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More Stars Added to New York Grand Prix Lineup


Reigning Olympic gold medalists Jenn Suhr and Sally Pearson lead the latest addition of top athletes headed to the adidas Grand Prix in New York City on June 13.

Suhr, the World Indoor record-holder and 15-time U.S. champion, has returned from a foot injury that forced her to withdraw from the USATF Indoor Championships this last season. At a meet near her home in upstate New York on May 24, the 33-year-old jumped 4.81 meters/15ft-9.25in, the highest in the world so far this season.

Pearson, the 28-year-old 2011 World Champion from Australia who was ranked #1 in the world in 2011 and 2012 in the 100m hurdles. She will be competing at the adidas Grand Prix for the first time since 2010. Also returning to New York is Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2012 Olympic 400m silver medalist, who also won world titles in 2007 and 2013.

Pearson, Suhr, and Ohuruogu bring the total number of Olympic or World Champions at the 2015 adidas Grand Prix to more than 35, and the total number of medalists to more than 70.

One of those medalists, 21-year-old Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba (in photo above), is having a spectacular season, setting a national record in each of his three competitions so far. The most recent, a leap of 18.08 meters/59ft, 4in, makes him the third-best outdoor triple jumper in history. Pichardo, the 2012 World Junior Champion, won a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships. He will face American Will Claye, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist ranked #2 in the world last year in the triple jump. Claye is also the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2014 USATF Indoor Champion in the long jump.

The men’s shot put should be another field event that produces fireworks, featuring three Americans who have been ranked #1 in the world and a fourth who owns the three farthest throws in the world this year. Ryan Whiting, a two-time World Indoor Champion (2012, 2014) and 2013 World Championships silver medalist was ranked #1 in the world in 2013; Christian Cantwell, the 2009 World Champion, was ranked #1 in 2009 and 2010; and Reese Hoffa, the 2007 World Champion, has finished in the top spot four times: 2006, 2007, 2012, and 2014.

They will all have to contend with Joe Kovacs, the 2012 Big Ten champion out of Penn State who missed making the 2012 Olympic team when he finished fourth behind the much-decorated trio but has a world-leading throw already this year of 22.35 meters/73ft-4in, making him the #8 U.S. shot putter in history.

Also added to the lineup are: Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist at 5000 meters; David Oliver, the 2013 World Champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 110m hurdles; Lolo Jones, the two-time World Indoor Champion in the 60m hurdles; and Tianna Bartoletta, the 2005 World Champion in the long jump and 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100m relay. Bartoletta plans to double at the adidas Grand Prix in the long jump and 100m.

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