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Taking a look at the start-lists it seems no South African woman will run but four of South Africa’s top men will compete in the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League this coming weekend. The PreClassic is a Nike event and thus the best of the best Nike international athletes have automatic entries into this event. This then includes 4 SA champs.

Johan Cronje will line up in the Bowerman Mile. And a quality field lines up next to him. With a 3:50.70 PB which is also the SA record Johan is ranked 4th slowest in this race of 15 men. In the Bowerman mile the winner always clocks a sub 3:50 and its at this very event that Cronje set the National record, will he be the first South African to dip 3:50? He will be up against the deadly Kenya duo Silas Kiplagat and Asbel Kiprop.

Also in this race is Ayanleh Souleiman from Djibouti who is last years winner in 3:47.32 who always comes to spoil the Kenyan party. Speaking off, the young Ronald Kwemoi who ran shocking junior times last year will also make his first mile appearance.

Our seasoned 800m champ Andre Oliver will be lining up in the 800m race next to training partner Nijel Amos. Amos confident from last years win will be sure to give his best. Mohammed Aman the Ethiopian record holder will also be in the race as well as Adam Kszczot who won the 600m at the Ostrava meeting earlier this week. Taoukfik Makhloufi the Olympic 1500m champ is also in this race.

Stephen Mokoka is set to face Mo Farah in the 10 000m. Mokoka narrowly lost out to Farah in the great North run a few years ago and knows all about tough competition having won Wilson Kipsang and Bernard Lagat just the other day. Mokoka is currently still the world leader in the 5000m going into the Pre Classic.

The entire 10k lineup includes only sub 28min athletes. And a record seven runners in this race have PB’s of under 27min. This includes Kenyans Kipkoech Bett, Kipngetich Tanui, Kipkemoi, Geoffrey Kirui and Kipjumba Mbishei. We’ll be hoping that Mokoka and the other africans in the race will cause an upset in the Kenyan stronghold. And will we see yet another SA record fall? Mokoka now already holds the SA 5000m, 15km and 10km records.

Going to sprints our newly crowned SA Champ and new record holder Anaso Jobodwana is set to run against a stellar field in the 200m. This seems to be the race that has the feeling of a sub 20 coming. PreClassic is a middle and long distance dominated event but the sprinters might steal the show.

Jobodwana lines up against World Leader in the 100m Justin Gatlin (9.74). Jamaicans in this race include Nickel Ashmeade and Rasheed Dwyer and Julian Forte. 5 of the 8 men in this race have pb’s of under 20sec. Jobodwana has yet to be beaten in 2015, will he continue this streak?

PreClassic takes place 30 May, and with some of the strongest fields ever assembled it cannot disappoint!

EC Media Manager – Adriaan Aldridge