On to Rio: Mo Farah Delivers a World-Leading 5000m, Molly Ludlow Comes Close

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by LetsRun.com
July 22, 2016

The track and field world can now officially shift its attention to Rio. In the final race at the Müller Anniversary Games before 40,000+ fans at the Olympic Stadium, the world’s best distance runner, Mo Farah, brought an end to the Diamond League season before the Olympics in climatic fashion by running a world-leading 12:59.29.

We recap all the Day 2 action from the Müller Anniversary Games below. For Day 1 coverage see:

LRC American Keni Harrison Rebounds From Not Making Olympic Team in Incredible Fashion, Breaks 28-Year-Old World Record In Women’s 100 Hurdles

LRC Move over Kelly Holmes- Laura Muir is the New British Record Holder at 1500m 

LRC 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?

Men’s 5000m: Mo Farah Delivers Again – This Time a World-Leading 5000 Before the Home Crowd

Mo Farah put on a show in the men’s 5000 this afternoon at the Olympic Stadium in London. Running in the same stadium where he became a British icon by winning double gold at the 2012 Olympics, Farah gave the British fans another performance to remember as he front ran a world-leading 12:59.29. Believe it or not, this was just the fourth sub-13:00 of Farah’s life and his first sub-13:00 since 2012.

“It’s amazing. I got amazing support from the crowd and I just wanted to go for it. It was my last chance to run quick before Rio and I love this track. It has so much meaning to me,” said Farah on the BBC broadcast after the race. “Not many athletes get (to win Olympic gold in their) hometown – oh man it’s amazing.”

Farah was miles ahead of everyone else in this race as fellow Brit Andrew Butchart (13:14.85) outkicked Bernard Lagat (13:14.96) to emerge on top of the racers in the main pack as Isiah Koech was 4th (13:55.44), Ryan Hill 5th (13:15.59) and Ben True 6th (13:16.63).

The race

The conditions were warm in London (83 degrees unofficially at the finish) and the rabbits did a decent job of making sure a sub-13-minute clocking was possible. The first km was 2:36.57 (2:36 is 13:00 pace), and then things slowed slightly as the 2km was hit in 5:14.93 as Farah was with the rabbits and most of the field was still in contention including the leading Americans.

The field was still together until just after the halfway mark when at 2600m the final rabbit Vincent Rono, Mo Farah, Isiah Koech and Stephen Mokoka began to separate themselves from the chasers. Rono was trying to make sure 13:00 didn’t slip away, and a 62.7 final lap before he dropped out at 3000m put Farah in the lead with Koech and Mokoka with him and then a gap of 20 meters to everyone else. Another 62.7 lap put Farah clear of Koech and Mokoka and at roughly 9:55 with 4 laps to go (they had been running over 63 seconds a lap until Rono upped it at 3000. The chase pack was roughly 10:02-3). Could Farah go sub-4:05 by himself to get under 13:00?

Yes. Farah ran the next 800 in 2:05.2 and would need a 1:59.5 the final 800 to go sub-13. He ran his penultimate lap in 61.77 and would need a sub-57.66 to get sub-13:00. Farah continued churning around the track as the London crowd roared its appreciation. Farah pumped his arms hard the final straight and was rewarded not only with a sub-13:00 but the world leader (previous world best was 12:59.43 by Muktar Edris in Eugene).

Farah has made it a habit of delivering on the world’s biggest stage, and while this wasn’t Rio, it was the biggest stage before Rio and Farah did not disappoint.

1.Mo FARAHGBR8312:59.29 WL
2.Andrew BUTCHARTGBR9113:14.85
3.Bernard LAGATUSA7413:14.96 SB
4.Isiah Kiplangat KOECHKEN9313:15.44
5.Ryan HILLUSA9013:15.59 SB
6.Ben TRUEUSA8513:16.63
7.Bashir ABDIBEL8913:19.16
8.Paul Kipsiele KOECHKEN8113:23.10 SB
9.Stephen MOKOKARSA8513:23.66 SB
10.Cyrus RUTTOKEN9213:23.77
11.Eric JENKINSUSA9113:24.33 SB
12.Bethwell BIRGENKEN8813:27.79
13.Edwin Cheruiyot SOIKEN8613:33.97
14.Thomas FARRELLGBR9113:50.07
15.Ross MILLINGTONGBR8913:59.70
16.Tetsuya YOROIZAKAJPN9014:14.89
17.Rob MULLETTGBR8714:25.90
Hillary Kipkorir MAIYOKEN93DNF


Quick Thought #1: It’s going to be incredibly hard to beat Farah in Rio

Even before this afternoon’s race, everyone knew it was going to be hard to beat Farah in Rio. We already knew his speed was good thanks to the 3:31.74 1500 he ran in Monaco earlier in the month. We knew his endurance was good thanks to the 26:53.71 10,000 world leader he ran at the Pre Classic in June. But this afternoon’s race certainly could be viewed as warning shot that Farah was sending to Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki, the two men who beat Farah at the World Half Marathon Championships in March, both of whom will face Farah in the 10,000 in Rio.

This afternoon, Farah showed something he’s rarely shown during his career – the ability and desire to hang onto a fast pace. Yes, in an absolute sense 12:59 isn’t fast for someone of Farah’s talent and credentials but it was over 80 degrees.

Farah is clearly much more vulnerable at the 10,000-meter distance, than he is at 5000. In the 10,000 in Rio, there is little doubt that Kamworor and Karoki will relentlessly push the pace. Farah gave himself the perfect mini-trial run for that by getting his body used to being pushed to the limit. Undoubtedly, this race must increase Farah’s confidence for the 10,000. Had he jogged around and outkicked the competition today, he’d have more doubts as to whether he’ll crack under the relentless pressure of Kamworor and Karoki in Rio like he did at the World Half Champs. We imagine he’s feeling quite confident now.

When asked if this was the best preparation he’s ever had for an Olympics, Farah deflected it a bit by responding, “Definitely I’m in good shape. I’m in good shape. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. Two, two-and-a-half weeks, anything could happen so I just gotta stay patient and stay cool.”

Quick Thought #2: How in the world has Farah only broken 13:00 four times in his life?

That’s what we were thinking after watching this one, but Farah had only broken 13:00 once in 2010 (12:57.94 for 5th in Zurich), once in 2011 (12:53.11 for the win in Monaco) and once in 2012 (12:56.98 for the win at Pre) before today.

Quick Thought #3: A Real Good Race For Andrew Butchart

Not only did the 24-year-old Butchart, who won the British champs this year (Farah didn’t compete in the 5000), surprise for second but he also nearly equaled his 13:13.30 pb. Only two other people in the field were even within 10 seconds of their 5000 pb (Mo Farah was 6.18 off and Ryan Hill was 9.90 off) – no surprise given the warm conditions.

Butchard said afterwards, “I have been at altitude so it felt like I had a little more left in the tank, I broke away and managed to have enough energy to last me until the end. I have never experienced a crowd like this in my life, if I can experience that again in my lifetime I’ll be delighted. I have been at altitude for the last four weeks and know I am in shape, it gives you something of a boost and feel like you can breathe easier. I want to make the final in Rio, I think the race could be something similar to that. I have been to Font Romeu (with Mo) and the guy trains like an animal, and some of the guys racing tonight are extremely talented so I’m delighted to beat them.”

MB: Mo and Butchard smash up USA and Kenya

Quick Thought #4: The Americans Disappoint … Or Do They?

As this was underway and the Americans did not attempt to stay on the pace our first inclination was one of disappointment. Here was a race on a big stage right in the 13:00 range, and none of the Americans, including Bernard Lagat, were going with it. But runners are finely tuned machines and know their bodies well. 13:00 in 83 degrees is not 13:00 in the cool confines of Palo Alto. Isiah Koech tried to stay with Farah and he faded to 4th costing himself $3000 in prize money. Stephen Mokoka faded all the way back to 9th.

MB: Hill, True, and Jenkins go home DEVASTATED!

Women’s Steeple: Olympic champ Ghribi Wins, But Will She Be a Factor in Rio?

This one was for the taking as somehow this field at a Diamond League event with a $10,000 first prize and 40,000+ fans didn’t feature any of the top 10 fastest runners in the world.

The field did feature the reigning Olympic champion Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia, who was the class of the field in terms of accomplishments, and it showed.

The first km was a quick 3:01 and Ghribi was on the rabbit, as was American Stephanie Garcia, the 5th placer at the US Trials. Once the rabbit dropped out at the kilometer mark, Ghribi would pull 10+ meters ahead of Garcia. Ghribi was racing to lower her season’s best and show she’s ready for Rio (Ghribi only had raced once this year, a 9:31.22 clocking a month ago) while Garcia was trying to stay close and possibly sneak the win and a PB (9:23.48). Ghribi maintained her lead until the end and got the win in 9:21.35, while Garcia crossed in second in 9:26.36. Kenya’s Purity Kitui was further back in 3rd in 9:30.85. Jamaica’s Aisha Praught of the Nike OTC was 4th in 9:31.75 in a PB.

The race didn’t go smoothly for everyone.  The 4th placer at the US Trials, Shalaya Kipp, whacked her left knee on a barrier and fell during the race but somehow managed to finish fifth in 9:34.12. However, after finishing she was in distress as she sat down and broke into tears. Madeline Hills, who had been with Garcia and Ghribi early, dropped out as did Lenny Waite who went to Rice and lives in the US and is on the UK Olympic team. Waite (born in Scotland) was seen standing trackside with her shoe off in pain.

The good news is both Kipp and Waite indicated on Twitter after the race they are ok.

Garcia at one point was DQ’d from the results (for running inside of the line) but was reinstated and gets to keep her $6000 in prize money for 2nd place.


1.Habiba GHRIBITUN849:21.35 SB
2.Stephanie GARCIAUSA889:26.26 SB
3.Purity KIRUIKEN919:30.95
4.Aisha PRAUGHTJAM899:31.75 PB
5.Shalaya KIPPUSA909:34.12
6.Sara Louise TREACYIRL899:39.41 PB
7.Caroline TUIGONGKEN909:41.14
8.Ophelie CLAUDE-BOXBERGERFRA889:42.14
9.Geneviève LALONDECAN919:42.44
10.Jessica KAMILOSUSA939:44.90
11.Jamie CHEEVERUSA879:47.70
12.Nicole BUSHUSA869:51.87
13.Erin TESCHUKCAN949:51.89
14.Rosie CLARKEGBR919:51.97 PB
15.Katie LANDWEHRUSA9310:09.51

QT: Can Ghribi be a factor in Rio?

Ghribi was the class of this field but her time here only made her the 12th fastest in the world this year. All 3 Americans in Rio have run faster than her, not to mention Ruth Jebet (8:59.97) and Hyvin Kiyeng (9:00.01).

Can she close the gap 3 weeks’ time? Ghribi seems to think so saying, “It is nice to get a Diamond Race victory but I will be expecting another big performance in the Olympics, I am a championship performer.”

QT: Emma Coburn has a great shot at a medal

Coburn wasn’t in this race but the fact that Ghribi didn’t run very fast by her standards is great news for Emma Coburn’s medal chances. Check out the top 5 in the world standings heading into Rio.

1 8:59.97 AR Ruth Chebet BRN
2 9:00.01 AR Hyvin Jepkemoi KEN
3 9:10.76 AR Emma Coburn USA
4 9:16.87 Etenesh Diro Neda ETH
5 9:17.41 Beatrice Chepkoech KEN

Women’s 800m: Ludlow Almost Gets Her Second Win in London

Molly Ludlow came up just short of the goal yet again.

The American, who finished 4th at the 2012 and 2016 US Olympic Trials (as well as the 2015 US Champs), led the non-DL women’s 800 from the start to nearly the finish before going from 1st to 3rd in the final 10 meters, as Shelayna Oskan-Clarke got the win in 1:59.46.

Ludlow and Brit Lynsey Sharp, who both ran 1:57 in Monaco, were side by side at 200 in this one when no one went with the rabbit, who went out as directed in 56. At 400 (58 mid for the racers), Ludlow led as Oskan-Clarke, the British Trials winner over Sharp, was 2nd and Sharp third. At 600 (1:29.20), the order hadn’t changed and those three ran the final turn single file.

Coming off the final turn, Ludlow had 2-3 meters on Clarke but the Brits weren’t giving up. In the final 50, Sharp started to move up, but as she did Clarke responded and in the final 10 meters she moved by Ludlow to get the win and then just at the line Ludlow lost 2nd as well to Sharp.

Oskan-Clarke was pleased saying, “It was great to win today, this is probably the biggest win of my career. I ran the race well and timed it well at the end. I was in form a few weeks ago but it just takes me a while to get my form out. I am confident of the shape I am in and this is a stepping stone for me.”

1.Shelayna OSKAN-CLARKEGBR901:59.46 SB
2.Lynsey SHARPGBR901:59.54
3.Molly LUDLOWUSA871:59.56
4.Winny CHEBETKEN901:59.88 SB
5.Alison LEONARDGBR902:00.52 SB
6.Angela PETTYNZL912:00.92
7.Alexandra BELLGBR922:01.62
8.Chanelle PRICEUSA902:03.40

QT: Oh So Close for Ludlow

Ludlow bounced back nicely from her 4th place finish at the 2012 Trials by winning the 800 at the London Diamond League meet. This year she bounced back by running her PR in Monaco last week, but the win here would have been nice.

Non-Distance Action- Diamond League Events

Women’s 200: Dafne Schippers Crushes Everyone

Dafne Schippers had the lead coming off the turn and then just decimated the field over the final 50 to win the women’s 200 in dominant fashion. Running all the way through the line into a -0.8 m/s headwind, she clocked 22.13. At first glance, that seems well off her 21.93 world lead. However, that’s a little misleading as when you correct for wind her world lead converts to 21.99 and this converts to 22.05.

Tiffany Townsend grabbed second but she was a full half-second behind in 22.63. 18-year-old Kaylin Whitney, the 2014 world junior champ who turned pro last year, was 7th here and showed what a big jump a top junior has to make to competing versus the pros.

Final, wind: -0.8

1.Dafne SCHIPPERSNED9222.13
2.Tiffany TOWNSENDUSA8922.63 SB
3.Joanna ATKINSUSA8922.64
4.Jeneba TARMOHUSA8922.81 SB
5.Jodie WILLIAMSGBR9322.99
6.Shalonda SOLOMONUSA8523.11
7.Kaylin WHITNEYUSA9823.12

Men’s Shot Put: Joe Kovacs Wins and Breaks 22m

American Joe Kovacs wasn’t sure if he should come to London but with his eye on the Diamond League points title (and the $40,000 that comes with it) he did and he was rewarded with a win and big fourth-round throw of 22.04m. Finishing second was the man battling him for the DL points title, Tom Walsh (21.54m).

“I wanted to make sure I got the Diamond League points, obviously it’s also great preparation for Rio. I debated about coming here with one eye on the Olympics, but it’s been such a great test at what’s been a great meet – this place is amazing and I’m excited to hopefully come back here next year,” said Kovacs. “I’m happy to have got that 22m mark, I came into the meet quite confident as leader in the competition, and I really had to make sure Tom Walsh didn’t take maximum points off me, he got second today and had some great throws, so I’m pleased to have beat him. I skipped Oslo & Stockholm, so I had to make sure I made those points up.”

1.Joe KOVACSUSA8922.04
2.Tom WALSHNZL9221.54 SB
3.David STORLGER9021.39 SB
4.Darrell HILLUSA9321.24
5.Kurt ROBERTSUSA8820.80
6.Tomasz MAJEWSKIPOL8120.33
7.O’Dayne RICHARDSJAM8819.99
8.Michał HARATYKPOL9219.97
9.Scott LINCOLNGBR9317.91

Women’s Pole Vault: Stefanídi Wins Again As Murer No Heights

Greece’s Ekateríni Stefanídi continued her winning ways. Stefanidi, who had won her previous two meets (European champs and Monaco DL), got the win by clearing 4.80m. Reigning world champion Yarisley Silva of Cuba was 2nd (4.72m).

“It is something like my 15th time in a row over 4.80m so I am really in the best shape of my life. I am happy to win another Diamond League meeting, more points added to my record,” said Stefanídi. “I am getting over the big bars so my goal is to do the same in Rio. I can’t control what anyone else does so I will just look to get as close as possible to my PB in Rio.”

One of the biggest hometown heroes at the Olympics will certainly be Brazil’s Fabiana Murer. Murer didn’t get the pre-Olympic boost in confidence she was looking for as she no-heighted. In Rio, Murer will have the best seasonal best of any of the vaulters (4.87m) as world leader Yelena Isinbayeva (4.90m) won’t be competing.

1.Katerina STEFANIDIGRE904.80
2.Yarisley SILVACUB874.72
3.Eliza MCCARTNEYNZL964.62
4.Holly BRADSHAWGBR914.52
5.Michaela MEIJERSWE934.52
6.Kristen BROWNUSA924.52

Women’s Discus: Perković Remains Undefeated

The perfect season of Sandra Perković, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 World champ who is the world leader this year, continued as she won with a second-round throw of 69.94m. All six of Perković’s throws were better than the 2nd place throwers. “I love this stadium, I won here four years [ago] and there’s always a special feeling competing here. This victory is very important for me especially going in to Rio after this competition,” said Perković.

1.Sandra PERKOVIĆCRO9069.94 MR
2.Dani SAMUELSAUS8864.10
3.Jade LALLYGBR8761.65
4.Whitney ASHLEYUSA8960.20
5.Nadine MÜLLERGER8559.95
6.Irina RODRIGUESPOR9158.14
7.Shelbi VAUGHANUSA9456.63
8.Kirsty LAWGBR8652.31
9.Anna JELMINIUSA9050.93

Men’s Long Jump: Gao Xinglong Wins

China’s Gao Xinglong, who was 4th at Worlds last year, got the win with a modest 8.11m ahead of 2013 NCAA champion Damar Forbes of Jamaica and American Mike Hartfield.

1.Xinglong GAOCHN948.11+0.9
2.Damar FORBESJAM908.05-0.5
3.Michael HARTFIELDUSA908.01-0.4
4.Jianan WANGCHN967.91+0.4
5.Tyrone SMITHBER847.78-0.2
6.Michel TORNÉUSSWE867.77-0.8
7.Jarvis GOTCHUSA927.77-0.9
8.Ignisious GAISAHNED837.74-0.6
9.Daniel GARDINERGBR907.680.0

Men’s 400 Hurdles: Kerron Clement Wins With A Seasonal Best

Javier Culson had the lead heading into the last hurdle but Kerron Clement, who at the Olympic Trials won his first US title in 10 years, came on strong to get the win in a seasonal best 48.40 to Culson’s 48.63 (also a seasonal best). It was a real high-quality affair as the top 5 all broke 49.00.

World leader Johnny Dutch, who threatened to retire after a disappointing 5th place showing at the US Trials, certainly didn’t rebound like Keni Harrison as he was a nonfactor in 49.60.

1.Kerron CLEMENTUSA8548.40 SB
2.Javier CULSONPUR8448.63 SB
3.Yasmani COPELLOTUR8748.70
4.LJ VAN ZYLRSA8548.92
5.Jack GREENGBR9148.99
6.Sebastian RODGERGBR9149.35
7.Johnny DUTCHUSA8949.60
8.Michael TINSLEYUSA8450.72
9.Jacob PAULGBR9550.84

Non-Diamond League Events

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast had a tremendous day. First she ran a 10.96 PR into a headwind in the prelims to surprise herself and then she followed it up with another 10.96 into a headwind (.7 m/s) to win the 100m over double Olympic champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. SAFP, Ta Lou, and Michelle-Lee Ahye were together late but SAFP faded and Ta Lou had the most to get the win.

SAFP did not look like an Olympic champ as she didn’t have much the final 20m. However, she is lightly raced this year and said, “It’s my third 100m this season, so far I’m happy. I ran 11.06 today, now I’ll focus on the journey ahead and continue to work hard. [Speaking on injuries] Sometimes you never know what will happen; sometimes things don’t go to plan, but it is what it is, injuries have just been part of the journey so far. Success is all about picking yourself up, I’ve been blessed so far to have had a wonderful career. [Speaking on competing well at big competitions] I’m confident in myself in that regard, but I already know how tough the Olympics will be, mentally I’m prepared for it, but whatever happens there I’m glad to have made it.”

Final, wind: -0.7

1.Marie-Josee TA LOUCIV8810.96 PB
2.Michelle-Lee AHYETTO9210.99
3.Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCEJAM8611.06
4.Dina ASHER-SMITHGBR9511.09
5.Morolake AKINOSUNUSA9411.11
6.Desiree HENRYGBR9511.17
7.Christania WILLIAMSJAM9411.19
8.Carina HORNRSA8911.22
9.Simone FACEYJAM8511.22

Heat 1, wind: +0.2

1.Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCEJAM8611.03
2.Christania WILLIAMSJAM9411.05
3.Desiree HENRYGBR9511.08
4.Morolake AKINOSUNUSA9411.11
5.Simone FACEYJAM8511.13
6.Rosângela Cristina OLIVEIRA SANTOSBRA9011.24
7.Ana Claudia LEMOSBRA8811.27
8.Crystal EMMANUELCAN9111.28
9.Louise BLOORGBR8511.60

Heat 2, wind: -1.3

1.Marie-Josee TA LOUCIV8810.96 PB
2.Michelle-Lee AHYETTO9211.03
3.Dina ASHER-SMITHGBR9511.07
4.Carina HORNRSA8911.15
5.Asha PHILIPGBR9011.16
6.Remona BURCHELLJAM9111.26
7.Daryll NEITAGBR9611.30
8.Stella AKAKPOFRA9411.31
9.Khamica BINGHAMCAN9411.37

Men’s 110 Hurdles: European Champ Dimitri Bascou Wins

Dimitri Bascou, who is sixth in the world this year at 13.12, won easily in 13.20 as was expected given he had the best personal best of the competitors in the final by a lot. Brit Andy Pozzi had a huge pb in the rounds (13.19, previous pb was 13.31) to move into the top 10 on the 2016 World list but he didn’t race the final.

Final, wind: -1.0

1.Dimitri BASCOUFRA8713.20
2.Gregor TRABERGER9213.45
3.Konstantinos DOUVALIDISGRE8713.54
4.Aurel MANGAFRA9213.59
5.David OMOREGIEGBR9513.64
6.Eddie LOVETTISV9215.78

Men’s 400: Matthew Hudson-Smith Wins But Doesn’t Break 45

In this non-DL race, Trinidad’s Deon Lendore had the lead hitting the homestretch but British champion Matthew Hudson-Smith was the best man over the final 100 and got the win in 45.03 to Lendore’s 45.34. 2014 and 2016 European champ Martyn Rooney was tossed before this one even began thanks to a false start.

1.Matthew HUDSON-SMITHGBR9445.03
2.Deon LENDORETTO9245.34
3.Rabah YOUSIFGBR8645.45
4.Luka JANEŽIČSLO9545.54
5.Michael BERRYUSA9145.55
6.Jonathan BORLÉEBEL8845.63
7.Steven SOLOMONAUS9346.16
8.Delano WILLIAMSGBR9346.92

Women’s Long Jump

Multi-eventer Katarina Johnson-Thompson won with a big seasonal best of 6.84 (previous sb was 6.55). She’s got to be feeling good heading into Rio as she PR’d in the high jump yesterday (1.95m).

1.Katarina JOHNSON-THOMPSONGBR936.84+0.9
2.Shara PROCTORGBR886.80+0.1
3.Funmi JIMOHUSA846.65+0.3
4.Alina ROTARUROU936.41-0.1
5.Chanice PORTERJAM946.35+0.3
6.Erica JARDERSWE866.26+0.6
7.Jessica ENNIS-HILLGBR866.190.0
8.Chantel MALONEIVB916.16+0.1

*Full Day 2 Results *Full Day 1 Results