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Lyles, Brazier lead track stars at New York indoor meet

Reigning world 200-meter champion Noah Lyles and world 800m champion Donovan Brazier are among the stars competing in Saturday’s World Athletics Indoor Grand Prix meet at New York.

The elite global indoor series event was moved last month from Boston, where the usual venue is being used as a Covid-19 mass vaccination site, to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex.

No spectators will be allowed into the Staten Island venue due to the ongoing pandemic.

Lyles plans to run in the heats of the 60 meters, but not race the final if he qualifies, instead running in the 200, where two-time world indoor 400m podium finisher Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago awaits.

The 60 features world leader and 2016 indoor world champion Trayvon Bromell, 2014 world indoor runner-up Marvin Bracy and defending champion Demek Kemp.

Brazier opens his 2021 season by seeking a victory at the meet for the fifth year in a row, having taken the 600 in 2017 and 2020 and the 800 in 2018 and 2019.

The American record-holder in 1:44.22 will be running on the same track where he set a 600m world best in 2019.

His 800 rivals will include Britain’s Jamie Webb, a European indoor runner-up, and 2016 world indoor third-place finisher Erik Sowinski of the United States.

The men’s 400 features Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin, pals and training partners who set their personal bests against each other.

Norman ran the fastest indoor 400 ever clocked at 44.52 seconds in the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships but it could not be ratified as a world record due to technical issues.

Benjamin, a 400 hurdles runner-up, has run 45.94 indoors and won last year’s 300m at this meet.

On the women’s side, 2016 Olympic 400 champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo set a Bahamas indoor 200m record of 22.40 last month. She’ll race the 400 on Saturday 

World 400 hurdles runner-up Sydney McLaughlin, a 21-year-old American, will run the 60m hurdles for the first time since she was only 15, facing 2018 world indoor champion compatriot Kendra Harrison and Britain’s three-time world indoor medalist Tiffany Porter.

Just under two hours later, McLaughlin will try to win the 500m for the second time in three years in the last event of the meet.

The women’s 60 features reigning US indoor champion Mikiah Brisco and 2018 US 100m champion Aleia Hobbs plus double world under-20 champion Briana Williams of Jamaica.

World indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris, with 2021 world-leading marks of 4.81m and 4.88m, is favored in her speciality while fellow American Gabby Thomas will try for her second 300m victory in three seasons.

Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet, an Olympic bronze medalist at 5,000m and three-time meet winner at 3,000m, competes in the two mile.

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