Olympic champions and medallists back in action at Prefontaine Classic in Oregon

The meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, takes place on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August, with the Diamond League events scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Here's what you should watch for at the meet.

By ZK Goh
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

All three Tokyo 2020 women's 100m medallists will be in action this Saturday (21 August) as global athletics action returns following the successful Olympic meet with the resumption of the Diamond League season.

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson are all set to run in the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA – and multiple other Tokyo medallists and champions will also be taking part in other events. Top U.S. sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson will also return to competition in the 100m and 200m.

The Classic will start on Friday night with a special non-Diamond League distance programme, including races over 800m, 1500m, a mile, two miles, and 5000m. Sifan Hassan, who won the 5000m and 10000m distance double in Tokyo, is set to attempt to break the world record in the 5000m on Friday.

It is the first time since 2018 the meet returns to Hayward Field in Eugene, with the 2019 event having been held in California while last year's edition was cancelled.

Where's what you should look out for in Oregon this weekend.

Women's 100m, men's 100m: Olympic stars set to meet again

Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce, Jackson, and Richardson headline a world-class field in the women's 100m.

They are joined by the fourth member of Jamaica's gold-winning sprint relay team Briana Williams, American sprint relay silver medallists Teahna Daniels and Javianne Oliver, and Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Côte d'Ivoire and Mujinga Kambundji who finished fourth and sixth respectively in the 100m in Japan.

The men's 100m race is similarly star-studded, despite current Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs calling an early end to his 2021 season having originally been expected to take part.

Tokyo silver medallist Fred Kerley and bronze medallist André de Grasse are taking part, alongside fellow Olympic finalist Ronnie Baker, the Athens 2004 champion Justin Gatlin, as well as U.S. national champion Trayvon Bromell and Michael Rodgers.

African record holder Akani Simbine, fourth in Tokyo, and two other sub-10 Americans in Isiah Young and Cravon Gillespie, complete a fast lineup.

Men's mile, women's 1500m: Rematches from Tokyo 1500m races in Oregon

The men's Bowerman Mile will pit against each other the last two 1500m Olympic champions, Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Matthew Centrowitz, as well as the current world champion Timothy Cheruiyot – who won silver in Tokyo behind Ingebrigtsen.

That win for Norway's Ingebrigtsen was the first time in 13 attempts he had out-run Cheruiyot over the distance.

Centrowitz, meanwhile, will be out to make amends for a disappointing Tokyo result.

Two other Olympic 1500m finalists, Jake Heyward (ninth) and Ollie Hoare (11th), will also run the mile in Eugene.

While Hassan will attempt the 5000m world record on Friday night, her fellow 1500m Olympic medallists champion Faith Kipyegon and silver winner Laura Muir lead a top-notch cast in the women's 1500m at the Pre Classic.

The runners who finished 5th, 6th, 7th, and 11th in the Tokyo final – Gabriela Debues-Stafford, Linden Hall, Winnie Nanyondo, and Jess Hull – will all have an eye on upsetting Kipyegon and Muir.

Men's shot put: World record watch for Ryan Crouser

The last time the now-double Olympic champion Ryan Crouser threw at Hayward Field, at the U.S. Olympic Trials, he set a new world record 23.37m with his final attempt.

That won him the competition that day and sent him to Tokyo, where he then threw 23.30m, a new Olympic record and the second-best mark in history.

Now Crouser is back, with compatriot Joe Kovacs and New Zealander Tomas Walsh in tow.

The three locked out the podium at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 (in 2021) in that order, and could well push each other to greater distances in Eugene.

Men's 2-mile, women's 3000m steeplechase: Tokyo distance stars set to collide

A meeting of Tokyo 2020 5000m and 10000m medallists comes in the men's 2-mile race, where Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda – champion in the 5000m and silver medallist in the 10000m – faces the man who pipped him to 10000m gold, Selemon Barega, as well as the 5000m bronze medallist Paul Chelimo.

USA's Grant Fisher, fifth over the longer distance and ninth in the 5000 in Tokyo, is also running this race that comes in at just under 3220 metres, which ought to play in Cheptegei's favour. The Ugandan won a 3000m race at the Ostrava Golden Spike in May.

In the women's 3000m steeplechase, there will be a chance for Olympic silver medallist Courtney Frerichs to get one over on Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai of Uganda.

Chemutai's win in Tokyo, when she overtook Frerichs on the last lap, made her the first female Olympic champion from her country.

Other Olympic medallists on show

In the non-Diamond League women's 800m race, all three medallists from Tokyo are set to put on a show for the crowd.

Led by Athing Mu, who has already won twice at Hayward Field this year (NCAA Championships 400m, U.S. Trials 800m), the trio – silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain and bronze winner Raevyn Rogers of USA – should set the track alight alongside Ajeé Wilson, who surprisingly failed to make the Tokyo 2020 final.

Aside from the women's 100m, Richardson is also down to race the women's 200m against the likes of Kambundji, Ta Lou, Olympic bronze medallist Gabrielle Thomas, relay silver medallist Jenna Prandini, world champion Dina Asher-Smith, and American track legend Allyson Felix.

The men's 200m sees Tokyo silver and bronze medallists Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles compete alongside Rai Benjamin, the silver medallist from the incredible 400m hurdles final against Karsten Warholm.

In the women's pole vault, new Olympic champion Katie Nageotte takes on Rio 2016 champion Katerina Stefanidi, with Tokyo bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw also expected to contest.

Tokyo 2020 champion Pedro Pichardo and bronze medallist Hugues Fabrice Zango headline the men's triple jump, while in the men's 800m, the Kenyan Olympic gold and silver medallists Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich are back in action.

Finally, while none of the women's high jump Olympic medallists are competing in Eugene, fourth-placed finisher Iryna Gerashchenko of Ukraine will face strong challenges from U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham and two-time Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam of Belgium.

2021 Prefontaine Classic Diamond League: Schedule and when to watch

All times as Pacific Daylight Savings Time (7 hours behind UTC)

Friday 20 August (distance night, non-Diamond League)

9:02 pm: Women's North American 1500m

9:12 pm: Men's International Mile

9:22 pm: Women's 2-Mile

9:35 pm: Opening celebration

10:00 pm: Women's 5000m

Saturday 21 August

12:38 pm: Men's triple jump

12:43 pm: Women's pole vault

12:57 pm: Women's high jump

1:03 pm: Men's 800m

1:12 pm: Women's steeplechase

1:24 pm: Men's triple jump (final 3)

1:33 pm: Men's 200m

1:41 pm: Women's 100m

1:48 pm: Women's 800m (non-Diamond League)

1:56 pm: Men's 2-Mile

2:08 pm: Men's shot put

2:12 pm: Women's 1500m

2:24 pm: Women's 400m hurdles

2:33 pm: Men's 100m

2:39 pm: Men's shot put (final 3)

2:45 pm: Women's 200m

2:52 pm: Men's Bowerman Mile