For Ajee Wilson, this weekend will offer a chance at redemption.
She was sorely disappointed to miss the 800m final at the last edition of this event in 2014. The 21-year-old American is the fastest in the world this year over 800m – having run 2:00.09 to win the Millrose Games in New York last month – but that also was the case two years ago in Sopot.
Wilson is taking nothing for granted ahead of Saturday’s qualifying heats.
“I went to Sopot with the fastest time and I didn’t make it out of the heats, so it would be extra special if I could come through with the win here,” she said. “I would say it’s more pressure this time, seeing as it’s in the US. My Mom’s coming up, my coach, my teammate from Philly, so I definitely want to have a good showing.”
Wilson cruised to victory in 2:00.87 at the US Indoor Championships last weekend, and having already competed on the new track in the Oregon Convention Center, she appears to hold a distinct advantage over her foreign rivals.
“I love the colour of it, and the way the stadium is built it looks a lot shorter to me,” she said. “It’s incredible how they got it up and running, and I’m really glad they did because it’s a great track.”
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF