September 6, 2013
Mohammed Aman saved the best for last.
Aman, the 2013 World Champion and winner of his last 10 races (counting heats), had done everything this year except run the world’s fastest time. He said before tonight’s 800 at the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme that he wanted the world’s #1 time in addition to the win and he took care of that with ease as he ran 1:42.37 (previous worlds best of 1:43.27 by Duane Solomon) to win in Brussels and take home $50,000 as the Diamond League winner.
Nick Symmonds, the silver medallist at Worlds behind Aman, had his four race win streak come to an end, but he had nothing to be ashamed of as he ran the second fastest time of his life and the second fastest time on the year to finish second in 1:43.03. Ferguson Cheruiyot, a newcomer to the circuit this year, ran a huge 1.16 pr to finish third in 1:43.22. (race video at bottom)
This one started fast. Rabbit Bram Som took the field out in a quick 48.55 and Ayanleh Souleiman, the world’s bronze medallist at 800 and the Diamond League 1500m series winners was right on Som (in an estimated 48.8). The more experienced 800m guys were not as willing to risk the suicidal pace and there was a little gap to Aman in third (roughly 49.4). Symmonds was 5th (49.8) at 400m with Duane Solomon of the USA 6th.
The order did not change at 600m except for the rabbit dropping out. Souleiman led in a very quick 1:15.27 (at Worlds they had split 1:16.80 at 600), with Aman right behind on him (1:15.5), then a gap to Cheruiyot and then a stride to Symmonds (1:16.1) and Solomon (1:16.3).
Souleiman started to pay the price on the final bend and Aman did not wait until the straight. Aman passed Souleiman on the turn and this one was never in doubt down the homestretch as Aman powered home to the 1:42:37 world lead.
Cheruiyot also passed Souleiman on the turn, but no one had a better final 100m than American Nick Symmonds. He moved up to get second in 1:43.03 just missing the second sub 1:43 run of his career. Cheruiyot was a clear third, Marcin Lewandowski moved up to fourth, Duane Solomon stayed in 5th and Souleiman ended up fading all the way in 6th, really paying the price for the suicidal first 400m.
Quick takes, then full results and race photos appear below.
Quick Thought (QT) #1: What a run and what a season for Mohammed Aman.
Aman lost his first race of the year, an 800m at the Diamond League opener in Doha and never lost again, ending it with a world leading time at the Diamond League finale. Running hard in May and September is very hard to do, but Aman pulled it off and ended the season with a bang as he got a new personal best and new Ethiopian national record (1:42.53 was his old pb) in the process.
Aman took a month break off the circuit after the July 4th Diamond League meet in Lausanne to get ready for Worlds and that paid off in Moscow and here. Yes, his one loss came at the hands of David Rudisha and the absence of Rudisha and Nijel Amos from the circuit for most of the year clearly benefitted Aman, but his now 11 race win-streak (9 if you don’t count heats) and the stellar time tonight indicate he’s a very worthy world #1
He’s now the ninth fastest man in history
The 10 Fastest 800 Men In History.
1 1:40.91 WR David Rudisha KEN Aug 2012 2 1:41.11 AR Wilson Kipketer DEN Aug 1997 3 1:41.73 NR Sebastian Coe GBR Jun 1981 4 1:41.73 NR WJR Nijel Amos BOT Aug 2012 5 1:41.77 AR Joaquim Cruz BRA Aug 1984 6 1:42.23 NR Abubaker Kaki SUD Jun 2010 7 1:42.28 Sammy Koskei KEN Aug 1984 8 1:42.34 Wilfred Bungei KEN Sep 2002 9 1:42.37 NR NJR Mohamed Aman ETH Sep 2013 10 1:42.47 NR AUR Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS Aug 2001
QT #2: What a run and what a season for Nick Symmonds
There can be no doubting the fact that the American is the World #2 this year. Silver at Worlds and second here, with the world’s second fastest time. It would have been great for Nick to run .04 faster here, to get the second 1:42 clocking of his career, but he’s had a really good season. Coming into the year, he’d run under 1:44.00 just six times in his entire career. He ran five 1:43s this year alone.
The BBC announcers said Symmonds wanted to get the US’s #1 time tonight and he certainly got that as Solomon held the world #1 time coming in at 1:43.27.
QT #3: Can Aman Challenge Rudisha?
David Rudisha, the world record holder, out with injury, has been beaten twice in the last two years, both times by Mo Aman in the rain. Can Aman up the game one more level and take on Rudisha on a consistent basis next year?
QT #4 Does Symmonds Need to Move Up to 1500m next year?
Nick Symmonds has talked about making the 1500m more of a focus next year so ultimately he can attempt the 800/1500m double in Rio. However, the way he is running at 800, there is no way Symmonds neglects the 800m next year.
QT #5: Keep a close eye on Ferguson Cheruiyot next year
Prior to tonight’s race, the 23-year old Cheruiyot was mostly known for changing his first name to honor former Manchester United Coach Sir Alex Ferguson. The two results sites we use http://www.all-athletics.com/ and http://www.tilastopaja.org/ do not show any results for Cheruiyot prior to this year. Perhaps he was racing under his old name, but we do know he had never raced in Europe until this year. Earlier this year we said Ferguson could be a factor on the world scene in a year or two. He’s definitely ready for 2014.
QT #6: Full results were as follows with race video:
QT #6: Race video below.
QT #7: Race photos appear below. Click on a thumbnail for a larger picture.
More: MB: Symmonds 1:43.03!!!
From the LRC Vault: Coverage of Men’s 800 at 2013 Moscow World Championships
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