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LetsRun.com Aviva London Grand Prix Day II Recap

By LetsRun.com
July 25, 2009

Tyson Gay wins but injury rumors swirl, Anna Willard and Bernard Lagat continue to look strong, Americans in general have a big day and, surprise, Tirunesh Dibaba is back in fine form.

Friday Recap
Full Results

Men's 200m - Tyson Gay Answers Injury Doubts With Dominant 20.00 Victory

Making up the stagger on typically slow-starting rival Wallace Spearmon in a matter of meters, Tyson Gay stepped on the gas pedal from the crack of the gun and won in impressive fashion. The Crystal Palace crowd certainly appreciated Tyson's excellence, but the scene was nowhere near as electric as it was for Usain Bolt the day before.

The broadcast announcer said of Gay's form, "I don't think he looks as smooth as Usain Bolt." Exactly right. Gay dominated, but he is clearly the world #2. Yet despite the time not being totally mind-boggling, Gay did look very sharp and very hungry. There were no signs of an injury stopping him as he got out to a roaring start, pulled well clear, and then relaxed through the finish. We'll see what he can do in Berlin in a few weeks.

Wind reading? The runners actually had a slight tailwind on the homestretch with a 0.4m/sec reading, so this was not a case of a major headwind slowing Gay down. Thinking back to Golden League Paris, one has to remember Bolt destroyed the field there, beating Olympic medalists by over a second, winning by 3-6m over some of his vaunted rivals. Gay, on the other hand, only managed to gap Irish no-name Paul Hession by 0.40 seconds today in London. He needs to perform much better to match Bolt.

After the race a brief quote from Gay came through the wires, and it wasn't a good message. Gay was quoted as saying, "The race went ok, but I've got to go and see the physio now. I've got a slight injury." So perhaps his lack of sprinting fluidity really was the result of some chronic soreness.

1 Tyson GAY USA 20.00 0.141
2 Wallace SPEARMON USA 20.35 0.234
3 Paul HESSION IRL 20.40 0.114 SB
4 Jaysuma SAIDY NDURE NOR 20.55 0.167 SB
5 Marlon DEVONISH GBR 20.60 0.151
6 Mark JELKS USA 20.70 0.144
7 Kim COLLINS SKN 20.71 0.199
8 Nickel ASHMEADE JAM 20.92 0.197

Men's Emsley Carr Mile Kenya, Sudan and Mexico Americans go 1-2-3!
Bernard Lagat took down the famed Emsley Carr Mile with ease in the final stretch, and his American compatriots Lopez Lomong and Leonel Manzano ran very well, charging home just behind the double world champion to make up the US sweep.

After much publicity, Nate Brannen couldn't answer the call today as the 1500m split for the leaders was only 3:37 and Brannen couldn't hold the front group. Brannen faded down the stretch much like Lomong did in their last head-to-head in Heusden.

All of the racers owe a debt of gratitude to perhaps the best middle-distance pace-maker in the world, American David Krummenacker. His pacing job took the field through perfectly evenly at 1:55 through 880 yards. But as Krum pulled off, Lagat smartly had himself in front and pulled back the pace. The third lap was over 60 and the chance for a fast time under 3:50 was shot. Lagat's odds for winning though, were looking brighter by the second. He won in 3:52, with Manzano in second place in a new personal best 3:53.01.

The race was quite the optimistic one for American fans as their three main entrants literally plowed away from their competitors in the last 200m. In fact, 9 entrants set mile personal bests in the race (thanks, Krummenacker! Seriously, he should get free dinners for a week and a half!). Ryan Gregson was way back, but still ran a pr 3:58.

1 Bernard LAGAT USA 3:52.71
2 Leonel MANZANO USA 3:53.01 PB
3 Lopez LOMONG USA 3:53.35 PB
4 Collis BIRMINGHAM AUS 3:54.30 PB
5 Nathan BRANNEN CAN 3:54.57
6 James BREWER GBR 3:54.80
7 Johan CRONJE RSA 3:54.84 PB
8 Jeremy ROFF AUS 3:55.05 PB
10 Ricky STEVENSON GBR 3:57.90 PB
11 Ryan GREGSON AUS 3:58.90 PB
12 Rob MYERS USA 4:03.29
13 Colin MCCOURT GBR 4:17.94 PB

Women 5000m - Tirunesh Dibaba Sends Strong Message In Closing Kilometer
Ethiopian superstar Tirunesh Dibaba signaled her form has returned, though the dominant heroine of the past looked far from perfect as she finished over 20 seconds off of her personal best and world record.

Dibaba fans can delight in the fact that her 14:33.65 matched the stadium record. Her closing lap was 60 seconds, a 31-second 200 followed by a 29-second 200. She led the last 2200 meters of the race as well, on a day where winds were certainly a presence. Her final kilometer was her best of the race, at or around 2:49.

Further, some very solid runners such as New Zealand's Kim Smith were left far behind as Dibaba's Ethiopian pace-makers took her through in opening kilometers of 2:54.

So Dibaba is back, and joins compatriots Meselech Melkamu and, of course, Meseret Defar, as certain medal contenders at both 5,000m and 10,000m distances in Berlin. But if their maximum fitness is only in the 14:30's, rather than the 14:10's, their rivals from Kenya, Turkey, America and Russia have to feel at least slightly encouraged.

Behind Dibaba, Sentayehu Ejigu ran 14:40 and Kim Smith, who ran the entire race alone, clocked 14:52. Ejigu's time is shocking considering she was directly behind Dibaba with 350m remaining. It just goes to show what separates the best Ethiopians from the rest: a huge finishing kick. Only 8 women finished the race, with 5 DNF's and 1 DNS.

Official LRC Unofficial Kilometer Splits:
8:46 (9:55 w/ 4 laps left)

1 Tirunesh DIBABA ETH 14:33.65 SR
2 Sentayehu EJIGU ETH 14:40.00 SB
3 Kim SMITH NZL 14:52.49 SB
4 Belaynesh FIKADU ETH 15:10.52
5 Jennifer RHINES USA 15:25.10 SB
6 Freya MURRAY GBR 15:32.39 PB
7 Laura KENNEY GBR 15:47.53
8 Katie MCGREGOR USA 15:52.90

Women 1500m - Anna Willard Takes Down Shannon Rowbury To Win Exciting Race
The women's 1500m was a great example of a race that is incredibly interesting to watch thanks to a relaxed pace for the first few laps. This race, for us, boiled down to a battle between America's top milers (minus Christin Wurth-Thomas and Jenny Barringer) and Britain's top milers. Anna Willard, Shannon Rowbury, Erin Donohue and Morgan Uceny, faced off with Steph Twell, Hannah England and Lisa Dobriskey.

800m specialist Alysia Johnson of the US took the early pace-making duties, and they went out quite relaxed. 70 seconds for the first lap, 67 seconds for the second lap. Twell was near the front with Rowbury and Willard stalking in 3rd and 4th. Uceny was near the back while Donohue was tucked in to the mid-back of the pack on the inside.

As the final pace-maker dropped out with about 600m to go, Steph Twell stepped on the accelerator with Rowbury on the outside and Willard near. Uceny started passing the field around the outside while the other contenders jockeyed for position. This was quite a race! The clock read 3:07 with 400m to go, meaning the pace had not really ramped up yet. The fun was yet to come.

Twell lengthened her advantage and looked quite good, still with 200 to go, 150 to go. But the American duo were coming, and in particular the former 800m and steeplechase Ivy League champion Anna Willard. Rowbury thought she would sniff victory, but Willard had different plans and charged home for a strong win. Rowbury held off Dobriskey for second.

Twell faded all the way back to 6th as New Jersey-based Erin Donohue caught her near the line. Another former Ivy League champion Morgan Uceny finished in 8th, but spent a good 80% of the race running in the outside of lane 2 so we think she doesn't have too much to be disappointed about, especially coming just days after a 2:00 clocking for 800m.

The winning time was only 4:07 but it was a great race as it featured intriguing match-ups and pace-making that allowed for an exciting finish. The final lap was covered in under 60 seconds for Willard, who sat in 4th at the bell. Who won the national battle? Clearly the Americans as they went 1-2-5 while GBR went 3-4-6.

1 Anna WILLARD USA 4:07.95
2 Shannon ROWBURY USA 4:08.21
3 Lisa DOBRISKEY GBR 4:08.27 SB
4 Hannah ENGLAND GBR 4:08.38
5 Erin DONOHUE USA 4:08.64
6 Stephanie TWELL GBR 4:08.87
7 Malindi ELMORE CAN 4:09.54
8 Morgan UCENY USA 4:10.15
9 Charlene THOMAS GBR 4:12.01
10 Katrina WOOTTON GBR 4:13.70
11 Anna JAKUBCZAK POL 4:14.39 SB

Men 4x100m - Bolt And Jamaicans Look Amazing With 37.46 Shocker... Then DQ'd!
Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt led the Jamaicans to a beautiful 4x100m run that shattered the stadium record of Crystal Palace. Only .36 off the world record, this race was a statement indeed. The officials were offended, however, and apparently have disqualified "Racers TC" for some sort of violation. So the US gets the win but really they got their doors blown off. The Jamaicans were DQd and then reinstated.

1 RACERS TC 37.46 0.169 ACR
(D. Bailey, Y. Blake, M. Forsythe, U. Bolt)
2 UNITED STATES USA 38.05 0.141 SB
(T. Trammell, W. Spearmon, S. Crawford, R. Edwards)
3 GREAT BRITAIN & N.I. 1 GBR1 38.44 0.148 SB
(S. Williamson, T. Edgar, M. Devonish, H. Aikines Aryeetey)
4 CANADA CAN 38.62 0.285 SB
(H. Palmer, S. Smith, J. Connaughton, B. Barnett)
5 SWITZERLAND SUI 39.29 0.188 SB
(P. Mancini, M. Schneeberger, M. Cribari, M. Schenkel)
6 AUSTRALIA AUS 39.37 0.240
(T. Alozie, J. Ross, A. Rouge-Serret, M. Davies)
(R. Fifton, C. Pickering, T. Sandeman, L. Yearwood)

Men 400m Hurdles
Wow, an impressive intermediate hurdles field was assembled in London on Saturday. Former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic returned to top-level competition against the top Americans Kerron Clement and Bershawn "Batman" Jackson.

But Sanchez, despite massive efforts, has not returned to top form, and was never a factor. Instead, the consistently inconsistent Clement got out very well and held on with his monstrous strides to take a very notable win in 48.85 seconds. Batman put on a good deal of pressure in the homestretch, but Clement pulled away as he is wont to do on his best days.

Making it a US 1-2-3 sweep, former NCAA champion Michael Tinsley came up for a tight 3rd over veteran LJ Van Zyl of South Africa.

1 Kerron CLEMENT USA 48.85 0.153
2 Bershawn JACKSON USA 48.99 0.201
3 Michael TINSLEY USA 49.04 0.298
4 L J VAN ZYL RSA 49.05 0.191
5 David GREENE GBR 49.53 0.198
6 Rhys WILLIAMS GBR 49.68 0.234
7 Reuben MCCOY USA 51.84 0.252
8 Felix SANCHEZ DOM 53.09 0.245

Women 100m - Jeter Jets Again
Carmelita Jeter looked superb in running 10.93, making her the 3rd-fastest 100m runner this year behind Kerron Stewart and Shelly-Ann Fraser.

1 Carmelita JETER USA 10.92 0.216 PB
2 Chandra STURRUP BAH 11.09 0.155
3 Laverne JONES ISV 11.21 0.166 NR
4 Kelly Ann BAPTISTE TRI 11.22 0.200
5 Lauryn WILLIAMS USA 11.28 0.220
6 Allyson FELIX USA 11.29 0.224
7 Stephanie DURST USA 11.29
8 Verena SAILER GER 11.40 0.174

Women 100m Hurdles - McClellan Leaves Lolo In The Blocks
After a horrible start left Lolo Jones back in the field, she made up for it with a strong effort to almost catch Aussie Sally McClellan who was out of the blocks like a rocket. Tightly sandwiched between those two at the finish was Canadian star Perdita Felicien. All ran excellent times in the 12.65-12.71 range.

1 Sally MCLELLAN AUS 12.65 0.124
2 Perdita FELICIEN CAN 12.66 0.128 SB
3 LoLo JONES USA 12.71 0.151
4 Delloreen ENNIS-LONDON JAM 12.80 0.153
5 Priscilla LOPES-SCHLIEP CAN 12.89 0.131
6 Tiffany OFILIL USA 12.99 0.219
7 Anay TEJEDA CUB 13.04 0.169
8 Sarah CLAXTON GBR 13.11 0.184 SB

Women 400m Hurdles - World Leader For Lashinda Demus
Lashinda Demus ran the world's fastest time in the 400 hurdles, blasting the 2008 Olympic champion Melaine Walker by almost a second. Demus, now holder of the 3 fastest times in the world this year, ran a superb race that further establishes her as the world's best in 2009

Interestingly, Walker won the olympic last year in 52.64, or 1-second faster than Demus' time today.

1 Lashinda DEMUS USA 53.65 0.213 ACR
2 Melaine WALKER JAM 54.55 0.305
3 Sheena TOSTA USA 55.31 0.241
4 Angela MOROSANU ROU 55.36 0.284
5 Eilidh CHILD GBR 55.68 0.148
6 Perri SHAKES DRAYTON GBR 55.79 0.184
7 Nicole LEACH USA 57.99 0.327
8 Nusrat CEESAY GBR 58.98 0.277

Men 400m - Wake Forest's Surprise NCAA Indoor Champ Michael Bingham Wins
Michael Bingham got a come-from-behind win over double American Olympic 400m Hurdle champ Angelo Taylor in a lower-quality 400m by international grand prix standards. The UK citizen's winning time of 45.03 is a new personal best.

1 Michael BINGHAM GBR 45.03 0.271 PB
2 Angelo TAYLOR USA 45.15 0.229
3 Jamaal TORRANCE USA 45.56 0.247
4 Sean WROE AUS 45.63 0.158
5 Martyn ROONEY GBR 45.63 0.181
6 Lionel LARRY USA 45.67 0.156
7 Robert TOBIN GBR 45.79 0.187
8 Conrad WILLIAMS GBR 45.96 0.198

Women Steeplechase - Exciting Finish Highlights Otherwise Poor Quality Race
The times were not very good, but the competition came down to a 4-filly race in the final meters that was quite exciting. Poland's Katarzyna Kowalska certainly did all she could, setting a personal best in winning by far the biggest race of her life in 9:34.07. Former American record-holder Lisa Galaviz also made a valiant charge to catch previous race leader Netsanet Achamo of Ethiopia. Galaviz got a seasonal-best 9:34.30 reward for her efforts.

1 Katarzyna KOWALSKA POL 9:34.07 PB
2 Lisa GALAVIZ USA 9:34.30 SB
3 Netsanet ACHAMO ETH 9:34.31 SB
4 Helen CLITHEROE GBR 9:34.66 SB
5 Sabine HEITLING BRA 9:41.22 NR
6 Mardrea HYMAN JAM 9:53.73 SB
7 Ida NILSSON SWE 9:55.31 SB
8 Lennie WAITE GBR 10:10.55

Men Long Jump - American Dwight Phillips Extends String Of Fantastic Performances
Dwight Phillips didn't produce one outstanding mark, but instead a series of very high-quality jumps demonstrating that not only is he capable of superb one-shot efforts, but consistency as well. Every time he was over 8m, despite winds and at times not even being on the board.

Irving Saladino had to pull out of the competition with an injury bug, leaving the 2-man rivalry with only one man.

1 Dwight PHILLIPS USA 8.33 2.9 m/s
2 Christopher TOMLINSON GBR 8.21 2.3 m/s
3 Greg RUTHERFORD GBR 8.06 SB 1.4 m/s
4 Fabrice LAPIERRE AUS 8.00 1.7 m/s
5 Gable GARENAMOTSE BOT 7.98 1.3 m/s
6 Mitchell WATT AUS 7.96 0.6 m/s
7 Henry FRAYNE AUS 7.61 0.2 m/s
8 Brian CHIBUDU CAN 7.52 2.8 m/s

Men Pole Vault - Olympic Champ Steve Hooker Starts New Win Streak W/ Narrow Victory Over American Derek Miles
Steve Hooker joins stars Blanka Vlasic, Dayron Robles and Yelena Isinbayeva on the list of 2008's dominant powers to be in some real trouble in 2009. Hooker won the competition over Derek Miles on jumps, but really struggled once he got to the upper heights. But, a win is a win and Hooker certainly learned some more technical data that will help him as he prepares for Berlin.

1 Steve HOOKER AUS 5.70
2 Derek MILES USA 5.70
3 Alhaji JENG SWE 5.55 SB
4 Luke CUTTS GBR 5.55
4 Steve LEWIS GBR 5.55
4 Jeremy SCOTT USA 5.55
4 Alexander STRAUB GER 5.55
8 Paul BURGESS AUS 5.40
8 Daichi SAWANO JPN 5.40


Men High Jump - '04 Olympic Medalist Jaroslav Baba Gets Fine Win
Czech Jaroslav Baba recorded a fine height of 2.33m to win over spirited competitors Germaine Mason of GBR and Jesse Williams of Eugene, USA. All three recorded 2.31m, and any one of them may be able to rival high jump world leader Ivan Ukhov this season in the major competitions.

1 Jaroslav BABA CZE 2.33 SB
2 Germaine MASON GBR 2.31 SB
3 Jesse WILLIAMS USA 2.31
4 Andra MANSON USA 2.28
5 Alessandro TALOTTI ITA 2.24
6 Tora HARRIS USA 2.24
7 Tom PARSONS GBR 2.24
8 Oskari FROSEN FIN 2.20
8 Samson ONI GBR 2.20

Women Long Jump
The women's long jump coverage was excellent and the competition was an interesting one as well. Portugal's Naide Gomes came away with a 9cm win, coming up just 1cm short of 7.00m. Estonia's European indoor champion Ksenija Balta jumped a strong 6.85m for 3rd. Cuban World triple jump #1 Yargelis Savigne did her off event and did well, struggling a bit with the run but still managing a 6.77m personal best. Russian Tatyana Lebedeva gave a big effort on her last jump, moving up the standings to second in 6.90m. American Funmi Jimoh jumped a very adequate 6.80m to place 4th in the competition.

1 Naide GOMES POR 6.99 SB 1.9 m/s
2 Tatyana LEBEDEVA RUS 6.90 1.6 m/s
3 Ksenija BALTA EST 6.85 2.4 m/s
4 Funmi JIMOH USA 6.80 0.2 m/s
5 Yargelis SAVIGNE CUB 6.77 PB 0.9 m/s
6 Keila COSTA BRA 6.66 0.7 m/s
7 Brianna GLENN USA 6.61 1.9 m/s
8 Jana VELDAKOVA SVK 6.49 -0.2 m/s
9 Kelly PROPER IRL 6.27 1.1 m/s





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