Goodbye, London: Track & Field Action Resumes With DN Galan Stockholm Diamond League Meet

By LetsRun.com
August 15, 2012

Stockholm - The post-Olympic track and field action begins in earnest on Friday in Stockholm and LetsRun.com will be there. And don't worry, we'll be on top of our game.

The track world may have an Olympic hangover, but $20 beers in Oslo and $10 beers in Stockholm are ensuring that LetsRun.com correspondent Weldon Johnson will be firing on all cylinders - as he can't afford to be hung over.

Stockholm may not have Usain Bolt, but it's got a slew of recent Olympic champions competing, nine to be exact: Sanya Richards-Ross (women's 400), Felix Sanchez (men's 400 hurdles), Valerie Adams (women's shot), Thomasz Majewski (men's shot), Brittney Reese (women's long jump), Yuliya Zaripova (steeplechase), Jenn Suhr (women's pole vault), Anna Chicherova (women's high jump), Sandra Perkovic (discus), Will Claye (triple jump), and Taoufik Makhloufi (men's 1,500, running 800 here). Update: At the Stockholm press conference we have been told Makhloufi is still running.

We preview the action for you below, starting with the mid-d and distance action.

Women's 1,500m: Morgan Uceny Returns Versus 6 London Finalists
Update: Just as we hit publish on this piece we received news Morgan Uceny is not running in Stockholm. It's now Jamal vs Aregawi in this one.
Despite all of the Olympic champions being in Stockholm, the big race for
American distance fans is the women's 1,500m, as American Morgan Uceny returns to the track after her heartbreaking fall at the Olympics.

A medal threat, Uceny fell in London with slightly less than 400 meters to go, as the pack started kicking for home. Unlike at the World Championships last year, where Morgan got up after she fell with 500m to go, there was no getting up in London. She knew catching the field wasn't feasible. Devastated, she remained on the track kneeling on her hands and knees sobbing. She was still there when the field came by a lap later and finished. It was one of the more memorable images from the track and field portion of the Games.

Amazingly (and embarrassingly in our view), no one in the field had the decency to check on Morgan or help her off the track as she sobbed past the finish line.

Morgan gets her chance at some revenge/redemption on Friday in Stockholm as she'll face six of the twelve Olympic finalists, plus last year's World champ Jenny Simpson, and the 2008 Olympic champ, Nancy Langat.

The top two medallists from London in gold medallist and former drug cheat Asli Çakir Alptekin and surprise silver medallist Gamze Bulut, both of Turkey, are not in the field. However, bronze medallists Maryam Yusuf Jamal, the two-time World Champion, is in the field as is Ethiopian Abeba Aregawi, who has run 3:56.5 this year and who was considered by some to be the favorite heading into the Olympics. 2009 World Championships bronze medallist American Shannon Rowbury is in the field after finishing sixth in London.

2011 World Champion Jenny Simpson will have something to prove after not making the final at the Olympics. Jenny said in London she is in great shape.

Quick Take (QT) #1:  Uceny needs a good race here if she wants to have a good year-end ranking. Rabbited races are very different from championship races, but Rowbury has not been a match for Uceny the last couple of years and was sixth in London. If there is a little justice in the running world, Uceny will get her first career sub-4:00 clocking in this race.

QT #2: Aregawi will be tough to beat. She was "only" fifth at the Olympics, but that was after making a big move from 11th to 2nd on the final lap and running out of steam at the end. She's run 3:56.5 this year.

QT #3: It will be interesting to see if Jamal, who was injured early in the year, is truly coming back to the form she showed in 2007 and 2009. Also after a terrible Olympics, the US's Simpson said she is in shape but just didn't show it in London. We'll see if that's the case here.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
05.07.1990
ETH
3:56.54
3:56.54
09.06.1988
BRN
4:00.25
4:05.91
16.09.1984
BRN
3:56.18
4:02.18
14.11.1985
BLR
4:02.37
4:02.37
02.02.1986
RUS
4:20.42
22.08.1981
KEN
4:00.13
4:13.56
13.12.1989
KEN
3:59.68
3:59.68
31.03.1984
USA
3:59.38
4:05.42
02.06.1979
ESP
3:59.51
4:16.18
14.09.1984
USA
4:00.33
4:05.11
23.08.1986
USA
3:59.90
4:05.17
27.09.1987
SWE
4:15.30
4:15.30
01.07.1991
GBR
4:02.99
4:02.99

Men's 800m: Can Duane Solomon Really Win A Diamond League Meet?

It's still strange to look at a Diamond League start lists and see 1:42.82 next to Duane Solomon's name and realize he's the fastest guy in the field for 2012. It's still strange to comprehend that Solomon, who had never broken 1:45 until the Olympic Trials less than 2 months ago, is now the second-fastest American ever and a fourth placer at the Olympics.

Duane is all of those things. If he wins this race, he'll get even more of the recognition he deserves. If Duane has the second-fastest PR in the field, that means the three Olympic medallists are not in it, but this field is still really strong. Mohammed Aman, the Ethiopian youngster who beat David Rudisha last year, is in the field. He and Sudanese star Abubaker Kaki (also in the field, the only runner with an all-time best better than Solomon's) went for the gold in London and faded down the stretch in London, but are huge talents and Kaki is now running well again in 2012.

London 1,500m winner Taoufik Makhloufi, who has run 1:43.88, was in the field but is now out to heal his "injury" that kept him from finishing the 800m round 1 in London, (Updated: don't believe everything on the message boards, Makhloufi is running according to Stockholm organizers),  day before he stormed to 1,500m gold.

Abraham Rotich may have the most to prove. He's run 1:43.13 this year, but that didn't put him on the Kenyan team.

Note: American Andrew Wheating is in the "B" 800m

QT: This should be a great one with a lot of subplots.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
10.01.1994
ETH
1:43.20
1:43.20
06.11.1984
KEN
1:44.79
1:45.44
21.06.1989
SUD
1:42.23
1:43.32
06.07.1995
KEN
1:44.79
1:44.79
02.09.1989
POL
1:43.30
1:43.83
13.06.1987
POL
1:43.84
1:44.34
29.04.1988
ALG
1:43.88
1:43.88
26.06.1993
KEN
1:43.13
1:43.13
21.11.1983
USA
1:46.11
28.12.1984
USA
1:42.82
1:42.82
16.05.1989
SWE
1:47.31
1:47.31

Men's 3k: Evan Jager And David Torrence Take On Olympic Medallist Longosiwa
The headliner in the 3k is London bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa. Evan Jager moves to the flat 3km here, which should be interesting to watch. This really could be the perfect distance for David Torrence. Torrence didn't make the US team, but has run well at 1,500m and 5,000m this year and has a very modest 7:54 personal best that should come down.

QT #1: It's a bummer in our minds that Jager isn't running a 5,000 this year, as a 5,000 PR is one that everyone can relate to / be proud of. 3,000 - yeah, we can convert a 3,000 and what not, but it's just not quite the same. For the record, Jager's 3,000 PR is 7:41.78. A 13:00 5,000 equates to 7:31.2. Bob Kennedy is the fastest American-born athlete in history at 7:30.84, whereas Bernard Lagat has the AR at 7:29.00.

Women's Steeple Can The WR Fall?
This race features the top 4 from the Olympics, which begs the question can any of them challenge the world record of 8:58.91? Yuliya Zaripova, the Olympic and World Champion, has not lost a steeple since 2010. In that time period, she has only run the steeple at 6 meets. Her 9:06.72 PR is the best in the field and is a fairly long way from 8:58.91. However, she would seem to have room for improvement since she doesn't steeple very often.

Silver medallist Habiba Ghribi and bronze medallist Sofia Assefa will want to challenge, but an interesting subplot is, "How does fourth placer in London Milcah Chemos do here?" Chemos rarely loses Diamond League meets. Can she bounce back one week after the Games and win here?

QT: We'll find out at the press conference on Thursday if the rabbits will take them on world record pace. If so, they really need one of the top 4 to be the rabbit as no one else would be able to make it 2k.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
05.07.1990
ETH
3:56.54
3:56.54
09.06.1988
BRN
4:00.25
4:05.91
16.09.1984
BRN
3:56.18
4:02.18
14.11.1985
BLR
4:02.37
4:02.37
02.02.1986
RUS
4:20.42
22.08.1981
KEN
4:00.13
4:13.56
13.12.1989
KEN
3:59.68
3:59.68
31.03.1984
USA
3:59.38
4:05.42
02.06.1979
ESP
3:59.51
4:16.18
14.09.1984
USA
4:00.33
4:05.11
23.08.1986
USA
3:59.90
4:05.17
27.09.1987
SWE
4:15.30
4:15.30
01.07.1991
GBR
4:02.99
4:02.99

Women's 400m: London Take II
The women's 400m is one of the premier matchups on the schedule in terms of talent. It's a matchup of all the medallists in London - Sanya Richards-Ross (gold), Christine Ohuruogo (silver), Dee Dee Trotter (bronze), plus World Champion Amantle Montsho, who was fourth. Oh yeah - throw in 2012 world leader Antonina Krivoshapka of Russia. A stacked field.

QT: If Krivoshapka can run 49.16, shouldn't Sanya Richards-Ross be able to go sub-49 right at some point this year? Her US record from 2006 is 48.70.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
04.03.1983
RUS
49.28
49.28
19.06.1990
SWE
51.13
51.13
21.07.1987
RUS
49.16
49.16
20.10.1988
USA
50.06
50.06
04.07.1983
BOT
49.54
49.54
17.05.1984
GBR
49.61
49.70
26.02.1985
USA
48.70
49.28
08.12.1982
USA
49.64
49.72

Men's 400m Hurdles: London Take II
Two-time Olympic champion Felix Sanchez (who won in something of a surprise this year) squares off versus London silver medallist Michael Tinsley. Two-time Olympic champ Angelo Taylor, who missed the medals in the hurdles in London and then got beaten for gold on the 4 x 400, is also in the field.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
30.06.1986
BEL
49.10
49.10
21.10.1988
GER
48.72
49.52
15.12.1991
TRI
47.96
47.96
14.11.1986
JAM
48.47
48.61
30.08.1977
DOM
47.25
47.63
29.12.1978
USA
47.25
47.95
21.04.1984
USA
47.91
47.91
27.02.1984
GBR
48.96
49.17

Women's 100m Hurdles: Dawn Harper And Kellie Wells Finally Get All the Attention
The women's 100m hurdles features 2012 Olympic silver medallist Dawn Harper, who came really, really close to defending her Olympic title versus Sally Pearson, and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells. That means no Sally or Lolo Jones (who despite all the crap she took in London finished a very respectable 4th), but still a great matchup.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
07.09.1983
USA
12.45
12.59
07.11.1974
JAM
12.45
12.51
16.11.1987
CAN
12.65
12.65
13.05.1984
USA
12.37
12.37
10.09.1988
USA
12.61
12.79
15.04.1988
AUT
12.82
12.82
14.05.1989
BLR
12.71
12.71
16.07.1982
USA
12.48
12.48

Men's 100m: Ryan Bailey Leads
The men's 100m features five guys who have broken ten seconds this year, but in this day and age that doesn't excite us. American Ryan Bailey leads the list with his 9.88. Is this the first race where British youngster Adam Gemili breaks 10?

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PR SB
13.04.1989
USA
9.88
9.88
10.11.1985
JAM
9.78
9.95
03.09.1986
SWE
10.34
10.37
06.10.1982
JAM
9.88
9.94
06.10.1993
GBR
10.05
10.05
04.12.1977
USA
9.89
9.96
06.10.1988
ZAM
10.06
10.11
07.06.1985
TRI
9.85
9.96

Other Action:
In the women's high jump, Chaunte Lowe tries to get redemption versus Olympic champion Anna Chicherova. In the men's shot, Olympic champ Tomasz Majewski takes on all comers, including Reese Hoffa and Christian Cantwell. In the women's pole vault, Jenn Suhr makes her debut as an Olympic champion, and in the women's 200m, Jenebah Tarmoh finally gets to run an individual event and compete in a meet where USATF can't screw her over.

The men's triple jump faces gold medallist Christian Taylor versus silver medallist Will Claye, while in the long jump all the London medallists square off, led by Brittney Reese.

In the javelin, Keshorn Walcott, the youngster from Trinidad and Tobago who won Olympic gold but has never competed in a Diamond League meet, is not here. That means silver medallists Oleksandr Pyatnytsya and bronze medallist Antti Ruuskanen get to battle for top honors. In the discus, Olympic champ Sandra Perkovic takes on Olympic silver medallist Darya Pishchalnikova.

Finally, in the women's shot, Valerie Adams throws as the repeat Olympic champion. Adams did not get her gold in London as she was bumped to first place after Nadzeya Ostapchuk was disqualified for a drug positive.

How about the Stockholm organizers present her with the gold medal and the national anthem is played, giving Adams the recognition she deserves? It would be a nice gesture.

*Full Start Lists Here

More: LRC Sanya Richards-Ross, Jenn Suhr, Valerie Adams, Anna Chicherova, Tomas Majewski at 2012 DN Galan Press Conference The Olympic champions addressed the media and talked about their golds and what is next.


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