Tianna Bartoletta at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Kirby Lee)
The Prefontaine Classic long jump field includes the three Olympic medallists from last year as they clash once again at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 26 May.
The thrilling battle in the Olympic long jump final resulted with lifetime bests from two of the medallists and a podium full of the three most recent Pre Classic winners.
World champion Tianna Bartoletta and seven-time global champion Brittney Reese completed the first US 1-2 finish at the Olympic Games with just two centimetres separating the pair.
Bartoletta won two gold medals in Rio – first in the long jump and then in the 4x100m, running the first leg on a team that produced the second-fastest time in history.
Bartoletta’s amazing timing for long jump bests in big meets dates back to 2005, when as a 19-year-old she won the world title in Helsinki with a PB of 6.89m. A year later, she scored an indoor best of 6.80m to win the world indoor title. Her gold medal at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 came with a lifetime best of 7.15m, which she added two centimetres to when winning gold in Rio.
Reese is the most accomplished jumper in the field. She has eight major medals – seven of them gold. Last year she won a third world indoor title and went on to jump a lifetime best of 7.31m at Hayward Field to win her 10th US title.
She took the lead in round five in Rio with 7.09m and looked poised to become the first woman to retain an Olympic long jump crown. After being passed by Bartoletta, Reese improved in the last round to 7.15m to finish two centimetres away from gold.
The third medallist from Rio is Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic. After being displaced from the gold medal position in Rio – first by Reese, then Bartoletta – Spanovic responded with the two longest performances of her career but still wound up with the bronze medal. It matched her finishes from the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, won by Reese and Bartoletta, respectively.
The world indoor silver medallist won the Diamond Race last year after an incredibly consistent season. She improved her lifetime best to 7.24m last month when winning the European indoor title on home soil in Belgrade.
Lorraine Ugen will also return to the Pre Classic. The world indoor bronze medallist jumped a British indoor record of 6.97m to earn silver at last month’s European Indoor Championships.
Estonia’s Ksenija Balta finished sixth in Rio last summer and placed fifth at last month’s European Indoor Championships with 6.79m. As well as the long jump, the 30-year-old holds Estonian records for 60m, 100m, 200m and the 60m hurdles.
Darya Klishina has made every major world final since 2010 and won the European indoor title in 2011 and 2013.
Organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar
5 May – Doha, QAT
13 May – Shanghai, CHN
27 May – Eugene, USA
8 Jun – Rome, ITA
15 Jun – Oslo, NOR
18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
1 Jul – Paris, FRA
6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
9 Jul – London, GBR
16 Jul – Rabat, MAR
21 Jul – Monaco, MON
20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
24 Aug – Zurich, SUI
1 Sep – Brussels, BEL