Day 1 AM Track Recap: 2-out-of-3 Americans in Men's 800, 1-out-of-3 in Women's Steeple
Plus Steve Hooker No-Heights, Emma Coburn Rocks, and "Preliminary" 100 Heats Set Marks For Futility
August 27, 2011
Men's 800 First Round: Kaki and Rudisha Wire-to-Wire, Khadevis almost blows it despite closing in 52
Khadevis Robinson escaped the fate of Sudan's Ismail Ismail, but barely. Unlike most other big names, Ismail ran poorly and won't advance to the semis. KD joined smooth American Nick Symmonds in the semis, but only after a big final lap push. Living up to his title of "best interview in the sport", KD was entertaining in the media zone after the race, explaining his race strategy that almost backfired, as well as God's message to him. Saying he barely knew most of the field, KD let the pace dawdle, ensuring that only the top-3 would advance after a 55-second opener that saw KD on the outside in 5th. Running much of the final lap well outside, Robinson had to hammer home the final 150, competing with hungry b-listers Rafith Rodriguez of Columbia and Tamas Kazi of Hungary just to grab 3rd. Ismail was not so lucky. As he explained (and we agree), he probably ran the equivalent of a 50-mid for his final 400. He also noted that "he always gets the toughest heat" at the world champs, but his first round near-disaster doesn't mean he can't come back to score big in later rounds.
KD says: "God is asking me how much I want it. If I want it badly enough, I'll make the final. If not, I'll get my ass kicked."
We agree with KD that he could be a factor - anything can happen in the 800, and the slate is wiped clean from round to round. But in looking at the other competitors' performances in round 1, he's got a serious hill to climb if he hopes to qualify for and contend in the final.
|1||4||267||Rafith Rodríguez||COL||1:48.26 Q|
|2||3||535||Tamás Kazi||HUN||1:48.29 Q|
|3||1||1116||Khadevis Robinson||USA||1:48.41 Q|
|6||7||961||Ismail Ahmed Ismail||SUD||1:52.33|
Name To Note: Teenage Ethiopian Mohammed Aman
Only 17, Mohammed Aman finished sandwiched between Abubaker Kaki and world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego in the 3rd section. Clocking 1:45.17 in a race effectively rabbited perfectly by Kaki, Aman looks as if he may be a medal contender. It remains to be seen how the world junior silver medalist holds up in the notoriously unforgiving rounds.
|1||4||962||Abubaker Kaki||SUD||1:44.83 Q|
|2||5||364||Mohammed Aman||ETH||1:45.17 Q|
|3||2||667||Alfred Kirwa Yego||KEN||1:45.50 Q|
|4||1||340||Luis Alberto Marco||ESP||1:46.19 q|
|5||7||768||Moussa Camara||MLI||1:46.38 q||(NR)|
|7||3||195||Fernando da Silva||BRA||1:51.58|
|Best Interview in Track: KD after Round 1 in Daegu.|
Charles Jock Holds Back, Never Gets In Gear
Running his first race in two months, UC Irvine grad Charles Jock sat back and allowed world record-holding David Rudisha to set the pace. This was a decision he may regret, as Jock ran a lackluster 1:47.9 to miss the 3-heat semifinal. Running in his first international senior championship, Jock said he was more nervous than usual heading into the race. Once the running started, he said, he felt normal. But Jock usually goes to the lead and runs near 50-flat. This morning he settled in well behind Rudisha's opening lap of 52.55 and never was close to contending.
|1||6||664||David Lekuta Rudisha||KEN||1:46.29 Q|
|2||1||837||Marcin Lewandowski||POL||1:46.73 Q|
|3||2||786||Bram Som||NED||1:46.79 Q|
|4||4||105||Mahfoud Brahimi||ALG||1:46.94 q|
Symmonds Runs Smart, Kicks Home To Win
Four-time US champ Nick Symmonds didn't feel fantastic, but simply seemed to outlast his opponents in winning the relatively weak first heat. Looking very strong down the homestretch, it seemed as if Symmonds was content to cruise home and take a top-3 spot. Instead, he ended up winning with relative no-names Andreas Bube (DEN) and Kevin Lopez (ESP) in his wake. Former NCAA standout Andrew Ellerton represented Canada in his first World Championships, but finished back in 5th (1:47.47). With the retirement of longtime world elite Gary Reed, Ellerton is the top Canadian half-miler and told us after the race that he feels like he got valuable experience leading into London next year. Unlike the Americans who face a deep field to qualify, because of relatively shallow depth of competition in his country, Ellerton effectively needs only the qualifying time to make the London squad.
|1||4||1125||Nick Symmonds||USA||1:46.54 Q|
|2||6||298||Andreas Bube||DEN||1:46.64 Q|
|3||5||338||Kevin López||ESP||1:46.79 Q|
|4||1||743||Mouhcine El Amine||MAR||1:46.98|
|7||3||776||Zaw Win Thet||MYA||1:58.36|
|1||7||905||Yuriy Borzakovskiy||RUS||1:46.14 Q|
|2||1||654||Jackson Mumbwa Kivuva||KEN||1:46.57 Q|
|3||5||348||Antonio Manuel Reina||ESP||1:46.66 Q|
|4||6||1144||Prince Mumba||ZAM||1:46.73 q|
|1||5||196||Kleberson Davide||BRA||1:46.06 Q|
|2||7||452||Andrew Osagie||GBR||1:46.08 Q|
|3||1||834||Adam Kszczot||POL||1:46.16 Q|
|4||4||549||Sajad Moradi||IRI||1:46.39 q|
|5||3||716||Mohammad Al-Azemi||KUW||1:46.64 q|
Kaki vs. Rudisha Shapes Up Perfectly Through One Round
Giants Kaki (Sudan) and Rudisha (Kenya) both dominated their heats and may finally meet in a world championship final. The 800m is notoriously wacky at world and olympic championships, but it looks like the two front-runners are almost certain to square off in the final, a round neither has achieved at the outdoor world or olympic level. Rudisha rushed through the media maze after his heat, smiling easily and giving a thumbs-up, refusing to say a word.
|Emma Coburn talks about performing well and hearing coaches Wetmore and Billy Nelson in the stands.|
Women's Steeple Qualifying: Emma Coburn Is The Biggest Story
The top women in the steeplechase all made the final, so the big story was NCAA champ Emma Coburn (Colorado) passing Russian Lyubov Kharlamova in the final 150m to nab the 4th auto spot out of the 2nd of 3 heats. The pass didn't end up mattering in terms of advancement - Kharlamova was a time qualifier - but Coburn certainly enjoyed finishing strongly in a race she boldly led early (1st km in 3:15). Months after finishing a dream track season, Coburn makes a world final just days before heading back to join her University of Colorado teammates for cross country in the fall.
Best Steeple Form Goes To... Coburn
Ok we might be biased (and focusing on the Americans), but Emma Coburn seems to be built perfectly for the steeplechase. Her water pit jumping and general hurdling techniques are very smooth. As she said after the race, she's not going to go out in the final and do what Jenny Barringer did in 2009 (contend for the top-5), but no matter how she runs in the 2011 final, Coburn has great potential in this event.
Americans Franek and Garcia Fall Short - One Leaves Content, The Other Disappointed
Both Bridget Franek and Stephanie Garcia ran in the range of their personal bests, but neither was at 100% effectiveness and neither grabbed a final-round spot. Garcia - a last-minute replacement for injured Delilah DiCrescenzo - noted after the race that she couldn't be too disappointed, especially considering her goal going into the season was "to break 10 minutes."
Franek, more seasoned that Garcia, was disappointed that she did not take a bigger risk and run with leaders in her heat. Turkish drug cheat Binnaz Uslu pushed the pace vigorously in heat one, and Franek's 9:43.09 was just over 3 seconds adrift of the eventual slowest time qualifier (9:40.04, Kharlamova)
Results: Heat 1:
|1||867||Binnaz Uslu||TUR||9:24.06 Q||(NR)|
|2||853||Habiba Ghribi||TUN||9:24.56 Q|
|3||584||Mercy Wanjiku Njoroge||KEN||9:24.95 Q|
|4||646||Hanane Ouhaddou||MAR||9:25.96 Q||(SB)|
|5||346||Birtukan Fente||ETH||9:28.82 q|
|1||337||Sofia Assefa||ETH||9:32.48 Q|
|2||588||Lydia Chebet Rotich||KEN||9:36.70 Q|
|3||725||Sara Moreira||POR||9:36.97 Q|
|4||927||Emma Coburn||USA||9:38.42 Q|
|5||762||Lyubov Kharlamova||RUS||9:40.04 q|
|9||642||Salima El Ouali Alami||MAR||10:07.71|
|1||574||Milcah Chemos Cheywa||KEN||9:35.61 Q|
|2||791||Yuliya Zaripova||RUS||9:35.80 Q|
|3||427||Gesa Felicitas Krause||GER||9:35.83 Q||(PB)|
|4||334||Birtukan Adamu||ETH||9:37.31 Q|
|5||402||Barbara Parker||GBR||9:38.21 q|
"Preliminary" 100m Rounds: Who Can Name The Nations Represented?
Daegu and the IAAF decided to have preliminary 100m rounds, featuring many runners who are, quite frankly, not world class. In the men's 100 preliminaries, none of the top runners like Usain Bolt or Walter Dix had to run, but 31 men - many the best in their home countries - had a chance to qualify for the next heat. Of those 31, only 11 broke 11.00 seconds. Because the purpose of these heats must be to expand track around the world and allow dumb Americans the chance to improve their geography, we started a thread: "Men's 100 prelims: how many of these countries can you name?" See below:
Men's Preliminary 100m Results:
|2||1||2||531||Chi Ho Tsui
|7||3||3||939||Foo Ee Yeo
|8||1||4||753||Mohammad Noor Imran A Hadi
|10||4||3||231||Delivert Arsene Kimbembe
|12||3||2||1152||Tilak Ram Tharu
|21||5||3||988||Joseph Andy Lui
|23||5||2||775||Mohamed Ghassem Ahmed Taled
|25||8||1||960||Christopher Lima da Costa
|28||7||3||937||Ah Chong Sam Chong
|29||8||3||795||Orrin Ogumoro Pharmin
|Hooker after missing 3 times at 5.50m, half a meter off his best.|
Hooker Can't Get Off The Ground In Pole Vault
In 2009, Steve Hooker won a world title with one decent jumping leg. Riding 2 healthy legs in 2011, he couldn't clear a height in the qualifying round. Holding a can of Red Bull after the competition, Hooker didn't give any specifics explaining his failure, only saying he couldn't get off the ground.
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