2017 Pre Recap: Mo Farah Wins 5k, Ronald Kwemoi Impresses in Mile, Jakob Ingebrigtsen Becomes History’s Youngest Sub-4 Miler

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by LetsRun.com
May 26, 2017

EUGENE, Ore. — Another Pre Classic is in the books, and once again, there were a ton of impressive performances on a beautiful day at Hayward Field. In the distance races, the two headliner races were the men’s 5,000 and men’s Bowerman mile, and they were won by two men who may face off at the World Champs in London this summer. Four-time Olympic champ Mo Farah won the former event in 13:00.70 to make it 22 wins in his last 23 5k races, while Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi came from behind to win the mile in 3:49.04. Kwemoi’s coach Renato Canova told us after the race that Kwemoi will likely run the 5,000 at Worlds and that he believes Kwemoi is the only man with a chance to beat Farah over that distance.

Overall, it wasn’t a great day for American distance runners as no Americans were close to the win. That includes the women’s 1500 (where Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon asserted her dominance once again), and women’s 800, where Caster Semenya got a run for her money from Margaret Wambui. To be fair, there weren’t any Americans in that race though.

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen also made history in the men’s international mile as he became the youngest person to ever break 4:00 in the mile, doing so at the tender age of 16 years, 250 days.

In non-distance action, Christian Taylor and Will Claye waged an epic triple jump duel as both men surpassed 18 meters, Taylor winning with 18.11, the third-longest jump in history. Olympic champ and Oregon native Ryan Crouser unleashed a bomb to win the shot put (22.43m) and Tori Bowie destroyed a historically great field in the women’s 200, clocking 21.77 (the fastest time in the world since 2015) as three women broke 22 seconds and Olympic champ Elaine Thompson was only third. Omar McLeod kept rolling in the 110 hurdles, winning in 13.01 as Devon Allen ran 13.11 just seven months after knee surgery.

We recap everything below, with results, analysis and interviews, starting with the distance events.

Bowerman Mile: Is Ronald Kwemoi Ready to Step Up on the Big Stage?

The Prefontaine Classic always ends with the Bowerman mile and the winner of today’s race was Ronald Kwemoi, the man whom Renato Canova has guaranteed will be the 2020 Olympic 5000 champ. That’s not to say that Kwemoi’s win was totally unexpected as after all he is the 9th fastest man in history at 1500 (3:28.81 – the same as Mo Farah) and won the Monaco Diamond League meet last year. Kwemoi won narrowly as he went from third to first over the final 50. Coming off the final turn, it was a three-man race – between three Kenyans all wearing identical red Kenyan singlets – and when it was all over Kwemoi was the winner in 3:49.04, just ahead of 2015 World Championship silver medallist Elijah Manangoi (3:49.08) as 21-year-old Timothy Cheruiyot was third in 3:49.64.

The world’s best miler over the last decade, Asbel Kiprop, was a total non-factor and might have better suited if he hadn’t started due to illness like Matthew Centrowitz. Kiprop, who after the race told us he wasn’t feeling well, went out in last and ended up last in 3:58.24. American Clayton Murphy, the Rio bronze medallist at 800, improved his pb from 3:54.31 to 3:51.99 to finish 5th.

Ronal Kwemoi Wins It

Ronal Kwemoi Wins It

The Race

The three Kenyans that ended up in the top three went out aggressively as they were the top three racers at 409m (56.83-57.29). The pace slowed over the next few laps (58 for lap #2 and 59 for lap #3). Not much really happened until just before 1k when American Ben Blankenship, 2016 Rio Olympic finalist, got things going. Blankenship, who had been last some 900 meters into the race, made a huge move between 950 and 1050 and had the lead at the bell (2:54.49).

However, Manangoi went to the lead with 300 left and when he did so Kwemoi, who had fallen back to sixth, quickly accelerated to put himself into contention. The three Kenyans would battle all the way home. Coming off the final turn, Manangoi still led with Cheruiyot right on his shoulder and Kwemoi in third but Cheruiyot would fade and Kwemoi would move up late to win.

One Mile - Men Race Race 2
                                                             Pts
    1 Kwemoi , Ronald                  KEN    3:49.04          8
    2 Manangoi , Elijah Motonei        KEN    3:49.08          7
    3 Cheruiyot , Timothy              KEN    3:49.64          6
    4 Kibet , Vincent                  KEN    3:51.17          5
    5 Murphy , Clayton                 USA    3:51.99          4
    6 Iguider , Abdalaati              MAR    3:52.77          3
    7 Blankenship  , Ben               USA    3:53.04          2
    8 Ingebrigtsen , Filip             NOR    3:53.23          1
    9 Birgen , Bethwell Kiprotich      KEN    3:53.50           
   10 Grice , Charlie                  GBR    3:53.62           
   11 Gregson , Ryan                   AUS    3:56.90           
   12 Kiplagat , Silas                 KEN    3:57.59           
   13 Kiprop , Asbel                   KEN    3:58.24           
      Kiptoo , Elijah Kipchirchir      KEN        DNF           
      Rotich , Andrew Kiptoo           KEN        DNF           
      Souleiman , Ayanleh              DJI        DNF
Tight final stretch in Bowerman mile

Tight final stretch in Bowerman mile

Quick Take: Could Ronald Kwemoi finally be the man to end Mo Farah’s run of dominance at 5,000 meters?

Kwemoi ran an incredible final 100 meters to get the win today, and we should take a moment to appreciate that. His 3:49.04 was a PR and the fastest winning time at Pre since 2014. After his dominant 7:28 3k win in Doha at the start of the month, he’s clearly in MONSTER shape right now.

The big question now is what event Kwemoi runs at Worlds. He said he considers the 1500 his best event right now and is undecided about whether to run the 1500 or 5,000 in London. But we also spoke to Kwemoi’s coach, Renato Canova, and he told us that the 5k will likely be the focus as Canova said that Kwemoi still has a lot of work to do tactically to become a great championship 1500 runner (Canova did add that he thinks Kwemoi is in 3:45 mile shape right now).

Will that be enough to beat Mo Farah? Canova admitted that he wasn’t sure, but said that if anyone is going to beat Farah in the 5k this year, it’s Kwemoi (something Kiprop agrees with).

As for the man himself, Kwemoi said beating Farah is out of is hands and that it’s up to God.

“Maybe about God, not for me,” Kwemoi said. “Maybe God, He say ‘Mo Farah is [beatable].’”

Quick Take: Asbel Kiprop was sick, says he’s at “40-45%” right now, stands by the Rosas

Kiprop said he caught the flu traveling to Eugene and felt bad before the race started, hence his decision to take a step back off the line and head straight for the back of the pack.

“I knew I had flu so following that kind of pace for the first lap, my chest would be full, my lungs would be full. And I opted to run right from the back so I could control [my breathing],” Kiprop said.

Kiprop got a late jump on training and said that fitness-wise, he’s behind where he wants to be right now, at only 40-45% of peak fitness. He also confirmed that he ran two kilometers of a steeplechase last week as he had never run the event and wanted to give it a try. He didn’t practice over any barriers before racing (not uncommon among Kenyans) and enjoyed the event, but he said he has no plans to pull a Kip Keino and start running the event seriously.

Finally, we asked Kiprop about his agency, Rosa Associati, managed by father-and-son tandem Federico and Gabriele Rosa. In April, Olympic marathon champ Jemima Sumgong became the fourth Rosa-managed athlete to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs. But Kiprop, who stood behind the Rosas after the Rita Jeptoo positive in 2014, doubled down on his stance today, saying that it is the athletes and local doctors that are to blame for the plague of doping that has hit Kenya.

“I have also suffered a loss in the Olympic Games during 2008 (Kiprop was later elevated to gold after Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his medal) so I don’t tolerate doping. So when I stand by Rosas, I know they [are] clean as a company.”

Kiprop said the Kenyan government needs to enforce stiff penalties if things are to change.

“What is needed is if the government will act upon the doctors, grill the athlete to say which doctor gave him the drugs, and arrest the doctor and take him to prison, even the athlete himself, I think that is going to end completely this scandal.”

Quick Take: Clayton Murphy met his goal of finishing in the top five

Kenyans have dominated the men’s 1500 so far on the DL circuit, going 1-2-3-4-5-6 in Doha and 1-2-3-4 today. The top non-Kenyan at Pre was Clayton Murphy, who was fifth in 3:51.99. Murphy said that the third lap was tough with a lot of jostling for position, but that overall he was pleased with the run against a field of this quality.

Murphy is still undecided between the 800 and 1500 at USAs (for us it’s obvious: he should run the 800) and will take a crack at the American record in the 1000 (2:13.9) at the Portland Track Festival in two weeks.

Quick Take: Speaking of finishing in the top 5, Murphy was the only American to finish in the top 5 of a mid-d or distance event today

Last year, the US earned 7 Olympic medals in the mid-d and distance events – their most in 104 years. Today’s results showed that American fans should certainly not take last year’s results for granted as the rest of the world is very good. As messageboard poster “Macdady” pointed out, Murphy was the only American to finish in the top 5 of a distance event today and there was only one event where that happened on Friday as well (Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs were 4th and 5th in the steeple last night).

International Mile: 16-Year-Old Jakob Ingebrigtsen Becomes History’s Youngest Sub-4 Miler

In the B heat of the mile, 21-year-old Brazilian Thiago Andrè was sensational over the final lap as his last 400 of 54.53 was nearly a second better than anyone else in the field. He ended up winning in 3:51.99 – the same time that Clayton Murphy ran in the top heat. Behind him, 16-year-old Jakob Ingebrigstsen of Norway ran 3:58.07 to become the youngest person to break 4:00 in a full mile race as US high schooler David Principe ran 4:00.73.

One Mile - Men Race Race 1
                                                                
    1 Andrè , Thiago                   BRA    3:51.99           
    2 O'Hare , Chris                   GBR    3:53.34           
    3 Ingebrigtsen , Henrik            NOR    3:53.79           
    4 Holuša , Jakub                   CZE    3:53.97           
    5 Elkaam , Fouad                   MAR    3:54.39           
    6 Mathews , Luke                   AUS    3:54.53           
    7 Wheating , Andrew                USA    3:55.23           
    8 Lomong , Lopez                   USA    3:55.67           
    9 Philibert-Thiboutot , Charles    CAN    3:55.83           
   10 Soratos , Christian              USA    3:56.68           
   11 Ingebrigtsen , Jakob             NOR    3:58.07           
   12 Ramsden , Matthew                AUS    3:59.80           
   13 Principe , David                 USA    4:00.73           
   14 Gregorek , John                  USA    4:03.27           
      Abda , Harun                     USA        DNF           
      Casey , Patrick                  USA        DNF

Quick Take: Jakob Ingebrigtsen was happy to be the youngest man ever under 4:00, but thinks he can go even faster

Ingebrigtsen took a little while to come through the mixed zone as he was throwing up in the recovery tent following his Herculean feat. But it was worth the wait as he and older brother Henrik gave a lively post-race interview (their English is very good).

As phenomenal as Jakob’s run was today, he was only the third-fastest person named Ingebrigtsen at Pre as Henrik, 26, ran 3:53.79 to finish 3rd in this race while Filip, 24, clocked 3:53.23 in the Bowerman Mile. With those two to look up to, he set his sights on a sub-4:00 mile early.

“First I ever thought about it was like 8 years old, maybe,” Jakob said. “So i kind of lived up to their potential and their results. I said to myself I also want to do that from a really young age.”

Jakob said that he’s always worked out at the same location as his brothers since he took up the sport and that he didn’t start working out with Henrik and Filip until 2015. It’s incredible to think that, at age 14, Jakob was already training with a 3:50 miler in Henrik.

Up next is another mile at the Bislett Games in Oslo, where Ingebrigtsen thinks he can go even faster.

Quick Take: Training on his own has offered Andrew Wheating more freedom, allowed him to stay healthier and made him fall in love with the sport again

Wheating’s 3:55.23 for 7th today was his fastest mile since 2010 and his second-fastest ever, and he was in good spirits afterwards in the mixed zone. Though Wheating still receives advisement from Oregon Track Club coach Mark Rowland, he’s training on his own in Eugene and feels that it’s made a big difference in allowing him to stay healthy — a consistent problem for Wheating in the past.

“I think it’s being that I can work out and run on my own schedule,” Wheating said. “Like I was saying, if the time to show up is 9:00 and I’m not ready to run yet and I show up and force myself to run, you’re kind of pushing your body through the dislikes of running. And when you’re frustrated and stressing out and you’re not feeling comfortable about it, that all takes its toll. And so when you kind of get on your own schedule and pace yourself at your own pace, it all just kind of comes together and clicks. In turn, I’ve kind of started to love the sport again.”

Next up for Wheating is a 1000 at the Portland Track Festival in two weeks.

“I’m hopping in a K with Clayton and if his workouts are any indication as to what he can possibly run, he’s gonna WHUP my ass.”

Mo Wins in Eugene

Mo Wins in Eugene

Men’s 5000m Mo Farah’s Final Track Race in America is a Success

Since becoming World 5,000 champion in 2011, Mo Farah has only lost once at 5,000m and that was at the 2013 Pre Classic. Farah made sure his final track race in America did not end in similar fashion as he did what he usually does: win by controlling the race the final few laps. Today he held off a challenge from Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor on the final lap to win in 13:00.70.

The rabbits were supposed to hit 3k in 7:45, but only managed 7:51, as the field did not indicate it wanted to try to run away from Farah. They were content to run the modest pace which usually plays out one way – with Mo Farah crossing the finish line first. A sign of Farah’s self-confidence: in the middle of this race, Farah was in the middle of the pack and waved his arms up and down forcefully on the backstretch, gesturing for the Hayward Field faithful to cheer. They responded with vociferous applause.

The real racing took place the final mile (1600 to go was reached in 8:56). At that point Geoffrey Kamworor, the World XC champ who said he would beat Farah today, was leading. Farah did his patented move to seize the lead with 2 laps to go and would never give up the lead the rest of the way. Kejelcha and Albert Rop both tried to get the lead from Farah but he would not give it up. Coming around the final bend on the final lap, Kejelcha and Kamworor were right there, but the end result was what we have come to expect. Mo Farah was too good the final 100m and he had time to look left and look right to make sure he was going out in style in his final track race on American soil.

5000 Metres - Men 
                                                             Pts
    1 Farah , Mohamed                  GBR   13:00.70          8
    2 Kejelcha , Yomif                 ETH   13:01.21          7
    3 Kamworor , Geoffrey Kipsang      KEN   13:01.35          6
    4 Cheptegei , Joshua Kiprui        UGA   13:02.84          5
    5 Rop , Albert Kibichii            BRN   13:04.82          4
    6 Ahmed , Mohammed                 CAN   13:08.16          3
    7 Chelimo , Paul Kipkemoi          USA   13:10.11          2
    8 Butchart , Andrew                GBR   13:11.45          1
    9 Jenkins , Eric                   USA   13:13.30           
   10 Kifle , Aron                     ERI   13:13.31           
   11 Tiernan , Patrick                AUS   13:13.44           
   12 Kiplimo , Jacob                  UGA   13:13.64           
   13 Tanui , Paul Kipngetich          KEN   13:14.09           
   14 Abdi , Bashir                    BEL   13:16.74           
   15 Barsoton , Leonard Kiplimo       KEN   13:17.38           
   16 Mead , Hassan                    USA   13:19.16           
   17 Sitonik , William Malel          KEN   13:20.02           
   18 Molla , Getaneh                  ETH   13:21.78           
   19 Korir , Leonard Essau            USA   13:22.04           
   20 Kosimbei , Nicholas Mboroto      KEN   13:22.68           
   21 Sambu , Stephen                  KEN   13:23.79           
   22 True , Ben                       USA   13:28.24           
   23 Ndiku , Caleb Mwangangi          KEN   13:31.45           
   24 Derrick , Chris                  USA   13:33.39           
      Direh , Djamal A.                DJI        DNF           
      Hill , Ryan                      USA        DNF           
      Jeilan , Ibrahim                 ETH        DNF           
      Koech , Isiah Kiplangat          KEN        DNF           
      Masters , Riley                  USA        DNF

QT: Same Race, Same Result

Mo Farah has only broken 13 minutes four times in his life and one of those times was in 2010 before he joined the Oregon Project and became world champion. Granted, he has won all four of those sub-13:00 races since then, but we’d still love to see a group of runners shoot for 12:50 and see what happens to Farah. Who knows, maybe he’d win like he did in Monaco in 2011 when he ran his 12:53.11 PR, but it would be something different.

We may not get the chance because Farah may not run another 5,000m between now and Worlds. Everyone may just rely on the tactic of outkicking Mo Farah, but that usually doesn’t work out too well. If Ronald Kwemoi, who won the Bowerman mile today and has been projected as the 2020 Olympic 5000m champ, runs the 5,000 at Worlds as his coach Renato Canova suggested, that will at least throw a new variable into the “Let’s try and outkick Mo Farah” strategy.

Overall, Saturday was a perfect day for Farah as in addition to the win, his favorite soccer team, Arsenal, won the FA Cup, a match Farah made sure to watch before his race (the first couple questions of the interview were about Arsenal). Farah spoke about a variety of topics after the race, discussing how he’s changed his training as he ages (not as many back-to-back hard sessions), his move up to the marathon next year (Farah thinks it will take him a few years to master it).

Farah also addressed the allegations against his coach Alberto Salazar.

“Look, this has been going on for so long. If it has crossed the line, done something, why hasn’t something been done about it? Why are we keep talking about it year after year? That’s what my point is,” Farah said.

“Well if he has crossed the line, I don’t make that decision, it’s IAAF, WADA, people make that decision. If he has crossed the line and done something wrong…then why hasn’t something been done about it? I’m just sick about it. Going year after year, year after year, year after year. Like, let me do my running. I enjoy running, I enjoy what I do. Let me do what I do.”

Farah’s next race is in Jamaica, where he’ll run at the Racers Grand Prix on June 10. It will be Farah’s first race in Jamaica — and Usain Bolt’s last — and Farah is one of several stars making an appearance to pay tribute to the legend. After that, he’ll travel to Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 28 to run the 10,000 meters. Farah thinks he can break his 26:46 PR but admits that a world record isn’t feasible — and he’s okay with that.

“I’ve always said that medals is more important for me than anything else because no one ever will take that away from me. If it’s a record, then records are there to be broken.”

QT #2: Americans Underwhelm

Olympic silver medallist Paul Chelimo was 7th in 13:10. That was a bit of a letdown but deserves some perspective. Last year Chelimo ran 13:21 here and was 13th. Can he somehow regain the 2016 magic? Eric Jenkins managed a 9th place finish, Hassan Mead was 16th, Leonard Korir 19th (sticking in the race after pacing), while the Bowerman Track Club duo of Chris Derrick (last in 13:33) and Ryan Hill (DNF) had the worst days of the Americans.

Chelimo said that while he feels his fitness is ahead of where it was at this point last year, he didn’t feel good before the race. Part of that, Chelimo said, was due to the heat, but he said that feeling bad has become a pattern for him in Eugene.

“There’s something about this track, it’s always hard for me,” Chelimo said. “I always have a hard time at this track. I don’t feel 100% usually.”

Chelimo, who was an impressive second in Doha on May 5, says it’s only a matter of time before he pops a big one. And luckily for him, he won’t have to race at Hayward Field again this year as USAs are in Sacramento.

QT #3: Joshua Cheptegei Bounces Back

Cheptegei is the Ugandan who looked to be on his way to winning the World XC title on home turf, before he totally lost it and staggered home to finish 30th. This was his first race since then and he managed a very respectable 4th. Cheptegei is more of a 10,000m runner and so is Kamworor. We talked about runners working together to try to beat Farah but it might make more sense for Kamworor and Cheptegei to do it in the 10,000m. The odds of running away from Farah might be greater there than in the 5,000m.

QT #4: Geoffrey Kamworor said that his race was “okay”

Kamworor said that the gap that he allowed to form on the final lap was too big, so despite a strong close, he wasn’t close to challenging Farah. But overall, he was satisfied with third place against a stellar field and still believes he can beat Farah in the 10k in London.

“For me, absolutely, i have no doubt. I am going for him in the World Champs 10,000. We are going to face each other. The time is still there [to improve].”

Semenya Wins

Semenya Wins

Women’s 800: Caster Semenya Fights Off A Real Challenge

Caster Semenya’s dominance in the 800 continued today, but she got a real challenge from Kenya’s Margaret Wambui. In the end, Semenya kept her win streak alive (she has not lost an 800 since 2015, and this was her 24th straight win counting heats), but this was the smallest margin of victory, .10,  since Semenya started her win streak. Semenya took the lead with 200m to go, but Wambui challenged her down the homestretch before Semenya prevailed.

The pace wasn’t fast early on as Olympic bronze medallist Francine Niyonsaba (who ended up third here today in 1:59.10) was the first racer at 400 in 59.01. The big 3 of the women’s 800 – Niyonsaba, Semenya and Wambui – were in the top 3 of this one throughout.

Just before 600 (1:29.65), Semenya grabbed the lead and that would prove to be key as Wambui would have to run a little extra ground chasing her on the turn. Hardly anything separated them throughout the final 200 and they were actually closer at the finish (.10) than at 600 (.14).

800 Metres - Women 
                                                             Pts
    1 Semenya , Caster                 RSA    1:57.78          8
    2 Wambui , Margaret Nyairera       KEN    1:57.88          7
    3 Niyonsaba , Francine             BDI    1:59.10          6
    4 Alemu , Habitam                  ETH    1:59.19          5
    5 Büchel , Selina                  SUI    1:59.46          4
    6 Bishop , Melissa                 CAN    1:59.52          3
    7 Józwik , Joanna                  POL    2:00.77          2
    8 Sharp , Lynsey                   GBR    2:01.23          1
    9 Arzamasova , Marina              BLR    2:02.59           
      Chambers , Kendra                USA        DNF

Quick Thought: Semenya Maybe Vulnerable To Wambui But They Are Still Miles Ahead of Everyone Else

It certainly looks like Wambui has a shot at beating Semenya at some point this year, but it looks unlike anyone else in the world is going to touch either one of them barring a court order that overturns the CAS decision on hyperandrogenism.

Semenya having a true rival will make the event a lot more interesting. Last year, Niyonsaba often kept it close for 700 but then Semenya would pull away, but today Wambui kept it close all the way to the finish.

Women’s 1500: Faith Kipyegon Shows Why She’s the Olympic Champ

Faith Kipyegon showed why she is the Olympic champion: she’s got tremendous finishing speed as she blasted a 59.55 final lap to win the Prefontaine 1500 in 3:59.67. Hellen Obiri pipped Laura Muir for 2nd at the line as they were in 4:00.46 and 4:00.47. US 800m Olympian Kate Grace was the only American who was a factor in this one on the final lap as she was just on the inside of Kipyegon at the bell, but she would fade to 7th the final 100m as Brenda Martinez passed her just before the finish for top American honors.

Last year, Kipyegon ran her Kenyan record at Pre (3:56.41), but the field showed no desire to go with rabbit Dana Mecke and when the field reached 800 in 2:12, a super fast time was not a possibility. Kate Grace led the main pack much of the early race. The field began to position themselves for the final lap and Kipyegon took the lead just before the bell. Six women were in contention as they hit the backstretch and Kipyegon began to open up her lead. Muir tried to respond and go with her, but Kipyegon was too good today and got the win comfortably in 3:59.67, the only sub-4:00 on the day.

1500 Metres - Women 
                                                                
    1 Kipyegon , Faith Chepngetich     KEN    3:59.67           
    2 Obiri , Hellen Onsando           KEN    4:00.46           
    3 Muir , Laura                     GBR    4:00.47           
    4 Arafi , Rababe                   MAR    4:01.75           
    5 Tsegay , Gudaf                   ETH    4:01.78           
    6 Martinez , Brenda                USA    4:03.56           
    7 Grace , Kate                     USA    4:03.59           
    8 Simpson , Jennifer               USA    4:04.16           
    9 Rowbury , Shannon                USA    4:04.61           
   10 Ennaoui , Sofia                  POL    4:05.74           
   11 Houlihan , Shelby                USA    4:06.43           
   12 Hall , Linden                    AUS    4:07.37           
   13 Weightman , Laura                GBR    4:10.50           
      Mecke , Dana                     USA        DNF

QT: Not Quite Time for American Fans to Worry

American fans have been spoiled the last few years with the American women doing very well. It’s too early to hit the panic button after none of them were factors in this one at the end and only Kate Grace was a factor on the final lap. Last year, Simpson was 4th at Pre in 4:01 and Rowbury 10th in 4:04.65, and they’d go three and four at the Olympics. Their days may be numbered at the top of the 1500m, but they have shown in the past they know how to peak when it counts.

Quick Take: Brenda Martinez says this is the fittest she’s been since 2013

This was Martinez’ fastest 1500 since 2014, but despite beating Simpson and Rowbury — who have ruled the event domestically for the last several years — she wasn’t pleased with her race as she felt she should have put herself in better position.

Overall, though, Martinez said that she thinks this is the fittest she’s been since 2013. And despite some 1500 success, the 800 will still be her focus this year. With Semenya and Wambui basically untouchable at this point (Francine Niyonsaba also hasn’t lost to someone other than those two since the start of 2016), Martinez knows it will be very hard to medal in London but she believes that if she runs the perfect race, it is possible.

“I’ve seen that mindset where, like ‘Oh top three is already taken, it’s a fight for fourth,’” Martinez said. “I don’t want to think that way. For me, i think it’s an opportunity to race these girls. I might not beat them, but what if it gets me to dip under 1:57? I think to have them in the race is a good thing.

“I also think two of them are very beatable. I think it’s just the race has to go perfect on my end or someone else’s end. I have to have the best race of my life if i want to at least beat one of them.”

Sprints

Women’s 200: American Tori Bowie Wins A Race That Was Better Than The Olympic Final

In a race that included the third (Dafne Schippers 21.63,), fifth (Elaine Thompson (21.66), and sixth (Allyson Felix 21.69) fastest women in history at 200 and last year’s Olympic 400 champ (Shaunae Miller-Uibo), the winner was none of those women. American Tori Bowie, who won silver at 100 and bronze at 200 in Rio last year, reminded everyone that she’s one of the world’s best as she won in a stellar 21.77.

21.77 is quite fast. Elaine Thompson won Olympic gold in 21.78 last year and Bowie got bronze in 22.15. Bowie, who was in lane 7, won today by running a super quick turn.

200 Metres - Women                                Wind: +1.5 m/s
                                                             Pts
    1 Bowie , Tori                     USA      21.77          8
    2 Miller-Uibo , Shaunae            BAH      21.91          7
    3 Thompson , Elaine                JAM      21.98          6
    4 Schippers , Dafne                NED      22.30          5
    5 Felix , Allyson                  USA      22.33          4
    6 Ta Lou , Marie-Josée             CIV      22.37          3
    7 Prandini , Jenna                 USA      22.54          2
    8 Lalova-Collio , Ivet             BUL      22.88          1

Women’s 400 hurdles: Ashley Spencer leads the way as Americans go 1-2-3

Spencer, who won bronze in Rio last year, trailed 2015 world silver medallist Shamier Little coming off the final turn but ran her down on the home straight and managed to outlean her at the line to earn the victory in a world-leading 53.38, the first sub-54 clocking of 2017. Both Spencer and Little (53.44) set personal bests in this one.

400 Metres Hurdles - Women 
                                                             Pts
    1 Spencer , Ashley                 USA      53.38          8
    2 Little , Shamier                 USA      53.44          7
    3 Moline , Georganne               USA      54.09          6
    4 Hejnová , Zuzana                 CZE      54.50          5
    5 Muhammad , Dalilah               USA      54.53          4
    6 Petersen , Sara Slott            DEN      54.85          3
    7 Carter , Kori                    USA      54.98          2
    8 Russell , Janieve                JAM      56.21          1

Men’s 110 Hurdles: Omar McLeod Keeps On Winning

Olympic champ Omar McLeod showed why he’s the best in the world as he won in a world-leading 13.03. When asked why he’s consistently so good (McLeod only lost twice last year – he was also DQ’d once), McLeod said, I’m having fun every time. I try to take it as a leisure activity – not trying to take it like a job. It makes it a lot easier. I just love racing, I love having fun and putting on a show.”

Jamaica went 1-2 in the event as Ronald Levy was second in a huge new pb of 13.10 (previous best was 13.33 although he had run a windy 13.15). Former Oregon Duck Devon Allen was third, lowering his seasonal best from 13.28 to 13.11.

QT: Allen had knee surgery seven months ago. His comeback is going incredibly well. He ran 13.59 three weeks ago, 13.28 last week, and now 13.11. He’s only run faster once in his life, the 13.03 he ran to win the Olympic Trials.

110 Metres Hurdles - Men                          Wind: +0.9 m/s
                                                                
    1 McLeod , Omar                    JAM      13.01           
    2 Levy , Ronald                    JAM      13.10           
    3 Allen , Devon                    USA      13.11           
    4 Merritt , Aries                  USA      13.13           
    5 Pozzi , Andrew                   GBR      13.19           
    6 Harris , Aleec                   USA      13.30           
    7 Oliver , David                   USA      13.40           
    8 Bascou , Dimitri                 FRA      13.55

Men’s 100m: Ronnie Baker Gets Big Win

Baker, a two-time NCAA 60m champ at TCU, has usually been on the outside of the top ranks of the 100m, but that may be starting to change this year. He got the big win in a wind-aided 9.86. It’ll be interesting to see what Baker does from here as this was his biggest win by far. He’s had great success at 60m, but that hasn’t transferred over to the 100 until this year.

At some point, Father Time may catch up to Justin Gatlin, who was 5th in 9.97, but before writing him off this year, remember he was only .01 behind Andre De Grasse, who has a tremendous future.

100 Metres - Men                                  Wind: +2.4 m/s
                                                             Pts
    1 Baker , Ronnie                   USA       9.86          8
    2 Su , Bingtian                    CHN       9.92          7
    3 Ujah , Chijindu                  GBR       9.95          6
    4 De Grasse , Andre                CAN       9.96          5
    5 Gatlin , Justin                  USA       9.97          4
    6 Rodgers , Mike                   USA       9.98          3
    7 Gemili , Adam                    GBR      10.03          2
    8 Meité , Ben Youssef              CIV      10.04          1

Women’s 100 Hurdles: Jasmin Stowers Wins

25-year-old Jasmin Stowers got the win in a seasonal best of 12.59 as she was able to catch early leader Christina Manning.  Believe it or not, 12.59 is #3 in the world this year as world record holder Kendra Harrison hasn’t been competing much due to injury (she leads the world at 12.56 from Drake).

The Americans showed why this is the event they dominate more than any other (1-2-3 at the Olympics last year) in the world as USA took places 1-7 (granted, there was only one non-American in the race).

100 Metres Hurdles - Women                        Wind: +0.8 m/s
                                                             Pts
    1 Stowers , Jasmin                 USA      12.59          8
    2 Harrison , Queen                 USA      12.64          7
    3 Harper Nelson , Dawn             USA      12.66          6
    4 Manning , Christina              USA      12.66          5
    5 Nelvis , Sharika                 USA      12.68          4
    6 Castlin , Kristi                 USA      12.82          3
    7 Ali , Nia                        USA      12.90          2
    8 Talay , Alina                    BLR      12.97          1

Women’s 100: Morolake Akinosun Wins in 10.94

Morolake Akinosun, who was an agonizing fourth in the Olympic Trials last year, ran faster than anyone and got the narrow win in 10.94 but the 2.1 m/s wind reading meant that her pb of 10.95 that got her fourth at the Trials still stands. Murielle Ahoure was 2nd in 10.96 and Michelle-Lee Ahye third in 10.97.

Quick Take: Coming into the race, only three women had broken 11 this year and three did it today. But Elaine Thompson (10.78) is miles ahead of everyone else in the world right now.

100 Metres - Women                                Wind: +2.1 m/s
                                                                
    1 Akinosun , Morolake              USA      10.94           
    2 Ahouré , Murielle                CIV      10.96           
    3 Ahye , Michelle-Lee              TTO      10.97           
    4 Campbell-Brown , Veronica        JAM      11.00           
    5 Facey , Simone                   JAM      11.13           
    6 Bartoletta , Tianna              USA      11.15           
    7 Bryant , Dezerea                 USA      11.20           
    8 Pierre , Barbara                 USA      11.23

Men’s 400: LaShawn Merritt Wins

LaShawn Merritt got out fast and held on for the win in 44.79, just off the 44.78 seasonal best he ran for second in Doha. Merritt is the 7th fastest man in the world this year. 2016 African Champ Baboloki Thebe of Botswana, just 20, who ran 44.22 at altitude last year, was second in 45.02.

400 Metres - Men 
                                                             Pts
    1 Merritt , LaShawn                USA      44.79          8
    2 Thebe , Baboloki                 BOT      45.04          7
    3 Norwood , Vernon                 USA      45.05          6
    4 McQuay , Tony                    USA      45.19          5
    5 Maslák , Pavel                   CZE      45.42          4
    6 Dedewo , Paul                    USA      45.79          3
    7 Hudson-Smith , Matthew           GBR      46.08          2
      Sibanda , Karabo                 BOT        DNF

Field Events

Taylor was pumped

Taylor was pumped

Triple Jump: Christian Taylor Wins Great Competition With Longest Jump on American Soil

Sometimes your best isn’t just good enough. Olympic silver medallist Will Claye set two PRs, but it wasn’t enough to win the triple jump as Olympic gold medallist Christian Taylor jumped 18.11, the longest ever on American soil, to get the win.

For Taylor, it was his second-best jump ever (18.21 PR) and only his 4th time over 18 meters.

Afterwards Taylor said on NBC, “This track is on fire. I love this atmosphere. I love to defend the home turf. My eyes and goal were on world record, meet record, I came away with best jump on US soil.”

Could this be the year Taylor gets the world record (18.29 by Jonathan Edwards)?

Triple Jump - Men 
                                                             Pts    Wind
    1 Taylor , Christian               USA      18.11          8    +0.8
    2 Claye , Will                     USA      18.05          7    +2.4
    3 Dong , Bin                       CHN      17.27          6    +0.9
    4 Copello , Alexis                 AZE      17.17          5    +2.5
    5 Murillo , John                   COL      16.95          4    +1.7
    6 Pontvianne , Jean-Marc           FRA      16.82          3    +1.7
    7 Hess , Max                       GER      16.59          2    +2.4
    8 Doris , Troy                     GUY      16.48          1    +0.5
    9 Raffin , Melvin                  FRA      16.48               +3.7
   10 Benard , Chris                   USA      15.73               +1.8

Men’ s Pole Vault: High School Duplantis Leads Until 19 Feet Finishes 4th

High school junior Armand Duplantis was leading the competition through 5.71 (18′ 8″) as he was perfect. However, once the bar went to 5.81 (19′ 3/4″) he wouldn’t have any more clearances and would have to settle for 4th. Olympic bronze medallist Sam Kendricks got the win being the only guy over 5.86 (19′ 2″).

Mondo Duplantis: “I think I could have made higher today”

Duplantis acquitted himself very well for his first Diamond League competition, though he was disappointed afterwards as he thought that he could have made 5.81 today. In particular, he thinks he should have switched to the pole that he used for his final attempt at 5.81 earlier.

“It’s never fun to know you could have jumped higher,” Duplantis said. “I can’t really say anything too bad technically about my jump today. I think it was just I think I could have made higher today.”

Pole Vault - Men 
                                                             Pts
    1 Kendricks , Sam                  USA       5.86          8
    2 Lavillenie , Renaud              FRA       5.81          7
    3 Lisek , Piotr                    POL       5.81          6
    4 Duplantis , Armand               SWE       5.71          5
    5 Barber , Shawnacy                CAN       5.71          4
    6 Filippídis , Konstadínos         GRE       5.56          3
    7 Xue , Changrui                   CHN       5.56          2
    8 Wojciechowski , Pawel            POL       5.56          1
      da Silva , Thiago Braz           BRA         NM           
      Holzdeppe , Raphael Marcel       GER         NM

Men’s Shot Put Ryan Crouser Wins With Second-Best Throw Of His Life

2015 world champ Joe Kovacs came in as the world leader having thrown the farthest throw in the world in 14 years this year (22.57m), but Ryan Crouser showed why he’s the Olympic champ by winning with a massive 22.43m (73-¾) throw in round 5 – his best throw save for his 22.52 Olympic win. All of Crouser’s three legal throws would have been good enough to win.

Shot Put - Men 
                                                             Pts
    1 Crouser , Ryan                   USA      22.43          8
    2 Walsh , Tomas                    NZL      21.71          7
    3 Kovacs , Joe                     USA      21.44          6
    4 Hill , Darrell                   USA      21.20          5
    5 Storl , David                    GER      20.63          4
    6 Elemba , Franck                  CGO      20.56          3
    7 Bukowiecki , Konrad              POL      20.29          2
    8 Roberts , Kurt                   USA      19.80          1

Women’s High Jump: 2015 World Champ Maria Lasitskene Returns To The Diamond League in Impressive Fashion

In her first Diamond League competition since September of 2015, Russia’s Maria Lasitskene, the 2015 world champ who was competing as a neutral athlete today, was spectacular as she got the win in a huge new world lead of 2.03m (6-8). Coming in, the world lead was just 1.94 m. Lasitskene was cleared to compete in April by the IAAF as she demonstrated that she’s been “adequately tested for drugs over a lengthy period by non-Russian agencies.” No one in the world has jumped higher than 2.03 since 2013 (Brigetta Barrett did 2.04 in 2013, Anna Chicherova did 2.03 in July of 2015).

US teen Vashti Cunningham was third and Olympic champ Ruth Beitia fourth.

High Jump - Women 
                                                             Pts
    1 Lasitskene , Maria               ANA       2.03          8
    2 Licwinko , Kamila                POL       1.95          7
    3 Cunningham , Vashti              USA       1.95          6
    4 Beitia , Ruth                    ESP       1.92          5
    5 Demireva , Mirela                BUL       1.88          4
    5 Spencer , Levern                 LCA       1.88          4
    7 Lowe , Chaunté                   USA       1.79          2
      Palšyté , Airiné                 LTU         NM

Men’s HS 200: Sophomore Tyrese Cooper takes it

In a battle of underclassmen, Cooper of Florida edged junior Kalon Barnes of Texas, 20.51 to 20.54 as five athletes broke 21 seconds.


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