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Grenadian World champ Kirani James to race Bershawn Jackson in Beantown

BOSTON (Jan 10) – For sixteen years, New England track fans have come to expect the world’s best middle distance and distance runners to go head-to-head on the oval at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. This year those same fans will get an added treat.

On Feb. 4, the world’s top long sprinter, Kirani James, will take to the track at 400m at the 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix , organizers announced today. Tickets for the 17th annual Olympic-style event are on sale now at www.nbindoorgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-849-8722.

Kirani James, from Grenada, is the 2011 IAAF World Champion at 400m and the world’s #1 ranked one-lapper by Track & Field News. While primarily known for his outdoor success, James is the 3rd fastest man in history indoors at 400m. Only a 19 year-old, James has found success on both the junior and senior levels.

He was the 2009 IAAF World Youth Champion, the 2010 IAAF World Junior Champion and then added an NCAA victory before claiming the Samsung Diamond League title and his World Championship gold medal in 2011. The first IAAF World Champion in history from Grenada, James said, “2011 was a dream season for me but I want to get started on 2012. I hope for bigger and better this year and can’t wait to get started in Boston.”

James will not have an easy time in his Boston debut. Among his challengers will be Miami native Bershawn Jackson, the world’s top 400m hurdler in 2010. Batman, as he is known, has flown around the track at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston before, most recently in 2010 when he won the 400m.

While most accustomed to stepping over hurdles, Jackson also has four IAAF World Championship gold medals as a member of the USA 4 x 400m relay team in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and indoors in 2010. In the 400m hurdles, Jackson is the Olympic bronze medalist from the Beijing Olympic Games, the 2005 World Champion, and was the top ranked American in 2011.

The Men’s Shot Put has not been contested in Boston since 2008 but will make a big return with 2010 IAAF World Indoor Champion, Christian Cantwell, leading the charge. Cantwell has four IAAF World Championship gold medals and an Olympic silver medal from Beijing in 2008.

The 17th-annual meet, the second stop in USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series, begins at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College. Tickets and meet Information can be found on-line at www.nbindoorgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC.

About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 4000 people around the globe, and in 2009 reported worldwide sales of $1.65 billion. For more information please visit http://www.newbalance.com.

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