Glasgow DL Preview: A Great Women’s 1,500, A Totally Loaded Men’s 5000, Emma Coburn Chases The American Record And David Rudisha In The 800

A Fan’s Guide To Friday and Saturday’s Glasgow Diamond League Meeting

July 10, 2014

The Diamond League makes its first-ever stop this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, as the London Anniversary Games meet takes a break from London as the Olympic stadium gets updated. The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix spans two days, Friday-Saturday, and will be held at Hampden Park, which normally serves as the national soccer stadium but was closed this year and reconfigured (the playing surface was raised by almost two meters) so that it could host the track and field events at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

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There are several interesting events from a distance fan’s perspective, including a loaded women’s 1,500 (Abeba Aregawi, Hellen ObiriSifan Hassan), a men’s 5,000 that includes the return of Tariku Bekele and the top four finishers from USAs, Emma Coburn going after the American record in the 3,000 steeplechase and David Rudisha returns to the UK for his first 800 in Britain since his mesmerizing 1:40.91 WR at the Olympics. Newly-crowned US champs Leo Manzano and Ajee’ Wilson will also go in the men’s 1,500 and women’s 800, which aren’t officially Diamond League events but still boast quality fields.

We break down the mid-d/distance events below for you in the order that they occur and tell you what to expect from the meet. So print it out and take it with you to the meet or put it on the couch as you watch on tv. Cost? Zero. Your welcome.

The IAAF preview of the rest of the meet can be found here: IAAF Full meet preview.

Full Start Lists

Women’s 1,500 (Friday, 2:37 p.m. ET)

ARAFI Rababe 12.01.1991 MAR 4:02.71 4:02.71 2012 African champ was a DNF in Paris
AREGAWI Abeba 05.07.1990 SWE 3:56.54 3:57.57 Defending world indoor/outdoor champ was 10th in Paris — her worst DL performance since ’11
BAHTA Meraf 26.06.1989 SWE 4:03.16 4:03.16
BECKWITH Molly 04.08.1987 USA 4:17.22 Hasn’t finished a 1,500 since 2011; running well in 800 with 3rd at USAs and SB of 1:59.30 for 4th in Lausanne
BUCKMAN Zoe 21.12.1988 AUS 4:04.09 4:04.09
HASAY Jordan 21.09.1991 USA 4:10.28 2nd at USAs 10k; has PRed at 5k and 10k this year — what kind of speed does she have?
HASSAN Sifan 01.01.1993 NED 3:57.00 3:57.00 Huge 2.38-sec. PR to win Paris in world-leading time
JAMAL Maryam Yusuf 16.09.1984 BRN 3:56.18 4:04.10 2-time world champ was 3rd at world indoor 3k but has been far from her best outdoors
MÅKESTAD BOVIM Ingvill 07.08.1981 NOR 4:02.20 4:07.25
MOSER Treniere 27.10.1981 USA 4:02.85 4:04.33 2013 US champ has run 4:04 in last two  DL 1,500s at NY and Pre. 4:07 this week.
OBIRI Hellen 13.12.1989 KEN 3:57.05 3:57.05 Had 6-race win streak snapped in Paris but has still been very good with wins in Doha 3k, Pre 1,500 and #2 time in world
PLIŚ Renata 05.02.1985 POL 4:03.50 4:07.03
SIFUENTES Nicole 30.06.1986 CAN 4:04.65 4:04.87 World indoor bronze medalist was 2nd at Canadian champs and just 13th in Paris
UCENY Morgan 10.03.1985 USA 4:00.06 4:04.76 Fall at USAs aside, has continued to get faster this season despite. Ran 4:04 in Paris but only finished 12th.
WAFULA Lydia 15.02.1988 KEN 4:12.95
WEIGHTMAN Laura 01.07.1991 GBR 4:00.17 4:00.17 British champ ran big 2.55-sec. PR in Paris; is sub-4:00 next? Only 4 Brits have done it (once on home soil)

It really is a shame that there’s no World Championships this year (stop us if you’ve heard that one before) because we have no idea who the best 1,500 woman on the planet is. It’s been a long time since the event was as deep as it is right now and all that quality has made the event a treat to watch on the circuit this year.

Already seven women have broken 4:00 and five have broken 3:59. When’s the last time five women broke 3:59 in the same year? 1998.

Who we’d pick to win a theoretical World Championships has varied throughout the year; each of these women could have made a case at some point:

Genzebe Dibaba, Ethiopia: Set world indoor record on February 1 (3:55.17). Fastest time indoors or out since 1997, possibly fastest clean 1,500 ever. Also set world indoor records at 3k (8:16.60) and 2 miles (9:00.48). World indoor 3k champ.

Abeba Aregawi, Sweden: Set European indoor record on February 6 (3:57.91).  Won world indoor 1,500 on March 8 by over SIX SECONDS. Won first DL race in Shanghai on May 18 (also won in NY on June 14). Leads DL standings with 10 points (twice as much as second place).

Hellen Obiri, Kenya: Won Doha DL 3k on May 9 in 8:20.68 (possibly fastest clean time ever outdoors). Fastest split on Kenya’s world-record setting 4 x 1,500 at World Relays. Won Pre Classic on May 31 in then-world-leading 3:57.05. Won Kenyan champs on June 7.

Sifan Hassan, Netherlands: Won Paris DL on July 5 in world-leading 3:57.00, defeating Obiri (3rd) and Aregawi (10th) handily. Has either PRed or won in all four of her 1,500s this year (in Paris, she did both).

And then you’ve got American Jenny Simpson, who ran 3:58.28 at Pre and did all of the work for Hassan in Paris only to be outkicked late in the race (Simpson got second in a PR of 3:57.22) and Kenyan Faith Kipyegon (3rd at Pre, 2nd at Kenyan champs, 4th in Paris), who’s always in the mix in big races. Dibaba would likely run the 5k if there was a Worlds this year, but the other five would race the 1,500 and there’s not much to separate them. Hassan made a statement with her win in Paris, but can she back that up in Glasgow? Simpson, Obiri and Kipyegon all ran well in Paris and are more experienced than Hassan. And even though Aregawi was only 10th in Paris, that was an uncharacteristically bad performance — prior to that, she hadn’t finished outside the top two in any 1,500 (indoors or out) since August 2012.

Based on past accomplishments and season form, Aregawi would probably deserve to be a slight favorite at a theoretical Worlds (remember, she won world indoors convincingly in March), but there’s not much a gap between her and the field. In Glasgow, it will be Aregawi against Obiri and Hassan and while we can’t predict the winner, we can say with some confidence that it will be a great race.

Despite all of that, we know many of you will be intently focused farther back, watching the 1500 DL debut of Jordan Hasay.

An employee of a shoe company not named Nike recently emailed us a mini complaint about how we give Hasay more coverage than others with similar PBs. Our response? She’s a brand. A big part of sports is people rooting for and against “brands” – Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys, etc. Very few runners are “brands”. Given she’s been a star ‘name’ since HS, her performance is something people can relate to positively or negatively.

Men’s 5,000 (Friday, 2:58 p.m. ET)

ALAMIREW Yenew 27.05.1990 ETH 12:48.77 13:00.21 DL leader (12 points) is stud on the circuit; wins in Shanghai & Oslo, 2nds in Eugene & Paris
BARUSEI Geofrey 01.01.1994 KEN
BEKELE Tariku 28.02.1987 ETH 12:52.45 Olympic 10k bronze medalist makes 2014 track debut; only race in ’14 was 7th in Carlsbad 5,000 road race in March (13:45)
BETT Emmanuel Kipkemei 30.03.1983 KEN 13:08.35 10k/road specialist drops down for first 5,000 since ’12; 27:21 10k at Pre; 7th in 10k at Kenyan champs
BIRMINGHAM Collis 27.12.1984 AUS 13:09.57 13:18.57 Beat Rupp to win Oxy in May; 13:27 at Pre (12th); 3:39 1,500 in Italy on Tuesday
BUMBALOUGH Andrew 14.03.1987 USA 13:12.01 13:13.67 Just missed PR in Oslo, looked good to get 2nd behind Lagat at USAs on June 27
CHOGE Augustine Kiprono 21.01.1987 KEN 12:53.66 13:14.23 Versatile runner ran 2:24 at Paris Marathon in April; 7:44 3k last time out in Ostrava on June 17
GEBREMESKEL Dejen 24.11.1989 ETH 12:46.81 13:09.73 Olympic silver medalist running just second outdoor race of season; 13:09 (7th) in opener in Oslo June 11
GEBRHIWET Hagos 11.05.1994 ETH 12:47.53 13:06.88 World silver medalist was just 7th at Pre and only 12th last week in Paris
HILL Ryan 31.01.1990 USA 13:14.22 13:14.31 Only 13:57 at Pre but bounced back for 4th at USAs
JEILAN Ibrahim 12.06.1989 ETH 13:09.16 13:09.67 2011 World 10k champ was 9th last week in Paris
KIPKOECH John 29.12.1991 KEN 12:49.50 13:08.23
LAGAT Bernard 12.12.1974 USA 12:53.60 13:31.23 Looked to be slowing down at 39 but 7:38 3k and US title in June were good signs
LEVINS Cameron 28.03.1989 CAN 13:15.19 13:25.70 Soloed a 13:25 at Canadian champs on June 28; still chasing Canadian record of 13:13.96
LONGOSIWA Thomas Pkemei 14.01.1988 KEN 12:49.04 13:01.74 Olympic bronze medalist running 3rd race in a week: 13:01 5k in Paris on Saturday, 7:47 3k in Hungary on Tuesday
MEAD Hassan 28.08.1989 USA 13:02.80 13:02.80 13:02 at Stanford and 3rd at USAs
MELLOR Jonathan 27.12.1986 GBR 13:36.40 13:54.11
MILLINGTON Ross 19.09.1989 GBR 13:36.39 13:52.04
MUTAI Vincent Kiprotich 03.11.1994 KEN
SOI Edwin Cheruiyot 03.03.1986 KEN 12:51.34 12:59.82 ’08 OG bronze medalist ran world leader to win Paris; just 5th in 3k in Hungary on Tuesday
ST. LAWRENCE Ben 07.11.1981 AUS 13:10.08 13:27.72 DNF at Pre but soloed a 13:27 in Ireland last week

What an interesting set of names. The 21-man field includes most of the regulars from the circuit this year. Pre Classic winner Caleb Ndiku is missing, but Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew, who’s been the man to beat in Diamond League races in 2014, will run, as will Olympic bronze medalists and DL regulars Edwin Soi (12:59.82 WL win in Paris on Saturday) and Thomas Longosiwa (13:01.74 in Paris). One out of Alamirew, Soi and Longosiwa will likely be your winner.

But the presence of two Ethiopians — each of whom, like Soi and Longosiwa, owns an Olympic medal — provides some intrigue for this race in Glasgow. First there’s Dejen Gebremeskel, who was brilliant in 2012 (Olympic silver and two DL wins, including a 12:46.81 in Paris, making him #5 all-time). However, after his Olympic silver, Gebremeskel, who is still only 24, switched to the 10k last year and was just 16th at Worlds. He took bronze in the 3k at world indoors this March but has raced just once on the track, a 13:09.73 7th-place effort in Oslo on June 11.

Bekele, shown here at World indoors in 2010, hasn't been on the track

Bekele, shown here at World Indoors in 2010, hasn’t been on the track yet in ’14

We talked about the struggles of Gebremeskel and his compatriot, Hagos Gebrhiwet, in our Week that Was. It’s probably more fair to classify Gebremeskel as “absent” (since he’s only run one outdoor track race this year), but Gebrhiwet, who is also entered in Glasgow, has gotten slower in every DL 5,000 this year and he’s only 20 years old. With a month of training before Glasgow, can Gebremeskel get back to where he was two years ago and battle for the win against a field in which most of the top guys raced less than a week ago in Paris?

The other interesting Ethiopian name in the field is Tariku Bekele, who took Olympic bronze in the 10k in 2012 and who has yet to race on the track in 2014. Bekele had a down year in 2013, failing to make the Ethiopian team for Worlds after he was just 12th at the selection race, the 10k at the Pre Classic. In October, he ran a couple of mediocre half marathons (63:21 in Lisbon, 64:36 in Birmingham) and since then has raced just once, finishing 7th at the Carlsbad 5,000 on March 30. It’s unlikely he’ll be able to challenge the likes of Alamirew and Soi, but it will be interesting to see where Bekele will finish in a quality field.

The Americans

The top four finishers from the USAs 5k — Bernard LagatAndrew BumbaloughHassan Mead and Ryan Hill — are all entered and the race is a great opportunity for Bumbalough and Hill to lower their PRs (13:12 and 13:14, respectively). Poor rabbiting/a reluctance to go with the rabbits has meant that the winning times on the Diamond League haven’t been very fast this year (13:04, 13:01, 13:01, 12:59). That hasn’t been great for fans who want to see fast times, but it works out nicely for guys who are just below world-class such as Bumbalough and Hill, since races go out closer to a pace they’re comfortable with.

Bumbalough told us after USAs that he was in a funk after indoors and that his stride was messed up for much of March and April. His stride was back to normal in May, however, and he has gotten better every time out this year (13:28 at Stanford on May 4, 13:13 in Oslo on June 11, 2nd at USAs on June 27). With a likely winning time in Glasgow of around 13:00, Bumbalough, with his current fitness, should be able to sit in the pack and get dragged along to a PR. It’s a bit harder to get a read on Bumbalough’s Bowerman TC teammate Hill, who has been inconsistent this year (13:14 at Stanford, 13:57 at Pre, 4th at USAs), but if he runs like he did at USAs, Hill definitely has a shot at breaking his PR of 13:14. Mead, who was third at USAs, should finish right around Bumbalough and Hill, but his PR (13:02) is faster and will be tougher to get, especially in a slower race.

Finally, there’s Lagat, who bounced back from a shocking 14th-place finish at Pre to run 7:41 and 7:38 for 3k in Europe and win his seventh U.S. title at 5,000 last month. A slower race would likely help Lagat, who’s one of the best in the world when it comes to positioning and tactics.

So could a man who was over 30 seconds back of the winner at Pre really contend for the win in a Diamond League race? It’s unlikely. Lagat has never won a DL 5,000 and  he didn’t win a 5,000 in its predecessor, the Golden League, either. Over the past two years, his DL finishes have been 14th, 2nd, DNF, 13th (1,500) and 5th. That’s not a record that inspires confidence. As he showed at USAs, when he’s on his game, Lagat is still a force to be reckoned with, but this field is a lot stronger than the one he beat in Sacramento. Lagat could hang around, but don’t expect him to contend for the win here.

Discuss this race in our messageboard as many of your fellow fans are pumped about this one:  LAGAT, LEVINS, MEAD, SOI, LONGOSIWA, ALAMIREW, ROP, etc. all racing in Glasgow on Friday!

Women’s 3,000 Steeplechase (Saturday, 10:27 a.m. ET)

ASSEFA Sofia 14.11.1987 ETH 9:09.00 9:11.39 DL points leader after wins at Pre and in NY; 3rd in Paris on Saturday
AYALEW Hiwot 06.03.1990 ETH 9:09.61 9:11.65 Claimed 2nd career DL win by outkicking Coburn in Paris on Saturday
BUSH Nicole 04.04.1986 USA 9:34.76 9:34.76 2013 US champ was just 8th at USAs this year; 4:13 1,500 in Belgium on Saturday
CHEMOS Milcah 24.02.1986 KEN 9:07.14 9:26.49 Defending world champ was just 8th in Paris but that was by far her best race of the season
CHEPKURUI Lidya 23.08.1984 KEN 9:12.55 9:24.07 World silver medalist has improved in every DL race; 6th in Paris in 9:24
CHEROTICH Fancy 10.08.1990 KEN 9:28.04 9:41.02
COBURN Emma 19.10.1990 USA 9:14.12 9:14.12 Dream season keeps getting better; almost claimed DL win #2 in Paris but still PRed by 3+ secs
DIRO NEDA Etenesh 10.05.1991 ETH 9:14.07 9:19.71 5th at Worlds last year; 4th in Paris
EL OUALI ALAMI Salima 29.12.1983 MAR 9:21.24 9:21.24 30-year-old PRed for 3rd time in ’14 with 9:21 in Paris
ERIKSSON Sandra 04.06.1989 FIN 9:34.71 9:34.71
FOUGBERG Charlotta 19.06.1985 SWE 9:34.61 9:34.61
GARCIA Stephanie 03.05.1988 USA 9:24.35 9:24.35 Like Coburn, keeps PRing and running well; 3rd at USAs, 9:24 PR in Paris
GETNET Tigist 07.07.1997 ETH 10:00.2h 10:00.2h Just turned 17 and beat Diro Neda to win Ethiopian champs last month
HEINER Madeleine 15.05.1987 AUS 9:48.25 9:48.25
LACAZE Genevieve 04.08.1989 AUS 9:37.16 9:37.16
MCCOLGAN Eilish 25.11.1990 GBR 9:35.82 9:50.06 Scot isn’t running great in 2014 but won British champs and will race here on home soil in Glasgow
NYAMBURA Virginia 20.07.1993 KEN 9:58.08 10:02.18
WAITE Lennie 04.02.1986 GBR 9:48.17 9:48.17

The big story in women’s steepling right now is American Emma Coburn, who has gotten better every time out in 2014. Perhaps more impressive than her accomplishments (the first DL win by an American in Shanghai; a third U.S. title in four years in Sacramento; four of the five fastest times in U.S. history) is the way she’s accomplished it. Coburn expertly judges her own pace and is unafraid to take off when she feels like she can create a gap. She broke away early to win in Shanghai on May 18 and looked at home pushing the pace once the rabbit dropped out at 1k in Paris on Saturday. Coburn was rewarded each time with a PR, and her 9:14.12 in Paris puts her just 1.72 seconds behind training partner Jenny Simpson‘s American record. With a 1st, 3rd and 2nd in her last three DL races, Coburn is now clearly among the best in the world in the event and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her break Simpson’s record in Glasgow.

As Coburn has reached another level, American steepling has improved behind her. It’s hard to say how much of that is due to chasing Coburn, though Ashley Higginson, who was second at USAs, said it is certainly a factor. Higginson ran a 7-second PR of 9:27 in the heat at USAs while the third-placer at USAs, Stephanie Garcia, PRed by four seconds to run 9:24 in Paris (after PRing by 13 seconds earlier this season in New York). Coburn entered 2014 with a PR of 9:23 and if she had stayed at that level, Higginson and Garcia would both be real threats to her right now.

Expect Coburn to again battle Ethiopians Hiwot Ayalew (who outkicked her in Paris) and Sofia Assefa (winner at Pre and NY) for the win in this one.

Men’s 1,500 (Saturday, 11:00 a.m. ET)

BETT Reuben 06.11.1984 KEN 3:39.82
BIRGEN Bethwell 06.08.1988 KEN 3:30.77 3:31.22 8th in Lausanne on July 3, 9th in Oslo on June 11
CHEPSEBA Nixon Kiplimo 12.12.1990 KEN 3:29.77 3:34.64 12th in Lausanne
CRONJE Johan 13.04.1982 RSA 3:31.93 3:33.31 WC bronze medalist has yet to finish better than 8th in 4 DL races in ’14
FARRELL Thomas 23.03.1991 GBR 3:41.07 3:41.43 Former Oklahoma St. star won British 5k title last month
GRICE Charlie 07.11.1993 GBR 3:36.31 3:36.31 UK champ is just 20 years old
HEATH Garrett 03.11.1985 USA 3:34.12 3:35.97 9th at USAs; 3:35 in Belgium on Saturday
HOLUŠA Jakub 20.02.1988 CZE 3:35.26 3:35.26 Won Euro Team Champs 1,500 on June 21; 3:36 in France on Tuesday
IGUIDER Abdelaati 25.03.1987 MAR 3:31.47 3:32.09 Olympic bronze medalist was 5th in Lausanne
KIBET Vincent 01.01.1991 KEN 3:34.09 3:34.09
KIPLAGAT Silas 20.08.1989 KEN 3:29.27 3:29.70 Always good on the circuit; 2nd in Lausanne, 1st in Rome in last two races
MANZANO Leonel 12.09.1984 USA 3:32.37 3:38.63 U.S. champ ran 1:46.32 800 for second in Belgium on Saturday
O’HARE Chris 23.11.1990 GBR 3:35.37 3:42.55 WC finalist and former NCAA champ has struggled in ’14
TORRENCE David 26.11.1985 USA 3:33.23 Failed to make 1,500 final at USAs but bounced back for 5th in 5k
VOJTA Andreas 09.06.1989 AUT 3:36.18 3:36.18
WIGHTMAN Jake 11.07.1994 GBR 3:41.40 3:41.40

This is a non-DL event and so it’s not as deep as typical 1,500 on the circuit, but with 2011 world silver medalist Silas Kiplagat, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Abdelaati Iguider, 2013 Worlds bronze medalist Johan Cronje and 3:30 man Bethwell Birgen, there’s some talent at the top of the field. Americans Garrett HeathLeo Manzano and David Torrence are all entered as well and this is a good opportunity for them to run season’s bests. Heath ran 3:35 in Belgium last week, but this will be the first 1,500 of the season for Manzano and Torrence (not counting USAs). Manzano said after USAs that he’s trying to break 3:32 this year (his PR is 3:32.37 from 2010).

Men’s 800 (Saturday, 11:37 a.m. ET)

CENTROWITZ Matthew 18.10.1989 USA 1:45.86 First DL 800; 7th in Lausanne 1,500 on July 3
KINYOR Job 08.05.1990 KEN 1:43.76 1:44.6h Won in Hungary on Tuesday; won International 800 at Pre in 1:44.70
MOHAMMED Mukhtar 01.12.1990 GBR 1:45.67 1:46.74 2nd at British champs; 3rd at Euro indoor champs last year
MUTAI Jeremiah Kipkorir 27.12.1992 KEN 1:43.9h 1:44.85 6th in Hungary on Tuesday; earlier this year on DL was 4th in Shanghai + 5th in Doha
OLIVIER Andre 29.12.1989 RSA 1:44.29 1:44.42 Ran SB for 6th in Paris on Saturday
RIMMER Michael 03.02.1986 GBR 1:43.89 1:46.75 British champ was only 10th in NY
RUDISHA David 17.12.1988 KEN 1:40.91 1:44.63 WR holder/Olympic champ was only 7th at Pre but won in NY on June 14
SOWINSKI Erik 21.12.1989 USA 1:44.58 1:44.58 7th in Hungary on Tuesday; 3rd at USAs after fall separated him from leaders
TANGUI Sammy 16.09.1984 KEN 1:49.39
VÁZQUEZ Wesley 27.03.1994 PUR 1:44.64 1:44.64 20-year-old was 6th in NY; won an 800 in France on Monday in 1:45.65

Rudisha won in New York in June 14; expect something similar in Glasgow

David Rudisha is always going to be the highlight of any field that he is in, and Saturday’s 800 in Glasgow is no exception. But we’re a bit disappointed because, for the second meet in a row, Rudisha won’t be facing the top guys in the world. Right now, Mo Aman and Nijel Amos are the top two 800 runners on the planet and ever since they ran away from Rudisha at Pre on May 31, the question has been whether Rudisha can reclaim his throne as the world’s best. Unfortunately, Glasgow, like Rudisha’s win in New York four weeks ago, probably won’t answer that question.

That’s because, aside from Rudisha, this isn’t a great field for a DL race. In terms of SBs, the fastest guy in the field, Andre Olivier, is just 11th in the world this year. There’s no Amos (raced last week in Paris), no Aman (hasn’t raced since June 17), not even Abubaker KakiPierre-Ambroise Bosse or Duane Solomon. If Rudisha wins as expected, we won’t know much about his current fitness level unless he runs a really fast time.

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long for answers. Rudisha, Aman and Amos are all entered in a loaded 800 in Monaco next week and the outcome of that race will tell us a lot about the current state of the men’s 800. Until then, we wait.

One other note: it’s incredible the amount of talent Kenya has in the men’s 800 right now. Kenya has eight of the top 25 runners on this year’s descending order list. Poland and the USA have two each, and no other country has more than one. Those eight Kenyans include a 17-year-old, an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old; at 25, Rudisha is the oldest of the group. In most events, you’ll see several countries with a bunch of guys in the top 25 — the U.S. and Jamaica in the sprints, Kenya and Ethiopia in the distances. In the 800, the crossover event between sprints and distance, Kenya is the only country that can call itself a true global power.

Women’s 800 (Saturday, 11:50a.m. ET)

ALMANZA Rose Mary 13.07.1992 CUB 1:59.4h 1:59.48 SB in France on June 27
CROWE Laura 05.09.1987 IRL 2:00.93 2:02.24
JUDD Jessica 07.01.1995 GBR 1:59.77 1:59.77 19-year-old World Junior silver medalist PRed for 3rd in Oslo but just 4th at British champs
KAMPF Heather 19.01.1987 USA 2:00.04 2:00.65 6th in 1,500 at USAs; won 800 in Ireland on Tuesday in 2:01.25
LEONARD Alison 17.03.1990 GBR 2:01.81 2:01.81
MASNÁ Lenka 22.04.1985 CZE 1:59.56 1:59.93 8th at Worlds last year and 1:59 in Ostrava but just 8th at Euro Team champs on June 21
MEADOWS Jennifer 17.04.1981 GBR 1:57.93 2:00.51 2009 world bronze medalist hasn’t broken 2:00 since 2011; 3rd at British champs
MUIR Laura 09.05.1993 GBR 2:00.80 2:03.83 Student at U. of Glasgow was 2nd at British champs in 1,500; 4:00.07 in Paris 1,500
SHARP Lynsey 11.07.1990 GBR 1:59.67 1:59.67 2012 Euro champ won British champs in June; 5th in Lausanne
WALLACE Lea 19.12.1988 USA 2:00.30 2:03.98 Didn’t make final at USAs; 4:13 1,500 in France on Monday
WILSON Ajee’ 08.05.1994 USA 1:58.21 1:58.70 U.S. champ is in great form: 2nd in Oslo, 3rd in Rome

Like the men’s 800, the women’s 800 isn’t particularly strong in Glasgow, but it also isn’t an official Diamond League event (the men’s 800 is). The favorite is clearly American Ajee’ Wilson, who looked very good winning USAs two weeks ago in 1:58.70. That puts her #4 on the world list right now and if this was a Worlds year, she’d have a very good shot at a medal. Kenya’s Eunice Sum has been unbeatable in the 800 this year, but Wilson has a strong case as the #2 runner in the world right now. Wilson has run eight races this year and won six; of the two she’s lost, she was second (behind Sum) and third (behind Sum and Cuban Sahily Diago Mesa).

As it is for the men, the women’s 800 in Monaco should be a better race (Sum vs. Yekaterina Poistogova, Wilson and Americans Brenda Martinez and Laura Roesler) than Glasgow, though the hometown fans will enjoy this one as it includes five Brits. Aside from Cuban Rose Mary Almanza, the Brits are the best bets to challenge Wilson. Jessica Judd has been a rival of Wilson’s ever since Wilson edged her out by .05 seconds to win World Juniors in 2012, and Judd was just .09 behind Wilson when they last raced in Oslo on June 11. Theirs will be an interesting rivalry as the two continue to develop (Judd is eight months younger than Wilson). The other Brit to watch is Lynsey Sharp, who turns 24 on Friday. She was the European champ in 2012, beat Judd to win the British champs last month and was 5th in Lausanne last week. Wilson is still the favorite, but Judd or Sharp will get a big boost from the crowd if they’re close in the last 100 as this is the final event of the meet.