Mo Farah leads the 10,000m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Getty Images)
Mo Farah returns to the Prefontaine Classic 10,000m and the Olympic gold medallist will be joined by another incredibly deep field at the IAAF Diamond League meeting on 29-30 May.
Held on the eve of the main competition in Eugene, the men’s 10,000m is once again a cornerstone of ‘Distance Night’.
Farah has been the world’s most dominant long-distance track runner since he won the 5000m gold and 10,000m silver at the 2011 IAAF World Championships; his last loss at the longest distance on the track. He followed that up by taking the 5000m and 10,000m titles at both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships.
At the 2011 edition of the Pre Classic, Farah set a European record of 26:46.57 to win the highest quality 10,000m race in history. He was one of a record nine runners in that race to run faster than 27 minutes.
A record seven runners enter this year’s Pre Classic with PBs faster than 27 minutes – and that does not include the reigning world cross-country champion.
World bronze medallist Paul Tanui has twice set a PB in Eugene, with last year’s 26:49.41 clocking making him the fastest Kenyan in three years.
Josphat Bett won the Kenyan 10,000m title last year, then went on to take silver at the Commonwealth Games and bronze at the African Championships. The 2008 world junior champion set his PB of 26:48.99 when finishing third in Eugene in 2011.
Emmanuel Bett, no relation to Josphat, finished fourth in Eugene in 2012 in a race which doubled as the Kenyan Trials. He missed making the Olympic team by two seconds, but won in Brussels later that year with a world-leading 26:51.16, a time which remains his PB.
Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya is not only the reigning world cross-country champion, but also the world half-marathon champion. Kamworor was only 18 when he ran his first 10,000m, a still-standing PB of 27:06.35 from the 2011 edition of the Prefontaine Classic.
Kenneth Kipkemoi won the African 10,000m title in 2012. Like Emmanuel Bett, he missed out on making the Kenyan Olympic team in 2012, but finished the year with a PB in Brussels, clocking 26:52.65. He then finished seventh at the 2013 World Championships.
Geoffrey Kirui was just 18 years old when he clocked his 10,000m PB of 26:55.73 in 2011, making him the second-fastest junior in history. The Kenyan won the African junior title earlier that year, and then went on to take bronze at the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Titus Mbishei earned silver medals in the 10,000m at the 2008 World Junior Championships and in the junior race at the 2009 World Cross Country Championships. His PB of 26:59.81 was set in 2011 when he was just 20 years old.
One year after taking junior silver at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships, Leonard Barsoton won the senior African cross-country title at the age of 19. Later that year he set a 10,000m PB of 27:20.74 and then finished fifth in the senior race at this year’s World Cross Country Championships.
Teklemariam Medhin has earned two individual medals at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The two-time Olympic finalist has a 10,000m PB of 27:16.69.
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei will return to Hayward Field after winning the world junior 10,000m title in the same stadium last year. Still just 18 years old, he has already won the African junior title this year.
The top North American in the field is Cam Levins. A training partner of Farah, the Canadian took bronze at the Commonwealth Games last year. His 10,000m PB of 27:27.96 was set on his debut at the distance in 2012.
His PB of 27:28.10 might not be the fastest in the field, but Eritrea’s world and Olympic finalist Nguse Amlosom won the hotly contested African title over 10,000m last year.
William Sitonik, the 2011 world youth 3000m champion, has already won two 10,000m races this year, both in Japan. This will be his first race on US soil.
World University Games champion Stephen Mokoka won both the 10,000m and 5000m at this year’s South African Championships, setting a national record of 13:11.44 in the latter. Like Sitonik, the 30-year-old will be making his US racing debut.
Since setting a PB of 27:32.96 in Eugene last year, 35-year-old El Hassan El Abbassi of Bahrain has won the 2014 Asian Games and 2015 Arab Championships at the distance.
Suguru Osako took the silver medal behind Al Abbassi at the 2014 Asian Games. Earlier this year he set Japanese indoor records at 3000m, two miles and 5000m.
Others in the field include Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich, 2009 world youth 3000m bronze medallist Goitom Kifle of Eritrea, 2010 Kenyan 5000m champion Vincent Yator, Commonwealth 5000m bronze medallist Zane Robertson of New Zealand, 2012 European 5000m silver medallist Arne Gabius, and Moroccan 10,000m debutant Othmane El Goumri.
National half-marathon champion Diego Estrada and 13:02.80 5000m runner Hassan Mead are the two US entrants in the field.
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