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Posted: May 13, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: 3 For 3 - Gold Medalists Headline Pre Classic Throws

Eugene, Oregon--It quite literally doesn't get any better than this. In the three throwing events at this year's Prefontaine Classic on June 7th, each is headlined by the Olympic gold medalist from Beijing in that event.

In the men's Shot Put, it's a clean sweep: gold medalist Tomasz Majewski of Poland, silver medalist Christian Cantwell of the U.S., and bronze medalist Andrey Mikhnevich of Belarus. Not to overlook defending Pre Classic champion Adam Nelson and reigning World Champion Reese Hoffa, who has the farthest throw in the world this year. In fact, with 8 out of the top 10 putters in the world in the field, including Nos. 1 through 6 as ranked by Track & Field News magazine, this will arguably be the best field of shot putters ever assembled on American soil.

American Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton takes center stage in the Discus ring, returning to Hayward Field where she narrowly made the Olympic team last summer. The defending Pre Classic champion then went on to Beijing to become the first U.S. gold medalist in the event since 1932 in what was the biggest upset of the track & field portion of the Games. She will be joined by Olympic Trials winner Aretha Thurmond, ranked 10th in the world, and American Recordholder Suzy Powell.

Adding to the medal haul is the women's Hammer Throw, which features Olympic gold medalist Oksana Menkova of Belarus, who makes her first visit to Hayward Field, as is Olympic bronze medalist Wenxiu Zhang of China. In addition to these No. 1 and No. 3-ranked throwers, the hammer features the No. 5 Darya Pchelnik of Belarus and No. 8 Betty Heidler of Germany, last year's Prefontaine Classic winner.

Running total: three events, five Beijing Olympic medalists!

Tickets for the 35th annual Prefontaine Classic are on sale at 1-800-WEBFOOT or online at


Tomasz Majewski (Poland)
Christian Cantwell
Andrey Mikhnevich (Belarus)
Reese Hoffa
Adam Nelson
Dorian Scott (Jamaica)
Dylan Armstrong (Canada)
Dan Taylor


Stephanie Brown Trafton
Aretha Thurmond
Suzy Powell
Becky Breisch
Summer Pierson
Gia Lewis-Smallwood


Oksana Menkova (Belarus)
Xiang Wenxiu (China)
Betty Heidler (Germany)
Britney Henry
Amber Campbell
Jessica Cosby
Darya Pchelnick (Belarus)
Sultana Frizell (Canada)
Loree Smith

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