Gong Lijiao winning the shot put at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
The winners of the past five global titles will clash in the women’s shot put at the Prefontaine Classic – the seventh meeting of this year’s IAAF Diamond League – in Stanford on 30 June.
World champion Gong Lijiao won her second IAAF Diamond League trophy last year. The Chinese thrower’s first US appearance came at the 2013 Pre Classic, when she set a meeting record of 20.12m, only to see it bettered by two centimetres by Valerie Adams a few minutes later.
Michelle Carter won Olympic gold in the women’s shot put – the first ever by a US athlete – in 2016 with a PB of 20.63m. Earlier that year she had won the world indoor title, setting a PB on that occasion too with an indoor best of 20.21m.
Christina Schwanitz returned last year from a maternity break and produced a best of 20.06m. In 2015 the German won the world title and the Diamond League trophy. Although she has been among the world’s elite for almost 15 years, this will be her first outdoor competition in the US.
Hungary’s world silver and Olympic bronze medallist Anita Marton won her first major gold last year at the World Indoor Championships.
Raven Saunders, the youngest in the field, leads the US contingent. She finished fifth at the 2016 Olympics at age 20 with a PB of 19.35m, a mark she has since improved to 19.76m.
Maggie Ewen won four NCAA titles in three events, setting collegiate records in two. She is the only woman in history to better 19 metres in the shot put, 60 metres in the discus and 70 metres in the hammer.
The field also includes US indoor champion Chase Ealey, who recently improved her lifetime best to 19.67m, and European bronze medallist Aliona Dubitskaya of Belarus.
Organisers for the IAAF