Noah Lyles at the 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Szekesfehervar (Organisers) © Copyright
Preview Eugene, USA

Continental Tour Gold set to start with a bang in Eugene

Several top-quality clashes are set to highlight the USATF Grand Prix – the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold standard meeting of 2021 – on Saturday (24).

Global gold medallists such as Allyson Felix, Noah Lyles, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Donavan Brazier, Michelle Carter and Christian Taylor are among the athletes heading to Eugene’s Hayward Field – stadium for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 – as the iconic venue hosts its first professional competition since recent renovation.

Both women’s and men’s 100m events are on the programme, which is being held as part of the Oregon Relays, and the women’s entry list includes the USA’s multiple world and Olympic gold medallist Felix as one of 12 sub-11-second sprinters. Joining her are Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta of the USA, Ivory Coast's world indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure, Nigeria’s world and Olympic medallist Blessing Okagbare, 2019 US champion Teahna Daniels, double world U20 champion Briana Williams and 2016 world U20 champion Candace Hill.

World 200m champion Lyles is back in action after opening his season over 100m last weekend and the American forms part of a men’s field also featuring world leader Ronnie Baker, who ran 9.94 in Texas at the end of March, plus 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell as he makes his 2021 100m debut.

Olympic 400m champion Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas races over one lap against 2017 world champion Phyllis Francis and world relay gold medallists Wadeline Jonathas and Jessica Beard, while the men’s line-up includes Michael Norman, who ran 43.45 in 2019 to become the joint fourth fastest ever 400m sprinter, plus his training partner Rai Benjamin, who won world 400m hurdles silver in Doha.

Taylor in triple jump, Price and Andersen in hammer

Four-time world and two-time Olympic champion Taylor leads the men’s triple jump field, while in-form Thea LaFond of Dominica, the USA’s Tori Franklin and Jamaica’s Commonwealth champion Kimberly Williams are entered in the women’s event.

DeAnna Price contests the hammer, fresh from improving her own North American record to 78.60m, and she will face Brooke Andersen, who that same weekend became the second US woman in history to throw beyond 78 metres with 78.18m.

In the women’s shot put, Carter faces Jamaica's world silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd, US champion Chase Ealey, world fourth-placer Maggie Ewen and Olympic fifth-placer Raven Saunders.

The USA’s Brazier, the world 800m champion, tests himself over 1500m and he will line up alongside Australia’s Oceania indoor record-holder Oliver Hoare, the USA’s Bryce Hoppel and Canada’s Justyn Knight. The two-lap event, meanwhile, features 2016 world indoor bronze medallist Erik Sowinski, while 3000m steeplechase entries include the USA’s Hillary Bor, Stanley Kebenei and Haron Lagat.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn returns to the track after her impressive time of 12.32 to move to equal seventh on the world 100m hurdles all-time list in Florida on Saturday. She races against the USA’s world 400m hurdles silver medallist Sydney McLaughlin, who improved her 100m hurdles PB to 12.92 recently to become the first woman to break 13.00 for the 100m hurdles, 23.00 for 200m and 53.00 for the 400m hurdles, and Nigeria’s Commonwealth champion Tobi Amusan.

France’s Jimmy Vicaut, who only raced once in 2020 and opens his season in Eugene, is among the men’s 200m entries along with Josephus Lyles, Jereem Richards and Ameer Webb.

The women’s 800m includes the USA’s world silver medallist Raevyn Rogers, Canada’s 2015 world silver medallist Melissa Bishop and Britain’s Jemma Reekie, whose training partner Laura Muir – the double world indoor medallist – contests the 1500m where she will be joined by the USA’s 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson.

Hall returns to track action

In the women’s 5000m, the USA’s London Marathon runner-up Sara Hall is entered for her first track race since 2016 and will line up alongside Britain’s European indoor 3000m champion Amy-Eloise Markovc, Australian record-holder Jessica Hull and Britain’s European 5000m silver medallist Eilish McColgan.

The USA’s 2016 world indoor champion Vashti Cunningham and world and Olympic finalist Inika McPherson contest the women’s high jump, while the men’s long jump features Cunningham’s fellow 2016 world indoor gold medallist Marquis Dendy.

Grenada’s world champion Anderson Peters leads the javelin entries, while Rudy Winkler – third on the US all-time list with 80.70m – goes in the hammer.

Fans in the USA will be able to watch the action live via NBCSN while coverage will also be available on USATF.tv and a live stream of the meeting will be available in some territories via the World Athletics YouTube channel. Further broadcast information will be included in our pre-meeting ‘how to follow’ guide.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics