Men's 5000 Round 1: Bernard Lagat, Galen Rupp and The Expected Favorites Advance Plus Alistair Cragg and Jake Robertson
September 1, 2011
Daegu, South Korea
Recaps and post-race reaction from the men's 5000m heats below.
Heat 1: The Sub 13 Guys (Including Lagat) and Galen Rupp Advance Automatically
Heat 1 featured four sub 13:00 runners, Kenya’s Thomas Longosiwa (12:51 in 2007, 12:56 for 6th in Monaco this year, best known for age cheating and trying to be 6 years younger than he actually was ), Dejen Gebremeskel (beat Mo Farah with one shoe this year), and Isiah Koech ("17" year-old ran 12:53 indoors this year) and 2007 World Champion Bernard Lagat of the USA, plus Galen Rupp.
With only two heats and the top-5 in each heat automatically making the final and the 5 fastest times making it, the first heat of the men's 5000m was at a huge disadvantage (the second heat knew what time it needed to run to get 10 qualifiers into the final).
After a super slow opening lap (70.20), Italia’s Daniel Meucci took over the pacing duties and increased the pace, realizing likely his only way to make the final would be on time. Meucci led through 1600 (4:30.53) and kept leading until right before 3000m (8:25.0) where Hussain Alhamdah of Saudi Arabia took over. Alhamdah picked up the pace the next lap (64.66) and 3200 was in 8:56.32. Alhamdah would lead until the final lap and the increased pace would take its toll on some of the pretenders in the field, including Aussie Craig Mottram, but the real racing would not begin until the bell.
At the bell 8 guys were in contention including Americans Galen Rupp and Bernard Lagat. Rupp had moved up to second during the final mile, before the pack went around him as they jockeyed for position at the bell. Lagat had been biding his time in the pack but he moved into position at the bell. On the backstretch, Lagat took the lead with 200m to go and would not relinquish it. He got the win in 13:33.90. The next three, the other sub-13 minute guys in the field, Longosiwa, Gebremeskel, and Koech, were close together and the battle was on for the final automatic qualifying spot. Who would get it? American Galen Rupp, and there was no doubt on this one. Rupp put some distance on Alhamdah and Bahrain’s Bilisuma Shugi on the final lap and advanced in style.
Rupp and Lagat Comments
Post-race interviews with Rupp and Lagat below.
It's been a while since Lagat only ran one event at Worlds and he was out to dinner last night with his wife and kids at 10pmm having a relaxed time, "We went to go have Korean BBQ and took off the shoes...(at traditional Korean restaurants people sit on the floor with their shoes off)". His wife then reminded him he had to race today so he left to get some sleep.
Lagat said although he did not need to win the heat to advance, he felt he needed to be in the top 3 to insure he qualified, so coming down the homestretch he just strided to the win. Lagat said "it's very hard" to just focus on one event at Worlds and he still regards Mo Farah as the favorite.
Rupp said he had recovered from the 10,000m and thought with two more days of rest before the 5000m final that he'd feel even better by then. He said, "I've been sleeping a lot and relaxing. I felt all right."
He said the heat didn't bother him too much and he tried no to focus on it too much. When asked about not having to worry about pollen in Daegu, the once masked man (Rupp wore a black mask at the USAs to help him with his allergies in Eugene, which is one of the worst places in the world for summer allergies) offered some humor, "It's nice to not have to worry about that, although everyone has been asking where my mask was - they don't recognize me without it."
|1||1093||Bernard Lagat||USA||13:33.90 Q|
|2||658||Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa||KEN||13:34.46 Q|
|3||372||Dejen Gebremeskel||ETH||13:34.48 Q|
|4||655||Isiah Kiplangat Koech||KEN||13:34.54 Q|
|5||1120||Galen Rupp||USA||13:34.91 Q|
|6||709||Hussain Jamaan Alhamdah||KSA||13:35.47 q|
|7||208||Bilisuma Shugi||BRN||13:35.86 q|
|8||574||Daniele Meucci||ITA||13:39.90 q|
|16||953||Abdishakur Nageye Abdulle||SOM||15:13.64||(PB)|
|326||Francisco Javier Alves||ESP||DNF|
A Relaxed Bernard Lagat After Advancing With Ease
Galen Rupp Qualifies Automatically
Heat 2: Mo Farah Looks Good Again, So Does Alistair Cragg, The Legend of Jake Robertson Grows
Heat 4 featured the top distance runner in the world in 2011, Britain's Mo Farah, 2003 World Champion Eliud Kipchoge, plus 2010 Diamond League 5000m winner Imane Merga and 13:00 flat guy Abera Kuma.
Former Arkansas Razorback, Ireland's Alistair Cragg, took the early pacing duties, no doubt hoping for a faster pace to try and make sure at the very least he qualified for the final on time. Behind him there was the first of several physical incidents between athletes, as New Zealand's Jake Robertson, the identical twin who moved with his brother four years ago with Kenya to train, collided with Saudi Abdullah Abdulaziz Aljoud, sending Robertson scampering twice onto the infield to avoid falling. Aljoud would DNF. Cragg led until just before the mile (4:25.31 for 1600), when Uganda's Geofrey Kusuro took over and upped the pace for a lap or so.
Before 2000m, Jake Robertson was involved in another collision and this time Robertson went down hard as he ended up doing a Superman impression as he did a face-forward dive onto the track, taking down Japan's Kazuya Watanabe in the process. It literally was one of the more impessive falls we've ever scene in a rce but Robertson got up quickly and was 10-20 meters behind the pack but would regain contact.
The pace slowed a little and just after 3000m, 10,000m silver medallist Mo Farah went to the front and 3200 was reached in 8:53.78 (less than 3 seconds faster than the 1st heat). In the jockeying the last mile before the final kick, the pace would lag even more and this heat would end up being even slower than the first.
As the runners approached the 800m to go mark, the pack was still super crowded as 16 guys were still together. Jake Robertson then got the worst of it again for the third time in the race, as he was knocked around and stumbled into the infield just as the pace started to pick up. A 62.03 lap through 600 to go would reduce the pack to 8 at the bell with five automatically advancing. Eliud Kipchoge was leading on the final lap but then Mo Farah displayed the speed he has shown all season long. He led down the final stretch before Imange Merga felt the need to get in front of Farah and then turn and stare at him before the line to apparently try to send a message. We're not sure if the message go to Farah as Mo simply let him get the win. As expected, Kuma and Kipchoge were the next finishers and then came Alistair Cragg who looked good in grabbing the last auto qualifying spot.
Post Race Reaction from Cragg, Robertson and Bumbalough
Afterwards, Cragg said he's feeling as fit as ever (interview below).
Thursday morning was the hottest day of competition so far, but Galen Rupp did stay out on the track for an extra 20 minutes in the sun watching his training partner Mo Farah's heat. Farah and Rupp were seen exiting the stadium holding their ice vests that they wear before the race for cooling. They were even getting fanned by one of the many helpful stadium workers.
We then spoke to Jake Robertson who assumed his worlds was over as he finished in 12th place. He made no excuses. He said "I did my best. I know if things had gone my way I possibly could have made the final. Today was just not my day. It was a great learning experience." Of the fall he said, "It knocked the wind out of me. That's the fastest I've reacted (in getting back up)". On the contact with two laps to go he said, "I stumbled so badly and the impact gave me dead legs." After the interview ended we asked him if he would petition to get into the final. He said something along the lines he "didn't deserve it" or "didn't earn it". We told him we thought he did, getting knocked down to the track. Fortunately, the Kiwi team decided to petition and Jake was put into the final. Clearly, while Jake was in Kenya he had not been watching the US Champs where the easiest way to make a final is to fall to the track.
American Andrew Bumbalough, racing at worlds on 10-days' notice, was in contention for most of the race and finished 9th in his first Worlds. He said there is nothing like getting the real experience of Worlds under your belt and talks about how he joined the Jerry Schumacher group in the interview below.
|1||377||Imane Merga||ETH||13:37.96 Q|
|2||439||Mohamed Farah||GBR||13:38.03 Q|
|3||374||Abera Kuma||ETH||13:38.41 Q|
|4||644||Eliud Kipchoge||KEN||13:39.02 Q|
|5||554||Alistair Ian Cragg||IRL||13:39.36 Q|
|6||322||Amanuel Mesel||ERI||13:39.97 q|
|7||332||Jesús España||ESP||13:40.38 q|
|12||809||Jake Robertson||NZL||13:53.57 q|
|711||Abdullah Abdulaziz Aljoud||KSA||DNF|
Alistair Cragg Feeling Fit
Jake Robertson Falls and Makes No Excuses
Andrew Bumbalough On His First Worlds and Joining Jerry's Group
Coming Up Tonight: LRC MB: *Centrowitz draws Faster of two 1500m Semifinal heats...