Olympic gold medallists Wayde van Niekerk, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Jeff Henderson and Tori Bowie are the first stars set for the 2017 adidas Boost Boston Games, a “street meet” returning to Boston after its successful debut last year.
The quartet of champions from the Rio Games will compete in the heart of the city on Sunday 4 June, on a 200-metre track --50 meters longer than last year-- to again be constructed overnight on Charles Street between the Public Garden and Boston Common. Sprints, hurdles, long jump and the pole vault will be featured at the event.
“Building a track, pole vault runway and long jump pit overnight in the middle of the city is no small challenge, but after seeing the excitement of fans lining Charles Street last year for the first street meet ever held in the U.S. we couldn’t wait to do it again,” said meeting director Mark Wetmore. "The city of Boston has been nothing but supportive, and being able to announce four Olympic gold medallists right out of the blocks is a great sign that the 2017 meet will be another huge hit.”
On Friday night 2 June, distance events will again be contested at the adidas Boost Boston Games/Somerville.
Leading the parade of 2016 Olympic stars headed to Charles Street is van Niekerk, whose breathtaking victory at 400me in Rio was one of the highlights of the Games in any sport. The 24-year-old South African became a sensation when he not only devastated the field while running from the unfavorable Lane 8, but shattered the World Record when he crossed the line in 43.03 seconds. Van Niekerk --the only athlete in history to run under 10 seconds for 100m, 20 seconds for 200m and 44 seconds for 400m-- will run the 200m.
Also earning a 400m gold medal in Rio was Bahamian Miller-Uibo. The 22-year-old arrived in Rio as reigning world silver medallist, but --as a former world U18 and U20 champion-- she is no stranger to the top step of the podium. Miller-Uibo will also run the 200m on Charles Street.
Coming through on his final attempt, Henderson won the first Olympic gold medal in the long jump for the US since 2004. Henderson, 28, is also the 2015 Pan American Games champion, and will return to Charles Street, where he competed last year on his road to Rio.
Bowie, another breakout star from Rio, will return to run the 150m after winning at 100m last year. At the Games, the 26-year-old won a silver medal at 100m, bronze at 200m and gold as anchor of the US 4x100m relay team. Bowie, the 2015 world 100m bronze medallist and 2011 NCAA long jump champion, is the only US runner to win two individual medals at the Games.
Organisers for the IAAF