World champion Phyllis Francis is coming back to Eugene for her 2018 outdoor 400-meter opener.
It looks like it won’t be an easy day on her old track.
The former Oregon standout is entered in the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet on May 26 at Hayward Field, joining a field that also includes all-time American great Allyson Felix, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and 2018 World Indoor champion Courtney Okolo.
Francis, 26, won her world title last summer in London when she ran a personal-best 49.92 seconds. She won gold in the 4x400 at the Rio Olympics.
Four-time Olympian Allyson Felix, 32, has the most Olympic medals by a woman with nine along with Merlene Ottey. She’s also won three U.S. titles in the 400. Her PR is 49.26.
Miller-Uibo, 24, won her gold medal in Rio for the Bahamas with a memorable dive across the finish line to beat Felix.
Okolo, 24, won her first U.S. indoor title in February, then ran an indoor PR of 50.55, to win her world title. Her outdoor PR is 49.71. Like Francis and Felix, she was on the American 4x400 team that won gold in Rio.
Also in the Pre Classic field is Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, who won silver at the World Outdoor Championships last summer and has a 49.88 PR. Shakima Wimbley, 23, was the World Indoors silver medalist in March and is the only entry with a PR (50.18) that isn’t below 50 seconds. Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson, 29, won gold at the 2015 World Outdoor Championships.