What Did We Learn From the London DL, Fast US ‘B’ Teamers, Gabe Jennings Is A Lucky Man, and We Know Who Is Winning The Women’s Steeple

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by LetsRun.com
July 30, 2013

Last week’s weekly recap can be found here.

We’ve got a lot of work to do before now and the start of the Moscow World Championships in less than two weeks – 10 event previews, plus our World Famous Prediction contest. So we’ll start this week off by letting others do the talking for us. Then we tell you what we learned from last week.

Enjoy.

Have any comments? We love to hear them. Email us.

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Quote of The Week I (that actually was quote of the day, but it’s so important we want you to read it again)

“So, a prediction, and you heard it here first (actually, if you’ve been following this debate about carbon fibre blades, you’ll have heard it here years ago):

If he desires to run against able-bodied athletes, (double amputee) Alan Oliveira will win a medal in the 400m at the 2016 Olympic Games. He is still only 20, with much strength to gain, but his recent improvements are staggering – 0.56s in the 100m and 0.80s in the 200m since the London Paralympics. That suggests much more to come, and it suggests a medal in the able-bodied Olympics in 2016. Of course, he may not wish to, which would be interesting. If it is not him, it may be the next athlete, but it will happen.”

- The Science of Sport’s Ross Tucker writing about Brazil’s double-amputee star Alan Oliveira. The Paralympian, who ran 20.66 for 200 last week, looks very much like he’ll soon be way better than Oscar Pistorius ever was and way better than able-bodied athletes as well, because scientists belive fiber blades give elite athletes a 5-10 second advantage in the 400.

We love Tucker’s quote and willingness to take a scientifically sound but unopopular stance, but disagree with his conclusion. We think the IAAF will come to its senses and order new studies before Oliveira gets to winning medals.

On the other hand, maybe not. Oliveira is from Brazil and would arguably be the FACE of the games for them in 2016. Seriously, what other Brazilian male runner is going to win a track medal in 2016?

Update: Oliveria has run 10.57 for 100 and Tucker has another piece on that.

More: Double amputee sprinters version 2.0: Alan Oliveria runs 20.66s 200m
*Alan Oliveira runs 10.57s: Is it leg length, or something else? Over to the IPC/IAAF
*The science was however clear – this assumption was wrong and Pistorius was getting between 5 and 10 seconds advantage in a 400m race

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Quote Of The Week II (Current Teen Phenom Mary Cain and Former Teen Phenom Jordan Hasay React Differently To The Huge Sold-Out London Crowd)

Mary Cain

vs

Jordan Hasay

“Today I walked out and was like ‘Oh…’ I was pretty scared. Before hand I was fine, but getting out there and doing my strides, I felt like the whole crowd just drained me.”

“I love what I do. Like I said, when I walked out I was like ‘I just can’t believe this is my job.’ And this is only my first one, it’s an exciting future.”

You can almost see the different reaction in the two photos. Hasay’s face seems to say, “Wow this is incredible,” whereas Cain’s says “Oh **it.”

+London Photo Gallery with 259 Photos 

More: Mary Cain and Jordan Hasay React to First Huge European Races – Ajee Wilson Getting Used To It

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Quote of The Week III (We doubt Nick Symmonds/Duane Solomon are scared of this youngster)

“It was my second time in Europe and I’m grateful I went to Monaco. I would not have known what happens when you remain behind at the start and I learnt that if that happens, you cannot catch up with them.”

- Kenya’s 18-year old World Championship team member Ferguson Cheruiyot telling Xinhua what he learned by racing in Monaco two weeks ago.

Ferguson, 2nd at the Kenyan Trials,  is certainly a neophyte as this is his first year we can find results for him and he ran 1:44.3 at the Kenyan Trials. He has a lot of promise, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that finished next to last in Monaco and the third placer at the Kenyan Trials Jeremiah Mutai was last in Monaco. American Duane Solomon won in Monaco, dominating 2 of Kenya’s top 3 guys this year.

Ferguson is full of optimism for Worlds. He said, “The way people are talking (about our chances) is very disappointing and we promise them we are coming to silence them. They are giving us the desire to go there and prove a point.”

We don’t think that’s happening this year. Maybe in a year or two.

We love his enthusiasm and love the fact that he’s making himself marketable as he changed his name to Ferguson in honor of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as Cheruiyot is a big fan of Sir Alex’s winning mentality.

More: Kenya’s ‘Fergie’ out to shock Russia

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Quote of The Week IV

“I did steeple for nine years, then I realised I have no speed. I would be doing well but in the last lap, I would fall back. I then decided to run something longer and found myself in marathon.”

“Finally I get a chance to be a world champion. It’s like my prayers have been answered.”

- Michael Kipyego, brother of Sally Kipegyo, talking to Reuters about how he’s made the move from being the 2002 world junior champ in the steeple to the marathon where he’s twice run under 2:07. Kipyego is on Kenya’s 2013 World Championship team.

More: Kenya’s Kipyego motivated for Moscow by Olympian sister
*Kenyan World Team Marathon Coach Speaking About The Largely Unknown Men’s Squad: “For them to run 2:03 or 2:04 will be easy so long as they get good preparation.” He says Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kebede will be their biggest rival.
*Kenyan World Champs Marathon Team Led By A Bunch Of Guys You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Sally Kipyego‘s brother Michael Kipyego is on the team as well as 58:41 half-marathoner Bernard Koech. Other members include Peter Some, Bernard Kipyego and Nicholas Kipkemboi. The women’s team is led byValentine Kipketer (2:24:20) and Margaret Akai (2:23:28).

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Quote of The Week V

“Do you want to have these decisions left to people who work with the athletes 24/7 or to the federations? Who knows better how to train them, their everyday coaches or the federations? Agents realize the benefits of a world title. We’re not going to screw that up for a few thousand dollars in some European meet.”

“Yes, there are some unsavory agents, but guys like Ricky Sims, (Federico) Rosa, Ray (Flynn), the top agents all look out for the long-term interest of their clients. Plus, you look at all the women’s marathon gold medalists from 1984 to 2012, and except for one, every one of them ran a spring marathon. So this policy is just pulled from thin air without ever checking the facts.”

- agent Brendan Reilly talking to Toni Reavis about Athletics Kenya’s recent decisions to restrict Kenyans from racing before major events. After their 2012 Olympic flop, the Kenyans have already banned all marathoners from running a spring marathon in 2016, which Reilly shows isn’t supported by any evidence.

Last week, the Kenyan federation banned many top stars from competing at the Sainbury’s London Anniversary Games Diamond League meet. So instead of a mouth-watering matchup of Mo Farah versus Edwin Soi, Isaiah Koech and Thomas Longosiwa, we got to watch Mo race basically himself.

The article by Reavis is worth a good read as it includes info you don’t find anywhere else. It states the World Championship marathon is being held in the middle of the day so it can be shown live on tv in primetime in Japan, something we have zero problem with. The sport needs money and the Japanese pay dollars for rights fees to get one event – the marathon. And the average high in August in Russia is only 71.4 degrees, with the mean being 62.6.

More: More: Agent Responds to Kenyan Criticism
*Athletics Kenya Bans Moscow Athletes From Competing At London Anniversary Games Fearing They’ll Burn Out Ahead Of Moscow Maybe someone should warn World beater Mo Farah? He’s entered in the 3k.
*Athletes Withdrawn From Meet Include Silas Kiplagat, Nixson Chepseba, Conseslus Kipruto, Abel Mutai

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Quote of The Week VI

“If the (World Championship final) is slow and tactical, (Ezekiel) Kemboi will definitely win. He is a very cunning runner. But if the race is fast, this young man (Conseslus Kipruto) will win. He is stronger,”

-3-time World Champion and the first sub-8:00 steepler in history, Moses Kiptanui talking to FeverPitch about the upcoming World Champs.

Speaking of the world champs, we still think it’s wrong that 2004 Olymipc champ Brimin Kipruto, who won in London last weekend, was left off the Kenyan team without having a race off with Paul Kipsiele Koech.

More: 3-Time Steeple World Champ Moses Kiptanui Says Kipruto Will Win If Worlds Are Fast, Kemboi If It’s Slow
*LRC Brimin Kipruto Wins – Any Chance Kenya Will Reverse Course And Name Him To World Championships Team?

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What did we learn from the London DL meet?

Brenda Martinez and several Americans were #1 in London. London Photo Gallery.

 

 

 

The American victories in the women’s 3000, and men’s 800 and women’s 800, were nice, very nice. (If you missed all the great London action click here to get caught up). However, let’s be honest, we already knew that the US of A was the third best country in the world in the mid-d/distance area and w’ed be #1 if you removed the Ethiopians/ and Kenyans which is what happened in many events in London.

How many majors would Ryan Hall have won if he didn’t have to race Kenya and Ethiopia’s best in each and every marathon he ran? A ton as the guy is very consistent.

So what did we really learn?

1) That Mo Farah is nearly unbeatable? Well, we knew that before the meet.

2) That Treniere Moser and Matt Centrowitz are struggling? We already knew that as well, but the London meet was depressing on that front as there was hope Moser and Centrowitz would bounce back in the right direction. Instead they took a step in the wrong direction (Centro beat one guy, Moser dropped out).

3) That Mary Cain and Jordan Hasay aren’t ready to contend on the World stage? We already knew that. It’s a bit unfair to group these two together as Cain is only 17 with so much upside that we’re no longer shocked by anything she does. However, she hasn’t shown us that she should really contend on the World stage THIS YEAR. Hasay is another step back on the Worlds stage as she still doesn’t have an “A” qualifier in an event.

4) That the US has two really good chances (world leader Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds)- even three if every single thing went perfectly – at a medal in the men’s 800? We already knew that although Nick Symmonds’ margin of victory was particularly impressive and it was great to see him looking really good in his first 800 race in nearly a month.

5) That Brenda Martinez is a medal thread at 800m? Now this is something you may not have realized, but perhaps should have. Martinez had the fourth fastest time in the world coming into London. She went out and ran like it, destroying the field. Yes, last month many of  us were struggling to wrap our heads around Brenda running the 800 instead of the 1500 at USAs, but the fourth fastest in the World has a decent shot at a medal.

So London really just reaffirmed what we already knew. We can add two things to that list.

6) The British fans still have their Olympics enthusiasm a year later. They sold out the Olympic stadium even for Sunday’s Paralympic action. Amazing.

7) The US has a ton of depth Casual fans saw for the first time on a big-stage that the US has a lot of depth outside of it’s “A” teamers. The US ‘B’ team is pretty darn good (we’re using a message boarder poster’s definition that if you haven’t made Worlds you are on the ‘B’ team: Who is your favorite American “B-team” runner?). There are now 7 guys on the year who have run 3:53.15 or faster in the mile for the US. That wasn’t really a surprise as the US already had 9 guys under 3:35 for 1500 before the meet.

Think about what that means for a minute. Anyone over the age of 30 can relate to this comparison – the US currently has 9 guys who this year have run faster than Gabe Jennings, who was a media star when he won the US Olympic Trials in 2000, ever ran in his career. Impressive.

Before we get too carried away, it should be pointed out three of the top four in the mile in London were Kenyan and none of them are on the Worlds team. The eighth and seventh placers in the Kenyan 1500 championships ran 3:50.93 and 3:51.28 for the full mile in London and beat all of the Americans.

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What did we learn from the Russian Champs – A world champion emerges

We expect Yuliya Zaripova to be Golden for a third time in Moscow.

Last week the Russian champs were held. With Worlds in Russia this year, what sort of performances would we see from the Russian women who have racked up impressive performances and doping positives in recent years? The results were very modest in most events (although the biggest names in Russian athletics were already pre-selected for Moscow).

The only result of real significance from a mid-d or distance perspective was that 2011 World and 2012 Olympic steeple champ Yulia Zaripova ran and dominated the 1500 at the Russian Champs. She ran 4:02.56 and won by nearly 1.5 seconds. That 4:02.56 isn’t too far off her 4:01.70 pb and that’s enough for us.

Hand Zaripova the World steeplechase gold medal right now.

Prior to the Russian champs, it was hard to know for sure what shape Zaripova was in as her only result on the year was a 9:28 domination of the World University Games. Now we know. She’s in great shape and when she’s in great shape, she doesn’t lose.

More: ZARIPOVA SHOWS OFF HER SPEED WITH 1500M WIN AT RUSSIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Speaking of the World University Games (WUGs) results, one thing we’re not sure ever got mentioned on LetsRun was the fact that 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos, who was on the comeback trail after an early season injury, ran and won the WUG’s earlier this month.

A week after his season opening 1:44.71 run in Lausanne on July 4th, Amos ran three rounds at the WUGs where he destroyed the inferior competition (1:46.53 for the win with second at 1:47.30).

Amos finished 1.38 seconds arrears of Aman in Lausanne on July 4th. Before we started wondering if he could make up 1.38 seconds in the span of 5 weeks, Amos posted on facebook yesterday that he was pulling out of Worlds. That means all 3 medallists from last year’s incredible Olympic 800m final are out. Considering the US’s Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds were #4 and #5 in London, they’ve got to be liking their chances even better in Moscow.

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Tyson Gay Has More Positive Tests

You may have missed this with all the London hoopla. Not only did the news come out this week that Tyson Gay’s “B” sample came back positive from the initial positive test from May, but the news came out that Tyson also tested positive at USAs in June.

We can’t wait for the full-story to come out on this one as Tyson is still cooperating with authorities. Tyson clearly was taking something that he thought wouldn’t cause him to test positive. Could it be as simple as he was working with a doctor, who was used to helping MLB players where DHEA is allowed, that didn’t realize DHEA is banned in track?

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Road Racing News of Note

Wharf to Wharf, a 6 mile road race in California, was held and it got some top American talent. Emily Infeld’s road racing debut was super successful as she got the win. 

Pre-race there was a lot of attention on former American 10,000m record holder Chris Solinsky trying to win the race as he turns to the roads for the rest of the summer. Solinsky struggled big time finishing 10th, as Brett Gotcher was first American. 

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Recommended Reads

Wejo Speaks: 5 More Thoughts from Monaco: My Favorite Monaco Moment: Jenny Simpson, “Keep Being Hard on the Cheaters” Before turning our full attention to London, Wejo’s got 5 more behind the scenes thoughts on Monaco. Jenny Simpson wants a cleaner sport, Brigetta Barrett entertains on and off the track, the women’s 1500m runners impress, Lawi Lalang gets overlooked, and Queen Harrison love.

Many Would Say 32-Year Old Un-Sponsored Ryan Wilson Came Out Of Nowhere To Win The 110H At US Champs And Make His First US Team, But He Would Disagree

Kenyans And Russians Most Tested Athletes By IAAF – What Individuals Were Tested The Most?Alan Abrahamson tells you all you need to know.

Mark Covert Talks About Ending His 45-Year Running Streak With His First Day Off Since 1968 “I got up and rode 18 miles on my bike, and I have no plans to go for a run … This was something that I knew was coming for a while and that I very much wanted to come for a while.”

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Quotes Of The Day & Last Week’s Homepages:

Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.


Monday 7/29:

“We have got the endurance hence we should go for a high-paced race which for sure is our strong point. We have been staying together with our opponents until the last lap where they beat us on the kick but we now know that is where our weakness lies. I would like us try something different by going out early with our speed and drag them along and see if their kick will work in the last 400m.”

- Kenyan 10,000 champ Bidan Karoki claiming the Kenyans will change things up this year and try to set an honest pace in their nearly impossible bid to beat Mo Farah.


Sunday 7/28:

“This is where I became Olympic champion and made my name. I enjoy this track. It brought back great memories. I got really emotional about it. It was incredible. You know it was close in noise to the Olympics.”

- Mo Farah talking after crushing everyone in the final 500 of the men’s 3,000 on Saturday in the London Olympic stadium.


Saturday 7/27:

“How long have you been following Usain Bolt – since 2008 maybe? If you were following me since 2002 you would know that I have been doing phenomenal things since I was 15. I was the youngest person to win the world juniors at 15. I ran the world junior (200) record 19.93 at (17) … I have broken every record there is to break, in every event I have ever done.”

“For me, I have proven myself since I was 15. … I have shown everything throughout the years since I was always going to be great.”

- Usain Bolt talking during the London Anniversary Games press conference after being asked if the public could trust that he’s clean. Sounds a lot like what Rojo was saying in his article, “How Can Usain Bolt Be Clean? He’s the Lebron James and Babe Ruth of Track and Field” where Rojo says Bolt is a “tall freak” who was a “child prodigy”.


Friday 7/26:

“Do the math. Run the analysis. If you can take steroids (or whatever), and those performance-enhancing drugs can help you bang your way to a deal worth more than $100 million, and then you get caught, and getting caught means you have to give up 2 percent of the money — would you make that trade?”

“Absolutely you would. Two percent? That’s an ATM fee.”

- Alan Abrahamson writing for 3 Wire Sports about how baseball needs to take an “Olympic-style” approach to doping control as currently the rewards for doping far outweigh the possible punishments.


Thursday 7/25:

“Do the math. Run the analysis. If you can take steroids (or whatever), and those performance-enhancing drugs can help you bang your way to a deal worth more than $100 million, and then you get caught, and getting caught means you have to give up 2 percent of the money — would you make that trade?”

“Absolutely you would. Two percent? That’s an ATM fee.”

- Alan Abrahamson writing for 3 Wire Sports about how baseball needs to take an “Olympic-style” approach to doping control as currently the rewards for doping far outweigh the possible punishments.


Wednesday 7/24:

“Even though I’m 32 and it’s taken me a while to make my first team, it’s not like I’ve been chopped liver for 10 years. I’ve been regularly ranked in the world’s top 10, so it’s not a surprise. A lot of fans were surprised, but I wasn’t.” This isn’t some extra special year for me … If we had major championships every year, I would have made two teams already because I finished in the top three at the US Championships in 2006 and 2010. If we had the World Championships every year, this would be my third team.”

“… I never thought about quitting. At 32, I’m not old either. Obviously it’s special to make the team, no doubt. To me it means nothing more than the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage. It hasn’t changed my life yet. I’m hoping I win the World Championships – that will change my life, but I don’t think it will change me as a person all that much.”

- US 110 hurdle champion Ryan Wilson talking about being the “surprise” winner at US Champs, beating all the favorites including Aries Merritt, David Oliver and Jason Richardson, to make his first major US team at age-32.


Tuesday 7/23:

“So, a prediction, and you heard it here first (actually, if you’ve been following this debate about carbon fibre blades, you’ll have heard it here years ago): If he desires to run against able-bodied athletes, Alan Oliveira will win a medal in the 400m at the 2016 Olympic Games.”

“… The decision to allow [Oscar] Pistorius his wish to compete in able-bodied events was always going to have predictable repercussions in the future. These were unfortunately obscured by marketing, emotion and the incomplete (dishonest?) presentation of science. Allied to this was the media’s almost total inability and lack of will to challenge the PR campaigns and to ask the difficult questions while they fell over themselves to tell the heart-warming, popular story.”

- The Science Of Sport’s Ross Tucker making the prediction that Brazil’s double amputee sprinter Alan Oliveira will medal at the 2016 Games. This comes after Oliveira won the IPC world 200m title in 20.66, breaking the previous record by .64 seconds. He is now already .64 faster than Oscar Pistorius over 200, and .14 faster over 100 and he’s only 20 years old.

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