US sprinter Ameer Webb (© Getty Images)
Some of the sport’s most exciting new sprint talents will take on four former winners of the Prefontaine Classic 100m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 28 May.
USA’s Ameer Webb has already established himself as one to watch in 2016. A three-time winner of the NCAA 200m title – twice indoors and once outdoors – the 25-year-old has twice lowered his 200m PB this season, first with 19.91 at the Mt SAC Relays and then with 19.85 to win at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha.
Last month he set a wind-legal 100m PB of 10.03 and followed it one week later with a marginally wind-assisted 9.90 at the Mt SAC Relays.
Canada’s world bronze medallist Andre De Grasse won the 100m and 200m double at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field last year with wind-aided times of 9.75 and 19.58. He went on to win double gold at the Pan-American Games, then set a PB of 9.92 to earn bronze at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
These two rising stars will take on four men who have previously won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic and who, collectively, have won five of the six Diamond Race titles.
World silver medallist Justin Gatlin has won five times at the Prefontaine Classic – four in the 100m, including a wind-aided 9.76 in 2014, and once at 200m with a meeting record of 19.68.
Jamaica’s Asafa Powell has more sub-10-second clockings than anyone else in history. Winner of the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in 2006, Powell recently took the silver medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016.
Tyson Gay holds the North American record at 9.69. He also owns the fastest times ever seen at Hayward Field: a wind-aided 9.68 and a wind-legal 9.77. The 33-year-old won the 100m in Eugene last year.
Mike Rodgers won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in 2009, setting a PB of 9.94. He then bettered that time at the 2011 edition with 9.85 to finish second.
Su Bingtian finished third at last year’s Prefontaine Classic, becoming the first Chinese man to cover the distance within 10 seconds. It was a time he equalled in August in the semifinals at the World Championships in Beijing before going on to take the silver medal in the 4x100m. Earlier this year he set an Asian indoor 60m record of 6.50 at the World Indoor Championships.
Qatar’s Femi Ogunode is the current world leader at 9.91, equalling the Asian record he set last year. He won the 100m and 200m double at last year’s Asian Championships and ended his 2015 season with an Asian 200m record of 19.97 to win at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels.
Organisers for the IAAF
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL