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eugene iaaf diamond league

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31 May 2013

There will be a total of twelve British athletes in action at the Eugene leg of the IAAF Diamond League, the Prefontaine Classic, this weekend.

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) headlines a world-class 5,000m field. In addition to former World champion Bernard Lagat and Farah’s training partner Galen Rupp, who finished second in the 10,000m at London 2012, there are four athletes who have run under 12:50, including Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya. GB & NI's Chris Thompson (Mark Rowland) will also be in the field.

The first British athlete to compete in the field will be Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson) in the pole vault, who faces all three medallists from London; Renaud Lavillenie of France and the German pair of Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe.

Last year’s Diamond Race winner Robbie Grabarz (Fayyaz Ahmed) will also face a strong challenge as he competes in the high jump. Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov will lead a field that also includes Mutaz Essa Barshim, who shared bronze with Grabarz in London, and Olympic silver medallist Erik Kynard, who has jumped the highest in the field this year with a season’s best of 2.34m.

Double European Indoor champion Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) will make her season's debut in the 400m hurdles, another event which features all three 2012 Olympic medallists. Natalya Antyukh took gold in London ahead of Lashinda Demus and Zuzana Hejnova, while also in the field is Kaliese Spencer, who has a personal best of 52.79.

There will be two British representatives in the women’s 1500m as former World silver medallist Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) lines up alongside Laura Weightman (Steve Cram), who made last year’s Olympic final and recently smashed her personal best over 3,000m with a time of 8:43.46. Amongst the international talent in the race will be Yelena Soboleva of Russia, who boasts the quickest personal best in the field with 3:56.43. Four other athletes in the field have also broken four minutes; Faith Kipyegon, Hellen Obiri, Ibtissam Lakhouad and Anna Willard.

Despite the withdrawal of Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha, Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) will still face a number of world-class stars in the 800m. A total of five of the finalists from the London Olympics are in the race, including Timothy Kitum, who picked up bronze and shares the quickest personal best time in the field of 1:42.53 with Mohammed Aman.

In the women’s 800m, Marilyn Okoro (Johnny Gray) will have to contend with the Russian duo of Mariya Savinova and Yekatarina Poistogova, who picked up gold and bronze respectively at last year’s Olympics.

Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan), who finished third in Doha with a season's best 50.53, will look to continue her early season form in the 400m.

On the evening before the main section of the meeting gets underway, Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff), who has won three of his four outings in 2013, will go into the long jump on the back of victory at the BT Great City Games in Manchester last week as he looks to improve on his third place finish in Shanghai.

Olympic semi-finalist Ross Murray (coach: Craig Winrow) will line up in a competitive International Mile race against the likes of Henrik Ingebrigsten of Norway, who was fifth in the Olympic 1500m final in London.

The Eugene IAAF Diamond League will be shown live on the BBC Red Button from 7.20pm.