Eugene, USAThe world famous Bowerman Mile at this Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic (4), the fourth stop on the Samsung Diamond League, is just one of two Mile races on offer to delight the annually packed spectator tribunes in Eugene, Oregon.
The Bowerman Mile, which will conclude the meeting’s competition timetable, is the designated Diamond Race, via which athletes can win points in the Mile/1500m category, which will help decide the overall season winner at these middle distance classic distances and the ownership of a spectacular Diamond Trophy and a 40,000 USD cash prize.
The Bowerman Mile contains 10 runners who have broken 3:50 in the Mile or the metric equivalent, 6 of the top 10 best milers in the world last year, and the reigning Olympic gold and silver medallists at 1500 metres:
Asbel Kiprop, Olympic champion, defending Bowerman Mile champion (Mile PB 3:48.50), Amine Laalou (1500m PB 3:29.53, equal to a 3:46.3 Mile), Silas Kiplagat (1500m PB 3:29.27, equal to a 3:45.9 mile), Gebremedhin Mekonnen (1500m PB 3:29.53 equal to a 3:46.3 mile), Daniel Komen, the Bowerman Mile recordholder in 3:48.28, Nick Willis, Olympic silver medallist at Beijing (1500m PB 3:32.17 equal to 3:49.2 mile), Caleb Ndiku, 18, World Junior 1500m champion (1500m PB 3:32.02 equal to 3:49.3 mile), Lopez Lomong, 1500m PB 3:32.20 equal to a 3:49.3 mile), Haron Keitany who was second at the Pre in 2009 in 3:48.78, Yenew Alimarew, just turned 21 last Friday, and already the 9th fastest in history at 3000 metres, and Russell Brown, who ran the fastest indoor mile in the world this past winter, enjoying a breakout season.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Prefontaine Classic also hosts another imperial race, the ‘International Mile’ which has attracted 2010 Pre winner Australia’s Ryan Gregson, who made a breakthrough last year to win the race in 3:53.19, to return to Eugene.
The Australian will face Kenya’s Gideon Gathimba who has strong credentials, having run a 3:50.53 mile in his career. Backing him up are former World 800m Champion Alfred Kirwa Yego (best = 3:50.8 mile), and six runners who have run under 3:57-flat in their careers. For those who love the mile, this will be a treat!
The International Mile field - Ryan Gregson (Australia), Gideon Gathimba (Kenya)
Alfred Kirwa Yego (Kenya), Nicholas Kemboi (Kenya), Will Leer (USA), David Torrence (USA), Evan Jager (USA), Mohammed Geleto (Ethiopia), Kyle Miller (USA), Belal Mansoor Ali (Bahrain), Ben Blankenship (USA), Jon Rankin (Cayman Islands)-pace.
Organisers for the IAAF