Brittney Reese wins the long jump in Eugene (© Getty Images)
Brittney Reese’s, the world’s best long jumper at present, is the latest star to headline a growing list of incredible fields on 30-31 May for the Prefontaine Classic, the first of two US legs of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.
Reese’s Olympic title is just one of six major gold medals in her collection. In Moscow last August she became the first woman to win the long jump at the IAAF World Championships three times, having also won the world indoor titles in 2010 and 2012. With a best of 7.25m, Reese is second to only Jackie Joyner-Kersee on the US all-time list.
Two of Reese’s best ever jumps have been set at Eugene. In 2011 she jumped 7.19m at Hayward Field to win the US title, then one year later leapt 7.15m to win the US Olympic Trials.
But she has only ever twice competed at the Prefontaine Classic, finishing sixth in 2009 and seventh in 2012. This year she wants to come out on top.
An Olympic-final quality field is confirmed to challenge Reese. Janay DeLoach Soukup won the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 after claiming silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships earlier in the year. She has shown unusual versatility, making the 60m hurdles final at the recent World Indoor Championships in Sopot.
Eloyse Lesueur is fresh off winning gold at the World Indoor Championships. The reigning European champion, Lesueur also holds the French indoor record at 6.90m.
Russia’s Darya Klishina is a two-time European indoor champion. The 23-year-old is one of a small handful of women to have jumped farther than seven metres both indoors and out.
Shara Proctor is the British record-holder indoors and outdoors. The 2012 world indoor bronze medallist won the Diamond Race in this event in 2013.
Serbian record-holder Ivana Spanovic earned bronze medals at last year’s World Championships and this year’s World Indoor Championships.
Although a major talent is ‘missing’, there is a good explanation. World silver medallist Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria is confirmed for the Pre Classic but has decided to concentrate on the 200m, an event in which she is also one of the best in the world.
The three fields already confirmed for the landmark 40th Pre Classic – the men’s shot, the women’s 3000m steeplechase and long jump – can claim the best in the world, and many more are expected for the iconic fixture.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep