Four of the superstars of the sport of track & field Athletics, Kenenisa Bekele, Yelena Isinbayeva, Tyson Gay, and Sanya Richards, will compete in the 36th annual Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, 3 July 2010. These Fabulous Four are Ambassadors of the inaugural IAAF Diamond League circuit that kicks off in Doha, Qatar on 14 May and arrives in Eugene the first weekend in July.
Bekele and Isinbayeva, in particular, have dominated their events during the first decade of the new millennium, and each was recently named Athlete of the Decade by Track & Field News magazine.
• Bekele, the 27-year-old from Ethiopia, has won three Olympic and five outdoor World Championships gold medals on the track, 11 individual senior World Cross Country Championship titles, and perhaps most significantly, amongst his current World records holds those for the outdoor 5000 and 10,000 metres. In 2008, Bekele ran the 4th fastest 10,000m of all-time (26:25.97) at the Pre Classic; he will race in the 5000 at this year's meet.
• Isinbayeva, also 27, has won two Olympic and five World Championships golds (3 indoor/ two outdoor) for Russia, and has set 27 World records (15 outdoors; 12 Indoors; 17 overall) in the Pole Vault. The 2010 Prefontaine Classic will be Isinbayeva's first appearance outdoors in the United States as she continues her climb towards becoming history's first female 17-foot vaulter.
• Gay was the double gold medallist at 100 and 200 metres at the 2007 Osaka World Championships. He has set three American Records in the 100, including the current 9.69 seconds, and is the third fastest performer ever in the 200 metres, the distance he will race in Eugene.
• Richards won World Championships gold in the 400m this past year in Berlin. The Pre Classic favourite, who just turned 25 last week, has run under 50-seconds an astonishing 41 times, more than any other one-lapper in history.
Click here to go to the full press release on the central IAAF Diamond League website
2010 IAAF Diamond League Calendar
Doha (QAT) – Fri 14 May
Shanghai (CHN) – Sun 23 May
Oslo (NOR) – Fri 4 June
Rome (ITA) – Thu 10 June
New York (USA) – Sat 12 June
Eugene (USA) – Sat 3 July
Lausanne (SUI) – Thu 8 July
Gateshead (GBR) – Sat 10 July
Paris (FRA) – Fri 16 July
Monaco (MON) – Thu 22 July
Stockholm (SWE) – Fri 6 Aug
London (GBR) – Fri 13 and Sat 14 Aug
Zürich (SUI) – Thu 19 Aug
Brussels (BEL) – Fri 27 Aug