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Maria Mutola to make farewell at Prefontaine Classic

Maria Mutola to make farewell at Prefontaine Classic

Maria Mutola will make a farewell on Sunday at the Prefontaine Classic, a meet where she has won 15 straight times.
The five-time Olympian will run in the 800 meters at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field. Her competition includes U.S. indoor champion Nicole Teter and three-time U.S. outdoor champion Hazel Clark, a two-time Olympian.
The 35-year-old Mutola, who lives in South Africa, went to high school in Springfield, and trained in the Eugene area for many years. She plans to retire after this season.
"There has never been another competitor like her," meet director Tom Jordan said. "An Olympic gold, three world championship golds, seven world indoor gold medals, she has dominated her event like no other athlete."
Mutola will compete for Mozambique in Beijing this summer _ her sixth Olympics dating to Seoul in 1988, when she was 15. She won the gold medal in the 800 at the Sydney Games.
The meet will honor Mutola by retiring her No. 1 bib. An outstanding athlete award named for her will be handed out for the first time.
Meanwhile, Chinese Olympic gold medal hurdler Liu Xiang will decide at race time whether he can compete as he's still battling a sore right hamstring,
Liu scratched from last weekend's Reebok Grand Prix in New York after his leg tightened up in the hours before the 110-meter hurdles.
At the time, he said he hoped to be ready for the Prefontaine, while his coach, Sun Haiping, said it would be difficult for him to recover in time.
His plan is to warm up for Sunday's race, then decide whether he'll go to the starting line.
"The Prefontaine Classic only wants Liu to run if it helps in his preparations for Beijing," Jordan said. "The meet does not want him to do anything that might risk further injury."


Updated : 2021-03-01 15:58 GMT+08:00