We received the following press release from the Pre Classic today.
The Pre Classic wrote:
Eugene, Oregon – Justin Gatlin, the reigning two-time IAAF Diamond Trophy winner in the 100 meters, is ready to attempt his first 200 meters of the year at the Prefontaine Classic.
Gatlin, fastest in the world this year at 100 meters (9.74), was ranked No. 1 in the world last year by Track & Field News at both the 100 and 200. Still, the 100 has been his event of choice in recent years. At age 33, he is now running the fastest of his life and hasn’t lost a race at any distance since 2013, including a 200 best of 19.68 last summer. Gatlin has a record five Pre Classic 100 victories, all in 9.90 or faster including last year’s wind-aided 9.76, the fastest in meet history under any conditions. He won both sprints at the 2005 World Championships after claiming the Olympic 100 gold in 2004. Showing unparalleled sprint range, he has also twice won World Indoor Championships gold in the 60.
The reigning 200-meter IAAF Diamond Trophy winner is Panama’s Alonso Edward. The 2009 World Championships silver medalist is also undefeated at any distance this year. Edward was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN. He was the national junior college 200-meter champ for Barton County in 2009 and has won South American or Central American titles dating back to 2009.
Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica is still looking for major individual gold. He has ranked No. 3 in the world the last three years, including topping the deep Jamaican group last year. No one else in Jamaica – or the world – has run sub-10 in the 100 and sub-20 in the 200 in each of the last four years. Ashmeade won the 2012 IAAF Diamond Trophy and the most recent Pre Classic 200 in 2013. He was a part of Jamaica’s winning 4x200 teams at the last two World Relays, including a 3rd leg on the world-record 2014 team (1:18.63). He also ran 3rd leg for gold in the 2013 World Championships.
Rasheed Dwyer is the reigning Jamaican champion and won the Commonwealth Games last summer. He was second to Edward at the Continental Cup (both clocked 19.98, making Dwyer the ninth Jamaican to run sub-20). Dwyer was ranked No. 4 in the world (No. 2 Jamaican) last year by T&FN. He won the 2011 World University Games as a student at G.C. Foster College in Jamaica. Dwyer ran the 2nd leg on Jamaica’s winning 4x200 relay at this year’s World Relays.
American Curtis Mitchell earned bronze at the 2013 World Championships (top American) and won last year’s U.S. championships. He was the 2013 NCAA Indoor champion for Texas A&M.
Qatar’s Femi Ogunode won Asian Games doubles in 2010 (100/200) and 2014 (200/400). He ran a PR 20.06 last year and his range includes an Asian record 9.93 100 and 45.12 400.
Julian Forte of Jamaica ran his best 200 to win April’s Jamaican intercollegiate title (20.19). He ran a 10.03 100 last year, and the former Jamaican high school 100/200 champ finished April with his sixth consecutive Championship of Americas title at the prestigious Penn Relays.
Anaso Jobodwana is South Africa’s highest-finishing 200-meter runner in a world major since 1932, taking 8th in the 2012 Olympics and 6th in the 2013 World Championships. The NCAA Indoor 200 runner-up from Jackson State was the 2013 World University Games gold medalist in the 100 and 200. He won his first South African title in April and has yet to lose this year.
Men’s 200 Meters Personal Best
Justin Gatlin (USA) 19.68
Alonso Edward (Panama) 19.81
Nickel Ashmeade (Jamaica) 19.85
Curtis Mitchell (USA) 19.97
Rasheed Dwyer (Jamaica) 19.98
Femi Ogunode (Qatar) 20.06
Anaso Jobodwana (South Africa) 20.06
Julian Forte (Jamaica) 20.19