July 9th SPEED Rankings

These are the first SPEED Rankings since the trials season concluded so there is significant movement.  The Paris Diamond League meet also created some shake-ups.  As always, these rankings are unscientific and probably inaccurate.

Men

100

1)   Yohan Blake

2)   Usain Bolt

3)   Tyson Gay

4)  Justin Gatlin

5)   Asafa Powell

It had been almost two years since Bolt lost a race until Blake took him down twice in Kingston.  Now there are questions around Bolt’s health and Gay is back in the picture. Welcome to 2010!

200

1)   Yohan Blake

2)   Usain Bolt

3)   Wallace Spearmon

4)   Churandy Martina

5)   Warren Weir

Does it hurt or help Spearmon that he has zero competition in the United States this year?  Bolt was supposed to be more invincible in this event, but it is starting to seem like Blake has more potential in the 200 than he does in the 100.

400

1)   Lashawn Merritt

2)   Kirani James

3)   Luguelin Santos

4)   Tony McQuay

5)   Kevin Borlee

Merritt ran the fastest time of 2012 in the Olympic Trials.  James has kept a low profile.  Americans have swept this event in the last two Olympic games.  This year they will assuredly get one medal, but it will be difficult to get anything more.

800

1)   David Rudisha

2)   Abubaker Kaki

3)   Mohammed Aman

4)   Timothy Kitum

5)   Nijel Amos

Dear Mr. Rudisha,

While we continued to be awed by your dominance, you have succeeded in ruining what is usually the most exciting event in track and field.  Your preposterously large margins of victory (over four seconds this past week in Paris) have spoiled the drama and made your gold medal a foregone conclusion.  We saw that in Paris you ran with a Garmin on your wrist.  This gave us an idea.  Is there any way you can continue to wear heavier and heavier pieces of jewelry and/or other accessories to even things out? Eventually, you will find the right handicap that will still allow you to win, but that will also make the spectators, and your competitors, think that someone else has a chance.

Thanks,

Kevin

1500

1)   Asbel Kiprop

2)   Silas Kiplagat

3)   Nixon Chepseba

4)   Ayanleh Souleiman

5)   Caleb Ndiku

The Kenyan Trials went Kiplagat, Chepseba, Kiprop.  Other than that, all quiet on the 1500 front.

5000

1)   Mo Farah

2)   Dejen Gebremeskel

3)   Isiah Koech

4)   Hagos Gebrhiwit

5)   Galen Rupp

The 5,000 universe got flipped-turned-upside-down in Paris.  Gebremeskel won the race in 12:46, the fastest time since 2005, and five others broke 12:50.  However, before the British fans bail on Mo Farah and start having visions of  Andy Murray, remember that he beat four of the seven at the Pre Classic.  Does Rupp belong? Yes, he was only one second behind Koech at Pre and he just beat Lagat.

10000

1)   Mo Farah

2)   Kenenisa Bekele

3)   Tariku Bekele

4)   Wilson Kiprop

5)   Moses Masai

No changes here.  The 10,000 will be Kenenisa Bekele’s only race in London.  Unless it’s not.

110 Hurdles

1)   Liu Xiang

2)   Aries Merritt

3)   Jason Richardson

4)  Dayron Robles

5)   Jeff Porter

Merritt finally broke through the 13-second barrier in his win in Eugene.  Richardson broke it twice in the same day.  Robles should be higher, but he hasn’t produced enough results to elicit confidence.

400 Hurdles

1)  Javier Culson

2)   Dai Greene

3)   Michael Tinsley

4)   Angelo Taylor

5)   Felix Sanchez

Culson won another Diamond League race and now holds four of the five fastest times of the year.  Greene was a close second and is free from the wrath of Bershawn Jackson after Jackson did not qualify for the Olympics.

3000 Steeplechase

1)   Paul Koech

2)   Brimin Kipruto

3)   Abel Mutai

4)   Ezekiel Kemboi

5)   Jarius Birech

An all-Kenyan top five.  Koech rebounded nicely from his usual altitude induced disaster in Nairobi to win in Paris.  With an assault charge lingering, Kemboi will still compete in London.  That’s so NFL/NBA.

Women

100

1)   Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

2)   Carmelita Jeter

3)   Veronica Campbell-Brown

4)   Tianna Madison

5)   Kerron Stewart

Just when it looked like America had the upper hand in this event, Fraser-Pryce went and ran 10.70 at the Jamaican trials.  Jeter quelled any doubts by winning in Eugene and Madison is so focused on London she didn’t even stop to get her flag.  Or show up to the press conference.

200

1)   Allyson Felix

2)   Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

3)   Carmelita Jeter

4)   Veronica Campbell-Brown

5)   Sherone Simpson

Felix’s incredible 200 at the trials will be the most cathartic race of the season until she wins gold, unless Asafa Powell becomes clutch in the next 3 weeks.  Fraser-Pryce’s 100 overshadowed her 200 where she also ran a person best.

400

1)   Sanya Richards-Ross

2)   Amantle Montsho

3)   Antonina Krivoshapka

4)   Novelene Williams-Mills

5)   Yulia Gushchina

Richards-Ross hasn’t lost since May and had the best time in the world until Krivoshapka ran 49.16 and Gushchina went 49.28 (the other Russian to be named later) in the Russian championships.

800

1)   Pamela Jelimo

2)   Fantu Magiso

3)   Alysia Montano

4)   Janeth Jepkosgei

5)   Mariya Savinova

Jelimo ran a blistering 1:56 in Heusden on Saturday.  Magiso is the only one to beat her this year.  Montano ran the rounds and the finals at the trials from the front.  Last year’s world champion Savinova checked in with a 1:57 last week.

1500

1)   Mariem Selsouli

2)   Abeba Aregawi

3)   Genzebe Dibaba

4)   Hellen Obiri

5)   Asli Cakir Alptekin

Fresh off a doping ban, Selsouli won with ease in Paris in a new personal best.  Prior to her, the name you needed to know in this event was Aregawi.  Before that it was Dibaba.  I’m guessing there will be more turnover before the Olympics end.

5000

1)   Vivian Cheruiyot

2)   Tirunesh Dibaba

3)   Meseret Defar

4)   Sally Kipyego

5)   Viola Kibiwot

Dibaba was not named to the Ethiopian team in this event, so she may not end up being a factor in London.

10000

1)   Vivian Cheruiyot

2)   Tirunesh Dibaba

3)   Meseret Defar

4)   Sally Kipyego

5)   Linet Chepkirui

Only change is Chepkirui who finished 3rd and the Kenyan trials.

100 Hurdles

1)  Sally Pearson

2)   Dawn Harper

3)   Kellie Wells

4)   Brigitte Foster-Hylton

5)   Tiffany Porter

If Sally Pearson doesn’t win in London it isn’t because she peaked in the spring.  She ran 12.40 in Paris and now has the best three times of 2012.  Foster-Hylton won her trials, as did Harper.  Lolo is conspicuously inconspicuous in 6th.

400 Hurdles

1)  Lashinda Demus

2)   Natalya Antyukh

3)   Irina Davydova

4)   Vania Stambolova

5)   Melaine Walker

Demus won in Eugene, Walker won in Kingston and Antyukh and Davydova ran fast.

 3000 Steeplechase

1)  Milcah Chemos

2)   Yuliya Zaripova

3)   Habiba Ghribi

4)   Sofia Assefa

5)   Mercy Njoroge

Chemos didn’t run in Paris depriving everyone who plays fantasy track and field of a sure ten points.

-Kevin

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