LetsRun.com's Recap Of Doha 2012: The Samsung Diamond League Starts Off in Style

By LetsRun.com
May 11, 2012

The Diamond League athletics season got off to a fine start in Doha, Qatar on Friday. In the distances, Silas Kiplagat and Asbel Kiprop waged a battle for the ages in the 1500, Kenenisa Bekele looked very human, Vivian Cheruiyot showed why she doesn't lose, Pamela Jelimo won, but may have a new challenger, David Rudisha is still great and Paul Koech is running very fast. In the sprints, LaShawn Merritt is back, unfortunately so is Justin Gatlin, Allyson Felix is faster than you thought, and Walter Dix is still pretty good.


Jelimo (l) Having To Work For It

Women's 800: Pamelo Jelimo Runs 1:56 As Ethiopian Teen Fantu Magiso Sets New National Record
The results don't tell the whole story to the women's 800. Yes, the big story was that the Olympic champ in Pamela Jelimo did follow up her world indoor crown with a 1:56.94 world leading win to establish herself as the Olympic favorite.

However, a sub plot to the main story was that at least one of Jelimo's competitors isn't going to conceded anything to her.

After the rabbit took the first 400 in 57.63 (Jelimo was probably 58 mid), the runners headed around the turn and started down the backstretch. Jelimo was in the lead and many just assumed she'd coast to victory.

Not so fast. Ethiopian teenager Fantu Magiso made a big move about 550 into the race and took the lead as she hit 600 in 1:26.37.

The big 3rd 200 would prove to be a bit too much for Magiso as Jelimo would regain the lead around 750 and pull away to get a near full second victory in 1:56.94 to Magiso's 1:57.90, which is a new Ethiopian national record by a ton (We're not sure what the old record was but know no Ethiopian had done under 1:59.00 before). Beijing silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei, who got bronze outdoors last year (in addition to gold in 2007 and silver in 2009) was a clear third in 1:58.50.

American Molly Beckwith's undefeated streak for the year came to an end but she broke 2:00 for the second time in her career as she ran 1:59.51.

Analysis: A 1:56.94 at the start of the outdoor season for Jelimo will likely make everyone except maybe Caster Semenya and Mariya Savinova start thinking about running for 2nd. That being said, people need to remember that in 2008 prior to when she ran 1:54.01 to win Olympic gold, Jelimo never ran slower than 1:56 in Europe. Everything was 1:55 or faster so she may not be quite as good as she was in 2008. Jelimo's time was the fastest since she ran 1:56.73 to win the world athletics final in September of 2008.

Our favorite saying about the 800 is, "You only have one move." That certainly was proved by Magiso who made her move in the third 200 instead of the 4th. That being said, we loved seeing the competitive naivety. She should be a big factor in the future.

1
KEN
1:56.94
WL,MR
2
ETH
1:57.90
NR
3
KEN
1:58.50
4
CUB
1:59.26
5
GBR
1:59.37
6
USA
1:59.51
SB
7
KEN
1:59.94
8
IND
2:01.09
9
KEN
2:01.20
10
AUS
2:02.75
 
RUS
DNF

Intermediate times:
400m: Kupina, Yekaterina (RUS) 57.63
600m Magiso Manedo, Fantu (ETH) 1:26.37


Rudisha (r) Pulls Away

Men's 800: David Rudisha Gets Seasonal Best As Job Kinyor Introduces Himself To The World
David Rudisha picked up a win and new seasonal best in the men's 800 as he ran 1:43.10, eclipsing the 1:43.66 he ran in Australia. However, Rudisha had to work a for this one as at 700 meters fellow Kenyan Job Kinyor was right on his shoulder.

There was no doubt who was the best over the final 100 but the story of this race may likely be that Kinyor is a real talent. Kinyor, who won the IAAF meet in Japan last week in awful conditions in 1:47.05, lowered his pb from 1:45.07 to 1:43.76 tonight as five of the top nine including third placer Andrew Osagie (1:44.64) of GBR set new PBs. It's worth pointing out that three-time global outdoor medallist Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya was in the B-heat where he struggled.

Analysis:
Who is Job Kinyor you say? Well the 21-year old ran 2:17.53 (1000m) back in July of 2010 as a 19 year old. Last year, he was 4th at the Kenyan champs.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
1:43.10
WL
2
KINYOR Job
KEN
1:43.76
PB
3
GBR
1:44.64
PB
4
ESP
1:44.65
5
KEN
1:44.66
SB
6
GBR
1:44.86
7
DEN
1:44.99
PB
8
CZE
1:45.12
PB
9
QAT
1:45.19
PB
10
ALG
1:50.46
 
KOSGEI Silah Kipkoech
KEN
DNF

Intermediate times: 400m Kosgei, Silah Kipkoech (KEN) 50.39
600m Rudisha, David (KEN) 1:16.70

B Heat

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
FRA
1:45.69
PB
2
MAR
1:45.70
SB
3
IRI
1:45.98
4
GBR
1:46.41
5
KEN
1:46.46
6
ALG
1:47.98
7
FRA
1:48.60
SB
8
ALG
1:51.19
PB
 
OMA
DNF
 
BRN
DNS

Intermediate times: 400m AL QURIANI, Obaid Abdulla (OMA) 51.15
600m Bosse, Pierre-Ambroise (FRA) 1:18.25

Women's 100m: Allyson Felix Beats Some of the Best in the World

Allyson Felix has talked of doing the 200/400 double at the Olympics because presumably she's not fast enough to do the 100/200 double.

Well she surprised everyone by winning the 100m in Doha in a personal best of 10.92 beating 2007 World Champ Veronica Campbell Brown and Olympic champ Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce.

Analysis: This might get Allyson on the 4x100 team but her path to the double seems through the 200/400.

Wind:+0.7
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
USA
10.92
MR
0.156
2
JAM
10.94
0.149
3
JAM
11.00
0.157
4
NGR
11.01
0.166
5
USA
11.13
0.157
6
USA
11.13
0.148
7
JAM
11.16
0.168
8
JAM
11.22
SB
0.162


Justin Gatlin Over Asafa Powell

Men's 100m: Justin Gatlin Beats Asafa Powell
Former world record holder Asafa Powell got off to a good start but did what he usually does when someone puts pressure on him - panics and loses - as drug cheat Justin Gatlin came from behind to get the win in 9.87 to Powell's 9.88.

Analysis: 9.87 is faster than Gatlin ran all of last year (9.95) as year 2 of the comeback seems to be going nicely for Gatlin.

Wind:+0.4
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
USA
9.87
0.171
2
JAM
9.88
0.134
3
JAM
9.99
=PB
0.172
4
USA
10.00
0.159
5
JAM
10.05
0.170
6
USA
10.11
0.141
7
JAM
10.14
0.151
8
FRA
10.28
0.173

Men's 1500: After Collision, Silas Kiplagat Wins As Asbel Kiprop Finally Breaks 3:30

If the first Diamond League 1500m is any indication track as to how the rest of the year is going to go, then field fans are in for a treat in 2012. The result itself was impressive enough with World silver medallist Silas Kiplagat triumphing over World and Olympic Champion Asbel Kiprop in 3:29.63 to 3:29.78, the first sub 3:30 clocking in the world since 2010, and a personal best for Kiprop. The result however does not do this race justice as it also included a collision between Kiplagat and Kiprop with 100m to go.

So to recap, the first race of the year was faster than any race of 2011, had a battle to the line between the World #1 and #2, had a collision between those two, and still resulted in the first sub 3:30 clocking ever for the Olympic champ. The race was so fast American Russell Brown finished in 12th place and still ran 3:34.11 well under the Olympic "A" standard of 3:35.50 (Editor's note: That result reminds of this thread: Steve Holman Once Ran 3:33.60 for 1500m and Finished 14th).

Viktor Kipchirchir did a good job with the pacemaking abilities taking it out in 55.41 with a slight gap on the field (56ish) . He continued on fairly even paced at 800 in 1:52.06 with the field in 1:53.

Nixon Chepseba, Silas Kiplagat and Asbel Kiprop had been near the front throughout. At the bell (2:36) Kiplagat had the lead. On the backstretch, Kiprop took the lead.

Coming around the final bend Kiprop led, with Kiplagat just behind him. Just as they were straightening up to begin the kick for home, Kiprop was clipped from behind. He stumbled, lost his momentum, and was forced


Screen Shot of Collision

outside, but he did not go down. However, it let Kiplagat go by and now Kiplagat was on the inside and in the lead. Kiprop regained his composure and challenged Kiplagat for the lead down the homestretch but Kiplagat had just enough to hold him off in 3:29.63 to 3:29.78. It was a 53.2 second last lap.

Kiprop and Kiplagat certainly showed why they are the World #1 and World #2. Behind them were three Kenyan compatriots with Bethwell Birgin setting a PB in 3:31.17, Nixon Chepseba in 3:31.32 and Collins Cheboi in 3:32.64. The first non-Kenyan was former Kenyan and world junior mile record holder Ilham Tanui Ozbilen in 6th.

Aussie star Ryan Gregson was buried in the field in 11th in 3:33.92 followed by American Russell Brown in a pb of 3:34.11. For them it was mission accomplished as the goal was the Olympic "A" standard of 3:35.50. Gregson will be on the Olympic team for Australia and now Brown will be if he is top 3 at the US Trials.

Behind them was the world's second best 800m runner Abubaker Kaki in 3:34.34. Kaki had run 3:31.76 last year and many were wondering if he'd soon make the 1,500 his primary event so this certainly was a disappointing performance for him.

Quick Take: Finally a sub 3:30 clocking for Asbel Kiprop. Kiprop had never broken 3:30, yet he did it in his first 1500 of the year, in a race where he almost got knocked down. Super impressive.

You cold tell that Kiprop really wanted to win this race, particularly after getting clipped, but at the same time he didn't look too upset once he realized he'd finally broken 3:30.

It's a good thing for the rest of the world there are only 3 Kenyans at the Olympics.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
3:29.63
WL
2
KEN
3:29.78
PB
3
KEN
3:31.17
PB
4
KEN
3:31.32
5
KEN
3:32.64
6
TUR
3:33.32
7
ETH
3:33.38
8
KEN
3:33.43
9
QAT
3:33.69
YB
10
KIPTOO Eliah
KEN
3:33.81
11
AUS
3:33.92
SB
12
USA
3:34.11
PB
13
SUD
3:34.34
14
ALG
3:42.88
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNS

Intermediate times:

400m Kipchirchir, Viktor (KEN) 55.41
800m Kipchirchir, Viktor (KEN) 1:52.06
1200m Kiplagat, Silas (KEN) 2:50.40


Final Hurdle For Paul Kipsiele Koech & Richard Matelong

Men's Steeple: Paul Kipsiele Koech & Richard Matelong Run 7:56 As Brimin Kipruto Struggles
If you watched the race, you wouldn't know a new men's national record fell for Ethiopia in the men's steeple tonight as world championship finalist Roba Gari ran 8:06.72 for third to break his old record of 8:09.87.

We say you wouldn't know it because this race soon became a two-person affair throughout as Paul Kipsiele Koech, who ran the 5th fastest indoor 5000 ever this year at 13:02 and ran 7:57 for the steeple last year, and 3-time global steeple medallist Richard Mateelong, were up front from the get-go and finished nearly ten seconds ahead!!

Koech had the lead as the two approached two laps to go (5:52) and he'd never relinquish it. He blitzed his final lap in 60.70 to get the win in the fastest time ever recorded in May.

The defending Olympic champ Brimin Kipruto, who got silver at world's last year and had the world's #1 time, looked awful throughout and finished 12th in 8:26.59

Analysis:  It's a shame for Koech's sake that the Kenyan's don't hold their steeple trails not at altitude like they are doing with the 10,000 this year as Koech is seemingly the one Kenyan who runs well not at altitude but really struggles at altitude.

It's a little surprising that Matelong had never broken 8:00 before. His previous pb was 8:00.89 from 2009. Koech's 7:56.68 was just off his pb of 7:56.37. They are the 7th and 8th fastest steeples in history.

Previous fastest time ever run in May? Ezekiel Kemboi ran 7:58.85 back in May of 2009.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
7:56.58
WL,MR
2
KEN
7:56.81
PB
3
ETH
8:06.16
NR
4
KEN
8:06.72
PB
5
KEN
8:08.92
YB
6
KEN
8:11.00
7
KEN
8:11.27
PB
8
KEN
8:12.84
9
KEN
8:20.96
SB
10
UGA
8:22.94
11
RSA
8:24.28
SB
12
KEN
8:26.59
13
UGA
8:27.13
14
ETH
8:32.97
15
MUBARAK TAHER Tareq
BRN
8:41.42
16
TUR
8:42.36
 
KIPKOECH Robert
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF

Intermediate times: 1000m Kipkosgei, Nelson (KEN) 2:37.17
2000m Koech, Paul Kipsiele (KEN) 5:19.72

Men's 400m: LaShawn Merritt is Back

LaShawn Merritt, the inadvertant drug user (US anti-doping authorities agreed that Merritt took penis enhancement pills not a doping product), came back from his drug suspension last year, but he didn't run this fast. This was Merritt's fastest time since his 44.06 in 2009, faster than his world leading 44.35 last year, and the fastest in the world since Jeremy Wariner's 44.13 in 2010.

Luguelin Santos had a Dominican Republic national record in 44.88 for second.

1
USA
44.19
WL,MR
0.177
2
DOM
44.88
NR
0.208
3
USA
44.97
SB
0.164
4
GBR
44.99
0.173
5
ISV
45.20
SB
0.144
6
SUD
45.42
0.142
7
USA
45.62
0.264
8
GER
47.12
0.276

Women's 3000m: In a Race Perfectly Designed for Vivian Cheruiyot to Lose, She Wins

In case you forgot, Vivian Cheruiyot reminded us all in the women's 3000m that she is the best women's distance runner in the World as she held off four time World indoor 3000m champion Meseret Defar to win the women's 3000m in 8:46.44.

Cheruiyot, the double World Champion last year, has not lost a track race since August of 2010. If you were going to design a way for her to lose, this race met all the conditions. 

First track race of the year - check. Drop down in distance - check.  Slow pace- check. Lead on the final lap with a pack of runners including Meseret Defar right on your shoulder -check.

None of it mattered as Cheruiyot managed to stay in front down the entire homestretch to defeat Defar by the slimmest of margins 8:46.44 to 8:46.49. If Meseret Defar can't beat Cheruiyot in this race, what race can she beat her in?

The race itself came down to the final lap.  Early on, Russian rabbit Anna Luchkina did her job, but the only one in the field to go after her was Brit Stephanie Twell. The rest of the field was content to let the pace go slow. The field clearly was not concerned with Twell, who at one point built a 7-second lead, and their lack of concern would prove to be well founded as the pack swallowed up Twell after seven minutes of running.

Cheruiyot was willing to lead at the bell with a slew of runners right behind her including Defar. Cheruiyot held them all off and the undefeated streak continued.

Quick take: The final lap was 60.98 which leaves some room for improvement. Cheruiyot ran 58.6 the last 400 to win the Worlds 5000.

1
KEN
8:46.44
WL
2
ETH
8:46.49
3
KEN
8:47.49
4
ETH
8:48.92
5
KEN
8:50.04
6
KEN
8:50.63
7
KEN
8:51.63
8
KEN
8:52.04
9
BRN
8:54.51
10
KEN
8:56.52
11
KEN
8:57.43
12
ETH
9:00.97
13
GBR
9:01.64
14
NOR
9:10.45
15
ERI
9:11.32
NR
 
RUS
DNF
 
UAE
DNS
 
ETH
DNS
 
UAE
DNS

Intermediate times:
1000m Luchkina, Anna (RUS) 3:01.26
2000m Twell, Stephanie (GBR) 5:55.11

Men's 3000: Kenenisa Bekele Returns & Struggles As Augustine Choge Wins
The men's 3000 was in our minds all about the return of Kenenisa Bekele to the track for a non 10,000 for the first time since 2009. Heading into the race, our thought process was simple. If Bekele was able to win this shorter race, which is by no means his specialty,  against many of the world's best on the verge of this 30th birthday, the rest of the world might as well raise the white flag for the 10,000 at world's as they had no chance.

Well the rest of the world still has a chance as Bekele struggled over the final 1200 meters before rallying a bit to finish seventh in 7:40.00 in a race that was won by Augustine Choge in 7:30.42.

In the early going, Bekele was running in fourth as the runners clicked off a series of 60 and 61 second laps (see Bekele's splits below). However, the pace started to accelerate as the runners approached 1800 and Bekele had trouble matching the increased tempo. He started to move back and at 1800 was  in 6th despite running at 60.74 lap. Once the lead pack got away, Bekele struggle more as he covered the 800 from 1800 to 2600 in the 2:08-9 range.

Well beaten at this point, the one encouraging thing for Bekele fans was he didn't take the easy way out and DNF. He ran a sub 60 last lap and passed a few guys to finish 8th in 7:40.00.

Up front, the race belonged squarely to Augustine Choge. Heading into the last lap, five time world medallist and 2003 World Champion at 5000m, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, was on his heels but a 54.87 gave Choge the victory.  

Unofficially we had Bekele at
1:31.5 at 600
2:31.96 at 1000 (61.5)
3:33.26 at 1400 (61.3)
4:34.00 at 1800 (60.74). 6th place.
5:36.47 at 2200 (62.47),8th place.
5:41-2 (at 2600 (total guess on this one as the camera pulled away (64-5)).
Sub 60 last lap

LRC's Quick Thought: 1. This performance makes us think the odds of Bekele doubling at the Olympics aren't good at all. The speed starts to go for everyone at some point and Bekele is likely to focus on just the 10,000 in our minds. It's worth noting that the commentators said Bekele had said he was purposely doing less training this year to try to stay injury free.

2. This race makes Choge a legitimate medal contender in the 5000 in our minds. While Choge has primarily been a 1,500 guy at the world level the last few years, it needs to be remembered that he ran 12:53.66 for 5000m 7 years ago in 2005. He's already proven that he can't tactically compete at 1,500 at Worlds/Olympics so the 5,000 is a good option for the 3:29.47 1,500 guy.

3. That being said, let's don't get too carried away. No one will remember this race come August. Choge knows how to run fast in May as he ran 7:27.66 for 3rd last year in Doha and he didn't even get to go to Worlds to compete as he was only 7th in the Kenyan 1,500 trials.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
7:30.42
WL
2
KEN
7:31.40
3
UGA
7:31.88
4
KEN
7:32.43
PB
5
KEN
7:33.68
6
KEN
7:38.45
7
ETH
7:40.00
8
ETH
7:40.85
PB
9
DJI
7:42.22
NR
10
TUR
7:42.31
NR
11
KEN
7:49.48
12
QAT
7:51.36
13
ALG
8:21.95
 
ALG
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF

Intermediate times: 1000m Simotwo, Suleiman Kipses (KEN) 2:30.98
2000m Ndiwa, Remmy Limo (KEN) 5:02.94

Men's High Jump

Dimitrios Chondrokoukis got the best of US World Champion Jesse Williams.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
2.10
2.32
2.15
2.34
2.20
 
2.24
 
2.27
 
2.30
 
1
GRE
2.32
=WL
o
xo
o
xxx
o
 
o
 
o
 
o
 
2
USA
2.30
-
x-
-
xx
o
 
o
 
o
 
xxo
 
3
FRA
2.30
-
xx-
o
x
o
 
o
 
xo
 
xxo
 
4
GBR
2.27
-
x
o
 
o
 
o
 
o
 
xx-
 
5
BAH
2.27
SB
-
 
xo
 
o
 
o
 
o
 
xxx
 
5
BAH
2.27
=SB
-
 
o
 
xo
 
-
 
o
 
xxx
 
7
CHN
2.27
o
 
o
 
o
 
o
 
xxo
 
xxx
 
8
CZE
2.24
-
 
o
 
xo
 
xxo
 
xxx
 
 
 
9
BOT
2.24
SB
o
 
o
 
xxo
 
xxo
 
x-
 
 
 
10
RUS
2.20
o
 
xo
 
o
 
xxx
 
 
 
 
 
11
QAT
2.20
PB
o
 
o
 
xxo
 
xxx
 
 
 
 
 
12
QAT
2.20
xo
 
xxo
 
xxo
 
xxx
 
 
 
 
 

Also, Walter Dix won the 200 in 20.02.

*Full results here on one page *Event by Event results here  

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