General News Boston, USA

Merritt and Simpson first headliners announced for Boston

Aries Merritt - 12.80 in Brussels (Jiro Mochizuki)Aries Merritt - 12.80 in Brussels (Jiro Mochizuki) © Copyright

2012 Olympic 110m Hurdles champion Aries Merritt and 2011 World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson will return to Boston for the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on 2 February.

Merritt had one of the best hurdle campaigns in history this year when he won the IAAF World Indoor Championships, the US Olympic Trials and the 2012 Olympic Games in London, before ending his historic season by shattering the existing 110m hurdles World record at the Samsung Diamond League finale in Brussels on 9 September. His time of 12.80 seconds shaved a mind-bending .07 off the previous World record held by the 2008 Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba.

“2012 was a dream season but I am as motivated as ever and already looking forward to the 2013 season,” said Merritt. “This race in Boston will be my first major competition in the USA since the Games and I want a win and a fast time.”  

Merritt had a total of eight sub 13-second wins, surpassing the previous best of seven in a season by Robles. Merritt showed glimpses of his outdoor brilliance last winter when he unexpectedly, but convincingly, won the World Indoor title over China’s 2004 Olympic Champion, Liu Xiang.

Simpson delivered one of the best performances ever by a US distance runner when, at the 2011 IAAF World Championships, she kicked past the entire field to become her country’s first female World champion at 1500m since Mary Slaney won the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Helsinki back in 1983.

A savvy racer, Simpson qualified for her second Olympic team in 2012, where she advanced to the semi-finals. She set six NCAA records during her collegiate career at the University of Colorado and is the US record-holder in the 3000m Steeplechase. 

More than 100 Olympic and World Championship medallists have come to Boston to compete in the event which has also played host to six World records, 10 US records and 19 other national records.

The 18th annual meet begins at 5:00pm at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College.

Organisers for the IAAF