Weltklasse Zürich Mid-d and Distance Preview: Fantastic Men’s 1500 and Women’s 800 Might Be Higher Quality Than Moscow Finals

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by LetsRun.com
August 27, 2013

The 2013 Diamond League (DL) season starts to wrap on Thursday when the first of two DL season finales takes place with the Weltklasse Zürich meet, which is widely regarded year-in-year-out as the best one day track meet in the World.

The mid-d and distance action is going to be intense. There is a men’s 1500 and women’s 800 that are every bit as good as the world championship final, and there is added intrigue for the women’s 800 as the entire DL points race will be decided by the one race.

Additionally, DL titles will be decided on Thursday in the women’s 5000 and men’s steeplechase. The women’s 5000 really is a must-watch event as it features Meseret Defar versus Tirunesh Dibaba for just the second time in four years, plus a potential American record by Molly Huddle and/or Jenny Simpson in the same event. That event is so good, it got two articles written about it on its own:

1) An Incredible Women’s 5000: Meseret Defar versus Tirunesh Dibaba at last, plus Jenny Simpson versus Molly Huddle and the American Record
2) Mark Wetmore on Jenny Simpson Zurich 5000m: “It’s not a record attempt by any means. Just get in the race and respond to what’s presented to her.”

We preview the rest of the mid-d action for you below.

*Meet schedule and TV info here

Women’s 800: The Winner Takes Home $50,000

Savinova (l) will have no excuses is she loses to Sum (c) this time

The women’s 800 will be full of intrigue. Everyone from the Moscow final is here except for #2 Brenda Martinez and #8 Lenka Masna. The field also includes 2009 gold and 2011 and 2012 silver medallist Caster Semenya who is undefeated on the year but didn’t get to run in Moscow as she didn’t have the qualifying time.

Making things more interesting is that whoever wins this race will win $50,000 as the entire Diamond League season is being determined by this one race. Francine Niyonsaba had all but officially wrapped up the DL circuit with 12 points. The only way she wouldn’t win if she was here would have been if Brenda Martinez won and Martinez isn’t running either. However, Niyonsaba got hurt and isn’t running. To win the Diamond League title, a requirement is you have to run the Diamond League finale.

As a result, the winner of the race will take him $10,000 for the win and $40,000 for the DL season.

Quick Take (QT) #1: 2011 and 2012 World and Olympic champ Mariya Savinova made a lot of excuses after getting silver in Moscow about over-looking Sum. In reality, the two were right next to each other with 50 to go and Sum just pulled away. Nonetheless, Savinova can try to get some sweet revenge here.

QT #2: We’ll be paying close attention to Semenya here. Over the span of 10 days in July, she ran three low-key races and ran 2:06.58, 2:04.48 and then 2:01.86. A month later, who knows how fast she is now.

QT #3: Is anything preventing Niyonsaba from showing up and jogging it and picking up $40,000?

QT #4: Why isn’t Martinez in this race? She’s #2 on the DL points list this year. She also passed up a chance to win $25,000 at the Drake Relays earlier this year.

QT #5: $50,000 would be a nice consolation prize for all Alysia Montano has gone through this year.

*World’s 800m Special Section

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
25.12.1987
MAR
1:57.64
1:57.64
26.07.1991
SUI
2:02.48
2:02.48
14.11.1987
UKR
1:58.46
1:59.43
23.04.1986
USA
1:57.34
1:57.75
01.03.1991
RUS
1:57.53
1:58.05
13.08.1985
RUS
1:55.87
1:57.80
07.01.1991
RSA
1:55.45
2:01.86
10.04.1988
KEN
1:57.38
1:57.38
14.11.1982
BLR
1:59.38
2:02.62
08.05.1994
USA
1:58.21
1:58.21

Men’s 1500: A Re-Run Of The Moscow Final

The men’s 1500 is loaded. The top 9 finishers from the Moscow World Championships are all here as is 2012 Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano. Last week in Stockholm, some runners were definitely suffering from a post-Moscow hangover as Asbel Kiprop was a non-factor and just sixth. That hangover proved to be costly for Kiprop as it cost him a shot at $40,000.

Quick Take #1: The $40,000 Diamond League points total race has already been decided. Even though Asbel Kiprop has picked up wins in Shanghai, Doha, Monaco and Moscow this summer, he can’t win the DL title. 2013 800 bronze Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti who was the winner in Stockholm last week is your winner.

How can that be? Well the World Championships don’t count in the DL points race for starters. Additionally, because the 1500 is one of the marquee events in track and field, it’s raced at virtually every meet even if it’s technically not a DL event at many of the meets. At Monaco, which arguably was the top 1500 of the year, it wasn’t part of the DL schedule so Kiprop’s 3:27 win produced zero points. The same was true of his win in Doha.

Souleiman, for comparison, has won three events, Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, all of which counted towards the DL points race.

QT 1#: No-one has any excuses here as this one will take place 11 days after the 1500 final in Moscow. The Stockholm race took place just four days after the Moscow final.

QT #2: This race is actually a higher quality affair than the World Championship final as it also includes a few top Kenyans who weren’t in Moscow, particularly Caleb Ndiku who ran 3:29.50 in Monaco this year. After Monaco, we said the Kenyans had made a mistake in naming the fifth placer at the Kenyan Trials, Bethwell Birgen, to the Kenyan team over the fourth placer Caleb Ndiku. Ndiku beat Birgen at the Kenyan trials and Monaco.

How in God’s name anyone leaves off a 20-year old former World junior champ who runs 3:29.50 in the last race before Worlds, beating his replacement by more than a second, is beyond stupid. In Moscow, the Kenyans only got three of their four entrants in the final (surprise, surprise, Birgen didn’t make it) and only ended up with one medal. If Ndiku had made the final,  he could have rabbitted it and all but guaranteed Kenya two if not three medals.

*Worlds 1500m Special Section

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
06.08.1988
KEN
3:30.77
3:30.77
18.10.1989
USA
3:31.96
3:33.58
25.09.1987
KEN
3:31.53
3:31.53
12.12.1990
KEN
3:29.77
3:33.9h
21.01.1987
KEN
3:29.47
3:34.7h
13.04.1982
RSA
3:33.46
3:33.46
11.10.1988
ETH
3:31.45
3:32.43
24.02.1991
NOR
3:35.43
3:36.33
20.08.1989
KEN
3:29.27
3:33.7h
30.06.1989
KEN
3:27.72
3:27.72
12.09.1984
USA
3:32.37
3:33.14
02.04.1985
MAR
3:31.84
3:33.18
09.10.1992
KEN
3:29.50
3:29.50
01.01.1987
KEN
3:43.43
03.12.1992
DJI
3:30.31
3:32.55
20.12.1978
FRA
3:32.73
3:32.73
23.06.1993
GER
3:34.76
3:34.76
18.04.1984
ETH
3:32.65
3:32.65

Men’s Steeplechase: Conseslus Kipruto Tries To Wrap Up The DL Title

 

Men’s Steeplechase Worlds Photo Gallery

Five of the top six from the Moscow world championships will clash in the men’s steeple, with the lone person missing being the US’s Evan Jager.

The 2013 Diamond League title and $40,000 will go to teenager Conseslus Kipruto assuming he gets a top three finish. If he’s not in the top three, then the DL title will go to Ezekiel Kemboi or Hillary Yego if they win. If they don’t, Kipruto is still your champ. Yego pulled off the upset in Stockholm last week.

QT #1: A top three here isn’t a 100% certainty for Kipruto. He hadn’t lost all year until Worlds where he was second and then last week in Stockholm he was third.

QT #2: New Canadian national record holder Matt Hughes, who was sixth in Moscow, is in the field. We certainly wish Jager was as well.

*Worlds Steeple Coverage Here

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
14.12.1992
KEN
8:03.43
8:10.27
03.08.1989
CAN
8:11.64
8:11.64
23.05.1996
ETH
8:29.92
8:29.92
25.05.1982
KEN
7:55.76
7:59.03
08.12.1994
KEN
8:01.16
8:01.16
31.07.1985
KEN
7:53.64
8:06.86
22.01.1994
KEN
8:06.96
8:06.96
10.11.1981
KEN
7:54.31
8:02.63
28.05.1987
FRA
8:12.53
8:12.53
15.08.1983
KEN
8:15.80
8:24.90
31.01.1981
MDA
8:18.97
8:19.64
15.03.1985
FRA
8:00.09
8:00.09
02.04.1992
KEN
8:03.57
8:03.57

Men’s 800: Nick Symmonds Versus 4-5-6 from Moscow

The mens’ 800 isn’t a DL event in Zürich but it’s a quality field nonetheless, led by Moscow silver medallist Nick Symmonds of the US. Symmonds will face 2013 US champ Duane Solomon, who races for the first time since finishing sixth in Moscow.

Also in the field are the Moscow fourth and fifth placers in Marcin Lewandowski of Poland and Andrew Osagie of Great Britain.

QT #1: Lewandowski and Symmonds raced on Sunday in Warsaw with Symmonds winning by .18.

QT #2: It will be interesting to see how Solomon as well as the third American in Moscow Brandon Johnson look here after coming away with less than what they wanted in Moscow.

*Worlds 800m Coverage Here

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSB
30.11.1989
KEN
1:44.38
1:44.38
02.03.1985
USA
1:43.84
1:43.84
08.05.1990
KEN
1:43.76
1:44.24
20.11.1994
KEN
1:42.53
1:44.45
13.06.1987
POL
1:43.84
1:44.08
19.02.1988
GBR
1:43.77
1:44.36
03.02.1986
GBR
1:43.89
1:44.97
28.12.1984
USA
1:42.82
1:43.27
20.02.1980
NED
1:43.45
1:48.21
30.12.1983
USA
1:42.95
1:43.55

Sprint and Field Action: LaShawn Merritt vs Kirami  James Again, Aries Merritt vs David Oliver vs Robles, Usain Bolt in 100m

In other action, one of the best match-ups all year has been  LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James and they race once again to determine the 400m DL winner.  Blessing Okagbare, Brittney Reese and Shara Proctor square off to determine the long jump winner, and Yarisley Silva, Silke Spiegelburg and Jenn Suhr battle for the pole vault crown.

David Oliver needs to be top 2 to win the hurdles, but the field features World record holder Aries Merritt and former World record holder Dayron Robles who skipped Worlds. Shelly Ann-Fraser-Pryce has a shot to win the 200m.

Justin Gatlin only needs to be top three to win the 100m DL title, but winning in Zurich should be difficult as he faces Usain Bolt.

*Start lists here  *IAAF DL Preview here


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