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DISTANCE NIGHT IN EUGENE - Friday, June 3 2011 - PreClassic.com

Published by
ross   May 9th 2011, 11:31pm

May 9, 2011
For Immediate Release
Eugene, Oregon



For years, track fans and aficionados have wondered what it would be like to have the world’s best distance runners convene at the Prefontaine Classic during the evening, when the wind at Hayward Field dips to next to nothing. How fast could these speed demons go under ideal conditions, with a boisterous crowd behind them?

This year, we all get to find out.

“Distance Night in Eugene” will be held on Friday, June 3, the evening before the 22 other events in the Eugene Diamond League meet. This distance showcase, which will be free to the public, features the fastest fields ever assembled on American soil.


  • Diamond League Women’s 5,000 Meters

-Tirunesh Dibaba, Ethiopia. World record holder (14:11.5), ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News magazine last year, reigning Olympic champion at 5k & 10k.

-Vivian Cheruiyot, Kenya. Reigning World Champion, fastest in the world last year, ranked No. 2 by T&FN.

-Linet Masai, Kenya. The defending world champion over 10,000m was ranked No. 5 in the 5,000 in 2010, and had the 4th-fastest time last year.

-Shalane Flanagan, USA. The former American record holder at this distance ran the second-fastest 10k so far this season, and is in great shape.

-Sally Kipyego, Kenya. OTC Elite athlete followed up her No. 7 in the world rankings last year with this season’s fastest 10k (30:38.35), just ahead of Flanagan.

-Gulnara Samitova-Galkina, Russia. The world record holder and Olympic Champion in the steeplechase has a 5,000m best of 14:33.13.

-Pauline Korikwiang, Kenya. Ran the 2nd fastest 10k in the world last year, and was ranked No. 7 at that distance.

Wude Ayalew, Ethiopia. The 10,000m bronze medalist at the 2009 World Championships has a personal best of 14:38.44 in this event. 

Mercy Cherono, Kenya. The World Junior Champion at 3,000m in both 2008 and 2010 and World Junior Cross Country Champion in 2009 has a personal best of 14:47.13, set last year.

Emebet Antenah, Ethiopia. – This silver medalist in the 2010 World Juniors Championships 3,000m has a PR of 14:44.90 for the 5,000.


            Rarely outside of an Olympic Games or World Championships Final can athletes of this caliber be seen running head-to-head.


  • Men’s 10,000 Meters

-Zersenay Tadese, Eritrea. Two-time Olympic bronze medalist, 8th fastest 10,000m runner of all-time (26:37.25), silver medalist in the 2009 World Championships. Tadese has come to Eugene with the specific intent of lowering his personal best.

-Imane Merga, Ethiopia. Ranked No. 1 in the world last year at 5,000, winner of the World Cross Country Championships in March (12k), Merga was also fourth at the 2009 World Championships at this distance. His 5,000m best indicates potential for a 10,000 much faster than his current PR (27:14.94).

-Sileshi Sihine, Ethiopia.  The two-time Olympic and two-time World Championships silver medalist at 10,000, Sihine has won a total of six medals at 5,000 and 10,000, and carries a lifetime best of 26:39.69 into Eugene.

-Paul Tanui, Kenya. Silver medalist at the World Cross Country Championships, Tanui comes to the meet with a PR of 27:17.61 and having just run 27:32.71 in Japan earlier this spring.

Leonard Komon, Kenya. Although his lifetime best on the track is 26:57.08, Komon has run 26:44 on the roads, which stands as the world best over the distance.

-Matthew Kisorio, Kenya. The fourth-place finisher at the World Cross Country Championships, Kisorio enters this 10,000 with a PR of 27:15.

Joseph Ebuya, Kenya.  2009 World Cross Country Champion, who has a 5,000m best of 12:51, will be making his first serious attempt over 10,000m.

Moses Masai, Kenya. The 10,000m Bronze Medalist at the Berlin World Championships, Masai has a best of 26:49.20.

Micah Kogo, Kenya. 10,000m Olympic Bronze Medalist in Beijing, with a personal best of 26:35.63.

Teklemariam Mehdin, Eritrea. Silver Medalist at the 2009 World Cross Country Championships, with a personal best of 27:46.50—almost sure to fall in Eugene.

Dennis Masai, Kenya.  2010 World Junior 10,000m Gold Medalist, with a PR of 27:53, Masai will get a chance to mix it up with his idols.

Abebe Dinkesa, Ethiopia. A lifetime best of 26:30 makes Dinkesa the fifth-fastest 10,000m runner of all-time. 


            There it is: six men with bests faster than 27 minutes, and a combined 11 medals at either the Olympics or World Track and Field Championships. With times run this season playing a major role in the selection of the World Championships teams for Ethiopia and Kenya, virtually every athlete from those countries with a legitimate chance to make their teams at 10,000m will be in this race.


  • 25,000m & 30,000m

            It has been 30 years since Toshiko Seko of Japan set the world records at these distances, a time of 1:13:55.8 for 25,000m enroute to a 1 hour 29:18.8 clocking for 30,000m. Aiming to set world records at these IAAF-recognized distances are Moses Mosop and Asbel Kirui of Kenya. Kirui will shoot to break the 25,000 record, while Mosop will simultaneously aim for the 30,000. Kirui has run 1:00.11 for a half-marathon and 2:05:04 for a marathon. Mosop, meanwhile, has impeccable track credentials (12:54.46 for 5,000 & 26:49.55 for 10,000), and recently ran the second-fastest marathon ever (2:03:06, Boston).

            And if that is not enough distance racing for you, be sure to see the men’s 2-Mile and men’s 3,000m Steeplechase during the Prefontaine Classic on June 4th. Entrants in those races will be released in the coming days.


5000 Meters (WOMEN)
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)
Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya)
Shalane Flanagan (USA)
Linet Masai (Kenya)
Sally Kipyego (Kenya)
Angela Bizzarri (USA)
Pauline Korikwiang (Kenya)) 
Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (Russia)
Megan Wright (Canada))
Emebet Anteneh (Ethiopia)
Mercy Cherono (Kenya)
Wude Ayalew (Ethiopia)
Korene Hinds (Jamaica)--pace


10,000 METERS (MEN) 
Zersenay Tedese (Eritrea)
Sileshe Sihine (Ethiopia)
Imane Merga (Ethiopia)
Aylele Abshero (Ethiopia)
Abebe Dinkesa (Ethiopia)
Abera Kuma (Ethiopia)
Daniel Salel (Kenya)
Lucas Rotich (Kenya)
Teklemariam Mehdin (Eritrea)
Kidane Tadesse (Eritrea)
John Kemboi Cheruyiot (Kenya)
Shawn Forrest (Australia)
Reid Coolsaet (Canada)
Leonard Komon (Kenya)
Matthew Kisorio (Kenya)
Paul Tanui (Kenyan)
Ali Mahboob (Bahrain)
Josphat Bett (Kenya)
Mohammad Ali Aboosh (Ethiopia)
Micah Kogo (Kenya)
Moses Masai (Kenya)
Joseph Ebuya (Kenya)
Mike Kigen (Kenya)
Dennis Masai (Kenya)
Abdi Abdirahman
Dejene Gebremeskel (Ethiopia) 


Full preliminary entry list

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2 comment(s)
*Special Friday "Distance Night in Eugene" events are tentatively set (7:00p.m. for 25k/30k, 8:45 p.m. for w5k, and 9:15 p.m. for m10k).
What time does the friday night events start????
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