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LetsRun.com Recaps The World's Distance Action For July 25, 2007 (aka the day after Founder's Day)      
by LetsRun.com

July 25, 2007 - Thanks to technology, LetsRun.com can now bring you blow by blow recaps of much of the top distance running from across the globe whether its the Pan Am Games from Brazil or the IAAF Herculis meet from Monaco. We'll start with the distance action that occurred at the Pan Am Games yesterday.

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
For a championship race, the pace started very hot as Cuba's Mauris Castillo took the field through 400 and 800 in 58.11 and 1:57.67. Coming into the bell, Brazil's Hudson de Souza, South America's record holder at 1500 (3:33:25) and mile (3:51.05), had the lead and looked great. It certainly seemed as if he was poised to defend his gold from 2004. He did not disappoint as after 1200 (2:55.50),de Souza put on a show and thrilled the hometown crowd with a romp home to a totally dominating victory. de Souza coasted in over the final 20 meters to win easily in 3:36.32 as Mexico's Juan Luis Barrios earned his second silver of the championships in a new pr of 3:37.71. Barrios was 2nd in the 5k earlier. Ecuador's Bayron Piedra got the bronze in a new national record time of 3:37.88. Today must have been national record day as Argentina's Javier Carriqueo also got a national record in 4th in 3:38.62.

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.

The rest of the recaps come from the IAAF Monaco Herculis meet.

Women's 3k
Up front the race was expected to be the Mariem Alaoui Selsouli show and she did not disappoint. Selsouli, who was the winner in Rome in 14:36.52 in her last outing on July 13th, continued her fantastic 2007 with another huge pr this evening.  

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
1 Alaoui Selsouli, Mariem MAR 8:29.52 20
2 Rhines, Jennifer USA 8:35.03 16
3 Smith, Kimberley NZL 8:35.31 14
4 Flanagan, Shalane USA 8:35.34 12
5 Chojecka, Lidia POL 8:38.30 10
6 Augusto, Jessica POR 8:41.53 8
7 Kastor, Deena USA 8:44.45 6
8 Sikes, Michelle USA 8:44.73 4
9 Coulaud, Julie FRA 8:46.71 3
10 Ivanova, Marina RUS 9:00.05 3
11 Mezeghrane, Samira FRA 9:03.73 3
Muncan, Marina SRB DNF, Spencer, Sasha USA DNF

Men's 3k
When Kenenisa Bekele is in the race, people generally know who is going to win. The question normally is "How fast will he run?" They were "looking for something like 59 seconds a lap" according to the commentator but the race didn't start quite that fast. The 1k was hit in 2:30.32. The rabbit dropped out just past 1700 and Bekele did the opposite of what one might expect. He picked it up and hit 2k in 4:58.98 (his lap from 1400 to 1800 was 58.50 and from 1800 to 2200 58.29). Just when it looked like Bekele was poised for a fantastic time, he tired and slowed a bit over the final 800. With victory clearly in hand, he just kept it smooth into the finish.

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 non-African born runners  Caucasians (we forgot Cragg was born in South Africa). American Matt Tegenkamp rebounded nicely from his disappointing 13:27 performance on July 10th with a 7:37.31 (his pb is 7:34.98 from last year), which was good for 6th.

Official Results - Men - 3000 Metres Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Bekele, Kenenisa ETH 7:29.32 20
2 Kipsiro, Moses UGA 7:32.03 16
3 Cragg, Alistair Ian IRL 7:32.49 14
4 Baday, Ahmed MAR 7:34.94 12
5 Jawher, Mushir Salim BRN 7:35.99 10
6 Tegenkamp, Matthew USA 7:37.31 8
7 Bellani, Hicham MAR 7:37.93 6
8 Komon, Leonard Patrick KEN 7:39.07 4
9 Biwott, Yusuf Kibet KEN 7:40.86 3
10 Nyamu, Julius KEN 7:55.53 3
11 Joncheray, Pierre FRA 7:59.93 3
Bett, Mark KEN DNF,  Dinku, Hailu ETH DNF , Kipsang, Churchill KEN,  DNF Kosgei, Collins KEN DNF,  Zewdie, Maregu ETH DNS

Men's 800
The men's 800 meters proved to be the best 800 run in Europe so far this year as top 6 all broke 1:44.4 and all finished within .63 of each other. It's been a while since we've seen that many run that fast in the same race.

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


Women's 1500
After opening splits of 63.55 and 2:10.33, Maryam Jamal had a 5 meter lead heading into the bell at 3:59.79. The last lap was a thing of beauty as Jamal would pour it on and just destroy the already beaten field. A scintillating 60.65 last 400 gave her a commanding 3+ second victory in 4:00.43. Moroccan runners led by Bouchra Chaabi went 2-3-4 before Australia's Sarah Jamieson grabbed 5th in 4:04.77.

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				

Men's 1500
W
e didn't see the race. Full results appear below.
 Official Results-  Men - 1500 Metres Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts 1
Ali, Belal Mansoor BRN 3:32.28 20
2 Moustaoui, Mohamed MAR 3:32.67 16
3 Bensghir, Yassine MAR 3:33.04 14
4 Iguider, Abdalaati MAR 3:34.11 12
5 Yemmouni, Mounir FRA 3:34.52 10
6 Ndiwa, Remmy Limo KEN 3:35.10 8
7 Baba, Youssef MAR 3:35.26 6
8 Heshko, Ivan UKR 3:36.09 4
9 Kiptum, Bernard Kiptanui KEN 3:37.30 3
10 Fountain, Mark AUS 3:52.49 3
Maazouzi, Driss FRA DNF Ruto, Nashason KEN DNF Surum, Samson KEN DNF Silva, Rui POR DNS


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