Home Depot Invitational preview


Home Depot Invitational preview

INDIANAPOLIS – International gold medalists Marion Jones, Maurice Greene, Gail Devers, Perdita Felicien, Eunice Barber, Adam Nelson, John Godina and Meskerem Legesse are among the many star athletes from nearly 20 countries who will compete Saturday at the Home Depot Invitational, the first invitational stop on USA Track & Field’s 2004 Outdoor Golden Spike Tour.

Now in its second year, the meet will be held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., site of the 2005 USA Outdoor Championships and 2006 IAAF World Cup in Athletics. NBC will broadcast the 2004 Home Depot Invitational live from 4-6 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday.

Jones will compete in the Verizon women’s 100m and the long jump, where she will face among others Barber of France, the 2003 world long jump champion and heptathlon silver medalist. In addition to the long jump, Barber will compete in the 100m hurdles against three-time world champion Devers and 2003 world champion Felicien of Canada. World junior record holder Legesse of Ethiopia will line up in the Chevrolet women’s 1,500.

An Olympic Trials preview is on tap in the ADT men’s shot put, where the top four throwers in the U.S. – and, arguably, the world – face each other. Nelson is the Olympic silver medalist and two-time world championships silver medalist; Godina is a three-time world champion, four-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympic medalist; Christian Cantwell is the 2004 indoor U.S. and world champion; and “The Still Unknown Shot Putter,” who competed in a mask at the 2003 Home Depot Invitational and set a personal record in the process, has since then won the 2004 world indoor silver medal.

The men’s 100m also shapes up as an Olympic Trials prep race, with defending Olympic gold medalist Greene, a three-time world champion, taking on 2003 world outdoor 200m sliver medalist Darvis Patton and 2004 world indoor 60m silver medalist Shawn Crawford. Greene owns the two fastest wind-legal times in the world this year (10.02 and 10.04) while Crawford has the fastest time under any conditions (9.86w).

Other highlights of the men’s fields include: 2004 world indoor gold medalist Savante Stringfellow in the men’s long jump; 2000 Olympic silver medalist Terrance Trammell and two-time Olympic medalist Mark Crear in the Home Depot men’s 110m hurdles; Olympic champion Nick Hysong, American record holder Jeff Hartwig, world leader Toby Stevenson, and 2001 world champion Dmitri Markov (AUS) in the Visa men’s pole vault; and 2000 Olympic 5th-place finisher Kevin Sullivan (CAN), two-time U.S. champion Seneca Lassiter and two-time U.S. indoor champion Jason Lunn in the 1,500m.

Top female athletes include: 44-year-old, 8-time Olympic medalist Merlene Ottey (SLO) in the Verizon women’s 100m; 2001 world champion Anjanette Kirkland and Olympic bronze medalist Melissa Morrison in the women’s 100m hurdles; multiple U.S. champions Kris Kuehl, Suzy Powell and Seilala Sua in the women’s discus; and 4-time U.S. champions Amy Acuff and Tisha Waller in the high jump.

The fields in the 19 elite events held at the Home Depot Invitational include three dozen Olympians from 18 countries, including the United States, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Congo, Ethiopia, France, Ireland, Kuwait, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Nigeria, Panama, Papua-New Guinea, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia.

A prize purse of $140,000 is offered for the meet.

For a full, 28-page preview of the Home Depot Invitational, visit The Home Depot Invitational Media Guide


Greene, Devers and Jones to headline Home Depot Invitational

Thursday 20 May 2004

Carson, USA - Olympic gold medallists Maurice Greene, Gail Devers and Marion Jones headline the cast for this weekend’s Home Depot Invitational (Saturday 22 May).

The second-annual meet will be contested at the Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, which will be the venue for the 2005 USA Track & Field Championships and 2006 IAAF World Cup.

The Home Depot Invitational is be the second stop on the five-meet USATF Golden Spike Tour that leads up to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento in July. In all, the meet, billed as “See Athens Before It Happens’, will feature 44 Olympians from 17 countries in 21 events.

Jones at the double

Marion Jones continues her comeback after a year off at the Home Depot meet in the 100m and the long jump. Jones, a Southern California native, plans to try a 100m, 200m and Long Jump individual triple in the Olympic Trials and would like to make a good showing in the Home Depot Invitational.

In the 100m, Jones will face 44-year old Merlene Ottey of Slovenia, 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Tanya Lawrence of Jamaica, and rapidly rising Angela Daigle of the U.S.

The Long Jump figures to be the toughest test for the Jones, who will face reigning World champion Eunice Barber of France, just 60 minutes after having contested the 100m. Barber lives in Los Angeles where she trains under Bobby Kersee, the husband of Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Jones went relatively unchallenged in completing a 100m-long jump double of 11.04 and 6.75m in Kingston, Jamaica two weeks ago.

“People are so caught up in the fact that I am Olympic champion, they expect great things from me,” Jones said. “But they kind of forget that I have had something going in my life last year and it takes a little bit of time to get back from that.”

Jones hasn’t jumped further than seven metres since 1998, but said she has made technical improvements working for the last 10 months with new coach Dan Pfaff and is capable of surpassing that mark at the Home Depot meet.

“I feel like I am a totally different jumper than I ever have been in the past and it just flabbergasts me to think that I went six years really knowing nothing about the event,” Jones said.

Devers and Felicien renew rivalry in 100m Hurdles

Devers and Canadien Perdita Felicien will continue a developing rivalry in the 100m Hurdles. Felicien won the 2003 World title in Paris after Devers failed to advance to the final after hitting a hurdle in the semi-finals. In March, Felicien defeated Devers for the World Indoor 60m hurdle title in Budapest.

The 100m Hurdles will feature three World outdoor champions with three-time champion Devers, Felicien and 2001 gold medallist Anjanette Kirkland. Miesha McKelvy, the 2003 World bronze medallist, and Joanna Hayes, the fourth-place finisher in the 60m hurdles in Budapest, are also entered.

Devers, 37, will also be part of a parade of Olympians spanning from 1932 to the present who will be honoured at the start of the meet.

She will certainly have the crowd’s support, as Devers, who attended nearby UCLA, is busing in 500 at-risk youths from her Club FORCE-an acronym for Focus on Respect to and Commitment to Excellence.

It’s part of a joint project between the Devers’ charity foundation and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. There will also be a Club FORCE 400m relay at the conclusion of the meet.

Greene looks to defend Depot 100m title

In the inaugural Home Depot meet last year, Greene ran 9.94 for the fastest time by an American in 2003 and second best in the world for 100m. Greene opened his 100m campaign with a convincing victory (10.02) over Tim Montgomery in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on 18 April, and has continued in a similarly impressive fashion with 10.18 (24 April) and 10.04 (8 May) clockings on the IAAF GP circuit in Fort de France and Osaka respectively.

The reigning Olympic champion will take on a formidable American field with Shawn Crawford, who clocked a wind-aided 9.86 in the Doha Qatar Super Grand Prix on 14 May, Justin Gatlin and Coby Miller.

Hoffa and Cantwell making waves in the Shot

Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa left their mark in the Shot Put during their indoor campaign with their 1-2 finish in Budapest. They will face three-time World outdoor champion John Godina, 2000 Olympic silver medallist Adam Nelson and Canadian Brad Snyder on Saturday.

Hoffa, competed in the 2003 Home Depot meet with a wrestling mask as the “Unknown Shot Putter,” finishing second to springboard towards a berth on the U.S. team in the 2003 World Championships. He’ll be competing in this year’s meet as the “Still Unknown Shot Putter” with promises of more surprises in store.

Stevenson seeking new heights in Pole Vault

Toby Stevenson became the ninth man to clear 6.00m in the Pole Vault two weeks ago in the Modesto Relays. It was the world’s best mark since Dmitri Markov’s 6.05m clearance in the 2001 World Championships.

Markov will also be at the Home Depot meet along with American record holder Jeff Hartwig, the only other U.S. vaulter besides Stevenson to scale 6.00m. There’s also 2000 Olympic champion Nick Hysong and Americans Derek Miles, Tim Mack and Russ Buller.

The women’s vault features three 15-foot vaulters with Mary Sauer, Kellie Suttle and collegian Chelsea Johnson of UCLA, the daughter of 1972 Olympic men’s Pole Vault bronze medallist Jan Johnson.

Olympians galore in 110m High Hurdles

Terrence Trammell, the 2000 Olympic silver medallist, will take on 1996 Olympic silver and 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Mark Crear in the 110m Hurdles, along with Larry Wade who opened the season with a 13.13 effort in the Texas Relays last month. They will be flanked by former USC standouts, Ryan Wilson, the 2003 NCAA champion, and William Erese, a Nigerian Olympian.

Harrisons and Miles-Clark in the 400m

It may be hard to pick the winner with twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison in the 400m. The Harrisons, who teamed on the U.S. gold-medal winning 4x400m relay in Sydney, will be challenged by compatriots Jermone Davis, Ja’Warren Hooker and Milton Campbell and Jamaica’s Brandon Simpson.

Jearl Miles-Clark, a three-time World Championship gold medallist in the 4x400m relay, is the favourite in the women’s 400m.

Acuff and Waller in the Women’s High Jump

Amy Acuff and Tisha Waller, the dominant women’s high jumpers in the U.S., are the class of the field. Waller defeated Acuff in the Mt. SAC Relays with an American-leading 1.96m.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

Thanks for posting. The sprints this year are wide open, probably more than they’ve been for awhile. Unlike 2000, there is some real suspense here. In 2000 no one could touch Greene and Marion Jones and Michael Johnson. This year, with no one running eye-popping times, anyone could sneak up and win.

Justin Gatlin has apparently pulled out of the meet.