Evan Jager survived a huge, huge scare on a very good morning session from the Americans as Clayton Murphy filled in admirably for Nick Symmonds to keep his dream 2015 going. All 4 American advanced in the women's 1500m as did druggie Tatyana Tomashova which got some comment from Jenny Simpson.
12 of the 16 DL events (including all 4 mid-d/distance races) in Birmingham are the same as they were three days earlier in Rome, leading to several rematches, including Dawit Seyaum vs. Sifan Hassan over 1500 and Hagos Gebrhiwet vs. Thomas Longosiwa at 5,000. Also, Stephanie Garcia seems poised for a fast time in the women's steeple.
Farah will face five men who have broken 7:31 including Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew. The women's 1500 features '14 world leader Sifan Hassan and '13 world champ Abeba Aregawi, while Ethiopians Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew will race in the women's steeple. Justin Gatlin (100) and Allyson Felix (200) headline the non-distance action.
Jenny Simpson threw herself across the finish line, just hodling off Shannon Rowbury, to win the race and DL crown plus lay claim to the title of "World's Best 1500 runner."
The first of the two DL finals should be spectacular as the winner of the men’s 800 and women’s 1500 likely will take home $50,000 and a spot into 2015 Worlds whereas second will get just a $6,000 consolation prize. Plus New Balance teammates Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson try to bring home DL titles to the USA.
Indoor WR holder Genzebe Dibaba took this one out very quickly (2:05.95 at 800) but she couldn't hold that pace forever and was caught by Simpson and Euro champ/2014 outdoor leader Sifan Hassan on the final lap. The three were level with 75 meters to go, but Simpson looked by far the best at the end and won in 4:00.38.
*MB: Wow: What a 1500!!!! Jenny Simpson wins it in Stockholm!!!
Simpson will have her hands full with the red-hot Hassan as Shannon Rowbury, Brenda Martinez, Genzebe Dibaba and Meraf Bahta (who beat Hassan to win 5,000 gold at Euros) are also entered in the 1500. Coburn will try to lower her American record as she battles Ethiopian rivals Hiwot Ayalew and Sofia Assefa.
Next up for Hassan and Aregawi. A race with Jenny Simpson. Will the AR fall?
*MB: Sifan Hissan takes down Abeba Aregawi for 2014 European 1500 title, Laura Weigthman gets bronze
The women's final is Friday at 1:25 pm ET. Laura Muir won't be in it nor will Olympic silver medalist Gamze Bulut.
*MB: Guess who bombed out of 1st round of women's European 1500?
Jordan Hasay was last in the 1500 but still PR'd by over 2 seconds while the American men struggled in the 5000.
The two-day meet gets underway Friday and features top fields in the women's 1,500 and men's 5,000 as well as recent US champs Leo Manzano and Ajee' Wilson in the men's 1,500 and women's 800.
Hellen Obiri looks to keep winning against Abeba Aregawi and Jenny Simpson in the women's 1,500. Can Simpson get the AR or can Rowbury break 4:00? Asbel Kiprop takes on Nijel Amos and the 800 specialists and Emma Coburn goes for her second DL win in the women's steeple. Can she get the American record as well?