May 8, 2014
The 2014 Diamond League season kicks off with a bang on Friday in Doha, Qatar. There are a slew of quality events across the board but a mouth-watering men’s 800 is certainly the highlight for LetsRun.com.
The crazy thing is officially the men’s 800 isn’t a Diamond League event in Doha.
That doesn’t matter to us.
This race is A MUST WATCH EVENT.
If you’ve got to work on Friday, be sure to take a lunch break at 12:56 ET and watch this one.
Why are we so excited about it?
In case you forgot, the single highlight of the 2012 Olympic track and field action was the mesmerizing men’s 800 final: Men’s 800 Meter Final: David Rudisha Becomes A Legend By Winning Gold With A World Record In A Truly Historic 800.
In that race, David Rudisha of course, without the help of a rabbit, became the first man to break 1:41.00 as he ran 1:40.91 from the front.
Behind him, though, the true mid-d aficionado, those like yourselves that frequent LetsRun.com, couldn’t help but notice that Botswana’s 18-year old wunder-kid Nijel Amos became the first man in history to break 1:42.00 in a race and lose as he ran a world junior record of 1:41.73 for silver.
Heading into 2013, one of the things we at LetsRun.com were most excited to watch was the great Rudisha try to hold off a slew of super talented young challengers led by Amos and Ethiopia’s own young sensation Mohammed Aman, who also was just 18 in London and beat Rudisha straight up in a race right after the Olympics.
One small problem. In 2013, both Rudisha and Amos were injured and missed for virtually the entire season (in 2013, Rudisha ran two 800s, Amos four but only one on the pro circuit (3 came at the less than super competitive World University Games)). In their absence, the 800 was still stellar as Ethiopia’s Aman had a sensational campaign winning 11 straight races at the end of the year. A 10th straight win and first world title wasn’t enough for Aman as he finished the year with a 1:42.37 pb.
This year, Aman has picked up right where he left off in 2013 – on fire. He’s won four more races and another World Title – as he captured World Indoors in Sopot, Poland.
Ever since he lost to Rudisha last year in Doha almost exactly one year ago (May 10, 2013), Aman has proven to be unbeatable.
Rudisha is still out for a few more weeks, but Amos is back and on Friday track and field fans are going to get a real treat as the two 20-year old phenoms Amos and Aman aren’t going to slowly work their way into the 2014 outdoor campaign. Amos and Aman are going to clash in Doha.
Yes it’s early and yes Amos has been away from elite competition for a long time. But Amos has already shown great form early this year. On April 26th, he set a 400 pb of 45.56 in the Ivory Coast.
We can’t wait to see how this one plays out.
Quick Thought #1: What a treat for track and field fans. Track fans are conditioned to seeing stars avoid each other time and time again. In terms of thinking along the lines of “What about the sport?” and how to improve the sport, we feel like huge early season clashes are the way it should be done.
This reminds us much like the NBA or the NFL which open their seasons time and time again with marquee matchups (in the NFL this fall, the season will begin with a Super Bowl champs Seattle Seahawks taking on the Green Bay Packers).
In championship seasons (which 2014 isn’t), we’ve never advocated for stars to face each other all season long. We’re for their being a sense of the unknown heading into Worlds or the Olympics. But clash once or twice early and then get ready apart before clashing again at the end of the season.
Quick Thought #2: Amos and Aman are far from the only two good guys in the field. The field includes four guys who ran 1:43 last year – Kenyans Ferguson Cheruiyot and Jeremiah Mutai, Qatar’s Musaeb Balla, and American Brandon Johnson, plus the third and fourth placers at World Indoors in Andrew Osagie (GBR) and Andrew Olivier (RSA) as well as Job Kinyor of Kenya who ran his 1:43.76 pb in Doha in 2012.
The full field is as follows:
|AMAN Mohammed||10.01.1994||ETH||01:42.37||1:44.52i||01:42.37||After David Rudisha went out, he didn’t lose a race the rest of the year.|
|AMOS Nijel||15.03.1994||BOT||01:41.73||01:48.84||—||Like Rudisha, he was missed last year but ran 1:41.73 for silver at age 18 in London. Has run 45.56 pb this year.|
|BALLA Musaeb Abdulrahman||19.03.1989||QAT||01:43.93||1:46.82i||1:43.93||Was 3rd in semis at Worlds last year but didn’t make final, 1:43.93 in Rieti last year.|
|CHERUIYOT Ferguson Rotich||30.11.1989||KEN||01:43.22||1:44.9hA||01:43.22||1:43.22 last year, already 1:44 in Kenya this year.|
|HAIRANE Jamal||26.05.1993||QAT||01:47.61||—||—||1:47.61 in 2012|
|JOHNSON Brandon||02.03.1985||USA||01:43.84||01:47.63||1:43.84||Former 400h had great 2012 as his pb was just 1:46.23 coming into year.|
|KINYOR Job||08.05.1990||KEN||01:43.76||1:44.6hA||1:44.24||Beat Cheruiyot in Kenya last month. Ran his pb in Doha in 2012.|
|MUTAI Jeremiah Kipkorir||27.12.1992||KEN||1:43.9h||1:47.41i||1:43.9h||Former 400h ran 1:47.41 indoors this year but went out in heats at Worlds|
|OLIVIER Andre||29.12.1989||RSA||01:44.29||1:44.99i||1:44.37||Ran 1:44.99 in 1st indoor race ever this year, then got 4th at Worlds.|
|OSAGIE Andrew||19.02.1988||GBR||01:43.77||1:45.22i||1:44.36||After a DQ, got the bronze at World Indoors today.|
|SOM Bram||20.02.1980||NED||01:43.45||pace?||1:48.21||34-year is most likely the rabbit|