I’ve been paying particular attention to the IAAF’s newly formed Diamond League. This elite group of one-day meetings will start up this summer and provide exciting opportunities to athletes in every track and field event except the hammer throw. The IAAF has set up a slightly disappointing Hammer Throw Challenge series, but the hammer throw has still been left out of the most high profile meets this year.
That is, it has been left out of all of the high profile meets except one. In exchanging e-mails with Prefontaine Classic meet director Tom Jordan yesterday, I was happy to hear that the women’s hammer throw will be added to this year’s Prefontaine Classic. So far, the Pre Classic will be the only Diamond League competition that will host the hammer. In addition, the meet will be offering the same prize money as it did in the women’s hammer last year. The meet will also feature a largely international field of eight throwers.
The hammer throw will still be a “non-diamond league event” at the competition and athletes will not be eligible for year-end Diamond League jackpots, but it is encouraging that the nation’s premiere track meet will continue to host the hammer throw. Tom Jordan and has been one of the few advocates for the hammer throw since the formation of the Diamond League last year. The meet has also long been one of the few international grand prix events to continually host the hammer throw. If you will be near Eugene on July 3rd, stop by the meet to support the hammer throw and the meet’s decision to continue to contest one of the best track and field events. Last year’s competition was very exciting and saw 2007 world champion Betty Heidler of Germany win and my training partner Sultana Frizell take second place and set a new Canadian record. This year’s edition sounds like it will be even more exciting and it will be the only chance to watch a world-class field in America this year.