Anticipation for Saturday’s Drake Blue Oval Showcase presented by Mediacom has reached a fever pitch. It will continue to climb with today’s reveal of the full slate of world-class talent set to grace Drake Stadium.
All told, nearly 80 of the world’s top track and field talent will compete in 11 events during the Showcase, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. No ticketed fans will be allowed inside Drake Stadium. However, the event will be broadcast live on Mediacom MC22 and Runnerspace+.
Those talented fields received a boost this week with the addition of Olympic gold medalists Tianna Bartoletta and Shaunae Miller-Uibo to the women’s field. Bartoletta, who has won a total of three gold medals, will compete in the long jump and 100 meters. She is the reigning Olympic champion in the long jump and three-time world champion. She has also been a stalwart on the United States’ 4x100m relay team.
“Having an athlete with Tianna’s resume compete at the Blue Oval Showcase presented by Mediacom shows the faith that the sport of track & field has in our staff, officials and the City of Des Moines to host a world-class competition,” said Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays.
Boldon also added Miller-Uibo to the women’s 200 meters as that event will have one of the world’s top lineups. Miller-Uibo owns the top time in the world in the event this season and was the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters. In the 200 meters, the four-time World Championship qualifier was a bronze medalist at the most recent World Championships. Former University of Iowa standout Brittany Brown, the World Championships silver medalist, has also joined the field along with Shamier Little and the previously announced Shakima Wimbley.
“The excitement around the women’s 200 meters has been palpable as the competition has gotten stronger every day with a different elite athlete wanting to come to the Blue Oval to test their mettle against the world’s best,” Boldon said. “This is one of the best 200m races that the sport will see this year and I anticipate the competition will be on par with a Diamond League event.”
The men’s sprints and hurdles will be equally impressive with Jarrion Lawson, Devon Allen, Aleec Harris and Wallace Spearmon set to compete.