SA QUARTET SET FOR PREFONTAINE CLASSIC

 
Updated: May 28, 2015

Four South African athletes will compete at the Prefontaine Classic, a Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday and Saturday.
With two SA records already under his belt this year, in the 5 000m (13:11.44) and 10km (27:38) events, versatile distance runner Stephen Mokoka hopes to make use of a rare opportunity for a fast 10 000m race as he chases the qualifying standard of 27:45.00 for the World Championships in Beijing in August.
He will go up against a quality international field, with 26 men in the start list, spearheaded by British star Mo Farah, the Olympic and world champion.
“I am happy that Nike Inc has given me the chance to run here,” Mokoka said.
“I had nearly thrown in the towel, thinking I would not get another chance to qualify, as 10 000m races are limited, so I am very happy to have such an opportunity.
“The field is not a factor as I will just be running my own pace. I’m not going to get involved in the quick race (up front).”
Speedster Anaso Jobodwana will also compete at the annual top-flight meeting.
Jobodwana, who broke the national 200m record (20.06 seconds) in the Cayman Islands earlier this month, will meet Jamaican athletes Nickel Ashmeade and Rasheed Dwyer, as well as controversial American Justin Gatlin in the half-lap event.
Johan Cronje will compete in his first mile (1.609km) race of the year against a field that includes world 1 500m champion Asbel Kiprop and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Silas Kiplagat of Kenya.
Andre Olivier will also toe the line against a quality field in the men’s 800m race, facing the likes of world champion Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia and Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana.
The second day of the Prefontaine Classic will be broadcast live at 10pm on Saturday on SuperSport 4.