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