By Denise Turney
I’m watching the Prefontaine Classic at Oregon’s Hayward Field. Glad I caught the meet. Genzebe Dibaba commanded the women’s 5000 meter race. Had she had competition, I think she would have gotten the world record. She ran an impressive race, netting the fastest time by a woman at the 5000 meters in the United States. What a joy it was watching her run!
Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin take the Prefontaine Classic
Tyson Gay, owner of America’s fastest 100 meter sprint, topped the 100 meters at this year’s Prefontaine Classic, running a 9.88. It was good to see Tyson Gay back on the track, in racing form. He said the race showed him that he’s in good shape, a positive event that could be the beginnings of a great summer.
Competition for Tyson Gay was stiffer than it was for Justin Gatlin who came out strong in the 200 meters. Justin Gatlin was clocked at 19:68. He came around the turn in command of the race. Usain Bolt hasn’t officially run a 19:68 since 2013. When Justin Gatlin and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt meet up in the 200 meters in the summer, hopefully, that will be a sprint for the record books.
As a fan of Harvey Glance’s, a 1970s relay Olympic gold medalist, I was delighted to watch Kirani James command the men’s 400 meters. Kirani James left no question in my mind as to who is the best 400 meters runner in the world. He was clocked at 43:95. It’s the fastest time in the world this year.
In the women’s 400 meters, Allyson Felix shined. She truly shined, putting in a 50:05. It should be exciting to see how these and other top track and field athletes perform at the August Track and Field World Championships.
We may have to wait until then to see how the American’s and other world class track and field athletes perform against Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s other top sprinters and top athletes from other parts of the world, athletes who weren’t at this weekend’s 40th Prefontaine Classic. One thing is sure. It’s looking like a track and field summer that won’t disappoint.
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