The world’s two best pole vaulters will bring their high-flying rivalry from the Olympics and World Championships to the Prefontaine Classic when the IAAF Diamond League reaches Eugene on 24-25 May.
Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris top a star-studded field in the first women’s pole vault competition at the Pre Classic since 2012.
Stefanidi is the world, Olympic and European champion and has dominated the pole vault for the past two years. The Greek vaulter owns a pair of IAAF Diamond League crowns and an undefeated streak that dates back just over a year.
With silver medals from the 2017 World Championships and 2016 Olympic Games, Morris is currently USA’s best vaulter. She is the last person to beat Stefanidi and became the third member of the exclusive five-metre club when setting an IAAF Diamond League record of 5.00m in Brussels in 2016. Head-to-head, Stefanidi owns a career 17-9 edge over Morris.
Holly Bradshaw finished sixth at the 2012 Olympics and fifth in Rio four years later. The 2013 European indoor champion holds the British record at 4.87m, which she set at the age of 20.
Germany’s Lisa Ryzih finished fifth at last year’s World Championships. She was the silver medallist behind Stefanidi at last year’s European Indoor Championships and at the 2016 European Championships.
Three-time Olympian Nichole Büchler of Switzerland cleared a PB of 4.80m at the 2016 World Indoor Championships to finish fourth on countback, matching the same height Stefanidi cleared to earn bronze.
Alysha Newman set a Canadian record of 4.75m to finish third at last year’s IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels behind Stefanidi and Morris.
USA’s Katie Nageotte was runner-up to Morris at the US Indoor Championships last year and recently improved her lifetime best to 4.76m.
Anzhelika Sidorova, who won the European title in 2014 and the European indoor title in 2015, set a lifetime best of 4.86m earlier this month.
Organisers for the IAAF
2018 IAAF Diamond League calendar
4 May – Doha, QAT
12 May – Shanghai, CHN
26 May – Eugene, USA
31 May – Rome, ITA
7 Jun – Oslo, NOR
10 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
30 Jun – Paris, FRA
5 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
13 Jul – Rabat, MAR
20 Jul – Monaco, MON
21-22 Jul – London, GBR
18 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
30 Aug – Zurich, SUI
31 Aug – Brussels, BEL