An American man or woman had never won a 5000 on the DL circuit until today when Ben True kicked home to the title. Can he challenge Galen Rupp at USAs?
Storylines abound in New York. Duane Solomon is one of several Americans who will face Rudisha, while the women's 800 includes Brenda Martinez and Ajee Wilson. Ben True and Nick Willis take on top talents Hagos Gebrhiwet, Dejen Gebremeskel and Thomas Longosiwa in the men's 5,000. Plus Grant Fisher goes in the Dream Mile and Mary Cain runs the 1000 in her first race since taking a break from NOP.
The biggest news was Mo Farah pulling out of the meet before hand, but on the track there was a thrilling women's 200m, in the infield one of the best javelins ever, and in the distances Hassan and Amos picked up their first DL wins of the year and Bernard Lagat another master's WR in one of his least impressive runs of the year.
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.
The winning time (13:07) wasn't super fast so it shouldn't be a surprise that Ndiku got the win as he's won championship races at World Indoors (3k), the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships this year -- it's too bad he hasn't gotten to race Mo Farah. Rupp was right with Ndiku with 200 to go and didn't quite have enough but still hung on for his best 5,000 of the year. Ben True (8th) also ran well and was in contention at the bell.
Most of the men in this one were reminded that a 5k is 5000 meters not 2500.
The field never went for a fast time, they went for the win as Rupp ended up 3rd.