2013 Bislett Games Meet Preview – Round II of Conseslus Kipruto versus Ezekiel Kemboi and Genzebe Dibaba versus Meseret Defar

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A Fan’s Guide To The 2013 Bislett Games

by LetsRun.com
June 11, 2013

The sixth (of 14) Diamond League track and field meets takes place on Thursday in Oslo with the ExxonMobil Bislett Games. Being a Diamond League meet, it’s full of high quality. You can read the IAAF preview of the rest of the meet which features Usain Bolt in the 200, a high quality women’s high jump, men’s javelin, men’s discus, women’s 400h and a lot more.

Below we preview the four middle distance/distance events for you – women’s 5000, men’s steeplechase, women’s 800 and men’s mile – in great detail so you can get excited about them. We preview them in the order that they occur so you can print this out and use it as a meet program of sorts.

The women’s 5000 which features of a rematch of Genzebe Dibaba versus double Olympic champ Meseret Defar from Shanghai has huge world championship title implications as does the mouth-watering men’s steeplechase rematch from Eugene between Conseslus Kipruto and double Olympic champ Ezekiel Kemboi. The men’s steeple is must-watch TV in our minds given Kemboi’s past accomplishments, his shenanigans in Eugene and his past shenanigans in general.

The meet is on from 2-4 pm ET thursday. More info:

2013 ExxonMobil Bislett Games – Schedule, Results and TV and Streaming Information.

2:25 pm ET – Women’s 5000 – Genzebe Dibaba versus Mesert Defar Round II

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
26.06.1988
UGA
NOR
04.02.1992
KEN
14:50.99
14:50.99
07.05.1991
KEN
14:35.13
14:42.51
19.11.1983
ETH
14:12.88
14:47.76
08.02.1991
ETH
14:37.56
14:45.92
09.02.1994
ETH
14:50.24
14:50.24
21.05.1990
BRN
15:03.13
15:03.13
15.01.1995
ETH
15:11.12
15:11.12
14.06.1990
NOR
15:24.86
28.03.1984
KEN
14:31.91
15:02.90
22.12.1983
KEN
14:34.86
14:48.29
05.03.1992
KEN
14:57.68
15:05.89
08.07.1986
NED
15:43.20
15:43.20
21.03.1986
KEN
14:43.68
14:43.68
23.10.1995
KEN
14:54.12
14:54.12
31.12.1992
ETH
14:48.43
15:07.96

Genzebe Dibaba is having a great year as she’s run 3:57 in the 1500 – an event where she recently easily beat 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson in Rome. The problem is Dibaba and everyone else in the world may not be able to beat Sweden’s Abebe Aregawi.

Thus does Dibaba return to her old event the 5000 and run that at the world championships? Quite possibly as in her one attempt at 5000 this year in Shanghai, Dibaba won over 2004 and 2012 Olympic champion Meseret Defar thanks to a 58 second final lap.

This race is basically a replay of Shanghai. Seven people ran 14:50 or faster in Shanghai and all of them are in Oslo with the top four being Dibaba, Defar, and Kenyans Viola Kibiwott and Mercy Cherono. Since Shanghai, Dibaba was the runner-up to Aregawi in the 1500 at Rome, Defar hasn’t raced,  Kibiwott was just 9th in the Romo 1500, and Cherono pushed Dibaba’s older sister Tirunesh to the line at the Pre Classic 5000.

On paper, this should come down to Defar and Dibaba yet again. Defar has had close to a month to train (Shanghai was May 18th) so there should be no excuses on her end.

Quik Thought (QT) #1: A victory here by Dibaba and it gets real hard for her not to do the 5000 at Worlds. If you can beat Defar twice, it seems like no one is going to beat you at 5000 unless it’s big sister Tirunesh. Speaking of Tirunesh, we asked her in Eugene if she she could beat her little sister Genzebe at 5000 and she admitted she wasn’t sure. That’s high praise.

We’re hoping the winning time is in the 14:30s to see how Genzebe kicks in a truly legitimate 5000. Dibaba’s pb is 14:37. 14:45 is fast for Americans but no necessarily that fast for the Ethiopians/Kenyans.

QT #2: In case you forgot about Shanghai and don’t have time to re-read our recap, here are the results:

5000 Metres - Women                                           
                                                            Pts
    1 Dibaba , Genzebe                 ETH   14:45.92          4        
    2 Defar , Meseret                  ETH   14:47.76          2        
    3 Kibiwot , Viola Jelagat          KEN   14:48.29          1        
    4 Cherono , Mercy                  KEN   14:49.84                   
    5 Muriuki , Margaret Wangari       KEN   14:49.92                   
    6 Diriba , Buze                    ETH   14:50.24                   
    7 Cheptai , Irene Chepet           KEN   14:50.99                   
    8 Burka , Gelete                   ETH   14:59.05                   
    9 Kibet , Sylvia Jebiwott          KEN   15:02.90                   
   10 Gebru , Azemra                   ETH   15:02.90                   
   11 Kisa , Janet                     KEN   15:05.89                   
   12 Yalew , Genet                    ETH   15:07.96                   
   13 Gebreslase , Gotytom             ETH   15:11.12
   14 Aga , Ruti                       ETH   15:13.48
   15 Masai , Magdalene                KEN   15:17.51
   16 Haroye , Alemetu                 ETH   15:19.14
   17 Xiao , Huimin                    CHN   16:16.33
      Achola , Janet                   UGA        DNF                   
      Clitheroe , Helen                GBR        DNF

2:55 pm – Men’s Steeplechase – Kemboi versus Kipruto Round II

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
16.06.1988
TUR
8:08.59
14.12.1992
KEN
8:03.43
8:10.27
01.01.1984
KEN
8:13.66
05.10.1983
MAR
8:09.72
8:13.27
12.04.1982
ETH
8:06.16
8:14.39
25.05.1982
KEN
7:55.76
8:03.94
08.12.1994
KEN
8:01.16
8:01.16
22.01.1994
KEN
8:09.50
8:09.50
15.08.1983
KEN
8:15.80
8:24.90
14.10.1983
KEN
7:56.81
8:51.2h
02.10.1988
KEN
8:01.67
8:08.83
04.05.1985
POL
8:15.47
8:26.01
02.04.1992
KEN
8:03.57
8:03.57

Anyone who watched the 2013 Pre Classic men’s steeplechase this year is pumped about this race. If you didn’t watch Pre, take 40 seconds ot watch the last 220 meters of the race.

Kemboi is used to celebrating early

At Pre, the clash between the future of the event in 18-year old sensation Conseslus Kipruto and the present in 2004 and 2012 Olympic champ Ezekiel Kemboi more than lived up to the hype. Kemboi unleashed his big kick with just over 200 to go, but instead of going on to a dominating victory as he did at 2011 Worlds and the 2012 Olympics, he instead found himself being walked down by Kipruto.

In the end, Kipruto got the win over Kemboi (and the other two Olympic medallists from 2012) but not before Kemboi, desperate to hang on to the win, had veered back into the inside and shoved Kipruto into the infield. Kemboi finished second but was subsequently DQd. This is the re-match.

Quik Take #1: This is must-watch tv. Imagine if this was the 100 meters for a minute. This would be the equivalent of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake racing each other twice before Worlds with the first resulting in Bolt shoving Blake into the infield.

There are no excuses for Kemboi now. One could argue Pre was his opener and thus he simply mis-timed his kick or was surprised that Kipruto was able to stay close once Kemboi went as normally a Kemboi kick is lethal.

Quik Take #2: Hillary Yego, who is #3 on the 2013 world list at 8:03.57, is in the field as well. Yego was 6th at Pre, one spot behind American Evan Jager, in 8:09. The second fastest man on the planet for 2013 in Paul Kipsiele Koech, who was third at Pre is surprisingly not here. We say surprisingly because Koech normally thrives on the early Diamond League circuit before struggling at the Kenyan Trials as he is not a good runner at altitude.

3:20 pm ET – Women’s 800 – Francine Niyonsaba versus Fantu Magiso

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
31.10.1988
LTU
1:59.29
2:02.16
20.12.1990
KEN
1:59.37
2:00.31
05.09.1987
IRL
2:04.30
2:04.30
13.12.1983
KEN
1:56.04
1:58.71
14.07.1991
KEN
2:00.32
2:00.32
14.11.1987
UKR
1:58.46
2:01.46
09.06.1992
ETH
1:57.48
22.04.1985
CZE
1:59.71
2:01.51
06.12.1986
FRA
2:02.14
2:04.65
05.05.1993
BDI
1:56.59
1:56.72
01.03.1991
RUS
1:57.53
1:59.80

So far in 2013, there has been one dominant woman in the women’s 800. Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who started the year at just 19 but recently turned 20, has dominated both in Shanghai and Eugene.

Francine Niyonsaba priot to 2013 Shanghai

Francine Niyonsaba priot to 2013 Shanghai

Niyonsaba’s win in Eugene was overshadowed by the fact that 17-year old Mary Cain broke 2:00 behind her, but in Eugene Niyonsaba was spectacular. She ran a world leading 1:56.72 and got close to her national record of 1:56.59.

The third placer in Eugene, Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya, the 2007 World champ and 2008 Olympic silver medallist, is racing here as well. In Eugene, Jepkosgei ran a respectable 1:58.71. That being said, she’s not beating Niyonsaba here.

With 2008 Olympic champ Pamela Jelimo and 2012 Olympic champ Caster Semenya both MIA this year, we were about to say no one was going to touch Niyonsaba until perhaps 2011 World and 2012 Olympic champ Mariya Savinova gets going this year (she hasn’t raced yet).

But then we saw one name on the start list – Fantu Magiso.

The Ethiopian who just turned 21 on Monday was spectacular early last year as three times she broke the Ethiopian national record, getting all the way down to 1:57.48 in New York after also winning in Rome. Then she got hurt and missed the rest of the season. This is her first race back. It will be interesting to see how she does although we’ll be stunned, if in her firt race back, she challenges Niyonsaba.

Quick Take #1: We totally understand why Cain over shadowed Magiso at Pre, but people should appreciate Magiso. At just age 20, she’s doing something Mary Cain and every runner is lucky to ever do – dominate her event and establish herself as world championship favorite.

QT #2: We said Jepkosgei isn’t challenging Niyonsaba here and we said that because Jepkosgei’s getting up there in age at 29. Even she seems to know her days as a competitor for gold at the world level at 800 are over as last year  she talked about moving up to 1500. However, she’s struggled in her attempts to do that (4:07 last year, 4:12 this year) so she’s seemingly stuck in the 800 for as long as she can be competitive.

QT #3: In looking up Niyonsaba’s races last year, we were reminded that American Molly Beckwith was second in New York last year behind Niyonsaba. Beckwith, who ended up an agonzing fourth at the Olympic Trials, hasn’t raced all year. If you know what is up with her, please email us.

3:30 pm ET – Dream Mile – No Kiprop, No Makhloufi, No Kiplagat But Still A Very Loaded Field

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
06.08.1988
KEN
3:50.42
3:50.42
25.08.1990
ESP
25.09.1987
KEN
3:51.44
3:51.44
12.12.1990
KEN
3:51.37
3:51.37
13.04.1982
RSA
3:54.84
11.10.1988
ETH
3:49.70
3:54.04
26.04.1990
AUS
3:52.24
3:57.08
24.02.1991
NOR
3:54.28
3:55.50
20.07.1990
KEN
3:50.68
3:55.24
05.03.1990
TUR
3:49.29
21.04.1987
KEN
3:54.37
01.01.1987
KEN
03.12.1992
DJI
3:50.21
3:50.40
09.06.1989
AUT
19.05.1991
ETH
3:54.51
3:54.51

The Dream Mile is Oslo has a rich tradition including world records by Steve Ovett in 1980 and Steve Cram in 1985. In 1980 just before Ovett broke Seb Coe‘s world record, Coe broke the 1k world record.

Coe, Cram and Ovett are all in Oslo together this year for the firs time in nearly 25 years.

Thus some of the biggest ‘names’ in the history of the mile will be in Oslo watching the Dream Mile – a bit ironic as the 2013 Dream Mile field is lacking many of the sports current ‘names’. In many ways, the Pre Classic was the ‘Dream Mile’ this year as virtually everyone was there.

The defending Olympic champ (Asbel Kiprop), the defending Olympic champ (Taoufik Makhloufi), and Prefontaine Classic winner Silas Kiplagat all aren’t in Oslo. That being said, the field is full of high quality.

Ryan Gregon is looking to return to form

Leading the way in terms of entrants is Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman. The 20-year old ran 3:30.31 last year at 19 for 1500. This year, he’s shown good form by running 3:32.59 for 1500 in Doha, then winning the Arab Champs, then running in 3:50.40 at Prefontaine. He trains with the Olympic champ and is a guy who very much could be a factor in Moscow.

There are a slew of Kenyans capable of making some noise. Kenya’s Bethwell Birgen leads the way in terms of 2013 form. He was the runner-up to Kiprop in Doha this year in 3:31.90 and just behind Souleiman at Pre (3:51.42). Collins Cheboi was fourth in Doha and third in Shanghai.

Kenyan Nixson Chepsaba was ‘only’ 7th at Pre. We say ‘only’ because he still ran 3:51.70 for the mile there. Last year, he was an Olympic finallist and broke the 3:30 barrier (3:29.77), something only 22 humans have done in history.

There are three other 2012 Olympic finallists in the field as well. The big one in terms of media attention is Norway’s own Henrik Ingebrigtsen. The hometown crowd will be definitely giving him all of their love. At age 21 last year, he came up big at the Olympics with a national record 3:35.43, which garnered him fifth place. At Pre, he was second in the ‘B’ (“International”) mile.

Olympic sixth placer Mekonnen Gebremedhin of Ethiopia has been inconsistent this year – 9th in Doha, 2nd in Shanghai, 12th at Pre.

Turkey’s İlham Tanui Özbilen, who was 8th in London last year, races for the first time this year on the Diamond League circuit after winning European championship silver indoors. He won his only outdoor 1500 so far this year (3:35.93).

Australia’s 23-year old Ryan Gregson is much like Andrew Wheating – a young guy looking to find his form from 2010. In 2010, Gregon ran 3:31.03. Since then he hasn’t run faster than 3:33.92. After running 3:35 in March, he likely hoped he was getting back to his form of 2010, but he only ran 3:57 at Pre and beat just one person although that person was Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano.

The winner of the “International Mile” at Pre, Kenya’s James Magut, who is here as well.

Quick Take #1: While this may not have the big names, it’s still an incredibly deep field. The 1500/mile is so deep in 2013 that what we think what NC State’s Ryan Hill said about the NCAA championships last week applies to basically every international mile, particularly if the race ends up tactical. The fields are so deep and everyone is good with good kicks so it’s hard to say there is a single favorite. If we were betting, though, we’d bet on Souleiman.

QT #2: Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde is in the field. In looking up the bio of the 22-year old Ethiopian, we were reminded that the sport is these guys jobs. Sponsorship doesn’t necessarily pay the bills for Ethiopians like it does for American athletes. Wolde at just age 22 has run 3:33 for 1500 but also 60:49 for the half-marathon.

More: 2013 ExxonMobil Bislett Games – Schedule, Results and TV and Streaming Information.


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