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Felix Sanchez coming home to NYC for Reebok Grand Prix

2 May 2006

Felix Sanchez, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion at the 400-meter hurdles, will compete in the Reebok Grand Prix on June 3, organizers announced today. Also added to the lineup, which is expected to include dozens of Olympic and World Championship medalists, is the reigning 5000-meter Olympic gold medalist, Meseret Defar.

Sanchez, who competes for the Dominican Republic, was born in New York City and honored with a parade here after he won gold in Athens. Since 2001, the 28-year-old has been the world’s dominant 400-meter hurdler, with a resume that includes a win streak of 43 consecutive races between July 2001 and September 2004. In between he won two World Championship gold medals (2001, 2003), a Pan American Games gold medal (2003) and his Olympic title. He is one of the most popular athletes in the Dominican Republic, and is the nation’s first Olympic gold medalist.

In addition to her Olympic triumph, Defar is a two-time World Indoor Champion at 3000 meters and the 2005 World Championships silver medalist at 5000 meters. Just last month, the 22-year-old Ethiopian shattered the 5000-meter World Record on the roads when she won the Carlsbad 5000 in 14:46. Last year, she scored a double victory in the World Athletics Final, at 3000 and 5000 meters.

The Reebok Grand Prix, the only outdoor East Coast meet that offers head-to-head competition among world-class athletes, was the first international competition held in the new Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island when it debuted last year. Tickets, at $30 and $20, are now on sale at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC. Group discounts are available. The event, managed by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., begins at 5:30 p.m. June 3 and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. ET. It is the fourth stop in USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series.

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