Day 2 London Recap: Nick Willis Goes For It, The American Mid-D Men Struggle & Molly Beckwith Pulls Upset On Day Full Of Upsets

Nick Symmonds' Medal Chances Go Way Up On A Day He Doesn't Even Race

By LetsRun.com
July 14, 2012

*Day 1 Recap Here

Day 2 of the two day London Diamond League track and field meet took place on Saturday on a rainy and low 60-degree day at Crystal Palace. Below, we recap all of the action for you starting with the mid-d and distance action first before getting to the rest of the running events and then the field events.

Day 2 was full of a lot of upsets, particularly on the women's side, as Carmelita Jeter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sally Pearson, Janeth Jepskosgei, Amantle Montsho and others were upset. The highlight from a LetsRun.com was wacky men's mile, where Nick Willis had a 3.5-second lead at the bell. It wasn't a good day for Bernard Lagat, an awful day for Leo Manzano and a day to be remembered for Molly Beckwith, who suffered heartbreak at the US Trials.

Mile: Nick Willis Goes For It - Does He Get It? The Americans Struggle

What a crazy and fun men's mile.

This one was one you had to watch.

The two rabbits in this race did their jobs perfectly as they took it out in 55.51 for 400. 2008 Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis, who is known for running from the back, was the only guy in the field with them as he had 5-6 meters on the field. On the second lap, the two rabbits and Willis kept doing their thing and when they passed 800 in 1:52.51, Willis had a massive three-second lead on the field.

A lap later, the lead was even bigger. By our estimates - 3.5 seconds.

Don't think three seconds is big? Look how big it was.


Willis Lead With 900 Remaining


Just Less Than 2 Left


650 To Go


About To Enter The Bell

Surely Willis had this thing in the bag, right?

Not so fast.

The pack started to eat into Willis' lead. With 200 remaining, his lead was down to 1 second. Was Willis saving something for the kick? Or was he running out of steam?

Running out of steam.

2011 World Championships silver medallist Silas Kiplagat came blowing by and Willis had no response.

In the end, Kiplagat would get the win in 3:52.44 after a 56-and-change last lap. 21-year-old Brit Ross Murray would come on strong to finish a surprising second in 3:52.88 as the fourth placer at Kenya's Trials, Caleb Ndiku, ended up third in 3:53.15. Willis would hang on for fourth in 3:53.64 ahead of the 5th placer at the Kenyan Trials, Bethwell Birgen (3:53.93).

What About The Americans?
The Americans did not have a good day at all. Bernard Lagat was fifth entering the last lap and didn't show a good kick as he ended up sixth in 3:54.17. US 1,500 Olympic Trials champion Leo Manzano, who historically has run great in London, was even worse - dead last in 4:00.78.

QT #1: Hopefully this race gets put up on YouTube soon as you need to watch it (Editor's addition: It's now up on youtube here.). How did Willis lose? Well, he just slowed down.

After the fast 55 first lap (55-high for Willis), Willis ran about a 57 on the second lap and a 59-high on the third lap. With 400 remaining, the clock was roughly 2:52.5 for Willis and 2:56 for the field. So on the last lap, Willis ran 61 and change and Kiplagat 56 and change.

QT #2: A strange race that undoubtedly messed with many people's heads but one can't say this was anything but a disaster for Lagat and Manzano.

QT #3: Who is Ross Murray, you say? He was the runner-up at the British Trials. Coming into the year, the 21-year-old had PRs of 3:43.51 and 1:50.69 according www.tilastopaja.org. He's run 3:34.76 for 1,500 this year.

QT #4: Given the fact that Brit Ross Murray was 2nd here, it's a shame the British champ Andy Baddeley didn't start as he might have done some damage. Does anyone know if he's hurt? Email us.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
KEN
3:52.44
SB
2
GBR
3:52.77
3
KEN
3:53.15
4
NZL
3:53.64
5
KEN
3:53.93
6
USA
3:54.17
SB
7
NOR
3:54.28
PB
8
AUS
3:55.86
9
KEN
3:57.12
10
GBR
3:57.90
11
USA
4:00.78
 
USA
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
Intermediate Times:
400m: Bolas, Jack (USA) - 55.41
800m: Bolas, Jack (USA) - 1:52.59
1,200m: Cheboi, Collins (KEN) - 2:50.21

Men's 800: Abubaker Kaki Bombs

Coming into the men's 800, many track and field enthusiasts viewed world record holder David Rudisha as the biggest favorite on the track from 100 to 10,000 - male or female.

The only man people thought might be able to challenge him was Sudan's Abubaker Kaki. Kaki, after all, was a guy who had run 1:42.69 as a junior in 2008 and 1:42.23 in 2010. But Kaki had only raced three times this year - a 1:43.71 and 1:43.69 win and a DNF. Was something wrong with Kaki?

This race was bound to tell us a lot and the answer seemingly is yes, there is something wrong, as the 2011 World Championships silver medallist turned in disappointing performance, as he uncharacteristically didn't go with the rabbit and then faded over the final 200 to a stunningly bad fourth place showing of 1:46.05. After watching Kaki struggle, they might as well hand the gold medal to Rudisha and save the broadcasters the satellite transmission fees.

The Race

American Matt Scherer is one of the best rabbits in the business. He went through 200 perfectly in about 24 flat and when by 300 he had a gap on the field, we thought to ourselves, "What's going on here? Maybe Kaki is working on his kick as the battle for second and third in the Olympics behind Rudisha likely will be tactical."


Kszczot & Kinyor All Smiles Afterwards

But when British champ Andrews Osagie took the lead from Kaki 560 meters into the race and Kaki didn't respond, it was clear it wasn't Kaki's afternoon. At 600 (1:18.09), Osiage led by 3 meters. But Kenya's 21-year-old Job Kinyor, who was 5th at the Kenyan Trials was coming, as was 22-year-old Adam Kszczot of Poland. Kinyor got the lead first but Kszczot had it when it mattered most - at the finish - as Kszczot won in 1:44.49 to Kinyor's 1:44.60 with Osiage third in 1:45.21.

What About The Americans?
The Americans were never factors in this race. World Indoor finalist Michael Rutt, who didn't make the finals of the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, finished the highest - in sixth in 1:46.12 - just ahead of Oregon's Elijah Greer (1:46.14).

American bronze medallist at 1,500, Matt Centrowitz, who has an 800 PR of 1:47.77, was dead last in 1:48.42.

QT #1:  The Americans in this race didn't run well, but this was a great race for American fans, as Nick Symmonds' medal chances just got a lot bigger. All year, we thought Symmonds faced an uphill battle to grab a medal because it's basically impossible for him to beat Rudisha and Kaki when they are at their best. But we said coming into this race that if Kaki didn't win this race convincingly that the silver medal was in play at the Olympics. Kaki was terrible, so it looks like there are two medals in play behind Rudisha instead of just one.

QT #2: The post-race embrace of Kszczot and Kinyor which is pictured above was great. The fact that track and field unite the world is one of the neatest things about the sport.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
POL
1:44.49
4
2
 
2
KEN
1:44.60
2
6
 
3
GBR
1:45.21
2
6
 
4
SUD
1:46.05
4
2
 
5
KEN
1:46.09
 
 
 
6
USA
1:46.12
 
 
 
7
USA
1:46.14
 
 
 
8
GBR
1:46.56
 
 
 
9
GBR
1:47.70
 
 
 
10
KEN
1:48.06
 
 
 
11
USA
1:48.42
 
 
 
 
USA
DNF
 
 
 

Intermediate Times:
400m: Scherer, Matthew (USA) - 49.71
600m: Osagie, Andrew (GBR) - 1:18.09

Women's 800: American Molly Beckwith Gets The Narrowest Of Victories

Nothing probably can make up for not making the 2012 US Olympic team, but if there was a deserved victory, this was it, as American Molly Beckwith fought hard and used a great lean to get the win over Kenya's Janeth Kepkosgei in the women's 800 by the slimmest of margins as both were given the same time of 2:00.68.

In her last race, Beckwith was devastated after finishing fourth in the US Trials. Instead of wallowing in pity, she got back on the circuit and picked up arguably the biggest win of her career.

The rabbit took the field through 800 in 58.49 and when the rabbit left at 500, Jepkosgei, who has medalled at the last four global outdoor championships and ran 1:57.79 in May but has struggled of late, had the lead with Beckwith in second. After passing 600 in 1:29.21, this soon became a battle for the win. When the duo hit the homestretch, it was clear neither one of them had another gear in the tank. It was a classic 800 race of who was slowing down the least. Jepkosgei was ahead by the slimmest of margins virtually the entire homestretch. With Jepskosgei's and Beckwith's lack of a finish, they were joined by eventual third placer Winny Chebet of Kenya, who was having the best finish but seemingly had nowhere to go to get to the lead, as to get the win she'd need to push herself between Jepkosgei on the inside and Beckwith on the outside.

In the end, the announcers assumed Jepkosgei got the win, but Beckwith's lean was exquisite and in the end she was declared the victor. She probably led this race for less than an inch, but it's only the final inch that counts, right? Chebet, the runner-up at the Kenyan Trials but who has never broken 2:00 and won't be going to the Olympics, ended up third in 2:00.76.

QT #1: Molly Beckwith, we are so glad you won. Kudos for getting back out there.

QT #2: Jepskosgei looked totally mystified that she somehow lost. She seemingly had a gap on Beckwith with about 2 meters remaining and didn't let up really but still lost.

QT# 3: We said in our preview that Jepskosgei needed to try to regain some form here, and even though this race was run in a pouring downpour, the race certainly can't make Jepkosgei feel confident about her chances at the Olympics, as she lost to Beckwith and didn't run fast at all.

QT #4: The rabbit Jane Jelagat deserves some criticism. The organizers wanted a 57 first lap and she ran 58.49 (although given the way everyone ran, 57 likely would have been too fast for this field). Then when she stopped off around 500, instead of coming off on the inside of the track, she veered outside even though she was slowing down significantly and had already been passed by Jepkosgei. She definitely killed the momentum of Chebet at this point - had this not happened - Chebet likely would have been the winner.

QT#5: Race Video Here

Rank Athlete Nation Result
1
USA
2:00.68
2
KEN
2:00.68
3
KEN
2:00.76
4
GBR
2:01.32
5
USA
2:01.65
6
POL
2:02.09
7
NED
2:02.93
8
MAR
2:04.46
9
GBR
2:05.20
 
KEN
DNF
Intermediate Times:
400m: Jelagat, Jane (KEN) - 58.49
600m: Jepkosgei, Janeth (KEN) - 1:29.21

Women's Steeple: Bridget Franek Breaks 9:30

Heading into the last lap, four people were in contention for the win but the race turned into a two-person battle between Romania's Ancuta Bobocel and Latvia's Polina Jelizaarova by the last water jump. Both ended up with PRs as Bobocel was thrilled to get the win in 9:27.24 as Jelizarova got a new national record for Latvia in second in 9:28.27.

US Trials runner-up Bridget Franek was never a contender to win this race but she did a good job of running her own race to dip under 9:30 for the first time in her career and get fourth in 9:29.53. The 4th placer at the US Trials - Ashley Higginson - also PRed at 9:34.49.

The results don't show it, but the person who led most of this race was Phanencer Chemion. The fourth placer at the Kenyan Trials faded a ton on the last lap, though, and ended up 7th.

QT #1: The updated top 10 all time in the US for the steeple is as follows:

1. 9:12.50  AR    Jenny Simpson  USA
2. 9:22.76      Anna Pierce  USA
3.  9:24.84      Lisa Aguilera  USA
4. 9:25.28      Emma Coburn  USA
5. 9:29.32      Briana Shook  USA 
6. 9:29.53     Bridget Franek USA
7. 9:30.75      Lindsey Anderson  USA
8. 9:34.49     Ashley Higginson USA
9. 9:35.73      Shalaya Kipp  USA
10.  9:39.35      Ann Gaffigan  USA

QT #2: Seeing that list makes us wonder if Anna Pierce thought about running the steeple at the last minute at the US Trials. Clearly, she must have realized the odds of her making the US team in the 1,500 weren't good.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
ROU
9:27.24
PB
4
3
 
2
LAT
9:28.27
NR
2
6
 
3
GBR
9:29.22
1
8
 
4
USA
9:29.53
PB
 
 
 
5
POL
9:34.14
SB
 
 
 
6
USA
9:34.49
PB
 
 
 
7
KEN
9:36.55
 
 
 
8
PUR
9:41.15
 
 
 
9
USA
9:45.51
 
 
 
10
GBR
9:53.47
PB
 
 
 
11
ETH
10:06.98
 
 
 
 
JAM
DNF
 
 
 
 
RUS
DNS
 
 
 

Intermediate Times:
1,000m: Hinds, Korene (JAM) - 3:04.36
2,000m: Chemion, Phanencer (KEN) - 6:18.38

Other Running Events

Women's 100 Hurdles: Kellie Wells Beats Sally Pearson

US runner-up Kellie Wells pulled up a big upset as world champ Sally Pearson lost a hurdles race for the first time (in a race that she didn't fall) since August 27, 2010.

Afterwards, Wells did a victory dance of sorts (see photo). *Race Video Here

Wind: +0.6
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
USA
12.57
0.134
8
2
 
2
AUS
12.59
0.135
10
1
img
3
USA
12.74
0.147
3
5
 
4
USA
12.82
0.183
2
6
 
5
USA
12.88
0.138
 
 
 
6
USA
12.90
0.137
 
 
 
7
CAN
12.94
0.162
1
8
 
 
JAM
DNS
 
5
3
 

Men's 400: Kirani James Comes Through

The men's 400 was pretty interesting.

2004 Olympic champ Jeremy Wariner started off fast as 2011 world champ Kirani James was content to let him get a lead. But when the real racing began in the last 100, James and US runner-up Tony McQuay were side-by-side battling for the win as Wariner was fading. It ended up being a good battle, but James pulled away in the last 10 meters to get the win. At this point, McQuay let up a bit and out of nowhere in lane 8, Chris Brown of the Bahamas came on strong to get second.

QT #1: The finish of this race with Brown's quick finish reminded us a bit of a distance race as Brown came on a ton at the very end and almost stole it.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
GRN
44.85
0.170
2
BAH
44.95
SB
0.164
3
USA
45.00
0.161
4
GBR
45.27
0.157
5
USA
45.29
0.235
6
GBR
45.31
0.213
7
ISV
45.55
0.179
8
GBR
46.04
0.179

Men's 200: Christophe Lemaitre Edges Churandy Martina

2012 European 100 gold medallist Christophe Lemaitre just barely got the best of 2012 European 200 gold medalist Churandy Martina in the men's 200 as both men broke 20.

QT: We missed Lemaitre's name in our preview where we called Martina a big favorite. On paper, these two were pretty evenly matched, as Lemaitre won bronze last year in the 200 at Worlds.

Wind: +1.1

Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
FRA
19.91
SB
0.151
2
NED
19.95
0.150
3
JAM
20.55
0.168
4
GBR
20.59
SB
0.176
5
JAM
20.60
0.159
6
USA
20.69
0.144
7
GBR
20.71
0.140
8
GBR
20.87
0.142

Women's 100: Okagbare Upsets Jeter And Fraser-Pryce

Former UTEP star Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who won bronze in the long jump in 2008, got her first wind-legal sub-11 clocking (10.99) the prelims and then got the upset win in the final, beating US and world champ Carmelita Jeter - 11.01 to 11.03. In the prelims, defending Olympic champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was the fastest at 10.93 but she stumbled in the first 10 meters of the final and then seemingly gave up. *Race Video Here

Wind: -0.2
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time
1
NGR
11.01
0.150
2
USA
11.03
0.124
3
USA
11.13
0.171
4
CIV
11.13
0.144
5
JAM
11.25
0.165
6
JAM
11.40
0.178
7
JAM
11.48
0.144
8
JAM
11.82
0.172

Women's 400: Olympic Champ Christine Ohuruogu Stunds World Champ Amantle Montsho

Olympic champ Christine Ohuruogu hasn't come close to breaking 50 flat this year but that didn't stop her from stunning world champ Amantle Montsho in this race.

Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
GBR
50.42
SB
0.192
4
3
 
2
BOT
50.56
0.208
14
1
img
3
JAM
51.19
0.174
1
6
 
4
USA
51.43
0.160
 
 
 
5
JAM
51.89
0.166
 
 
 
6
USA
52.08
0.249
 
 
 
7
GBR
52.38
0.171
 
 
 

Men's 4 X 100: Trinidad & Tobago Dominates

Rank Relay Nation Result Reaction time
1
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 
TRI
38.23
0.126
2
NETHERLANDS 
NED
38.70
0.146
3
POLAND 
POL
38.78
0.152
4
GREAT BRITAIN & NI A 
GBR
38.80
0.153
5
MVP TRACK CLUB 
JAM
38.82
0.156
6
GREAT BRITAIN & NI B 
GBR
38.94
0.173
7
FRANCE 
FRA
38.95
0.217
8
ST KITTS AND NEVIS 
SKN
39.19
0.171

Field Events

Men's Shot Put: Reese Hoffa Gets The Win

2012 world #2 and 2012 US Trials winner Reese Hoffa, who was world champion in 2007, edged 2008 Olympic champ Tomasz Majewski, as 2011 silver medallist Dylan Armstrong was third.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Wind
Diamond Points Diamond Ranking   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1
USA
21.34
 
12
1
img
 
21.25
20.91
21.34
21.05
21.25
x
2
POL
21.28
 
8
3
   
21.08
20.83
20.68
21.14
21.28
21.28
3
CAN
20.46
 
10
2
   
20.46
x
20.33
x
x
x
4
NED
20.42
 
   
x
20.05
x
20.23
20.42
20.27
5
GBR
19.69
 
   
19.13
19.69
19.56
19.20
x
x
6
USA
19.61
 
2
4
   
19.61
19.59
x
x
x
x
7
POR
19.21
 
   
19.03
x
x
18.73
19.13
19.21
8
DEN
19.15
 
1
5
   
18.79
18.99
19.15
x
x
x

Men's Triple Jump: Christian Taylor Wins As Idowu Doesn't Start

World champ Christain Taylor won by a lot as the Brits freaked out when Phillips Idowu, the silver medallist at Worlds last year, didn't start due to a hip injury. Mark Zuckerberg's freshman-year roommate at Harvard, Samyr Laine, was fourth.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Wind
Diamond Points Diamond Ranking   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1
USA
17.41
-0.2
11
1
img
 
16.96
(-0.8)
17.12
(-0.6)
16.78
(-0.2)
17.24
(+0.6)
x
(+0.1)
17.41
(-0.2)
2
BAH
16.97
+0.4
6
2
   
16.58
(-0.7)
16.80
(+0.2)
x
(-0.2)
16.83
(+0.6)
16.97
(+0.4)
x
(+0.3)
3
NGR
16.93
+0.5
1
7
   
x
(-1.0)
x
(-0.1)
x
(0.0)
x
(+0.4)
16.93
(+0.5)
x
(+0.5)
4
HAI
16.85
0.0
   
16.15
(-1.4)
16.74
(-0.3)
16.66
(+0.1)
x
(+1.0)
16.28
(+0.2)
16.85
(0.0)
5
ITA
16.80
+0.9
   
15.22
(+0.2)
x
(+0.6)
16.35
(0.0)
16.36
(+0.8)
16.58
(+0.5)
16.80
(+0.9)
6
FRA
16.49
+0.9
2
6
   
x
(-1.8)
16.18
(-0.7)
x
(-0.5)
16.47
(+0.9)
x
(+1.0)
16.49
(+0.9)
7
USA
16.37
+0.2
   
16.17
(-1.5)
x
(-1.2)
16.26
(0.0)
x
(+0.6)
x
(+0.4)
16.37
(+0.2)
8
ITA
15.87
0.0
   
x
(-0.7)
x
(0.0)
15.87
(0.0)
x
(+0.5)
15.57
(+1.4)
-
 
GBR
DNS
 
5
3
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women's Triple Jump: Igarguen Wins

2011 bronze medallist Caterine Ibarguen pulled the upset over 2011 world outdoor champ and 2012 world leader Olha Saldukha of the Ukraine. Britain's 2011 world indoor champ Yamilé Aldama was third.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Wind
  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1
COL
14.66
-0.8
 
14.13
(-1.1)
14.28
(-2.0)
14.61
(-0.1)
14.41
(-1.3)
14.27
(-2.0)
14.66
(-0.8)
2
UKR
14.48
0.0
 
14.36
(-1.3)
x
(-1.4)
14.48
(0.0)
14.19
(-1.0)
14.21
(-1.5)
14.37
(-0.9)
3
GBR
14.37
-1.6
 
x
(-1.7)
13.59
(-0.9)
x
(+0.6)
x
(+0.6)
14.37
(-1.6)
14.33
(-1.9)
4
JAM
14.00
+1.5
 
13.99
(-0.2)
x
(-0.8)
14.00
(+1.5)
x
(-1.8)
13.92
(-2.1)
13.81
(-1.7)
5
USA
13.82
-1.1
 
13.65
(-0.6)
13.82
(-1.1)
13.18
(-3.3)
13.65
(-2.6)
13.47
(-3.5)
x
(-1.0)
6
SVK
13.77
-2.7
 
x
(-2.1)
13.77
(-2.7)
13.52
(-2.7)
13.58
(-1.4)
x
(-1.4)
x
(-1.8)
7
POR
13.70
-1.3
 
13.45
(+0.1)
13.67
(-0.6)
13.42
(-1.9)
x
(-1.1)
13.70
(-1.3)
x
(-1.8)
8
BUL
12.92
-1.8
 
x
(-1.7)
12.65
(-1.3)
12.64
(-0.8)
12.92
(-1.8)
x
(+0.5)
x
(-1.9)

Men's High Jump: Drouin Gets The Upset

NCAA runner-up Derek Drouin (Indiana) got the surprise win.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
  2.13 2.18 2.22 2.26 2.30  
1
CAN
2.26
 
o
xo
o
xo
xxx
 
2
GBR
2.22
 
-
-
o
xxx
 
 
2
GBR
2.22
 
o
o
o
xxx
 
 
4
CAN
2.18
 
o
o
xxx
 
 
 
5
GBR
2.18
 
o
xo
xxx
 
 
 
5
BAH
2.18
 
o
xo
xxx
 
 
 
7
SLO
2.18
 
o
xxo
xxx
 
 
 
8
BUL
2.13
 
o
xxx
 
 
 
 
 
FIN
DNS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women's Javelin: Goldie Sayers Sets British Record

Brit Goldie Sayers, who was 4th at the last Olympics, set a new British record to upset the top two on the 2012 world list in world leader Sunette Viljoen and Barbora Spotáková.

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Wind
Diamond Points Diamond Ranking   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1
GBR
66.17
 
NR
5
3
   
66.17
64.44
65.74
59.92
-
x
2
CZE
64.19
 
10
1
img
 
63.34
60.01
63.96
63.00
64.19
64.14
3
UKR
63.80
 
1
5
   
62.25
x
63.80
x
x
62.73
4
RSA
63.33
 
6
2
   
63.33
61.61
56.70
57.16
58.29
57.23
5
AUS
62.36
 
SB
   
60.74
62.36
x
x
x
60.58
6
AUS
60.24
 
   
60.24
x
r
 
 
 
7
GER
58.81
 
   
58.81
x
53.65
x
x
56.66
 
GER
DNS
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

*Day 1 Recap Here


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