03 JUN 2009 General News Eugene, Oregon

World's jump stars to converge on Eugene - IAAF World Athletics Tour

Andrey Silnov jumps his way into the men's Olympic high jump final (Getty Images)Andrey Silnov jumps his way into the men's Olympic high jump final (Getty Images) © Copyright
Mano a mano, head to head, No. 1 vs. No. 2.  However you say it, all the jumps at the 35th Prefontaine Classic on 7 June will feature intense competition among athletes who are leading the world in their events.

The Prefontaine Classic is a Grand Prix status event as part of the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Tour.

Silnov returns to action

Take the men's High Jump.  Not only is the reigning Olympic and Prefontaine Classic champion Andrey Silnov in the field, but so is American outdoor world leader Andra Manson (2.35m/7-8 1/2), Eugene hometown favorite Jesse Williams (No. 2 at 2.34m/7-8), Russia's Ivan Ukhov (No. 3 at 2.34m), and Germany's Raul Spank (No. 4 at 2.31m/7-7).  Add in 2008 Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason of Great Britain, bronze medalist Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia, and reigning World Champion Donald Thomas of Bahamas into the mix, and you have the best High Jump field ever assembled on American soil- underline, ever.

Saladino vs. Phillips again in the Long Jump...

In the men's Long Jump, it's reigning Olympic and Prefontaine Classic champion Irving Saladino of Panama, the current world-leader, against No. 2 on the world list, Dwight Phillips, the 2004 Olympic and 2003 & 2005 World Champion.  The distance separating them at the moment.. two centimetres, or 3/4 of an inch.  Saladino jumped 8.56m/28-1 at Hengelo on Monday, and Phillips was just behind at the same venue with 8.54m/28-1/4. Their head-to-head heroics signalled a return to the glory years of long jumping as Phillips became the first man to jump 28 feet and lose since 1999. Lest they focus on each other too much, current No. 3 in the world, Yahya Berrabah of Morocco is also in the field.

... Reese vs. Jimoh in the women's Long Jump

In the women's Long Jump, the current world leader is matched against the current No. 2 in the world (have we said that before?).  Americans Brittney Reese and Funmi Jimoh are atop the list, Reese with a jump of 7.06m/23-2, and Jimoh just behind at 6.96m/22-10. Olympic heptathlon silver medallist Hyleas Fountain will also compete.

The men's Pole Vault features Olympic silver medallist, Yevgeniy Lukyanenko of Russia, who will face American Derek Miles who finished fourth in Beijing, and an international field that includes Daichi Sawano of Japan, Alhaji Jeng of Sweden, and 2007 Prefontaine Classic champion Giovanni Lanaro of Mexico.

With 16 events announced, the count now stands at 26 athletes who won individual gold, silver, or bronze medals at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Organisers for the IAAF

HIGH JUMP (MEN)

Jesse Williams
Andrey Silnov (Russia)
Raul Spank (Germany)
Ivan Ukhov (Russia)
Yaroslav Rybakov (Russia)
Andra Manson
Dusty Jonas
Donald Thomas (Bahamas)
Germaine Mason (Great Britain)
Jamie Nieto

LONG JUMP (MEN)

Irving Saladino (Panama)
wight Phillips
Yayah Berrabah (Morocco)
Miguel Pate
Fabrice Lapierre (Australia)
Brian Johnson
Trevell Quinley
Matthew Turner

LONG JUMP (WOMEN)

Brittney Reese
Funmi Jimoh
Knjesa Balta (Estonia)
Tianna Madison
Yelena Sokolova (Russia)
Hyleas Fountain
Grace Upshaw
Tabia Charles (Canada)
Jovanne Jarrett
Brianna Glenn

POLE VAULT (MEN)

Evgenyi Lukyanenko (Russia)
Alhaji Jeng (Sweden)
Derek Miles
Jacob Pauli
Tim Mack
Giovanni Lanaro (Mexico)
Daichi Sawano (Japan)
Jeremy Scott