Women’s 800 Prelims: Ajee’ and Raevyn Cruise But 3 of Top 6 Seeds Go Home Devastated Including Hanna Green

By LetsRun.com
September 27, 2019

DOHA, Qatar — The women’s track action at the 2019 IAAF World Championships began today with the first round of women’s 800 which were more eventful than normal. Even though 24 of the 41 starters moved on to the tomorrow’s semifinals, surprisingly, three of the top six seeds in terms of seasonal best times failed to move on.

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After Americans Ajee’ Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, the training partners who went 1-2 in the Diamond League final a few weeks ago, cruised and won the opening two heats, the first big casualty came in heat #3. There the dream season for Catriona Bisset of Australia, who had lowered her pb from 2:03.78 to an Australian record of 1:58.78 this year, came to a sudden end as she faded to last in 2:05.33 in a heat where everyone else advanced. Bisset’s failure to advance wasn’t a total shock as she hadn’t raced at all since July 21. 

In heat #5, American Hanna Green was positioned well up front but faded to last in her heat over the final 100 and was eliminated. Green’s failure to move on was a big surprise considering she won the Paris Diamond League on August 24 in 1:58.19 to make her the third seed. 

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In the final heat, Brit Lynsey Sharp, who with a 1:58.69 sb came in seeded 4th, failed to advance as a time qualifier after she finished 4th in 2:03.57 (top three in each heat were auto qualifiers and there were six time qualifiers). When a 2:02 high would get you in on time, the runners in the last heat, four of whom had pbs at 1:58.01 or better, allowed the first lap to be run in just 63.46, pretty much guaranteeing that no one would get in on time.

Below you will see how the 16 women who have a sub-2 seasonal best did today. *Heat by heat results

Seed Name Country PB SB Results
1 AjeeWILSON USA 1:55.61 1:57.72 Q – Won heat 1
2 NatoyaGOULE JAM 1:56.15 1:57.90 Q – Won heat 4
3 HannaGREEN USA 1:58.19 1:58.19 DNQ – Last in heat 5 (2:04.37)
4 LynseySHARP GBR 1:57.69 1:58.61 DNQ – 4th in heat 6 (2:03.57)
5 RaevynROGERS USA 1:57.69 1:58.65 Q
6 CatrionaBISSET AUS 1:58.78 1:58.78 DNQ – Last in heat 3
7 WinnieNANYONDO UGA 1:58.63 1:58.83 Q – Won heat 3
8 Eunice JepkoechSUM KEN 1:56.99 1:58.99 q – 4th in heat #2 (2:02.17)
9 Rose MaryALMANZA CUB 1:57.70 1:59.04 Q – 2nd in heat 6
10 OlhaLYAKHOVA UKR 1:58.64 1:59.13 q – 4th in heat #4 (2:01.47)
11 NatalіyaPRISHCHEPA UKR 1:58.60 1:59.13 Q – Won heat #5 (2:03.22)
12 ChristinaHERING GER 1:59.41 1:59.41 DNQ – 4th in heat #1 (2:03.15)
13 HalimahNAKAAYI UGA 1:58.39 1:59.57 Q – 2nd in heat 1
14 Ce’AiraBROWN USA 1:58.01 1:59.74i Q -2nd in heat #2
15 AlexandraBELL GBR 1:59.82 1:59.82 Q – 3rd in heat #5
16 ShelaynaOSKAN-CLARKE GBR 1:58.86 1:59.83 Q -2nd in heat #2

Quick Take #1: Hanna Green said she picked up a hamstring injury on Monday but tried to race through it

Green has enjoyed a dream season in 2019, but it didn’t end the way she wanted. Tabbed as a potential medalist after her win in Paris, she faded badly over the final 100 and will have to watch the finals (and the semis) from the stands.

Clearly, she wasn’t the same runner as a month ago in Paris, and Green said that was because she picked up a hamstring strain on Monday. Green said that she has a tendency to overstride when she is tired, and that’s what happened during a 300-meter repeat in practice.

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“I knew it was going to be rough,” Green said of today’s race.

Green said her hamstring felt okay at the start of the race, but she “felt it go” on the second turn and from there it was just about muscling through the pain and trying to finish.

Quick Take #2: Raevyn Rogers’ medal chances just went up as Lynsey Sharp’s championship struggles continue

It would have been hard for things to have gone better for Raevyn Rogers today. She looked strong in winning heat 2, three of the fastest women on the year were eliminated, and 2013 world champ Eunice Sum, who had been rounding into form lately, didn’t look great and had to rely on a time qualifier.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp surprisingly failed to advance, a disappointing result for the Brit who ran back-to-back 1:58s in Monaco and London in July.

While Rogers won’t have to worry about Sharp, Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo remains a major threat. She was 3rd just behind Rogers in the DL final and looked terrific in winning her heat comfortably today — she was the only woman in six heats to break 2:01.

Ajee’ Wilson post-race

Ce’aira Brown of the US Talks after advancing

Natoya Goule thinks she can get back under 1:58 by the final

Goule ran 1:56.15 last year and then 1:57.90 in Monaco in July, but she’s been very hit or miss in 2019: she sandwiched a runner-up 1:58.59 in Paris on August 24 with a 2:02.70 for 6th in Birmingham and a 2:01.40 for 5th in the DL final.

Goule, however, wasn’t worried about any of that.

“If persons were watching, they can see sometimes the weather was bad, the rabbit was in my way twice, even the final, she stopped right in front of me,” Goule said.

And she had a prediction.

“I will dip under 1:58 again [before the end of the season],” Goule said.

You can see our other Doha interviews here.

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