2013 adidas Grand Prix Men’s Preview: David Rudisha Set To Shine Again as Hagos Gebrhiwet and Dejen Gebremeskel Prepare To Clash

A Fan’s Guide To The Men’s Mid-d and Distance Action at the Third Stop of the 2013 Diamond League Season

by LetsRun.com
May 21, 2013

The third stop of the 2013 IAAF Diamond League season takes place Saturday at Randall’s Island in New York City as the 2013 adidas Grand Prix takes place. Internet/television coverage takes place from 1 pm to 3 pm ET on Saturday afternoon and the meet will be  live on NBC in the US: 2013 adidas Grand Prix: Schedule, Results and Streaming Information.

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Today, we break down the action for you on the two men’s professional mid-d/distance events both of which should be very good.

The 5000 features the two fastest men in the world from 2012 as well as two world champions. The 800 which features King Rudisha – David Rudisha the world record holder and Olympic champion.

Tomorrow we’ll break down the women’s mid-d/pro-action for you and on Thursday we’ll preview the high school boys mile where a number of guys will be trying to become just the fifth American sub-4 minute HS miler in history and second in 36 years.

The 4 American Sub-4 Minute Milers
2001 – Alan Webb: 3:53.4
1967 – Marty Liquori: 3:59.8
1966 – Tim Danielson: 3:59.4
1965 – Jim Ryun: 3:55.3

(Note: Lukas Verzbicas ran 3:59.71 in 2011 while a student at a US high school but he was not an American citizen).

2:23 pm ET Men’s 5000: The Winner Of This Has To Be Considered Mo Farah’s #1 Rival


The men’s 5000 at the 2013 adidas Grand Prix features a lot of big names and likely will tell us who is Mo Farah‘s biggest threat as he goes for his third straight global crown this summer in the 5000 in Moscow.

This race features the fastest two men on the planet from 2012 in 2012 Olympic silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel and 18-year old world junior record holder Hagos Gebrhiwet. No one had gone sub 12:50 in the 5000 for five years until the talented duo from Ethiopia ran 12:46.81 and 12:47.53 in Paris last year.

This year, Gebrehiwet has been spectacular. Indoors, he spanked Galen Rupp in Boston and two weeks ago, he destroyed everyone at the Diamond League opener at 3000 in Doha. His 3000 victory was so convincing, we officially started asking, “Is Gebrehiwet and not Farah the man to beat in 2013?”

There is no doubt that Gebrhiwet is one of the biggest talents out there. At the BAA 5k prior to the Boston marathon, Gebremeskel himself admitted to us (video embedded on right) that he feared Gebrhiwet more than the double Olympic champion Farah.

As for Gebremeskel, this race is his outdoor track opener, but he’s looked very strong in two road races recently as he dominated both the Carslbad and BAA road 5ks. In Carlsbad, he beat two other sub 12:50 5kers and it wasn’t even close as he won by six seconds.

One of the sub-12:50 guys that he beat by six seconds at Carlsbad is in New York, 21-year old Kenyan John Kipkoech. With Kipkoech, the 2010 world junior silver medallist, in the field it means the race features three of the six sub-12:50 guys from 2012.

The race also features two other big names. Surprise 2013 world cross country champion Japhet Korir will try to see his xc success translate to the track and 2011 world 10,000 champion Ibrahim Jeilan will look to finish an elite track race for the first time since his the end of his magical 2011 campaign, when he stunned Mo Farah and grabbed gold in Daegu.

American Ben True who has been sensational so far in 2013 will look to keep his momentum and mix it up with the sport’s most elite guys. So far this year, True has won the US 15km title, finished sixth at world cross country and won the Payton Jordan 5000 in a 13:14.44 pb.

Picture of Hagos Gebrhiwet

Hagos Gebrhiwet after winning the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 3000.

Quick Take (QT) #1: The Gebrhiwet-Gebremeskel clash is definitely worth paying close attention to. We know Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah and Galen Rupp will be paying close attention to it, particularly since Gebremeskel said he wants to double at Moscow.

QT# 2: How messed up is the track and field in the year 2013 that True is the only American racing in New York City in front of a live NBC television audience? We know running in the middle of the day in New York might not be the ideal place to chase an ‘A’ qualifying time, but that’s exactly our point.

In the year 2013, common sense doesn’t rule. The sport has devolved into guys and girls chasing obscure ‘A’ and ‘B’ marks at meets that are nothing more than glorified practices with F.A.T. timing, rather than competing in the Big Apple in front of a live national and global tv audience.  That’s what happens when the IAAF insists on individuals not countries hitting the standards and athletes have their various shoe allegiances they don’t want to violate.

QT #3: It would stun us if Korir and/or Jeilan contended here. Jeilan was 27 seconds back of Gebremeskel at Carlsbad. Korir was dead last in the Doha 3000 at 8:10. We just hope the young talents take steps in the right direction. Jeilan is still just 23 and Korir 19.

2:43 pm ET Men’s 800: The David Rudisha Show Returns To New York 

David Rudisha mesmerized the New York crowd last year with a 1:41.74 win that in hindsight was a good omen for what he’d accomplish in London. Second place was nearly three seconds back last year (1:44.49).

We expect Rudisha to dominate again this year and would be surprised if anyone in the field finishes within one second of him.

The one on paper who most likely would be closest to Rudisha is Kenya’s 18-year old Olympic bronze medallist, Timothy Kitum, who ran a stellar 1:42.53 in 2012. However, Kitum was dead last in Doha (1:46.54) two weeks ago so he’ll have to run way better than that here.

There's nothing like celebrating a world record at the Olympics.

There’s nothing like celebrating a world record at the Olympics.

There is a guy in the field who was within a second of Rudisha’s 1:43.87 win in Doha – France’s young, bright hope Pierre-Ambroise Bosse. In Doha, Bosse came away with a very strong 4th place finish and gave himself a nice early birthday present (he turned 21 the next day) – a lifetime pb of 1:44.77 (previous pb 1:44.97).

But in that race Bosse and the whole field was helped by the fact that it was Rudisha’s opener and by Ethiopia’s Mohamed Aman who wasn’t afraid to try to run with Rudisha as Aman bridged the gap between Rudisha and everyone else.

Will anyone have the guts to try to stay close Rudisha in New York?

They might try it but we doubt they’ll be successful.

There are two Americans in the field and they have contrasting styles of racing as one is a front runner and one comes from behind and they also come in with totally different amounts of confidence. The front runner, Erik Sowinski, is sky high right now as indoors he set an American record at 600 and won the US indoor 800 title, and then last weekend won in Puerto Rico after coming close to his 1:45.90 pb by running 1:46.02 at Mt. Sac.

The big kicker Robby Andrews comes in probably feeling like he got kicked in the gut last week at Oxy, where his attempt to become a 1,500 runner hit another big bump as he finished just 42nd – yes 42nd – in 3:43.52.

Indoors at USAs, Andrews’ patented late charge from the back of the pack nearly gave him the US title over Sowinski but he ended up just .04 short (1:47.13 to Sowinski’s 1:47.09).

Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie is also in the race.  Amazingly his 1:43.77 at the Olympics beat no one last year. He also was in Doha two weeks ago and ran 1:45.41, the third best seasonal best in the field.

2009 world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi returns to the Diamond League circuit for the first time since 2011. Last year, he didn’t race after going undefeated and running well at home in South African in April. Since becoming world champion in 2009, he’s struggled mightily with injury and illness. At 32, it’s probably not getting any easier to keep it all together.

2008 Olympic 1,500 silver medallist Nick Willis also is in the field. Heading into last week’s Shanghai 1,500, he was sporting a seven race win streak. Even if the 1,500 specialist hadn’t lost in Shanghai after falling, he had already admitted that he’s going to lose to Rudisha in New York, but he’s got a great attitude about it as the told David Monti earlier this month: “To run against the world record-holder is something that I will be able to show my kids one day. It’s also the closest guarantee for perfect pace-making, which means I can settle in and hang on for as long as I can!”

Quick Take (QT) #1: One reason why we think no one will finish within a second of Rudisha is this race features the best rabbit in the business in American Matt Scherer. He’ll guide Rudisha perfectly through the first 400 and not gap him like so many rabbits tend to do.

QT #2: The drop down to 800 should do wonders for Andrews who can’t be real confident right now in the 1,500/mile. Last year, he was fifth in New York in 1:45.06. If he beats Sowinski here, does he maybe consider going after the Moscow team at 800 or does he stick with the 1,500?

QT #3:  Sowinski and Bosse raced at 600m in Moscow this year where Bosse won in 1:15.63 – .36 ahead of Sowisnki.

QT #4: Take a minute and watch Rudisha’s run from last year. It was special.

Start lists:


More: LRC Women’s Preview: Abeba Aregawi Makes Her US Debut As Americans Rowbury, Uceny, Grace Hope to Contend. Will Brenda Martinez Get Closer to 4:00?

Editor’s note: The adidas Grand Prix is an advertiser on LetsRun.com. They and LRC want you to get your butts in the stands. This piece is not part of any advertising package.

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