2011 London Diamond League - Day 1 Recap: Rudisha Vs. Kaki Lives Up To Its Billing

By LetsRun.com
August 5, 2011

The two-day Aviva London Diamond League meet is the last Diamond League meet before the World Championships.

The matchup between the  two greatest 800m runners on the planet,  David Rudisha and Abubaker Kaki, did not disappoint, as Rudisha took down Steve Cram's UK all-comers record. Kenia Sinclair lost her first 800 of the year to Jenny Meadows, as NCAA 400m champ Kirani James appeared for the first time since NCAAs and stamped himself as a favorite in Daegu, Dayron Robles beat David Oliver again as did surprisingly Jason Richardson, Yohan Blake showed he's one to watch in the 100 at Worlds, Jenn Suhr showed she is back, Kaliesha Spencer blasted the 400m hurdles, and Mo Farah ran a 25-second last 200m to toy with men's 3,000m field.

Recap and results below with video highlights.

Men's 800m: Rudisha Vs. Kaki Lives Up To The Hype

  Rudisha Edges Kaki

The much anticipated match-up between the world's two best at 800 in David Rudisha and Abubaker Kaki certainly lived up to the hype, as Rudisha erased Steve Cram's British all-comers record of 1:43.22, by running 1:42.91 to get the win, but Abubaker Kaki made him really work for it, as he was on Rudisha's heels the entire race. Coming down the final straight, Kaki even moved out into lane two thinking he might get the win, but the 2-3 meter gap never really narrowed and he ended up second in 1:43.13.

Kenyan Olympian Boaz Lalang, who struggled at the Kenyan Trials where was just 8th, had his best showing of the year, as he was rewarded for being the only athlete to try to run near Rudisha and Kaki, holding on for a clear third in 1:44.13.

America's champ Nick Symmonds moved up throughout the race to finish a clear fourth in 1:44.40. The race started very fast, as Rudisha's personal rabbit, Sammy Tangui, went through 400in 49.61 with Rudisha just a tiny bit back probably in something very close to 50-flat. At 200 meters, Symmonds was in dead last. At 400, he was 3rd-to-last and at 600, he had moved up to 5th.

British champ Andrew Osagie dipped under the "A" standard, which he needed, by .04 by running 1:45.36 to get 5th.

QT #1: Rudisha is an amazing, amazing athlete but even though he got the British all-comers record today, this race to us showed us he's not unbeatable when facing such a worthy challenger in Abubaker Kaki, who is very, very good himself. Kaki was right on Rudisha for the entire final 300 meters and was visibly upset after losing the race as he slapped his hands together as his faced showed an expression that seemingly said, "Darn it. So close." The press may have coronated Rudisha already, but Khaki clearly hasn't.

 QT#2: At the World Championships, there won't be any rabbits, so if Rudisha keeps to his normal style of running, he'll end up serving as the rabbit for Kaki. If that happens, will the results be turned? If we were Rudisha's handlers, we would have wanted this race to be run without a rabbit as a practice for the World Champs.

QT#3: This wasn't the best race for Nick Symmonds, but we already knew there is a gap between Kaki and Rudisha and the rest of the world. Some of the gap narrows in non-rabbited races and Symmonds has shown in 2011 he can be as good as everyone else in the world. Prior to 2009 Worlds, Symmonds had gone sub-1:45 once; this year he's done it three times.

On The Boards: Rudisha Looks Beatable At Worlds

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
1:42.91
MR
2
SUD
1:43.13
SB
3
KEN
1:44.13
SB
4
USA
1:44.40
5
GBR
1:45.36
PB
6
NED
1:45.69
SB
7
GBR
1:46.35
8
GBR
1:46.52
SB
9
UGA
1:49.82
 
KEN
DNF
Intermediate times:
400m - Tangui, Sammy (KEN) - 49.61
600m - Rudisha, David (KEN) - 1:16.68

Get Educated On The 800m: All The World Record Holders Together In One Room

Women's 800m: Kenia Sinclair Loses For The First Time In 2011, Jenny Meadows Rounding Into Form At The Right Time
Kenia Sinclair
did something on Friday she had not done so far in 2011 - lose an 800m race she finished.

Until this year, Sinclair had been known for running fast early-season times and then fading as the season went on. This year, she was unbeatable. After missing some training last month after a fall in Paris, Sinclair returned last week with a dominant 800m victory in Stockholm and it seemed her late season fades were behind her. Now some of the questions are back. Either the long season or the missed time from the injury caught up to her, as 2009 World Championships bronze medallist Jenny Meadows outkicked Sinclair the final 100m to win in 1:58.60.

Tara Bird took the field through a quick 56.51 and Sinclair was the only athlete to stay with her. There was a gap to Marilyn Okoro in third and Jenny Meadows was behind her. At 600m, Meadows had closed the gap on Sinclair and they were together going around the final bend. Sinclair put up a fight the final 100m to hold off Meadows, but Meadows was too good and got the win comfortably in 1:58.60 to Sinclair's 1:59.16.  Lucia Klocova was third in 1:59.65 and Marilyn Okoro, who made the Worlds final in 2009 but is coming back from injury, was fourth in 1:59.85, .05 from the World Championships "A" standard, and likely won't be going to Daegu.

American Molly Beckwith was 6th in 2:00.18.

QT #1: Was this just a blip for Sinclair or a sign of wheels starting to come off the tracks?

QT #2: Jenny Meadows knows how to peak at the right time, as her PR (1:57.93) was in the 2009 Berlin final. If she PRs this year in the final, it could well bring her gold, as things are wide open.

QT #3: Is there any way the Brits can put Okoro on the team for Worlds? We don't think so but would make the argument for her being on the team.

1
GBR
1:58.60
SB
2
JAM
1:59.16
3
SVK
1:59.65
4
GBR
1:59.85
SB
5
GBR
1:59.97
PB
6
USA
2:00.18
7
KEN
2:00.54
PB
8
NOR
2:00.68
SB
9
GBR
2:00.69
10
GBR
2:02.73
11
RUS
2:03.32
 
GBR
DNF
Intermediate times:
400m Bird, Tara (GBR) 56.51
600m Sinclair, Kenia (JAM) 1:27.73

 

Sinclair Suffers Loss #1
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Men's 3,000m: Mo Farah Keeps It Going
This race was a World Championships sendoff present for Mo Farah.


Mo: A Headliner On The BBC

Farah, the world's best distance runner in 2010, made it a perfect 11-for-11 since switching to Alberto Salazar as a coach, as he absolutely crushed this lackluster field the final 200m to win in 7:40.15. Farah's final 200m was stunning, as he ran it in about 25 seconds flat.

Farah - as he often does - started slow, not going with rabbit David Krummenacker on the first two laps. Then on the third lap, he probably ran close to 60-flat to close the gap and get with the rabbit and Collis Birmingham.

The pace then slowed the second half of the race as consecutive 63-second laps let Irishman Alistair Cragg get back in the thick of things as he joined Birmingham, Farah, and Gideon Gathimba at the bell, where Cragg took the lead. Farah got boxed in a bit, but with the way he has been finishing races versus the world's best in 2011, even if he had been knocked down on the final lap, we think he could have got back up and won here.

Farah didn't turn on the jets until 200m to go (as apparently he wanted to practice kicking from behind), where he blasted the last 200m in close to 25-flat to win by over 4 seconds in the final 200m. Gathimba got second, Birmingham third, and Cragg fourth.

QT #1: Mark Kiptoo was the only guy on paper who might be able to make this interesting (sub-13:00 5k runner), but he finished last.

QT#2: Farah afterwards said he is going to the Pacific Northwest to resume training with Alberto Salazar and Galen Rupp. The easiest way we see Farah losing is if he is not ready for the heat and humidity of Daegu. The average high in Daegu in August is 87.8 degrees with high humidity. That will be a shocker for someone coming from Portland. We assume Salazar and crew are doing something to prepare for the heat, as they still have 3 weeks.
Related On The Boards: Why Rupp won't medal in Daegu or even be top 6 (the weather)

1
GBR
7:40.15
2
KEN
7:44.30
3
AUS
7:45.04
4
IRL
7:46.29
5
DJI
7:51.88
6
KEN
7:52.94
7
AUS
7:52.96
8
KEN
8:09.47
 
USA
DNF

Intermediate times: 1,000m 2:35.05
2,000 Birmingham, Collis (AUS) 5:10.30
 


Revolutionary Technology: Split Screen

Men's 5,000m: Mottram Wins Convincingly

There was a rumor that there was a 5,000 in London so that Kenenisa Bekele could make his 2011 debut. However, there was no Bekele and as a result, the race was still run to let some people chase the Olympic "A" standard of 13:20.00.

The race was rabbitted by Titus Mbishei and once the gun went off, there was no doubt that American Ben True wanted it, as he put himself right behind the rabbit even though the pace went out a little fast (True was 62 for the first 400 and 13:20 pace is 64.0). Right behind True was 2005 Worlds bronze medallist Craig Mottram, who already had achieved the "A" standard this year. The guys went through 3,000 in just over 13:20 pace (8:03.06 when 8:00 is 13:20 pace), but the next two laps were very slow and both run in 66 seconds and it was clear with three laps remaining that the A standard was out the window. At this point, the rabbit Mbishei stepped off the track and once he did, Craig Mottram threw down and ripped off a 62.80 lap that instantly left Ben True in the wake. He followed that up with a 61.95 that turned the final lap (which was a bit slower) into a coronation as he got a comfortable win in 13:23.97, as Ben True ran 13:28.21. Former Wisconsin and Arizona State runner Brandon Bethke won the battle for third by outkicking Brit Chris Thompson, who is on the comeback trail from injury.

QT #1: We watched the race on the BBC and thoroughly enjoyed how we watched every single step of this race as they used the common sense approach of a split screen when showing the field events during the race. If only the IAAF feed or US television producers had common sense.

 QT#2: Why was this even put in the middle of a Diamond League meeting?

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
AUS
13:23.97
2
USA
13:28.21
3
USA
13:33.16
4
GBR
13:34.31
5
GBR
13:35.31
6
NOR
13:36.31
7
GBR
13:36.40
PB
8
GBR
13:39.23
PB
9
GER
13:44.16
10
NOR
13:56.31
 
NED
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
GBR
DNF
 

*Finish Of Race Here

Intermediate Times:

1,000m - Mbishei, Titus Kipjumba (KEN) -2:41.11

2,000m - Mbishei, Titus Kipjumba (KEN) -5:20.85

3,000m - Mbishei, Titus Kipjumba (KEN) - 8:03.06

4,000m - Thompson, Chris (GBR) - 10:47.96

Men's 110H: Robles Reasserts Himself As Oliver Finishes As 2nd American For 2nd Straight Outing
After suffering his first loss of the year in a disastrous 8th-place showing in Barcelona in his last outing, 2008 Olympic champion Daryon Robles reasserted himself as the World Championships favorite, as he won for the 9th time in 10 races in a meet record 13.04. The expected duel between Robles and American David Oliver never materialzed, as Oliver got off to a slow start, but Robles was pushed throughought by American Jason Richardson, who defeated David Oliver for the second straight time and finished just behind Robles in 13.08. Oliver rallied late but ended up a well-beaten third in 13.19.

QT #1: This field included all of the major players at Worlds except for Liu Xiang of China.

QT #2: Hard to believe Jason Richardson is the current US #1 heading into Worlds. Oliver was unstoppable in 2010.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
CUB
13.04
MR
0.172
2
USA
13.08
PB
0.186
3
USA
13.19
0.148
4
JAM
13.29
0.171
5
USA
13.31
0.172
6
USA
13.32
0.177
7
GBR
13.46
0.141
8
USA
13.73
0.178

Robles Wins

Men's 100: Yohan Blake Wins Convincingly As Asafa Powell Doesn't Show

With Asafa Powell pulling out before the race started, Yohan Blake became the favorite in the men's 100 and more than lived up to the expectations as he pulled away from the field to win in an impressive time of 9.95. We say impressive at it was run into a 1.6 headwind and therefore it converts to a 9.85 in still conditions.

QT #1: Yohan Blake is almost undefeated on the year at 100m, as he's only lost two races - both by .01. Once to Asafa Powell at the Jamaican champs and once Daniel Bailey in Strasbourg. He's only 21. Could he possibly do the unstoppable and beat Bolt this year or maybe even more likely next year? He is Bolt's training partner. The Worlds 100m will be very interesting.

Wind: -1.6
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
JAM
9.95
=SB
0.186
2
JAM
10.01
0.173
3
USA
10.04
0.169
4
ANT
10.14
0.153
5
TRI
10.15
0.164
6
USA
10.15
0.158
7
TRI
10.23
0.155
8
GBR
10.33
0.157

 

Men's 100m:
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Men's 400m: 18-Year-Old Kirani James Runs World Leader

2 time NCAA outdoor champion Kirani James had not run since NCAAs in early June. Considering he ran a 44.80 indoors in February, we wouldn't have blamed you if you thought this 18-year-old's season was past its expiration date. James showed that was not the case, as he ran a world-leading 44.61 to get the win here. As weak as 400m running is this year, James seems like an unlikely favorite at Worlds.

QT #1: James' days as a Alabama runner appear to be over as he was wearing all Nike. The guy is only 18 years old and could be one of track's newest big stars.

1
GRN
44.61
WL
0.195
2
JAM
44.85
0.182
3
BAH
45.04
0.204
4
USA
45.04
0.169
5
BEL
45.50
0.161
6
ISV
45.67
0.188
7
GRN
45.86
0.278
8
GBR
45.87
0.213

 

King Kirani

Women's 400H: Spencer Runs World Leader
Jamaica's Kaliesha Spencer was simply magnificent in the women's 400 hurdles as she equaled the 10th-fastest time in history by running 52.79 to run away from the field and stamp herself as the favorite for the World Championships. 2008 Olympic and 2009 world champion Melanie Walker was second in 53.90. Czechoslovakia's Zuzana Hejnova, who came in as the world leader at  53.29, was just 4th in 54.62, as Britain's 400 and 400 hurdles champ Perri Shake-Drayton was happy to get a new personal best and the scalp of Hejnova, running 54.62 to finish third.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
JAM
52.79
WL,MR
0.189
2
JAM
53.90
0.377
3
GBR
54.62
SB
0.276
4
CZE
54.74
0.178
5
USA
55.51
0.228
6
GBR
55.76
0.227
7
JAM
56.07
0.237
8
USA
57.13
0.210

Womens 400H
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Field:

Women's Pole Vault: Jenn Suhr Is Back

Last week at some low key meet in Rochester, NY Jenn Suhr vaulted 4.91 (1 centimter off her American record). She showed that wasn't a fluke as she went an otherwise world-leading 4.79 here.

Pole Vault - Women                                            
                                                            Pts
    1 Suhr , Jennifer                  USA       4.79          4        
    2 Murer , Fabiana                  BRA       4.71          2        
    3 Feofanova , Svetlana             RUS       4.71          1        
    4 Kiriakopoúlou , Nikoléta         GRE       4.71                   
    5 Spiegelburg , Silke              GER       4.63                   
    6 Strutz , Martina                 GER       4.63                   
    7 Bleasdale , Holly                GBR       4.55                   
    8 Hingst , Carolin                 GER       4.55                   
    9 Hutson , Kylie                   USA       4.45
   10 Dennison , Kate                  GBR       4.30


Men's Long Jump World Leader Mitchell Watt Wins Again, Saladino Only 4th

Long Jump - Men                                               
                                                            Pts               Wind
    1 Watt , Mitchell                  AUS       8.45          4              +1.4
    2 Tomlinson , Christopher          GBR       8.30          2              +2.2
    3 Rutherford , Greg                GBR       8.19          1              +0.8
    4 Saladino , Irving                PAN       8.14                         +0.5
    5 Goodwin , Marquise               USA       8.02                         +1.1
    6 Mokoena , Godfrey Khotso         RSA       7.93                         +1.5
    7 Reid , Julian                    GBR       7.84                         +0.7
    8 Gaisah , Ignisious               GHA       7.82                         +1.0
    9 Smith , Tyrone                   BER       7.37      +0.4

More:

200 Metres - Women                                            Wind: -1.1 m/s

    1 Knight , Bianca                  USA      22.69
    2 Simpson , Sherone                JAM      22.84
    3 Solomon , Shalonda               USA      22.85
    4 Ferguson-McKenzie , Debbie       BAH      22.88
    5 Bailey , Aleen                   JAM      22.89
    6 Townsend , Tiffany               USA      22.92
    7 Williams , Jodie                 GBR      22.95
    8 Durst , Stephanie                USA      23.53
	
Triple Jump - Women                                           
                                                            Pts               Wind
    1 Saladuha , Olha                  UKR      14.80          4              +0.8
    2 Rypakova , Olga                  KAZ      14.49          2              +0.8
    3 Veldáková , Dana                 SVK      14.48          1              +0.9
    4 Papahrístou , Paraskeví          GRE      14.17                         +1.0
    5 Marie-Nély , Nathalie            FRA      14.12                         +2.5
    6 Regis , Yasmine                  GBR      13.76                         +0.0
    7 Samuel , Laura                   GBR      13.52                         +0.4
    8 Bânova , Andriyana               BUL      13.35                         +0.1

Javelin Throw - Women                                         
                                                            Pts
    1 Obergföll , Christina            GER      66.74          4        
    2 Špotáková , Barbora              CZE      66.41          2        
    3 Sayers , Goldie                  GBR      63.41          1        
    4 Palameika , Madara               LAT      60.72                   
    5 Patterson , Kara                 USA      58.25                   
    6 Klimešová , Jarmila              CZE      58.05                   
    7 Hjálmsdóttir , Ásdís             ISL      57.77                   
    8 Eisenlauer , Esther              GER      56.50                   

4 x 100 Metres Relay - Women                                    

    1 Stars and Stripes                USA      42.92
    2 Jamaica                          JAM      43.17
    3 All Stars                        UND      43.21
    4 Germany                          GER      43.54
    5 Belgium                          BEL      44.00
    6 Slovenia                         SLO      44.40
      Great Britain & N.I. "B"         GBR        DNF                   
      Great Britain & N.I.             GBR        DNF    

*Day 2: Leo, Lisa and Sanya Impress On day 2 of 2 at the final big meet before Worlds, Leo Manzano got Americans excited for world's by coming from way behind to get a shock victory in the men's 1,500; British fans got excited by Lisa Dobriskey's win in the women's 1,500; American fans also were probably thrilled by Sanya Richards-Ross' return to form in the 400 (49.66). Plus two Americans got the 'A' standard in the women's 5000 as Lauren Fleshman crushed the field but was it the right two?

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