The Shanghai Golden Grand Prix was a perfect showcase for the strongest collection of international athletics stars ever to compete together in the China.
Last weekend the Shanghai stadium witnessed a world class track & field competition. For the first time, IAAF World athletics formally concluded the season’s competition in front of the nearly 40,000 of electrifying Chinese audience.
The Saturday night event happened during the Mid-Autumn Festival weekend in China, a traditional holiday that falls almost directly halfway through the Chinese lunar year. World class athletes competed under the glowing full moon. As many as 14 current World or Olympic champions attended the event. Among the starlets were Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva - 2004 and 2005 male and female World Athletes of the Year; Athens Olympic 110m Hurdles Gold medal winner - Chinese national hero Liu Xiang and former four-time World 110m Hurdles champion Allen Johnson. The Shanghai Golden Grand Prix was a perfect showcase for the strongest collection of international athletics stars ever to compete together in the China.
A total of 14 competitions took place in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix. The men's competitions included the 100m, 200m, 800m, 3000m, 110m hurdles, high jump and long jump. The women's events included the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 5000m races, along with the shot putt and pole vault. As the official timekeeper for the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, OMEGA covered the entire exciting event. Each competition winner also received a watch from the OMEGA Olympic collection.
The woman’s pole vault was one of two competitions that OMEGA sponsored. As expected, it was the Yelena Isinbayeva show. The Russian World record holder only had to take one vault attempt to win the title. Her easy 4.65m clearance put her ahead of all competitors. However, Isinbayeva’s following three world record attempts at 5.02m were not as successful. She ran into the pit on her second attempt and hit the bar badly on her other two tries. China's own Gao Shuying finished third with 4.45m. Ms. Elinda Cheng represented OMEGA to give the award and watch to the winner. The men's 100m, the other OMEGA sponsored competition, saw Justin Gatlin fulfill his promise, placing first in 10.01.
In the men's 110m hurdles, Liu Xiang continued his legacy as one of the kings of Chinese sport, defeating Allen Johnson in a hard-fought battle. The competition did not start swiftly, as American Dominique Arnold was disqualified for a false start. With Arnold out of the running, it was a fight between Liu Xiang and Johnson for the title. Liu Xiang, a Shanghai native, did not disappoint his home audience and finished in 13.05, his season's best. Johnson placed second followed by China's Shi Dongpeng in third. Liu Xiang was also nominated for the OMEGA most popular Chinese athlete award, which was presented by Ms. Elinda Cheng.
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