5 outstanding things to look out for at the Prefontaine Classic

5 outstanding things to look out for at the Prefontaine Classic

Abigael Wafula 08:40 - 24.05.2024

The Prefontaine Classic has set the stage for the most exciting match-ups you will not want to miss.

The Prefontaine Classic, a Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, Oregon, will be coming up on Saturday, May 25, having attracted strong fields and a clash of champions who will be fighting for top honours and eyeing Olympic qualification.

The likes of reigning world 800m champion Mary Moraa, world 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson, Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala, world cross country champion Beatrice Chebet and reigning Chicago Marathon champion Sifan Hassan will be in action ready to prove a point.

There will be outstanding things to look out for despite a few major withdrawals from the event, which always proves to be thrilling and has never disappointed. As the countdown continues, here is a list of things to look out for:

1) Mary Moraa vs Keely Hodgkinson

The women’s 800m at the Hayward Field will still be exciting to watch with the clash between Moraa and Hodgkinson despite the late withdrawal of Athing Mu due to an injury setback.

Moraa will be racing her third 800m race after dominating at the Kip Keino Classic and the Diamond League Meeting in Doha and she will be sure to continue her winning streak. Kisii Express has also worked on her speed with a couple of 400m races, with her latest being the 400m USTAF LA Grand Prix where she finished second.

Meanwhile, the Briton has yet to compete in her first 800m race and she will be testing herself at the event. She, however, seems to be in great shape after setting a 400m personal best time in her season opener in Italy.

2) Sha’Carri Richardson vs Elaine Thompson-Herah

Richardson has had an awful start to her season and is yet to win any race but she will have a chance for redemption before home crowd, competing in her first 100m race of the season after her fourth-place finish at the Diamond League final last season.

She started her campaign at the Diamond League Meeting in Xiamen, finishing second behind Australia’s 19-year-old Torrie Lewis in the 200m. She then proceeded to the Diamond League Meeting in Shanghai, where she faded to finish third in the same race, won by Great Britain’s Daryll Neita this time.

Meanwhile, double Olympic champion Thompson-Herah will be looking to open her season as she builds up to Olympic campaign. She rounded up her season at the Hayward Field last season, finishing third in the 100m. She has been down with injury but announced her comeback last season and she has plans to strike with a win.

3) Team Kenya’s 10,000m Olympic trials

The 10,000m, for both men and women will be very important for Kenyan athletes since it will be a determinant on whether they will get the golden chance of competing at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The women’s field is very rich, having attracted world 10km record holder Agnes Jebet, two-time world cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, Emmaculate Anyango, Lilian Kasait and Margaret Chelimo among other stars.

The men’s field is headlined by world number one Daniel Simiu, who will be battling it out with Nicholas Kimeli, Kibiwott Kandie and Stanley Waithaka among others.

4) Josh Kerr vs Jakob Ingebrigtsen

Kerr and Ingebrigtsen have exchanged words in recent months and Saturday will be the time to determine who the greater athlete is. Ingebrigtsen will be opening his season in the Bowerman Mile after having to push it forward due to an injury.

However, he has been training and is ready to take on his familiar foes. He takes on Brits Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman, who have silenced his 1500m prowess at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships. US record holder Yared Nuguse and 3000m steeplechase world record holder Lamecha Girma will also be in the mix.

5) Gudaf Tsegay eyes 10,000m world record

Tsegay is a woman on a mission as she looks to snatch the 10,000m world record from her compatriot Letesenbet Gidey. She took the 5000m world record from Faith Kipyegon last season, competing on the same track and she returns with greater goals in her mind.

She won the 1500m in her outdoor season opener at the Diamond League Meeting in Xiamen and in her indoor campaign, she was also on fire, winning silver in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships.