will be Olympic medalists Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Sherone Simpson, in an event that features five of the top six athletes in the world for 2010.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, it will be 2009 World Champion Foster-Hylton and three-time world medalist Delloreen Ennis against Americans Lolo Jones and Kellie Wells. Not to be outdone, the men’s 400 meters is loaded with top Caribbean talent, led by Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica and Christopher Brown of the Bahamas, who will go up against American Jeremy Wariner.

In the 400-meter hurdles, it will be World Championship silver medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico mixing it up with American Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 World Champion, and world #1 LJ van Zyl of South Africa. Can Culson break into van Zyl’s string of the five fastest times of the year. Then there’s Kenia Sinclair, the world leader at 800 meters who will lead the charge for Jamaica in the women’s 1500 meters.

And that’s not all. Check out this full list of Caribbean athletes:

Christopher Brown BAH M 400m

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie BAH W 200m

Leevan Sands BAH M Triple Jump

Tynia Gaither BAH Girls’ Dream 100

Erison Hurtault DMA M 400m

Rondell Bartholomew GRN M 400m

Adam Harris GUY M 100m

Deon Bascom GUY M 800m National Race

Moise Joseph HAI M 800m National Race

Brigitte Ann Foster-Hylton JAM W 100m Hurdles

Delloreen Ennis JAM W 100m Hurdles

Jermaine Gonzales JAM M 400m

Jovanee Jarrett JAM W Long Jump

Kaliese Spencer JAM W 400m

Kenia Sinclair JAM Grete Waitz W 1500m

Mardrea Hyman JAM W 3000m Steeplechase

Michael Frater JAM M 100m

Nesta Carter JAM M 100m

Nickel Ashmeade JAM M 100m

Renaldo Rose JAM M 100m

Ricardo Chambers JAM M 400m

Samantha Henry JAM W 100m

Schillonie Calvert JAM W 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce JAM W 200m

Sheree Francis JAM W High Jump

Sherone Simpson JAM W 200m

Steve Mulling JAM M 100m

Beverly Ramos PUR W 3000m Steeplechase

Javier Culson PUR M 400m Hurdles

Jehue Gordon TRI M 400m Hurdles

Keston Bledman TRI M 100m

Marc Burns TRI M 100m

Renny Quow TRI M 400m

Richard Thompson TRI M 100m

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