Adidas Grand Prix: The Results
In a weekend packed with competitive races, the American track squad looked dominant in all of their efforts.
USATF took the Adidas Grand Prix in style, winning major titles in events spanning from the Adidas Dream 100 (Michael Norman, 10.36) to the Men's 5k Championship (Ben True, 13:29.48), which marked the first ever victory over that distance by an American in the Diamond League.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica narrowly edged Zharnel Hughes of Anguilla in the 200 meter dash by .03 seconds, running a time of 20.29 seconds, his slowest since 2006. Bolt, the 100 meter world record holder and "fastest man in history", expressed his concerns about his season's progression this year, and about his readiness to take on the global competition later in the season. His best 100 meter dash time this year, 10.12 seconds, would rank 48th globally. However, this has not phased the eight-time world champion and six-time Olympic Gold Medalist, who is intent on improving his fitness and once again returning to the top of the rankings.
To reclaim his world title, Bolt will have to beat Justin Gatlin (USA, 33), who's on top of the world standings right now with a time of 9.77 seconds, and Tyson Gay (USA, 32) who won the 100 meter dash on Saturday with a time of 10.12 seconds.
Some standout stars of the day were two-time Dream Mile champion Grant Fisher, 18, a high-school senior who defended his title with a time of 4:01.73, and Ajee Wilson, 21, who won the women’s 800 meters in a time of 1:58:83. Wilson is now the top contender for an Olympic spot in Rio de Janeiro 2016, and is second in the world with that time. Other top competitors from America included Deedee Trotter, 32, who won the Women's 400 with a time of 51.96, and Christina Aragon, who took the Girls Dream Mile in a time of 4:37.91.
Mary Cain, 19, struggled once again to return to peak form, marking another bump in an already rocky season thus far. The American top prospect tried to reclaim her title as best mid-distance runner in the 1,000 meters, but she fell short and barely finished fourth behind three other Americans in a time of 2:38.57 seconds. Cain, who recently left the Oregon Project to return to her hometown, is rumored to still be under the training of esteemed distance coach Alberto Salazar. She refuses to answer any questions about her reasoning for abandoning Nike's flagship running program.
David Rudisha, the Kenyan mid-distance legend, returned from injury after nearly 2 years away from the track in a dominant 800 meter effort, edging the field with a time of 1:43.58 seconds. Behind him were strong performances from Boris Berian (USA, 22) in 1:43.89 and Matt Centrowitz (USA, 25) in 1:44.62. This winning time is Rudisha's best effort since his world record time at the London 2012 Olympics, where he roared to set a 1:40.91 mark against a legendary field of athletes.
Off the track, Bethlehem Catholic and Penn State graduate Joe Kovacs won the Men's Shot Put in a distance of 71 feet, 1 1/4 inches, fresh off his victory at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. And David Wilson, the former New York Giants RB, took to the jump pit on Saturday, in an attempt to break his college record. Wilson leapt a distance of 48 feet, 1 1/4 inches, well short of his record of 53-1 3/4, in his first attempt in five years. David Wilson returned to the world of track because a neck injury took him out of football indefinitely, and he plans to continue trying to make the US National Team. The event was won in a distance of 57 feet, 7 1/2 inches by Cuba's Pedro Pablo Pichardo.
This tournament has helped fans see how realistically the USA stacks up in the competitive picture of track and field events around the world.