I don't know. This is by far the worst season of his career. It's like he's a different runner this year. Guy's done. Stick a fork in him.
Wait, what's that? He had his highest championship finish ever in a 5k? And ran the 2nd fastest 5k he's ever run this season? And got 4th in the world championships in the 10k? You don't say...
This is right on the mark.
Fans are disappointed because they hoped for a lot. Rupp is probably disappointed too since he's very close to the top and was probably hoping to improve this year and be a double medalist, and have a shot at the gold. He shouldn't be.
In 2011 he was 7th in the 10000m and 9th in the 5000m, and ran 13:06, 26:48
In 2012 he was 2nd in the 10000m and 7th in the 5000m, and ran 12:58
In 2013 he was 4th in the 10000m and 8th in the 5000m, so far 13:05
He is on a three year plateau where he has been solid for being right there at the bell. In 2011, he did not have the kick. In 2012 he developed the kick and got a medal. This year the kick is still there but the field is faster now. Mo was not a 3:28 runner in 2011. Rupp hung within about 2 seconds of him in both races this year despite Mo's improvement.
Who beat him in the 5000m today and their PRs?
Who was behind him?
To me, it looks like Rupp is ready to go under 12:55. This was an extremely competitive 5000m field and Rupp was doubling back.
I'd hoped Rupp would do better today but this was a realistic result for him. If anything, I think improved positioning at the bell would have gotten him 5th place without any change in fitness.
Now he has to come up with a 5 second improvement in his base ability for the 5k, and perhaps of that, 1.5 seconds has to be in the kick.
He may have reached his limit, nobody knows. But he did not go backwards this year, and it is arguable that he may have gone forwards, just that the rest of the world improved more.
Did anyone ever expect Farah to improve much after last year? He did, and quite a bit in the 1500-5000 range. So did Rupp, but it is masked by what everyone else did.
The only question is, will Rupp have a 2013-Farah-like improvement in the future? If so, he will be a medalist again. If not, he is merely going to end his career as the best long distance runner in US history.
What I would love to see now (if there is any energy left in Rupp for the rest of the racing season) is for Farah to rabbit Rupp for 4000m of a 5000m, and get him under 12:55. Why do they not do this? Then Rupp can return the favor in the 3000m a week later. I know, a fantasy, but whatever...