For fans of headtohead competition and fast times, the women’s 800 and men’s 1000 metres at the Prefontaine Classic – Samsung Diamond League on 3 July aim to please.
In the women’s 800 metres, it’s a clash of gold medallists, with Beijing Olympic gold medallist Pamela Jelimo racing against fellow Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei, the Osaka World Championships gold medallist, Bahrain’s Berlin World Championships 1500 gold medallist Maryam Jamal, and World Indoor 800m champion Mariya Savinova of Russia.
Add in to this 800m, the Americans Anna Pierce, who ran to a PB of 1:58.80 when brilliantly winning the Golden League race in Paris last summer, and surprise 2009 Pre Classic champion Maggie Vessey, whose 1:57.84 win at the Super Grand Prix in Monaco made her the second fastest runner of last year, and Jenny Meadows of Great Britain, the World Indoor silver and outdoor bronze medallist, and you have the makings of an epic contest.
The men’s 1000m is not a Diamond League event but it also figures a major match-up between hometown hero Nick Symmonds, a World Championship finalist at 800m and Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, the double World Indoor 800m champion, and previous Pre Classic champion Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya, the 2007 World 800m champion, who took silver last year in Berlin and was also the Olympic bronze medallist. Kaki has asked for a very fast pace (1:45 at 800 meters), and the best time ever recorded on American soil - 2:15.97 - is in serious jeopardy.
Symmonds’ 1000m PB is 2:17.10, Kaki’s best is 2:13.93, while Yego has not official 1000m PB.
Samsung Diamond League