Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon will be the home of track and field this season, starting with this weekend’s Prefontaine Classic, the world’s premier annual track and field meet.
The Diamond League competition will air live on NBC Sports Saturday – CNBC from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC from 4:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and all streaming at NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports App and Peacock.
This year’s entry fields include 16 individual Olympic gold medalists, all bidding to return to Hayward later this summer for the USATF Outdoor Championships in June and/or the inaugural World Championships taking place in the United States in July.
Events begin Friday on USATF.TV with the US Men’s and Women’s 10,000 Meter Championships for World Championship spots. World record attempts follow in the women’s 2 mile and 5000 m and men’s 5000 m.
Saturday will be the star-studded individual day of athletics competitions this year.
Among the headliners: Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herahwho won the 100m and 200m gold medals at the last two Olympics and ran the second fastest 100m in history at last year’s Pre Classic, five hundredths behind Florence Griffith-Joynerworld record.
Thompson-Herah could break the record again against a 100-yard field, inclusive Sha’Carri Richardsonwho won the US Olympic Trials was then disqualified for testing positive for marijuana and missing the Tokyo Games.
World records are also in danger in the men’s pole vault (Sweden Mondo Duplantis) and shot put (American Ryan Crouser). Winners of several events, including the women’s 100-meter hurdles and 3000-meter steeplechase, are likely to become favorites for the World Championships.
Here are the pre-classic entry lists. Here is the schedule of events (all Easter times):
10:30pm – Women’s 10,000m (US Championships)
11:15 – Men’s 10,000m (US Championships)
11:55 – Women’s 2 mile
00:12 – 5000m women
12:35 – Men’s 5000m
15:20 – Women’s high jump
3:29 – 1500m men
3:33 – Women’s long jump
3:41 – Women’s Para 100m T63
3:49 – Men’s Para 400m T62
3:56 – Men’s Pole Vault
4:04 – Men’s 400m hurdles
4:10 – 5000m men
4:33 – Women’s 100m
4:38 – Women’s Discus
4:43 – Women’s 100m hurdles
4:49 – 1500m women
5 – 400m men
5:04 – Men’s shot put
5:06 – 800m women
5:14 – Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
5:33 – 200m women
5:39 – Men’s Mile
5:52 – 100m men
Here are nine events to watch (stats via Tilastopaja.org and World Athletics):
Men’s 10,000m – Friday 11:15pm ET
The top three qualify for the World Championships in July if they have the standard of 27:28. The top five from last year’s US Olympic Trials are in, led by Olympians Grant fisherman (fifth in Tokyo), Woody Kincaid (15.) and Yeah Klecker (16th). The field also includes the two-time Olympic champion Lopez Lomong and fellow veterans Ben Truea two-time World Championship runner who also finished fourth, fifth, and sixth at Olympic Trials.
Women’s 2 mile – Friday, 11:55 p.m. ET
Billed as a world record attempt for Burundi Francine Niyonsaba, which would target 8:58.58. Niyonsaba ran 9:00.75 at last year’s Pre Classic, the second-best time in history. This race also includes the Tokyo Olympic 5000m and 10,000m winners Sifan Hasan the Netherlands.
Men’s Pole Vault – Saturday, 3:56 p.m. ET
every time Mondo Duplantis starts, the world record is in danger. He has broken the overall record four times (all indoor) since the beginning of 2020 and also broken it Sergey Bubka‘s outdoor record in 2020. At Pre, Duplantis could be pushed by fellow Olympic medalists from France Renaud Lavillenie and american Chris Nilsen.
Women’s 100m – Saturday, 4:33 p.m. ET
Thompson-Herah has run 10.89, 10.93 and 10.94 this season, so challenging Flo-Jo’s world record 10.49 might be a little too much to ask for early in the campaign. The better chance could be at the World Championships in July. She will still be a favorite here considering her main competitor, the pawn Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, runs the 200m instead. Richardson is ranked 57th in the world for the past nine months with a personal best of 11:14. She drove for the first time since September last Saturday. Her work is cut out against Thompson-Herah plus Brit Dina Asher Smith and jamaican Shericka Jackson.
Women’s 100-meter hurdles – Saturday, 4:43 p.m. ET
Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn from Puerto Rico. World Champion Nia Ali (in her first Diamond League since her 2019 world title and 2021 birth) and Danielle Williams from Jamaica. world record holder Keni Harrison. Camacho-Quinn, unbeaten apart from a DQ in 2021, has a DNF and a second in her last two races.
Men’s Shot Put – Saturday, 5:04 p.m. ET
All three Olympic medalists, led by Americans Ryan Crouser, the two-time Olympic champion and world record holder. Crouser broke the world record in Eugene at last year’s Olympic Trials. At the World Indoor Championships in March, he lost for the first time since 2019. The man who surpassed him, Brazilian Darlan RomaniShe was in the pre field but retired.
Women’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase – Saturday, 5:14 p.m. ET
Three of the five fastest women in history. Plus Uganda Peruth Chemutai, which lowered her national record by 6.89 seconds for a stunning Olympic title. American Emma Coburnthe 2017 World Champion, is skiing her first steeple since the Olympic finals, where she fell over a barrier on the last lap out of competition when she crossed the finish line in 14th and was later disqualified for going off the track mid-stumble. Courtney Frerichsthe Olympic silver medalist, who lowered her American record at pre last year, is also riding her first steeple since last summer.
Men’s Mile – Saturday, 5:39 p.m. ET
Feld has the reigning Olympic champion (Jacob Ingebrigtsen of Norway) and the reigning world champion (Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya). But the fastest man in the world this year is Kenyan Abel Kipsangwho finished fourth at the Olympics and won the first two Diamond League 1500 meters that season. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, was originally fielded for his 2022 debut but pulled out with a knee injury. Centrowitz hopes to return soon, his agent said on Tuesday.
Men’s 100m – Saturday, 5:52 p.m. ET
The field scored a hit with the surprise Olympic gold medalist Marcel Jacobs‘Injury Retreat. Still contains Christian Kohlman in his biggest race since winning the 2019 world title, after which he missed the Olympics due to a ban for missing drug tests. Trayvon Bromell, the fastest man in the world last year, replaced Jacobs in the field. plus Erryon Knightonthe 18-year-old 200-meter phenom who could become the first high school student to break 10 seconds.
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