London Recap: Emmanuel Korir 1:42.05, Murphy 1:43, Centrowitz, Ce’Aira Brown Get Wins, Akeem Bloomfield Joins … –

by LetsRun.comJuly 22, 2018

London has been home to four days of world class track and field the last two weekends and Sunday’s finale did not disappoint at Emmanuel Korir ran the fastest 800 in the world since the London Olympics, Clayton Murphy ran 1:43, Matthew Centrowitz got an international win, Ce’Aira Brown got her first international win, Akeem Bloomfield joined the sub 44/sub 20 club, and Keni Harrison got a world leader.

We recap it all below.

Men’s 800: Emmanuel Korir makes a statement with incredible 1:42.05

Korir pulling away in London

Two days after Nijel Amos ran a super quick 1:42.14 in Monaco, Emmanuel Korir showed everyone he is the top 800 meter runner in the world as he put on a fabulous display of running, clocking 1:42.05 to get the dominant win in London. American Clayton Murphy was second in 1:43.12, the same time as third placer Wycliffe Kinyamal as Amos had to settle for 4th in 1:43.29.

The London track, which was the site of the greatest 800m ever run at the 2012 Olympics, lived up to its 800 reputation as Korir’s time was the fastest in the world since the 2012 Olympics, and everyone in the top 9 today all ran a personal best or a season’s best save for Amos who may have been a little tired from his 1:42.14 on Friday in Monaco.

The race

Bram Som is one of the best rabbits in the world and he took the field through in 49.87. Korir was in second behind him with Kinyamal, Murphy, and Amos close. Things were still tight until 200m to go when Korir started to pull away from the field. With 100m to go he had opened up a few meters on Kinyamal. He would only extend it the final 100m as Murphy came back on Kinyamal to nab 2nd by thousandths of a second.


QT: Emmanuel Korir is the real deal

Hopefully with today’s run people start seeing how good Korir is. Coming into this race he had only run 1:45.16 outdoors this year, but that was when he nearly fell at Pre with 200 to go and yet still won the race. Indoors he blasted a 1:44.21, but missed the World Indoors with a visa issue.

He had been lying low of late running only 400s (his best was 44.21) since May, but he showed no rust at 800 and put on an exhibition. The best in the world were in London today and he destroyed them all by a second.

Korir’s only loss at 800m the last two years was at the Worlds last year in London when he was injured. Apart from that he has been unbeatable, and it was great the London crowd got to see his greatness.

QT: Comparing Korir today vs Amos On Friday

It’s interesting to compare Amos’ splits on Friday to Korir’s run today. The biggest difference is Amos went out faster (49.2 at 300 versus 50.3 for Korir) but Korir closed a lot faster (25.3 versus 26.7).


Note: The splits are according to the IAAF, we assume they are estimating splits like 300 and 700.

QT: Clayton Murphy’s is definitely BAAACK

Clayton Murphy ran 1:42.93 for Olympic bronze in 2016. Last year he ran 1:43.60 in April. So it may not be too surprising he ran 1:43.12 in 2018, but since the 1:43.60 Murphy has suffered injury and a change of coaches. He’s back firing on all cylinder for the Nike Oregon Project and coach Alberto Salazar.

QT: 3 Brits who had never broken 1:45 got sub-1:45.

The slew of PRs included three Brits: Jake Wightman, Guy Learmonth, and Daniel Rowden, who all went sub-1:45 for the first time.

Women’s mile: Sifan Hassan blitzes a 4:14.71 to move to #3 on the all-time list

The women’s mile isn’t run much on the Diamond League circuit, but the women in London took advantage of a rare opportunity tonight as there were some extremely fast times, led by the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who ran 4:14.71 to become the third-fastest woman of all time (the world record is 4:12.56).

The pace was hot early, with rabbit Brenda Martinez hitting 800 in 2:06.85, followed closely by Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, the winner in Stockholm earlier this year. Hassan, who had started near the back of the field, was moving up to join the front of the chase pack; she, Laura Muir, Hellen Obiri, and Jenny Simpson had separated from everyone else as they tried to close down Tsegay.

Hassan moved into second with 600 to go, Obiri following into third, and just after they hit 500 to go, Hassan pulled onto Tsegay’s shoulder and, after Tsegay unsuccessfully tried to hold her off, found herself in the lead at the bell. Hassan really began to push down the backstraight, and by 200 to go, she had five meters on the field, a lead that would only grow to the finish.

After the race was over, the finish line resembled a disaster area as there were bodies strewn all over the track as a result of the fast pace — in all, 11 women broke 4:22. Among the notables: a Kenyan record for Obiri in third (4:16.15), a pb for Simpson in fourth (4:17.30, just shy of Mary Slaney’s 4:16.71 American record), a pb for Kate Grace (4:20.70), and national records for Australian Linden Hall (4:21.40) and the Czech Republic’s Simona Vrzalova (4:21.54).

QT: Jenny Simpson improves, but drug cheat Mary Slaney’s American record lives on

Mary Slaney’s American record of 4:16.71 from 1985 will live another day.

Simpson’s time today converts to 3:58.24 for 1500 using the 1.08% conversion, which is better than her season’s best of 3:59.37 from Pre.

QT: Kate Grace keeps improving

Grace, who was an Olympic finalist at 800 in 2016, is focused on being a 1500 runner now. She’s still not competitive internationally but her time today converts to 4:00.94 way better than her 4:03.59 pr.

4:19.2 coverts to 4:00 for 1500.

Women’s 800: Ce’Aira Brown wins it in a PR

Brown celebrates her first big international win

The field wasn’t very interested in going with the rabbit in this non-DL event and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule led the way at the bell in 59-mid as American Ce’Aira Brown, who was third at USAs last month, was on her shoulder.

Those two would stay at the front on the final lap and separate from the field coming off the final turn; the only question was who would be the winner? Though Goule’s PR is over two seconds faster, it was Brown who was able to edge ahead with 50 meters to go, holding off Goule the rest of the way to win in a PR of 1:58.57. Brown, who had been running on the outside of lane 1 at the start of the home straight, drifted inward as she approached the finish line, leaving Goule — who was running on the rail — nowhere to go even if she had the strength to move past Brown.

Quick Take: Big win for Ce’Aira Brown; Goule may still be tired from Friday

Brown drifting into lane 1

Brown has had a terrific year, and this was her biggest win yet, even though it was not an official DL event. Goule, meanwhile, can be excused for getting beaten tonight: she just ran 1:56.15 in Monaco on Friday. To go 1:56 and then 1:58 in the span of three days is solid running.

Men’s 1500: Centrowitz times his kick perfectly

Rabbit Colby Alexander did a great job with the pacing in this non-DL event, hitting 800 in 1:54.03 (1:54 was his assignment) but only two athletes were willing to follow him — Youssouf Hiss Bachir of Djibouti and U.S. runner-up Izaic Yorks. At the bell, Hiss Bachir had four meters on Yorks, who in turn had 15 meters on the rest of the field, led by American Drew Hunter. But the chasers were coming.

On the back straight, Olympic champ Matthew Centrowitz pulled ahead of Hunter and began rapidly reeling in Yorks. With 200 to go, Centrowitz and the chase pack was right behind Yorks, and Centro moved past him early on the final turn and set his sights on Hiss Bachir, still five meters ahead of him.

Centrowitz quickly made up that deficit, and coming off the final turn, Hiss Bachir was under assault from Centrowitz on his inside and Australian Ryan Gregson on his outside. Both men went by him early in the final straight, and in the end Centrowitz had the strength to hold on for the win in 3:35.22 to Gregson’s 3:35.35.

Though Hiss Bachir (5th) and Yorks (12th) both faded badly late in the race, they were both rewarded with PRs (3:35.74 for Bachir, 3:36.81 for Yorks), and they weren’t alone. Six men ran PRs in all, including Hunter (3:35.90), recent Virginia Tech grad Neil Gourley (3:35.98), and Brit James West (3:36.59), who runs for the University of Oregon.

Quick Take: Very impressive stuff from Matthew Centrowitz, who had less than 48 hours to recover from his 3:31 in Monaco

Centrowitz is a terrific championship racer, so perhaps it’s no surprise that he was able to bounce back from his 3:31.77 in Monaco Friday night — his fastest time in three years — and win in London on Sunday afternoon. That’s a gap of just 43 hours between races.

Today’s race suited Centrowitz far more than Friday’s race in Monaco. Obviously the field here was weaker as this was not a DL points event, and that resulted in a slower pace, which allowed Centrowitz to display his tactical acumen. He stayed patient early on, but knew exactly when he had to start closing down the leaders and wasn’t afraid to head to the front of the chase pack and be the man leading that charge. On the home straight, he made a daring inside pass — reminiscent of the move he put on Ayanleh Souleiman in the 2016 Olympic final — to grab the lead, and his strength allowed him to hold onto it to the finish line.

Centrowitz’s wait for an official Diamond League victory will have to wait, but he’ll be happy with this one — it was his first career win in a European 1500 or mile.

Quick Take: How tough is it to double back from Monaco?

Two men tried the Monaco-London double: Centrowitz and Chris O’Hare. The two men both ran well in Monaco — 3:31.77 for Centro, a PR of 3:32.11 for O’Hare — but today they had drastically different results as Centrowitz won while O’Hare stepped off the track just after 700 meters. O’Hare has been banged up this year, so perhaps he was not at 100%, but his result shows you how impressive Centro’s win was.

Men’s 200: Akeem Bloomfield joins the sub-20/sub-44 club

In this week’s Week That Was, we made note of the exclusive sub-20/sub-44 club — the six men in history who had broken 20 seconds in the 200 and 44 seconds in the 400. Well now that club is at seven, as Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield, the NCAA 400 runner-up for Auburn this year, powered away from the field to win this non-DL event in 19.81. That puts him #4 on the 2018 world list — .03 ahead of his NCAA rival Michael Norman.

Women’s 100 hurdles: Keni Harrison runs world-leading 12.36

When Keni Harrison comes to London, she runs fast. She set the world record of 12.20 at this meet in 2016, won again in 12.39 last year, and today she made it three in a row in London as she clocked a world-leading 12.36 to defeat a strong field.

Harrison’s only blemish on her London record came at last year’s World Championships, where she could only manage 4th place after entering as the heavy favorite.

Women’s 200: Jenna Prandini gets PR and win

tight one in 200

This one was super tight. At one point during the final 100m world champ Dafne Schippers came on strong and looked like she’d win. She finished 7th. Jenna Prandini then came on and took the lead and got the win in a PB of 22.16, holding off a late charge from Gabrielle Thomas, who PR’d in 22.19 and would have won if the rae was a few more meters.

Women’s 400: Stephenie Ann McPherson takes the victory

Coming off the turn, this was a battle of the Jamaicans as McPherson held a slight lead over Anastasia Le-Roy. But there was no doubt who was better over the final 100 as McPherson pulled away to win this non-Diamond League race in 50.31.

Men’s 110 hurdles: Ronald Levy wins

Sergey Shubenkov, the world’s dominant force in the 110 hurdles right now, was absent from this non-Diamond League event. In his absence, Ronald Levy of Jamaica was the clear winner as Levy clocked an impressive 13.13 — only Shubenkov has run faster in 2018.

Women’s high jump: Mariya Lasitsekene withstands a challenge from Italy’s Elena Vallortigara

In her last Diamond League in Rabat, Lasitskene could only manage a clearance of 1.90 meters and was defeated for the first time in over two years. She returned to winning ways in London, tying her world lead with a 2.04-meter clearance. And she needed to be on top form today as Italy’s Elena Vallortigara had the meet of her life. Vallortigara entered the meet with a pb of 1.96, but cleared both 2.00 and 2.02 (each time on her final attempt) to wind up second.

Men’s long jump: Luvo Manyonga impresses

Unfortunately this event lost some star power before the meet as Cuban sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria withdrew, but South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga made up for it with not one, not two, but three jumps over 8.50 meters. His best was his 8.58 in round four, which tied his SB and broke the meet record.

Women’s discus: Sandra Perkovic remains perfect in 2018

Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic has competed nine times in 2018, and she has now won nine times. She only had one legal throw on the day, but one was all she needed as her 67.24-meter toss was easily enough for the victory. Perkovic has now won 14 competitions in a row dating back to last year; her last defeat came on July 7, 2017.

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