April 3, 2013
Eugene, Oregon – Can it get any better? 2012 Woman Athlete of the Year Valerie Adams headlines the latest from the Prefontaine Classic, which now boasts a clean sweep of the 2012 Olympic medalists in the first four events that have been announced.
The 39th Prefontaine Classic will be held at historic Hayward Field on May 31-June 1, with these two events on Friday, May 31, a world-class evening of track & field free to the public thanks to long-time title sponsor NIKE.
Adams leads the women’s shot put, an event the 28-year-old from New Zealand has dominated since 2006, having been ranked No. 1 in the world in six of the last seven years by Track & Field News.
Already owner of the 2008 Olympic gold, Adams added London as part of an undefeated 2012 campaign that saw her end the season more than two feet better than her nearest competitor. It was more than enough for the international panel at T&FN to vote her as Woman Athlete of the Year, the first shot putter to win it in more than three decades.
In 2013, the international target for track & field is Moscow in August for the World Championships. Adams has had plenty of success at the Worlds – winning gold in 2007, ’09, and ’11 – and the Pre Classic lineup will offer a preview of the challengers she will face in Moscow.
Leading the charge are London silver and bronze medalists Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia and Lijiao Gong of China, respectively. Add the American duo ofJill Camarena-Williams and Michelle Carter, who are two of the three longest Americans in history, with Camarena-Williams co-holder of the American record. That gives the Pre Classic the Top 5 world-ranked putters from 2012.
Two more Olympic finalists are confirmed in Xiangrong Liu of China and Irina Tarasova of Russia, who ranked Nos. 9 and 10 last year by T&FN.
|Women’s Shot Put|
|Valerie Adams (New Zealand)………..||69-8¼||(21.24)|
|Yevgeniya Kolodko (Russia)……………||67-2¼||(20.48)|
|Lijiao Gong (China)…………………..||66-9¼||(20.35)|
|Jillian Camarena-Williams (USA)……||66-2½||(20.18)|
|Michelle Carter (USA)…………………….||65-2||(19.86)|
|Irina Tarasova (Russia)………………….||63-6||(19.35)|
|Xiangrong Liu (China)…………………..||63-1½||(19.24)|
The women’s hammer throw actually has more than a sweep of Olympic medals from London – it can add the complete set from the 2008 Beijing Games as well. The Pre Classic women’s hammer will be part of the IAAF Hammer Challenge, an international grand-prix series of competitions around the world exclusively for the hammer throw. This is the first time that a meet in the U.S. will be part of the IAAF Hammer Challenge.
The six hammer throwers with Olympic medals represent six of the top seven athletes in the T&FN rankings, and the last three women to hold the world record. Befitting a close competition, the order of London medalists is different from their world rankings last year. Tatyana Lysenko of Russia won gold in London, but was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by T&FN. Betty Heidler of Germany earned the No. 1 world ranking, though taking the bronze in London. The silver medalist at London, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, was ranked No. 2 in the world. Heidler is the world record holder at 260-7 (79.42), while Wlodarczyk and Lysenko are not only former world record setters but also winners of the last two World Champs gold medals.
The Beijing trio of medalists are Oksana Menkova of Belarus, Yipsi Morenoof Cuba, and Wenxiu Zhang of China. They will be joined by Jessica Cosby andAmber Campbell of the U.S. Both are 2-time Olympians, and Cosby set the American record at last year’s Pre Classic.
|Women’s Hammer Throw|
|Betty Heidler (Germany)…………………||260-7||(79.42)|
|Oksana Menkova (Belarus)……………..||258-2||(78.69)|
|Tatyana Lysenko (Russia)………………||257-7||(78.51)|
|Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland)……………….||256-11||(78.30)|
|Wenxiu Zhang (China)…………………..||252-7||(76.99)|
|Yipsi Moreno (Cuba)……………………||251-4||(76.62)|
|Kathrin Klaas (Germany)……………….|
Jessica Cosby (USA)…………………….
|Amber Campbell (USA)…………………..||234-8||(71.52)|
In the All-Athletics.com rankings, which combine 2012 accomplishments with ongoing 2013 marks, the Pre Classic field includes the Nos. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 ranked athletes in the world in the women’s shot put and—wait for it–the Nos. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 in the women’s hammer.
Previously announced, the other two events whose fields include a complete sweep of Olympic medals in London are the men’s pole vault and men’s high jump. Organizers continue to build fields and will announce more as they are confirmed.
Tickets for the Saturday session of the 39th annual Prefontaine Classic areavailable now from www.PreClassic.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC Sports from 1:30 till 3:00 p.m. PT on June 1st.
The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track and field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. Last year’s Pre Classic presented the most 2012 Olympic gold medalists (20) of any invitational meet in the world.
Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is perhaps the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-Mile record while at Coos Bay High School that lasted nearly two decades. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4) every time he competed, and never lost a collegiate race at any distance. As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22. After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records. His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24. The Pre Classic began soon after and has been held every year since.
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