As part of the transformation at Madison Square Garden, the basketball and hockey venue will give way to a new track and field meet on Saturday evening Jan. 28 when it will host the initial of a Visa Championship Series for the 2012 track season.
This meet of elite and world class athletes as well as student ones in several events is called the U.S. Open Track & Field Meet.
Highlighting the competition will be the appearance of Bernard Lagat in the mile event. The anticipated capacity crowd will also be able to witness some additional world class athletes, including the likes of Jamaica natives Asafa Powell, and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in the sprints.
Powell will make his indoor debut at Madison Square Garden. In addition, the 29-year-old Jamaica native will mark his first time competing indoors since 2004.
At one time, Powell held the mark of being the world’s fastest runner for three years. He had owned the 100-meter world record of 9.77 seconds from 2005 until Usain Bolt broke it in New York in 2008.
This year’s 50-meter dash highlights a match between Powell and Justin Gaitin. The rivalry between this duo was a key point heading into the 2004 Olympic Games and subsequent World Championships. Gaitin captured the World Championships in the 100-meter dash and went on to run some thrilling races.