Blanka Vlasic celebrates winning the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup in Split (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News New York, USA

Vlasic, Gay, Wariner and Ennis New York-bound - Samsung Diamond League

Blanka Vlasic, Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner and Jessica Ennis are the first headliners set for the adidas Grand Prix, the sixth stop of the 2011 Samsung Diamond League series, on 11 June.

Making her long-awaited U.S. debut will be Vlasic, the 2010 Female World Athlete of the Year. A four-time World champion and 2008 Olympic silver medallist in the High Jump, the 27-year-old from Croatia is one of the most exciting, emotive and dominant athletes in the sport. Between June 24, 2007 and Aug. 23, 2008, Vlasic posted a 34-meet winning streak and last year won 18 of 20 meets, including all seven of her Samsung Diamond League competitions and the European Championships. Her personal best of 2.08m set in 2009 is only one centimeter off the 24-year-old world record.

Gay, 28, returns to New York as the American record-holder (9.69 seconds) and second-fastest man in history at 100m. The 2007 triple World Champion at 100m, 200m and 4x100m Relay and the 2009 World Championship silver medallist in the 100m, he was named the World Athlete of the Year in 2007. Last year, Gay finished the season undefeated at 100m, a streak that included a victory over World record-holder Usain Bolt in their only head-to-head match-up, on 29 July at the DN Galan Samsung Diamond League fixture in Stockholm.

Wariner, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time World champion in the 400m and the 4x400m Relay, ran three of the four fastest times in the world last year at 400m. The 27-year-old has a personal best of 43.45, making him the third-fastest man in history. Last Friday, he opened his 2011 campaign with a 200m victory at the TCU Invitational in 20.71, his fastest 200m opener since 2006.

Like Vlasic, both Gay and Wariner were 2010 Samsung Diamond League event winnters, a title awarded at the end of the 14-meet Samsung Diamond League season to the top point scorers in each discipline.

Ennis, from Great Britain, is the reigning World and European Champion in the Heptathlon. Her personal best has soared by 354 points since 2007, to 6823, and the 25-year-old heads toward the 2012 Olympics in her home country as one of its brightest stars and biggest gold medal hopes.

Samsung Diamond League