London Recap: Hellen Obiri Stops Hassan, Tefera Goes Sub 3:50 to Defeat Ingebrigtsen, Catriona Bisset Gets 43 Year Old Australian Record

July 21, 2019

The second and final day of the 2019 Muller Anniversary Games in London produced the world’s first sub-3:50 mile outdoors this year, an upset (sort of) in the women’s 5,000 meters, and a shocking Asian record in the men’s 200 meters.

The Emsley Carr Mile was a highlight, with World Indoor champion Samuel Tefera outdueling 2017 Worlds bronze medalist Filip Ingebrigtsen as both men ran 3:49. Later, world champ Hellen Obiri brought Sifan Hassan’s win streak to an end, though Hassan did still manage to lower her own European record. In the sprints, China’s Zhenye Xie was the surprise of the day, winning the 200 in a huge Asian record of 19.88, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continued her fine season with a commanding 10.78 victory in the 100.

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Now the Diamond League will go on a month-long break until resuming in Birmingham on August 18.

Recap of the top events below, plus results and analysis. Day 1 Recap is here: 2019 London DL Day 1: Hagos G Holds Off Jakob Ingebrigtsen in Thriller, Laura Muir Crushes It, and Nijel Amos Goes Down

Men’s Emsley Carr Mile: Samuel Tefera becomes first man to break 3:50 outdoors in 2019

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For the second day in a row, an Ingebrigtsen set a Norwegian record.

And for the second day in a row, an Ingebrigtsen had to settle for second after being outkicked by an Ethiopian.

Yesterday, it was younger sibling Jakob falling to Hagos Gebrhiwet in the 5,000 meters. Today, it was Filip Ingebrigtsen running 3:49.60 to take down older brother Henrik’s 3:50.72 NR in the mile, but it was not quite good enough to win as World Indoor champion Samuel Tefera earned the victory in 3:49.45 to become the first man to break 3:50 outdoors this year.

After Brit Josh Kerr led early, Tefera moved up to the first racer spot behind the rabbits at 400 meters (55.20 for the rabbits) and began to open a gap on the field on the back straight of lap two. By 800 meters (1:53.04 for rabbit Jordy Williamsz), Tefera was 10 meters up on the rest of the field and threatening to run away with it.

Ingebrigtsen, sensing that the race could be slipping away from him, made a move to close the gap on lap three; no one else came with him, but the move succeeded, as by 500 meters he was on the shoulder of Tefera. Those two were now 12 meters up on the chase pack, led by Jake Wightman, and it would be a two-man race the rest of the way.

Ingebrigtsen, having caught Tefera, was eager to keep going and moved into the lead with 450 to go, but could not succeed in dropping Tefera. Ingebrigtsen would hold that lead until 100 meters to go, at which point Tefera went wide and edged just ahead. It didn’t look as if that gap would hold, but in a repeat of yesterday’s finish behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Gebrhiwet, Filip Ingebrigtsen just couldn’t get past and had to settle for second behind Tefera.

Both men cracked 3:50, and behind them, it became clear why no one else had been able to go with Tefera’s mid-race move: the top six men all set personal bests. Wightman was the best of the rest, clocking 3:52.02 for third and sending a message to the rest of the Brits in the field ahead of next month’s UK trials.

Quick Take: Another thriller as the Ingebrigtsens continue to push each other

Anyone who came to see the Ingebrigtsens in London got their money’s worth this weekend as both races they were involved in went down to the wire and produced terrific finishes.

Filip watched Jakob break a national record yesterday and felt that he had to at least set a pb today in the mile. He exceeded that, matching his younger brother’s feat.

“Two national records for the Ingebrigtsens is how we like it,” Filip told race organizers. “It is what we do in training and try to push each other, you don’t really want to be beaten by your brother. So with him doing a national record I thought I at least have to PB and I think that may be the secret behind what we are doing.”

1	Samuel TEFERA	ETH ETH	3:49.45
3	Jake WIGHTMAN	GBR GBR	3:52.02
4	Charles Cheboi SIMOTWO	KEN KEN	3:53.31
5	Matthew RAMSDEN	AUS AUS	3:53.32
7	Chris O'HARE	GBR GBR	3:53.35
8	Josh KERR	GBR GBR	3:53.88
9	Ryan GREGSON	AUS AUS	3:54.54
10	Jake HEYWARD	GBR GBR	3:54.78
11	Nick WILLIS	NZL NZL	3:55.45
12	Piers COPELAND	GBR GBR	3:56.05
13	James WEST	GBR GBR	3:56.79
14	Vincent KIBET	KEN KEN	3:58.09
15	Zak SEDDON	GBR GBR	3:58.90
16	Neil GOURLEY	GBR GBR	4:05.80

Quick Take: Jake Wightman is back, takes another step toward Doha

The men’s 1500 team could be the toughest British team to make for this year’s World Championships, with Wightman, Kerr, Charlie Da’Vall Grice, and Chris O’Hare all formidable competitors. Today, all but Grice were in the field, and Wightman was clearly the class of the Brits, finishing over a second ahead of O’Hare, who was four places behind him in 7th.

That Wightman is running PRs again is very impressive given he missed almost all of the first half of 2019 due to a sacral stress fracture (his first race of the year came on June 29). But Wightman, 25, has looked like he never left. He ran 1:45.55 in his return race to beat Grice and British 800 stars Elliot Giles and Jake Wightman, then clocked 3:34 in Lausanne and 1:45.08 in Monaco last week.

Wightman is in good position to make the British team now, but he knows that today’s race won’t mean anything if he doesn’t deliver next month in Birmingham. When asked what he has to do to make the team, he kept it simple.

“I need to stay in one piece mainly,” Wightman told race organizers. “I’ll need to keep getting better until trials and get myself to Doha.”

Quick Take: Nick Willis isn’t retired yet

Willis, 36, is one of the most accomplished milers of his generation, earning two Olympic medals and making seven of the last nine global finals at that distance, dating back to 2007. He has struggled to recapture that form in 2019, but he is moving in the right direction.

On June 30, in his first 1500/mile of the outdoor season, he finished dead last in the Bowerman Mile in 3:59.55. He improved on that by running 3:37.86 for 1500 at the Sunset Tour meet on July 9, and today he ran basically the equivalent to that in the mile as he ran  3:55.45 for 11th place (his 3:37 1500 converts to 3:55.34 for the mile).

There’s still a LONG way for Willis to go if he is to make the final again in Doha this year — he still needs the IAAF standard, for one — but today’s race showed that the 3:59 at Pre was clearly an anomaly. Maybe after today’s result, he’ll at least be recognized as a current athlete the next time he shows up at a meet:

Women’s 5,000: Hellen Obiri gets back on track and takes down Sifan Hassan

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Sifan Hassan of the Nike Oregon Project and the Netherlands entered this race hot off her 4:12.33 world record in the mile in Monaco and her 8:18.49 3000 at Prefontaine. There was talk of her targeting the world record of 14:11.15 by Tirunesh Dibaba, but after an opening lap of 66, the pace slowed to 2:18 at 800 (2:16 is world record pace), and by the time they reached halfway in 7:11, any hope of a world record was out the window. Hassan had a race on her hands as a pack of 10 was still together at that point, and the pack included World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya.

The 10 were still together with a mile to go and then Hassan struck on the backstretch. She seized the lead after having only been 7th with a mile to go. A 68.3 lap just showed Hassan wasn’t going to let the pace drag anymore, and then a 66.9 whittled the lead pack down to three: Hassan, Obiri, and Agnes Tirop (winner in Stockholm, just missed winning $50,000 at Peachtree) with a half mile to go. A 65.47 didn’t drop Obiri and Tirop, who were single-file behind Hassan at the bell.

Those expecting Hassan to run away from Obiri and Tirop on the final lap were in for a surprise as Obiri took the lead just before the final turn and would not give it up. She opened up a sizeable gap on Hassan on the turn, and then Hassan even looked behind her coming off the turn as Tirop went by Hassan as well. Obiri had a comfortable lead and although Tirop would cut into it the final 50 meters, Obiri got the win in 14:20.36 as Tirop was close in 14:20.68 and Hassan settled for a European record of 14:22.12, as Margaret Kipkemboi, who upset Hassan in Hengelo at 5,000 in June, was a distant 4th in 14:31.

1	Hellen OBIRI	KEN KEN	14:20.36	8
2	Agnes Jebet TIROP	KEN KEN	14:20.68	7
3	Sifan HASSAN	NED NED	14:22.12	6
4	Margaret Chelimo KIPKEMBOI	KEN KEN	14:31.69	5
5	Caroline Chepkoech KIPKIRUI	KEN KEN	14:36.10	4
6	Eva CHERONO	KEN KEN	14:40.25	3
7	Beatrice CHEBET	KEN KEN	14:46.12	2
8	Lilian Kasait RENGERUK	KEN KEN	14:48.69	1
9	Gloriah KITE	KEN KEN	14:49.22	
10	Letesenbet GIDEY	ETH ETH	14:51.46	
11	Karoline Bjerkeli GRØVDAL	NOR NOR	14:51.66	
12	Laura WEIGHTMAN	GBR GBR	14:51.78	
13	Eilish MCCOLGAN	GBR GBR	14:51.89	
14	Lonah Chemtai SALPETER	ISR ISR	14:59.02	
15	Dominique SCOTT	RSA RSA	14:59.08	
16	Andrea SECCAFIEN	CAN CAN	15:12.93	
17	Jessica JUDD	GBR GBR	15:16.47	
18	Rosie CLARKE	GBR GBR	15:19.75	
19	Jessica O'CONNELL	CAN CAN	15:28.80	
20	Amy Eloise NEALE	GBR GBR	15:35.02	

QT: Obiri is back

Obiri has shown herself to be the top 5,000m runner in the world since the start of 2017. She’s only lost twice at 5,000 in that time period (when she fell in Stockholm this year and last year at Pre when she got 3rd). After falling in Stockholm this year, she only ran 6th in the 3000 at Pre but she still ran 8:27.26 so people wondering what was wrong with her probably were worrying too much.

Post-race Obiri told the IAAF, “I am so happy because this is my favourite track and I have done my best and I ran the way I wanted to. In the last lap I was thinking, work hard and I said to myself when I went past Hassan, ‘Let me go and see if you can catch me’.”

QT: Is Hassan really a 5,000/10,000 runner?

Prior to joining the Oregon Project at the end of 2016, Sifan Hassan was an 800/1500 runner. Alberto Salazar now wants her to be a 5,000/10,000 runner. The jury is still out on whether Hassan is really best suited for the 5,000/10,000. Yes, she did get a bronze in the 5,000m at Worlds in 2017, but she still may be better suited for the 1,500 and 5,000.

Hassan has been on fire in the 1,500/mile/3000 the last month but this is her second defeat at 5,000 in the last two months. First in Hengelo, she was targeting the European record, could not stay with the pace, and was upset. Today, she actually got the European record. There is no shame in a PR or getting beat by Hellen Obiri.

Plus, runners aren’t machines and Hassan was coming off the emotional high of her world record as she said,  “I went out fast but I’m still very tired from the mile in Monaco last week, both physically and emotionally. But I still ran a PB, so I’m happy.”

With an agonizing 10 weeks until the World Championships, we’re not sure what to think of anyone who is lighting it up right now. Despite her amazing speed, there will be some doubt Hassan can utilize it to bring home a gold in the 5,000 or 10,000m at Worlds.

Women’s 800: Lynsey Sharp wins as Catriona Bisset breaks 43-year-old Australian record

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For the first 700 meters of the women’s 800, the race went exactly according to form as Jamaica’s Natoya Goule, Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, and Australia’s Catriona Bisset, the three women with a seasonal best under 2:00, all ran in the top 3 spots, first behind the rabbit and then with Goule in the lead after 500 meters. However, in the final 100 Goule faded badly, all the way down to 7th, as Sharp kept things going, grabbing the win in 1:58.61, a small improvement on the 1:58.76 she ran last week in Monaco. Bisset stayed right on Sharp’s heels all the way to the finish and was rewarded with a full-second pb of 1:58.78, which broke Charlene Rendina‘s Aussie record of 1:59.0, which had stood since February 28, 1976.

“It’s really nice to get the win. That’s the main thing. I’ve taken a lot of losses the last few years,” said Sharp on the BBC broadcast after the race. “I ran fast in Monaco (1:58.76) but everyone says, ‘It’s Monaco’ so it was nice to back it up.’”

Sharp credited her resurgence in form in 2019 to her decision to leave San Diego, where she trained with Terrence Mahon’s group, and return to the UK.

“I had to listen to my head really. My heart wanted to stay in San Diego [Editor’s note: Sharp dates British 5k man Andy Butchart, who is based in San Diego] but my head was saying I needed to come home and make some changes. Thankfully I did that in March and I”m really seeing [that pay off],” said Sharp, who ran 1:57 in 2015 and 2016 but only 1:59.34 last year when she relocated to San Diego.

1	Lynsey SHARP	GBR GBR	1:58.61
2	Catriona BISSET	AUS AUS	1:58.78
3	Alexandra BELL	GBR GBR	1:59.82
4	Shelayna OSKAN-CLARKE	GBR GBR	1:59.83
5	Morgan MITCHELL	AUS AUS	2:00.06
6	Hannah SEGRAVE	GBR GBR	2:00.18
7	Natoya GOULE	JAM JAM	2:00.51
8	Carley THOMAS	AUS AUS	2:01.01
9	Adelle TRACEY	GBR GBR	2:09.74

Quick Take: Catriona Bisset has had an amazing journey to the NR

If you look up Bisset on the results database Tilastopaja, it looks as if the 25-year-old just recently picked up the sport as it only lists results starting in 2016. Take a look at this progression.

2016: 2:11.85 sb
2017: 2:09.45 sb (56.65 400)
2018: 2:03.48 (57.01 400)
2019: 1:58.78 NR (56.52 400)

(The IAAF site also lists a 2:29.58 800 for her in 2012 and a 59.67 400 for her in 2011)

In reality, Bisset competed at her first national meet at age 12 but then took four years away from the sport as she dealt with an “eating disorder, anxiety and depression in her late teens and early 20s” according to a fantastic profile of her on

Bisset is coached by Peter Fortune, who famously guided Cathy Freeman to Olympic gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 400, and Fortune thinks Bisset’s talk about her past struggles really helps.

“I’m really happy she embraces that and talks about it (her past),” said Fortune in the article.

“I think she will be excellent [for] … a lot of young athletes that maybe haven’t had that type of role model.”

Bisset’s agent Sean Whipp also told us that Bisset doesn’t own a car, so she will often ride 50 minutes to and from training on her bike. And that’s while studying for a double masters and working four days a week in a consulting firm.

Rendina’s previous NR from 1976, a year during which she made the Olympic semis, was the longest-standing women’s national record in Australia and second longest overall. Peter Norman‘s 200m record of 20.06 from the 1968 Olympics is the oldest record for Australia.

More: Catriona Bisset, Australia’s fastest woman to run 800m in a decade, reveals hurdles off the track
*MB: Mega props to Catriona Bisset who overcame an eating disorder, anxiety and depression to break Australia’s 43-yr old 800 NR

Women’s 100: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues to fly

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s incredible 2019 season continued in London, as she returned to the site of her 2012 Olympic gold to run 10.78 and blow away a strong field. Brit Dina Asher-Smith finished second in 10.92. Fraser-Pryce has now broken 10.80 three times this year, the third time she has done that in her career (also in 2013 and 2015).

1	Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE	JAM JAM	10.78	8	
2	Dina ASHER-SMITH	GBR GBR	10.92	7	
3	Marie-Josée TA LOU	CIV CIV	10.98	6	
4	Blessing OKAGBARE	NGR NGR	11.04	5	
6	Murielle AHOURÉ	CIV CIV	11.17	3	
7	Michelle-Lee AHYE	TTO TTO	11.19	2	
8	Tatjana PINTO	GER GER	11.28	1	

Men’s 400: Jonathan Jones earns redemption as Akeem Bloomfield wins

Last week in Monaco, Kahmari Montgomery false-started in the 400. University of Texas freshman Jonathan Jones, running in lane 7, followed along, not realizing that the runners had been called back. Jones wound up running the entire 400 meters, and we clocked him unofficially around 44.9 — not far off his 44.64 pb from NCAAs.

Jones was so tired that he understandably chose not to run the “actual” race in Monaco, but today in London he had no such issues, earning some redemption by running a Barbados national record of 44.63. That was good for second in the race, as last year’s NCAA runner-up Akeem Bloomfield of Jamaica won it in 44.40 to move up to #5 on the 2019 list.

Afterwards, Jones talked about Monaco saying, “I really wanted to come back to the Diamond league and race, rather than race by myself.”

400 hurdles star Abderrahman Samba, who was entered initially, wound up scratching here due to a hamstring issue.

1	Akeem BLOOMFIELD	JAM JAM	44.40	8	
2	Jonathan JONES	BAR BAR	44.63	7	
3	Nathon ALLEN	JAM JAM	44.85	6	
4	Obi IGBOKWE	USA USA	45.06	5	
5	Demish GAYE	JAM JAM	45.11	4	
6	Baboloki THEBE	BOT BOT	45.23	3	
7	Luka JANEŽIČ	SLO SLO	45.49	2	
8	Rabah YOUSIF	GBR GBR	45.52	1	
9	Marcus CHAMBERS	USA USA	46.26		

Men’s 200: China’s Zhenye Xie shocks with Asian record

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Before today, no Asian-born man had ever broken 20 seconds in the 200 meters; the Asian record stood at 19.97, set by Nigerian-born Femi Ogunode of Qatar in 2015.

No Chinese man had run faster than 20.16, the national record set by Zhenye Xie in Osaka last year.

All of that changed in the span of 19.88 seconds today as Xie, running out of lane 9, shocked the non-Diamond League field today in London to smash the Chinese and Asian records.

Xie went out in the semis in the 100 at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, but he is now #6 on the global 200m list this year and a dark horse medal contender in Doha.

1	Zhenye XIE	CHN CHN	19.88	
2	Miguel FRANCIS	GBR GBR	19.97	
3	Aldemir JUNIOR	BRA BRA	20.17	
4	Yuki KOIKE	JPN JPN	20.24	
5	Nethaneel MITCHELL-BLAKE	GBR GBR	20.28	
6	Eseosa DESALU	ITA ITA	20.51	
7	Alonso EDWARD	PAN PAN	20.52	
8	Shemar BOLDIZSAR	GBR GBR	20.56	
9	Mario BURKE	BAR BAR	20.78

*More results here
*Day 1 recap here

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