Michelle Carter, Christian Taylor, DeAnna Price, and Vashti Cunningham lead the list of athletes headlining a high-caliber field events field set to thrill the fans at the 2021 USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays on Saturday, April 24. The meeting, which is part of the USATF Journey to Gold – Tokyo Outdoor Track & Field Series, is the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold standard meeting of the 2021 season. You can watch the webcast on NBCSN with online coverage also available on USATF.tv.
Global Champion Taylor Leads Triple Jump Field
Two-time Olympic champion Taylor will lead the field in the men’s triple jump, but the American is expected to face some strong competition from a number of athletes who are very motivated to test their current form ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, later this summer.
Taylor, the four-time world champion, opened his 2021 season with a modest 16.19m performance to win at the Tom Jones Invitational at the University of Florida in Gainesville, last weekend and he will be hoping to kick on from that performance. Jamaican O’Brien Wasome leads the world with a mark of 17.05m, achieved at the 2021 Texas Relays, and the field will be targeting that mark this weekend.
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European silver medalist from 2006, Nathan Douglas of Great Britain, Two-time NCAA Indoor champion Clive Pullen of Jamaica, and Algerian Yasser Triki, the All Africa Games silver medalist in 2019, are among the challengers ready to take on Taylor on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth champion Kimberly Williams of Jamaica is among the athletes doing battle for the women’s title. Williams, who opened her season with performances of 14.54 (+2.9) and 14.00 in Tallahassee Florida on March 26 is set to take on Thea LaFond from Dominica who has already done 14.35m this season and set a national record of 14.54m during a very productive indoor campaign. USA’s Tori Franklin is also among the list of athletes slated to compete in the event.
In-form Price and Andersen Battle At 2021 USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays
American reigning world champion DeAnna Price, the North American record holder, will aim to continue from where she left off in recent outings when she contests the women’s hammering throw.
Price, who improved her own American record at the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, Missouri, on April 9, with her world-leading 78.60m performance, enters this weekend’s 2021 USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays full of confidence and she will look to improve that effort if the conditions are favorable.
Among the top throwers set to battle the American this weekend is her compatriot Brooke Andersen, who is another in-form thrower this season. Andersen’s progression this term has been highlighted by her 78.18m personal best performance at the Wichita State Open in Kansas on April 10. With that performance, she became the second woman in U.S. history to throw beyond the 78 meters mark. She won the event at the 2021 USATF Sprint Summit at Prairie View A&M, the first stop in the USATF Journey to Gold – Tokyo Outdoor Series in Texas on Saturday, April 3.
In the women’s shot put, Olympic champion Michelle Carter headlines a quality field that includes a number of throwers who are capable of winning the event on their best days.
The American 2016 Rio champion is set to open her 2021 season this weekend and she will face the likes of Danniel Thomas-Dodd, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist from Doha 2019, and the 2018 World Indoor silver medal winner, as well as US champion Chase Ealey.
The field will also include world finalist Maggie Ewen and Olympic finalist Raven Saunders. Canadian Brittany Crew, another finalist at the world championships and silver medalist at the 2019 Pan American Games, is also in the lineup.
Other Strong Field Event Battles
Elsewhere, Vashti Cunningham, the 2016 world indoor champion who has already cleared 1.97m this outdoor season, leads the women’s field in the high jump. Cunningham is set to do battle with fellow American Inika McPherson and Slovenian Marusa Cernjul.
The men’s long jump will feature 2016 world indoor champion Marquis Dendy, who is looking forward to putting together a good series at the 2021 USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays this weekend, along with Holland Martin from the Bahamas, Ghana’s Mohammed Abubakar, and Jacob Fincham-Dukes of Great Britain.
World champion Anderson Peters of Grenada heads the men’s javelin field and he is hoping to build on his 82.51m season-best done in Texas on March 27. Rudy Winkler leads the list of American challengers down to face-off with Peters.