Pre Classic Press Release
March 13, 2013
Eugene, Oregon – Another clean sweep of Olympic medalists will grace the Prefontaine Classic this year. This time it’s the men’s high jump, led by Russia’s Ivan Ukhov, the gold medalist from London who is aiming for similar results at this summer’s World Championships in Moscow.
Ukhov, who will turn 27 on March 29, is the latest of many Russians to lead the world in the men’s high jump. He returns to the Pre Classic on June 1st , heading the strongest high jump field in the meet’s 39-year history. Ukhov was ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News in 2012 and 2010, and he has a best of 7-10 ½ (2.40), a height bettered by only 4 other men in history.
The field will be familiar to Ukhov in many ways. For one, the reigning World Champion, American Jesse Williams, 29, owns the Hayward Field Record with his best of 7-9 ¼ (2.37) set in winning the USATF title in 2011. That same year, Williams became the first American to rank No. 1 in the world since American record holder Charles Austin in 1996.
Ukhov will be familiar with competitors who stood with him on the same podium in London. Count collegians Erik Kynard, 22, an American at Kansas State, and Derek Drouin, 23, a Canadian attending Indiana, as part of that group. Both are intending to prep for the NCAA Championships on the same apron a week before the NCAA Championships. Kynard (a 2-time NCAA champion) earned a silver in London, while Drouin (a 4-time NCAA champ) a bronze. Drouin and Kynard ended the collegiate indoor season with a titanic battle at the NCAA Championships, Drouin emerging as the winner.
Two more bronze medalists from London are confirmed for the field, Moutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain. Essa, just 21 years old, is 2013’s highest jumper with an Asian Record 7-10 (2.39). Grabarz was the 2012 European Champion.
Russia’s heritage in the event will be represented with other stars, led by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Andrey Silnov, 28, a former Pre Classic champ in 2008. Joining the Russian camp, but attending Eugene for the first time, are Aleksey Dmitrik, 28, the 2011 World Indoor silver medalist, and Sergey Mudrov, 22, the recent European Indoor Champion.
Add to the field emerging star 21-year-old Guowei Zhang of China, 4th in the 2012 World Indoor Championships.
In the All-Athletics.com rankings, which combine 2012 accomplishments with 2013 marks, the Pre Classic field boasts the Nos.1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 ranked eligible athletes in the world. Eight of the competitors in the Pre high jump have equaled or surpassed the Meet Record of 7-8½ (2.35) set by Charles Clinger way back in 2002.
Men’s High Jump
Ivan Uhkov (Russia)…………………. 7-10½ (2.40)
Moutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar)….. 7-10 (2.39)
Andrey Silnov (Russia)……………… 7-9¾ (2.38)
Jesse Williams (USA)………………. 7-9¼ (2.37)
Robbie Grabarz (Great Britain)…..7-9¼ (2.37)
Aleksey Dmitrik (Russia)………….. 7-8¾ (2.36)
Sergey Mudrov (Russia)…………… 7-8½ (2.35)
Derek Drouin (Canada)……………. 7-8½ (2.35)
Erik Kynard (USA)…………………….
Guowei Zhang (China)……………… 7-7¼ (2.32)