2011 World 110m Hurdles champion Jason Richardson and Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas have joined the men's 50m Hurdles field at the U.S Open at New York's Madison Square Garden on 28 January, setting up a high powered showdown with U.S. outdoor record holder David Oliver at the kick-off event of the 2012 IAAF Indoor Permit Meeting series.
Richardson placed his name among the elite in the world in men’s hurdling with his gold medal at the recent World Championships in Daegu, Korea, and finished the 2011 season with the second fastest 110m hurdles time in the world. The 2008 NCAA Outdoor champion while competing for the University of South Carolina, Richardson was also a two-time World Youth Championships gold medallist.
Thomas is both a sprint and hurdle star for Jamaica. A 2008 Olympic 4x100m Relay gold medallist and 2009 World Championships 4x100m Relay gold medallist, Thomas advanced to the 110m Hurdles final in Daegu but cramped up in the race and did not finish. He ran the sixth fastest time in the world in 2011.
Previously announced stars committed to the U.S. Open include Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells, Tiffany Ofili Porter, Jesse Williams, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Ryan Whiting, Bernard Lagat, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell and Jenn Suhr.
The inaugural edition of the U.S. Open is also the first event of USA Track & Field’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