i thought his tactics today were a great improvement over some past world-level races. a quick first lap made sense and getting to the front made sense with 14 guys in the final. however, with greater experience he would have allowed a gap to develop when the kenyan guy passed him on the 2nd lap. either he would have stayed in 2nd with a 5-10 meter gap or he would have dropped to 3rd or 4th or so, within a comfortable distance of the lead. that would have allowed him to save precious energy, as lagat and ramzi did at that point. i would bet that webb's 100 splits over the first 1000 were pretty much all over the place, which wastes tons of evergy.
at the same time, it wasn't too bad of a race tactically as things turned out. the way he looked in paris and at USATF, i think he would have won or challenged for the win at his peak this year.
so i think this year has been a great learning experience for mr. webb. he should take away two things - first, his opponents at the 1500 are experienced and every bit as talented as he is, so he has to improve on his race tactics, specifically exerting some control over the pace of the race without needlessly wasting energy. and second, that his peak must come much later in the year. this latter item is tough coming from the US high school and college system. we get so used to being in peak shape in may and june that it is a big shift in training to push that back by 2 full months. i hope he doesn't race indoors in 2008 hardly at all and that he doesn't race outdoors until late may at the earliest. he's always been good and winning races is fun, even if they are relatively non-important meets in april. i hope he can resist the urge to be sharp at that point and avoid the racing scene altogether then.
nevertheless, whatever he does from now through the end of the 2007 season, it's been a great year for him, with a huge breakthrough in the 800, an american record in the mile, and a competitive showing in the world champs final, plus a great victory in paris.