Tag Archive: Jenny Simpson

Boston doesn’t seem to favour Mo Farah as he stumbled over a most unforeseen obstacle conjured up in his way to meet with defeat for a second time in as many visits to the ‘green’ capital of Massachusetts.

Last year it was a stunning last 200m in 26.2 secs by one-spike shoed Dejen Gebremeskiel (ETH) in the 3000m to deny him and this time round disaster struck hardly 120m into the race, having stepped down as overwhelming favourite to claim the mile.

As fortune would have it, it was fellow Briton James Brewer, back racing well after a frustrating two years in the twighlight, that inadvertedly caught Farah’s leg from behind for the world 5000m champion to tumble on the track, blowing away whatever chances of challenging Peter Elliott‘s long-holding UK indoor record of 3:52.02 (1990).

Showing character and his racing insticts, he was quickly back on his feet to chase and swiftly haul back into the thick of the action, involving new partner Ciaran O’Lionaird (IRL) and loyal companion Gallen Rupp (USA) under coach Alberto Salazar.

But the early fall and exertion to make up the lost ground took its toll in the late stages as he could not keep up with the top trio, made up by Canadian Taylor Milne, when Rupp wound up the pace making a long run for home around 400m out.

Daevu finalist O’Lionaird, stalking the American, sensed his chance and grabbed it with both hands as he swept past with about 140m to spare (3:40.65 at 1500) and pulled away round the last bend to a convincing victory in 3:56.01, a total PB, to inaugurate a new chapter in his career in grand manner.

Milne followed through for runner-up (3:40.85 1500m) behind the ‘Mullet’ Irishman in also a total best of 3:56.40 while Rupp held on for third in a PB of 3:57.10 (3:40.98 1500m) and Farah still managed an indoor best of 3:57.92 (3:41.90 1500m), yet anything but the speed polishing he was looking for.

Hopefully, that unfortunate turn won’t affect his build-up to assault the British record over the 2-miler in Birmingham in two weeks neither Brewer’s own chances as he dropped out despite a strong first half into the race, possibly also feeling some effects out of the incident himself.

As an aside, the pace set at 800m (1:58.4) would have hardly set the ground for Farah to challenge Elliott’s mark anyway.

Jenn Suhr clears a new US indoor landmark of 4.88m

Andy Baddeley, by contrast, consolidated a return to form as he made the most of a blistering pace in the men’s 3000m to draw well inside the qualifying standard for Istanbul in 7:47.09, an indoor best and new UK leading mark to replace Chris Thompson at the top.

The Harrow miler, gaining a solid foothold for selection, came an eventual eighth in a scintillating contest that saw Kenyan Kaleb Ndiku deny Gebremeskiel a second win in a row in 7:38.29 against 7:38.97, with Silas Kiplagat (KEN) third in 7:41.02 – slotting in the three top places in the global rankings this term.

Canadian Cameron Levins set a second big PB of 7:45.75 on the trot to grab a creditable fifth and afford further credit to Chris Thompson‘s 7:49.14, having outrun the Briton in Seattle the previous weekend.

But it was another disappointing evening for Mark Draper who hasn’t managed to transfer his country form onto the track, pulling out for a non-finish.

Kirani James storms to a global-leading 45.96 secs over 400m

Charlene Thomas raced her way a further step closer to full fitness and sharpness as she ran a debut of 2:40.03 for fifth (2:07.64 at 800m), losing a place round the last lap, over the rare 1000m as Moroccan Btissam Lakhouad overhauled Morgan Uceny (USA) in impressive manner to clinch victory in 2:38.15 against 2:38.44, with Anna Pierce filling the last top three spot in 2:38.91.

The highlight of the meeting came from the infield, nevertheless, as a resurgent Jenn Suhr, back to her natural dark colour hair, rose equal to a new US indoor record of 4.88m in a superb first-time effort, edging second in the indoor all-time lists ahead of Holly Bleasdale in the process.

The American then opted to raise the bar to a potential indoor world record of 5.01, failing all three times, as the event is slipping through the gears towards a breakthrough into uncharted territories on the early indications of the season.

Grenadian prodigy Kirani James powered to an additional world-leader of 45.96 secs in the men’s 400m well ahead of late-bloomer Joshua Scott (USA), who set a SB of 46.40 secs, and former outdoor world bronze medallist Renny Quow (TRI) in a rare indoor outing of 46.70 secs (indoor best).

The youngster made a forceful early statement of his intentions in view of the Olympics as he will be expecting a backlash on the part of the Americans, particularly in the frame of Lashawn Merritt and Jeremy Warriner.

Maggie Vessey outleaned former heptathlete Erica Moore, the winner in Glasgow, in a nailbiting women’s 800m as both crossed the line in an identical time of 2:02.37 whereas the Ethiopians dominated the longer distances by means of lone rides out in front by stars Tirunesh Dibaba in 9:21.60 over 2 miles, winning by nearly a full lap, and Meseret Defar in 8:33.57 over 3000m, both topping the global lists.

Gotytom Gebreslase, cited as just 17, followed on in second in a massive PB of 8:46.01 to suggest a new rising hot prospect out of the Ethiopian production line narrowly ahead of Moroccan Siham Hilali in 8:46.17 (PB), with Sarah Hall (USA) fourth in 8:54.75 (SB) and world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson seventh in 9:58.70 (SB).

Elsewhere, Adam Nelson romped to a comfortable win in the shot with a 21.27m put to go third in the world while David Oliver made no mistake to edge out Aries Merritt for a return on a winning trail in 7.60 to 7.62 secs, with Myrielle Ahoure (CIV) taking a clear top place in the dash in 7.13 secs ahead of American-turned-Nigerian Gloria Asumnu in 7.20 secs.

Full Results




After a long summer of relentless pulsating action of athletics, we’re going to need to get used to some more ‘spare’ menus over the following few months as far as the new indoor season gets underway in January. Not that this is necessarily bad as everyone around could use a little break, turn our attention on other things and come back with a sharpened up appetite for more after New Year. As of this weekend, it is going to be mainly road, and later cross-country, events that are going to entertain us in the meantime and there are a few big affairs lined up over the next couple of days like the 5th Avenue Mile in New York and the Berlin Marathon, featuring Paula Radcliffe on her return to top notch racing as she attemps to revive her Olympic dream, tomorrow. So let’s catch up with the action as it shapes up around:

5th Avenue Mile, New York, USA, September 24

Great Bernard Lagat (USA) wrapped up a fabulous season of the highest quality in style as he convincingly knocked last year’s winner Amine Laalou (MAR) off  his  prestigious seat by well over a second in a time of 3:50.5 to 3:51.7, the fastest winning time on the course since Aussie Craig Mottram‘s 3:49.9 in 2005. For that matter, Kiwi Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis also set 3:50.5 winning the 2008 edition of the race.

Third was a surprisingly strong David Torrence (USA) in a fast 3:52.4 to hold off astounding compatriot Jeff See who ended up just outside the top three in an excellent 3:52.9. By contrast, noted Kenyan Boaz Lalang sank way down the field in 14th place slightly inside 4 mins (3:59.1).


1.Bernard Lagat (USA) 3:50.5, 2.Amin Laalou (MAR) 3:51.7, 3.David Torrence (USA) 3:52.4, 4.Jeff See (USA) 3:52.9, 5.Craig Miller (USA) 3:54.4, 6.Jon Rankin (USA) 3:54.7, 7.Gareth Heath (USA) 3:55.3, 8.Jeff Riseley (AUS) 3:56.6, 9.Haron Lagat (KEN) 3:57.0, 10.Anthony Famiglietti (USA) 3:57.1, …, 14.Boaz Lalang (KEN) 3:59.1, 17.Nick Symmonds (USA) 4:04.9

Bernard Lagat lays down his law in the men’s mile

World 1500m champion Jenny Simpson, a former steeplechaser, topped off a nearly surreal campaign to winning ways in the women’s version in 4:22.3 as she edged out Sally Kipyego (KEN) and Hannah England, who finished tied for second and third in 4:22.6, although the anticipated challenge of Diamond League winner Morgan Uceny surprisingly never really took shape, coming a distant sixth in 4:26.2 . The winner’s time was the fastest since Lisa Dobriskey‘s 4:18.6 shortly after the Beijing Olympics in 2008 come to that.

England, for her part, must be feeling pleased to wrap up a wonder season on a high with yet another high-profile top three placing to bolster up her foothold in the top tier of the middle distances on the global stage. As a matter of fact, what a trio of milers could Britain field in London if England, Dobriskey, Steph Twell, who made a low-key return to racing this weekend, and Charlene Thomas are all healthy and on top of their game!

Shannon Rowbury, the winner of the previous two occasions, endured a modest display to trail home seventh in 4:27.0 where Daegu ‘chase finalist Barbara Parker enjoyed an encouraging run in 4:31.7 to round out the top ten.


1.Jenny Simpson (USA) 4:22.3, 2.Sally Kipyego (KEN) 4:22.6, 3.Hannah England (GBR) 4:22.6, 4.Ingvill Makestad Bovim (NOR) 4:24.6, 5.Susan Kuijken (HOL) 4:25.5, 6.Morgan Uceny (USA) 4:26.2, 7.Shannon Rowbury (USA) 4:27.0, 8.Sarah Hall (USA) 4:29.1, 9.Brenda Martinez (USA) 4:29.6, 10.Barbara Parker (GBR) 4:31.7, …, 14.Alysia Montano (USA) 4:34.0, 20.Maggie Vessey (USA) 4:44.5

Jenny Simpson tops off a fairytale season winning the women’s mile with Hannah England just pipped on the line for a still excellent third

Course map


IAAF Report



Luckwell hits Olympic A qualifier in the javelin

Merwyn Luckwell, the former rugby player that has turned a javelin thrower, picked up where he left off last weekend to launch his spear to a stunning PB of 83.52m and gain a sound foothold well inside the Olympic A qualifying territory, backed up with his second furthest throw ever of 82.92m in the process. That took place at a low-profile meet in Wales as the 26-year-old smashed his previous best of 81.05m dating back to early 2009 at the European Winter Long Throws Champs at Compiegne (France) and added almost three metres to his SB of 80.60m.

On top of that, Luckwell moves up two places into sixth in the British all-time lists with the new specification while his new lifetime mark is the best landed by a Briton since Nick Nieland, who has made a coy return to action himself this season, set 84.70m in Riga (Letonia) in 2006. Needless to say, he has as good as put one foot in the Olympic team as only James Campbell and maybe Lee Doran look capable of reaching the A standard next summer of the other javelin throwers around the country. Though that could well be subject to change.

Also noteworthy was Richard Shuttleworth‘s substantial PB of 72.52, improving from 71.61m last  weekend, to narrowly miss out on the domestic U20 rankings top held by Joe Dunderdale a mere 3cm higher. Both today performers train under Esa Utriainen.


International Race Walking Naumburg, Naumburg, Germany, September 24

Alex Wright, still 20, walked to a big SB and UK-leading mark of 1h26:42 over 20km to overtake groupmate Tom Bosworth, a SB of 1h27:18m, to the top of the domestic rankings this season, improving from 1h28:07 in Lugano (Switzerland) last March. Both athletes train under Andy Drake by the way.

Irishman Brendan Boyce secured the Olympic A qualifying standard as he clocked a solid 3h57:58 over the far longer tough 50km distance.

Start-lists & Results



Thompson back in good shape in the streets of London

Chris Thompson, the European 10000m silver medalist, showed that he is well back on track as he set a massive PB of 62:11 for third over the Run To The Beat half marathon held mainly round the streets of Lambeth and Greenwich in South London yesterday. According to a tweet by Jemma Simpson it was done in a so-called ‘tempo run’ which makes the display even more impressive, a nice confidence boost after missing Daegu despite a superb start to the season.

Two Kenyans, not anything unusual, finished ahead of him in Milton Kiplagat Rotich (61:19) and Edwin Kipyego (61:57) while their compatriot Alice Mogire impressed with a 69:51 clocking as first woman home.




SEAA Road Relays, Aldershot, 24-25 September

The event marked the low-key return of Steph Twell to action for the first time since suffering that freak injury over cross-country in Belgium last winter and the apparent good news is that she has come off in one piece and unscathed, which may have been presumably her main goal testing her leg over its response in racing conditions.

For that matter, Charlie Purdue showed a sharp return to form as she clocked easily the fastest leg of the day in 12:15, a three seconds faster than last year when she was flying on every surface at this stage.

Both athletes are coached by Mick Woods for good measure.

Fastest legs

1.Charlotte Purdue (U23) 12:15, 2.Emelia Gorecka 12:48, 3.Jess Peterson 12:48,…, 7.Emma Pallant (U23) 13:01, 8.Steph Twell (U23) 13:03


Heslop draws the eye in Swansea

Justina Heslop has remained firm on a trail into new territories as she edged the Swansea Bay 10km in a lifetime best of 32:40 ahead of Kenyan Edith Chelimo (32:48), an 71:21 half-marathon performer this term, to slash 31 secs off her previous marker. Incidentally, she recently set also a best of 73:12 over the half-marathon in the Czech Republic.

Gemma Steel was third in 33:47 and veteran now triathlete Andrea Whitcombe, who was fourth at the 1990 World U20 Championships over 3000m, fourth in 33:53.

On the men’s side, Phil Wicks was second in 29:43 to Kenyan Edwin Kipkorir, who clocked 29:29 some way ahead, with Ben Tickner third in 30:14 and U23 Welshman Dewi Griffiths fourth in 30:22.



Dai Greene turned equal to his early season promise to add the global title to his credentials and Hannah England stormed past a cluster of bodies down the home straight for an astounding silver in the women’s 1500m to light up and draw back on track the British campaign for silverware in Daegu.

The men’s 400m hurdles final wasn’t quite as pretty and flowing as the women’s affair that unfolded on the track minutes earlier but came more down to a matter of strength where the British steel of Greene triumphed amidst waves of sorts of bursts all around, Olympic champion Angelo Taylor scorching over the first 250m from the inside . The Welshman refused to get carried away into anything, remained composed and stuck to his racing plan all the way, even when still outside the top four coming off the top bend, to be rewarded handsomely as he dug deep into a last reserve of strength to edge past Xavier Culson (PUR) off the final hurdle and claim the spoils. Times may have arguaby not been that impressive, the winning time a 48.26 secs, but the 25-year-old showed the mettle of a great champion to take the race to his strengths and deliver under immense pressure, coming just a mere major title short of the Grand Slam in the process. A title that beckons at the Olympic stadium at Stratford next summer where Greene will be waiting everyone as a world champion.

Nevertheless, what carries greater weight in the short run is that he eventually ended Britain’s long wait into the championships to collect their first gold medal that will be instrumental to raise the team’s outlook on a more positive and challenging level. No matter how many medals and top eight places you get, and there haven’t been that many on that latter end as intended so far, it’s gold medals that carry great weight with the confidence and feel good factor within a team.

One has got to feel for Culson, though, who came so desperately close to winning himself only to be denied a second time on the trot and by a narrower margin this once in 48.44 secs. But full credit to him for raising his game when it came to the crunch once more. LJ van Zyl (RSA) was none near his early season rampaging form to edge bronze in 48.80 secs ahead of former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez (DOM), back into the thick of affairs after years, whereas the Americans surprisingly sank deep in the field in a rarest occurence on the big stage as Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor finished well adrift in the last two but one places.



If Greene came to meet the growing demand for a gold medal, a buoyant Hannah England came to fill the gap of a breakthrough athlete as she built on her promise through the rounds to snatch a thrilling silver, sparing the blushes of early departing Lisa Dobriskey in full measure. There has been an amazing transformation in very much all departments for the 24-year-old Bud Baldaro-coached miler ever since her breakthrough run of 4:01.89 in Barcelona and she knitted it all together into a sensational performance on the track of Daegu.

Albeit the final started in the latest slowish fashion, this time the pace picked up nicely round the second lap to set up a relatively fast affair contrary to the scrappy races in the run-up, but even after the bell most of the field were still tucked in closely and the Briton looked well boxed on the inside. Coming off the top bend for the last time, the situation hadn’t changed and England was still lying behind a thick wall of bodies and on the inside but swerved onto the outside to turn on her trademark kick and the magic unfolded. She totally took off some 80m out and her menacing surging pace saw her fly past the pack as if they were moving in a slower motion, and could have even snatched it in the end but for former steeplechaser Jenny Simpson (nee Barringer) who throught of the same move marginally earlier to get first to the line, setting 4:05.40 to 4:05.68 respectively.

But there could hardly be any complaint whatever as she set an erratic past championships record right and fully retained Britain’s foothold in the thick of affairs in the event by matching the silver medal won by Dobriskey two years ago. Furthermore, there shapes up a very strong squad in the event with Charlene Thomas and Steph Twell hopefully healthy and back on top of their game next summer in view of London and the likes of Stacey Smith rising through the rans.

Spain’s Natalia Rodriguez remained on a bronze trail to add to her medal from the Europeans in Barcelona in 4:05.87 but Morgan Uceny suffered a heavy fall coming to the bell to trail way behind in tenth and defending champion Mariam Yusuf Jamal remained anonymous to drag home last.



Yamile Aldama had set the British team in a flowing groove from early on with an excellent fifth place on her first mission in the British colours by means of a fourth big SB in as many outings at 14.50m, the farthest distance by a Brit since Ashia Hansen‘s 15.01m indoors in 2003. On top of that, that was an Olympic A qualifier in the bag for London next summer to fully justify her late selection for Daegu. Ukraine’s Olha Saladuha claimed gold with an early 14.94m (0.2m/sec) slightly ahead of Olga Rypakova (KAZ) who set 14.89m (0.2m/sec) for silver and season revelation Caterine Ibarguen (COL) got bronze with 14.84m (0.4m/sec). Defending champion Yargelis Savigne (CUB) paid the price of being the cover theme of the day as the curse returned to haunt the programme features, picking up a hamstring injury to withdraw early in the final. Who said the curse was lifted?



Anuika Onuora tried as she would but could not make her way past a very strong field, led by US champion Shalonda Solomon and top Jamaican Kerron Stewart in 22.46 and 22.77 secs, to come seventh from lane two in 23.08 secs (-0.1m/sec) in the last semifinal, her third fastest ever over the distance. Backed up with a PB and Olympic A standard in the morning, that makes a very good campaign on her part.



Lashinda Demus storms to a superb 52.47 secs to claim the women’s 400m hurdles title in enthralling manner