Five men with World Championship or Olympic credentials will step to the start line of the men’s 50m dash at the U.S. Open Track & Field meeting on 28 January at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Joining Jamaican Asafa Powell who was previously announced for the opening stop of the 2012 IAAF Indoor Permit Meeting calendar are Justin Gatlin and Trell Kimmons of the U.S., Trinidad’s Richard Thompson and Antigua’s Daniel Bailey to create an extremely deep and international field.
The former World record holder in the 100m, Powell will make his first indoor appearance since 2004 at the U.S. Open. The Jamaican legend has run more sub-10-second 100m dashes than anyone in history. He held the world 100m record of 9.77 seconds from 2005 until teammate Usain Bolt bettered the mark in New York in 2008.
It sets up a face-off between Powell, 29, and Gatlin, 28. The rivalry between the two was a key storyline heading into the 2004 Olympic Games and subsequent World Championships. Gatlin won the Olympic gold medal in the 100m in 2004 and gold medals in both the 100m and 200m at the 2005 World Championships.
Thompson, 26, brings young blood to the event as the silver medallist in the 100m at the 2008 Olympic Games finishing behind only Bolt in Beijing. He also took bronze in the 100m this summer at the World Championships.
Kimmons, 26, was a member of Team USA in the 100m and 4x100m at the 2011 World Championships and is the 2010 USA outdoor runner-up in the 100, while Bailey, 25, won a bronze medal in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships in 2010.
In an event that is contested rarely, Canada’s Donovan Bailey currently holds the World record of 5.56, set in 1996.
stars previously announced include David Oliver, Bernard Lagat, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jesse Williams, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Jason Richardson, Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells, Tiffany Ofili Porter, Ryan Whiting and Jenn Suhr.
The inaugural edition of the U.S. Open is the first event of USATF’s Visa Championships Series and will be held in the newly renovated Garden. The first major professional meet in the United States to kick-off the 2012 Olympic year, it will be broadcast on Sunday, 29 January, from 7-9 p.m. on ESPN2.
Organisers for the IAAF