Some of the biggest stars of the Tokyo Olympics will compete at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday. Sifan Hassan, the dominant distance runner, is expected to make her return to global competition in the women’s 10,000 meters. And the Olympic gold medalist Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy will face a trio of American sprinters looking to sweep the men’s 100 meters.
It’s a day showcasing some of the top endurance athletes in the world, and some of the fastest. Buckle up, we’re just getting started.
Women’s 10,000 meters: 3:20 pm Eastern (NBC)
Hassan of the Netherlands won three medals in Tokyo. But there are questions about her fitness.
Hassan, 29, returned from a lengthy hiatus to run the 5,000 meters at a small meet in Portland, Ore., about a week ago. She won in 15 minutes 13.41 seconds, which was far off her personal best of 14:22.12, but said afterwards that she had wanted to treat it like a training run — which was understandable, given that it was her first race of the year.
“I took a lot of rest and found it very difficult to get going again, to get focused,” she recently told the Dutch news media, according to Reuters. “The Olympics was a highlight. It was really difficult to set new goals after that. I was running away from running. I had no motivation. But then I started to miss running.”
Can she unearth her familiar form in time to repeat as the world champion in the 10,000? Stay tuned. But doubt her at your peril. In Tokyo, she won gold in the 5,000 and the 10,000 and took bronze in the 1,500. The feat required her to run 24,500 meters in six races over nine days, including qualifying rounds, which worked out to roughly 15.2 miles in blistering conditions.
Among those expected to challenge Hassan on Saturday is Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, who owns the world record in the event and won bronze in Tokyo. Also, keep an eye on Hellen Obiri of Kenya, a two-time world champion in the 5,000 meters, and Eilish McColgan of Britain, who could contend for a spot on the podium.
Men’s 100 meters: 10:50 pm Eastern (NBC)
American men could sweep this event for the first time since 1991. Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell have the two fastest times in the world this year, and Marvin Bracy’s 9.85 is tied for third. Kerley, a former 400 specialist, is the only man to run a sub-9.80 race in 2022.
Christian Coleman, another American and the defending world champion, is back after a suspension for whereabouts violations and will also be among the favorites to win this race, although he has not performed up to his 2019 form yet.
Then there is the defending Olympic 100-meter gold medalist, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who has battled injuries throughout the season. Jacobs beat Coleman for the 60-meter world indoor crown, and he has exchanged tweets with Kerley about his excitement to race in Oregon. Also, keep an eye on Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion. He ran 9.85 seconds, his fastest time since 2012, to win his fifth Jamaican title in late June.