May 11, 2011
For Immediate Release
Eugene, Oregon  




            Talk about quality!  Each of the four throwing events at the 2011 Prefontaine Classic on June 4th  features the number 1 ranked athlete in the world, and 3 of the 4 include the reigning Olympic or World Champion.  


            In the men’s shot put, current World Champion Christian Cantwell brings his Track & Field News ranking as the best shot putter in the world for the past two years back to Eugene, where he set a monster Pre Classic meet record of 73-6 ¼ (22.41) in 2010. The 30-year-old American is also the Olympic silver medalist from Beijing.

            And the Olympic gold medalist from those 2008 Olympic Games?  That would be Poland’s Tomasz Majewski, who is also in the Pre Classic field. Trading places with Cantwell, Majewski was the silver medalist at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. In fact, with AmericansReese Hoffa (WC gold in ’07) and Adam Nelson (WC gold in ’05) in the field, that’s three world shot put champions. But wait!  Add in Andrey Mikhenivch of Belarus, the 2003 World Champion, and the Eugene Diamond League shot put includes every World Champion since the turn of the century!  And every one of the 8 entrants is ranked in the top 10 in the world by Track & Field News magazine.


            The medal count continues in the men’s discus throw, with world No. 1 Robert Harting of Germany stacking his 2009 World Championships gold against the 2008 Olympic gold of Estonia’s Gerd Kanter and the recent OG/WC silvers of Poland’s Piotr Malachowski. And for those counting medals, it’s hard to beat the 7 claimed by super-vet Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania, including two Olympic and one World Championships golds.  The field contains the Nos. 1-2-3-4-6-8 ranked throwers from 2010!


            That quality continues in the women’s shot put, with No. 1 ranked Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Russia, No. 3 Natallia Mikhnevich of Belarus, No. 4 Anna Avdeyeva of Russia, and No. 7 Jill Camarena-Williams of the United States in the field. Ostapchuk has a complete set (gold-silver-bronze) of World Championships medals, as well as an Olympic bronze from Beijing.  Mikhnevich is the Olympic silver medalist from the 2008 Games.  And each of the top 4 threw farther last year than the venerable Prefontaine Classic meet record of 62-11 ½  (19.19), set by Connie Price-Smith in 1997.


            The same can be said of the women’s javelin throw, with 6 of the 8 competitors having thrown farther last year than the current Prefontaine Classic meet record of 213-11 (65.20). The difference is that the current meet recordholder, Barbora Spotakova, is in the field. Spotakova is the reigning Olympic Champion and 2007 World Champion. To protect her No. 1 ranking from last year, the 29-year-old Czech will need to fend off world No. 2 Christina Obergfoll of Germany, No. 3 Mariya Abakumova of Russia, No. 5 Sunette Viljoen of South Africa, No. 6 Kara Patterson of the U.S., No. 7 Martina Ratej of Slovenia, and No. 9 Madara Palameika of Latvia.  Obergfoll is the bronze medalist from the Beijing Games, Abakumova won silver in Beijing and bronze at the 2009 World Championships, and Patterson is the current American recordholder.


            Tickets for the 37th annual Prefontaine Classic are on sale at, from 1-800-WEBFOOT, and in person at the University of Oregon Athletic Department ticket office. The NIKE Prefontaine Classic will be televised live from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC.



Christian Cantwell
Reese Hoffa
Andrey Mikhnevich (Belarus)
Tomasz Majewski (Poland)
Dylan Armstrong (Canada)
Adam Nelson
Ryan Whiting
Cory Martin


Robert Harting (Germany)
Piotr Malachowski (Poland)
Gerd Kanter (Estonia)
Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuania)
Zoltan Kovago (Hungary)
Casey Malone
Jason Young
Ian Waltz


Nadzeya Ostapchuk (Russia)
Natallia Mikhnevich (Belarus)
Anna Avdeyeva (Russia)
Jill Camarena-Williams
Michelle Carter
Sarah Stevens-Walker
Natalia Duco (Chile) 


Barbora Spotakova (Czech Rep)
Christina Obergfoll (Germany)
Mariya Abakumova (Russia)
Sunette Viljoen (South Africa)
Kara Patterson
Martina Ratej (Slovenia)
Madara Palameika (Latvia)
Rachel Yurkovich

Full preliminary entry list