Nijel Amos wins the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Kirby Lee)
Champions from Africa and Europe, as well as the world champion, will grace the men’s two-lap event at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 30 May after the meeting organisers announced an impressive men’s 800m field on Monday (27).
In fact, all but four men in the race are current continental or national champions, while among the others are merely the 800m champions from the IAAF World Championships and IAAF World Junior Championships, the Olympic 1500m champion and the fastest man in the world indoors this year.
Nijel Amos of Botswana, the Olympic silver medallist at the age of 18, is the African Champion. At 20, he also won the Diamond Race over two laps of the track.
Amos is the world’s fourth-fastest ever at 1:41.73 and world junior record-holder. He won at last year’s Prefontaine Classic in 1:43.63 in his first-ever US appearance.
Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia is the world champion, winning in Moscow while just 19 years old. He is also the 2012 and 2014 world indoor champion.
The current European champion is Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who also has a world indoor silver medal from 2014 as well as European indoor golds in 2011 and 2013 to his name.
Qatar’s Abdulrahman Musaeb Balla, who will be having his first race on US soil, won at the 2013 Asian Championships and was the 2015 world indoor leader with 1:45.48.
Duane Solomon is the two-time reigning US champion and his fourth-place finish at the 2012 Olympics was the highest by a US runner in that event for 20 years.
Ferguson Cheruiyot is the current Kenyan national champion while his compatriot Alfred Kipketer won at last year’s World Junior Championships in Eugene as a 17-year-old.
Kipketer’s winning time last summer was 1:43.95, the fastest at Hayward Field by anyone outside of last year’s Prefontaine Classic, and in 2015 he will still be a junior.
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi won the 2012 Olympic 1500m gold medal but preceded Amos as the African 800m champion in 2012.
Completing the field, earlier this month Andre Olivier won his third-straight South African title. He just missed a medal at last year’s World Indoor Championships when finishing fourth and, like Balla, he will also be having his first race in the USA.
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