David Rudisha is Really Back, Ajee Wilson Keeps Rolling, Silas Kiplagat and Chris O’Hare Impress, and the Consistent Leo Manzano?
July 12, 2014
The two-day Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix Diamond League meeting came to an end on Saturday with some tremendous action.
The highlight for American fans was Emma Coburn’s American record in the steeplechase which we recap separately here.
Below is a recap of all the other day 2 distance action: David Rudisha showed he is back by absolutely crushing the field in the 800, American Ajee Wilson just kept winning in the women’s 800, and Silas Kiplagat won the men’s 1500m while Chris O’Hare turned some heads with Leo Manzano continuing a strong 2014.
All the Glasgow Day 1 Coverage can be found on our 2014 Glasgow Event Page.
Men’s 800 David Rudisha Destroys Everybody
In his first race in the UK since his mesmerizing 1:40.91 world record at the 2012 Olympics, Kenya’s David Rudisha found a little bit of his old magic as he absolutely destroyed the field today to capture the men’s 800 in 1:43.34, a time that makes Rudisha the co-world leader with Asbel Kiprop.
South Africa’s André Olivier ended up best of the rest in 1:45.65 and British champ Michael Rimmer was third in 1:45.89, under the 1:46.50 qualifying time he needed for Europeans. Matthew Centrowitz was the top American in fourth in 1:46.12 (1:45.86 pb).
Rudisha’s trusty old rabbit Sammy Tangui wanted to hit 400 in 50.00 and did a great job of it as he hit 49.94. Rudisha wasn’t right on him, however, as he was a little less than a full second back in second, with a few meters on American Erik Sowinski in third (Sowinski in ended up fifth in 1:46.45).
Without the rabbit, Rudisha took control on the backstretch and really put on a show between 400 and 600. When he hit 600 in 1:16.28, he had a massive lead, which makes sense as Rudisha ran his third 200 in around 25.5.
Rudisha slowed a little in the last 100 but his final 200 of 27.06 gave him the world lead.
The rest of the field was way, way behind him with Olivier more than 2 seconds back.
Quick takes and results appear below.
Quick Take #1: Rudisha was happy with his performance and said it will be a good year if he gets into the 1:42s this year.
“I’m very happy because today I was feeling ok and I was expecting to run the fastest time (in the world) this year in the 800 meters and I’m glad to have accomplished that today,” said Rudisha to the BBC after this one was over. “The track is really great and fast.”
“This year has been a tough year, a struggle for me. I expect to close this year with a 1:42 – that would be a great accomplishment for me,” added Rudisha.
It’s worth noting that Steve Cram said he’d heard that Rudisha’s training in Kenya had been up and down since his win in New York on June 14. Some sessions have gone great whereas others weren’t what he was looking for.
Quick Take #2: Rimmer was happy as well
“I’m pleased, obviously it’s been a horrible season,” said Rimmer after the race. “I was only training twice a week for a long, long time, but I had to start training and risk the body a little bit. It’s definitely progress.”
|RANK||ATHLETE||NATION||RESULT||DIAMOND POINTS||DIAMOND RANKING|
|8||MUTAI Jeremiah Kipkorir||KEN||1:46.72|
Intermediate times: 400m TANGUI, Sammy (KEN) 49.94 600m RUDISHA, David (KEN) 1:16.28
Video highlights from Universal Sports:
Women’s 800m: Ajee Wilson Keeps it Rolling
Ajee Wilson continued her fine form in 2014, winning the non-DL 800 in 1:59.68.
Wilson got out well and was in position right behind the rabbit Laura Crowe at 200 meters. Behind her was 2009 world bronze medalist Jenny Meadows and Cuban Rose Mary Almanza. Unfortunately, Crowe wasn’t much use in this one and at 375 meters Wilson moved by her and Meadows came along as well, with Meadows hitting 400 in the lead at 57.92.
Meadows still led at 600 in 1:28.86 with Wilson, Almanza and American Heather Kampf behind her. 19-year-old Brit Jessica Judd had moved up on the outside on the back stretch and she was on the shoulder of Wilson midway through the back stretch. She couldn’t quite pass Wilson, however, and Wilson took the lead from Meadows coming off the final turn.
Wilson separated from the field in the last 100, but behind her it was a very tight battle for second. There was just a .14-second gap between spots 2 and 6, with Almanza getting up for second in 1:59.94. Judd just missed breaking 2:00 in third at 2:00.01 while American Heather Kampf was eighth in 2:01.15.
Quick Thought #1: Wilson made this look easy
Wilson’s winning margin wasn’t huge, but there was a massive gap in the perceived level of effort between Wilson and the rest of the field. While everyone behind her was straining in the home stretch, Wilson remained very relaxed and calmly held them off for the win.
She’ll run again in a stacked 800 next week in Monaco against Eunice Sum, Yekaterina Poistogova and Americans Brenda Martinez, Laura Roesler and Molly Beckwith-Ludlow. Monaco always produces fast times and given her fitness level and the competition, Wilson has a great shot to break 1:58 for the first time in her career.
Quick Thought #2: Judd wasn’t happy with her performance.
After the race, Judd told the BBC, “I’m disappointed with that. I don’t know what I was doing [tactically] for half of that race.”
Judd was pleased to have finished on the podium however.
Judd, who took silver at World Juniors behind Wilson in 2012, was just fourth at the UK championships two weeks ago, also said that she had a chest infection during the meet. However, she still made the English team for the Commonwealth Games and will be back in Glasgow later this month to run the 800.
Quick Thought #3: A breakout race for Alison Leonard
Leonard, 24, entered 2014 with a PR of 2:01.82 but had broken 2:03 just once in the last three years. She’s been much better this year, getting second at the UK championships and running a huge PR here to take fifth in 2:00.08, just ahead of European/UK champ Lynsey Sharp.
“I can’t believe it,” Leonard told the BBC. “I’m so pleased. I can’t believe I ran that fast. I wanted to run a PB but didn’t expect it to to be that fast.”
|2||ALMANZA Rose Mary||CUB||1:59.94|
Intermediate times: 400m MEADOWS, Jennifer (GBR) 57.92 600m MEADOWS, Jennifer (GBR) 1:28.86
800 race video from Universal Sports (USA Visitors only)
Men’s 1500: Chris O’Hare Challenges Silas Kiplagat for 1400m, Leo Manzano “Mr Consistent?”
Silas Kiplagat was the class of this field and he showed it on the final lap, getting the win in 3:32.84 with a 54-second last lap while American Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano ran a season’s best for 3rd in 3:34.40.
Reuben Bett took it out in 54.71 and the field never wanted to go with him. Bett slowed to 1:53.32 at 800 but still had a gap on the field. The third rabbit, Vincent Kibet, was tasked taking the field through 1200, but the field didn’t care too much about him and gave him a few meters, as they were repositioning themselves for the final lap as this one came down to the final 400m.
It was congested at the bell. Manzano had been in a good spot right before the bell, but got swarmed by some of the pack just at the bell. Meanwhile, fellow former NCAA champ Chris O’Hare, running on home Scottish soil, had been last 500m into the race, but moved up into a good position at the bell.
Coming onto the backstretch when the final rabbit dropped out, Nixon Chepseba of Kenya was in the lead, followed by Kiplagat, with O’Hare in third. Chepseba was overtaken on the backstretch and going around the final bend the Scottish crowd was in a frenzy as Kiplagat led, but O’Hare was just outside of him trying to challenge him for the lead. Abdelaati Iguider was in third.
Once they hit the homestretch it was all Kiplagat. He cruised down the homestretch, looked around, put up a #1 sign, and got the win in 3:32.84. Super impressive. Leader-to-leader the final lap was 55.32 which means Kiplagat ran roughly 54.5 the last lap.
O’Hare ran out of steam down the homestretch and would fade to fifth as Manzano would move up from fourth to third in a season’s best. Behind him, O’Hare, Jake Wightman, Charlie Grice, Garrett Heath, and Andreas Vojta would all set PBs or season’s bests.
Intermediate times: 400mBETT, Reuben (KEN) 54.71
Results and then quick takes.
QT #1: Silas Kiplagat is Good
There is a reason Silas Kiplagat has gotten 1st or 2nd in every 1500/mile he’s run outdoors this year. He’s one of the world’s best. He showed it again today.
QT #2: Leo Manzano Season’s Best But He Won’t be in Monaco
Leo Manzano was competitive here in a season’s best, but the start lists are out for Monaco next week. Manzano isn’t in the 1500 and he wanted to be in the meet. The US champion, the Olympic silver medallist coming off a season’s best, you think that might get you into Monaco. Think again.
Manzano has been known for being inconsistent in non-championship races. Maybe that is changing in 2014. (Announcer Tim Hutchings even referred to the “consistent” Leo Manzano). Look at Manzano’s record below from All-Athletics.com outdoors under new coach John Hayes. Throw out the Adrian Martinez Classic and Leo has been pretty good out every time out individually. There really are only two non-Championship 1500m/miles in there, but Leo has done well in both of them.
|22.04.14||Des Moines Drake Relays||Mile Road||USA||D||F||4:05.71||1036|
|26.04.14||Philadelphia Penn Relays||Distance Medley||USA||D||F||9:28.27||1147|
|25.05.14||Nassau IAAF World Relays||4x1500m||BAH||B||F||14:40.8||1242||AR|
|31.05.14||Eugene Prefontaine Classic||Mile||USA||GL||F||2||3:52.41||1170|
|05.06.14||Concord Adrian Martinez Classic||Mile||USA||F||F||1||3:59.31||1083|
|26.06.14||Sacramento USA Ch.||1500m||USA||B||H||2||3:42.01||1080|
|28.06.14||Sacramento USA Ch.||1500m||USA||B||F||3:38.63||1125|
|05.07.14||Oordegem Memorial Léon Buyle||800m||BEL||E||F||2||1:46.32||1134|
|12.07.14||Glasgow British Athletics Grand Prix||1500m||GBR||GL||F||3:34.40||1183|
QT #3: David Torrence Struggles
Earlier this year, Torrence turned heads by running stride for stride for much of his leg with Silas Kiplagat in the 4×1500 at World Relays. The future looked bright. Torrence then also joined Jama Aden’s mid-distance group. Things have not gone Torrence’s way since. He didn’t make the final at USAs, and today was 13th out of 14.
Can Torrence turn it around this summer? With the rest of the world soon taking a break for Commonwealths and Europeans, Torrence will have some time to get in some good training.
QT #4: Chris O’Hare Impresses
Chris O’Hare, much like Torrence at World Relays, turned some heads today even if he faded the last 100m. This was O’Hare’s first race in over a month (he’s been dealing with injury) and his focus clearly is on the Commonwealth Games on Scottish soil and he left not only with a tremendous 1400m, but a 1500 pr.
What happens at Commonwealth’s? The future looks bright for O’Hare but we’d have said the same thing about Torrence after he hung with Kiplagat at World Relays.
O’Hare talked to the BBC about today’s run, “I’ve been kind of held together by tape the last few weeks. Today was all about coming in and making sure I didn’t hurt myself any further. I sat in the back and then started to move up and felt really good so I kept moving. I found myself on the shoulder of the leaders and thought, ‘I’m not sure I should be here.’”
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