July 23, 2013
Last week’s weekly recap can be found here.
We already provided a lot of great insight in our individual race recaps after the 2013 Herculis Monaco meet. So if you were on vacation and missed that coverage, you can catch up with it here.
Trying to put Mo Farah’s 3:28 in perspective
Putting Olympic 10,000 champion Mo Farah‘s 3:28.72 European record 1,500 from last week in perspective isn’t an easy task.
If we tell you that he’s only the third European to ever hold the 10,000 and 1,500 records at the same time, that probably doesn’t help you understand the significance of it. You see we doubt anyone on the site was a fan of the sport back in the 1920s when Finland Paavo Nurmi (pbs of 3:52.6h/30:06.2h) held both records. Maybe there’s one or two people who remember Hungary’s Sándor Iharos from the mid 1950s (pbs pf 3:40.8h/28:42.8h).
So how about this?
Guess where the African 10,000 (and World) record holder Kenenisa Bekele sits on the all-time 1500 list for Africa?
He’s only the 64th fastest African at 1500 at 3:32.35.
What about Galen Rupp, the North American record holder at 10,000? Where does his stand on the all-time North American list with his 3:34.75 pb?
Our point? It’s very rare for a guy, hell basically unprecedented for a guy to be that good at 10,000 and that fast at 1,500.
Now, one important point needs to be made.
Not many 10,000 stars run big-time 1500s in their prime. Part of that is because they may not be great at it but a big part of it is financial.
As coach Renata Canova pointed out last week on the messageboard, once you become the best in the world at a particular event, there is huge financial incentive to run that event only and go for a fast time or perhaps make a world record attempt. Canova said that when he was coaching Saif Saaeed Shaheen, the steeplechase world record holder, that Shaheen might make $60,000 if he ran a steeple and went for the WR in a steeple.
How much would he get if he ran the 5000? $2,000.
So what do you think he ran all of the time? The steeple.
We believe Haile Gebrselassie most likely could have broken 3:30 in his prime most likely. He is after all the #2 man in history in the indoor 1500 where he ran 3:31.76 and won a world indoor title.
Along those lines, it should be remembered that Galen Rupp is the fifth fastest indoor miler ever at 3:50.92.
Still, Mo Farah’s 3:28 was stunningly good last week.
The Rest of Team Salazar Struggles/Is Something Wrong With Galen Rupp?
While Mo Farah ran better than could have been expected last week, it wasn’t a good week for the others in the Alberto Salazar camp. Jordan Hasay failed to get the 31:45 ‘A’ qualifier in her 10,000 attempt (Not that she needed it as the ‘B’ got her to Moscow but she clearly wanted the ‘A’), Tara Erdmann failed to get the ‘B’ of 32:05 in her 10,000 attempt, US 1500 champion Treniere Moser finished dead last in the Monaco 1,500 and Olympic 10,000 silver medallist Galen Rupp was dropped early in the 5000 in Monaco and settled for a 13:05 sixth place showing.
After that 5000 run, someone pointed out to us (maybe we read it on the messageboard? we can’t seem to find the post) that Rupp is struggling in 2013. After a 3:50 indoor mile and a dominant victory in the 10,000 at USAs, we certainly didn’t view it that way. But this person pointed out to us that every race Rupp has run this year outdoors has been worse than last year.
We did a little research and that’s correct.
Comparing Galen Rupp 2012 versus 2013
|1500 at Oxy||3:34.75 (2nd)||3:36.98 (2nd)||2012 Better|
|5000 at Pre||12:58.90 (3rd)||13:08.69 (6th)||2012 better|
|10,000 at USAs||27:25 (won by 8+sec)||28:47 (won by 2+sec)||2012 better|
|5,000 at USAs||13:22 (1st)||14:54 (2nd)||2012 better|
(Note: last year Rupp ran zero races between USAs and the Olympics).
So what do we think of Rupp’s 13:05 from last week?
1) It’s important to keep things in perspective.
Considering he’s got an Olympic silver, it’s hard to believe but 13:05 is Rupp’s second fastest 5000 ever.
It’s not horrible by any stretch of the imagination to run 13:05 in 80 degree weather in a race where you basically found yourself in no man’s land from the start as the top guys started at sub 12:40 pace.
Give Rupp Stanford type weather intead of 80 degree heat and it’s likely the second sub 13:00 of his life.
2) Despite point #1, we don’t think Rupp looks like he’s on his way to repeating his silver medal performance from last year.
If you watched a African runner get beat by 15 seconds in a 5000, you certainly wouldn’t say, “Watch out for him at Worlds. I bet he gets a silver in the 10,000.”
3) Even if he was in the same fitness as last year, we doubt that Rupp would repeat his silver medal performance from last year given the fact that Dejen Gebremeskel is running the 10,000 this year.
Jenny Simpson Worlds Tracker
Jenny Simpson provided the highlight of the week for US distance fans as she won her first Diamond League meet of her career in Monaco. Simpson right now clearly is the US#1 medal threat male or female in any event over 800 meters (the medal prospects of Symmonds/Solomon seem very good as well in the 800, but we’ll wait to talk about them next week after they race in London. Brenda Martinez had a tremendous run for third behind Simpson in Monaco and we’ll talk about her after London as well where she is running her Worlds event the 800).
The best part about Simpson’s win is it provided clear-cut statistical proof that she’s much better now than she was in June when she raced six weeks ago in Rome.
See for yourself.
1200 Split/Final 300/Overall Time For Jenny Simpson in Rome on June 6th
1200 Split/Final 300/Overall Winning Time For Jenny Simpson in Monaco
So off of an identical opening 800 (the opening half in both race races was 2:12) but a slightly faster 1200, Simpson is now closing more than a second faster than she was on June 6th. She’s clearly peaking when it matters most.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that while Simpson is closing a second faster now than she was six weeks ago, six weeks ago she was beaten by more than two seconds by Sweden’s Abebe Aregawi.
Check out Aregawi’s splits from Rome:
1200 Split/Final 300/Overall Winning Time For Abebe Aregawi in Rome on June 6th
So Simpson has made up roughly half of the two-second gap over the final 300m. Can she improve another second?
A betting man would say Simpson isn’t going to improve another second. She’s likely not going to be in shape to run a 4:00.23 off of a 3:17.2 1200.
The good news for Simpson fans is she may not need to be in that shape. Simpson has clearly gotten better and she (and US fans) can hope Aregawi has gotten worse like she did last year. If Aregwai is one second worse in Moscow than she was in Rome, then Simpson is right in the mix.
In Aregawi’s last race on July 4th in Lausanne, Aregawi statistically was much worse than she was in Rome on July 4th. Instead of closing in 43 flat, she closed in 43.4 and the opening pace was slower.
1200 Split/Final 300/Overall Winning Time For Abebe Aregawi in Lausanne on July 4th
Moscow certainly should be interesting. We don’t think Simpson (or anyone in the world) can beat Aregawi when Aregawi’s at her best but if Aregawi’s not at her best then Simpson can win.
The other thing to factor in is running rounds. Jenny Simpson background is as a longer distance runner and she does well in rounds. Considering she won gold two years ago when no one expected it, she has to be excited heading into Worlds this year.
Quote of The Week I (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“It is time the athletes took responsibility for their doping instead of looking around for a scapegoat, whether that person is their therapist, bartender or anyone else.”
“Athletes keep using the same story, which is to blame the scapegoat for their own wrongdoing.”
Quote of The Week II (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“In hindsight, we should’ve been given a list, made sure we got a list (of what they were taking)”
“I said to (Xuereb) in a text message that all supplements have to be cleared by me first. He never cleared them with me.
“He did send them in an invoice that had the names of supplements in there that he had purchased. But that was it. I didn’t have the ingredient list.”
“Just looked at it this morning, 19 different supplements (Powell) was given.”
– Asafa Powell‘s agent Paul Doyle, talking to The Independent accepting some responsibility for Powell’s positive (but also putting a lot of it back on Xuereb).
Quote of The Week III (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“SI has learned that Gay has been treated by Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging specialist Clayton Gibson. In the sports world, the term “anti-aging” has often come to signify therapy that uses hormones — usually testosterone and HGH — and testosterone precursors, like DHEA. DHEA can be obtained over the counter and is permitted in certain sports, including baseball, but not those contested in the Olympics.”
– Sports Illustrated‘s David Epstein explaining how Tyson Gay might have gone to a doctor used by many other professional athletes, gotten the same exact treatment they get, but end up banned for two years. Track and field bans many more drugs than baseball. Steroid pre-cursors like DHEA are banned in track, not just steroids.
Quote of The Week IV (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“(Asafa Powell) is also, probably, the most loved among the locals – more so than Usain Bolt, despite his world records and Olympic gold medals.”
“This comes as a huge shock for persons outside of Jamaica and even for some here at home. Perhaps it is because Powell is seen as the man who kick-started Jamaica’s era of sprinting prowess in 2004 when he recorded his first sub-10 sec time in the 100m. Ordinary Jamaicans also find it easier to identify with Powell: he is the more reserved, ‘friend-next-door’ persona, as opposed to the colourful and extravagant Bolt.”
– Andrew Lowe writing for The Telegraph from Jamaica about how beloved Asafa Powell is in Jamaica.
Photo Of The Week
Royal Mania: The Royal Couple of Monaco Kisses as Leo Manzano Finishes
With the mania surrounding all things royal take a look at this photo:
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene Kiss (Top Center) as Leo Manzano Finishes
We think there needs to be a saying. You know how one of the most famous traditional sayings in sports has been,”It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”
How about, “The race isn’t over until the Royal Couple finishes making out.”
Prince Albert and Charlene probably thought it was ok to kiss and that the race was already over as 2012 Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano was way, way back in the Monaco 1500. He was last – more than five seconds behind next-to-last in 3:44.59.
Time to panic for Leo?
Nope. Leo is right where he wants to be heading into Moscow. Remember, last year in his last race before the Olympics, he was last in a mile in over 4:00. And this year, in his last race before the US Championships, he was last at Prefontaine.
As a result, we’re disappointed that Manzano is on the start lists for this weekend’s London Anniversary Games meet. We guess he can finish last there as well to know he’s ready.
Video of The Week
If you haven’t watched the 1500 in Monaco, please do so now. We’ve cued it up so you only have to spend 70 seconds watching the last 500 meters. To watch Asbel Kiprop finish off a 3:27 1500 is a thing of beauty. To watch a human being hit 1300 meters in sub
4:00 3:00 is amazing. So if you haven’t watched it, go ahead and do so now (US visitors only).
We Allow Ourselves To Mope For 30-Seconds About All of The World Championships Pullouts Before Snapping Out Of It
Normally we try to be optimistic about things but there’s no denying the World Championships have taken a major blow in the last two weeks. On the men’s side in the last two weeks, the following people have been lost World Record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha, 2012 Olympic 1500 champ Taoufik Makhloufi, America’s fastest man Tyson Gay, and 2011 100 meter champ Yohan Blake. So mid-d fans lost the two Olympic champs and then the sport loses the two men who realistically might be the only two with a shot at beating Usain Bolt. Ouch.
Ok, enough of the depressing talk. We’ll snap out of it and be optimistic about things.
Here’s our thought process. The 800 is always a fun event as everyone is in it for 600, but now it truly might be crazy as the thing is 100% totally wide open. It was a must-watch event with David Rudisha in it. And it’s a must-watch event without him in it, especially for US fans. Three of the six fastest men in the world this year come from the USA.
As for the 1500, Makhloufi while an Olympic champion, isn’t really a name who was well-known as he’s had very limited success on the circuit. The fact that 2008 Olympic champ Asbel Kiprop is healthy and running better than ever more than makes up for Makhloufi’s loss. With Centrowiz and Manzano in the field as well, it too is still a must-watch event for US fans.
As for the men’s 100, we’re going to be glued to the tv every time Bolt races no matter who he is racing. The other lanes could be empty and it would still be must-watch tv as Bolt is competing against history now just as much as anyone else on the track.
- David Rudisha Officially Withdraws From Moscow World Champs As He Recovers From Knee Injury
- Yohan Blake Out Of Moscow World Champs With Hamstring Injury
*Jamaican Federation Admins Aren’t Aware Of Blake’s Withdrawal As They Said “As far as we are concerned, yes, he is in the team”
- MB: Taoufik Makhloufi Not Competing in Moscow? This thread says he’s battling a viral illness so won’t compete.
- It’s Official: Olympic 1,500 Champion Taoufik Makhloufi Withdraws From Next Month’s World Championships Due To A Viral Infection
MB: Taoufik Makhloufi Not Competing in Moscow?
Lawi Lalang Is A Beast
Arizona star Lawi Lalang just missed becoming the first collegiate under 13:00 in Monaco as he ran 13:00.95. And to us, the most impressive thing about his race wasn’t the time. The way he ran it was more impressive. He was aggressive and ran with the stars of the sport who went out at 12:40 pace.
While he didn’t get the sub-13:00, he did get a nice consolation prize – the scalp of an Olympic silver medallist. In his last race, Lalang beat Kenenisa Bekele. Now, he adds Galen Rupp to the list.
Ten Fastest Collegians In History At 5,000*
13:00.95 Lawi Lalang (Arizona)
13:08.4 Henry Rono (Washington St) 04/08/78
13:13.74i Stephen Sambu (Arizona) 02/11/02
13:15.33 Diego Estrada (NAU) 4/28/2013^
13:15.77 Bill McChesney (Oregon) 05/16/81
13:16.98 Alistair Cragg (Arkansas) 04/30/04
13:18.12i Galen Rupp (Oregon) 02/13/09
13:18.46 Brent Vaughn (Colorado) 05/04/08
13:18.47 Cam Levins’ (Southern Utah) 04/20/12
13:18.58 Eric Jenkins (Northeastern) 4/28/2013
*Times achieved before NCAAs of their senior year.
Other News Of Note
- Steve Prefontaine’s Mother Elfriede Dies At Age 88 Pre Classic meet director Tom Jordan: “Anyone who knew Elfriede knew how strong-willed she was – and stubborn. Even though she was always soft-spoken and very self-effacing, she had a toughness that Steve had also.”
- Pregnant Former Ethiopian Olympian Meskerem Legesse Dies At 26 Years Old She died after collapsing at a restaurant, but doctors were able to save her baby, which wasn’t due for another 3 weeks.
- Register-Guard: Oregon’s Trevor Dunbar Ends Injury Filled Season By Becoming First Alaskan To Run Sub-4 Mile He ran 3:59.06 at the Portland Twilight Meet on Monday.
LRC How Can Usain Bolt Be Clean (When Everyone Else Is Dirty)?He’s The Lebron James And Babe Ruth Of Track And Field LetsRun.com co-founder, Robert Johnson, saw today’s quote of the day and was spurred to write. He tells you how and why it’s not crazy to believe Usain Bolt might be clean even though it seems as if everyone else he is racing might be dirty.
MB: Rojo and Usain Bolt
MB: Rojo’s quote on Bolt – MAJOR flaw in reasoning.
Quotes Of The Day & Last Week’s Homepages:
Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.
“I read so much in these days about (Mo Farah) online and it could be nice to add also my opinion. Some are speaking which could be the right tactic to beat him: to be honest YOU HAVE TO WAIT HE WILL BECOME OLD … the only one solution in my opinion!”
– Coach Renato Canova, talking about the best tactics for beating Mo Farah in a distance race. Canova has updated his thoughts about Farah with a post on LetsRun where explains why he doubts Farah could get the 3,000 or 5,000 world record.
MB:After Mo’s 3:28.81, what is the ideal tactic to beat him at 5K/10K?
MB: RENATO CANOVA: “HOW TO BEAT MO FARAH?TO WAIT HE WILL BECOME OLD”
“I hope it shows track and field at its very best and that, when it’s properly choreographed and you’ve got the right facilities, it’s as competitive as any sport out there for the affections of a nation. I hope it does take people back a few months to what London was like and how they were enjoying themselves and how their kids were wanting to join clubs. It’s a massive moment.”
– Seb Coe, talking about his hopes for the London Anniversary Games DL event which takes place Fri. and Saturday.
“I think it’s been known for a long time that I’m a threat the last 300m if I’m hunting someone down. It was important to me to show I can go from the gun, I can go hard, I can be dangerous in that kind of race. Getting a major win was really big for me going into Moscow. Also showing I can run just hard and lead a lot of it was good for my psyche going into Moscow. … I wanted to go with the pace today. I just wanted to go for it …You can practice kicking on the track, but you can’t time trial a 1500m at 4 minute pace (in practice).”
– Jenny Simpson, talking after her 1500 win at the Monaco Diamond League in 4:00.
“It’s a very, very solid field. It’s going to be a great race. Every time I’ve raced here everybody has run super fast so I’m hoping for a very fast time. I haven’t PRed since 2010 so if I get a PR here I’m going to be really stoked.”
“… I try to take every race on its own and of course every race is different. Every time I step onto the track or on the line, it’s like the first time every time. The nerves never go away. It’s something you can kind of control.”
– Leo Manzano, talking to LetsRun.com ahead of his 1,500 race today at the Monaco Diamond League meet.
“You can’t expect the governing body to offer a level playing field for investors when it’s locked up with one brand. Some people say the USATF couldn’t exist without Nike money. Honestly, the USATF should be blown up and reconstructed.”
– Sally Bergesen, Founder and CEO of women sports apparel company Oiselle, with an aggressive take on how track and field can be more popular and financially lucrative in the US. USATF public affairs officer Jill Greer says, “The shoe companies put the most money into the sport globally. If they feel their interests aren’t being protected and take their money out of the sport, that doesn’t help.” Both quotes from a good article by Oregonian’s Ken Goe on the financial state of the sport.
“So what are we supposed to believe? Are we supposed to believe a lone clean sprinter can beat lanes of dirty ones despite years of anecdotal evidence that the drugs provide an insurmountable boost? Are we supposed to believe a guy from a country with a suspect anti-doping agency (international authorities have repeatedly bemoaned the lack of oversight) is playing by the rules just because?”
“[BALCO’s Victor] Conte and his merry doping band filled American Tim Montgomery with a pharmacy full of banned drugs, and a guy who struggled for most of his career to crack 10 seconds suddenly ran 9.78 and broke the world record. Now we’re supposed to believe a guy can go 9.58 clean?”
“We want to. Admitting otherwise is to concede that we were suckered, that we spent enormous amounts of emotional capital – the exhilaration, the fascination, the inspiration– on a sporting fraud. That we were duped by doping, again. That fool me twice, shame on me. There’s another reason: We want to believe there aren’t limits to unenhanced human performance because to think otherwise, in a way, represents a sober confirmation of our mortality. We turn to sports to escape the boundaries of our mundane lives, not reflect them.”
– U-T San Diego writer Mark Zeigler asking the question, if everyone else is dirty, how can Usain Bolt be so much better and do it clean? He points out that of the 10 men who have gone under 9.80 seconds in the 100, 8 of them have been linked to doping. Rojo replies: It must be remembered that Bolt is freakishly tall for a sprinter – 6’5 or 6′ 6. Clearly total freaks have existed before and will so again. Anyone remember the giant Babe Ruth? He was more than two times better than any other home run hitter in history when he hit 54 (record was 24 in 1920).
“Everyone is already on it. It’s a question of who’s getting away with it and who isn’t. … There is a distrust in this sport that the person I’m competing against is doing something so I have to continue to push the envelope … Some of these things these guys are getting popped for, it’s like, really? It’s a stimulant. The person I’m competing against is doing something so someone comes to me and gives me something that’s really close to being legal, and everyone feels like this is how I keep my competitive edge.”
– Ato Boldon arguing that supplements and stimulants should be legalized, while the hard stuff like steroids, HGH and EPO should stay banned