Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade has been added to the growing list of stars set to compete at the 2011 adidas Grand Prix to be held at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York on June 11. He will line up for the 100m.
The 21-yr-old, who is no stranger to winning, went to the Icahn last year to compete, but suffered a hamstring injury there, which shortened his season. Last weekend he suddenly shot to a higher level of prominence when he took on several big-league sprinters in the 200m at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston and won, lowering his personal best by .45secs and registering a legal world leading 19.95secs. The race was his first 200m of the season.
Ashmeade at Icahn last year.
Listen to an interview with Ashmeade:
Running out of lane 8, Ashmeade, a former teammate of Yohan Blake, defeated a high-quality field that included former world record holder Asafa Powell; Wallace Spearmon, a 3-time World Championships 200m medalist; Mike Rodgers; Darvis Patton; 2009 World Championships sprint relay gold medalist Steve Mullings (Ashmeade's training partner); 2008 Olympic sprint relay gold medalist Nesta Carter; and 2008 Olympic 100m and sprint relay silver medalist Richard Thompson.
As a former St. Jago High School standout, Ashmeade ran the 100m, 200m and the 4x4 relay, and went professional after leaving high school two years ago. He won his first senior title in 2009 when he became the Central American and Caribbean Champion at 200m. In 2009 also, he won gold in the 200m at the Pan-Am Junior Championships, after copping silver medals in the 200m at the 2008 IAAF World Junior Championships and in the 100m at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships.
Since January of 2010, Ashmeade has been training in Clermont, Florida with American record-holder Tyson Gay under coach Lance Brauman. While fans are shocked by Ashmeade’s time, the only surprise for Brauman is that Ashmeade did it much earlier than Brauman anticipated.
Also down to compete at this year’s meet are: Tyson Gay, Blanka Vlašić, Jeremy Wariner, Jessica Ennis, Allyson Felix, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Clement, Bershawn Jackson and Abubaker Kaki, as well as four-time Paralympic gold medalist “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius.
In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the New York adidas Grand Prix is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit.