Day 4 Daegu Distance Previews: Men's 800 Final, 1500 1st Round Highlight Busy Day
Nick Symmonds Has Best Chance For World Medal
August 29, 2011
Daegu, South Korea
Men's 800m Final: Rudisha and Kaki Headline, Symmonds Poised For Medal Strike, Poland Qualifies 2
Alfred Kirwa Yego is
the reigning Olympic and World Champion a guy who has medalled at 3-straight global championships including having won gold in 2007, but most people would not list him as among the biggest favorites in the 800m final. But it's the 800m final at a major international championship: anything can happen!
Kirwa Yego's world record-holding countryman David Rudisha is the clear favorite, having not lost an 800m since his 2009 world semifinal (a span of 30 competitions). Rudisha likes to front-run almost as much as rival Sudanese Abubaker Kaki. Kaki looked vulnerable in the semifinal where he was passed late by two competitors and had to get lucky to advance as a time qualifier.
Major question: who will assume pace-making duty, Rudisha or Kaki? Assuming he's fully fit, expect Rudisha to make an early push to the front to avoid traffic. Kaki, the only man in the field with a 2011 performance within 2 seconds of Rudisha's 1:41.01, is also the closest to Rudisha in terms of 2011 PB's (1:42.6 for Rudisha and 1:43.1 for Kaki), has an interesting tactical decision to make in the final. The physical competition for the first spot should be a key to this race. Kaki will start in lane 4 with Rudisha in lane 6.
Major question: Can Nick Symmonds medal? Quick answer: Yes. See Symmonds' interview with reporters below for more, but basically he knows he has the 3rd-fastest time in the world this year, he has been through this event a few times already, and he can kick with most of the best 800m runners in the world. In his semi-final he ran even with Yuriy Borzakovskiy, and told us after the race that he had another gear.
|Nick Symmonds talks realistically and confidently after his second straight preliminary round win in Daegu.|
How Symmonds could medal: Kaki is beatable, as is Kirwa Yego (they both finished out of the top-2 qualifiers in the prelim, a place no athlete wanted to be. Mohammed Aman is dangerous but he's only 17, and neither of the Polish qualifiers are as fast as Symmonds. Back in 2009 Symmonds was in perfect position to medal in the Berlin world champs but he came up short. 2011 Symmonds is better than 2009 Symmonds in all categories, and we think he's got a very good shot of medalling.
And remember we don't think Rudisha is a lock for the win. This is the 800 and a lot can happen.
|6||664||David Lekuta Rudisha||1:42.61||1:41.01|
|8||667||Alfred Kirwa Yego||1:44.55||1:42.67|
Men's 1500m Heats: 24 of 38 Will Advance; Centro, Wheating, Manzano Draw Different Heats
With over half the field advancing to round 2, we think it's likely all three Americans can advance. Below see their heat startlists and our highlighted contestants.
Heat 1, Centro's Heat: East coast Americans need to stay up to 10:20 PM to catch late-race speedster Matt Centrowitz Jr and the rest of the men's 1500m qualifiers race for semi-final spots. Centro drew the first heat and may benefit from a slow pace. He faces veterans Nick Willis and Daniel Komen and youngster Ryan Gregson.
Heat 2, Wheating's Heat: Andrew Wheating will make his first world's appearance lined up next to the likes of Olympic gold medallist Asbel Kiprop, Mekonnen Gebremedhin and Mehdi Baala.
Heat 3, Manzano's Heat: Leonel Manzano, based on past performance against top internationals, is the American most likely to medal. Reigning world champ Yusuf Saad Kamel returns to 1500m action in this heat along with 2011 top performers Silas Kiplagat and world indoor champ Deresse Mekonnen. Kamel won two medals in Berlin in '09 but has only run 3 800m races this summer, his best being a 1:46 on 22 July.
first 6 of each heat (Q) plus the 6 fastest times (q) qualified.
|11||959||Chaminda Indika Wijekoon||3:44.01||3:40.78|
|12||656||Daniel Kipchirchir Komen||3:32.47||3:29.02|
|3||998||Ribeiro Pinto de Carvalho|
|1||1143||Nabil Mohammed Al-Garbi||4:80.00|
|8||205||Yusuf Saad Kamel||3:31.56|
|11||336||Juan Carlos Higuero||3:35.80||3:31.57|
Women's Steeplechase Final: Milcah Chemos Cheywa the Big Favorite; Colorado's Coburn Gets a Taste of the Finals
8:20am Eastern USA. Milcah Chemos Cheywa on paper should run away with this one, but you can't totally overlook Russian silver medallist Yuliya Zaripova who had not run a lot of steeples ths year. However don't be shocked if Chemos doesn't come close to rivalling the sub-9's being clocked a couple years ago. There aren't a lot of other stories in this race, other than Kenyan women possibly picking up a couple of medals in this one. If the Kenyan women somehow sweep this event... we don't know what we'll say but perhaps they'll start getting some more respect in their national culture.
Emma Coburn's pr of 9:37 puts her 150m back of the ultimate winner in this one. Perhaps Coburn, who looked phenomenal in the first round, can manage the race in such a way as to get a PB to end her long and fantastic campaign as a Colorado Buffalo and US team member.
|1||584||Mercy Wanjiku Njoroge||9:16.94||9:16.94|
|2||588||Lydia Chebet Rotich||9:19.20||9:18.03|
|6||574||Milcah Chemos Cheywa||9:12.89||9:08.57|
|11||427||Gesa Felicitas Krause||9:35.83||9:35.83|
Women's 5000m Heats: 15 out of 23 make the final, Cheuiyot the huge favorite as Defar lurks
This first round is somewhat bothersome, as you have a number of runners who would be ecstatic to run 15:10, and a number of runners who will actually compete at the front of the final that will be run in the 14:40-1425 range. Add to that there are only 23 starters and 15 spots n the final. A runner could finish 10th in their heat of 11 and make the final.
|Vivian Cheruiyot and teammates talk to press after 1-2-3 sweep in Daegu 10,000m final|
Masai Out, But Kenyan Women Still Poised To Strike In Another Distance Event
News to report includes the non-entry of Linet Masai, the day 1 bronze medallist over 10,000m and reigning 10k outdoor champ. Masai had initially planned on joining reigning world champion Vivian Cheruiyot in the 5000. Kenyan women won the first 6 distance medals of the meet, and may add another 1-3 in this evening's steeplechase. With Cheruiyot on top of the world (she solo'ed a 14:20 national record in Stockholm a few weeks ago), people are looking ahead to a deeper medal haul for Kenya's women.
Though they'll miss Masai, Kenya still may win multiple medals in the 5000m. The other Kenyan entrants are 2009 world 5000m silver medallist Sylvia Kibet and 20-year-old world junior champion Mercy Cherono. Cherono is a huge talent but only ran 14:58 in the Stockholm race where Cheruiyot ran 14:20, so that leaves the sweep in at least some doubt. 14:12 runner Meseret Defar would be Ethiopia's biggest hope had she not dropped out of the 10,000m final a few nights ago after a year that had, thus far, gone off without a single loss. Perhaps Defar, who ran 14:30 this year, thought to save her body for a better medal chance in the 5000m. Ethiopia's Sentayehu Ejigu is another definite medal contender, and with Cheruiyot fatigued from a hard 10,000m effort, could steal some glory from their rivals.
Fleshman the US's Best Hope For Final
The entries are below including three Americans: Amy Hastings, Molly Huddle and Lauren Fleshman. Based on entry times, it's conceivable, though unlikely that all three will make the final. Huddle has a 14:44 best, but has been hurt recently. Hastings has a 15:14 best, and that time will be borderline for final round qualification. If Fleshman, with her 15-flat credentials is in her best shape, she might represent the US's best hope for a final round entrant.
|5||871||Alia Saeed Mohammed||15:31.21||15:31.21|
|9||576||Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet||14:45.31||14:31.91|
|2||583||Linet Chepkwemoi Masai||14:32.95||14:31.14|
|5||573||Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot||14:20.87||14:20.87|