May 20, 2015
For Immediate Release
Justin Gatlin Making Rare 200-Meter Start at Pre Classic
(The 41st Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international
track & field meets, will be held May 29-30 at historic Hayward Field.)
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|
Fans can follow the event lineups as all announced fields are posted at PreClassic.com. The direct link to current start/entry lists is HERE and will include updates to all announced fields.
Tickets for the 41st annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 29-30 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now from goducks.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 Saturday, May 30.
The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has rated No. 1 or No. 2 in the world in each of the last four years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the IAAF Diamond League.
Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record (8:41.5) while at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, that is the fastest ever in a National Federation-sanctioned race. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4), and never lost a collegiate track 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 21. 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 that year and has been held every year since.