Can The Hot Nick Symmonds Stop The Super Hot Mohamed Aman in This Moscow Rematch?

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Seven of Eight Finalists From Moscow Will Battle in Brussels

by LetsRun.com
September 4, 2013

The final Diamond League 800 of the season at Friday’s Belgacom Memorial Van Damme meet in Brussels is totally loaded. It includes seven of the eight Moscow world championship finalists (with the only guy missing being seventh placer Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France) plus 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum of Kenya, who didn’t make it to Moscow this year, as well as Moscow semifinalist Ferguson Cheruiyot of Kenya.

But in reality, this race is all about one thing – the clash between 2013 gold medallist Mohamed Aman and 2013 silver medallist Nick Symmonds. In David Rudisha‘s absence, Aman has been very, very good this year. In fact, he’s been unbeatable, having picked up eight straight victories since opening the season with a loss to Rudisha in Doha.

Symmonds, to his credit, has been very good himself. Since losing to Duane Solomon at USAs, Symmonds has picked up wins in six of seven races, with his lone loss coming at Worlds to Aman.

Nick Symmonds since losing at USAs on June 23rd
1:44.86 1 Classic Edmonton 29 Jun
1:43.67 1 Sainsbury’s London 26 Jul
1:43.55 2 WC Moskva 13 Aug
1:44.79 1 Skolimowska Warszawa 25 Aug
1:43.56 1 WK Zürich 29 Aug
1:49.69 1 DécaNation Valence 31 Aug
1:44.75 1 Quercia Rovereto 3 Sep
Mohamed Aman since losing his season opener to David Rudisha on May 10th
1:44.42 1 Pre Eugene OR 1 Jun
1:43.61 1 GGala Roma 6 Jun
1:44.37 1 Mohammed VI Rabat 9 Jun
1:43.78 1 GSpike Ostrava 27 Jun
1:45.18 1 Sainsbury’s Birmingham 30 Jun
1:43.33 1 Athletissima Lausanne 4 Jul
1:43.31 1 WC Moskva 13 Aug
1:43.97 1 ISTAF Berlin 1 Sep

Clearly, somebody’s win streak has to end. At World’s, Symmonds win streak was snapped but since then he’s picked up right where he left off going into Worlds.

Moscow was so much fun, let’s run it again in Brussels

On paper, Aman is the man to beat. Not only has he won eight straight but he’s also run 1:43 in his last three races.

A victory is far from assured for Aman. Remember, the last two years, there was a man on the circuit who was far more dominant than Aman has been this year – world record holder David Rudisha. And what happened to Rudisha at the end of both of those years? Rudisha lost to hungry rival by the name of Mohamed Aman, who wanted to send a signal of, “Hey when you’re training this off-season, don’t forget about me.”

However, since Aman won both of those late season races against Rudisha, it makes us feel that he’ll be hard to beat on Friday as Aman clearly has shown he’s a guy who is used to performing well all the way through the end of the year and won’t suffer a post-World hangover like say Ezekiel Kemboi has this year in the men’s steeplechase.

Who else?

We’d be VERY surprised if this race is won by someone not named Aman or Symmonds. If Aman is upset and it’s not by Symmonds, we think it will have been done by either Duane Solomon of the US or Moscow bronze medallist Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti.

We’re excited to watch the 20-year old Souleiman race here as this is actually his first ever major 800 on the circuit. He went into Moscow as a 1500 runner who was totally inexperienced at 800 and emerged with a medal. Coming into the year, his 800 pb was just 1:47.45 and his two 800s before Worlds were in lower-tier meets in Sweden. Since Moscow, Souleiman wrapped up the DL 1500 title on the year with a win in Stockholm and runner-up showing in Zurich, so he’s in good form.

Solomon, on the other hand, seems a bit past his peak. He was no-match for Aman in Berlin on Sunday when he was .97 seconds in arrears.

Quick Take #1: We know Symmonds is running well but Aman certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down and has thrived at the end of the year in 2011 and 2012. As a result, Aman, who is still just 19, is our pick for the win.

QT #2: The world lead this year is Duane Solomon’s 1:43.27, indicating no-one has broken 1:43 so far this year. If no-one dips under 1:43, it will be the first year since 2007 that no-one in the world ran a 1:42 or faster.

Last year six people did it (Rudisha, Amos, Kitum, Aman, Solomon and Symmonds). In 2011, one did it (Rudisha). Three people did it in 2010 (Rudisha, Kaki, Lalang), in 2009 (Rudisha, Yego, Mulaudzi), and in 2008 (Kaki, Borzakovskiy, Kamel). In 2007, South Africa’s Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was the world leader at 1:43.74 and a guy by the name of Alan Webb was #2 in the world at 1:43.84.

QT #3: Aman has the $40,000 DL title wrapped up with 14 points. Next closest is Rudisha with eight. Nick Symmonds actually has zero DL points as many of his wins have come recently at lower-tiered meets. This one is about as big as it gets.

QT #4: The full field is as follows:

ATHLETE DATE OF BIRTH NATION PB SB
10.01.1994
ETH
1:42.53
1:43.31
30.11.1989
KEN
1:44.38
1:44.38
20.11.1994
KEN
1:42.53
1:44.45
13.06.1987
POL
1:43.79
1:43.79
07.01.1991
KSA
1:44.10
1:44.10
19.02.1988
GBR
1:43.77
1:44.36
28.12.1984
USA
1:42.82
1:43.27
20.02.1980
NED
1:43.45
1:48.21
03.12.1992
DJI
1:43.63
1:43.63
30.12.1983
USA
1:42.95
1:43.55

QT #5: Want to re-live the 800 at Worlds? Check out our 2013 IAAF Men’s 800 Moscow World Championship page.


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