The 2016 Rio Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo from the United States will be leading a star studded field of elite athletes at the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile that will be held on Sunday (12) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Grand Army Plaza.
Chelimo will battle for glory with the 2016 Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz who won the 2012 edition in 3:52.4.
He nearly won again in 2016 but was piped at the line by his then Nike Oregon Project teammate Eric Jenkins and finished second. Centrowitz, who did not make it out of the semi-finals of the 1500m, last month at the Tokyo Olympics, will be running on Fifth Avenue for the sixth time.
“I’m excited to return to New York for my sixth race down Fifth Avenue, a race I first won nine years ago,” Centrowitz said through a statement. “Heading back East and ending my season there is like a great end-of-summer tradition, and I’m looking to show the rest of the guys I’ve still got a step or two left in 2021.”
Chelimo won bronze in the same discipline in Tokyo last month, has never run on Fifth Avenue before. However, he has finished on the podium before in two road races in New York: the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5-K in 2018 where he topped and United Airlines NYC Half where finished in third place.
“I’ve already run a 5-K and half marathon in New York, so now I just need to check the mile and the marathon off my list,” Chelimo said through a media release. “Running a straight line down Fifth Avenue is very different than running laps on a track, and I’ve got more road racing experience than the other guys in this field. I’m confident in my finish, so if I can keep it close through halfway, I think I can beat the milers at their own game. Go hard or suffer for the rest of your life.”
The 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist, Clayton Murphy is also in the field, as are 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships 3000m bronze medalist Adel Mechaal of Spain, and 2018 European Athletics Championships 1500m bronze medalist Jake Wightman of Great Britain.
The reigning champion and five-time winner Nick Willis of New Zealand will not defend his title.