Tag Archives: Kenenisa Bekele

The Morning Run- June 8th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Oslo’s stop on the Diamond League was Thursday and although the fields were a bit diluted with the New York meet on Saturday, there were still some significant takeaways.

Asafa Powell looked like a bona fide silver medal contender.  He lost to Usain Bolt, but he ran a season best time of 9.85 and appeared to run all the way through the line.

Yes, Bolt did almost take out the flower girl.

Abebe Aragawi is shaping up to be the Morgan Uceny of 2012.  Last week she won in a fast 3:56 in Rome, yesterday she ran a smart, savvy race to win in 4:02.  The sample size is very small, but so far she has shown the versatility to make her a favorite the rest of the summer.  As for the real Uceny, she finished 6th in 4:05.  She didn’t really get going last year until after the U.S. championships, so I wouldn’t count her out yet.

There was good news and bad news for Lolo Jones.  The good, she ran a season best time of 12.75 and beat last year’s silver medalist Danielle Carruthers.  The bad, the extraordinarily deep American 100 hurdles field, got even deeper with the emergence of Kristi Castlin.  After a stellar indoor season, Castlin finished 2nd yesterday in 12.56.  Sally Pearson’s dominance would be boring if she wasn’t so fun to watch.

Is Kenenisa Bekele improving or flat lining?  He ran his fastest time of the season, 13:00.54, but finished only 5th.  Worse than that, he lost to his younger brother and everyone knows how awful that is.  Oslo was his fourth Diamond League race of the season and he has shown steady improvement, but has yet to have the breakthrough race that truly signals his return.

There are still two more days of racing in Des Moines at the NCAA ChampionshipsJesse Squire gives you the low down on day three.

If you are watching the NCAA meet for runners that will have an impact at the US Olympic Trials, keep your eye on Kimberlyn Duncan, English Gardner and Octavious Freemon in the women’s 100, Tony McQuay and Mike Berry in the men’s 400 and Harry Adams and Maurice Mitchell in the men’s 100.

What to watch for at Saturday’s Diamond League meet in New York.

Desiree Davila answers Joe Battaglia’s questions

Battaglia also features the frequently overlooked Kelly-Ann Baptiste.

NBC’s Rock Center profiles Oscar Pistorius.

The Tonight Show went to Chula Vista, California and sampled some track and field events.

-Kevin

 

The Morning Run- June 5th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Tyson Gay will make his 2012 debut in New York at the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday.  Gay will be in the “B” section and will not be racing head-to-head with 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.   Gay, and his agent Mark Wetmore, cited preparedness issues as the reason he would not be racing in the premiere section.  In the same article, Wetmore says that Gay could be ready for something in the 9.9s on Saturday.

Whether or not that is realistic is debatable, but the fact that it is even being considered seems to undermine the unpreparedness  argument for why Gay needs to be in a separate section.  Nobody begrudges him if he needs a tune-up race and can’t touch a sub-10 yet, but claiming he isn’t race-ready and then floating 9.9 is highly contradictory.  Regardless, this should be the most anticipated “B” section of 2012

The most recent start lists for New York can be found here.

The NCAA Championships begin on Wednesday and run through Saturday.  Track and Field News produced women’s and men’s form charts.

The most recent start lists for the Bislett Games, Oslo’s stop on the Diamond League have been posted.  Some races to keep an eye on:

Can Usain Bolt improve on his world leading 9.76 in the 100 “against” Asafa Powell

Lolo Jones will try to get back on track in the 100 hurdles against Sally Pearson, Kristi Castlin, Tiffany Porter and Jessica Ennis.

Kenenisa Bekele, Tariku Bekele, Dejen Gebremeskel, Imane Merga and the rest of the strong Ethiopian contingent will battle for Olympic spots in the men’s 5000. 

American Morgan Uceny will try to close the gap on breakout Ethiopians Abeba Aregwai, Genzebe Dibaba in the 1500.    

Ken Goe’s links from Monday.

Writer David Davis is writing a book on the first woman to run a marathonMerry Lepper.  Hard to believe it was in 1963.

Start list for the Portland Track Festival, which features Dathan Ritzenhein and Lauren Fleshman.

-Kevin

 

The Morning Run- April 13th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Yesterday, the Jamaican Observer wrote about Yohan Blake’s plans to double in the 100 and 200 at this year’s Olympics.  While not surprising, it got me thinking about which decisions will have the most impact on the competition in London.  After not including relays, or assumed doubles, such as Usain Bolt, Walter Dix, Carmelita Jeter, Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, etc. I narrowed it down to four:

Allyson Felix: 100/200, 200/400, 200,  400

Despite the articles and intimations to the contrary, attempting the 100 seems like a long shot for Felix.  After all, if she were going to put another race on her schedule that comes before her favored 200, then it would be the 400, where she narrowly missed gold in 2011.  If she does opt for the 100, her path out of the Olympic Trials got a little bit easier with the news that Marshevet Hooker will be taking the year off.

However, it seems very hard to believe Felix would put an extra race in her legs, both in Eugene and London trying to beat 100 meter specialists.  The more realistic option is between the 200 and 400.  She tried the double last year in Daegu and came up a bit short finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively, but even with the Olympic year resurgence of Sanya Richards-Ross and Christine Ohuruogu, the 400 is still not nearly as deep as the 200.

So why would she drop the 400, a race where was .03 seconds away from gold at the 2011 World Championships?  The idea of racing Veronica Campbell-Brown and Carmelita Jeter fresh has to be tempting.  As does winning gold in the 200 where she earned the silver medal at the last two Olympics.

Chances of:

100/200:  1%

200/400:  75%

400:            25%

200:            50%

Abubaker Kaki: 800 or 1500

As they overlap on the London program, this is most likely and either/or situation.  Kaki was the silver medalist in the 800 last year, but the man he lost to, David Rudisha, seems unbeatable.  His switch to the 1500 for the Olympics would make him the first to employ the ARAAC strategy (Avoid Rudisha At All Costs).  Most don’t have the ability to pull off the ARAAC, but Kaki ran 3:31 last year and is already entered in a 1500 for the first Diamond League meet.

What would be the ripple effect of Kaki’s switch?  Aside from Rudisha’s path getting easier, it would make Kaki a medal threat immediately in the 1500.  Throw him, and his closing speed, in the mix with Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat and the chances of an American medal decrease significantly as well.

Chances of…

800: 40%

1500: 60%

Kenenisa Bekele: 5,000, 10,000, 5,000/10,000, neither

We will definitely have more information about the form of the defending gold medalist after he returns to racing this weekend in Ireland. Bekele barely raced last year and dropped out of the 10,000 at the World Championships snapping his undefeated streak in that event in the process.  His 2011 wasn’t all bad though as he returned in Brussels to run the fastest time in the world (26:43).  Was that performance a sign to returned dominance or a final curtain call?

The answer should be much more obvious this year because he will have to show some positive results early in the season in order to get selected to the Olympic team.  Bekele’s presence in either event would make it much more difficult for Mo Farah to win in front of his home crowd and it would also mean that a highly qualified Ethiopian will be on the sideline.  In the 2011 World Championships, Ethiopia went 1st and 3rd in the 10,000 and 3rd and 5th in the 5,000 (they would have been 3rd and 4th had Imane Merga not been disqualified).  The 5,000 and 10,000 are separated by several days making the double manageable.

Chances of:

5,000: 25%

10,000: 85%

5,000/10,000: 65%

Neither: 10%

Yohan Blake: 100, 200 or 100/200

Why would a reigning world champion in the 100 not race the glamour event at the Olympic Games?  The answer is he probably still will, but maybe he should reconsider.  Blake’s 100 meter title last year was a bit diminished by the absence of Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, and was overshadowed by his own post-World Championship 19.26 200 meter time.

His best in the 100 meters is 9.82.  Great, but does not put him in the rarefied air that his 200 does.  If he skips the 100, he will be racing fresh against many that will be doubling back from the 100.  When I floated this idea to Ato Boldon (at about 8:02 on the podcast) he politely told me I was completely wrong, so I am probably way off base.  The prestige and potential earning power is far greater in the 100, but if Blake does not show the ability to go 9.7 or 9.6 early in the season, he should give the 200, and just the 200, a serious look.

100: 65%

200:  25%

100/200: 75%

The rest of The Morning Run

Aries Merritt and his hair are profiled by Yahoo.

The Boston Herald explains why the top Americans will be on the sidelines for this year’s Boston Marathon.  Hint, the Olympics.

The IAAF preview of Boston.

Jesse Squire discusses the connection between Steve Prefontaine and dual meets.

Ken Goe’s links of yore.

More of the non-story that is the status of Delano Williams‘ citizenship.

A great analysis of Matt Centrowitz’s bronze medal race in Daegu.

-Kevin

 

The Morning Run- April 2nd

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Sanya Richards-Ross, Marvin Bracy and Jeff Demps all ran fast in wind-aided 100s at the Texas Relays in Austin.  Full results.

Richards-Ross went 10.89 and still had time to throw up the ‘hook em.’ 

High-schooler Bracy ran 10.06 and shouldn’t really be racing with high school kids anymore.  He is looking more and more like a potential Olympic Trials finalist.

Demps went 10.01.

Jeremy Wariner’s 44.58 split in the 4 x 400 relay is a promising sign after spending much of 2011 injured.

Performance of the meet was the Auburn men’s 4 x 100 relay team that ran 38.30, good for fourth best college performance ever.   It is also the fastest time in the world this year if you are the type of person that is concerned with who has the fastest 4 x 100 in April.

University of Texas football player and U.S long jump champion, Marquis Goodwin, did not compete in his specialty at the Texas Relays citing an injury.  The injury does not seem major as his coach believes he will be back in time for the Big 12 Championship.  Nonetheless, advantage football.

In the Carlsbad 5000 Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel won the men’s race, while Tirunesh Dibaba took the women’s.  Toni Reavis breaks down both races.  Video of men’s and women’s races featuring commentary by House of Run guest, Kevin Liao.

New Zealand’s shot put phenom Jacko Gill will not compete in the London Olympics, opting to concentrate on defending his World Junior Championship title.  The article also details Gill’s seven goals, which unfortunately do not include making more training videos lifting animals or dunking shot puts.

A high school girl that most people did not know (but probably should have) qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 10,000Cayla Hatton, remember the name.

Also, remember the name of Delano Williams, who won the 100 and 200 at the Jamaican Champs meet in Kingston.  Williams is from the Turks and Caicos and thus, could actually end up representing Great Britain in London.

In other Champs action, Shauna Helps won the girls 100 in 11.50.  She is 15.

Kenenisa Bekele and Vivian Cheruiyot will headline the year’s first Diamond League meet in Doha on May 15thAbubaker Kaki reportedly will run the 1500, instead of the 800 where he won a silver medal last year.  Switching to the 1500 in 2012 is a smart move for Kaki.  His speed would work well in a tactical race and he could avoid David Rudisha, which is probably the reason why most people will just drop the 800 this year.

The head of PUMA, Jochen Zeitz, says the relationship between the company and Usain Bolt has not always been great and there has been some “rough times.”  Like that one time when he became the most profitable and marketable track athlete of all-time and made the company millions of dollars.

-Kevin