Sha’Carri Stays Perfect, Ingebrigtsen Runs 3:27.14 PB to Lead Fast Times at 2023 Silesia DL

The 8th edition of the 2023 Diamond League took place in Silesia, Poland, on Sunday and lived up to the hype as Sha’Carri Richardson made a huge statement with a win over 100m world leader Shericka Jackson, Jakob Ingebrigtsen moved to #4 all-time in the 1500m, and winning streaks were extended in the steeplechase and broken in the 100m. We give you our thoughts on the meet below. Full results can be found here. 

Sha’Carri Richardson stays perfect at 100m in 2023 with a huge win over Shericka Jackson

There have been a number of opportunities in 2023 where Sha’Carri Richardson could have faltered: the Diamond League opener in Doha, last week’s US championships in Eugene, today’s head-to-head showdown with Jamaican champ Shericka Jackson in Poland. But Richardson has met the moment on every occasion. She ran 10.76 in Doha to earn her first career Diamond League victory, a 10.71 pb in the heats in Eugene en route to her first (official) US title, and today prevailed against Jackson 10.76 to 10.78, in what could be a preview of the World Championship final in Budapest on August 21.

Richardson displayed strength and poise in this one as she trailed Jackson midway through but held strong late to pull ahead just before the line. Jackson is not the only woman Richardson will need to worry about at Worlds – Marie-Josee Ta Lou has also been running well this year, and seven-time global champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce can never be counted out. But Jackson is in the shape of her life right now (she ran 10.65 at the Jamaican champs) and Richardson just beat her for the second time this year (she also prevailed in Doha). This was a huge win for Sha’Carri.

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1 Sha’Carri RICHARDSON USA 10.76
2 Shericka JACKSON JAM 10.78
3 Ewa SWOBODA POL 10.94
4 Twanisha TERRY USA 10.99
5 Daryll NEITA GBR 11.01
6 Anthonique STRACHAN BAH 11.05
8 Zoe HOBBS NZL 11.15
9 Shashalee FORBES JAM 11.18

Jakob Ingebrigtsen moves to #4 on the all-time 1500m list

The Olympic 1500 and world 5000 champion remained undefeated on the year with his best performance yet, as he got the win in a personal best of 3:27.14 that moved him to #4 on the all-time list, as he now is faster than Silas Kiplagat (3:27.64) and Noureddine Morceli (3:27.37). This race was interesting as Ingebrigtsen had pacemakers until 1200m, with Stewy McSweyn being the final pacemaker. While the rabbiting was great, Ingebrigtsen was a few meters behind the pacers for the first 900m so in some ways it was a test run of not being able to draft behind someone in the Worlds final. 

Jakob has been on an absolute tear this season, winning every Diamond League 1500m in times of 3:32.59, 3:27.95, 3:28.72, and 3:27.14. He has an average gap of 1.03 seconds to the 2nd place finisher across all four races this season. This gap is rather impressive given the fact that the Diamond League 1500m races this season have been incredibly fast. In Oslo, there were 8 men under 3:30.00 and 12 men 3:32.00 or faster. In Lausanne, there were 7 men faster than 3:33.00. In Silesia today, there were 10 men 3:33.00 or faster. The races have been incredibly deep and fast, yet Jakob has still been able to win in dominant fashion. In the middle of all these performances, he ran a world record of 7:54.10 over 2 miles.

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Jakob stated in his post-race interview that Silesia will be his last race before the World Championships and that he will spend the upcoming weeks preparing in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The other big storylines of the 1500m were 17-year-old Cam Myers running another PB of 3:33.26 to place 11th and Andrew Coscoran smashing the Irish record, running 3:30.42 to place 4th. Myers recently signed a NIL contract with Nike, leading us to initially believe that he may be heading over to the NCAA system in order to preserve his eligibility and not sign a professional contract. However, after today’s race, where he ran the WCH and OLY standard, the future may look different for the rising Aussie star. On the other hand, Coscoran, who broke Ray Flynn‘s 41-year-old Irish record of 3:33.50 on June 17 in Nice, took over 2 seconds off his previous Irish record of 3:32.68. 

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1 Jakob INGEBRIGTSEN NOR 03:27.14
2 Abel KIPSANG KEN 03:29.11
3 Reynold Kipkorir CHERUIYOT KEN 03:30.30
4 Andrew COSCORAN IRL 03:30.42
5 Samuel TANNER NZL 03:31.24
6 Vincent Kibet KETER KEN 03:31.28
7 Isaac NADER POR 03:31.49
8 George MILLS GBR 03:31.54
9 Azeddine HABZ FRA 03:31.61
10 Elliot GILES GBR 03:33.00
11 Cameron MYERS AUS 03:33.26
13 Adrián BEN ESP 03:33.50
14 Samuel PRAKEL USA 03:40.09

The women’s 1500 meters just got more interesting

Last year, there was a six-second gap between third and fourth place in the women’s 1500 at the World Championships. After Sunday’s non-Diamond League race in Chorzow that took place before the TV window, where three Ethiopians ran 3:55 or faster, the battle for silver and bronze should be more compelling in Budapest.

World champion Faith Kipyegon remains untouchable, setting a world record of 3:49.11 last month, but Gudaf Tsegay (3:53 pb) is suddenly in range. Meanwhile bronze medalist Laura Muir (3:54 pb) has been inconsistent this year, getting beaten at the British championships, and no one knows what to expect from Sifan Hassan (3:51 pb) as she returns to the track following her London Marathon triumph in April.

22-year-old Hirut Meshesha was the big winner on Sunday, clocking 3:54.87 for the win, but 17-year-old Birke Haylom (3:54.93) and 21-year-old Diribe Welteji (3:55.08) were close behind, with both running big personal bests. In fact, the top nine women all ran pbs, with five of them PRing by 2+ seconds.

Big pbs in Poland

Place Athlete Country Result Previous pb Improvement
1 Hirut Meshesha Ethiopia 3:54.87 3:57.30 2.43
2 Birke Haylom Ethiopia 3:54.93 3:57.66 2.73
3 Diribe Welteji Ethiopia 3:55.08 3:56.91 1.83
4 Worknesh Mesele Ethiopia 3:57.00 4:01.81 4.81
5 Linden Hall Australia 3:57.27 3:59.01 1.74
6 Melissa Courtney-Bryant Great Britain 3:58.01 4:00.45 2.44
7 Jemma Reekie Great Britain 3:58.65 4:01.40 2.75

Of note, Linden Hall ran 3:57.27 to shave .02 off the Australian record set by Jessica Hull in Florence six weeks ago while Melissa Courtney-Bryant (3:58.01) and Jemma Reekie (3:58.65) became the fifth and sixth British women to break 4:00. They now sit #3 and #4 on the all-time British list, behind only Muir (3:54.50) and Kelly Holmes (3:57.90).

Down goes Kerley

There’s been plenty of chaos in the men’s 100 this year but one source of consistency was world champion Fred Kerley, who had won all three of his races this year and had not been beaten at 100 since the Pre Classic in May 2022. Kerley is invincible no more as he was run down by South Africa’s Akani Simbine on Sunday – Simbine took the win in 9.97 to Kerley’s 9.98, with Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme (9.98) and US champ Cravont Charleston (9.99) close behind.

Eseme was the big surprise. The Cameroonian has no results listed on his Tilastopaja profile until 2018, when he turned 25 years old, and two years ago, at the age of 28, his pb was only 10.32. He did not qualify for the World Championships last season, but dropped his pb to 10.08 at the Commonwealth Games and this year improved to 10.01 in Geneva and 9.96 at La Chaux-de-Fonds on July 2. The track at La Chaux-de-Fonds, located at moderate elevation (3,200 feet) is known for producing outlier performances in the sprints, but Ese backed up his run with his 9.98 today.

While six men have broken 9.90 this season, the biggest races in 2023 have not been super fast. The winning times in the five Diamond Leagues so far this year have been 9.94, 9.94, 9.97, 10.03, and now 9.97, while the winning time at USAs was 9.95. If you can break 10.00, you can be competitive in the year 2023, and the parity in the event means that around a dozen men will head to Worlds dreaming of a medal.

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1 Akani SIMBINE RSA 9.97
2 Fred KERLEY USA 9.98
3 Emmanuel ESEME CMR 9.98
4 Cravont CHARLESTON USA 9.99
5 Yohan BLAKE JAM 10.01
7 Ackeem BLAKE JAM 10.15
8 Pjai AUSTIN USA 10.23
9 Jeremiah AZU GBR 10.31

El Bakkali continues to dominate

In recent years, the men’s steeplechase has been absolutely dominated by the Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali. The 7:56 steeplechaser has not lost a steeplechase since the Diamond League final on September 9, 2021, where he came second to Benjamin Kigen. Since then, he has won 10 straight steeplechases, including today. Before his loss in the Diamond League final in 2021, he also had a winning streak of 4 steeplechases. Adding this up, El Bakkali has won 14/15 steeplechases he has finished since the turn of the decade. 

Extending his streak today in Silesia to 10 straight, El Bakkali looked very relaxed and ran to a routine win in 8:03.16. El Bakkali immediately went to the front of the race, sat in behind the two Moroccan pacers, and once they stepped off he picked up the pace for the win. Nobody seemed to even challenge the reigning world and Olympic champion. The only man to beat El Bakkali in this decade, Kigen, was in this race, but was only good for 5th place in 8:11.12. Abraham Kibiwott finished second in 8:08.03 and Leonard Bett rounded out the top three in 8:09.45. 

Although El Bakkali has dominated the steeplechase wins, there has been a lot of noise in the steeplechase by the ways of Lamecha Girma’s world record in Paris. Girma has not been able to beat El Bakkali head to head since the 2019 World Championship final where Girma took home the silver and El Bakkali the bronze. While Girma holds the world record, El Bakkali does not even hold his national record. His PB of 7:56.68 is the 9th best of all time, but his countryman, the convicted doper Brahim Boulami, holds the Moroccan record at 7:55.28. Given his status and dominance in the event, El Bakkali will be sure to take a shot at the Moroccan record and world record soon.

1 Soufiane EL BAKKALI MAR 08:03.16
2 Abraham KIBIWOT KEN 08:08.03
3 Leonard Kipkemoi BETT KEN 08:09.45
4 Abrham SIME ETH 08:10.68
5 Benjamin KIGEN KEN 08:11.12
6 Avinash Mukund SABLE IND 08:11.63
7 Amos SEREM KEN 08:14.53
8 Mohamed TINDOUFT MAR 08:15.02
9 Hailemariyam AMARE ETH 08:25.10
10 Amos KIRUI KEN 08:26.17
11 Niklas BUCHHOLZ GER 08:30.01
12 Fernando CARRO ESP 08:33.59
13 El Mehdi ABOUJANAH ESP 08:33.90
14 Mohamed Amin JHINAOUI TUN 08:40.84
  Mohammed MSAAD MAR DNF

Wayde van Niekerk keeps getting better; dos Santos runs 44.73 in season opener

When Wayde van Niekerk tore his ACL in October 2017, he was on top of the 400-meter world with three straight global titles and an unforgettable world record in the Olympic final in Rio. He would run just four 400m races over the next three years, but since then van Niekerk has steadily climbed the ranks. He was an Olympic semifinalist in Tokyo, finished 5th at last year’s Worlds in Eugene, and in 2023, at 31, could get back on the podium in Budapest.

In fact, as things stand van Niekerk is the favorite for gold at Worlds. He entered Sunday’s race having won all three of his 400s this year, all in 44 seconds, and he made it four-for-four in Silesia, clocking 44.08 – the #2 time in the world this year and his fastest since winning his last global gold in August 2017. The only man to run faster in 2023, Muzala Samukonga of Zambia, was in this race but pulled up lame on the back straight.

This race was also notable for the return of Alison dos Santos, competing for the first time in 2023 after tearing his meniscus. Usually a 400 hurdles specialist, dos Santos ran a solid 44.73 for 3rd. Not a bad result at all – he has only run faster once in his life, 44.54 at Mt. SAC in 2022, a year when dos Santos went on to run 46.29 in the 400 hurdles.

1 Wayde VAN NIEKERK RSA 44.08
2 Bayapo NDORI BOT 44.61
3 Alison DOS SANTOS BRA 44.73
4 Zakithi NENE RSA 44.74
5 Ryan WILLIE USA 44.77
6 Bryce DEADMON USA 44.81
7 Vernon NORWOOD USA 44.88
8 Karol ZALEWSKI POL 45.87

Mary Moraa impresses again

Two weeks after defeating Keely Hodgkinson in Lausanne, Kenya’s Mary Moraa showed again why she will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Championships by going wire-to-wire to win the 800 in 1:56.85, just off her 1:56.71 pb. Moraa didn’t go right with the pacemaker but still hit 400 in a quick 57.6, trailed by 2019 world champ Halimah Nakaayi and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin

Both of those women would attempt to pass Moraa on the back straight – Goule-Toppin on the outside, Nakaayi on the inside – but Moraa was too strong and ultimately pulled away to win on the home straight. Nakaayi had to settle for 2nd in 1:57.78 – a Ugandan record and her first time under 1:58 – with Goule-Toppin 3rd in 1:57.90. American Sage Hurta-Klecker ran a great race for 4th in 1:58.09 – the second-fastest time of her career – one week after finishing 4th at USAs.

1 Mary MORAA KEN 01:56.85
2 Halimah NAKAAYI UGA 01:57.78
3 Natoya GOULE-TOPPIN JAM 01:57.90
4 Sage HURTA-KLECKER USA 01:58.09
5 Abbey CALDWELL AUS 01:58.48
6 Anita HORVAT SLO 01:58.94
7 Rénelle LAMOTE FRA 01:59.30
8 Sofia ENNAOUI POL 01:59.82
9 Elena BELLÒ ITA 02:00.61
10 Camille LAUS BEL 02:01.35
11 Margarita KOCZANOWA POL 02:02.09

Talk about the meet on our
world-famous fan forum.

*Official Silesia Diamond League Discussion Thread
*Jakob 3:27.14 #3 All Time AND Cam Myers 3:33.26
*Jakob will never run faster than 3:27.14
*3:27.95 will be Jakob’s LIFETIME best
*Jakob get’s asked how fast he can run at Silesia. His answer: “If I can run 3:26 I’m very happy.”
*Hurta 158.09
*Could 2008 Bekele beat 2023 Jakob in a championship 5k?
*You vs Jakob Ingebrigtsen in a 100m dash

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