Reese Hoffa, winner of the shot put at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Kirby Lee)
A gold medal appears to be the price of admission into the men’s shot put at the 41st Prefontaine Classic, part of the 2015 IAAF Diamond League series, at Eugene’s historic Hayward Field on 29-30 May.
If history is any guide, the Pre shot will provide an advance look at the potential medallists at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing later this summer and the Eugene field will include all of the Olympic and World Championships gold medallists since 2006.
USA’s Reese Hoffa is the defending champion in Eugene and won gold medals at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and 2007 IAAF World Championships. He also has something none of his competitors can boast: two Diamond Race trophies.
Hoffa’s compatriot and friend Ryan Whiting won his second IAAF World Indoor Championships gold medal last year and has already been in fine form in 2015 with a world-leading effort of 21.43m in Boston on Saturday.
Germany’s 2011 and 2013 world champion David Storl, a familiar face to Hoffa and Whiting, will make his first Prefontaine Classic appearance.
Storl's gleaming collection of international gold medals also includes wins at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships, 2008 World Junior Championships and the last two European Championships.
The list of global conquerors also includes Poland’s two-time Olympic gold medallist Tomasz Majewski.
Rounding out the roll call of gold medallists is USA’s Christian Cantwell. He is the winner of four world titles: three indoors in 2004, 2008 and 2010, as well as at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.
The three remaining entrants are reigning US champion Joe Kovacs, Jamaican record-holder O’Dayne Richards, who was the gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games last summer, and New Zealand record holder Tom Walsh, who was the bronze medallist at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September