July 19, 2013
Monaco – 2013 US champion Duane Solomon, who is the fastest 800 man of the year, lived up the favorite’s role tonight as he held on for the first Diamond League title of his career.
Solomon got out fast he normally does – roughly 50.6 – as no one went with rabbit Matt Scherer‘s 49.66. At 400, Solomon had maybe 2 or 3 meters on second (not counting the rabbit). By 600 (1:16.82), Solomon’s lead over 21-year old Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, the European U-23 champ, was roughly 5 meters. He’d maintain that five meter lead until the home stretch when Bosse started to gain. In the last 50, Solomon really started to fade, but in the end, he was just able to hold on as Solomon ran 1:43.72 to Bosse’s 1:43.76. The 1:43.76 was a new pb for Bosse (he’d run 1:43.91 in Rome).
Spain’s Kevin Lopez dipped under 1:44 for the first time this year to place third in 1:43.93.
American Tyler Mulder took advantage of his first appearance in a European Diamond League meet as he set a new personal best of 1:44.34 (previous pb of 1:44.60) to place sixth, after running last for the first lap.
Duane Solomon had his first European breakout race last year in Monaco when he ran 1:43.44 for 3rd. Just a year later, he came in as the favorite and got the win.
“Last year I wasn’t sure where I was at. This year I came in a lot more confident,” he said.
The front-running Solomon said he and coach Johnny Gray had a “dilemma” as to whether Solomon would lead here, but they decided he should.
Solomon has one more race in London next week before Worlds where he will be one of the favorites.
Solomon said, “I don’t think of myself as the favorite. I’ll just go in there and race.”
Tyler Mulder was pleased to get to race in Monaco and to walk away with a PR. Up next is trying to figure out how to get under the 1:44.00 barrier.
Quick takes, results and then a race video appear below.
Quick Take #1: The third fastest 800 man of the year in Ayanleh Souleiman was a pre-race scratch making things a lot easier for Solomon.
Quick Take #2: The #2-7 finishers all either PRd or set a new seasonal best. Setting a seasonal best was the Olympic bronze medallist Timonty Kitum of Kenya, who got under 1:45 for the first time this year at 1:44.45.
But it wasn’t a good day for the Kenyans as there were three in the race and they took the last three places. The two Kenyans behind Kitum are going to Worlds – Kitum is not.
The medals are certainly open for the taking at Worlds for the Americans. Solomon and Symmonds know they’ve got a great shot at medals.
Results - 800 Metres - Men Pts 1 Solomon , Duane USA 1:43.72 4 2 Bosse , Pierre-Ambroise FRA 1:43.76PB 2 3 López , Kevin ESP 1:43.93SB 1 4 Lewandowski , Marcin POL 1:44.20SB 5 Rodríguez , Rafith COL 1:44.33SB 6 Mulder , Tyler USA 1:44.34PB 7 Kitum , Timothy KEN 1:44.45SB 8 Cheruiyot , Ferguson Rotich KEN 1:44.89 9 Mutai , Jeremiah Kipkorir KEN 1:45.06 Scherer , Matthew USA DNF Intermediate times: 400m: Scherer, Matthew (USA)49.66 600m: Solomon, Duane (USA)1:16.82