Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman Impresses In 800m In Lausanne In His Final Race Before Worlds

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July 4, 2013
Lausanne, Switzerland

Mohammed Aman made his final race before the World Championships count.

The Ethiopian had won everything he had run this year except his first race in Doha. He had Diamond League wins in Eugene, Rome, and Birmingham and non-DL victories in Rabat and Ostrava. However, he had only run under 1:44 once.

Tonight he blitzed the final 100m in Lausanne, Switzerland, to run 1:43.33, the world’s second-fastest time, and leave France’s 21-year-old upstart Pierre-Ambroise Bosse well in his wake in 1:44.11. Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski moved up to third the last straight as 19-year-old Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos faded to fourth in his first 800m of the year.

3 way fight in 800 with 90 meters to go

3 way fight in 800 with 90 meters to go

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Former 400m hurdler Brandon Johnson of the USA was running his first Diamond League race as an 800m runner. He did not get out in his usual aggressive style and was fifth in 1:45.03.

Aman Will Not Race Again Until Moscow, Johnson Gets Bumped Around
Afterwards LRC spoke to Aman and Johnson. This was Aman’s third race in a week (Ostrava and Birmingham prior to this) and he indicated it was his last race before Worlds. He said, “My goal is to prepare for my country and bring the gold home.”Aman said he wanted to run fast and he produced a great final 100m to get the World’s #2 time. The USA’s Duane Solomon is still the world leader and it’s a bit surreal to hear Aman talking about Solomon being the world leader. “Solomon, I am very happy for him. We’ll see (who is best) in Moscow,” said Aman.

Brandon Johnson was not a factor in this one in fifth in 1:45.03. Johnson could not use jet lag as an excuse like a lot of the guys, as he raced in Reims, France last week (1:47.22 for 2nd), five days after finishing 3rd at USAs. “I’m a little upset. I was hoping to run faster,” said Johnson, who has been altitude training in Europe and had that on his legs.

Johnson has come a long way in a short time, as this was the fourth-fastest time of his life, and it left him disappointed. It also was his first Diamond League race as an 800m runner (not a hurdler).  Johnson said he was warned how aggressive racing in the Diamond League is, but he still was surprised at all the physical contact. He said, “That was the biggest thing, how aggressive it was.” Johnson did not get out in his usual near the front style. He was in the back for much of the race until kicking at the end. On his tactics he said, “I should have been a little faster (early on), but I wanted to get a feel for the race.”

And being a Patriot, he gives a shout out to everyone on July 4th at the 3:00 mark of the interview below.

Quick Takes
QT#1: Aman’s Break Before Worlds Shakes Things Up
Coming into this race, our main concern with Aman was that he was racing too often, not winning that impressively, and not running that fast. He won impressively today, ran faster, and said he’s taking a break. What can we complain about now?

QT#2: There Are No Style Points
Unlike Rudisha, who looks like a gazelle running, Aman shows the strain on his face when sprinting. He never looks that pretty and is often grimacing. However, there are no style points in running and today’s final 100m made us reassess his 2013 record. Below we list his wins with the margin of victory.

1:44.74 Pre .74
1:43.61 Rome .30
1:44.37 Rabat .54
1:43.78 Ostrava .67
1:45.18 Birmingham .46
1:43.33 Lausanne .78

Most of the wins haven’t been even close. Aman may be grimacing but he has been winning comfortably. Can we hold it against him the 800m fields in Europe have not been tremendous this year?

QT#3: Nigel Amos Returns
Amos is the 19-year-old who stunned everyone with his silver last year at the Olympics. He had run some 400m races earlier this year, then got injured, and then only ran a 48-second 400m last month. This was his first 800 of the year. He was right on it with 100m to go. If he had run 1:43.3 in his first 800 of the year, we might have just handed the gold medal to him. Don’t write him off as a factor in Moscow because he faded here in the last 90m of his first 800m of the year.

QT#4: Pierre-Ambroise Bosse Impresses
The 21-year-old Frenchman led the race on the second lap until the final 100m. He was not intimidated by anyone and really went for the win before the French-speaking fans. Very impressive. He also was the runner-up in Rome.

Intermediate Times:
400m: Kipkoech, Nicholas Kiplangat (KEN): 49.59
600m: Bosse, Pierre-Ambroise (FRA): 1:16.91
Aman Takes A Break
Brandon Johnson After First DL 800

The 1:59:40 GOAT shirts are here
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