Alan Webb Comeback Begins With 1:52.32 800 Meter Race

August 15, 2010

*Huge Messageboard Thread on Webb's Return (link takes you to the middle of the thread after Webb's race was already run).
*2nd Messageboard Thread on Webb's Run

On Saturday night, American mile record holder Alan Webb returned to action for the first time since June 25, 2009 with a low key 800 meter race held as part of the British Milers Club meeting in Hampstead in the northwest of London. Webb was never a factor in the race and finished 7th of the 9 in the race in a time of 1:52.32. The winner of the race was Brit Andrew Osagie who ran 1:49.40.

Running in damp conditions, Webb got off to a slow start and was gapped by five runners in the field (four competitors plus the rabbit) by 200 meters. Webb never moved up from that point and actually was passed by two runners between 500 and 600 meters, but since the rabbit stopped at 600 meters, Webb ended up in 7th place and not 8th. The race was Webb's first since he switched to the coaching of Alberto Salazar.

A 1:52 800 may seem extremely slow for someone who has a 1:43.84 personal best but it should be pointed out that Webb is coming back from surgery and that Webb actually opened up his 2009 season with a 1:52.06 indoor 800 (Of course last year, Webb's seasonal best in the mile was just 3:55.99 which was a far cry from his 3:46.91 American record). It also should be noted that it appears the conditions probably added a second or two to the competitors' times. Supporting this assertion is the fact that the top two finishers in the race in Andrew Osagie (1:49.40) and Ed Aston (1:49.79) ran way off their seasonal bests of  1:47.18 and 1:47.02 respectively. Both Osagie and Aston had run 1:47 earlier in the week as Osagie ran 1:47.49 on August 11th and Aston 1:47.90 on August 12th. Additionally, third place finisher Ben Scarlett, who ran 1:50.70 in Webb's race, had run 1:49.25 on August 10th.  Fourth placer Oliver Blake (1:50.90)  ran 1:49.99 in that same race as Scarlett on the 10th.

A video of Webb's 800 in Hampstead can be seen below as well as the full results.

Full Results:

1 1.49.40 Andrew Osagie Harlow
2 1.49.79 Ed Aston Cambridge & Coleridge
3 1.50.70 Ben Scarlett Swindon
4 1.50.90 Oliver Blake Oswestry
5 1.50.99 Danny Barkes Mansfield
6 1.52.17 Samatar Farah Newham & Essex Beagles
7 1.52.32 Alan Webb USA
8 1.53.37 Aniel Smith New Zealand
9 1.53.65 Hakon Brox Norway


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