Walter Dix takes the win ahead of Tyson Gay in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene - Samsung Diamond League (© Kirby Lee)
USA’s Walter Dix has plenty of fond memories of competing in Eugene and will return on Saturday (1 June) for the Prefontaine Classic, the first US leg of the IAAF Diamond League.
Dix holds the meeting and stadium record in the 200m with 19.72, set at the 2010 edition of the Prefontaine Classic. In 2008 he won the US Trials 200m title at Hayward field before going on to take two bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics, then won the sprint double at the 2011 US Championships on the same Eugene track before taking two silver medals at the Daegu World Championships.
The 27-year-old will contest the 200m on Saturday, where he will be challenged by a strong Jamaican duo. Nickel Ashmeade was a World Championships finalist in 2011 and set a lifetime best of 19.85 in Zurich last year. Like Ashmeade, Jason Young missed out on making the Jamaican Olympic team last year, but three weeks after the national trials he smashed his PB by more than half a second with 19.86.
European champion Churandy Martina – who has made the 100m and 200m final at the past two Olympic Games – and European bronze medallist Jaysuma Saidy Ndure are the fourth and fifth men in the field with sub-20-second PBs.
Three more Americans complete the field – 2012 Olympian Maurice Mitchell, 2011 World Championships representative Jeremy Dodson, and Calesio Newman.
Carter v Gatlin in 100m
Jamaica’s World indoor silver medallist Nesta Carter, the fifth-fastest man in history, boasts the best PB of the 100m field and has already dipped under 10 seconds this year in Doha.
But also in the field is Olympic bronze medallist Justin Gatlin, whose PB of 9.79 is just 0.01 slower than Carter’s. The US sprinter is undefeated in the 100m this year, winning in Doha and Beijing with sub-10-second clocking on each occasion.
The 100m field also includes Olympic finalist Ryan Bailey, who ran 9.88 on three occasions last year. Another American in the field is Mike Rodgers, best known for winning the 60-meter silver medal in the 2010 World Indoor Championships.
Four from the Caribbean complete the 100m line-up – 2008 Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson, fellow sub-10 Trinidadian Keston Bledman, and 2007 World silver medallist Derrick Atkins of The Bahamas.
Organisers for the IAAF
2013 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep