26 APR 2011 General News Philadelphia, USA

Felix, Richards-Ross and Patton among the headliners at Penn Relays

Allyson Felix takes another Diamond League victory, this time in Stockholm (Deca Text&Bild)Allyson Felix takes another Diamond League victory, this time in Stockholm (Deca Text&Bild) © Copyright

Sprinters Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Darvis Patton will be among the headliners at the 12th edition of the USA vs. the World at the 117th Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Saturday (30).

With more than 180 athletes flying in from around the globe, 16 countries will be on-hand to compete for six titles at the premier elite relay event in the world. Team USA will face stiff competition with teams from Brazil, Canada, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco and the United Kingdom. This year's events include the men's distance medley relay, women's sprint medley relay and men's and women's 4x100m and 4x400m Relays.

Last year a record 54,000 fans filled Franklin Field on the final day of the four-day meeting joining in Saturday's carnival atmosphere.

Felix on a Relay Roll

?Felix won nearly every race and honor possible last year. She brought home the inaugural Samsung Diamond Race titles in both the 200m and 400m, and was named the Jesse Owens Award winner as the top female athlete in the U.S. So far, Felix is on a roll with relay-only performances in 2011. She has carried the stick for winning 4x100 and 4x400m teams at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational and the Mt. Sac Relays.

Comeback Time

?In 2010 some of the biggest names in track and field were forced to watch from the Franklin Field stands as they struggled with injury. After hours of rehab, cross-training and in one case surgery, it is time for Richards-Ross and Darvis "Doc" Patton to step back on the track and show the world they are ready to run.

With four 4x100m Relay medals at the Olympics, World Championships and Pan American Games, Patton will lead Team USA's squad as the elder statesmen with six national teams under his belt. Patton has already landed some of the top marks in the U.S. this year, with wind-aided performances in the 100m (10.10) and 200m (20.61). He also sits atop the 4x100m list as part of the Team Speed Unlimited quartet that clocked a 38.41 at the Texas Relays.

The 2009 World champion at 400m, Richards-Ross competed at the 2010 edition of USA vs. the World, but then faced multiple injuries throughout the remainder of the season. While still in college, Richards-Ross won her first 4x400m Relay World Championship medal in 2003, and since then, has added four more Olympic and World relay medals to her resume. Richards-Ross is clearly rounding into form after clocking 52.00 to win the 400m at the Michael Johnson Invitational and 23.06 to win the 200m at the TCU Invitational.

Mike Rodgers, who took the US indoor 60m title earlier this year, will again be on hand at Penn. Rodgers currently has the fastest 100m time in the U.S. this year with a 10.07 win at the Mt. Sac Relays.

USA vs. the World serves as the first event of the 2011 Outdoor Visa Championship Series, and will be televised on Saturday 30 April 30 from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2.

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