July 9, 2017
The Müller Anniversary Games in London is such a big meet not all the events can fit in the traditional 2 hour Diamond League TV window. American fans watching on TV missed the women’s 800 and men’s 1500. We recap them below.
You can find all our London Müller Anniversary Games coverage here.
Women’s 800: Charlene Lipsey stays red hot
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In this non-DL race, American Charlene Lipsey picked up the first European victory of her career as she powered away from the field coming off the final turn and won in dominating fashion in 1:59.43 as Brit Shelayana Oskan-Clarke closed hard to finish second in 1:59.82 and Norway’s Hedda Hynne was third in a big pb of 1:59.87 (previous pb of 2:00.94). Olympic 6th placer Lynsey Sharp was fourth in 1:59.96.
No one went with the rabbit (57.22) as the field was about 1.5 seconds back at the bell led by Lipsey, who was followed closely by Sharp. The 600 split was 1:29.06. Lipsey, as she has on several occasions this year, controlled the race from the front over the first 700 meters before exploding to the victory in the home straight.
Quick Take: Lipsey continues to roll
Considering the fact that Lipsey came into this race fresh off of a 1:57.38 pb and had run 1.42 seconds faster than anyone else in the field this year (1:58.80 Sharp), and the field only included 3 women who had broken 2:00 on the year before today, her win wasn’t a surprise. But it’s always nice to win and to keep the momentum going.
“It was ok – I was a little nervous beforehand, and I raced a couple of days ago in Lausanne where I ran a personal record, so the nerves were on the back of thinking how well I would recover,” said Lipsey after the race. “Overall I have to be pleased with a race win – I tried to take the lead and was challenged a few times, so to hold my ground for the line was great. It’s a beautiful stadium and the crowd were roaring us on the whole way, so it makes me excited to come back here.”
Men’s 1500: Chris O’Hare continues his fine season
It was tight with 20 meters to go
Last week, former NCAA mile champ Chris O’Hare won the British title in Birmingham, and on Sunday, he earned his second straight victory on British soil, kicking away late from Kenya’s Vincent Kibet and Norway’s Filip Ingebrigtsen.
Kibet and his countryman Bethwell Birgen were eager to follow the rabbit early and as the rabbit hit 400 in 57.49, they were right behind him with O’Hare and Charlie Grice behind them. At 800 (1:55.24), the Kenyans were threatening to run away with it, but Grice moved up right behind them with 600 to go, and at the bell there were still several guys in with a shot, with Birgen, Kibet and Grice running 1-2-3 at the bell followed by O’Hare, Ingebrigtsen and Ben Blankenship.
Grice moved into second on the first turn, and on the backstretch Ingebrigtsen moved into first with Kibet behind him. It looked to be a battle between those two, but O’Hare was moving up quickly on the outside and coming off the turn, he was right behind them on the outside. It was a close three-man battle for most of the home stretch, but O’Hare never relented and pulled away for the win in the final 30 meters.
Quick Take: Another fine run from Chris O’Hare
O’Hare has been snakebitten in recent years as he came just short of making the World Championship final in 2015 and the Olympic final last year despite battling injuries both years (hamstring in ‘15, knee in ‘16). This year, O’Hare looks to be 100% and the results have been terrific as he’s won his last three races and clocked the two fastest times of his career (he ran 3:34.35 at Oxy and 3:34.75 today).
Nothing is ever a given in the 1500, but O’Hare looks like a good bet to make it back to the World Championship final, which he made for the first time in 2013 a few months after graduating from the University of Tulsa. His fitness is certainly there, but he’ll want to be in better position to close against the world’s best when he returns to London for Worlds.
“I knew with 200 to go I had a lot to do,” O’Hare said. “I was mad at myself for that so I thought I had better go and hope there was enough track left and there was by half a meter. I feel so much stronger than I have ever been. I have put in a lot of work. I didn’t use any of my finishing speed until the last 150m.
“It is huge just knowing even in a 3:34 race that I’ve got the finish and could close down on the big guys so it is a huge confidence builder.”
Quick Take: Charlie Grice probably did not do enough to earn World Championship selection
Grice has been the UK’s best miler the last two years as he was 9th at Worlds in 2015 and 12th at the Olympics last year, but he was the odd man out at the British Trials as he could only manage fifth behind O’Hare, Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman. Grice needed to do something truly special today to move past Wightman, who won the Oslo Diamond League in June, in the eyes of the selectors (the first two spots on the British team go to the top two finishers at the Trials; the third is determined by a panel of selectors). Grice went for it and was right on the lead with 300m to go, but his 3:36.29 fifth-place finish today probably won’t be enough.
Rest of Meet
A full meet recap will be coming as the meet is ongoing. Here are a few field events already done.
Women’s pole vault: Olympic champ Katerina Stefanidi claims her third DL victory of the season to remain undefeated in 2017
Stefanidi made it six wins in six outdoors this year, as after claiming wins in Doha and Rome she made a victorious return to the Diamond League circuit in London. Stefanidi was the only woman to clear 4.81 meters on the afternoon as her rival Sandi Morris struggled and only finished fourth.
Men’s Long Jump: Jeff Henderson Wins, If He Gets in Worlds He Should be a Contender
Jeff Henderson is the Olympic Champion and jumping well in 2017. His only problem was he was only 5th at the US Champ,s so he’ll only qualify for Worlds if 3rd placer Demarcus Simpson of Oregon or 4th placer Jarvis Gotch don’t hit the Worlds qualifying standard of 8.15. Neither of them has jumped since USAs accoring to all-athletics.com and that is good news for Henderson as he showed he’s in good form with the win today. Henderson only had two legal jumps but they both were 8.17, the only 8 meter jumps in the competition.
Men’s Discus: Daniel Stahl wins on his final throw
Daniel Stahl of Sweden was only third entering the final round, but he unleashed a clutch toss of 66.73 on his last attempt to snatch the win from Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica.