BOSTON, Mass. – IAAF World Indoor Champions Sifan Hassan and Hellen Obiri and World Indoor medalists Dawit Seyaum and Shannon Rowbury—who also holds American records at 1500 and 5000 meters—are set for what is likely to be the most hotly contested 3000 meters in the 22-year history of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, organizers announced today.
The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix kicks off at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, and is the only U.S. stop on the IAAF World Indoor Tour.
The series of five international events begins in Boston and awards overall winners $20,000 and a guaranteed spot at next year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships.
In what could be the most competitive race of the evening, four of the world’s best middle distance runners will clash. Hassan, 24, of the Netherlands, is the reigning World Indoor Champion at 1500 meters and finished fifth in Rio, while Obiri, 27, of Kenya, is the 2012 World Indoor Champion at 3000 meters and the reigning Olympic silver medalist at 5000 meters.
Seyaum, 20, of Ethiopia, won the 2016 World Indoor silver medal behind Hassan, while Rowbury, 32, took bronze at 3000 meters. Rowbury, who finished fourth in Rio, was also the outdoor World Championships bronze medalist at 1500 meters in 2009.
Adding even-more luster to the meet will be U.S. hurdles phenom Sydney McLaughlin, who will run the 400-meter leg for the USA All-Star Distance Medley Relay team that includes the previously announced 2016 Olympic bronze medalists Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn, as well as 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist Brenda Martinez.
McLaughlin, 17, finished third in the 400m hurdles at last year’s Olympic Trials where her time of 54.15 set new age-group world records in both the Under-20 and Under-18 categories. In Rio, McLaughlin was the youngest athlete to qualify for the semifinals in any track and field event. Still competing for her New Jersey high school team, McLaughlin earlier this month ran the second-fastest high school 300 meters indoors in history.
The squad should put the World Record of 10:42.57, set here two years ago, under serious threat.
Also joining the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix lineup is 17-year-old high school star Sammy Watson, who will compete at 800 meters against, among others, 2015 World Champion Marina Arzamasova of Belarus.
Last year here, Watson finished as runner-up in the Junior Mile, and went on to win gold medals at both 800 meters and as a member of the USA’s 4×400-meter relay team at the IAAF World U20 Championships. Just last weekend, Watson ran 1:28.67 to set a new national high school record in the 600 meters.
Now in its 22nd year, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix has played host to eight World Records and 14 American Records and will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, beginning at 3:30 p.m.