The Rest of the Meet: Usain Bolt Wins and Shows He’s Healthy, Brandon McBride Comes Close, Silas Kiplagat Is Still Really Good and Is Shaunae Miller, Not Allyson Felix, The Favorite in The 400?
July 22, 2016 to July 23, 2016
Day 1 of the London Anniversary Games was full of quality.
July 22, 2016
Day 1 of the two-day 2016 Müller Anniversary Games – the final IAAF Diamond League track and field meet before the Olympics – was full of fine performances. We’ve recapped Keni Harrison‘s world record in the 100 hurdles and Laura Muir‘s British national record in the 1500 separately.
We recap the rest of the meet below. Don’t forget to tune in to day 2, fearing Mo Farah, on Saturday.
Men’s 800: Pierre-Ambroise Bosse Denies Brandon McBride His First Career Diamond League Win
France’s Pierre-Ambroise Bosse won his second Diamond League event of the season and stamped himself as a medal contender in Rio by holding off Canada’s Brandon McBride to win the men’s 800 in London in 1:43.88. McBride, the 22-year-old NCAA runner-up from Mississippi State, was gaining on the Frenchman late but couldn’t quite get him; he had to settle for becoming the second Canadian to break the 1:44 barrier.
McBride got out the best for 200m behind rabbit Bram Som and had the lead at the bell, Som passing in 50.14 and McBride a few strides behind followed by Bosse, Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos and Ferguson Rotich. Midway down the backstretch, Bosse moved to the lead and still held it at 600 (1:17.04) with McBride and Amos on his shoulder.
Bosse really turned the screws on the final turn as the field began to string out behind him. As they entered the homestretch, he had a gap on McBride, who in turn led Amos and Rotich. Those four were clear of the rest of the field. Both Amos and Rotich reached for an extra gear, but neither could find it as Bosse streaked away. Only McBride could respond, and though he closed on Bosse late — especially when Bosse slowed down to pump his fist as he crossed the line — he could not defeat the Frenchman, who edged him, 1:43.88 to 1:43.95.
800 Metres - Men Pts 1 Bosse , Pierre-Ambroise FRA 1:43.88 10 2 McBride , Brandon CAN 1:43.95 6 3 Rotich , Ferguson Cheruiyot KEN 1:44.38 4 4 Amos , Nijel BOT 1:44.66 3 5 Riseley , Jeffrey AUS 1:45.13 2 6 Kupers , Thijmen NED 1:45.23 1 7 Sowinski , Erik USA 1:45.35 8 English , Mark IRL 1:45.36 9 Grice , Charlie GBR 1:45.53 10 Jock , Charles USA 1:48.48 Som , Bram NED DNF
Quick Take #1: Pierre-Ambroise Bosse is a medal contender in Rio
This isn’t really a surprise given Bosse was fifth at Worlds last year and won the Rabat Diamond League on May 22. But he ran poorly at the European Championships (5th) just two weeks ago and only had the #14 time in the world before today.
Tonight was a much better sign as he ran smartly and made a strong move halfway down the backstretch that he was able to hold until the finish.
Quick Take #2: Brandon McBride didn’t win NCAAs but could be an Olympic finalist
McBride won NCAAs in 2014, but had a rough 2015 as he was sixth at NCAA outdoors and didn’t make it out of the heats at Pan Ams. This year, he worked more on his strength. It paid off in a big way during the collegiate season with a 1:44.50 at NCAAs — second only to the brilliant Donavan Brazier — and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down since turning pro. He won his second Canadian title handily on July 10, took fourth in Monaco last week in his Diamond League debut and was second tonight. The 800 at global championships is always a crapshoot, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the final in Rio.
Quick Take #3: Nijel Amos still has some work to do
Amos’ 1:44.66 tonight was a season best and a big improvement on his 1:47 in Rabat in his first DL race of 2016. But he was only fourth tonight and clearly outclassed by Bosse and McBride; at his best, Amos has an uncanny ability to shift gears and close hard over the final 100. He simply couldn’t do that tonight, and if he can’t fix it between now and the Olympics, he’s not going to sniff another medal.
QT #4: So Does Ferguson Rotich
Rotich was second at the Kenyan Trials and leads the Diamond League standings, but didn’t look like a world beater today. However, he was still upbeat afterwards saying, “I am over the moon, it was a good race. I have been racing a lot recently, so I was quite tired coming into this race but I am happy with how I ran. I am so excited to still be leading the Diamond race, I have had some good results this year.”
QT #5: Charles Jock Is Still an Olympian
This was Jock’s second straight 1:48 clocking in Europe and Jock has only been under 1:47 once this year, 1:45.48 for 3rd in the US Olympic Trials final. As a result, Jock will be in Rio. Jock picked the perfect time to have his race of the year at the Trials.
Emsley Carr Mile: Silas Kiplagat Still is Really Good
Over recent years, Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat has been one of the world’s best milers on the circuit – except at the major championships, where he has earned just one medal (2011 silver). This year, his major championship disappointment came earlier in the year as he didn’t even make the Kenyan team (7th at Kenyan Trials). He got a nice consolation prize today, however, as he closed best over the final 400 (53.79 unofficial) and in particular the final 200 (25.85 unofficial) to win the Emsley Carr Mile in 3:53.04, just ahead of his countrymen Timothy Cheruiyot (3:53.17, 4th at Kenyan Trials, 20 years old) and Vincent Kibet (3:53.19, 8th Kenyan Trials, 25 years old).
The race started out with an aggressive early run by Chris O’Hare, who was the first racer behind the two pacemakers who hit 400 in 57.28. O’Hare and the racers backed off the rabbits on the second lap as the pacers hit 800 in 1:56.05 with the racers a second back. By the time everyone came to bell (racers were 2:57 mid at 1200) O’Hare was near last and the European trying to contend was another former NCAA champ, Lee Emanuel, who was right next to leader Timothy Cheruiyot.
As the racers hit the final 200, the three Kenyans were up front, but now the Brit in contention was 22-year-old Jake Wightman, who was third at the British Trials but isn’t going to the Olympics (no standard) and started the final lap in 8th. Wightman gave the London crowd a thrill by staying close to the top three for close to half of the finishing straight before the three Kenyans pulled away in the final 50. The whole way home, the top three were close to each other, but Kiplagat was ahead the whole time. Wightman ended up a well-deserved 4th in 3:54.20.
American Leo Manzano was never a factor in the race. He ran in last or next to last for virtually all of it and finished next to last in 4:01.61, ahead only of O’Hare, who ran 4:02.54. The BBC announcers said that O’Hare suffered a setback in training last week and afterwards O’Hare said he picked up a knee “niggle” last week.
One Mile - Men 1 Kiplagat , Silas KEN 3:53.04 2 Cheruiyot , Timothy KEN 3:53.17 3 Kibet , Vincent KEN 3:53.19 4 Wightman , Jake GBR 3:54.20 5 Rogestedt , Johan SWE 3:55.01 6 Brannen , Nathan CAN 3:55.31 7 Emanuel , Lee GBR 3:55.43 8 Bayer , Andrew USA 3:55.46 9 Lancashire , Thomas GBR 3:56.44 10 Douma , Richard NED 3:57.60 11 Manzano , Leonel USA 4:01.61 12 O'Hare , Chris GBR 4:02.54 Magut , James Kiplagat KEN DNF Kiptoo , Elijah Kipchirchir KEN DNF Rotich , Andrew Kiptoo KEN DNF
Quick Thought: Now we know why Ben Blankenship was able to make the Olympic team over Leo Manzano
This week, a LetsRun.com staffer was talking to a top professional coach about the Olympic Trials and expressed surprise that in the men’s 1500 at the Trials in the final 100 that after Leo Manzano pulled even with Blankenship that Blankenship was able to re-surge and get the third Olympic spot. Normally in a race, when someone moves up next to you in the final 100, the person coming from behind gets the win. The coach had an instant reply along the lines of, “I just don’t think Leo Manzano is in good shape this year. The fact that he was right there in the final 100 is just a testament to how competitive he is. He’s a warrior but if you aren’t fit, ultimately it catches up to you.” Leo is known for having some really bad races, followed by really good races, but this year outside of the Trials we haven’t seen a really good race from him.
Men’s 200: Usain Bolt Wins It In 19.89 — “I’m getting there, I’m not fully in shape, I need more work.”
Bolt got the win, as expected, in 19.89 in his first 200 of the year. While Bolt didn’t appear happy with the performance afterwards (shaking his head as he crossed the line), he showed that his balky hamstring — that caused him to withdraw from the Jamaican Olympic Trials earlier this month — is healthy enough to run on. He remains the favorite for a third straight sweep of the 100-200-4×100 golds in Rio next month.
“I’m getting there, I’m not fully in shape, I need more work,” Bolt told the IAAF afterwards. “But over time, I’ll be fine, I’ll just keep doing the work.
“I tried to go for the curb but I don’t think I executed well. The key thing is I came out here and won but I’m always hungry for more.
“It is always great to come back here to London and compete, it is a lot of fun.”
Bolt got out well, but wasn’t able to truly separate down the home stretch, as is Bolt’s trademark. Still, he put enough of a gap on the field that he was never seriously challenged, and his 19.89 time tonight puts him #5 in the world this year (LaShawn Merritt is #1 at 19.74).
Nobody is better at peaking at major championships than Bolt, and importantly, his air of invincibility remains intact as he has now won 21 straight finals across all distances — tied for the longest streak of his career. 19.89 won’t be good enough for gold in Rio, but Bolt gets into shape quickly. With three more weeks until Rio, he should be able to reach the 9.7/19.5 fitness required for gold.
Behind Bolt, Cornell alum and newly-crowned European champion Bruno Hortelano-Roig of Spain set a new national record of 20.18 in fourth.
200 Metres - Men Wind: -0.3 m/s 1 Bolt , Usain JAM 19.89 2 Edward , Alonso PAN 20.04 3 Gemili , Adam GBR 20.07 4 Hortelano , Bruno ESP 20.18 5 Lemaitre , Christophe FRA 20.27 6 Rodney , Brendon CAN 20.37 7 Talbot , Daniel GBR 20.38 8 Ashmeade , Nickel JAM 20.51 McLean , Sean USA DQ
Quick Take: Bolt’s Last Races Before Worlds/Olympics
Bolt’s 19.89 tonight wasn’t an amazing time, but it’s in line with some of his recent performances in his last race before the Olympics/Worlds.
*Bolt also ran 9.87 into a -1.2 wind in the prelims of the same meet
**Bolt also ran 10.31 into a -2.9 wind in the prelims of the same meet
Women’s 400: Shaunae Miller Remains Undefeated / Wins With World Leader
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas came off the final turn with a slight lead over Natasha Hastings but 100 meters later she was way ahead and for good reason as she knocked Allyson Felix off her world-leading perch by running 49.55 (Felix was the world #1 at 49.68). 49.55 was a new pb for the 22-year-old (49.67 previous pb), who won silver at Worlds in 2015.
“I’m very pleased and I thank God for the performance. Everything’s been going extremely well, my training’s been going great,” said Miller. “I put in a lot of work for these competitions so I’m glad to see it’s paying off. It was a great feeling. My first time competing here at the stadium of London’s Olympic Games. Rio’s the next big goal. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m hoping for the best from it.”
Hastings faded to third (50.49) as Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson was second (50.40). 2008 Olympic champ Christine Ohuruogu justified her Olympic selection by finishing best of the Brits in a seasonal best of 51.05 for 5th (previous sb was 51.35).
400 Metres - Women Pts 1 Miller , Shaunae BAH 49.55 10 2 McPherson , Stephenie Ann JAM 50.40 6 3 Hastings , Natasha USA 50.49 4 4 McCorory , Francena USA 50.73 3 5 Ohuruogu , Christine GBR 51.05 2 6 Guei , Floria FRA 51.39 1 7 Diamond , Emily GBR 51.63 8 Bundy-Davies , Seren GBR 51.81 9 Onuora , Anyika GBR 52.34
Quick Thought: Should Miller, who has won 3 DL events this year (Shanghai, Eugene and London), be considered the favorite over Felix for gold in Rio? Yes, Felix won last year but she’s 30 and Miller is 22. Miller has run PBs this year at 100 (11.19), 200 (22.05) and 400 (49.55) this year and is undefeated in races longer than 100 meters.
Women’s 400m Hurdles: Dalilah Muhammad Gets Win Before Rio
Dalilah Muhammad showed why she’s the world leader in the hurdles this year as she entered the homestretch in a three-way battle with world #2 Shamier Little and Monaco winner Eilidh Doyle, and Muhammad had no trouble dispatching them down the homestretch for the win in 53.90 (3rd fastest this year). Doyle said she clashed arms with someone on the final straight and faded to 4th while Little really lost momentum over the final hurdle and faded to 6th as her troubles that began at the Olympic Trials continued. Sara Petersen, the European champ from Denmark, closed very well and got second ahead of Wenda Theron Nel, who closed well to get 3rd.
400 Metres Hurdles - Women 1 Muhammad , Dalilah USA 53.90 2 Petersen , Sara Slott DEN 54.33 3 Nel , Wenda RSA 54.47 4 Doyle , Eilidh GBR 54.70 5 Stepter , Jaide USA 54.96 6 Little , Shamier USA 55.01 7 Wells , Lauren AUS 55.37 8 Linkiewicz , Joanna POL 55.88 9 Pedroso , Yadisleidis ITA 57.95
Men’s Pole Vault: Renaud Lavillenie Wins Easily
The Olympic champ returned to the scene of his greatest triumph by cruising through his first four heights without a miss. That got him to 5.90 and was enough to get the win as Sam Kendricks was the only other man over 5.83. Lavillenie took three shots at 5.97, which would have bettered his world-leading 5.96 from earlier this week, but couldn’t get it done.
Pole Vault - Men 1 Lavillenie , Renaud FRA 5.90 2 Kendricks , Sam USA 5.83 3 Ménaldo , Kévin FRA 5.75 4 Scherbarth , Tobias GER 5.65 5 Renner , Robert SLO 5.65 6 Wojciechowski , Pawel POL 5.65 7 Sobera , Robert POL 5.40 Joseph , Stanley FRA NM Barber , Shawnacy CAN DNS
Men’s 100: France’s Jimmy Vicaut Wins It In a Pedestrian 10.02
Vicaut ran 9.86 on June 7, a European record (and a world leader at the time), but only took bronze at the European Championships a month later (though he was only .01 from gold). He took down a solid field tonight, beating U.S. Olympian Marvin Bracy and gaining revenge on European champ Churandy Martina of the Netherlands by winning in 10.02. If Vicaut runs 9.8 in Rio, he’ll have a shot at a medal, but with Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Trayvon Bromell and Yohan Blake in the field, he’ll need to run a near-perfect race.
100 Metres - Men Final Wind: +0.4 m/s Pts 1 Vicaut , Jimmy FRA 10.02 10 2 Young , Isiah USA 10.07 6 3 Martina , Churandy NED 10.10 4 4 Bracy , Marvin USA 10.11 3 5 Forte , Julian JAM 10.11 2 6 Ujah , Chijindu GBR 10.16 1 7 Kilty , Richard GBR 10.16 8 Rodgers , Mike USA 10.19 9 Collins , Kim SKN 12.08 100 Metres - Men Heats Race 1 Wind: +0.1 m/s 1 Ujah , Chijindu GBR 10.14 2 Bracy , Marvin USA 10.17 3 Rodgers , Mike USA 10.19 4 Young , Isiah USA 10.21 5 Frater , Michael JAM 10.23 6 Dasaolu , James GBR 10.24 7 Edoburun , Ojie GBR 10.26 8 Brown , Aaron CAN 10.29 9 Bockarie , Solomon NED 10.32 100 Metres - Men Heats Race 2 Wind: +0.3 m/s 1 Vicaut , Jimmy FRA 9.96 2 Forte , Julian JAM 10.05 3 Martina , Churandy NED 10.08 4 Kilty , Richard GBR 10.15 5 Collins , Kim SKN 10.16 6 Aikines-Aryeetey , Harry GBR 10.23 7 Haynes , Akeem CAN 10.24 8 Thompson , Richard TTO 10.26 9 Clarke , Everton JAM 10.34
Men’s Triple Jump: Olympic Champ Christian Taylor Gets The Win
Taylor was the only man to get out beyond 17 meters tonight and he did so three times, culminating with a 17.78 world leader on his final attempt. The mark is two centimeters longer than his previous world leader from Pre and showed that despite his loss to Will Claye at the Olympic Trials, he will still be very dangerous in Rio.
Taylor and Claye, former Florida teammates, went 1-2 four years ago in London and with the top six jumps in the world this year between them, we could see the same result in 2016.
Triple Jump - Men Pts Wind 1 Taylor , Christian USA 17.78 10 +0.6 2 Carter , Chris USA 16.89 6 0.0 3 Dong , Bin CHN 16.85 4 -0.2 4 Benard , Chris USA 16.73 3 5 Copello , Alexis CUB 16.63 2 0.0 6 Corréa , Harold FRA 16.56 1 0.0 7 Craddock , Omar USA 16.54 +0.3 8 Oke , Tosin NGR 16.37 9 Douglas , Nathan GBR 16.24 0.0
Women’s High Jump: Ruth Beitia Wins Again
Three-time European champion Ruth Beitia’s fine 2016 season at age 37 continued today as she picked up her third DL win of the season with a third-attempt clearance 1.98m clearance, equal to her seasonal best. Beitia would have actually won had she not cleared the height as she was the only woman with no misses over 1.95m.
High Jump - Women Pts 1 Beitia , Ruth ESP 1.98 10 2 Demireva , Mirela BUL 1.95 6 3 Johnson-Thompson , Katarina GBR 1.95 4 4 Licwinko , Kamila POL 1.95 3 5 Spencer , Levern LCA 1.92 2 6 Patterson , Eleanor AUS 1.92 1 7 Treasure , Alyxandria CAN 1.92 7 Lake , Morgan GBR 1.92 9 Skoog , Sofie SWE 1.89
Men’s Javelin: Jakub Vadlejch Earns First Career DL Win
The 25-year-old Vadlejch, who was only 9th at the European Championships earlier this month, rebounded from that result to take down Olympic champ Keshorn Walcott thanks to a second-round toss of 85.72 meters. Walcott summoned 83.60 in the final round, which was good enough for second but not enough to overhaul Vadlejch.
Javelin Throw - Men Pts 1 Vadlejch , Jakub CZE 85.72 10 2 Walcott , Keshorn TTO 83.60 6 3 Peacock , Hamish AUS 82.94 4 4 Vetter , Johannes GER 82.89 3 5 Hamann , Lars GER 81.62 2 6 Weber , Julian GER 80.29 1 7 Sirmais , Zigismunds LAT 79.52 8 Mortimore , Matti GBR 68.41
Women’s 4 x 100: GBR Smashes National Record
The Brits got a nice confidence boost by crushing the 42.10 national record that they set in getting 4th at worlds last year (it took 42.03 to medal, the Jamaicans won with 41.07).
4x100 Metres Relay - Women 1 Great Britain & N.I. GBR 41.81 2 Brazil BRA 42.59 3 France FRA 42.84 4 Great Britain & N.I. "B" GBR 43.16 5 Switzerland SUI 43.43 6 Poland POL 44.14 7 All Stars UND 44.22 Netherlands NED DNF Canada CAN DNF