August 10, 2013
1) The King Still Lives
Everyone expected Farah to win this title and he did. But he had to work for this one (At the start of the homestretch, he looked over his right shoulder to see Jeilan there and hit the afterburner, and Farah started pulled away but then Jeilan came back on him halfway down the homestretch before Farah pulled away late), and that’s the way it should be.
The fact that Farah had to fight for it makes us appreciate it a bit more. No one likes it when the subjects just meekly bow down to the King’s rule. A little rebellion every now and then makes things more interesting.
Farah has run the almost inconceivable time of 3:28.81 for 1500m this year. So everyone expected him to waltz to the title. We’re glad he had to earn it.
Farah even said on the final lap he had some flashbacks to 2011. “I was thinking, ‘not again, not again, not again,'” he said at the post-race press conference.
2) Ibrahim Jeilan is Very, Very Good
Jeilan was the 10,000 World Champion in 2011. Last year he missed the Olympics with injury. This year he would not have even made the Ethiopian team if he had not had a bye into the meet as the defending champion.
Then one month ago when the Ethiopian training camp started in Addis Ababa Jeilan picked up some sort of stomach bug. At the post-race press conference Jeilan said he wasn’t sure what it was, but blamed it on some Ethiopian food, and said it sidelined him in his training until 10 days ago. Yet, here he was challenging the nearly unbeatable Mo Farah down the stretch.
Think about that for a minute. Mo Farah was the double Olympic champion, had just run 3:28, and was viewed as “unbeatable”. Yet Jeilan, who had not run great all year and picked up a stomach bug in the last month to miss even more training, almost beat him. That’s why they run the race.
Jeilan acted like trying to beat Farah was no big deal, “Everybody expects himself for first place,” he said. Actually they don’t.
3) Galen Rupp Just Misses
Last year’s silver medal at the Olympics raised the bar for Galen Rupp’s expectations at Worlds. He started off 2013 running world leading times indoor in the mile and 3000m.
After indoors, some started wondering if Rupp actually could improve on his 2012 season and beat training partner Mo Farah? Instead Rupp’s outdoor season went in the other direction. Each of Rupp’s outdoor races was a little bit worse than those in 2012 and that culminated tonight with his fourth place finish.
Looking back at London, Rupp was only .48 behind Farah. Believe it or not, Rupp last year was closer at the finish to Farah than Jeilan was today as Jeilan was .52 back (today Rupp was 2.68 seconds behind Farah and 1.78 from bronze). It may not have seemed like that to some as Rupp came on late in London whereas Jeilan challenged Farah halfway down the homestretch.
Was London Rupp’s high water mark and/or did he just hit it too hot, too early in 2012? Time will tell, but Rupp will have to wait two year’s to get another shot on the World stage. The good news for Rupp is Farah may have moved up to the marathon by then. Farah said in the press conference he was talking strategy with Galen during the race as the plan was to repeat the 1-2 of London.
4) For Mo Farah, 30 is the New 20…
For Dathan Ritzenhein, 30 is 30…
After his 9th place finish, 30-year-old Dathan Ritzenhein talked like an old man who had run his last Major Championship on the track. (Video interview here)
His training partner Mo Farah is also 30. He’s winning world titles and running 3:28.81 for 1500. No one even asks him about his age.
Ritz now begins his two month preparation for the 2013 Chicago Marathon. Last year Ritz ran a very respectable 2:07:47 for Chicago. The only problem was that got him 9th as he didn’t go with the lead pack. This year Ritz said he’s going for it in Chicago.
5) Paul Tanui Gets Some Praise From Mo Farah
Despite what some LRC message boarders believe, there are no bonus points in track and field for leading the race prior to the finish line. Mo Farah knows that better than most as his strategy is often to hang back, keep the race slow, and wait until the kicking begins when it’s usually all over. Today around the 2k mark, Farah went from near the back of the pack to the lead. Was he trying a new tactic? Not all. Farah said he went to the lead hoping to slowdown the race. Problem was as Farah said, “It didn’t work…It just motivated the guys to go faster.”
One of the guys doing some of the leading in the race was eventual bronze medallist Paul Tanui. Farah said he was glad to see Tanui get a bronze because he earned it by doing some of the early leading.