Several high profile athletes are set to take the Eugene Diamond League by storm, and top on the list is Europe’s foremost athlete Dafne Schippers, who will be headlining the women’s 200m on Saturday, May 28.

The World Champion will aim for her first win in the Diamond League this year after opening her campaign in Doha with a 2nd place finish, clocking 10.83s in the 100m behind USA’s Tori Bowie (10.80s).

Few weeks later at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Hengelo, she was in World Leading form, sprinting to her second-fastest time ever of 22.02s in the 200m to top the 2016 world list.

This time at the Prefontaine Classic, she’ll be up against Bowie once again (No.3 on the World List), who has so far been undefeated this year and has a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.26s.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson is fresh from winning the 100m at the Rabat Diamond League. She also ranks at No.7 on the 200m all-time list with her 21.66s recorded at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

The duo will pose the greatest threat to the Dutchwoman as Thompson will be aiming to continue her winning ways from Rabat in her first 200m race of the year.

Just like Bowie, 2015 Diamond Race winner Justin Gatlin, has also enjoyed an undefeated 2016 season. His recent win was at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing, where he powered to his second successive victory in four days to win the men’s 100m in 9.94s.

The double World Silver Medallist will be up against a stacked field that includes World Indoor Silver Medallist Asafa Powell; 2016 World Leader Femi Ogunnode and World Bronze Medallist Andre De Grasse.

Others are 2015 World Championships finalists Tyson Gay, Micheal Rodgers and Bingtian Su, as well as new sprints sensation, Ameer Webb.

The women’s 100m Hurdles is certainly one of the most anticipated events on the night, as there will be five women with Personal Bests (PB) quicker than 12.40s on the starting line.

Top on the list with the fastest time in the field is Brianna Rollins (12.26s); 2015 World Leader Sharika Nelvis (12.34s); Diamond League Record (DLR) holder Jasmin Stowers (12.35s); 2016 World Leader Kendra Harrison (12.36s) and 2015 Diamond Race winner Dawn Harper-Nelson (12.37s).

Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter (12.51s) and World Bronze medallist Talina Allay (12.66s) complete the stacked field, and may be in for upsets.

Meanwhile in the men’s 400m Hurdles, all eyes will be on surprise World Champion Nicholas Bett as he aims for his first Diamond League victory at the Hayward Field.

The Kenyan opened his season in Shanghai where he finished 6th in 49.31s, and will have it tough once again against the race winner in Shanghai Micheal Tinsley, who will be hoping to extend his lead on the Diamond League Standings.

World Leader Kerron Clement and 2015 Diamond Race winner Bershawn Jackson are also worthy contenders in the race.

Kenyan ladies Hyvin Kiyeng (3000m Steeplechase) and Faith Kipyegon (1500m) were Meet Record (MR) breakers in their various events at the Shanghai Diamond League.

This time at the Eugene Diamond League, they will hope to continue with their form when they square up against some of the best in their field.

Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross has already announced her retirement after Olympics, but the quarter-mile legend will definitely be going for a win to kick-start her 2016 season, in preparation for a memorable Olympic year.

She will be racing against a stacked field that comprises of World Leader Shaunae Miller, who has also enjoyed an unbeaten 400m run this year; teammates Francena McCorory and Natasha Hastings with SBs of (50.52s) and (51.10s) respectively; not forgetting Jamaica’s duo of Stephanie Ann-Mcpherson and Shericka Jackson.

Olympic Champion Sandra Perkovic will headline the Field events and women’s Discus field at the Eugene Diamond League after having an outstanding start to her season. Her most recent performance was in Shanghai where she threw a DLR of 70.88m.

Her opponents on Friday will include the German trio of Nadine Muller, Julia Fischer and Shanice Craft who all have SBs of 65.42m, 68.49m and 64.62m respectively.

America’s Christian Taylor will have a perfect reason to shine once again as he aims to extend his lead on the Diamond Race Standings.

The reigning Diamond Trophy winner may not have his biggest rival Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo to contend with, but the presence of World Leader China’s Bin Dong will surely pose a stiff competition.

Meanwhile in the women’s Long Jump, all athletes making up the field are possible winners of the event. Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic leapt to her best ever season opener of 6.95m to gain all maximum points in Shanghai.

Based on her form, she will be favourite once more when she clashes against veterans in the field such as Olympic Champion Brittney Reese; World Champion Tianna Bartoletta; World Silver medallist Shara Proctor and World Indoor Bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen.

Beijing 2008 Bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare will also be competing in the Long Jump at the Eugene Diamond League. This will be her second outing in the event this season, and she comes with an SB of 6.25m set at last month’s Drake Relays.

World Record holder Renaud Lavillenie will aim for a revenge against USA’s Sam Kendricks who gave him a shock defeat in Shanghai, which is the first ever Diamond League victory for an American.

World Indoor Champion Vashti Cunningham will look to improve on her outstanding 2016 season when she squares up against a top class field that comprises of the likes of Ruth Beitia, Levern Spencer, Kamila Licwinko and Chaunte Lowe.


Funmi Fameso is a Junior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She is a 2012 Graduate of Lagos State University, where she obtained a BSc in Microbiology. She worked as a Health Centre Laboratory Assistant during her NYSC year and since then she has worked as a Junior Sports Writer for her church’s youth magazine, Kingsword Youth Club Magazine. It was watching the Sydney 2000 Olympics that ignited her passion of sports, most especially Athletics. Sports means three things to her: Passion, Hard Work and Dedication!


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