By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
LONDON (27-Jul) — America’s Gabriele Anderson may have been the happiest runner-up at yesterday’s opening day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League meeting here in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Finishing second to Shannon Rowbury in the 3000m, Anderson was all smiles crossing the finish line. After all, she had just set a personal best for the distance, continuing what has been a successful summer of racing.
“I’m really happy. I’ve set PR’s at 800m, 1500m, and 3000m since June so whenever you’re improving, that’s a good thing,” Anderson, 27, told Race Results Weekly.
With her second top-five finish at an IAAF Diamond League competition in the last seven days, Anderson has no reasons to complain. Last week, she ran a personal best of 4:01.48 for 1500m; yesterday she set another personal mark by timing8:42.64. Rounding into form as the summer progresses, the cancer survivor finds herself battling at the front of the field every time she toes the start line.
“I don’t take that for granted,” said Anderson, noting how tough it has been to get to this point. “It took me a while to get into my rhythm this year. It was a long winter in Minnesota and I don’t use that as an excuse because I was still getting fit, but I don’t think I was sharp. I think I needed to see an outdoor track sooner than May and I just wasn’t ready in time.”
This year, one of the only blemishes on her racing schedule was at the USA Outdoor Championships, where she finished 11th in the 1500m final. Her placing was not good enough to earn a ticket to Moscow and the IAAF World Championships.
“For me, I wanted to make that team this year and it didn’t happen,” she said, a tad of disappointment in her voice. “Going forward, I know how to get fit and it’s just putting the pieces together on the day. I think I can be a threat on the world stage, I just need to get it right.
“The U.S. is so deep right now, that I could have still had a great race that day and not have made it and I know that,” she added. “I’m getting better, but I still need to keep racing to get that tactical experience. Today is good for that.”
On Friday, Anderson got it right, racing aggressively among American Olympians Rowbury and Molly Huddle. With the race turning into a 1500m affair at midway, Anderson found herself right in the front. Ultimately, she could not counter the final move made by Rowbury, who went on to win in a world leader of 8:41.46 (with the exception of Almaz Ayana’s 8:40.53 3000m split at the Meeting Areva 5000m).
“It was like where the 5000m meets the 1500m,” said Anderson, whose friends call her ‘Gabe.’ “I knew it was going to be a good battle, but Shannon’s obviously running great. I’ve run behind her in a lot of races so I thought I’d have a chance to get on the other side of her today, but I didn’t have it the last 100m. But I’m happy to get second.”
Anderson will fly back to the Unites States on Sunday, not knowing where her next competition is.
“Tomorrow I’m going to see London, see what I missed out on last year, and then re-evaluate when I get home. I think I’ll keep racing,” she said. “You could see me back in Europe in August slash September.”