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IMG Academy trainees make strong impression at Shanghai Diamond League

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USA's LaShawn Merritt (left) battled it out with Grenada's Kirani James in Shanghai

In the men’s 400-meters reigning Olympic 400-meter Champion, Kirani James from Grenada, waged a battle against IMG Academy’s own LaShawn Merritt.  Kirani running from lane four with Merritt outside went through the 200-meters in about 2.18 and drew even with Merritt.  Merritt battled for the next 100-meters and came second 44.02, equaling the Meet Record and posting the World Leading time for the victor James, versus 44.60, a season best for LaShawn.

Two more IMG Academy alumni had great meet performance in Shanghai.

Li Jinzhe posted a personal best performance in the Long Jump of 8.34.  That proved to be the winning jump and established a new world leading performance.  Li Jnzhe will return to IMG Academy on Sunday, June 2nd for a one month training camp with his coach Liu Jian working with IMG Academy Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, Loren Seagrave.  Seagrave will be with Coach Liu Jian when Li Jinzhe jumps at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday, June 1st.

Another IMG Academy alumni from the Peoples Republic of China set yet another national record this year in the sprints. Zhang Peimeng finished fourth in the Shanghai Diamond League Meet in the 200-meters with a new national record of 20.47 seconds.  Earlier this season on April 27th Peimeng rode a +1.6 m/s tail wind to a world equaling performance of 10.04 in Zhaoqing.  This eclipsed the national record by a whopping 0.15 seconds.