The 2022 Prefontaine Classic or Pre Classic returns on Saturday, May 28 and the Nike-sponsored meet is poised to be the first real look at a variety of athletics stars in action for this outdoor season.
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As usual, the sprinters steal the headlines with both 100-meter fields being extremely stacked for this year’s Pre Classic. The women’s race finally pits Jamaica’s Olympic champions and medalists Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shericka Jackson and Briana Williams against American Sha’Carri Richardson. In addition, 100-meter Olympic finalists, Teahna Daniels, Marie-Josée Ta Lou and Mujinga Kambundji, who is fresh off her indoor 60-meter world title, will also compete. British 200-meter World Champion Dina Asher-Smith will also join in on the fun.
Despite the absence of Olympic champion Lamont Marcel Jacobs, the men’s 100 has reigning Christian Coleman, 200-meter Olympic champion and 100-meter bronze medalist Andre DeGrasse; Tokyo 100-meter runner-up Fred Kerley; reigning 200-meter World champion Noah Lyles; Olympic 200-meter silver medalist Kenny Bednarek; 2021’s fastest man, Trayvon Bromell – who had already run a windy 9.75 this year – and the boy wonder Erriyon Knighton, who at 18 years old has the fastest time in the world for the 200 meters and looks to break the wind-legal 10-second barrier for the first time.
Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, who is also 18, broke Bromell’s World junior record in the 100 meters on the same day Knighton lowered his own to 19.49, running 9.96 on April 30. They both will continue to test their mettle in the senior ranks.
The women’s 100-meter hurdles is another Tokyo rematch, in a sense, with Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, silver medalist and world-record holder Kenni Harrison, finalist Tobi Anderson from Nigeria and Jamaican Danielle Williams.
The Pre Classic women’s 200 meters will be headlined by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Bahamian Anthonique Strachan and Jamaican Brittany Brown will try their luck. Switzerland’s Kambundji will double on her 100 efforts, while Americans Jenna Prandini and young Cambrea Sturgis will work to defend home soil.
The men’s 400 is loaded with big names like 2011 World and 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, Trinidad’s 400-meter World indoor champion Jereem Richards, as well as American Olympic finalists and 4×400 champs Michael Norman, Michael Cherry, and Bryce Deadmon plus Botswana’s Issac Makwala.
The Men’s 400-meter hurdles has Olympic silver medalist and second-fastest man ever in the event, Rai Benjamin versus Brazil’s bronze medalist from the Tokyo Games, Alison dos Santos, as well as Jamaican Olympian Kemar Mowatt.
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