Diamond Debate | Hot 100m expected at Prefontaine
Raymond Graham: Despite no major championships this year, fans are in for some excitement and one of the events that should attract a lot of attention, is the women's 100 metres.
Andre Lowe: It's been an exciting start to the season and things should get really interesting in Eugene today when four of the top five fastest women so far this year, square off again at the Prefontaine Classic.
Raymond Graham: Eugene is known for fast times and we are expecting fast times here with such a loaded field.
Andre Lowe: These ladies would run fast on a beach if they had to, that's how well they have been doing so far. This one is going to be a tricky one to call in all honesty. Marie-Josee Ta Lou's 10.85 done in Doha, is the fastest this year, but she hasn't been special since. Blessing Okagbare has been very solid over the 100m and 200m, Tori Bowie is bubbling, Elaine Thompson isn't at 100 per cent, but still has shown some decent speed, by her standards, while Murielle Ahoure hasn't done a 100m since her 10.96 in Doha on May 4.
Raymond Graham: In Doha, we saw a fast race with the vastly improved Ta Lou, winning in a very quick 10.85 seconds. Bowie loves this track as she has ran some really fast times in both the 100 and 200 metres here.
Andre Lowe: Yes, she did 10.78 seconds at Hayward Field a couple seasons ago and even though she's yet to explode this season, like you said, this is her stomping ground.
Raymond Graham: I saw her race on the road in Boston, but I was not pleased with her execution and she will need a better start to beat this quality field.
Andre Lowe: Yet she ran 11.05 there in less than ideal situations. We all know these makeshift tracks aren't always the most conducive for optimum performance. I'm expecting her to run much faster in Eugene and she might just be the one to beat here.
Raymond Graham: I like how Ta Lou starts in her races and I think she will be out first and will have to be caught. Following her win at JIIM, Thompson must have some added confidence, but I think she and Bowie will fall short, as Ta Lou should win in around 10.80 seconds.
Andre Lowe: It's always difficult to gauge these things because you don't know where each athlete is, or the type of load they have going into a meet; especially at this stage. However, I like what I've seen from Bowie and Elaine in recent weeks. The winner will come from those two. I think Bowie is physically fitter at this stage and I am giving her the slight edge. I expect Okagbare or Ta Lou to be closest to that pair.Raymond Graham : You do have a good point here and the Americans are hard to beat on this track, but I will stick with Ta Lou.