Jennifer Barringer Simpson of United States celebrates after claiming gold in the women's 1500 metres final (Getty Images) © Copyright
Among them are Jenny Simpson, the reigning women’s 1500m World champion; Matthew Centrowitz, Bernard Lagat, and Leo Manzano, the top three U.S. men who will square off in the 1500m; and a pair of Jamaican athletes who posted huge wins last weekend.
Simpson, 25, a 2008 Olympian in the 3000m Steeplechase, was the surprise winner at 1500m at the World Championships in Daegu last summer. In seventh place with 200 metres remaining, Simpson pulled to the outside and stormed to her first world title. The national record holder in the steeplechase, a mark she set in finishing fifth at the 2009 World Championships, Simpson will compete in New York at 800m.
Centrowitz, who at 22 is a rising star, had a spectacular season in 2011, winning both the NCAA and U.S. titles at the distance before going on to take bronze at the World Championships. Lagat, 37, is a two-time Olympic medallist (2000, 2004) at 1500m, the 2007 World champion at both 1500 and 5000m, and the owner of the U.S. records at 1500m outdoors and both 1500m and the Mile indoors. Neither is a stranger to New York City: Lagat is the eight-time Wanamaker Mile winner at the Millrose Games and just this winter broke the national record for 5000m indoors at the event, while Centrowitz won the 2012 edition of the Wanamaker.
Manzano, 27, is a 2008 Olympian and three-time member of the U.S. team for the World Championships. Late last month, he anchored his team to a thrilling victory in the distance medley relay in the Penn Relays, outgunning the venerable Lagat.
Challenging them will be Australia’s Craig Mottram, 31, the 2005 World Championships bronze medallist at 5000m; and Kenya’s Augustine Choge, the 2005 World Junior Cross Country Champion and 2012 World Indoor Championships silver medallist at 3000m.
Williams-Mills and Parchment join the Jamaican fray
Coming off wins at the Jamaica International Invitational last weekend are veteran Novlene Williams-Mills in the 400m and young star Hansle Parchment in the 110m Hurdles. Williams-Mills, 30, the 2007 World Championships bronze medallist who owns a half dozen 4x400m Relay medals from the Olympics and World Championships, ran a world-leading 49.99 on Saturday to defeat American Sanya Richards-Ross. Parchment, just 21 years old, notched a personal-best 13.19 in winning the 110m Hurdles at the event. The 2011 World University Games gold medallist, who was fifth in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, joins a deep and exciting field at the adidas Grand Prix that already includes reigning World Champion Jason Richardson, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver, and Aries Merritt, the World Indoor Champion at the 60m Hurdles who last weekend ran a personal-best and world-leading 13.03 in winning a meet in Fayetteville after posting a wind-aided 12.99 in his heat.
Mulaudzi to take on Rudisha
In another world-class matchup, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the 2009 World Champion at 800m, returns to New York after a victory here in 2010 to face the reigning World Champion and World record holder, David Rudisha. Mulaudzi, 30, of South Africa, is also the 2004 Olympic silver medallist and 2004 World Indoor champion.
Organisers for the IAAF
Samsung Diamond League - 2012 Calendar
Doha, QAT - 11 May
Shanghai, CHN - 19 May
Rome, ITA - 31 May
Eugene, USA - 2 June
Oslo, NOR - 7 June
New York, USA - 9 June
Paris, FRA - 6 July
London, GBR - 13 / 14 July
Monaco, MON - 20 July
Stockholm, SWE - 17 August
Lausanne, SUI - 23 August
Birmingham, GBR - 26 August
Zurich, SUI - 30 August
Brussels, BEL - 7 September
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2003 ATC Debrecen