Jenny Simpson Earns First Diamond League Victory Of Her Career – Wins 2013 Monaco As America Takes 4 of Top 5
2013 US Champion Treniere Moser Struggles and Finishes Last
July 19, 2013
Monaco – Reigning world champion Jennifer Simpson of the US, who last year finished dead last in her semifinal heat of the Olympics, is officially back. She’s not just back, she’s better than ever.
Tonight, Simpson showed in Monaco that she’s definitely a big time medal threat for the upcoming Moscow World Championships as she earned her first ever Diamond League victory. Ahead at the bell, Simpson gave up the lead on the back-stretch to 2012 world indoor 3000 champ Hellen Obiri of Kenya, who just won the Kenyan champs last week, but Simpson rallied in the final 100 to dispatch Obiri. Simpson’s last lap was a stellar 59.30 and her final time was 4:00.48 – the second best time of Simpson’s career (her personal best is 3:59.90).
Obiri ended up second in 4:00.93, as she was just able to hold off a fast closing Brenda Martinez of the US who ran a big personal best of 4:00.94 (previous pb 4:04.86) to finish third. Americans also took fourth and fifth in this race as this race was one for the ages for American fans as the US took four of the top five spots.
Finishing fourth was 2009 bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury who ran a seasonal best of 4:01.28 (her previous seasonal best was 4:06.81, her pb is 4:00.33). Gabriele Anderson ran 4:01.48 for fifth to smash her 4:04.84 pb.
The race was rabbitted very well by American Phoebe Wright. No one went with her opening 63.92 first lap as Simpson was in second in the 65.5 to 66 flat range so Wright slowed down and let Simpson get right on her before she went through 800 in 2:12.17 (68.25 but 66.6 for Simpson). The pace picked up on the third lap as Simpson hit the bell in 3:01.18 and 1200 in 3:16.35.
On the back stretch, with about 230 meters to go, Obiri went flying by Simpson and it looked like Martinez might go by as well but Simpson refused to let Martinez get by before the turn. On the turn, Simpson went after Obiri and pulled even with her coming off the turn. Then with roughly 75 meters left Simpson pulled away and went on to victory.
Simpson Executes As She Wanted
Jenny Simpson not only left Monaco with the win and a fast time, but having executed the type of race she wanted.
She wanted to be aggressive here. “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,” she sad in the video below.
She added, “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 on the Strong USA Showing
Jenny talked about the great day for the American women, “Some of the best 1500m runners in the world are in the US right now and it’s deep enough now that some of them didn’t make the team,” she said speaking of Anderson and Rowbury who didn’t qualify for Worlds in the 1500m.
As for Brenda Martinez who nearly made it an American 1-2 up front, Jenny said, “Brenda is one of those people who has really blossomed a few years out of school. I hope it’s stories like hers that really encourage people when they’re coming out their senior year to stay in the sport and find a way to make it work… She’s really come on strong and had an exciting career. ”
Now it’s back to Colorado for training for Jenny as this was her last race before Worlds. “Sometimes you look in your log book and see what worked,” Jenny said noting that in 2011 before she won her World title she went back to the States and trained for 17 days. On how much Jenny needed a race like tonight for her confidence she said, “Being the defending champ is good but it’s two years old.”
Brenda Martinez’s Huge Run Almost Didn’t Happen
Brenda Martinez nearly made it an American 1-2 up front. Martinez’s focus this year has been the 800 and she has the 4th fastest 800m in the world this year. However, her 800m success wasn’t enough to get her into this meet until there were some late scratches and her agent Kimberly Holland got Brenda in the meet on Monday. That meant Brenda had to leave the US Wednesday, flying business class, arriving in Monaco on Thursday before Friday’s race.
Martinez ran like an experience veteran. She said, “Coach (Joe Vigil) told me I could run with the best, so I’m going to believe him. I’m not going to doubt him.”
Now Brenda will go to race an 800m in London next weekend. “I still feel the 800 suits me best this year,” she said.
So good were Jenny and Brenda that Gabriele Anderson ran a huge 4:01 pr here and she was left to photobomb the LRC interview with Brenda. You can definitely tell Gabriele was happy. Our apologies for not being able to talk to the other American women.
Jenny on the Win and the US Women
Brenda Martinez’s Incredible 2013 Continues
Quick takes, results, race video (US only) and more photos appear below.
Quick Take (QT) #1: Even when Simpson was third in Rome last month, we said her performance looked at in a vacuum was better than any other 1500 she’s ever run (we know winning a World title is even more significant). We certainly think that is the case once again here. Maybe it will be easier for people to comprehend since she won this race.
If one compares this race to when Simpson ran 3:59.90, one should be more impressed by this race. This race had a tactical start to it but a fast 59.30 last lap for Simpson. In her 3:59.90 race in 2009, Simpson closed in 62.15.
In comparing this race to Rome on June 6th, this one is clearly better. In Rome, Simpson closed in 45.20 and ran 4:02.30.
Tonight she closed in 44.13 and ran 4:00.48. So she’s certainly headed in the right direction.
That being said, she’s still got a ways to go to catch 2013 world leader Abebe Aregawi who closed in 43 flat and ran 4:00.33 in Rome.
QT #2: 4 out of the top 5 for the US. Wow.
Lost in that euphoria was the fact that US champion Treniere Moser who has had a tremendous comeback year, had her first poor race, as she was dead last in 4:07.42.
Discuss this race on our messageboard: USA women DESTROY Monaco 1500!
Results - 1500 Metres - Women Pts 1 Simpson , Jennifer USA 4:00.48 4 2 Obiri , Hellen Onsando KEN 4:00.93 2 3 Martinez , Brenda USA 4:00.94 1 4 Rowbury , Shannon USA 4:01.28 5 Anderson , Gabrielle USA 4:01.48 6 Kibiwot , Viola Jelagat KEN 4:02.50 7 Belete , Mimi BRN 4:03.63 8 Langat , Nancy Jebet KEN 4:03.91 9 Burka , Gelete ETH 4:04.36 10 Teferi , Senbere ETH 4:04.55 11 Rodríguez , Natalia ESP 4:06.20 12 Jamal , Maryam Yusuf BRN 4:07.31 13 Moser , Treniere USA 4:07.42 Wright , Phoebe USA DNF Hassan , Sifan NED DNS Intermediate times: 400m:Wright, Phoebe (USA)1:03.92 800m: Wright, Phoebe (USA)2:12.17 1200m: Simpson, Jenny (USA)3:16.35