2013 Rome Golden Gala Meet Preview: Jenny Simpson Takes On The World’s Best; Hagos Gebrhiwet Faces Mo Farah’s Conqueror

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A Fan’s Guide To The Fifth Stop of the 2013 Diamond League Season

by LetsRun.com
June 4, 2013

The fifth stop of the 2013 IAAF Diamond League season takes place Thursday in Rome. Internet/television coverage takes place from 2 pm to 4 pm ET: 2013 Rome Golden Gala Schedule, Start Lists and TV/Internet Viewing Info.

Mid-d and distance wise, this meet has four mid-d/distance events; the first two of which are truly spectacular Moscow previews. After Thursday’s action in Rome, we should have a good idea as to who is the favorite for women’s 1500 gold as American Jenny Simpson will face the three 3:56-7 performers this year in Aregawi, Kipyegon and Dibaba. Then in the men’s 5000, Hagos Gebrhiwet clashes with the man who beat Mo Farah in Eugene – Edwin Soi. There is also a men’s 800 and women’s steeplechase.

We preview the mid-d and distance action for you below in the order that events occur.

You can see the full 2013 Rome Golden Gala schedule and start-lists here.

2:15 pm ET Women’s 1500: A Spectacular Preview of Moscow: Aregawi, Dibaba and Simpson All Clash

ATHLETE DATE OF BIRTH NATION PB SB
05.07.1990
SWE
3:56.54
3:56.60
09.06.1988
BRN
4:00.25
08.02.1991
ETH
3:57.54
3:57.54
23.12.1983
GBR
3:59.50
06.03.1987
GBR
4:01.89
4:03.38
19.01.1991
GER
4:04.30
02.05.1986
MAR
4:01.33
4:02.16
14.07.1991
KEN
4:08.10
4:08.59
22.12.1983
KEN
3:59.25
4:00.76
10.01.1994
KEN
3:56.98
3:56.98
22.08.1981
KEN
4:00.13
4:01.41
26.02.1987
ITA
4:08.94
4:12.35
05.02.1985
POL
4:03.50
4:13.45
01.03.1991
RUS
4:00.11
23.08.1986
USA
3:59.90
4:03.35
03.10.1982
RUS
3:56.43
4:04.30
10.03.1985
USA
4:00.06
4:08.49

This race is insane and a mini Moscow preview as it has everyone a fan would dream of seeing clash early in the season. This race has the top three performers so far for 2013 in Abebe Aregawi of Sweden, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya and Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia. All three of them ran 3:57.54 or faster in the Diamond League opener in Doha.

A win on Thursday and Simpson will be the gold medal favorite for Moscow

It also includes 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson of the US who has looked brilliant every time she’s stepped on the track this year since returning to the tutelage of Mark Wetmore. The winner of this race will certainly be the favorite for gold in Moscow as there are no other leading gold medal candidates on the circuit this year as the Turkish 1-2 from last year’s Olympics are nowhere to be seen after the drug accusations.

The field also includes American Morgan Uceny. Uceny, the 2011 world #1, is on the comeback after falling at both the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics. Update at 3:41 pm ET on Wednesday: Uceny is sick and has pulled out.

When Simpson ran 4:03 at Drake, Uceny ran just 4:17 and the prospects of her making the US team for Moscow seemed bleak, even though with Simpson being the defending champion, the US can send four to Moscow. Two weeks ago Uceny was much improved in New York (4:08). Will her momentum continue in Rome?

Quick Take (QT) #1: We are VERY excited about watching Simpson race here. Destroying everyone in the US at Drake with 4:03.35 got us pumped for Simpson, but that was an early season race where second place was only 4:07.92. Admittedly, the second place finisher in the race was Sheila Reid and she’s gone on to run 4:02 this year so by the transitive property Simpson should be under 4:00 here. But thinking she can do it and doing it are two different things. After this race is over, no one will be able to argue that perhaps she snuck up on people and jumped them in windy conditions.

QT #2: Not every medal contender for Moscow is here. Kenya’s Hellen Obiri, who dominated the Pre Classic last week and won by 2.5 seconds over Kipyegon in 3:58.58, is not here. That being said, the winner is the gold medal favorite.

QT #3: One other person in the field is 2012 Olympic bronze medalist at 800 Yekaterina Poistogova. The 22-year old has pbs of 1:57.53 and 4:00.16 and is clearly a big talent. That being said, she was only 7th at Pre last week in 2:01.26 and thus seems to be a few weeks away from top form.

QT #4: Going along with QT #3, Mary Cain beat an Olympic bronze medalist at Pre on Saturday. Not a bad scalp to get even if Poistogova did run poorly.

2:50 pm ET Men’s 5000: Hagos Gebrhiwet Versus Everyone Not Named Mo Farah (Including The Man Who Defeated Mo In Eugene)

ATHLETE DATE OF BIRTH NATION PB SB
27.05.1990
ETH
12:48.77
13:06.45
01.01.1994
KEN
10.02.1989
BEL
13:29.09
13:30.91
28.01.1994
ETH
13:03.30
13:45.4h
11.05.1994
ETH
12:47.53
13:10.03
01.09.1989
MAR
13:22.63
18.01.1990
AZE
13:11.34
13:23.59
01.01.1994
TUR
13:31.39
13:31.39
29.12.1991
KEN
12:49.50
13:13.13
20.07.1988
KEN
13:09.34
02.09.1986
UGA
12:50.72
16.02.1993
KEN
13:16.68
13:16.68
19.12.1993
KEN
12:48.64
13:09.55
14.01.1988
KEN
12:49.04
13:07.51
15.10.1988
ETH
12:53.58
09.10.1992
KEN
13:18.96
01.01.1982
KEN
13:21.96
20.12.1994
BRN
13:01.91
13:21.18
03.03.1986
KEN
12:52.40
13:04.75

Since we were talking about Moscow 2013 previews, it’s only appropriate that the men’s 5000 event is the next mid-d/distance event on the schedule as this one should give us a great idea as to what to expect in Moscow.

Hagos celebrates his 2013 season opening win

Hagos was dominant in Doha

In 2013, the #1 story line so far distance wise on the men’s side  has been, “Is Ethiopia’s 19-year old teen sensation Hagos Gebrhiwet ready to take the title of ‘World’s Best Distance Runner’ away from Mo Farah?”

While that question won’t be answered directly in Rome, we’ll get the next best thing – an indirect answer – as Gebrhiwet is going to clash with the man who defeated Mo Farah on Saturday at the Pre Classic, Kenya’s Edwin Soi.

Also in the field is the 3rd placer from both Prefontaine and Doha Yenew Alamirew. The 23-year old ran 12:48 last year but hasn’t come close to posing as a threat to Gebrhiwet so far this year as Hagos beat him by six seconds in Carlsbad and 2.28 seconds in the 3k in Doha. In addition to Alamirew, the field actually includes five of the six sub-12:50 performers in the 5000 from last year. All of the sub-12:50s are here but Dejen Gebremeskel who struggled mightily in New York.

Imane Merga, who was the runner-up in the 10,000 to Kenenisa Bekele in Eugene on Friday, is here as well.

Quick Take #1: The Hagos bandwagon rolls on!! Hagos FTW.

3:20 pm ET: Men’s 800: Mohammed Aman Looks To Dominate For Second Time in Six Days

ATHLETE DATE OF BIRTH NATION PB SB
10.01.1994
ETH
1:42.53
1:44.21
22.05.1989
ITA
1:45.34
1:50.24
11.05.1992
FRA
1:44.77
1:44.77
08.05.1990
KEN
1:43.76
1:44.24
30.06.1989
KEN
1:43.15
20.11.1994
KEN
1:42.53
1:45.16
02.09.1989
POL
1:43.30
1:45.80
12.06.1990
ESP
1:43.74
29.12.1989
RSA
1:44.29
1:44.74
05.03.1990
TUR
1:44.25
26.06.1993
BRN
1:43.13
1:47.92
28.12.1984
USA
1:42.82
1:45.67
20.02.1980
NED
1:43.45

If the names above look familiar to you, don’t worry, they should.

This race in many ways is a re-run of the Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic 800 as it includes the dominant winner of Pre (Mohammed Aman) as well as the #2 (Timonty Kitum, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist), #4 (Job Kinyor), #6 (Duane Solomon, 4th in 2012 Olympics), #7 Adam Kszczot and #8 finishers (Abraham Rotich) in Eugene.

Quick Take #1: On Saturday at Pre, Aman was WAY better than everyone else. We don’t see why that would change just a few days later.

QT #2: There is one notable addition who could make some noise. 2008 Olympic 1500 champion Asbel Kiprop is dropping down to 800 here and he has a 1:43.15 pb. If anyone beats Aman, we’d guess it would be him.

QT #3: While it would be nice to see Duane Solomon take a step forward here towards the 1:42 form he showed last year, there is no need to panic as he’s only run three races this year. Last year, he didn’t break 1:45 until his eighth outdoor 800 of the year.

3:46 pm ET: Women’s Steeplechase: Lidya Chepkurui Looks For Third Straight Diamond League Win

ATHLETE DATE OF BIRTH NATION PB SB
14.11.1987
ETH
9:09.00
9:14.61
06.03.1990
ETH
9:09.61
9:17.60
03.10.1987
ROU
9:25.70
10:06.97
26.02.1986
KEN
9:07.14
9:19.17
23.08.1984
KEN
9:13.75
9:13.75
10.05.1991
ETH
9:14.07
9:17.78
29.12.1983
MAR
9:31.03
9:47.33
01.05.1989
LAT
9:27.21
9:47.23
15.10.1986
KEN
9:13.22
07.04.1985
POL
9:26.93
03.08.1992
GER
9:23.52
9:38.76
16.06.1991
ITA
9:39.21
25.11.1990
GBR
9:38.45
9:45.66
13.06.1984
GER
9:18.54
9:43.37
20.07.1993
KEN
10:24.6h
10:38.0h
30.05.1980
RUS
9:22.15
10:01.59
08.08.1988
KEN
9:18.03
9:26.31

In the first Diamond League steeple of the year in Doha, it was a big surprise that the winner was 27-year old Lidya Chepkurui of Kenya, but she followed that victory up with an even more dominant victory in New York.

The only thing that seemingly changed was in the first meet the IAAF spelled her name Lydiah and in the second one her name was Lidya.

Chepkurui will go for her third victory of the year in Rome on Saturday. She’ll face the runner-up in New York, Etenesh Diro (2012 Olympic sixth placer) of Ethiopia, as well as the runner-up in Doha, Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia.

Quick Take #1: Chepkurui is the favorite here, but if she loses, it wouldn’t stun us if the winner was Milcah Chemos of Kenya. In 2011 and 2012, Chemos was undefeated on the DL circuit prior to the World Champs and Olympics. In Doha this year, she was more than five seconds back in fifth, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if she’s trying to peak right.

We doubt Chemos will be ready to win but we’ll be watching to see if the 5.42 second gap that existed between her and Chepkurui on May 10th is narrowed here.

Sprint Action: Usain Bolt Returns: Rome marks the Diamond League debut in 2013 of Usain Bolt. Bolt struggled with a 10.09 on May 9th and if he runs that here, he’ll likely lose to Justin Gatlin. *IAAF Article on Bolt

More: 
*MB: Rome 800 Field: Aman, Kiprop, Kitum, Rotich and Solomon


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