Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix are set to go head-to-head over one lap of the track at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 30 May, after the meeting organisers announced their women’s 400m field on Wednesday (29).
Richards-Ross is the US record holder and the only US woman with two major gold medals in this event, having won at the London 2012 Olympic Games and 2009 IAAF World Championships.
She has also won this event five times at the Prefontaine Classic.
Felix owns four major championship gold medals, all at 200m, including one from the 2012 Olympics.
But Felix’s career shows incredible versatility, earning the silver medal at the 2011 IAAF World Championships over 400m and winning the Diamond Race 400m in 2010.
Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills won the Diamond Race last summer and she is a warrior in every sense, having battled breast cancer in 2012.
She has won eight of the past nine Jamaican 400m titles and is the reigning Pre Classic champion.
USA’s Francena McCorory won the world indoor 400m title last year and swept the US indoor and outdoor crowns in 2014.
McCorory also famously took the baton from Felix and then handed it to Richards-Ross at the 2012 Olympic Games to contribute to the USA winning the 4x400m.
Natasha Hastings has been a consummate relay runner for the USA, with only Richards-Ross and Felix having earned more than her four major medals and she is a former world youth and junior champion.
Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson was last year’s Commonwealth Games champion and was her nation’s best finisher at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, taking fourth place in 49.99.
Completing the field are Italy’s Libania Grenot, the 2014 European champion, and US indoor record-holder Phyllis Francis, a two-time NCAA champion for the University of Oregon who knows Hayward Field well as it was her home track while she was a student.
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September