2011 DN Galan Stockholm Diamond League Recap

By LetsRun.com
July 29, 2011

The DN Galan meet Friday in Stockholm was the second-to-last Diamond League meet before the World Championships. For a lot of athletes, including Usain Bolt, it was the final meet before the World Championships, which start in less than a month in Daegu, South Korea.

We recap all the action below and have results and highlights starting with the distance races. Each distance race had a dominant champion, as Kenia Sinclair remained undefeated at 800m, Silas Kiplagat showed he's still the world's best at 1,500m, Paul Koech got another win, and Vivian Cheruiyot blasted a 14:20 5k, while Shalane Flanagan just missed the American record again.

In the sprint and field events, LaShawm Merritt returned, Usain Bolt left some unanswered questions, David Oliver was upset, Yelena Isinbayeva showed she's still got it, and Mitchell Watt showed he can jump well in the Australian and European summers.

Women's 800m: Kenia Sinclair Remains Undefeated*

Kenia Sinclair Dominates

Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair is back.  Undefeated in 800m races she's finished in 2011, Sinclair dropped out of Paris three weeks ago (July 8th) after being clipped during a fall. She reportedly did not resume training until July 21st, but Friday night it was like she had never been away, as she dominated the women's 800m field in Stockholm.

The field included world champion Caster Semenya, US Champ and 2010 world leader Alysia Montano, and Oslo Diamond League winner Halima Hachlaf. They were no match for Sinclair.

Sinclair was the only athlete to go with the rabbit Tatyana Andrianova through the 400m (56.86). The rest of the field was at least a second back. Sinclair would just extend her lead through 600m (1:27.44). It was like she was racing the clock and everyone else was racing for second as the entire field was together but 15 to 20 meters behind her. This one was never in doubt, as Sinclair won in 1:58.21. Malika Akkaouiand of Cuba broke 2:00 for the first time to get second (1:59.75) but she was 10 meters back of Sinclair.

No one else in the field broke 2:00 in this race that was very slow for the field with the exception of Sinclair. Every finisher in the race had run 1:58 this year at some time, and yet only two people broke 2:00. Strange. Alice Schmidt was 4th, while US Champion Alysia Montano was 6th in 2:00.69. All is not well for Montano, who has now not broken 2:00 in her two European races this year since USAs. Last year, she was the world leader, but her racing has gone in the wrong direction since her impressive US win.

And that leaves Caster Semenya. The bad Caster Semenya showed up. The one who looks like she's not even trying. In last place for most of the race, she passed one runner to finish second-to-last in 2:01.28. Three weeks ago in Paris, Semenya got the win and it looked she'd repeat as world champion. Today, it looked like she'd be extremely lucky to make the final.

In the "B" race, American Molly Bockwith was nearly the fastest American on the day, as she got a nice win in 2:00.33.

Quick Take #1: What is going on with Alysia Montano? After being the world leader last year, and then starting off 2011 so well, we thought she'd be winning Diamond League races instead of struggling.

Quick Take #2: We've almost quit trying to figure out Caster Semenya. Her performances are baffling.  Pure speculation here. Some have suggested that to come back the IAAF made her get hormone treatments, and we'll be the first to admit we know nothing about the science, but we're wondering if the inconsistency is tied to the timing of the treatments. If you have any clue, please email us.

A Race

1
JAM
1:58.21
SB
2
MAR
1:59.75
3
CUB
2:00.06
4
USA
2:00.25
5
RUS
2:00.44
6
USA
2:00.69
7
MAR
2:00.70
8
RSA
2:01.28
9
RUS
2:01.43
 
RUS
DNF
Intermediate times:
400m Andrianova, Tatyana (RUS) 56.86
600m Sinclair, Kenia (JAM) 1:27.44

B Race

1
USA
2:00.33
2
SVK
2:00.60
3
KEN
2:00.78
4
AUS
2:00.78
SB
5
POL
2:02.10
SB
6
NOR
2:03.09
7
RUS
2:04.01
 
RUS
DNF
Intermediate times:
400m Luchkina, Anna (RUS) 59.12
600m Beckwith, Molly (USA) 1:29.66

 

Men's Steeplechase: Paul Koech Keeps It Rolling

It's time for Athletics Kenya to put Paul Koech on their World Championships team. A week after breaking 8:00 in Monaco and nearly leading Brimin Kipruto to a world record, Koech dominated here.

Uganda's Benjamin Kiplagat was the only guy with Koech with 2 laps to go, but Koech would just pull away over the final 2 laps to win comfortably in 8:05.92, as Kiplagat would get second in 8:14.

Richard Mateelong, who was second at the Kenyan Trials and can not be taken off the World Championships team (the top 2 are guaranteed selection with the third spot being a Wild Card), was second to last in 8:30. The two Americans in the race, Kyle Alcorn and Dan Huling, had terrible days as both dropped out, certainly not the confidence boost they'd want as Worlds approach.

QT: Koech has shown he's the third best steeplechaser in Kenya this year and in our minds should be on the Worlds team, particularly since Kenya can enter four steeplers since they have the defending champion in Ezekiel Kemboi. Currently the Kenyan team is as follows: Richard Mateelong, who did not look good today but was 2nd at the Kenyan Trials and was the silver medallist in 2009 is on the team, as are Olympic champs Brimin Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi, who both beat Koech in Monaco.

The fourth guy right now is the third placer at the Kenyan trials in Abraham Chirchir. If you don't know the name Chirchir, don't be upset with yourself as he's a 28-year-old with a PR of just 8:19. The guy wasn't even able to medal at the world military games last week in Brazil, where he ran 8:30.78 for 4th in a race that was won in 8:29.39. He's the guy taking Koech's spot at the moment. Little Letsrun.com loves the underdog, but can't see how logically anyone could put Chirchir ahead of Koech.

1
KEN
8:05.92
2
UGA
8:14.42
3
KEN
8:17.77
4
KEN
8:19.30
5
KEN
8:19.41
6
KEN
8:24.98
7
KEN
8:30.46
8
QAT
8:38.36
 
USA
DNF
 
USA
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
ETH
DNS
Intermediate times:
1,000m Lagat, Haron (KEN) 2:39.27
2,000m Koech, Paul Kipsiele (KEN) 5:23.74

 

 

Silas Kiplagat Wins Again
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Men's 1,500: Silas Kiplagat Shows He Can Win Any Kind Of Race; Americans Disappoint

Silas Kiplagat has shown in championship races (Kenyan Trials), fast races (Monaco) and slower races (here in Sweden) that he is currently the best 1,500m runner on the planet.

The men's 1,500m came down to the final 400m, as the field did not want to go with the pace set by the rabbits. At the bell (2:38.3) a sub-3:30 clocking was out of the question, but most of the field was still in contention. The savvy Nick Willis, who was last at 800m (1:54.36 for the rabbit), realized the pace had slowed and moved up to third by the bell.

Coming onto the final turn, Willis was right on the shoulder of 2011 World #1 Silas Kiplagat, who got the dominant wins at the Kenyan trials and in Monaco. For a second it looked like Willis might challenge Kiplagat over the final 100m, but when Kiplagat hit the afterburners, he pulled away comfortably for the win in 3:33.94. Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop moved up the last 50 to get second in 3:34.42, while Willis held on for third in 3:34.49, just ahead of the third Kenyan team member at Worlds - Dan Komen (3:34.51).

Nixon Chepseba, whom some felt should be on the World Championships team ahead of Komen - as Chepseba has won two Diamond League 1,500s this year and was 2nd at another and has run 3:31 three times this year - was only 6th.

Americans Disappoint
And the Americans? They disappointed. Lopez Lomong, who isn't on the Worlds team, was 7th in 3:35.87. Russell Brown got his first chance in a Diamond League race and was 10th in 3:38.44. That leaves Leo Manzano, who was the US #1 in 2010 and has been improving of late. The "bad" Leo showed up, as he ran 3:40 for last.

Aussie Ryan Gregson, who has been battling a calf injury, ran 3:39 and it looks like he won't be on the Worlds team unless he can turn it around on August 13th in Finland.

In the "B" race, the Americans fared better but none got the Olympic A standard of 3:35.00. American David Torrence ran a 3:35.95 seasonal best for third while Will Leer ran a 3:36.33 personal best for fourth. Canadian Nate Brannen ran 3:37.92 and will need to find a sub-3:35 race by next week if he wants to go to Worlds. Hamza Driouch, allegedly 16, won the race in 3:35.73.

QT #1: Kiplagat looks impossible to beat right now, but the slower the race the more likely he could be beaten, which means Worlds could be interesting.

QT #2: The Americans should take racing lessons from Nick Willis. In a slower race, you need to be closer to the front if you want to be a factor over the last lap. Willis understands this. He went from last at 800m to 3rd at 1,100m to be in position when the real racing started.

QT #3: Leo Manzano is making a habit of running some really bad races, but if this race won't faze anyone it won't faze him, as he has a habit of bouncing back with some great races.

QT #4: Undoubtedly, Will Leer wanted the A standard but kudos to him for finally breaking 3:37.00. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, his seasonal best was always 3:37xx. Coming into this race, his PR was 3:37.01.

A Race:

1
KEN
3:33.94
2
KEN
3:34.42
3
NZL
3:34.49
4
KEN
3:34.51
5
KEN
3:35.07
6
KEN
3:35.83
7
USA
3:35.87
8
AUS
3:36.16
9
ETH
3:37.89
10
USA
3:38.44
11
AUS
3:39.08
12
USA
3:40.02
 
ESP
DNF
 
USA
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
Intermediate times:
400mKrummenacker, David (USA) 56.10
800m Krummenacker, David (USA) 1:54.36
1,200m Ndiku, Caleb Mwangangi (KEN) 2:54.18

B Race:

1
QAT
3:35.73
PB
2
ALG
3:35.77
3
USA
3:35.95
SB
4
USA
3:36.33
PB
5
KEN
3:36.42
6
CAN
3:37.92
7
KOYUNCU Kemal
TUR
3:38.09
8
MOHAMED Mohamed Hamada
EGY
3:38.16
NR
9
ETH
3:38.28
10
BEL
3:38.56
11
AUS
3:40.31
12
KEN
3:43.54
13
CAN
3:43.93
 
KEN
DNF
 
POL
DNF
Intermediate times:
400m Koech, Justus (KEN) 56.09
800m Koech, Justus (KEN) 1:56.03
1,200m Birgen, Bethwell (KEN) 2:54.77

Women's 5,000: Vivian Cheruiyot Is Utterly Dominant
Lewy Boulet Impressively PRs As Barringer Simpson And Fleshman Struggle

Coming into Stockholm, Vivian Cheruiyot was regarded as the best female distance runner on the planet for 2011. Since winning the world title in cross, she'd gone undefeated in track, including convincing Diamond League victories at 5,000 in Shanghai and Eugene. If one thought Cheruiyot could only go backwards in Stockholm, they were clearly wrong, as she absolutely destroyed the field winning by a ridiculous 23 full seconds and setting a new world leader of 14:20.87 in the process.

The rabbit didn't even make it 3,000 in Stockholm, but it's not like Cheruiyot needed any help. At 2,000, the clock read 5:47.19, which means the rabbit had them on 14:27.98 pace. Considering her finishing time of 14:20.87, in hindsight it seems as if the pacemaker was just slowing Cheruiyot down. It was around 2,000m when Cheruiyot just ran away from the field.

After giving up on staying with Cheruiyot, the mere mortals behind her slowed down. US star Shalane Flanagan had been on 14:37 pace at 2k (5:51 roughly), but after a slow 3rd km (3:03 roughly for Flanagan, 8:54-ish), she was on 14:50 pace and Molly Huddle's American record (14:44.76) was going to go out the window if the pace did not pick up soon. With 1,200 remaining, Flanagan had had enough, and she went to the front to push the pace and try to reclaim the American record. Flanagan needed to close in roughly 3:30 to get back the record that Molly Huddle took from her by .04 last year, but Flanagan was unable to do it as for the third time this summer, she ran under 14:50 but slower than 14:44.76, ending up fourth in 14:46.80.

Over the final lap, 9-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego and 2011 Kenyan 5,000-meter champion Sylvia Kibet convincingly kicked past Flanagan to get second (14:43.87) and third (14:45.31) respectively.

Behind Flanagan, there were contrasting finishes for the Americans. The second American finisher in the race ended up being Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet, who gave herself the ultimate 38th birthday present (three days before her birthday), as she ran a massive personal best that is sure to inspire tons of master runners who are dreaming of setting a new personal best at an advanced age. Coming into Stockholm, Lewy Boulet had a 5,000 PR of 16:04.86 from 1997. Now her PR is 50.61 seconds faster, as she ran 15:14.25 to got 10th on Friday. This all comes after she set a 31.87 PR at USAs in the 10,000 (from 32:20.45 to 31:48.58 PR). Like a fine wine, she's getting way, way better with age.

The other two Americans in the field went home disappointed as they didn't run well. Jenny Barringer Simpson, whose 5,000 best of 15:05 came in a European victory in 2007, only managed a 15:18.55 to confirm what the evidence had been pointing towards to all year - she currently simply isn't as good of a runner as she was back in 2007. Lauren Fleshman, who ran 15:31.26 at USAs for 8th, did manage a seasonal best, as she ran 15:27.30, but she also undoubtedly went home disappointed as that was far short of the Olympic "A" standard of 15:15.00.

Quick Take #1: As dominant as Cheruiyot has been all year and as she was today, it should be pointed out that she hasn't faced Ethiopia's Meseret Defar so far this year. Defar is undefeated for the year and had the world lead coming into today at 14:29. The only person who could seemingly beat Cheruiyot at Worlds appears to be her.

Quick Take #2: Cheruiyot's time today was the 4th-fastest women's 5,000 ever run and also a new personal best (previous best 14:22.51). We'd love to see her take a crack the women's world record of 14:11.15 later in the summer.

Quick Take #3: While the Olympic A standard is 15:15.00, the World Championships standard is 15:14.00 and only one American has hit the A. We wonder if Lewy Boulet could have gone to WCs if she'd run a tiny bit faster today, for as it stands now, the US will only be sending two people. Would USATF have offered to send her even though she didn't run the 5,000 at USAs if she'd hit the standard? If you know, please email us.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
14:20.87
WL,NR
2
KEN
14:43.87
3
KEN
14:45.31
SB
4
USA
14:46.80
5
KEN
14:51.55
6
KEN
14:52.51
7
KEN
14:58.66
8
ESP
15:02.24
9
KEN
15:05.34
10
USA
15:14.25
PB
11
USA
15:18.55
12
TUR
15:18.85
SB
13
USA
15:27.30
SB
14
KEN
15:34.62
15
AZE
15:41.54
 
BISHOP Melissa
CAN
DNF
 
GOLOVKINA Olga
RUS
DNF

Women's 5,000m Stockholm
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Intermediate Times:
1,000m - Bishop, Melissa (CAN) 2:55.35
2,000m- Golovkina, Olga (RUS) 5:47.19
3,000m - Cheruiyot, Vivian Jepkemoi (KEN) 8:38.67
4,000m - Cheruiyot, Vivian Jepkemoi (KEN) 11:31.22

 

Men's 400m: LaShawn Merritt Is Almost Back
Olympic and world champion LaShawn Merritt's return from a 21-month Enzyte drug related ban was very successful, as he ran 44.74 to get second in a high-quality race where the top four all broke 45.00. Running in lane two, Merritt ran a smart first 200 and then coming off the final turn, it seemed as if he might get the victory as he pulled up right next to Jamaica's Jermaine Gonzalez, who was in lane 5, with about 80 meters to go. Virtually nothing separated the two at that point or down the entire homestretch, as they ran side-by-side all the way home. Merritt never quite got there, as Gonzales got the win in 44.69 to Merritt's 44.74.

QT #1: Merritt's performance was very good for an opener after a near-two-year layoff. It was the 5th-fastest time of the year while Gonzalez's was #3. It's pretty close to what Merritt opened up in 2008 and 2009, as in 2008 he opened at 44.72 and in 2009 he opened at 44.50.

QT#2: The 2011 world leader was in the race. South Plains junior college champion Rondell Bartholomew, who ran 44.65 in April, was 5th in 45.32.

QT #3:
Will US champ Tony McQuay surface before Worlds? Being a collegiate athlete, we know he's had a long season, but it seems as if he'd want to race before Worlds so he doesn't have a two-month layoff.

1
JAM
44.69
SB
0.193
2
USA
44.74
0.226
3
BAH
44.79
SB
0.177
4
USA
44.82
SB
0.161
5
GRN
45.32
0.267
6
BEL
45.45
0.226
7
TRI
45.99
0.195
8
SWE
46.16
0.224

 

Men's 400m Stockholm
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Usain Bolt Wins 200m By .44 And Questions Still Remain

Usain Bolt has been so dominant that he can win a Diamond League race by .44 seconds like he did in Stockholm and it makes you wonder if he'll get beaten at Worlds.

Bolt dominated the 200m to win, but only ran 20.03, granted into a slight headwind. He appeared to be going all-out throughout and shook his head immediately upon seeing the time on the scoreboard.

Marvin Anderson was DQed afterwards, but he ran 20.44 to finish 2nd. Alonso Edward was next across the line in 20.47.

QT: So what does 20.03 mean for Bolt? Perhaps it makes most sense to look at the competition he beat. Anderson had a 20.27 best coming in and Edward a 20.28. So if Bolt is .44 ahead of that, he's in the 19.8 range. With the way the 200 is this year, if Bolt runs 19.8 he'll likely only be challenged by Walter Dix.

1
JAM
20.03
0.184
2
PAN
20.47
0.189
3
JAM
20.56
0.177
4
NOR
20.67
0.210
5
TRI
20.85
0.198
6
USA
20.94
0.190
7
DODSON Jeremy
USA
21.32
0.175
 
JAM
DQ
R 163.3
0.158
Wind -1.2 m/s

Men's 200m Stockholm

Men's 110m Hurdles: Richardson Upsets Oliver

Running into a headwind, Jason Richardson ran 13.17, just off his 13.15 PR, to easily upset David Oliver. Oliver has not been the force he was in 2010 but is still a favorite at Worlds.

Wind -2.3 m/s

1
USA
13.17
0.157
2
USA
13.28
0.161
3
JAM
13.40
0.182
4
USA
13.41
0.144
5
USA
13.61
0.176
6
USA
13.65
0.173
7
USA
13.71
0.197

Men's 110 Hurdles

Other Action: World Leaders In Long Jump, Javelin, Isinbayeva Is Back
Mitchell Watt of Australia already had the world lead in the long jump, but that was from way back in May. The Aussie showed he can also jump well in the European summer, as he went 8.54 for the world leader. Jesse Williams contended for the win but had to settle for second to Ivan Ukhov in the high jump. Kaliese Spencer had a meet record 53.74 in the 400m hurdles. Andreas Thorkildsen got a world leader in the javelin 888.43 (old leader 88.30). Yelena Isinbayeva went 4.76 in the pole vault (4.78 world leader) to return to form just in time for Worlds, and Carmelita Jeter won a slow 100m 11.15 into a headwind.

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