Friday, July 6, 2012

Diamond League: Paris

With just 21 days until the Opening Ceremonies of the London Games, and only a handful of opportunities for athletes to get in final tune-ups, the Samsung Diamond League Paris meeting was expected to be a hot competition. World Record holder David Rudisha commented earlier in the week that he may take a crack at his own WR, and the men's 5000m featured a field full of sub-13 minute runners.

Men's Steeplechase

Paul Koech, the Kenyan who has run under 8 minutes twice this season (including a narrow miss at the WR), was looking to avenge his 7th place finish at the Kenyan Trials. Of course that competition is held at altitude, where Koech runs poorly, but he would be a top contender at the sea-level London Olympics. He narrowly missed breaking 8, clocking a Meet Record 8:00.57, as he led 4 men under 8:04.

1. Paul Koech 8:00.57 MR
2. Brimin Kipruto 8:01.73 SB
3. Abel Mutai 8:03.15
4. Jairus Birech 8:03.43 PB
5. Brahmin Taleb 8:11.72

Women's 1500m

When Helen Obiri and Maryam Jamal finish 7th and 10th, respectively - you know it was a competitive race. 5 women broke 4 minutes in this one, which means our top guns of Jenny Simpson, Morgan Uceny, and Shannon Rowbury are going to have to be sharp to get on the medal stand in London. Interesting, however, that the top two women broke 4 minutes for the first time. Selsouli popped positive for EPO use previously and appealed it, but now is somehow faster.

1. Mariem Alaoui Selsouli MAR 3:56.15 WL,NR
2. Asli Cakir Alptekin TUR 3:56.62 PB
3. Abeba Aregawi ETH 3:58.59
4. Viola Jelagat Kibiwot KEN 3:59.25 PB
5. Ibtissam Lakhouad MAR 3:59.65 SB
6. Anna Mishchenko UKR 4:01.16 PB
7. Helen Obiri KEN 4:01.43
8. Lisa Dobriskey GBR 4:02.13 SB
9. Siham Hilali MAR 4:02.59 SB
10. Maryam Yusuf Jamal BRN 4:02.84
11. Ingvill Makestand Bovim Ingvill NOR 4:03.71 SB
12. Eunice Jepkoech Sum KEN 4:04.26 PB
13. Isabel Macias ESP 4:04.84 PB
14. Hind Dehiba Chahyd FRA 4:09.09 SB

Men's 5000m

Without a doubt, the event of the meet. I think I read it was the fastest time run for the distance since Kenenisa Bekele set the Meet Record here in 2005 (12:40.18). In all, 6 men broke 12:50 and 11 ran under 13 minutes - the most number of sub-13 runners in one race ever. Dejen "One Shoe" Gebremeskel won in 12:46.81, but it was Hagos Gebrhiwet who stole the show, setting a World Junior Record (12:47.53).

1. Dejen Gebremeskel 12:46.81 WL
2. Hagos Gebrhiwet 12:47.53 WJR
3. Isaiah Koech 12:48.64 PB
4. Yenew Alamirew 12:48.77 PB
5. Thomas Longosiwa 12:49.04 PB
6. John Kipkoech 12:49.50 PB
7. Tariku Bekele 12:54.31 SB
8. Eliud Kipchoge 12:55.34 SB
9. Kenenisa Bekele 12:55.79 SB
10. Edwin Soi 12:55.99 SB
11. Moses Masai 12:59.21

Men's 800m

Once again there were two races going on. David Rudisha against the clock; and everyone else against each other. Rudisha ran a very Rudisha-like 1:41.54 to set a Meet Record and lower his World Leading time (set at adidas Grand Prix a month ago). It's amazing that we've become accustomed to seeing sub-1:42 times from this great athlete. This is the 6th sub-1:42 that Rudisha has run in his lifetime, more than any other athlete. This guy really is something else. He won by 4 seconds, and while the field wasn't great, it had a number of people with the Olympic A standard. Nobody else deserves to be in the same race as this guy, so nobody else will get their result printed.

I did appreciate Nick Symmonds' tweet following the race (he didn't run):

I'll do my best to resist a Paris joke...

But I won't. Headline should read "Rudisha Crushes Paris; Symmonds, Too"


The women's 100m hurdles was a good one - all 9 women were 13.00 or faster, with World Champ Sally Pearson of Australia owning the field in a World Leading time of 12.40. She put down Ginnie Crawford (12.57) and Olympia Tiffany Porter of the UK (12.74). Kristi Castlin, Danielle Carruthers, and Canadian Perdita Felicien had okay races. Pearson just has such a great start, stays so low and is super efficient. Awesome to watch.

The women's 400m was won by Amantle Montsho of Botswana, ahead of a pretty solid field. Her winning time of 49.77 means she's ready to take on Sanya Richards-Ross in a few weeks!

The men's 100m was another exciting race, with a competitive field. Tyson Gay blitzed US Trials Champ, Justin Gatlin, at the line. The late-race surge was awesome. 9.99 to 10.03. White boy from France, Christophe LeMaitre, was 3rd in 10.08.

Runaround alum Chaunte Lowe won the women's high jump.

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