Caster Semenya Races on Major Circuit For 1st Time This Year and Finishes Just 7th
August 29, 2013
“Eunice Sum is the real deal, isn’t she?”
Commentator Tim Hutchings words summed this race up perfectly. After a shock win at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at 100/1 odds, Sum backed up that win with a Diamond League victory in Stockholm last Thursday. A third successive victory tonight with the Diamond League $40,000 series crown on the line over a field that included the 2011 and 2012 World and Olympic champion and 2013 silver medallist Mariya Savinova (who wasn’t in Stockholm) and there can be no doubt.
Sum is for real.
After Sum’s victory in Moscow, Savinova made a few comments about how tactics and her over looking Sum had cost her the title. We didn’t really agree with that assessment as Savinova was right with Sum coming down the homestretch and Sum pulled away for the win.
Tonight’s rematch Weltklasse Zürich meet certainly lived up the billing as the two waged a ferocious battle over the final 100. Savinova had tracked Sum throughout the race before coming up on our outside at the start of the final 100. They two ran nearly side by side for the entire last straightaway. It was a riveting stretch run but Sum somehow found the strength to never give up the lead.
Sum was your winner in 1:58.82 to Savinova’s 1:58.93 as Morocco’s Malika Akkaoui was third in 1:59.35. The two Americans Alysia Montaño and Ajee Wilson were fourth (2:00.25) and fifth (2:00.35) respectively.
Quick Take (QT) #1: This was a fun race to watch as the stretch run was pretty much as good as you are going to get.
QT #2: While we didn’t like how Savinova made some excuses for her World Championship loss to Sum, Savinova’s trip was compromised a little bit tonight and it might have impacted the outcome. Throughout the first 600, Savinova tracked Sum and ran right behind her. But as the field approached 600, Russia’s Yekaterina Poistogova made a big move up on the outside. As they hit 600, she tried to find space on the inside to settle in on the turn, and she encountered a tiring Alysia Montaño and there was contact and Poistogova went down hard. When Poistogova went down, Savinova lost a little bit of momentum as this all happened between Sum and Savinova.
In the end, Savinova ended up being in perfect position with 100 meters to go and couldn’t get the job done which is the exact same thing that happened at Worlds. Sum’s deserves full credit for winning in Moscow and here as well.
QT #3: Montaño went out up front behind the rabbit but she let the rabbit gap her and didn’t go out nearly as fast as she did at Worlds. Montaño started to fade around 550 and never was a factor after that. The other American Wilson was out in the back of this one and moved up a little bit late.
QT #4: 2009 World Champion Caster Semenya ran for the first time this year on the major circuit here tonight and was never a factor. She ran in the back throughout but did end up with a seasonal best time of 2:01.83.
Results and a few more photos appear below.
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