July 30, 2015
Katie Mackey became just the fourth American to win a Diamond League 3,000/5,000, joining Lauren Fleshman (2011 London 5,000), Shannon Rowbury (2013 London 3,000) and Ben True (2015 New York 5,000), kicking away from three other women over the final 100 meters to win in 8:52.99, a seven-second PB, at the Bauhaus Athletics in Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium. With the World Championships just over three weeks away and the Kenyan World Champs trials taking place this weekend, this race was wide-open, especially after Molly Huddle withdrew prior to the race. Mackey, who looked as if she was going to be dropped with 600 meters to go, hung in there and used a 62-second last lap to earn the victory.
We recap the race below. We recap all of the other events here: 2015 Stockholm Recap: Souleiman Destroys Centrowitz as Relative Unnkowns Renelle Lamote, Hicham Sigueni, and Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla Win W800, MSteeple and M800.
With many of the world’s top women absent, no one was looking to run particularly fast tonight and the race went out slowly, with Bahrain’s Mimi Belete leading the pack for the first mile with U.S. 5,000 runner-up Marielle Hall on her shoulder. At 1800 meters (5:28), the whole field was still in it and that was still the case a lap later at 2200 (6:42, 73.81 lap).
The racing began in earnest at that point, as Poland’s Renata Plis seized the lead and began to string out the pack. The United Arab Emirates’ Betlhem Desalegn, Ethiopia’s Haftamnesh Tesfaye and Belete were the only women to go with here and those three were separating from the field with 600 to go, with Mackey and Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal forming the chase pack a few meters behind.
Mackey and Grovdal weren’t finished, however, and by the bell (7:50; 67.69 penultimate lap), they had caught the leaders. Six women were in it, and all of them had a shot at the win.
Desalegn took the lead early in the final lap and Belete unflinchingly moved up to second, stalking her down the backstretch with Tesfaye and Mackey on her tail. With 150 to go, Belete made her move, pulling even with Desalegn, but she couldn’t go around. Both Belete and Mackey swung wide off the final turn; it would come down to the final 100.
Though Desalegn continued to lead, it quickly became apparent that Mackey had more in the tank. After taking the lead with 60 meters to go, Mackey never looked back and streaked away to the win in 8:52.99, .59 of a second ahead of Plis, who also closed well to take second. Desalegn came through in third in 8:53.75, setting a national record.
Pts 1 Mackey , Katie USA 8:52.99 4 2 Plis , Renata POL 8:53.58 2 3 Desalegn , Betlhem UAE 8:53.75 1 4 Belete , Mimi BRN 8:53.96 5 Tesfay , Haftamnesh ETH 8:55.19 6 Grøvdal , Karoline Bjerkeli NOR 8:57.78 7 Magnani , Margherita ITA 9:02.08 8 Mohamed , Buzuayehu ETH 9:06.23 9 Hall , Marielle USA 9:07.22 10 Kibru , Dagmawit ETH 9:15.24 11 Mohammed , Alia Saeed UAE 9:17.71 Wafula , Lydia Nasimiyu KEN DNF
Quick Thought #1: This wasn’t the strongest field, but Katie Mackey is still a Diamond League winner and $10,000 richer
Mackey, who was only sixth at USAs in the 5,000 after being tripped with 700 meters to go, was one of several women on paper who could have won this race, and she deserves credit for hanging in there with a lap to go and kicking for the win. Mackey only had the seventh-fastest PB in the field going in, but she sliced almost seven seconds off that mark tonight to win in 8:52.99 (the slowest winning time for a DL 3,000).
Though we’re sure Mackey would rather be in Beijing next month, the $10,000 check she’ll pick up for winning a Diamond League event isn’t a bad consolation prize. Plus her victory will also earn her an invite to the DL final in Zurich on September 3.
Mackey was thrilled to get the win telling the IAAF:
“I’ve had a real good 5000m and 1500m last month so I knew it was possible but oh man, I’m living a dream right now! I love the 1500m and I did the 5,000m at the US Championships so the 3,000m is a sweet spot in the middle for me and I told myself I could do this. I couldn’t believe it, it’s awesome and has answered my prayers – I’ll use the prize money to set up a training camp for girls over in Seattle. This is my first IAAF Diamond League event so it’s really special and to win – I thank God for these opportunities. … I didn’t make the Wold’s team as I tripped in the trial but I have faith my time will come.”
Quick Thought #2: Not a great day for Marielle Hall
Hall ran well in London on Saturday, finishing fourth overall in the 5,000, but the five-day turnaround between meets may have been too short for her as she struggled tonight, fading to ninth in 9:07.22. Hall ran with the leaders for the first half of the race but had nothing left when Plis made her move with 800 to go.