The American Simpson seems to be in the form of her life but the rest of the world has just gotten a lot better
June 6, 2013
Three for three.
Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi, the 2013 world leader at 3:56.60, picked up her third Diamond League victory of the season tonight at the 2013 Rome Golden Gala Diamond League meeting to firmly establish herself as the favorite for the 2013 World Championships.
Coming into the 2013 Rome Golden Gala, we said the winner of the women’s 1500 race would be the favorite for the 2013 Worlds as the field included the top three from 2013 in terrms of time – Aregawi, 3:56.98 runner Faith Kipyegon of Kenya and 3:57.54 runner Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia as well as the 2011 World Champ Jenny Simpson of the USA.
Aregawi certainly is a big favorite now as she remained undefeated and won convincingly in 4:00.23 as Dibaba was the runner-up 4:01.62 with Simpson third in 4:02.30. Kipyegon finished a distant seventh in 4:05.31.
Over the years, we’ve complained a lot about how poorly the average race is rabbitted in Europe but we may have reached an all-time low in Rome. Kenya’s Nelly Jepkosgei was totally worthless as she ran the first lap in 58 seconds and gapped the field by 200.
While Jepkosgei’s incompetence made for horrible television, it actually made this race turn into something we’re much more likely to see at world championships – a somewhat tactical affair.
The big players got their tactics perfect here as heading into the bell (3:02.10), Simpson had the lead with Aregawi just behind her. At 1200 (3:17.10), Simpson still led but soon both Aregawi and Dibaba would go blowing by.
There was no doubt as to who was best over the final 250 as Aregawi’s last lap of 57.9ish (leader to leader it was 58.13 but Aregawi was running right behind Simpson) proved too much for anyone else to handle as she put nearly 1.5 seconds on Dibaba and more than two seconds on Simpson.
Quick takes, results and then a full race replay below.
Quick Take (QT) #1: Aregawi is the best in the world by a lot right now. Currently it seems as if no one in the world can beat Aregawi but herself.
QT #2: Simpson has nothing to be disappointed about here in terms of the way she ran. She is in the form of her life. Consider these stats.
When Simpson won her world title in 2011, she ran 4:05.49 and closed in 47 and was world champion. Tonight, she closes in 45.20 in a 4:02 race and got crushed. She is unlikely to ever close in 43 flat. The level of competition has just gotten A LOT better.
Similarly, when Simpson ran her 3:59.90 pb at Pre in 2009, she closed in 62.05 for her final 400. Tongiht, her final 400 was 60.20.
QT #3: We were encouraged by the fact at the very end of this race, Simpson seemed to be making up a tiny bit of ground of the two ahead of her. Simpson is very strong and if they get their peak wrong, Simpson could repeat. As it stands now, she is a real strong candidate for a medal. And if Dibaba opts for the 5000 instead of the 1,500 which seems like a real possibility, then Simpson could be in the mix for silver with perhaps Prefontaine winner Hellen Obiri of Kenya – who wasn’t in Rome.
As we said above, Simpson is in fine form – almost certainly the shape of her life. We guess her only regret was that the race was so poorly rabbitted she didn’t get to break her PR to confirm what we already to be the case – she’s in her best shape ever.
After the race, Simpson tweeted the following:
— Jenny Simpson (@trackjenny) June 6, 2013
QT #5: 2011 world silver medallist Hannah England was happy she finished fourth in 4:03.91.
Showing you how far the 1,500 has come in the last few years, that actually was the fourth fastest time of her career.
QT #6: 2009 bronze medallist Lisa Dobriskey of the UK was 10th in 4:05.79 in her first 1,500 of the year. While she just missed the ‘A’ standard of 4:05.50, Dobriseky was relatively happy as well. She said on the BBC telecast, “It’s a solid run for my first race out. It was a good first outing.”
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Race video for US Visitors: