Two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson and 2006 World Indoor champ Reese Hoffa will each look to win a third Visa men's shot put title, and all-time Jamaican women's sprint great Veronica Campbell-Brown will look to scorch the track in the Visa women's 60 meters January 29 at Madison Square Garden in New York City at the 103rd Millrose Games.
The Millrose Games is the first stop of USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series. The longest-running annual event held at fabled Madison Square Garden and one of the best indoor track and field meets in the world, The Millrose Games features some of America's and the world's top track and field talent. The meet will be televised live on ESPN2 from 8-10 p.m. Eastern Time.
Hard to pick a winner in Visa men's shot put
Although Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa each have two Visa shot put wins at MSG, a third Millrose crown is by no means a certainty for either as they'll be facing reigning World Outdoor champion Christian Cantwell, who ended the 2009 season ranked #1 in the world by Track & Field News, and reigning USA Indoor champion Dan Taylor, who ended the 2009 season ranked #7 in the world.
Nelson, who ended the 2009 season ranked #6 globally, won last year at Millrose on his final attempt that sailed to 20.79 meters/68 feet, 2.50 inches. In 2008, Nelson was named the Millrose Athlete of the Meet following his Herculean winning throw of 22.07m/72 feet 5 inches, which replaced Cantwell's 2007 winning toss of 21.88m/71-9.50 as the Madison Square Garden record. Nelson's performance was the third best indoor throw in the world in 2008. Nelson posted that season's best throw in the world at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., with his indoor career best toss of 22.40m/73 feet 6 inches.
In looking to post the second Millrose Games title of his career, Cantwell enters the 2010 season as the undisputed king in the men's shot put following his brilliant 2009 season. In a campaign highlighted by wins at the World Outdoor Championships, USA Outdoor Championships and World Athletics Final, Cantwell ended the 2009 outdoor season with the three best throws in the world, with his best coming on August 31 in Zagreb when he threw of 22.16m/72-8.50. For his efforts, Cantwell ended the season ranked #1 in the world by T&FN for the second time in his career, and in so doing he became the first shot putter ever to regain the #1 world ranking after a four-year hiatus.
Also looking for his third Millrose crown will be 2007 World Outdoor champ Reese Hoffa, who won the inaugural Visa men's shot put in 2005 with his then indoor personal best winning throw of 21.62m/70-11.25 in the fourth and final round. Just prior to winning the 2006 World Indoor title, Hoffa won at Millrose again with a then Madison Square Garden record of 21.65m/71-0.50, which was the second best indoor throw in the world that year. Hoffa posted the year's best throw, and his indoor career best, in capturing the 2006 World Indoor title in Moscow with his winning toss of 22.11m/72-6.50.
Looking for his first Millrose title will be two-time U.S. World Outdoor Championship team member Dan Taylor, who enters Millrose as the defending USA Indoor champion. Taylor, who won the 2004 NCAA Indoor shot put title while at Ohio State, finished second at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships after winning earlier that year at the Drake Relays. Taylor ended the 2009 campaign ranked #7 in the world, which is the highest end of the year global ranking of his career.
The Visa men's shot put will take center stage at the Millrose Games beginning at 7:30 p.m., with no other events being contested at that time. Each competitor will have four attempts.
Campbell-Brown in search of second Visa 60 meters Millrose win
Two-time Olympic 200m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica will look to capture her first Visa women's 60m Millrose victory since a memorable battle with reigning U.S. Indoor champ Lisa Barber at MSG in 2006.
Campbell-Brown found herself trailing late in that race before putting on a final burst of speed that resulted in the two crossing the finish line as though they were mirror images of each other. Although both were clocked at 7.10 seconds, a finish line photo finally separated the two, with Campbell-Brown declared the winner. Barber, along with 2008 Olympic Games finalists Muna Lee and Marshevet (Hooker) Myers, are slated to challenge Campbell-Brown Friday night at Millrose.
Campbell-Brown finished fourth last year in the 100 meters at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, and ended the season ranked #4 in the world at 100 meters and #2 in the world at 200 meters by Track & Field News. During her remarkable career, Campbell-Brown has won three gold medals, along with one silver medal and one bronze medal in Olympic competition, in addition to six World Outdoor Championship medals (1 gold, 5 silver).
For ticket information for the 103rd Millrose Games visit: www.millrose-games.com/tickets.
For more information on the 2010 Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.