May 28, 2012For Immediate Release
Pre Classic Men’s Shot Put and Javelin Throw: STELLAR FIELDS MAY STEAL THE SHOW
Eugene, Oregon – Is it possible the best events at this year’s Prefontaine Classic will not be on the track? If many of the strongest men in the world have any say, the answer will be yes. The men’s shot put and javelin throw fields could provide the most drama as each features virtually every top-ranked performer. The 38th Pre Classic is a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics and part of the elite Samsung Diamond League of international meets. This year’s Pre event will be held over two days, June 1-2 at Hayward Field. The men’s shot put and men’s javelin throw will both be contested on Saturday’s portion of the event. The men’s shot put and men’s javelin throw start with the world’s top-ranked in each event by Track & Field News: Dylan Armstrong of Canada in the shot put and Matthias de Zordo of Germany in the javelin. Breathing down their backs are almost every other major competitor in the world. Armstrong, the silver medalist at last year’s World Championships, has a best of 72-10.5 (22.21) and finished the agonizing fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He will be joined in the shot by no less than four Olympic or World Championships gold medalists as five of last year’s top eight assemble for a pre-Olympic tumble, including three of the longest shot putters ever. Perhaps prime among the competition is American Christian Cantwell, the 2009 World Championships gold medalist who was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2010 and 2009 by T&FN. Cantwell was ranked No. 2 in the world last year, despite finishing out of the medals in the World Championships. With a best of 73-11.5 (22.54), he is the No. 4 American all-time and No. 7 all-time in the world. Cantwell also holds the Pre and Hayward Field record at 73-6.25 (22.41) from his 2010 victory here. Reese Hoffa of the U.S. was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by T&FN – extending his streak of ranking in the world’s top three to seven years (including No. 1s in 2006 and 2007). During that stretch, Hoffa won gold medals at the 2007 World Championships and 2006 World Indoor Championships. Hoffa is No. 7 all-time among Americans (and No. 10 ever in the world) with a best of 73-7.25 (22.43). At 25, Ryan Whiting of the U.S. is the only under-30 athlete in the field. He is also the reigning World Indoor Champion, having won gold in Istanbul, where he set his best of 72-2.25 (22.00). His outdoor best is 72-1 (21.97), set in 2010 when he won the NCAA championship for Arizona State at Hayward Field. Enter Poland’s Tomasz Majewski, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist. He earned the bronze behind Whiting in Istanbul and has a best of 72-0.25 (21.95). Daniel Taylor is the final American. The former national indoor champion has a best of 71-5.5 (21.78). Men’s Shot PutDylan Armstrong (Canada)Christian Cantwell (USA)Reese Hoffa (USA)Ryan Whiting (USA)Tomasz Majewski (Poland)Daniel Taylor (USA) Matthias de Zordo of Germany is the reigning world champion in the men’s javelin throw. Only 24 years old, he won the gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Daegu and has a best of 289-11 (88.36). He is also the target of a field that includes five of last year’s top seven, as ranked by T&FN. Also in the Pre javelin is No. 5-ranked Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic, who finished fourth to De Zordo in Daegu last year. Vesely’s best is 283-7 (86.45). The two longest throwers in the field are also the only ones with Olympic hardware: two-time bronze medalist (2000 and 2004) Sergey Makarov of Russia and 2004 silver medalist Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia. Makarov, with a best of 303-10 (92.61) that makes him the third-longest thrower in history, won the 2003 World Championships and was ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN in 2002 and 2003. But Makarov, now 39 and seeking his fifth Olympics, made a major comeback last year to rank No. 6 in the world by T&FN. Vasilevskis ranked No. 7 in the world last year byT&FN and is No. 10 on the all-time world list with a best of 297-8 (90.73). Petr Frydrych of the Czech Republic is the third-farthest thrower in the field at 289-5 (88.23). Just 24 years old, Frydrych was outside the top 10 T&FN rankings last year, but was No. 5 in 2010 when he as only 22. Another just outside of last year’s top 10 is Stuart Farquhar of New Zealand. Farquhar is a two-time Olympian and a finalist at last year’s World Championships. Farquhar’s best is 283-2 (86.31). The Pre field will also feature the current World Junior record holder in Zigismunds Sirmais of Latvia. Now 20, Sirmais broke a 10-year-old World Junior standard twice last year, finally at 277-10 (84.69). Another young performer in the field is American Cyrus Hostetler, the former University of Oregon star who was the silver medalist at last year’s Pan-American Games. Hostetler’s best is 272-10 (83.16), which makes him No. 8 on the all-time U.S. list. Men’s Javelin ThrowMatthias de Zordo (Germany)Vitezslav Vesely (Czech Republic)Sergey Makarov (Russia)Vadims Vasilevskis (Latvia)Stuart Farquhar (New Zealand)Petr Frydrych (Czech Republic)Cyrus Hostetler (USA)Zigismunds Sirmais (Latvia) With the addition of the men’s shot put and javelin throw, 87 athletes in this year’s Pre Classic have won 107 Olympic or World Championships gold medals. Meet organizers expect the greatest collection of talent ever for an invitational on this continent, as the 88 athletes account for 254 medals (108 gold, 79 silver, 66 bronze). And more events are still to be announced. Tickets for the 38th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held June 1-2 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are on sale now from www.preclassic.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and on NBC from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 2. The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track and field meet in America and is part of the elite Samsung Diamond League of 14 meets held worldwide annually. Last year’s Pre Classic results ranked highest among all of the 14 meets, according to All-Athletics.com, the official data Partnerof the Samsung Diamond League. Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is perhaps the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record while at Coos Bay High School that lasted nearly two decades. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-mile/5000-meter championships (4) every time he competed, and never lost a collegiate race at any distance. As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22. After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records. His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24. The Pre Classic began soon after and has been held every year since.