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Track & Field

Track & Field (355)

By Dave Hunter (August 1s, 2017; London)
Even with the 66,000+ fans who packed London's Olympic Stadium setting new decibel records in exhorting on their beloved countryman, Muktar Edris was not to be denied as the Ethiopian did something no man has been able to do in 6 years: unleash a finishing kick strong enough to defeat the incomparable Mohammed Farah in a global championship track final. The capacity crowd - which came in droves to witness what Farah has repeatedly stated will be his final big track competition - roared during Farah's introduction and then settled back to watch what they hoped who be yet another global championship for the Brit they call Sir Mo.
Unlike the 10,000 meter championship race 8 days ago where the pace was spirited from the gun, the early tempo in the 5000 final was funereal. Farah and USA's Paul Chelimo - the gold and silver medalists from Rio - raced to the front at the opening gun. After a spritely circuit in 62 seconds, the Rio medalists dialed it way back with a second lap in 70, ultimately leading the bunched field of 14 through 1 kilometer in 2:48. With Edris, Kenya's Cyrus Rutto, and Great Britain's Andrew Butchart joining the leaders, the tempo actually slowed further. Continuing a dawdling pace that has historically favored Farah and his torrid finish, the entire field - packed more tightly than the Underground's Central Line at rush hour - trotted past 2 kilos in 5:48. Farah fans were not worried. They had seen this movie before.
Soon thereafter, Ethiopia's 17-year-old Selemon Barega moved past co-leaders Farah and Rutto to take the lead and up the pace. While the 3rd kilometer was faster - a 2:44 - it was punishing no one. Shortly after 3K, Australia's Patrick Tiernan spurted into the lead and quickly pushed out to a 7-8 meter advantage over the others. Hey, mind the gap! But they didn't. With the reigning NCAA cross country champion up front, the man who thwarted Edward Cheserek's bid for 4 consecutive XC titles still had a 10 meter lead when he split 4 kilos in 11:09.
With 2 laps remaining, surely the 3-time defending champion would soon impose his will upon the field. But it did not happen. Farah seemed content to let this championship race go right down to the very end. Approaching the bell, Yomif Kejelcha - yet another Ethiopian - nursed a slight lead as he was closely followed by Edris and then Farah. The medal contenders were in full flight on the backstretch. Coming around the final curve, Edris's top gear was too much for Kejelcha who started tying up as he drifted away from the curb. Farah seized the opportunity to pass Kejelcha on the inside with a move that seemed capable of lifting him to victory. But Edris was too far gone. Chelimo passed Kejelcha on the outside but couldn't catch the Brit. A jubilant Edris crossed first in 13:32.79 followed by Farah [13:33.22]. Chelimo [13:33.51] grabbed the bronze while the fading Kejelcha [13:33.51] finished out of the medals.
After the race, the Ethiopian victor displayed his pre-race confidence. "I was highly prepared for this race and I knew I was going to beat Mo Farah," said a resolute Edris. "After the 10,000 he was maybe tired so he did not have enough for the last kick. I was stronger," declared the new champion. "Mo has many victories but now I have one. I am the new champion for Ethiopia. That's why I did the Mobot," he said. "I have won the gold in front of his home crowd. I didn't have much support but we did it. I did the Mobot out of respect as well for him."
Paul Chelimo thought team tactics played a role. "I think the Ethiopians had a plan because I think Kejelcha was out there to push the pace early and try and dampen Mo Farah's kick. Edris was just waiting and waiting to see and sitting by in the last 200 meters," offered the American medalist. "In the last 50 meters I thought 'There is no way I'm coming out without a medal here.' I had to fight and dig deep to get the bronze. To go home with a medal is not bad. I'm happy with performance. It's my second championship and a medal. I'm taking over next year. 2019 - I am after that gold."
Following this his last championship track race, Mohammed Farah provided his account of the final. "Tactically, I was trying to cover every move. They had the game plan: one of them was going to sacrifice themselves. That's what they did tonight, and the better man won on the day. I gave it all, I didn't have a single bit left at the end," admitted one of the greatest championship racers of all time. Before departing, Farah offered some final thoughts on this the conclusion of his magnificent track career. "It's been amazing. It's been a long journey but it's been incredible. It doesn't quite sink in until you compete here and cross the line - I had a couple of minutes to myself - that this is it."
USATF (8/11/2017, London)—Team USATF made a splash by having its biggest distance-running medal haul in generations at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. But nothing, it seems, prepared the track world for the stunning 1-2 finish in the women’s steeplechase by Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs Friday night at the IAAF World Championships in London.
With the win, Coburn set a championship record and American record and became the first American since Hall of Famer Horace Ashenfelter in 1952 to win a steeplechase gold in a global championship. It also marks the first time in history Americans have gone 1-2 in an Olympic or World Championships steeplechase. Equally stunning was a more than 15-second personal best for Frerichs, whose time broke the previous championship and American records.
Combined with a 1-3 finish by Brittney Reese and Tianna Bartoletta in the women’s long jump, it was Team USATF’s women at center stage at Queen Elizabeth Park Olympic Stadium, earning four medals on the night to bring the American medal count to 23 after eight days of competition.
Fred Kerley was clearly a most-unhappy-fella. 
"I am not disappointed," he declared.
It was written all over his unsmiling face, peering downward, but he wasn't going to tell you that.
The Texas A&Mer came to London loaded up with collegiate glory, as the NCAA indoor and outdoor 400-meter champion, and owner of the second fastest 400-meter time of 2017, the 43.70 he ran taking down the all-time NCAA record put in the books by an Olympic champion, Quincy Watts, a full quarter-century ago.
It was all in the timing - and we don't mean the highest-tech Seiko apparatus
Clocking everything going on at these 16th IAAF World Championships down
to - seemingly - zillionths of a miliisecond. That 43.70 took place a full 10 weeks ago - at the NCAA West Regionals in Austin, Texas. 
And that 43.70 would have run off with the gold medal on this fifth night of the World Championships. And it would not have been close.
Friday, 11 August 2017 17:24

Taylor, Carter lead 4-medal night for Team USATF

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LONDON -- A pair of 1-2 finishes highlighted by a see-saw battle in the men’s triple jump gave Team USATF four medals Thursday evening at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, bringing the total to six golds and 19 medals after seven days of competition.

By Justin Lagat—Kenyans are shifting their 3000m steeplechase dominance to the women's event. In most parts of Kenya, rain is often associated with good luck and blessings. Nothing more could have happened at the ongoing world championships in London to reinforce this believe than what just happened in the women's 3000m steeplechase race in which all the four Kenyan women, in the pouring rain, made it through to the finals. This rain could simply be marking the beginning of Kenya's dominance of the event on the women's side.
In a very slow first heat that left the race open up to the last 200m, Kenya's Purity Kirui could not summon enough strength to finish in the first three automatic places when it came down to a sprint for the finish. She finished 4th and her time of 9:40.53 was definitely going to get her into the finals if she was to qualify as one of the fastest losers. However, Colleen Quigley of the US, who had finish in third place, got disqualified and the lucky Kirui managed to get an automatic qualification to replace her. There were two Kenyans in the first heat; Hyvin Kiyeng, the defending champion and Kirui. Kiyeng finished second making it safely to the finals.
In the second heat, Kenya's Beatrice Chepkoech and Bahrain's Ruth Jebet opened a big gap on the rest of the field and dominated the race as they both comfortably qualified for the finals. Courtney Frerichs of USA finished in third to join the two as the automatic qualifiers on heat two.
By Justin Lagat 
The men's steeple was one of my most anticipated races. It lived up to the hype. Yes, I hoped for Evan Jager to win the gold (as he did), but he battled on, taking bronze, getting first steeple medal for an American male in the World Championships.
Conseslus Kipruto single-handedly prevents a potential dethronement of Kenyans in the men's 3000m steeplechase.
Just like the East African runners had been seen to be plotting on how to dethrone Mo Farah in the men's 10,000m race for a while now, the rest of the world seem to have as well been, for even a longer time, plotting to beat the Kenyans in their most successful race at the world and Olympic championships; the men's 3000m.
With a world leading time by Evan Jager of the US a few weeks to the championships and Morroco's Soufiane El Bakkali having also shown great form by winning two IAAF Diamond League races ahead of the championships, many were rightfully predicting the first win by a non-Kenyan at the world championships since 1987, except if one wants to count out Kenyan-born Saif Shaheen who won the titles in 2003 and 2005 as a non-Kenyan.

RunBlogRun Coverage:
10 Days of London Previews

2017 IAAF World Outdoor Championships
Day 8 Preview

1 Men’s 200m - Isaac Makwala came out of quarantine to qualify for the 200m semifinals with a solo run of 20.20 before the main programme commenced and then 20.14 – from lane one – in his semifinal, finishing 0.02 behind Isiah Young.

LONDON -- A 1-3 finish by Phyllis Francis and Allyson Felix, combined with bronze medals from Rio Olympic champions Michelle Carter and Kerron Clementin cold, rainy and breezy conditions, gave Team USATF a four-medal evening and 15 medals thus far at the World Championships Wednesday night at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium.

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 18:52

Video: London 2017 World Championships: Day 6 Preview

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 RunBlogRun Coverage:
10 Days of London Previews

2017 IAAF World Outdoor Championships
Day 6 Preview

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