Moses Mosop, Kendra Harrison and Christian Taylor in Eugene
In three days’ time, the IAAF Diamond League moves to Eugene for the third meeting in the 2018 series. Here we look back at three of the more memorable moments from Hayward Field.
Mosop pops a world record, 2011
It’s not often one race produces multiple world records, but that was the case on the first weekend of June in 2011, when to grab this rare two-for-one deal, Moses Mosop just had to crank out 75 laps of the track in Hayward Field at an unfathomable pace. No biggie.
In the rarely-run 30,000m race, Mosop ran behind the pacemaker as 10,000m was reached in 29:19 before swooping to the lead at 18,000m. He hit 25,000m in 1:12:25.4 to smash Toshihiko Seko’s former world record of 1:13:55.8, set in 1981, then claimed another of Seko’s marks at the finish, establishing a 30,000m world record at 1:26:47.4.
That took almost three minutes off Seko’s record and, for reference, is 26 seconds faster than the 30km record on the road, set by Eliud Kipchoge during the 2016 London Marathon.
“We started conservatively but by 15km I felt comfortable so I pushed the pace, then really enjoyed the race,” said Mosop, apparently more delighted than dizzy after his 75-lap journey.
Harrison hurdles into history, 2016
Ever since 1988, Yordanka Donkova’s world record of 12.21 hovered over the women’s 100m hurdles like an unattainable mark, one that forever seemed out of reach for today’s generation. While Brianna Rollins (12.26) and Sally Pearson (12.28) got close, neither came close enough to truly put it under threat.
But on a sunny Saturday afternoon in May 2016, a signal was sent out from Eugene that it was living on borrowed time. Back then, Kendra Harrison was just 23 and had opened her season in impressive style with a 12.36 clocking in Athens, USA. Then, at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, she made that look positively pedestrian as she blitzed her rivals, clocking a North American record of 12.24 with a slight following wind (0.7m/s).
“I’m not sure how I can top this,” said Harrison afterwards. But two months later she did, finally eclipsing Donkova’s record with a 12.20 clocking in London.
Taylor tops Claye in triple thriller, 2017
“It’s Hayward Field, man, there’s magic in the air.”
Those were the words of Christian Taylor shortly after a riveting men’s triple jump at last year’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, and after the two-time Olympic champion’s duel with fellow US jumper Will Claye, it was hard to disagree.
Taylor opened with a wind-assisted jump of 17.82m to seize command, but in the fourth round Claye managed a wind-legal 17.82m to join him. Taylor then responded with a whopping 18.11m, but if anything that only sparked Claye to life, and in the fifth round he splashed into the sand past the 18-metre mark to the awe-struck gasps of a captivated crowd.
In the end, he had produced a wind-aided 18.05m (2.4m/s), good enough for victory on almost any other day, but not on that particular afternoon, when all that magic was floating in the air.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF