Track is my field: Mark Cullen's international track and field website featuring storytelling, commentary, and predictions and event analyses for the Olympics and World Championships. I'll be writing from the 2018 European Championships in Berlin in August. I'm active on Facebook and Twitter: @trackerati.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Javelin Clinic

The weather forecast for Eugene is perfect - for Sunday, when it will be 75F/24C and sunny. 

But the Prefontaine Classic is today (Sat), and it has dawned cool and chilly in Eugene - 43/6. It's partly cloudy with some drizzle forecast for this morning, but it should be clear and 65/18 by the time the broadcast goes international at 1:00pm Pacific time. The all-important wind forecast is for a gentle 5mph, but who knows how that will be translated in the funnel that is sometimes Hayward Field.

Last night's opening session of the Prefontaine Classic, once billed as Distance Night in Eugene, featured distance alright - it's just that distance was in the men's javelin, not the much anticipated and ballyhooed men's two-mile.

As expected, the German trio who are currently dominating the world scene in the greatest display of creditable throwing ever by a nation went 1-2-3.

2016 Olympic champion Thomas Rohler's 4th round (89.88/294-10) won over 2017 World champion Johannes Vetter (89.34/293-1), while countryman Andreas Hoffman completed the national sweep in third (86.45/283-7). The top four, including Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch at 85.40/280-2, all exceeded Julius Yego's (Kenya) 2016 meet record of 84.68/280-2.

As for the men's two-mile, there is always danger in advertising a record attempt when anything less - even a great performance - becomes a disappointment. 18 year old World Indoor silver medalist Selemon Barega topped a deep field by outsprinting Paul Chelimo to win in 8:20.01. Had Chelimo not advertised an attempt on Matt Tegenkamp's US record of 8:07.07, the post-race focus might well have been where it should have been: on a savvy run by a teenage sensation who left some of the current greats in his dust.

The meet resumes today at 12:40 with the women's pole vault; distance events begin with the International Mile at 12:48. I predict upwards of 9 sub-4:00 miles in this race.

Or as we like to call it in Eugene, the JV race.

The traditional finish to the meet is the Bowerman mile at 2:52. That's the starting time, not the 1200m split.

While the 400m is always of interest, it just doesn't rank as high to me as 400m when you're jumping over things. Nonetheless, the women's 400m is intriguing today.

World Champion and Oregon graduate Phyllis Francis -  wait a minute! This is Eugene, so that would be: Oregon graduate and World Champion Phyllis Francis - has a terrific opportunity to cement her position in the top ranks of this event, while Bahamas' Shaunae Miller-Uibo just might want to unravel that storyline. Adding to the intrigue is that it's the first outdoor 400m for each this season.

See here one of Trackerati's greatest highlights of the London World Championships:

One of these Oregon Ducks just won 
the 400m World Championship!







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