• Prefontaine Classic - Eugene Diamond League Event by Event Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Thirteen reigning Olympic champions will be in the spotlight at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in a preview of the World Championships, which will take place in the same venue next July.

Watch the Live Stream

Men’s 100 metres: 

Olympic 100m champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs has been forced to pull out of the 100 metres due to a minor injury. A diagnostic assessment carried out earlier this week by Marcell Jacobs highlighted a elongation after the 100 metres in Savona. 

Despite the absence of Jacobs the Eugene 100m race is shaping up as a preview of next July’s World Championships. It’s going to be even more competitive than the world championships race, where only the top three sprinters from next June’s US Championships will secure the qualifying spot. 

Fred Kerley will go head-to-head against Kenny Bednarek, Noah Lyles, André De Grasse, Christian Coleman, Erryion Knighton and Trayvon Bromell less than two months before the World Championships, which will take place in the same Hayward Field venue. 

De Grasse won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic last year a few weeks after claiming the Olympic gold medal in the 200m in a Canadian record of 19.62m, the silver in the 4x100 relay and the bronze in the 100m with his PB of 9.89m. 

Kerley won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo in 9.84. Later last summer he claimed the 100m title in 9.87 and finished third in the 200m in 19.83 in the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich. The US sprinter won the 200m in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Walnut last week in 19.80 beating Michael Norman by 0.03 and finished second to Noah Lyles in a wind-assisted 19.75 in Doha. 

Coleman won his third US Indoor title in the 60 metres last February in Spokane and the world indoor silver medal in 6.41 in Belgrade. Coleman won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in 2019 just three months before claiming the world 100m title in Doha in 9.76. 

Bednarek won the Olympic 200m silver in his PB of 19.68 in Tokyo, broke the 20 seconds barrier 13 times and claimed the Diamond League final in 19.70 in Zurich. 

Lyles won the world 200m title in Doha 2019, the Olympic 200m bronze medal in 2021 and four Diamond League titles (three in the 200m in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and one in the 100m in 2019). The sprinter from Gainesville won the 200m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene setting the fastest time in the world in 2021 with 19.52. 

Erriyon Knighton will make the first appearance of his career in the Wanda Diamond League. Knighton broke Usain Bolt’s World Under 20 record by 0.05 to 19.88  in the semifinal of the US Olympic Trials and qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo improving his PB to 19.84 in the final. Knighton became the youngest male athlete to represent the US track and field team at the Olympic Games since middle distance runner Jim Ryun in 1964. He finished fourth in the Olympic final in 19.93. This year the 18-year-old US rising star smashed his 200m lifetime best with 19.49 in Baton Rouge becoming the fourth fastest sprinter in history over this distance behind Usain Bolt, Yoan Blake and Michael Johnson. Knighton improved his 100m PB to 10.04 in Gainesville last April and is aiming to break the 10 seconds barrier for the first time in his career. 

Bromell returns to the Hayward Field where he won the US Trials last year in 9.80. The 2016 world indoor champion clocked a wind-assisted 9.75 in Jacksonville and 9.92 in Ponce (Puerto Rico). 

The line-up is completed by world under 20 champion Letsile Tebogo from Botswana, who broke the world under 20 record clocking 9.96 in Gaborone last April, and US Kyree King, who set his PB of 9.97 last year in Miramar. 

Women’s 100 metres: 

Six of the top nine competitors from the 2021 edition of the Prefontaine Classic are to return to Eugene for the 100 metres. Elaine Thompson Herah will be chasing her second consecutive win at Hayward Field. The 29-year-old Jamaican star won the 100m in Eugene in 10.54, missing Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record by 0.05. She successfully defended her Olympic gold medals in the 100m and the 200m and won the 4x100 relay title, becoming the third athlete, male or female, to complete the Olympic sprinting triple. 

Thompson Herah capped her successful season by winning the Diamond League 100m title in Zurich in 10.65. In her first competitions of the 2022 season she ran three times under the 11 seconds clocking 10.89 in Walnut, 10.93 in Ponce and 10.94 in Kingston. 

Reigning 200 metres world and European champion Dina Asher Smith from Great Britain and triple Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson will go head-to-head for the second time in one week. Last Saturday Asher Smith beat Jackson by 0.01 in the 100m in the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in 11.11. Jackson finished second in the 200m in the Doha Diamond League meeting in 22.07 beating Asher Smith. 

The fastest US sprinter in the field is Sha’Carri Richardson, who broke the world under 20 records in the 100m with 10.75 and in the 200m with 22.17 at the NCAA Championships in 2019 and set the sixth fastest time in history with 10.72 in Miramar last year. 

Three-time world championships medallist Marie Josée Ta Lou will compete for the fifth time at the Prefontaine Classic. The Ivorian Coast sprinter equalled the African 100m record clocking 10.78 in the heats of the Tokyo Olympic Games before finishing fourth in the final in 10.91. 

World 60m Indoor champion Mujinga Kambundji will double up in the 100m and 200m. 

The line-up is rounded out by Jamaica’s Briana Williams, who won the 100m and 200m at the World Under 20 Championships in Tampere 2018 and finished fifth in the 60m in her PB of 7.04 at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March, Tehania Daniels, who finished seventh in the 100m Olympic final, and Twanisha Terry, who won the 100m in Walnut in a wind-assisted 10.77.

Women’s 200 metres: 

The world’s best sprinters will compete in a star-studded women’s 200 metres. 

Multiple olympic and world champion Shelly Ann Fraser will compete for the 10th time in her career at the Prefontaine Classic since her debut at this meeting in 2009. The 35-year-old Jamaican sprint is one of the most decorated sprinters of all time with a combined 12 world and olympic gold medals. Last summer she won the silver medal in the 100 metres in 10.74, the gold in the 4x100 relay with a national record of 41.02 and finished fourth in the 200m in 21.94 in Tokyo. Fraser Pryce clocked 10.67 in the 100m on her seasonal debut in Nairobi setting the third fastest time in history. She has a 200m PB of 21.79 and won the 200m world title in 2013. 

Fraser Pryce will take on double 400m olympic champion Shaunae Miller Uibo and world 60m indoor champion Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland. 

Miller Uibo won the 400m world indoor gold medal in 50.21. The Bahamian star won her second consecutive Olympic title in the 400 metres improving her national record to 48.36 in Tokyo. She won three consecutive Diamond League titles in the 200 metres in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In her previous appearances at the Prefontaine Classic she claimed two 400m wins in 2016 (50.15) and 2018 (49.52) and finished second in the 200m in 21.91 in 2017. 

Mujinga Kambundji has a fond memory of Eugene, as she won the 200m in a wind-assisted 22.06 in last year’s edition of the Prefontaine Classic. 

The Swiss sprint star won the 200m world bronze medal in Doha 2019 and the world 60m indoor title in a national record of 6.96 in Belgrade last March. 

The line-up also features Tokyo olympic 4x100 silver medallist Jenna Prandini, 2019 world silver medallist Brittany Brown, who clocked a wind-assisted 10.66 in the 100m last month, Cambrea Sturgis, who won the 100 metres in 10”74 and the 200 metres in 22”12 at the NCAA Championships in  Eugene in 2021, Dezerea Bryant, fifth in the 200m world final in Doha, Tamara Clarke, fourth at the US Olympic Trials in 21.98 last year and Anthonique Strachan, who won two world under 20 gold medals in the 100m and 200m, and 17-year-old Shawnti Jackson, the daughter of former world 400m hurdles champion Bershawn Jackson. 

Men’s pole vault

Olympic champion Armand Mondo Duplantis will take on olympic silver and bronze medallists Chris Nilsen, 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie and Olympic fourth placer KC Lightfoot.

Duplantis will return to Hayward Field for the first time since 2018, when he finished second at the Prefontaine Classic. The 22-year-old Swede won his first Olympic gold medal with 6.02m. Last March he broke two world indoor records clearing 6.19m at the Belgrade World Indoor Silver meeting on 7 March and 6.20m at the World Indoor Championships in the same venue in the Serbian capital. Last year Duplantis won his first Diamond Trophy in Zurich after clearing a meeting record of 6.06m. He opened his 2022 outdoor season with a win in Doha with 6.02m. 

Nilsen won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo with 5.97m. Last winter the 24-year-old US vaulter improved the US indoor record clearing 6.05m in Rouen and won the world indoor bronze medal with 5.90m behind Duplantis and Thiago Braz Da Silva. 

Lavillenie collected four consecutive wins at the Prefontaine Classic in 2013 (5.95m), 2014 (5.80m), 2015 (6.05m) and 2016 (5.81m). The Frenchman won seven Diamond League Trophies. Renaud will face his younger brother Valentin Lavillenie, who won the European Indoor silver with 5.80m and finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. 

KC Lightfoot finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 5.80m. Lightfoot won the NCAA Indoor title in 2021 and set his indoor PB clearing 6.00m in Lubbock in February 2021. 

Men’s 400 metres: 

The world’s best 400 metres specialists will be in the spotlight in the one-lap event in the one-lap event. 

Michael Norman will make his second appearance at the Prefontaine Classic where he won the 400m in 44.62 in 2019. 

Since becoming a professional athlete Norman clocked the fourth fastest time in history with 43.45 at the 2019 Mt. Sac Relays and won the Diamond League final in Brussels in 44.26 later that year. 

Norman finished fifth in the Olympic final in the 400m in Tokyo in 44.31 and won the gold medal in the 4x400 relay in 2:55.70. This year the former University of Southern California student finished second to Fred Kerley in Walnut in the 200m in 19.83. Norman could attack the Prefontaine Classic record held by Michael Johnson with 43.92 since 2000. 

Norman will be joined by his compatriot Michael Cherry, who finished fourth in the 400m in the Olympic final in Tokyo and won the Olympic gold medal with the 4x400 relay. Cherry won the 400m in Brussels in 44.03 breaking Michael Johnson’s meeting record and the Wanda Diamond League final in Zurich in 44.41 beating Kirani James by 0.01 last September. Cherry clocked a seasonal best of 44.28 in Walnut. 

James has won three Olympic medals in his career (gold in London 2012, silver in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and bronze in Tokyo 2021). The Grenadan 400m sprinter won three times in a row at the Prefontaine Classic in 2014 (43.97), 2015 (43.95) and 2016 (44.22) and set the eleventh fastest time in history with the national record of 43.74 in Lausanne in 2014.

Jereem Richards from Trinidad and Tobago will run his first 400 metres race since his world indoor title in Belgrade 2022 in 45.00. 

The strong line-up is rounded out by Vernon Norwood, Bryce Deadmon and Matthew Hudson Smith from Great Britain.  Norwood and Deadmon were part of the US team, who won the Olympic 4x400 relay team gold medal in Tokyo. Hudson Smith, won the European gold medal in Berlin 2018, showed his good form winning the Diamond League in Birmingham last Saturday.  

Men’s 400m hurdles: 

The line-up is highlighted by Alison Dos Santos, who set six Brazilan records in 2021. He set a PB of 47.31 in the Olympic semifinal to qualify for the final and improved his PB to 46.72 to finish third behind Karsten Warholm and Raj Benjamin. He will make his debut at the Prefontaine Classic. Dos Santos won the 400m hurdles in the first Diamond League race of the season with 47.24 in Doha and improved his 400m PB clocking 44.54 in Walnut last April. 

The line-up also features Yasmani Copello from Turkey and Rasmus Magi from Estonia, who finished sixth and seventh respectively in the Olympic final in Tokyo, this year’s world indoor 400m bronze medallist Carl Bengstrom from Sweden, Quincy Hall, NCAA champion in 2019 in 48.48, and Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt, fourth at the World Championships in London 2017. 

Women’s 100 metres hurdles: 

Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn will line up against world champion Kendra Harrison in the women’s 100m hurdles. 

Camacho Quinn remained undefeated n 2021 and set the joint fourth fastest time in history clocking 12.26 in the Olympic semifinal before winning the final in 12.37. The Puerto Rican hurdler set the fastest time in the world in 2022 with 12.39 in Gainesville. 

Harrison is set to return to the Prefontaine Classic for the first time since her win in 2016 in 12.24. The 2018 world indoor champion won two silver medals at the World Outdoor Championships in Doha 2019 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and finished first in the US Olympic Trials in Eugene last year. 

They will be joined by 2019 world champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Nia Ali, who is returning to competition after taking a year off following the birth of her third child and clocked a seasonal best of 12.59 i Gainesville behind Camacho Quinn. 

Anna Cockrell will make her debut at the Prefontaine Classic. Cockrell won two NCAA outdoor titles in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles at Hayward Field in 2021, becoming the second hurdler in collegiate history after Queen Harrison to achieve this feat. 

The line-up is rounded out by 2019 world outdoor bronze medallist Danielle Willams from Jamaica, Tobi Amusan from Nigeria, who finished fourth in the Olympic final in Tokyo and won the Diamond League final in Zurich in 2021, and US Gabby Cunningham, who won the world indoor bronze medal in the 60m hurdles and finished seventh in the 100m hurdles Olympic final in Tokyo. 

Men’s shot put: 

The men’s shot put line-up features the top five finishers of the 2021 Olympic final: medallists Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh, world indoor champion Darlan Romani and Zane Weir. 

Two-time Olympic champion and world record holder Ryan Crouser returns to the venue of his world record set at last year’s US Olympic Trials with 23.37m. He became the first US shot putter in 65 years to defend the Olympic title in Tokyo setting the Olympic record with 23.30m and won last year’s edition of the Prefontaine Classic with 23.15m. This year Crouser won the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade and threw 22.75m in Ponce. 

Kovacs won the world outdoor gold medal in Doha 2019 with 22.91m beating Crouser and Walsh by just one cm and two consecutive Olympic silver medals in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021. Kovacs improved his seasonal best to 22.46m in Nashville. 

Walsh joined Crouser and Kovacs on the Olympic podium with two bronze medals in 2016 and 2021. The shot putter from New Zealand, who won the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade 2022, threw a seasonal best of 21.60m. 

Weir from Italy finished fifth in the Olympic final in Tokyo with 21.41m. Last winter he took sixth place at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade improving the Italian Indoor record to 21.67m and won the European Throwing Cup in Leiria with the 2022 world outdoor leading mark of 21.99m. 

Ponzio held the Italian indoor record for two weeks with 21.61m last March and finished seventh with 21.30m at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. The Italian shot putter of Californian origin set his outdoor PB with 21.83m at the European Thowing Cup in Leiria and recently threw 21.73m in Rovereto and beat Weir in Savona with 21.12m. Weir avenged this defeat beating Ponzio by three cm with 21.07 in Grosseto. 

The line-up is rounded out by US shot putters Darrell Hill, who won the Diamond League title in Brussels in 2017 with 22.44m and finished fifth at the World Championships in Doha 2019. 

Women’s discus throw: 

The women’s discus throw returns to the Prefontaine Classic for the first time in six years. 

Reigning Olympic champion Valarie Allman will take on two-time Olympic gold medallist Sandra Perkovic and Olympic silver medallist Kristin Pudenz from Germany. 

Allman won the Olympic gold medal with 68.98m and the Wanda Diamond League in Zurich with 69.20m before improving her PB to 71.16m in Berlin. This year the former dancer added 30 cm to her own North American record to 71.46m in San Diego. She won in Walnut with 69.46m and in her first Diamond League competition of the year with 67.85m in Birmingham last Saturday. Allman could attack the meeting record of 69.32m held by Sandra Perkovic. 

Perkovic will be chasing her fourth consecutive win at the Prefontaine Classic. The Croatian thrower won two Olympic titles, two world titles and five European gold medals. 

The line-up also features three more Olympic finalists: Liliana Ca from Portugal (fifth), Shadae Lawrence from Jamaica (seventh) and reigning World University Games champin Daisy Osakue from Italy (twelfth), plus four-time NCAA champion Laulaga Tausaga, Jade Lally from Great Britain, 

Bowerman Mile: 

Reigning Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway will clash against Doha 2019 world outdoor gold medallist Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya and world indoor champion Samuel Tefera. 

Ingebrigtsen became the youngest athlete ever to break the four-minute barrier clocking 3:58.07 at the age of 16 at the 2017 edition of the Prefontaine Classic. Last year the Norwegian star won the gold medal in the 1500m breaking the Olympic record in Tokyo with 3:28.32 and won the Bowerman Mile for the first time in his career, breaking the US all-comers record with 3:47.24. In Tokyo he beat Cheruiyot for the first time in his career. During the 2022 indoor season Ingebigtsen broke the world indoor record in the 1500m with 3:30.60 in Liévin and won the world indoor silver medal behind Samuel Tefera in Belgrade. 

Cheruiyot won the Bowerman Mile and the world gold medal in Doha in 2019 before claiming the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo. The Kenyan middle-distance runner finished third at the Bowerman Mile last year, but he bounced back by winning the Diamond League final in Zurich ahead of Ingebrigtsen. 

Tefera won his second consecutive world indoor gold medal in Belgrade last March beating Ingebrigtsen with a championship record of 3:32.77. 

Abel Kipsang finished fourth in the 1500 metres at the Olympic Games and won the world indoor bronze medal in Belgrade. Kipsang set the world leading time with 3:31.01 at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi and won the first two Diamond League races in the 1500m in Doha beating Cheruiyot and in Birmingham. 

Cole Hocker makes his debut at the Prefontaine Classic The 20-year-old US middle-distance runner won three NCAA titles and finished sixth in the 1500 metres Olympic final. Last February he won two US indoor titles in the 1500m and the 3000m in Spokane. 

The line-up also features Australia’s Stewart McSweyn, who finished seventh in the Olympic final in the 1500m and set the national mile record clocking 3:48.37 in the Dream Mile in Oslo last year, Vincent Kibet Keter, who won the world under 20 title in Nairobi 2021, Clayton Murphy, Olympic 800m bronze medallist, Cooper Teare, who finished fourth in the 5000m at the US Olympic Trials, and Ollie Hoare, fifth in the world indoor final in the 1500m in Belgrade. 

Women’s 1500 metres: 

The women’s 1500 metres features nine athletes, who competed in the Olympic final in Tokyo, including gold and silver medallists Faith Kipyegon and Laura Muir. 

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Faith Kipyegon finished in the top two at every global championship she has competed in since 2014. The 28-year-old won gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and at the World Championships in London 2017 and won the Diamond League title in 2017. Kipyegon took a 18-month break to give birth to her daughter Alyn in 2018. Kypiegon made her come-back with a win in 3:59.04 at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic. She went on to win the world silver medal in Doha and defened her olympic title in Tokyo last year. She won the Prefontaine Classic and the Diamond League final in Zurich. This year she will make the eighth appearance of her career at the US meeting. In her seasonal debut she finished second in the 3000m in 8:38.05 in Doha.

Kipyegon will take on Laura Muir, who won the Olympic silver medal improving the British record to 3:54.60. Muir won her first global medals at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2018, claiming silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 3000m and the European gold medal in Berlin. She finished fifth in the world championships final in Doha in 3:55.76. In her seasonal debut the Scottish star won the 1500m in front of her home fans in the Diamond League in Birmingham in 4:02.81. 

Gudaf Tsegay will make the fifth appearance of her career. The Ethiopian athlete won bronze medals in the 1500m at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and the world indoor gold medal in the 1500m in Belgrade 2022. She broke the world indoor record in the 1500m clocking 3:53.09 in Liévin in 2021. 

Elle Purrier St. Pierre will make her debut at the Prefontaine Classic this year. The US runner won the world indoor silver medal in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and claimed victory in the 1500m US Olympic Trials final in her lifetime best of 3:58.03. 

The other Olympic finalists are Freweyni Hailu from Ethiopia, who finished fourth in the 1500m Olympic final in Tokyo last year in 3.57.60 and won the world indoor silver medal in the 800m in Belgrade, Gabriela Debues Stafford, who finished fifth in Tokyo, Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda (seventh), Nozomi Tanaka from Japan (eighth), Jessica Hull from Australia (eleventh) and Cory Ann McGee (twelfth). The line-up is rounded out by Italy’s Gaia Sabbatini, who won the European Under 23 title in Tallin and set the second fastest Italian time in history with 4:02.25 in the Olympic final in Tokyo, Josette Norris, who finished third in the Diamond League in Zurich last year, and Shannon Osika, who finished fourth in the Olympic Trials final in Eugene in 2021. 

Women’s 800 metres: 

Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson will take on world indoor champion Ajée Wilson. Hodgkinson arrives in Eugene in great shape one week after winning the 800m in Birmingham in 1:58.63. The 19-year-old British middle-distance runner finished fifth in her first appearance at the Prefontaine Classic in 1:58.30 last year. Hodgkinson won the Olympic silver medal improving Kelly Holmes’ British record and won the Diamond League final in Zurich in 1:57.88. Last winter she set the sixth fastest time in history indoors clocking 1:57.20 but she was forced to pull out of the World Indoor Championshsips due to a quad injury. 

Wilson won her first world indoor in Belgrade last March and the world outdoor bronze in Doha 2019. The other big names are olympic bronze medallist Raevyn Rogers, world champion Halimah Naakayi and Tokyo olympic finalists Jemma Reekie and Natoya Goule. 

Women’s 3000m steeplechase: 

World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech will go up against Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai and US Courtney Frerichs, who won gold and silver medals respectively at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year. 

Chepkoech broke the world record holder with 8:44.32 in Monaco in 2018. She won the world title in Doha 2019 and nine Wanda Diamond League races. 

Peruth Chemutai won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021 becoming the first Ugandan female athlete in history to win the Olympic gold medal. She will compete for the third time in her career at the Prefontaine Classic. 

US record holder Courtney Frerichs won two silver medals at the World Championships in London 2017 in 9:03.77 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 in 9:04.79. Frerichs became the first US runner to break the 9 minutes barrier, improving her own US record with 8:57.77 at last year’s edition of the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. 

Norah Jeruto from Kazakhstan won three Diamond League races last year in Doha (9:00.67), Eugene (8:53.65 Hawyard Field record) and Zurich (9:07.33). 

The field is rounded out by Val Constien, Olympic finalist and third place finisher at the US Olympic Trials, Geneviève Lalonde, who set the Canadian record in the Olympic final with 9:22.40, Mekides Abebe, who broke the Ethiopian record clocking 9:02.52 in Doha and finished fourth in the Olympic final in Tokyo last year, Winfred Mutile Yavi from Barhein, who finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Chelliphine Chepsol from Kenya, who won two world under 20 gold medals in 2016 and 2018 and at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in 2017 in 8:58.78, Roseline Chepngetich (world under 20 silver medallist in Eugene 2014), Jackline Chepkoech from Kenya (PB 9:08:54), world under 20 silver medallist and Olympic finalist Zerfe Wondmagegn and Workua Getachew from Ethiopia, who set her indoor PB of 8:41.95 in Val de Reuil last February. 

Men’s 5000 metres (Middle distance night on Friday): 

On Friday middle-distance night Olympic 10000m champion Joshua Cheptegei will attack his own 5000m world record of 12:35.36 set in the Monaco Wanda Diamond League meeting in 2020. Cheptegei’s attempt comes 50 years after US middle-distance legend Steve Prefontaine set the US record at the US Olympic Trials in 1972. The Friday’s programme also features the women’s 2 miles, the women’s 5000 metres and the men’s 5000 metres. 

Men’s 5000 metres (Diamond League programme on Saturday): 

Saturday’s Diamond League main programme will feature a star-studded men’s 5000 metres valid for  qualifying points for the Diamond League final. Olympic 10000m champion Selemon Barega from Ethiopia will go up head to head against Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda, Berihu Aregawi and Getnet Wale from Ethiopia, and Paul Chelimo from the USA. 

Barega won the world silver medal in the 5000m in Doha 2019, the Olympic gold medal in the 10000m in Tokyo 2021 beating Cheptegei and the world indoor title in the 3000m in Belgrade 2022.

Ahmed claimed the World Championships bronze medal in Doha 2019 in the 5000m in 13:01.11 and  Olympic silver in Tokyo over this distance in 12:58.61. 

Kiplimo won the Olympic 10000m medal in Tokyo and the world half marathon gold medal in 2020. The Ugandan runner holds the world record of 57:31 in the half marathon, the national record of 7:26.64 in the 3000m and PBs of 12:48.63 in the 5000m and 26:33.93 in the 10000m. 

Chelimo won the Olympic 5000m bronze medal in Tokyo beating Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli in a a very close sprint with a dive at the finish-line. 

The Ethiopian contingent is formed by Berihu Aregawi, 2021 Wanda Diamond League winner in Zurich, Getnet Wale, winner in the 3000m steeplechase in 2019 and fourth over this distance at the World Championships in Doha and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrihwet. 

Women’s 5000 metres: 

Olympic 10000 bronze medallist Letesenbet Gidey will make an attempt to break her own world record of 14:06.62 set in Valencia in 2020. 

Gidey holds two more world records in the 10000m (29:01:03 in Hengelo 2021) and in the half marathon (1:02:52 in Valencia 2021). 

Gidey will take Ethiopian 3000m record holder Ejgayehu Taye, Winny Chebet and world under 20 champion Teresiah Muthoni Gateri. 

Women’s 2 miles: 

Burundi’s Francine Nyonsaba will chase the world record in the women’s two miles currently held by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar with 8:58:58 since 2007. Nyonsaba won the 2 miles race at last year’s edition of the Prefontaine Classic in 9:00.75 and three more Diamond League races in the 3000m in Paris (8:19.08), in the 5000m in Brussels (14:25.34) and in Zurich (14:28.98) claiming the Diamond Trophy. She crowned a successful 2021 season with the world record of 5:21.56 in the 2000m in the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Zagreb. 

The line-up also features world 5000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen from Germany, former 5000m world under 20 champion Beatrice Chebet and Edinah Jebitok from Kenya. 

The men’s and women’s 10000m, which will serve as the selection races for the US team for the World Championships in Eugene, will also take place on Friday night. 

Women’s high jump: 

World indoor gold medallist Yaroslava Mahuchik will headline the women’s high jump line-up. The 20-year-old Ukrainian jumper has reached the podium in every single championship event she has competed in since 2019, when she won the world silver medal breaking the world under 20 record with 2.04m in Doha and the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo. In last year’s edition of the Wanda Diamond League Mahuchik won two competitions in Stockolm (2.03m) and Brussels (2.00m) and finished second in the Zurich final with 2.03m. 

She won the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade 2022 with a world leading mark of 2.02m after fleeing her war-torn homeland and dedicated her title to the Ukrainian people. She travelled 2000 km to reach Belgrade. 

Mahuchik will take on Nicola McDermott Olyslagers from Australia, who won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo with the Oceanian record of 2.02m. Olyslagers set her seasonal best of 1.94m at the Australian Championships in Sydney last April. 

The hopes of the US fans will be carried by Vashti Cunningham, who made her breakthrough at international level in 2016 when she won the world indoor gold medal in Portland. Cunningham has won 11 US titles, the world outdoor bronze medal in Doha 2019 and finished sixth in the Tokyo Olympic final last year. 

Cunningham had to settle with second place behind Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko after the jump-off in last year’s edition of the Prefontaine Classic. Gerashchenko, who finished fourth at the 2021 Olympic Games, will also join the field alongside her compatriot Yuliya Levchenko, who won the world outdoor silver medal in London 2017, Nadezhda Dubovitskaya, world bronze medallist with 1.98m and Italy’s Elena Vallortigara, who placed sixth at the World Indoor Championships with 1.92m.  

Women’s long jump: 

Ivana Spanovic Vuleta will face US rising star Tara Davis. The 31-year-old Serbian jumper won her second consecutive world indoor gold medal in front of her home fans at the Stark Arena in Belgrade with a world leading mark of 7.06m, her best indoor performance since her lifetime best of 7.24m set at the European Indoor Championships in 2017 in the Serbian capital. Vuleta competed in four editions of the Olympic Games, won the Olympic bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and finished fourth in Tokyo last year, won two bronze medals in Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015 and the European outdoor gold medal in Amsterdam 2016. 

Tara Davis will make her first debut at the Prefontaine Classic. Davis broke the NCAA records last year with 6.93m indoors and 7.14m outdoors and won the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles and finished second with 7.04m the US Trials in Eugene in 2021. 

The other athletes to watch are Ese Brume from Nigeria, who won bronze medals at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and holds the best PB in the field with 7.17m, Khaddi Sagnia from Sweden, European Indoor bronze medal in Belgrade, and Quanesha Burks, NCAA champion in 2015. 

©2022 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.