Blake, Bondarenko, Suhr, Pearson Highlight 2014 adidas Grand Prix
style="font-family: Times New Roman, Times, serif;">NEW YORK CITY (March 12, 2014)
Yohan Blake, the double 2011 IAAF World Champion at 100 meters and in the 4x100-meter relay from Jamaica, returns to Icahn Stadium after missing much of the 2013 season with an injury. Blake, a winner here at 100 meters in 2012, later that year earned silver medals at both 100 meters and 200 meters in the London Olympics as well as gold in the 4x100m. At 24, Blake is known as “The Beast,” and is tied as the second-fastest man in history at 100 meters, at 9.69 seconds, behind only training partner Usain Bolt.
“After not being able to run in New York City last year, I can't wait to get into my blocks,” said Blake. “The opportunity to competeagainst international athletes in front of New York’s Caribbean community just gets my adrenaline pumping.”
Making his U.S. debut will be Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine, the reigning World Champion in the high jump who was honored as 2013 Male Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News magazine. Bondarenko, 24, twice last season jumped 2.41 meters/7 feet, 10.75 inches, the highest outdoor clearance in the world since 1994, and has already taken several attempts at the World Record of 2.45m/8 feet, 0.5 inch. The 2013 IAAF Diamond Race winner, Bondarenko won 14 of his 15 competitions last year and was named the men’s European Athlete of the Year.
Jenn Suhr, a two-time Olympic medalist (gold, 2012; silver, 2008), has dominated U.S. women’s pole vaulting for almost a decade. Last year, already the American Record-holder outdoors (4.92m/16 feet, 1.75 inches), Suhr broke the World Indoor Record when she jumped 5.02m/16 feet, 5.50 inches. At 32, she owns 14 national titles and the 13 highest jumps in U.S. history. Suhr returns to the adidas Grand Prix for the seventh time with an American Record, set in 2007, among her five victories here.
Rounding out the star-studded international quartet is Sally Pearson of Australia, also a two-time Olympic medalist: The reigning Olympic Champion in the 100-meter hurdles, she earned silver in 2008. Pearson, 27, is also the 2011 World Champion and 2012 World Indoor Champion, and in 2011 was honored as the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year.