Monday 16 December, 2019

Elaine Thompson faces Schippers, Felix in Eugene on Saturday

The world's top female sprinter Jamaican Elaine Thompson.

The world's top female sprinter Jamaican Elaine Thompson.

The world's top female sprinter Jamaican Elaine Thompson is down to face a star-studded women's 200-metre field at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday, May 27, the third stop of the 2017 IAAF Diamond League series.

The provisional entry lists, which was published on Tuesday, puts Thompson against Dutchwoman and world 200m champion Dafne Schippers; Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who won a  dramatic gold medal in the 400m final at the 2016 Rio Olympics and American Allyson Felix, who has seven Olympic medals, more than any other woman in US track and field history.

The line-up also includes two other Americans - Tori Bowie and Jenna Prandini - along with Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast, who finished fourth in the Rio Olympics 100m and 200m finals, and Ivet Lalova-Collio of Bulgaria.

Thompson at the moment looks unbeatable.

After her runner-up finish in an epic 200m showdown with Schippers at the 2015 World Championships, the 24-year-old Jamaican has become the world's top female sprinter. Her performance in Rio, where she took both the 100m and 200m titles, was the first women's Olympic sprint double victory in 28 years.

Thompson has been competing quite regular this season and the Eugene Diamond League meeting will be her second race in seven days.

Last Saturday, the reigning Olympic sprint double champion had  an easy victory in the women's 200 metres at the 14th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston.

She won the race in a new meet record time of 22.09 seconds, an effort which also equaled the fastest time in the world this year.

Bowie, on April 20 in Gainesville, Florida and her American teammate Deajah Stevens, on May 14 in Eugene, Oregon both recorded 22.09 to jointly hold the fastest time in the world this year.

Thompson's effort on Saturday in Kingston came seven days after she clocked a world leading 10.78 seconds to outclass her rivals in the women's 100 metres at the second meet of the 2017 Diamond League series in Shanghai, China.

The 10.78 clocking was Thompson's fourth fastest performance of her career, just 0.08 shy of her personal best, in what was her first race in the Chinese port city.

That victory for Thompson came just a week after she outraced Schippers in the 200-metre race in Doha, the first meet of the series, clocking a season best 22.19.

Prior to that performance in Doha, Thompson illustrated her sound form this season with a wind-assisted 10.75 (+2.2) in Kingston.

Five other Jamaicans, including sprint hurdler Omar McLeod are also on the  provisional entry lists.

McLeod,  who secured Jamaica's first ever Olympic gold medal in the men's 110 metre hurdles with a stunning performance in Rio last year, will face Americans Aries Merritt, David Oliver and Devon Allen.

Ronald Levy of Jamaica is also listed to compete.

McLeod is looking for a second Diamond League victory this season after winning a  breath-taking showdown against Spain’s Orlando Ortega, the 2016 Diamond Trophy winner, in Shanghai on May 13.

The 23-year-old McLeod was almost neck-and-neck with Ortega at the final hurdle. But Ortega stumbled in front of the finish and had to concede with a 0.06 deficit in 13.15.

McLeod clocked 13.09 seconds for the victory, following his world lead of 13.04 in Des Moines two weeks before the Shanghai meet.

The other Jamaicans are Janieve Russell (400 hurdles) and Veronica Campbell-Brown and Simone Facey in the women's 100 metres.

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