July 18, 2014
20-year-old Ajee Wilson is the best women’s 800 meter runner in the world.
It’s debatable but that’s what we think after a near-expressionless Wilson pulled away from reigning world champ Eunice Sum in the final meters to win the women’s 800 at the 2014 Herculis Monaco Diamond League track and field meet in a world-leading and new personal best time of 1:57.67 (previous pb of 1:58.21). After she crossed the finish line, the understated Wilson allowed herself to crack the smallest of smiles to celebrate her first-ever Diamond League victory (Wilson won last week in Glasgow but the women’s 800 wasn’t a DL event).
Sum finished second in a season’s best 1:57.92 (she had run 1:58.42 coming in) – her third straight season’s best on the year – but it wasn’t enough to beat Wilson.
Ugandan 20-year-old Winnie Nanyondo lowered her pb from 1:59.27 to 1:58.63 to get third, just ahead of 2007 world champ Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya who ran a seasonal best of 1:58.70 (1:59.73 coming in).
There was some good running behind them as the top 8 all broke 2:00.00.
800 Metres – Women
1 Wilson , Ajee USA 1:57.67
2 Sum , Eunice Jepkoech KEN 1:57.92
3 Nanyondo , Winnie UGA 1:58.63
4 Busienei , Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 1:58.70
5 Poistogova , Ekaterina RUS 1:59.31
6 Beckwith-Ludlow , Molly USA 1:59.32
7 Roesler , Laura USA 1:59.44
8 Judd , Jessica GBR 1:59.99
9 Lamote , Renelle FRA 2:00.06
10 Fedronic , Justine FRA 2:00.41
Kimaswai , Agatha Jeruto KEN DNF
Quick Thought #1: A Diamond League victory and world-leading time; it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.
U.S. fans, appreciate this one. Running is so much a sport about potential and what can happen down the road that we think fans often fail to appreciate the present.
We can always hope that Wilson continues to progress and is a dominant figure on the circuit for years to come but it’s hard to stay on top. Caster Semenya and Pamela Jelimo certainly didn’t stay on top very long.
Wilson continues to get better and better each year and as each season goes along, giving us a lot of confidence that the best is to come. But let’s appreciate this regardless of what the future holds.
There was an interesting topic raised by a fan on the messageboard: Mary Cain fans, serious question. Do you think she’ll ever do what Ajee Wilson did today? Win a DL in a WL time?
We hope the answer to that is yes and we hope that this is just the first of many big Wilson wins but time will tell. What she did today doesn’t happen very often for U.S. mid-d/distance runners.
Quick Thought #2: Wilson beat Eunice Sum – a woman who had won 14 800s in a row – while Sum ran the second-fastest time of her life.
Wilson deserves big props for this win as Sum, who came having won 14 straight, ran well and still lost. Wilson’s time would have earned her the silver last year at Worlds.
Totally great stuff. Who could have predicted it? Oh wait, we did.
Quick Thought #3: Wilson is now the sixth-fastest American in history.
1:56.40 Jearl Miles-Clark 1999
1:56.90 Mary Slaney 1985
1:56.91 Kim Gallagher 1988
1:57.04 Meredith Valmon 1996
1:57.34 Alysia Montaño 2010
1:57.67 Ajee’ Wilson 2014
Discuss this race on our messageboard: w800: WILLLLLLSOOONNNNNN- Ajee takes down Sum in 1:57.67 looking relaxed!
*MB: Mary Cain fans, serious question. Do you think she’ll ever do what Ajee Wilson did today? Win a DL in a WL time?