22 MAY 2012 General News New York, USA

New York adds reigning Olympic champions Dibaba and Saladino - Samsung Diamond League

2008 double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba (Getty Images)2008 double Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba (Getty Images) © Copyright
Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, the reigning Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, and Panama’s 2008 Olympic Long Jump gold medallist Irving Saladino, headline the latest batch of athletes announced for the eighth edition of the adidas Grand Prix – Samsung Diamond League which takes place at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, New York on 9 June.

Dibaba, 26, who is on the comeback trail after missing last year’s track season with an injury, heads the line-up for the women’s 5000m, a distance at which she is the World record holder. Her first two outings in 2012 - at 2 Miles indoors on the track and 5km on the roads - have resulted in victories, but for Dibaba to get the chance to defend her Olympic 5000m title she is going to have to impress her nation’s selectors by putting up a fast time in New York.

Joining the men’s 800m field in New York is 22-year-old Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, the two-time World Indoor champion (2008, 2010) and World Junior record holder (1:42.69). Kaki will face the previously announced David Rudisha, the World record holder and 2010 World champion, and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the 2009 World champion, respectively.

Also running the two laps will be former Manalapan (N.J.) High School star Robby Andrews, who was a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion at 800 metres, in 2010 indoors and 2011 outdoors.

Returning to the adidas Grand Prix at 400m will be four-time Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius, who is seeking to become the first double amputee to compete in track and field athletics at the Olympic Games. Last summer, the 25-year-old won an IAAF World Championships silver medal in the 4x400-metres relay, and made it to the 400-metres semi-final in the individual event.

"Last year at the adidas Grand Prix, I had a great experience on the way to my first World Championships," Pistorius said. "This year, I know the Icahn Stadium fans will put everything they’ve got behind my quest to compete in the Olympics."

Making their adidas Grand Prix debuts, and offering fans a high quality three-way match-up in the men’s Long Jump are the reigning Olympic champion Saladino, Mitchell Watt of Australia, and Britain’s Chris Tomlinson.

Saladino, 29, is the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and 2007 World champion, Watt is the 2011 World Championships silver medallist, while Tomlinson is the 2008 World Indoor silver medallist.

Organisers for the IAAF