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Randall's Island Park

Icahn Stadium On The Map With New 100-Meter World Record

IMMEDIATE
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
No. 60
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Icahn Stadium, one of only two qualifying tracks in the United States for the Olympic trials, took its place in history on Saturday, May 31, as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt lived up to his name, setting the new world record for the 100-meter dash with a lightning fast time of 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium, located on Manhattan’s Randall’s Island.

“Usain Bolt’s new world record confirms Icahn Stadium’s reputation as a world class facility with a superb track,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Paul Koech’s U.S. all-comers record in the 3000-meter steeplechase also helps cement the track’s prestige. Best of all, this track is used every day for runners at all levels, from children’s track & field programs run by the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation to high school and college students to world class athletes.”

“Icahn Stadium has been host to many outstanding athletic achievements, but Usain Bolt breaking the world record in the 100-meter dash en route to becoming the 'world’s fastest human' has to rank up there as one of the most thrilling moments in New York City sports history," said New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba. “I have no doubt that all of the fans that were lucky enough to attend this year’s sold-out Reebok Grand Prix will remember where they were when this hallowed record was broken.”

Icahn Stadium was the first International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) certified championship-quality track and field facility in the United States for local, national and international outdoor competition. The track features the Mondo Super-X surface running track and to date, only 64 outdoor track & field facilities worldwide have obtained this certification. Mondo has been the official supplier of Olympic athletic facilities since 1976.

“Four years ago, we chose Icahn Stadium to host the Reebok Grand Prix, and it has proven to be a great decision,” said Mark Wetmore, meet director and president of Global Athletics & Marketing. “With two world records – first at 5000 meters and now at 100 meters – the track is obviously a fast one at both ends of the spectrum.”

The previous world record for the 100-meter race was held by fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, who set the record last September in Italy. Americans Tyson Gay and Darvis Patton finished in second and third place behind Bolt with times of 9.85 and 10.07, respectively. Kenyan Steeplechaser Koech ran 8:01.85, defeating the American all-comers record of 8:04.51. In the Women’s 100-meter dash Veronica Campbell-Brown ran the fastest time in the world this year in 10.91 seconds.

Jesse Owens qualified for the 1936 Olympics at Randall’s Island stadium. His granddaughter, Gina Hemphill-Strachan attended the meet on Saturday.

"Saturday's Reebok Grand Prix at Randall's Island Icahn Stadium was nothing short of spectacular. At the end of the night, with the capacity crowd on their feet, we all witnessed history with Jamaica's Usain Bolt's world record breaking 100-meter dash.” said Hemphill-Strachan. "I love that Randall’s Island continues to bring out top quality athletes to this state-of-the-art stadium paving the way for the next generations of Olympic stars, including the kids from the Jesse Owens Track club. I'm thrilled to have been there to witness it all"

Other prestigious events at Icahn Stadium include the Empire State Games Trials and the AAU Regional Junior Olympic Championships. Icahn Stadium, which opened in April 2005, is located along Randall’s Island Park’s northwestern shoreline, visible from the East Side of Manhattan and the FDR Drive. Modern locker rooms, showers and meeting rooms have been constructed within the seating complex, along with fitness, exercise and meeting rooms geared toward RISF’s youth programs at the Park.

To learn more about Icahn Stadium, watch the special It's My Park segment, originally aired on NYC TV.

ABOUT RANDALL’S ISLAND SPORTS FOUNDATION:

Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, founded in 1992, is a public-private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation that seeks to realize the unique potential of 480 waterfront parkland acres anchoring Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. In addition to acting as stewards of the Park, RISF strives to empower under-resourced children through sports and recreation with an investment of over $300 million over the next five years in world class facilities, playing fields and programming.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK CITY SPORTS COMMISSION

The New York City Sports Commission is the mayoral agency charged with attracting, facilitating and promoting professional, amateur and scholastic sports events in New York City. The Sports Commission has played an integral role in creating or developing many new sporting events, including the NFL Kickoff Live from Times Square, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series™ Champions Week, the BMC Software NYC Cycling Championship, the AVP Brooklyn Open, the NAUTICA NYC Triathlon, the NYC Half-Marathon, the Union Square Street Sessions presented by Jeep®, the Wild Onion Urban Adventure Race, and the Men's Health Urbanathlon.

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