LetsRun.com's Preview Of The 2012 Memorial Van Damme Track & Field Meet

2012 Diamond League Season Comes To A Close In Brussels

By LetsRun.com
September 5, 2012

All good things have to come to an end and that time is fast approaching for the 2012 track and field season.

On Friday, the 2012 Samsung Diamond League (DL) season will come to an end at Brussel's Memorial Van Damme track and field meet - the meet held annually since 1977 in honor of 1976 double Olympic silver medallist (at 800 and 1,500) Ivo van Damme, who was killed in a car accident in December of 1976.

The Brussels meet is the second of two DL finals (the other half of events saw their season end last week at the Zürich Weltklasse Track and Field meet). The winner of the DL points total for each event takes home $40,000. Second place gets zero. Point totals are doubled since it's the final event of the year - eight for 1st, four for 2nd and two for 3rd. If people are tied, the tie breaker is number of DL wins. If that's even, then it's who did best in Brussels.

Additionally, prize money is paid out for one's specific performance in an event on Friday as is the case for all DL events.

Friday's action begins on the various TV/Internet networks at 2 PM ET. The prize money and schedule breakdown is as follows (all times US ET):

Time

Discipline

M/F (Male/Female)

Status

POINTS

11:50 am 100m Girls F Entry list
11:51 am High jump Girls F Entry list
11:58 am 100m Boys M Entry list
12:08 pm 400m Boys M Entry list
12:14 1.000m Boys M Entry list
12:21 1.000m Girls F Entry list
12:27
Long Jump Men M Entry list Standings
12:34 4 x 100m Boys M Entry list
12:38
Discus Throw Men M Entry list Standings
12:43 4 x 100m Girls F Entry list
12:53 200m T12 Mixed Mixed Entry list
1:15 100m Women for Africa F Entry list
1:22 10000m Men M
Entry list
1:30
Pole Vault Women F Entry list Standings
1:45
High Jump Women F Entry list Standings
2:05
400m Hurdles Women F Entry list Standings
2:15
1500m Men M Entry list Standings
2:25
110m Hurdles Men M Entry list Standings
2:30
Triple Jump Women F Entry list Standings
2:35
800m Women F Entry list Standings
2:40
Javelin Throw Women F Entry list Standings
2:45
100m Men M Entry list Standings
2:55 200m Men M Entry list
3:05
400m Men M Entry list Standings
3:15
3000m Steeplechase Men M Entry list Standings
3:30
200m Women F Entry list Standings
3:37
5000m Women F Entry list Standings

Place Prize Money
1. 10.000 USD
2. 6.000 USD
3. 4.000 USD
4. 3.000 USD
5. 2.500 USD
6. 2.000 USD
7. 1.500 USD
8. 1.000 USD

Below we preview the action for you. We start with the mid-d and distance action first before going to the rest of the track action and then field action. There is a men's 10,000 as well, but the start list just came out - so we'll preview that later. Update: That preview is now up: LRC LetsRun.com's Preview of the 2012 Memorial Van Damme Men's 10,000

Note: When we show you the DL points, we only show you those people capable of winning the DL title, as that's all that matters.

Men's 1,500: The Top Six From London Battle It Out With Asbel Kiprop

The men's 1,500 is going to be a real treat. It has it all.

The Americans who did well at the Olympics - Leo Manzano (Silver) and Matt Centrowitz (fourth) - are here. Since the Olympics, they've had different results. Since winning silver, Manzano has been terrible - he finished 10th in Lausanne and 11th in Birmingham. Since getting fourth, Centrowitz has lowered his PR from 3:34.46 to 3:31.96.

The favorite who flamed out at the London Olympics, Asbel Kiprop, is here. The 2008 Olympic champ and 2012 world leader, who struggled in the Olympics with an injury, races for the first time since then, hoping to hang onto the $40,000 Diamond League title. He may not need to be recovered from his injury to win the cash as the only way he loses the title is if Ethiopia's Mekonnen Gebremedhin gets the win and that's not likely to happen (see below).

Those that excelled at the Olympics are all here - the first six finishers from the London Olympics are competing. So that means the man to beat is the Olympic champ Taoufik Makhloufi. The Algerian was unknown heading into the Olympics but he was the class of everyone in both the semifinals and finals.

Since then, Makhloufi has PRed in the 800 (1:43.71) in Stockholm and run the second-fastest 1,500 of his life (3:32.58) in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Quick Take #1: Makhloufi's win in the Olympics was so unexpected and so dominant it certainly made some people suspicious. But the more he races, the more respect he gains and the more the suspicions will drop.

QT #2: Let us introduce you to Norway's Henrik Ingebrigtsen, as he may be a guy who is around for a while.

"Who the hell is that?" you ask? The 21-year-old ran 3:38.61 back in 2010 as a 19-year-old.

Then this year, back in April, he broke a nearly 36-year-old Norwegian record by running 3:36.39 at Stanford. He then won the European champs. He then went to the Olympics as a B qualifier and left with a 5th place finish and new PR of 3:35.43.

He's clearly a talent.

QT #3: On the flip side of our praise for Ingebrigtsen, one might argue, "Hey, if a guy with a 'B' qualifier is getting 5th, people shouldn't be suspicious that a 3:30 guy beat him by 1.35 seconds to win Olympic gold." A similar argument can be made about silver medallist Manzano - "Prior to the Olympics, wouldn't everyone expected Leo Manzano to lose to the champ by more than the .71 he actually lost by?'

Along those lines, we re-present you the wacky 1,500 results from the 2012 Games. The number on the right of the runners' names are their current 2012 ranks based on time.

1 Taoufik Makhloufi (#7) ALG 29 Apr 88 3:34.08
2 Leonel Manzano (#25) USA 12 Sep 84 3:34.79
3 Abdelaati Iguider (#24) MAR 25 Mar 87 3:35.13
4 Matthew Centrowitz (#11)USA 18 Oct 89 3:35.17
5 Henrik Ingebrigtsen (#58) NOR 24 Feb 91 3:35.43 NR NUR PR
6 Mekonnen Gebremedhin (#9) ETH 11 Oct 88 3:35.44
7 Silas Kiplagat (#2) KEN 20 Aug 89 3:36.19

QT #4: Here's what we are looking for/expecting.

We aren't expecting much from Kiprop. He's such a talent that he may be able to earn a respectable finish, but it's hard to imagine his injury healed quickly enough for him to get really ready for this, as he'd have to be on top of his game to win here. But we expect Makhloufi to win and that will mean Kiprop wins the $40,000 title.

The things we'll really be looking for are : 1) How dominant is Makhloufi? and 2) How do the Olympic 2-6 finishers stack up in the Olympic re-run here? That will give us a lot of stuff to talk about in the off season.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
06.08.1988
KEN
3:31.00

3:31.00

1

08.09.1982
CAN
3:34.22

3:34.22

18.10.1989
USA
3:31.96

3:31.96

25.09.1987
KEN
3:32.08

3:32.08

12.12.1990
KEN
3:29.77

3:29.77

4 (2)

16.11.1994
QAT
3:33.69

3:33.69

11.10.1988
ETH
3:31.45

3:31.45

9 (1)

25.03.1987
MAR
3:31.47

3:33.99

24.02.1991
NOR
3:35.43

3:35.43

23.12.1994
KEN
3:36.60

3:36.60

30.06.1989
KEN
3:28.88

3:28.88

14 (3)

27.11.1984
KEN
3:29.02

3:33.43

20.07.1990
KEN
3:34.60

3:34.60

1

29.04.1988
ALG
3:30.80

3:30.80

12.09.1984
USA
3:32.37

3:34.08

14.03.1984
FIN
3:36.88

3:36.88

27.03.1988
KEN
3:31.61

3:31.61

Women's 800: The Grudge Match Between 2012 Mariya Savinova & 2008 Olympic Champ Pamela Jelimo Will Decide The DL Title

2008 Olympic champ Pamela Jelimo of Kenya has battled with 2012 Olympic champ Mariya Savinova four times this year and twice Jelimo has finished ahead of Savinoa and twice Savinova has finished ahead of Jelimo.

The fifth and deciding matchup of the year takes place on Friday. Considering Savinova has won two of the last three matchups, including the Olympics, Savinova seems likely to get the win once again here. But after London, Jelimo did get revenge for her Olympic disappointment by beating Savinova to win in Lausaunne. And that win might end up giving Jelimo $40,000 as she leads the DL points series by 5, and thus will win the DL title as long as she finishes at least second. If Jelimo had not won in Lausanne, she'd have to beat Savinova here to win the DL. As it stands now, for Savinova to win, she must win and have Jelimo finish third or lower.

Now the problem for Jelimo is in London, she ran a tactically horrible race. If we were her, we'd take it really easy early here and make sure we finished second.

Two Americans are in the field in Anna Pierce and Brenda Martinez. Martinez ran a big PR of 1:59.63 on Wednesday. Pierce, who had been struggling through a 4:05.42 year, did get a boost of confidence in Birmingham on August 26th when she got a win. Mentally, we're sure that race did a lot for her confidence, but we'll be paying close attention to how she looks here. That win may have been a win in name only. The event was at a Diamond League meet, but the women's 1,500 wasn't a DL event in Birmingham and the field was very weak in terms of 2012 accomplishments.

Pierce has a 1:58.80 PR and was once ranked #2 in the world in the event (2009). She's run 2:00.49 and 2:00.66 twice this year. Anything over 2:00 is a disappointment to us. Anything under 2:00 and we'll let those fans of hers have hope that she's on her way back to her old ways.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
17.12.1987
BLR
1:59.30
1:59.63

06.09.1988
MAR
1:58.27
1:58.84

30.06.1986
NED
1:58.85
2:02.33

05.12.1989
KEN
1:54.01
1:56.76

12(2)

08.09.1987
USA
2:00.85
2:01.43

05.05.1993
BDI
1:58.67
1:58.67

23.09.1984
GBR
1:58.45
1:59.33

31.03.1984
USA
1:58.80
2:00.49

13.08.1985
RUS
1:55.87
1:56.19

7 (1)

11.07.1990
GBR
2:00.52
2:00.52

10.02.1984
GBR
1:58.74
2:00.72

Men's Steeplechase: Brimin Kirputo Gets Up After His Olympic Fall And Battles Diamond League Champ Paul Kipsiele Koech

Paul Kipsiele Koech will pick up his much-deserved $40,000 DL crown on Friday night as she's already guaranteed himself the title. If you win in Doha, Roma, Paris and Lausanne and finish as the runner-up in Monaco, then you deserve the title, as you ran every race and did well in all of them.

A victory isn't assured, however. The race also includes 2008 Olympic and 2012 Kenyan Trials champion, Brimin Kipruto. Given the way how Ezekiel Kemboi closed at the Olympics, we doubt Kipruto was going to repeat as Olympic champion but we'll never know what would have happened as his dream of a repeat of Olympic gold was ruined by a trip from behind (pictured left). So it's good to see Kipruto back in action and hope he does well.

Two Kenyan teenagers can't be ignored and might be stars for years to come. 19-year-old Jairus Birech, who was fourth at the Kenyan Trials, got a little revenge by earning the win over 2012 bronze medallist Abel Mutai in Zegreb on Thursday. 17-year-old Conselus Kipruto got the win at world juniors on July 15th and then shocked Paul Kipsiele Koech on July 20th in Monaco.

Quick Take (QT) #1: What about the sport?

We know the Kenyans are the best at the steeple but shouldn't some other people show up?

Where is Ethiopian national record holder Roba Gari, who was 4th at the Olympics? Where is US record holder Evan Jager of the US, who was sixth? Where is Olympic silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad?

We ask those questions rhetorically.

When everyone in the sport is allowed to just do what's in their own financial self interest, the sport itself suffers.

We're not saying the Olympics and World Championships are bad for the sport, but when one event is so much bigger than everything else, the sport suffers. Tennis players can't just show up at the majors - they have to play other events as well.

We don't list the DL points below, as it's been decided. Kipsiele Koech has won the $40,000 DL title

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB
14.12.1992
KEN
8:03.43
8:03.43
24.04.1984
RUS
8:26.03
8:26.38
20.04.1987
KEN
8:10.63
8:12.84
18.02.1977
ESP
8:11.52
8:24.19
31.07.1985
KEN
7:53.64
8:01.73
08.12.1994
KEN
8:03.49
8:03.49
25.05.1990
KEN
8:12.17
8:23.07
10.11.1981
KEN
7:54.31
7:54.31
28.05.1987
FRA
8:23.37
8:23.37
31.01.1981
MDA
8:18.97
8:22.09
20.04.1984
ESP
8:16.47
8:17.91
02.10.1988
KEN
8:01.67
8:01.67
01.01.1985
KEN
8:05.88
8:08.33
16.02.1985
MAR
8:07.02
8:10.20
02.04.1992
KEN
8:07.71
8:11.83

Women's 5,000: Vivian Cheruiyot Goes For The DL Title Against Mercy Cherono (And Molly Huddle)

Up until the Birmingham DL meeting on August 26th, former two-time world junior champ Mercy Cherono of Kenya was 0 for 13 in her career against Vivian Cheruiyot. But in Birmingham, Cherono went from third to first by the narrowest of margins - .01 - and got the win in the 3,000. She'll need to show that win was no fluke on Friday or her lead in the DL circuit will be evaporate, as she only leads Cheruiyot by two points.

A win by Cheruiyot gives her $40,000 - a nice way for her to end a season that undoubtedly hasn't gone as she would have dreamed. It's not easy to win two Olympic medals and that's what Cheruiyot did in London - a silver in the 5,000 and bronze in the 10,000 - but that certainly was short of what the 2011 double world champ was dreaming of at the start of the year.

American record holder Molly Huddle, who was 11th in the Olympic final, has a 15:02.26 seasonal best and will be looking to get under 15:00 for the first time this year. Her AR is 14:44.76.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
21.11.1991
ETH
15:12.24
15:12.24

26.07.1989
BEL
15:03.63
15:10.24

09.09.1981
GBR
15:02.00
15:02.00

23.01.1986
ETH
14:31.20
14:41.43

07.05.1991
KEN
14:35.13
14:49.26

12 (3)

11.09.1983
KEN
14:20.87
14:35.62

10 (2)

09.02.1994
ETH
15:11.53
15:11.53

05.05.1992
ETH
14:58.23
14:58.23

31.08.1984
USA
14:44.76
15:02.26

28.03.1984
KEN
14:31.91
14:46.73

5 (0)

22.12.1983
KEN
14:34.86
14:39.53

16.01.1992
ETH
15:07.35
15:07.35

29.10.1989
KEN
14:44.82
14:44.82

20.03.1990
UKR

13.07.1979
ITA
15:02.65
15:06.81

The Rest Of The Events - Track

Men's 100

If Ryan Bailey can beat Usain Bolt, he'll be the DL champ.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
27.06.1987
JAM
10.18
10.20
07.04.1990
JAM
9.93
9.93

13.04.1989
USA
9.88
9.88

6 (1)

10.01.1992
JAM
10.00
10.00

21.08.1986
JAM
9.58
9.63

8 (2)

10.11.1985
JAM
9.78
9.95

4 (0)

05.04.1976
SKN
9.98
10.01
06.10.1988
ZAM
10.06
10.11
27.02.1992
FRA
10.02
10.02

Men's 110 Hurdles

Aries Merritt is the best hurdler in the world but he's only run three DL events. But a win here will give him the DL title over Jason Richardson.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
06.06.1988
BAR
13.14
13.23
12.03.1990
GBR
13.31
13.31
16.02.1987
RSA
13.27
13.27
24.07.1985
USA
12.92
12.92

10 (2)

24.04.1982
USA
12.89
13.07

17.06.1990
JAM
13.12
13.12

04.04.1986
USA
12.98
12.98

14 (2)

10.10.1990
RUS
13.09
13.09
19.12.1980
USA
13.02
13.18

Men's 200 - Non-DL Event

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB
29.08.1988
GBR
20.46
20.46
26.12.1989
JAM
19.26
19.44
11.06.1990
FRA
19.80
19.91
03.06.1979
GBR
20.08
20.46
20.08.1986
USA
20.28
20.28
04.12.1977
USA
20.03
20.32
31.10.1989
JAM
19.84
19.84
21.03.1991
JAM
19.86
19.86

Men's 400

Angelo Taylor beat the Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos last time out in Birmingham. If he does it again here, he'll win the $40,000 DL title.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
22.02.1988
BEL
44.43
44.43

5 (1)

22.02.1988
BEL
44.56
44.56

2 (0)

02.07.1987
JAM
45.24
45.51

25.11.1988
TRI
44.52
44.52

17.08.1992
JAM
45.10
45.10

03.04.1987
GBR
44.60
44.92

12.11.1993
DOM
44.45
44.45

10 (1)

10.12.1987
USA
44.81
45.34

29.12.1978
USA
44.05
44.93

6 (1)

Women's 200

Charonda Williams didn't even make the final of the US Trials but she has the DL lead. The only person who can beat her is the US's Bianca Knight, who was seventh at the US Trials.

QT #1: The IAAF should save the money in the marquee sprint events and get rid of the DL points race as the top stars just seemingly skip it.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
04.08.1991
BEL
23.26
23.26
13.09.1988
RUS
22.19
22.19
12.07.1983
ITA
22.85
22.85
25.09.1988
JAM
22.77
22.77
02.01.1989
USA
22.35
22.46
5 (0)
06.01.1986
JAM
22.54
22.61
02.08.1987
UKR
22.58
22.58
29.10.1986
FRA
22.32
22.56
27.03.1987
USA
22.52
22.52
10 (2)

Women's 400H

Kaliese Spencer was fourth at the Olympics but the DL title is hers already. Props to Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova for continuing to race until the end of the season.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB
13.01.1989
POR
55.22
55.22
19.12.1986
CZE
53.29
53.38
27.10.1987
NGR
54.40
54.40
27.02.1981
BEL
55.20
55.20
21.12.1988
GBR
53.77
53.77
06.05.1987
JAM
52.79
53.49
05.09.1992
JAM
54.58
55.64
01.03.1983
JAM
52.42
53.74
24.11.1989
UKR
54.35
54.35

The Rest Of The Events - Field

Men's Long Jump

Olympic 11th placer Aleksandr Menkov is in the DL lead.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
20.07.1983
GHA
8.43
8.04
07.12.1990
RUS
8.28
8.24

9 (2)

06.03.1985
RSA
8.50
8.29

5 (0)

09.02.1993
RUS
8.35
8.35

07.08.1984
BER
8.22
7.97

01.02.1989
BEL
7.75
7.75

15.09.1981
GBR
8.35
8.26

3 (0)

12.01.1982
BEL
7.64
7.64

Discus Throw

2008 Olympic champ Gerd Kanter has the DL title almost all wrapped up unless 2000 and 2004 Olympic champ Virgilijus Alekna wins and Kanter doesn't get top three.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB

DL Points/Wins

13.02.1972
LTU
73.88
70.28

5 (0)

15.02.1984
NED
67.30
67.30

18.10.1978
ESP
67.91
67.74

05.07.1983
IND
66.28
66.28

14.10.1982
AUS
67.53
67.53

06.05.1979
EST
73.38
68.03

11 (2)

06.10.1991
GBR
68.24
68.24

10.06.1987
GER
68.33
68.33

Women's Pole Vault

Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva and 2011 world champ Fabiana Murer are tied for the DL lead with 2012 world leader Silke Spiegelburg only two points behind. A win here = $50,000.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
08.07.1993
SWE
4.58
4.58
02.11.1991
GBR
4.71
4.71
10.05.1984
AUS
4.76
4.76
05.03.1987
BEL
4.29
4.29
16.03.1981
BRA
4.85
4.77

10 (2)

20.05.1986
CZE
4.66
4.65

2 (0)

27.09.1988
GER
4.65
4.65

15.11.1989
RUS
4.60
4.60

4 (1)

01.06.1987
CUB
4.75
4.75

10 (1)

21.04.1986
BEL
4.30
4.30

17.03.1986
GER
4.82
4.82

8 (1)

04.11.1981
GER
4.80
4.60

Women's High Jump

Chaunte Lowe has won the DL title as she has 17 points. Anna Chicherova could tie her at 17 with a win, but Lowe already has won the tie breaker as she has 4 wins and a win here will only give Chicherova 3. Chicherova probably doesn't care too much as she won the Olympics, where Lowe was just sixth.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB
22.07.1982
RUS
2.07
2.05
25.02.1989
BEL
1.89
1.86
04.07.1992
EST
1.88
1.88
16.02.1978
BEL
2.05
1.97
12.10.1985
EST
1.96
1.91
26.01.1982
UKR
1.96
1.96
12.01.1984
USA
2.05
2.01
08.11.1982
FRA
1.96
1.93
09.03.1986
RUS
2.03
2.03
23.06.1984
LCA
1.98
1.91
19.08.1994
BEL
1.88
1.88
05.07.1991
BEL
1.87
1.84

Women's Triple Jump

Olympic champ Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan has a six-point DL points lead. The only person who can beat her is 2011 world champ Olha Saladukha, who was third in London.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB DL Points/Wins
14.10.1984
BEL
14.55
14.28
25.09.1989
UKR
14.71
14.71
21.07.1976
RUS
15.34
14.68
30.11.1984
KAZ
15.25
14.98
16 (3)
04.06.1983
UKR
14.99
14.99
10 (2)
17.04.1979
SLO
15.03
14.26
22.05.1982
RUS
14.85
14.64
03.06.1981
SVK
14.51
14.36
03.11.1988
JAM
14.53
14.53

Women's Javelin Throw

2008 and 2012 Olympic javelin champ Barbora Spotakova has clinched the DL title. Sunette Viljoen, who was fourth in London, beat her in Berlin last week.

Athlete DATE OF BIRTH Nation PB SB
15.01.1986
RUS
71.99
66.86
08.11.1983
GER
64.67
63.20
22.08.1981
GER
70.20
64.59
18.06.1987
LAT
64.51
62.74
02.11.1981
SLO
67.16
65.24
25.02.1989
UKR
66.86
66.86
30.06.1981
CZE
72.28
69.55
02.10.1985
GER
66.81
64.91
06.10.1983
RSA
69.35
69.35

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