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LRC: DN Galan Recap
July 22, 2008
*Watch Meet on Demand Here (Video Highlights Below)

The DN Galan in Stockholm, Sweden may not be classified as a Golden League meet, but it is definitely golden in our eyes. The meet boasted world class fields in nearly every event, with $16,000 to event winners and $10,000 diamonds to meet record holders. This year's meet didn't disappoint, as Meseret Defar blazed the last lap to threaten the 5k world record, Dayron Robles gave the 110m hurdles world record another scare, Asafa Powell edged Usain Bolt at 100m, Abubaker Kaki thumped Yuriy Borzakovskiy at 1k, Sanya Richards crushed Allyson Felix at 400m and Craig Mottram returned to form just in time for the Olympics.

Women's 5,000m: Defar Oh-So-Close

The women's 5,000m was all about one thing: an assault by Olympic Champion Meseret Defar on compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba's world record of 14:11.15, which was set at the Bislett Games in Oslo this June. Defar had held the record twice previously, establishing a 2006 mark of 14:24.53 and slashing it to 14:16.63 at the 2007 Bislett Games. Other familiar names were in the field, including Great Britain's Joanne Pavey (5th in the Athens Olympics at 5k, 4th in the 2007 Worlds at 10k), Kim Smith (former NCAA cross-country and track champion at Providence and holder of several New Zealand national records), and Americans Amy Rudolph, Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery. But this was to be a one-woman race against the clock.

DN Galan Video Highlights
Full Meet on Demand Here

Defar's personal pacesetter Olga Komyagina towed the diminutive Ethiopian through 2:50s for the opening two ks, on pace for 14:10. Surprisingly, a few other runners dared to stay with the pace for a lap or two before thinking better of it, and by 1,600m (4:32), Defar and her helper were well ahead, vying to sail into uncharted waters. Komyagina made it to 2k on pace and bowed out. By 3k (8:34), Defar was alone and slightly behind record pace with a 2:54 3rd split, although Dibaba had hit 3k in 8:38 in the record race, so Defar still had the target in her crosshairs. Over 120m in arrears, Smith was doing much of the work in the chase group, which was struggling to stay below 15:00 pace. Another solo 2:55 brought Defar through 4k in 11:29 and kept the record hopes hanging by a thread, as she would need a 2:41 final k (64+ per lap) for success. The 68 lap that followed made the chances look slim, but Defar bore down and began a steady acceleration for home. The bell was reached in 13:12.51. Needing a 58.63 last lap for the record (which was not out of the question), Defar courageously gritted out a 60.37 and just missed with a 14:12.88. Looking exactly like athletes do when they give their all and come up short, Defar displayed the pain of the effort and collapsed to the track, showing poignant disappointment, as if searching for an answer to where she could have picked up those extra couple of seconds. At least one lapped runner had failed to move to the outside on the final lap, which almost certainly didn't cost Defar 1.8 seconds, but nonetheless represented poor protocol in a record attempt.

Well over a half lap behind, Zakia Mrisho Mohamed (Tanzania) outkicked Pavey for 2nd place, 14:58.36 to 14:58.62, with Smith fighting home in 4th (15:02.07). The American contingent was overmatched, as Rudolph and Huddle finished well back and Slattery did not finish.

Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Meseret Defar ETH 14:12.88 20
2 Zakia Mrisho Mohamed TAN 14:58.36 16
3 Joanne Pavey GBR 14:58.62 14
4 Kimberley Smith NZL 15:02.07 12
5 Jane Kiptoo KEN 15:03.90 10
6 Grace Kwamboka Momanyi KEN 15:14.01 8
7 Inês Monteiro POR 15:28.48 6
8 Amy Rudolph USA 15:34.23 4
9 Molly Huddle USA 15:51.59 3
Olga Komyagina RUS DNF
Sara Slattery USA DNF

Men's 400m: Wariner Wins Again

Kerron Clement, the World Champion in the 400m hurdles, opted to face Jeremy Wariner and others over a lap sans barriers. Announcers Danny Lee and Carol Lewis mentioned nothing about Clement's WC title (and Lewis blamed Wariner's losses earlier in the season on a "brain cramp"); nonetheless, the race itself provided another world class effort from Wariner, who smoothly established himself at the front and controlled the race. Wariner seemingly cruised the last 40m en route to another standout 400m performance of 44.29. For an indoor world record holder at 400m, Clement looked sluggish throughout and wasn't a factor in the race (45.47). World Indoor gold medallist Tyler Christopher (Canada) likewise never mounted a challenge and finished in 6th (45.41), one spot ahead of Clement. Only Chris Brown of the Bahamas came reasonably close to Olympic and World Champion Wariner with a 44.53 in 2nd, while former Florida State ace Ricardo Chambers (Jamaica) was 3rd in 44.84. Brown is the 3rd fastest performer in the world this year, having clocked 44.40 in Oslo. Judging by recent performances, Wariner, LaShawn Merritt and Chris Brown are the three clear favorites to medal in Beijing. 

According to Lee, who continued to enlighten the viewers with the same remark concerning the winner of nearly every event, Wariner's victory earned him a "gold medal" (which will presumably complete a set with those perhaps-equally-significant gold medals he won at the Olympics and World Championships).

Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Jeremy Wariner USA 44.29 20
2 Chris Brown BAH 44.53 16
3 Ricardo Chambers JAM 44.84 14
4 Sean Wroe AUS 45.20 12
5 David Neville USA 45.39 10
6 Tyler Christopher CAN 45.41 8
7 Kerron Clement USA 45.47 6
8 Joel Milburn AUS 45.49 4
Official Results - Men - 400 Metres - Race1
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Jeremy Wariner USA 44.29 20
2 Chris Brown BAH 44.53 16
3 Ricardo Chambers JAM 44.84 14
4 David Neville USA 45.39 10
5 Tyler Christopher CAN 45.41 8
6 Kerron Clement USA 45.47 6
7 Joel Milburn AUS 45.49 4
8 Reggie Witherspoon USA 46.40
Official Results - Men - 400 Metres - Race2
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Sean Wroe AUS 45.20 12
2 Calvin Smith USA 45.52
3 Renny Quow TRI 45.73
4 Andretti Bain BAH 46.12
5 Thomas Nikitin SWE 46.84
6 John Steffensen AUS 47.15
7 Andreas Mokdasi SWE 47.58
8 Fredrik Johansson SWE 47.63

Men's 3,000m: Buster Bounces Back
Craig Mottram is back and appears in fine form heading into the Games as he took control late in the 3,000m and romped to an impressive 54.59 closer, blowing away the field for the win. Among the entrants were Mottram (the 2005 World Championships 5k bronze medallist), Isaac Songok (who sports PRs of 7:28.72 and 12:48.66), 12:52.99 runner Abraham Chebii, ageless Canadian Olympian Kevin Sullivan and American Matt Tegenkamp, who barely missed a 5k medal at last year's Worlds. The pacesetters took things out with a quick 28.0 opening 200m and tried to keep a sub-7:30 clocking in sight as the 1k was reached in 2:30.11. The rest of the field, however, had no interest in sticking with the rabbits and was 2 seconds back. After 1,400m in 3:35 for the main field, it was apparent no one wanted to take up the chase or lead on their own and the pace slowed even further (64+ for the next lap). By 2k (5:08.96), the field was tightly bunched and antsy, with Mottram lurking near the front among a slew of Kenyans. A 60.7 for the penultimate lap only strung things out a little, but the real fireworks started when Mottram took over with 450m remaining and charged around the turn and down the last backstretch with the chasers clawing in vain to cover the move. The Aussie had some pressure from behind the rest of the way but was never in jeopardy, as he ripped a 54.59 final circuit (2:28.77 last 1k) to finish in 7:37.73, taking the measure of Songok and Daham Bashir (Qatar) and celebrating in typical Buster fashion. Tegenkamp appeared stuck in the mosh pit around 7th for much of the last two laps but managed to get free near the finish and kicked well for 4th in 7:40.75. The 34-year-old Sullivan still has a set of wheels, as he ran a Canadian outdoor national record of 7:41.61 in 7th.

Official Results - Men - 3000 Metres
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Craig Mottram AUS 7:37.73 20
2 Isaac Kiprono Songok KEN 7:38.97 16
3 Daham Najim Bashir QAT 7:39.45 14
4 Matthew Tegenkamp USA 7:40.75 12
5 Jonas Cheruiyot KEN 7:40.79 10
6 Juan van Deventer RSA 7:41.06 8
7 Kevin Sullivan CAN 7:41.61 6
8 Boniface Kiprotich Songok KEN 7:42.53 4
9 Joseph Ebuya KEN 7:44.07 3
10 Abraham Chebii KEN 7:46.32 3
11 Shadrack Kosgei KEN 7:46.53 3
12 Samir Khadar ALG 7:47.11 3
13 Ed Moran USA 7:47.86
14 Titus Kipjumba Mbishei KEN 7:50.23
15 Sahle Warga ETH 7:51.49
Benson Marrianyi Esho KEN DNF
Vickson Naran Polonet KEN DNF

Men's 100m: Powell Takes Down Uninspired Bolt

In the battle of Jamaican 100m world record holders, old owner Asafa Powell got off to a fantastic start while new owner Usain Bolt had a poor one. Although Powell was winning easily through the first 50m, as he looked up to the scoreboard with about 20m to go, he saw the gap tightening (yes, he was able to check out the race while running 9.88). Bolt made up almost all the time gap, but seemed to not bother leaning as they approached the line. With a spirited lean, he may have won, as his time was 9.89. Perhaps he was just too disappointed that he gave so much distance away to Powell from the outset. For Bolt, it was only the seventh 100m of his life. Two other Jamaicans, 2008 ISTAF Champion Nesta Carter and former TCU star Michael Frater, ran 9.98 and 10.04 in the second section to record the next two fastest times of the day.

Mark Pts
1 Asafa Powell JAM 9.88 20
2 Usain Bolt JAM 9.89 16
3 Nesta Carter JAM 9.98 14
4 Michael Frater JAM 10.04 12
5 Jaysuma Saidy Ndure NOR 10.06 10
6 Michael Rodgers USA 10.06 7
6 Richard Thompson TRI 10.06 7
8 Derrick Atkins BAH 10.20 4
Official Results - Men - 100 Metres - Race1 - Wind : +0.4 m/s
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Asafa Powell JAM 9.88 20
2 Usain Bolt JAM 9.89 16
3 Jaysuma Saidy Ndure NOR 10.06 10
4 Richard Thompson TRI 10.06 7
5 Derrick Atkins BAH 10.20 4
6 Francis Obikwelu POR 10.20
7 Churandy Martina AHO 10.25
8 Travis Padgett USA 10.29
Official Results - Men - 100 Metres - Race2 - Wind : +1.0 m/s
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Nesta Carter JAM 9.98 14
2 Michael Frater JAM 10.04 12
3 Michael Rodgers USA 10.06 7
4 Rodney Martin USA 10.23
5 Leroy Dixon USA 10.27
6 Shawn Crawford USA 10.33
7 Marcus Brunson USA 10.40
Kim Collins SKN DQ

Men's 1,000m: Kaki #6 All-Time For 1,000m

The men's 1,000m featured a stellar field. World #1 at 800m Abubaker Kaki (Sudan), World #8 Yusuf Kamel (Bahrain) and Athens 800m gold medal winner Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia) were on hand to do battle at the infrequently-contested 1k distance. Also entered was American Chris Lukezic. The rabbits got out fast in 25.0, as Kaki ran right up to them and avoided the rest of the field. The 400m was reached in 51.71 (Kaki 52.2). The lead rabbit peeled off at 500m, and the long rabbit took over for another half lap, leaving Kaki to forge on at 1:46.96 through 800m and then outlast a belated bid from Kamel in the last 50m to win in 2:13.93. Borzakovskiy, who took up his customary position as caboose in the single-file train for most of the race, appeared to have trouble getting rolling, but he rallied gamely in the last 300m to take 3rd. Kaki's mark broke the meet record, earning him a $10,000 1-carat diamond and moving him to #6 on the all-time performer list for the event. Lukezic finished 7th with a decent time of 2:18.34.

Official Results - Men - 1000 Metres
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Abubaker Kaki SUD 2:13.93 20
2 Yusuf Saad Kamel BRN 2:14.72 16
3 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 2:15.50 14
4 Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono KEN 2:15.97 12
5 Jackson Mumbwa Kivuna KEN 2:17.47 10
6 Richard Kiplagat KEN 2:18.14 8
7 Christopher Lukezic USA 2:18.34 6
8 Jeffrey Riseley AUS 2:18.75 4
Abdalla Abdelgadir SUD DNF
Justus Koech KEN DNF

Women's 400m: Sanya Richards Crushes Allyson Felix
The women's 400m was almost tactical in nature for a long sprint. The event showcased the top three performers of the year in Botswana's
Amantle Monsho (49.83), Allyson Felix (also 49.83) and Sanya Richards (49.86). Monsho was in lane 2, Richards in 3, and Felix in 4. On the outside, Novlene Williams (50.11 this year) from Jamaica was in lane 8. The gun went off and Sanya Richards almost immediately made up the stagger on Felix. Amazingly, Amantle Monsho, upon hitting the 200m mark, had made up the stagger on both Richards and Felix. Heading into the bend, the relatively unknown world leader from Botswana was well in front of Richards, the 2006 IAAF Athlete of the Year, who in turn was well in front of Felix, the 2007 gold medallist at 200m (and both relays). But it all changed during the turn. Coming into the straight, Richards had somehow opened up a sizeable lead, followed by Felix and then Williams. Williams (50.85) narrowly overcame Felix (50.88), but Richards was uncatchable in 50.38. Monsho faded significantly to 5th (51.46) after aggressively seizing the lead halfway through.

Official Results - Women - 400 Metres - Summary
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Sanya Richards USA 50.38 20
2 Novlene Williams JAM 50.85 16
3 Allyson Felix USA 50.88 14
4 Shericka Williams JAM 51.17 12
5 Amantle Montsho BOT 51.46 10
6 Monique Henderson USA 51.80 8
7 Natasha Hastings USA 51.92 6
8 Kaliese Spencer JAM 51.95 4
Official Results - Women - 400 Metres - Race1
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Sanya Richards USA 50.38 20
2 Novlene Williams JAM 50.85 16
3 Allyson Felix USA 50.88 14
4 Shericka Williams JAM 51.17 12
5 Amantle Montsho BOT 51.46 10
6 Natasha Hastings USA 51.92 6
7 Folasade Abugan NGR 52.04
8 Rosemarie Whyte JAM 52.09
Official Results - Women - 400 Metres - Race2
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Monique Henderson USA 51.80 8
2 Kaliese Spencer JAM 51.95 4
3 Monica Hargrove USA 52.27
4 Nawal El Jack SUD 52.61
5 Maris Mägi EST 52.91
Helene Nordquist SWE DNS

Men's 110m Hurdles: Robles Threatens WR Again
In probably the most hotly-contested race of the meet, the exciting new world record holder Dayron Robles lined up in lane 3 against undefeated US Champion David Oliver in 4, Athens (and Sydney) Olympic silver medallist Terrence Trammell in 5 and world class Americans Aries Merritt and Antwon Hicks. The long-legged Robles put on another clinic, as he was out of the blocks well, in front early, and was never headed, flying smoothly and barely tapping a hurdle en route to another near-WR time of 12.91. In the process, he fed Oliver his first taste of defeat this year (taking revenge on Oliver's win by .01 in Berlin in June), won a $10,000 diamond and removed any remaining doubt that he is the man to beat in China next month. His winning margin was not as large as in Paris, as Oliver closed a bit to run 13.04, but Robles was never seriously threatened. Merritt came up for 3rd in 13.33, losing his meet record but overtaking Trammell, who clobbered the 9th hurdle and wound up 4th in 13.35.

Official Results - Men - 110 Metres Hurdles - Wind : +0.2 m/s
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Dayron Robles CUB 12.91 20
2 David Oliver USA 13.04 16
3 Aries Merritt USA 13.33 14
4 Terrence Trammell USA 13.35 12
5 Antwon Hicks USA 13.41 10
6 Stanislavs Olijars LAT 13.63 8
7 Robert Kronberg SWE 13.76 6

Men's 3k Steeplechase: Kenyans As Usual
Kenya took the top two spots in the men's steeple as
Michael Kipyego and Wesley Kiprotich reeled in frontrunning Swede Mustafa Mohamad (born in Mogadishu, Somalia) in the final 70m of the race to win in a somewhat modest 8:14.35. The pacesetting was far too fast early on and a pack of six eventually formed at a more reasonable pace (2:43 at the 1k) and stayed together for most of the race. Running in the DMZ about 20-30 meters in back of this group most of the way was American Anthony Famiglietti, who never could bridge the gap. Fam finished 6th, looking tired and only managing a 66-second final circuit (inside pit) to hit 8:25.16. It should be noted that both Kyle Alcorn and Billy Nelson ran 8:21s just two days ago in Heusden, so Fam must be a bit disappointed with his result.

Official Results - Men - 3000 Metres Steeplechase
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Michael Kipyego KEN 8:14.35 20
2 Wesley Kiprotich KEN 8:14.52 16
3 Mustafa Mohamed SWE 8:14.77 14
4 Hamid Ezzine MAR 8:21.08 12
5 Collins Kosgei KEN 8:23.73 10
6 Anthony Famiglietti USA 8:25.16 8
7 Patrick Kipkirui Langat KEN 8:25.62 6
8 Abubaker Ali Kamal QAT 8:27.34 4
9 Zakrya Ali Kamil QAT 8:29.02 3
10 Jukka Keskisalo FIN 8:31.06 3
11 Silas Kosgei Kitum KEN 8:32.53 3
12 Yoshitaka Iwamizu JPN 8:34.05 3
13 Bjørnar Ustad Kristensen NOR 8:34.80
14 Per Jacobsen SWE 8:39.45
David Lagat KEN DNF

Men's HJ: Holm At Home In Stockholm
5' 11" Stefan Holm, as one of us put it during the meet, is as close to a superhero as any athlete in the world. The 32-year-old Swede has the best jump in the world this year at 2.37m (7' 9.25"), which is the best outdoor mark of his career (he has a 2.40 indoor best from 2005) and nearly 2 feet over the top of his head (shades of Franklin Jacobs). Holm, the Olympic Champion, delighted the home fans by winning the event (and the $16,000 purse) but was off his seasonal best, clearing 2.30 (7' 6.5").

Official Results - Men - High Jump
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Stefan Holm SWE 2.30 20
2 Linus Thörnblad SWE 2.27 16
3 Kabelo Kgosiemang BOT 2.24 13
3 Jesse Williams USA 2.24 13
5 Tom Parsons GBR 2.24 10
6 Bohdan Bondarenko UKR 2.20 7
6 Jamie Nieto USA 2.20 7
8 Donald Thomas BAH 2.20 4
9 Dusty Jonas USA 2.20

Women's HJ: 34 Straight For Vlasic

Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) took the meet title with a clearance of 2.02 meters (6' 7.5") on the second attempt. She went out at 2.05 to miss her own stadium record of 2.07, losing out on the $10,000 diamond incentive but extending her remarkable win streak to 34.

Official Results - Women - High Jump
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Blanka Vlašic CRO 2.02 20
2 Elena Slesarenko RUS 2.00 16
3 Chaunté Howard USA 1.98 14
4 Amy Acuff USA 1.95 12
5 Svetlana Radzivil UZB 1.91 10
6 Viktoriya Slivka-Klugina RUS 1.91 8
7 Emma Green SWE 1.91 6
8 Nicole Forrester CAN 1.87 4
9 Tatyana Kivimyagi RUS 1.87
10 Erika Wiklund SWE 1.82

Women's Pole Vault: Isinbayeva vs. Stuczynski

World record holder Yelena Isinbayeva won the competition by half a foot with a clearance of 4.85 meters, breaking her old stadium record. She was well off her week-old WR of 5.03. American Jenn Stuczynski, whose personal best is a US record 4.92, pulled out of the event.

Official Results - Women - Pole Vault
Pos Athlete Nat Mark Pts
1 Yelena Isinbaeva RUS 4.85 20
2 Monika Pyrek POL 4.70 16
3 Anna Rogowska POL 4.60 14
4 Anastasiya Shvedova RUS 4.50 12
5 Fabiana Murer BRA 4.40 10
6 Alana Boyd AUS 4.20 6
6 Cathrine Larsåsen NOR 4.20 6
6 Jillian Schwartz USA 4.20 6
Silke Spiegelburg GER NM

*Watch Meet on Demand Here (Video Highlights Below)

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