Bekele And Farah To Clash In Eugene

Prefontaine Classic men's 5,000-meter field is stacked!

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Prefontaine Classic men’s 5,000-meter field is stacked!

Steve Prefontaine would have loved this year’s men’s 5000m field at the meet named in his honour.  After all, the world’s best are competing in his trademark Olympic event at the fourth stop on the 2012 Samsung Diamond League circuit, and it includes an impressive group of fearless young talent, along with some Americans with extreme motivation.  Plus, the race will occur on Saturday, June 2 at Hayward Field, the cathedral of quality distance running made famous by the likes of Prefontaine.

Shining the most light on the men’s 5000m field are the reigning Olympic gold medallist and world-record holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and the reigning World Championships gold medallist, Mo Farah of Great Britain.  Both are very familiar with Hayward Field and plan to meet again in London at the Olympics.

Bekele won the 2008 Prefontaine 10,000m in 26:25.97, the fourth fastest time ever.  Later that summer we won double Olympic gold medals by sweeping the 5000 and 10,000m in Beijing.  Four years earlier in Athens, he “only” won gold in the 10,000m and silver in the 5000m.  He is one of the all-time greats at the distances, collecting five gold medals at the World Championships.  His world record of 12:37.35 from 2004 still stands.

In 2010, Farah won the 5000/10,000m double at the European Championships.  Soon after he moved to train in Portland, Oregon with Alberto Salazar’s Oregon Project and 2011 brought an elevated set of medals: gold and silver from the World Championships in Daegu, with the gold coming in the 5000m.  He recorded his 10,000m and 5000m personal bests of 26:46.57 (European Record, set in Eugene) and 12:53.11 last year.