The Prefontaine Classic fields are so stacked that it is the best Diamond League meet so far this season, even with the absences of Allyson Felix, Genzebe Dibaba, Matthew Centrowitz and Galen Rupp.
The Diamond League’s lone trip to the U.S. doubles as the best gauge of form this spring ahead of the U.S. Olympic Trials (July 1-10).
The annual meet in Eugene, Ore., is a Friday-Saturday affair:
USATF.TV — 11:20 p.m. ET
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra — 3:30-5 p.m. ET
NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra — 5-6 p.m. ET
Here are the start lists. Here is the schedule of events (all times Eastern):
9:55 p.m. — Men’s hammer throw
11:11 — Women’s long jump
11:15 — Women’s discus
11:18 — Men’s shot put
11:37 — Women’s 800m
11:53 — Men’s 10,000m
12:27 a.m. (Saturday) — Women’s 5000m
3:15 p.m. — Men’s triple jump
3:18 — Men’s pole vault
3:33 — Men’s 110m hurdles
3:42 — Men’s mile
3:53 — Women’s 100m
4:03 — Men’s 400m hurdles
4:09 — Women’s high jump
4:12 — Women’s 3000m steeplechase
4:26 — Men’s 800m
4:32 — Men’s javelin
4:35 — Men’s 400m
4:43 — Men’s 5000m
5:04 — Women’s 200m
5:13 — Men’s 100m
5:22 — Women’s 1500m
5:33 — Women’s 100m hurdles
5:42 — Women’s 400m
5:51 — Men’s Bowerman Mile
Here are five events to watch (all times Eastern):
Women’s long jump — Friday, 11:11 p.m.
The most loaded field event of the meet. It includes five of the six women to earn medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2015 World Championships, with the lone absentee a Russian who is ineligible to compete due to the country’s ban.
It’s headlined by Olympic champion Brittney Reese and World champion Tianna Bartoletta, both Americans. There’s also reigning World silver and bronze medalists Shara Proctor of Great Britain and Ivana Španović of Serbia and U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Janay DeLoach.
Men’s pole vault — Saturday, 3:18 p.m.
The U.S. is suddenly a factor in this event, after Sam Kendricks became the first American man to win a Diamond League contest on May 14 in Shanghai. The 23-year-old Kendricks has the highest clearance in the world this year at 5.92 meters, higher than anybody from the 2015 World Championships and any American since 2008.
In Eugene, Kendricks will face Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France and World champion Shawn Barber of Canada in a rematch of Shanghai.
Women’s high jump — Saturday, 4:09 p.m.
World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham is the star here. The 18-year-old daughter of retired NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham could be an Olympic medal favorite, especially if Russians aren’t allowed to compete in Rio.
Russians took two of three medals at the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 World Championships.
Without them in Eugene, Cunningham could very well beat a field that includes 2013 World bronze medalist Ruth Beitia of Spain and 2005 World silver medalist Chaunté Lowe, a strong opponent for Cunningham at the Olympic Trials on July 3. Lowe is 14 years older than Cunningham. Beitia is 19 years older.
Men’s 100m — Saturday, 5:13 p.m.
Three of the five fastest men of all time line up here in Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, who were all born in 1982 and likely all seeking one last Olympics in Rio.
Joining them is Andre De Grasse, the 21-year-old Canadian who shared bronze at August’s World Championships behind Usain Bolt and Gatlin.
Gatlin will be the favorite, given he is 31-2 in individual sprints since the start of 2014 with the only losses coming to Bolt at Worlds last summer.
Women’s 100m hurdles — Saturday, 5:33 p.m.
With six Americans in the field of eight, this is arguably the closest event to a U.S. Olympic Trials field. It includes six of the seven fastest women in the world last year.
Only the top three at the Olympic Trials on July 8 make the team for Rio. The top finishers Saturday among 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, 2013 World champion Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Keni Harrison, Sharika Nelvis and Jasmin Stowers will become favorites to make Team USA.
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