Jamaican Athletes Mine Gold at Inaugural Reebok New York Meet


Jamaican athletes turned in impressive performances at the inaugural Reebok Grand Prix athletics meet in New York on Saturday (June 11) mining three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Usain Bolt lived up to his star billing at the event, held at the new Icahn Stadium, winning the 200 metres men’s race in 20.31 seconds – a stadium record – ahead of the United States (US) trio of Rae Edwards (20.54), Bernard Williams (20.64) and Tyree Washington (20.65).
Bolt, in a post race interview, dedicated his win to the many Jamaicans in the audience. “New York is like a second Jamaica for me. I glanced over at the crowd while crossing the finish line and I just wanted to finish well,” he said.
Kenia Sinclair won the women’s 800 metres race in a new national and stadium record of 1:59.10 seconds, becoming the first Jamaica to run under two minutes at that distance and confirming her place on the world championship team to Helsinki, Finland this summer. So powerful was her performance that eight of the nine runners bettered the old stadium mark of 2:06.30 set on May 27, 2005.
“My goal (coming in) was to break two minutes. Everything went as planned. I did it and it means I’m in shape (for the summer), Sinclair said of her impressive victory.
Sanjay Ayre, running in the final event of the day, clocked 45.47 seconds for a surprise win in the men’s 400 meters race, while Olympic silver medallist Danny McFarlane, hurdled his way to second place in the men’s 400-metre hurdles event (48.91). American Bayano Kamani was first.
In the absence of Olympic 200-metre and 100-metre relay champion Veronica Campbell due to a leg injury, it was an off day for the ladies in the 100-metre sprint, with Tayna Lawrence placing third, Aileen Bailey fifth, while Peta-Gaye Dowdie finished down the track.
Delloreen Ennis-London’s finished fourth in the 100-metre hurdles with Andrea Bliss fifth and Vonette Dixon seventh, and Novlene Williams was third in the women’s 400 metres in 51.12 just ahead of teammate Ronetta Smith in 51.27.
The meet, part of the US Track & Field Visa Championship, was used to launch the Reebok Grand Prix event, which is expected to return top-flight outdoor competition to the New York metro area.

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