30 APR 2014 General News Eugene, USA

Aregawi leads Eugene’s best ever 1500m field – IAAF Diamond League

Abeba Aregawi winning at the 2013 IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York (Victah Sailer)Abeba Aregawi winning at the 2013 IAAF Diamond League meeting in New York (Victah Sailer) © Copyright

Recently the Prefontaine Classic was proud to announce their best ever field for the iconic Bowerman mile. Organisers of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene have now matched it with their ‘best ever’ field in the women’s 1500m on May 31.

The landmark 40th Pre Classic will be held at the historic Hayward Field. The women’s 1500m is filled with gold medallists and Diamond Trophy winners – some runners even have both— and every entrant has made an Olympic or world final in some event.

Abeba Aregawi is best in the world by many measures. She won gold medals at the IAAF World Championships last year and at the recent IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot.

Last year she also won the IAAF Diamond Trophy after ending the season undefeated in her specialist event. The Swede has the fastest personal best in the field at 3:56.54.

USA’s Jenny Simpson won gold at the 2011 World Championships and claimed silver in Moscow last year behind Aregawi. The 27-year-old is one of few women to have run the 1500m faster than four minutes at Hayward Field.

Last year’s Pre Classic winner, Hellen Obiri, not only set a stadium record of 3:58.58, but she also set a US all-comers’ record. The Kenyan is the 2012 world indoor 3000m champion and finished second in that event at this year’s championships in Sopot.

Fellow Kenyan Faith Kipyegon has a unique collection of gold medals. She won the 2011 world youth and 2012 world junior titles with championship records and owns world junior cross-country titles from 2011 and 2013. The 20-year-old last year set an African junior record and senior Kenyan record of 3:56.98.

Another Kenyan, 2008 Olympic champion Nancy Langat, was the initial Diamond Trophy winner in this event in 2010. Now 32, her fastest time of 2013 was set at the Pre Classic when finishing third behind Obiri and Kipyegon.

There is another reigning Diamond Race winner and world champion ready to race in Eugene, but her biggest accomplishments so far have been in the 800m. Still, Kenya’s Eunice Sum is no stranger to running longer distances, as she has a 1500m best of 4:02.05 and a 3000m PB of 8:53.12, set at the 2012 Pre Classic.

USA’s Brenda Martinez is another World Championships medallist in the 800m with world-class 1500m talent. She won bronze in last year’s World Championships 800m and recorded USA’s second-fastest 1500m time last year with 4:00.94.

Still just a teenager, 19-year-old Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia earned the silver medal at last month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships, making her the youngest medallist in Sopot.

Britain’s 2011 world silver medallist Hannah England and five-time US champion Treniere Moser are also in the field.

Organisers for the IAAF

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2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar

Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep