Previews22 Jun 2023

Sprint showdowns in spotlight at NYC Grand Prix


Noah Lyles wins the 200m at the New York Grand Prix (© Kevin Morris)

A full programme of sprint disciplines at the USATF NYC Grand Prix – with 100m, 200m, 400m and sprint hurdles for men and women – will ensure that the shorter events will be the focus at the second World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in the US this season on Saturday (24).

One year on from his stunning 19.61 victory at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, Noah Lyles returns for another outing over the half-lap sprint. The two-time world champion head to New York off the back of a 100m victory in Paris and a world-leading 19.67 run over 200m in Kingston earlier this month.

Lyles – who hasn’t been beaten at his specialist distance since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 – will line up alongside rising sprint talents James Dadzie from Ghana and Issam Asinga from Suriname in New York on Saturday.

Christian Coleman got the better of Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake by just 0.03 at this meeting last year, but Blake turned the tables on the 2019 world champion at the USATF LA Grand Prix in May, winning in a PB of 9.89.

Both men are back in action on Saturday and will take on 2018 European champion Zharnel Hughes and Terrance Laird.

Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas will double up in New York at either end of her range. She’ll first take on the 100m, where she’ll face Aleia Hobbs, Melissa Jefferson, Morolake Akinosun and Jamaica’s Briana Williams.

Later in the afternoon, Thomas will be back on track for the 400m, where she’ll line up against Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone. The world and Olympic 400m hurdles champion opened her outdoor season in Paris earlier this month, where she finished second in the 400m in a PB of 49.71. That time puts McLaughlin-Levrone fifth on this year’s world list, just one place behind Thomas, who set a PB of 49.68 in Texas at the end of April.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (© AFP / Getty Images)

World and Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu, McLaughlin-Levrone’s training partner, will get her outdoor season under way in New York. The 21-year-old has been undefeated at 800m for two years in a row, but she may not have it all her own way in New York as world indoor champion Ajee Wilson is also in the field. Wilson has been getting quicker with every race this season, recently reducing her season’s best to 1:58.16 in Paris.

The in-form Sage Hurta-Klecker, Heather MacLean and Allie Wilson are also in the all-US line-up. In the men’s two-lap event, meanwhile, Clayton Murphy will take on Bryce Hoppel and Hobbs Kessler.

Hurdles highlights

Competitive fields have been assembled in both the men’s and women’s sprint hurdles.

Devon Allen won the 110m hurdles here last year in 12.84 – the third-fastest time in history – and he will be back in action on Saturday, attempting to recreate that magic. He’ll face world silver medallist Trey Cunningham, Jamal Britt, Daniel Roberts and Robert Dunning.

Devon Allen on his way to a 12.84 110m hurdles at the New York Grand Prix

Devon Allen on his way to a 12.84 110m hurdles at the New York Grand Prix (© Kevin Morris)

Former world record-holder Kendra Harrison leads the women’s 100m hurdles. The competitive line-up includes Alaysha Johnson, 2015 world champion Danielle Williams and Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper.

Elsewhere on the track, 2019 world silver medallist Brittany Brown takes on Abby Steiner and Jenna Prandini in the women’s 200m, while the men’s 400m features Sean Bailey, Zandrion Barnes, Trevor Stewart and Matthew Boling.

Shot put showdowns

World champion Chase Ealey and US compatriot Maggie Ewen have had several close contests on the international circuit already this year, and their rivalry will continue on Saturday. But Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd has also been in fine form this season and will be out to upstage the US duo.

Earlier in the day, Ewen will also be in action in the hammer, where she’ll face 75-metre performer Annette Echikunwoke.

The men’s shot put features Darrell Hill, Payton Otterdahl and Roger Steen, one of the newest members of the event’s elusive 22-metre club.

Elsewhere in the field events, Oceanian record-holder Alex Rose takes on Sam Mattis in the men’s discus, Thea Lafond and Keturah Orji clash in the women’s triple jump, and 2016 world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham headlines the women’s high jump field.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics

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