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LetsRun.com Recaps The World's Distance Action For July 25, 2007 (aka the day after Founder's Day)
We do that because in our minds one of the biggest problems with track and field is that many of the races are meaningless in the public's mind. Sure a few places may be chasing times but place is largely irrelevant as is competition. That's not compelling sport. The Pan Ams are the America's version of the Commonwealth Games and are a great championship. We attended the 2003 Pan Ams in the Dominican Republic and the experience of hometown hero Felix Sanchez winning 400 hurdle gold was way more crazy than when we watched Michael Johnson win 200 gold in Atlanta.
Pan Am Games - Men's 1500 Final
The lone American in the final was former Cal runner Andrew McClary. McClary transferred to Arkansas this year and redshirted but has been training under famed coach John McDonnell all spring. He's certainly responded to McDonnell's coaching as his 5th place showing in 3:39.81 at the 2007 AT&T USATF meet was one of the meet's biggest surprises (his pr coming into this year was 3:48.01). Today was another story as McClary was never a factor. 800 meters in he was totally dropped by the field and was 10 meters behind the lead group of 11. He came in as someone most observers thought had an outside shot at a medal but he ended up next to last in an embarrassing time of 4:03.58.
Three possible explanations exist for his performance today. 1) He was burned out from a long season as he's still very young (or he was sick) 2) He's already started training for his collegiate xc season 3) He went to Brazil for the free trip.
Let's hope it was explanation #1 as anytime someone puts on their country's uniform, they should give it their all.
After opening splits of 2:48.43 at 1k and 5:40.25 for 2k, Selsouli appeared to be in control and poised for victory. Heading into the bell, she had about a 4 second lead on former Providence star Kim Smith of New Zealand. Selsouli had a strong last lap of 65.73 to get the win in a huge pr and world leading time of 8:28.52 (her pr from last year was 8:45.96 - an 8:45 3k is actually the 3k split one needs to run a 14:36 5k) in a performance that the television commentator correctly called a "brilliant piece of controlled running." On the last lap, Smith was overtaken by Americans Jen Rhines and Shalene Flanagan but Smith battled back on Flanagan to nab 3rd just before the line.
In the performance of the race, Rhines finished 2nd in 8:35.03 - a staggering 20+ second pr for the 33 year old - who appears to have found the fountain of youth in 2007. Her 2007 campaign has been unreal so far, particularly at the shorter distances. Already this year, she has achieved a 9 second pr at 1500 (4:09.52) in addition to her 20+ second pr today. At 10k, she pr'd by a scant 7 seconds. The 8:35.03 makes Rhines the 4th fastest American ever at 3k and 3rd fastest ever outdoors. The only people to have run faster outdoors are Libbie Hickman (who ran just .01 faster - 8:35.02 - in 2000) and convicted drug cheat and American record holder Mary Slaney (8:25.83). Flanagan set the indoor American record this year at the Reebok Boston meet with her 8:33.25.
Despite her struggles over the last 400, Smith ended up with a nice consolation prize of a new New Zealand record of 8:35.31. Flanagan's 8:35.34 for third was a 9 second outdoor pr for her.
Full Results - Women - 3000 Metres
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
The commentators commented that Bekele didn't look as sharp as he did in his last outing at Sheffield when he pr'd in 7:26.69 on July 15th. However, he ended up with a very workman-like 7:29.32 - his 2nd fastest time ever. Not too shabby considering the race was run in mid 70 degree temperature with humidity at close to 80%.
As Bekele cruised in for victory, the mere mortals were left to battle it out for runner-up honors. It was a shame the television coverage didn't show more of the battle for 2nd as 5 or 6 runners were tightly bunched entering the bell. Uganda's Moses Kipsiro, who won the All African Games 5k on Sunday, ended up the runner-up in a new national record of 7:32.03. Ireland's Alistair Cragg, fresh off a 13:07 5k pr on Saturday in Belgium, was in 2nd heading into the bell but he ended up third in a huge 6 second PR of 7:32.49 - putting him in the top 10 all time for
American Khadevis Robinson had the lead with 50 meters to go (We wish we could describe the first 750 for you but didn't get our stream working until this point), but just couldn't find the energy to hold on for the win and ended up 6th in a seasonal best of 1:44.27. 2004 Olympic silver medallist, Mublaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa, got the win in 1:43.74 to make up for a disappointing 2nd place showing at the All Africa Games earlier this month.
Official Result Men - 800 Metres Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts 1 Mulaudzi, Mbulaeni RSA 1:43.74 20 2 Kamel, Youssef Saad BRN 1:43.87 16 3 Laalou, Amine MAR 1:43.94 14 4 Reed, Gary CAN 1:44.17 12 5 Robinson, Khadevis USA 1:44.27 10 6 Milkevics, Dmitrijs LAT 1:44.37 8 7 Som, Bram NED 1:46.05 6 8 Barrios, Eugenio ESP 1:46.70 4 9 Etès, Brice FRA 1:47.71 Tangui, Sammy KEN DNF
Official Result Women - 1500 Metres Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts 1 Jamal, Maryam Yusuf BRN 4:00.43 20 2 Chaabi, Bouchra MAR 4:03.62 16 3 Lakhouad, Btissam MAR 4:03.84 14 4 Hilali, Siham MAR 4:04.03 12 5 Jamieson, Sarah AUS 4:04.77 10 6 Lishchynska, Iryna UKR 4:05.65 8 7 Clement, Treniere USA 4:06.07 6 8 Martins, Maria FRA 4:06.19 4 9 Checa, Dolores ESP 4:06.49 3 10 Corrigan, Lisa AUS 4:06.64 3 11 Elmore, Malindi CAN 4:10.95 3 Alminova, Anna RUS DNF Lavshuk, Natalya RUS DNF