Tag Archive: Scott Overall


New York turns into a happy ground for Chris Thompson as he produced a strong display over the half marathon in the streets of the famous American city in a big PB of 61:23 to follow up on his victory at the Dash To The Finish 5k in November, deputising well for missing last year’s winner and friend Mo Farah.

Having run a low 62-minuter in South London last autumn, the European silver medallist showed confident and intent from early on to mix it with the abundance of talent on show around him and take his game a level higher over a distance on the upper boundary of his range, consolidating a strong endurance platform for his campaign over 10000m in summer.

‘Thommo’ got off to a 14:05 split in the opening 5k and went past the 10km mark in 29:05 in a six-strong chasing pack some way off the searing pace of Deriba Merga (ETH) and Peter Kirui (KEN) up front to maintain his form nicely through the second half into a fabulous seventh place.

A  string of excellent scalps picked like Brasilian Marilson dos Santos, American Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein and Australian Ben StLawrence in a event lying more in their court will offer a further mental boost as a time around 27:10 looks to beckon over ever more in his specialty on the horizon.

Thompson’s glow rubbed off on a revamped Scott Overall who kept riding on the wave of his marathon breakthrough to finish strongly just a place and a mere two seconds behind in 61:25, shattering his previous marker of 63:21 from Indianapolis last May.

Already selected for London, the 29-year-old marathoner looks to have finally found his niche in the distance world and poised to move up another level on the bounce on the evidence of his performance, having ‘warmed up’ with a 69:47 half in Silverstone a week before on Sunday.

Incidentally, those times saw Thompson move up into eighth and Overall ninth to bring about a considerable revision to the top ten of the British all-time rankings in the distance.

Also breaking new ground was Liverpoolian Jonny Mellor as he ventured deep into uncharted territories to clock a superb debut of 62:59 in 19th place that could set him up nicely for a crack at the Olympic A standard of 27:45 over 10000m, where Thompson and Farah have effectively secured two of the three available Olympic spots, while James Walsh followed on some way off in 32nd in 65:48, his fastest time since 2005.

At the top of the race, Kirui brilliantly weathered the storm of Merga, who attempted to settle affairs from early on, and when he breezed past around 600m out the Ethiopian could offer no answer to slip through the gears to a commanding victory in a PB of 59:39, carving out a striking nine-second gap on his rival (59:48).

Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) was outside the hour into a distant third in 60:45 followed on at a similar interval by Kenyans Wesley Korir and Sam Chelanga who came home tied in a joint PB of 61:19 for fourth and fifth respectively.

Womenwise, Scot Freya Murray set a PB by 10 seconds into 72:32 for 17th and marathon Olympic hopeful Claire Hallissey might have been looking for a little more than her eventual 72:58 a couple of places behind.

The main race was reeled out on an identical pattern to the men’s as eventual victor Firehiwot Dado (ETH) swept beyond long-time leader Kim Smith (NZL), a fervent front-runner, in the late stages to clinch a thorough win in a PB of her own of 68:35 against the latter’s 68:43 into the wind, establishing a successful line on the back of her marathon triumph in the same surroundings last autumn.

Home favourite Kara Goucher was third in 69:12 well ahead of Dutch Hilda Kibet (69:42) and Janet Cherobon Bawcom (USA) drifted home in fifth in 69:55, first time under 70 minutes in her career.

Results

http://web2.nyrrc.org/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/25167.1.699246165318191398

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There have hardly been any surprises in the first wave of selections for the marathon announced by the British Olympic Assossiation earlier today as Paula Radcliffe, Mara Yamauchi and Scott Overall booked their places on the starting line of London in summer.

Scott Overall

World record holder Radcliffe, actually, was always a certainty fully acknowledged and respected within all quarters since her staggering comeback to form in clocking 2h23:46 for third in the streets of Berlin last September and even Charles van Commennee moved to confirm her place well in advance, apparently attempting to brush aside any lingering worries or anxiety playing on her mind at the time.

At her best, she can be a genuine gold medal contender and UK Athletics’s head coach wants to make sure she enjoys the best possible build-up to London, representing her last chance to gain hold of the only accolade missing from her pedigree.

From there on, there were two main options left open and the Dutchman eventually leant towards the safer trail of naming a second runner early so that he has two individuals fully focussed on their preparations and unconcerned about contesting another race over the distance up to the Olympics, thus coming up with Yamauchi.

The Japanese-based athlete edged ahead of the pack in contention for selection behind Radcliffe late courtesy of her 2h27:54 for third in Yokohama and her very good championship record, as well as her superior PB of 2h23:12, counted a good deal in her favour.

The third place goes now down to a virtual run-off in the London marathon in April where Jo Pavey stands out as favourite to round out the Olympic trio while Claire Hallissey and Louise Damen look like her most dangerous rivals and may have a say in this.

On the men’s side, things were far simpler and Scott Overall had very much nailed his berth as early as he crossed the line in an astounding debut 2h10:55 for firth in Berlin in September, off a very unconvincing season at that. But that is where the very beauty of athletics really lies as the seemingly impossible can always be possible!

What is going to be intriguing, though, is whether he decides to head straight for the Olympics or take in another outing over the distance to gain more experience on the way.

Selectors could have gone for Dave Webb, who holds an equivalent A Olympic standard as he finished in the top 20 in Daegu, but having not run inside 2h15 so far may have counted against his early selection. However, he has got a good case in his hands and could tackle a late winter marathon to enhance his own prospects, placing pressure on the rest who will most likely opt for a make-or-break venture in London in April.

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Reaction

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Damen relieved to still have chance of gaining an Olympic berth

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/16050941.stm

Yamauchi feels privileged to have been selected

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/16070783.stm

Andrew Lemoncello has suffered bitter disappointment as injury wrecked his bid to obtain a late A qualifying time in Fukuoka, Japan, a mere day before the UK Athletics selection panel meet to issue the first wave of athletes for the marathon in the London Olympics.

With season revelation Scott Overall having as good as nailed a place by means of his 2h10:55 debut in Berlin, the Scot needed a time inside 2h12:00 to be also considered for an early naming himself and evade a demanding and more stressful ‘second round’ of qualification that stretches up to April.

‘Lemon’ started promisingly as he maintained a steady pace between 15:26 and 15:36 across his 5km splits and safely inside the target over the first half of the course, going through 10km in 31:04 and the halfway mark in 65:39.

But by that time harm had crept in in the form of a hamstring injury which was inevitably being aggravated as the second half wore on to whittle away his efforts to a 31:54 third 10km, slipping well outside qualification territory as a consequence.

The last act of the race simply turned a matter of agony and survival, albeit he may well have been better off dropping out and save himself likely further damage, as he floundered over the fourth 10km section in just 40:04 for his last 2.195m in a pedestrian 10:24 to say the whole story into a final time of 2h24:31…

Lemoncello will hope that his injury isn’t serious and he can get back into full training soon enough to set up a solid renewed attempt in spring. But for the time being, what is all but certain selectionwise is that Overall will be the only male marathon runner named on the first cut for London next summer.

Dave Webb holds an equivalent of an A standard as he finished 15th at the recent World Championships in Daegu, the selection policy ruling top 20 markers therein as such, but he could be likely to have to wait to learn his fate in April.

As concerns the race itself upfront, Josphat Nyambiri (KEN) ran away with the spoils on a fabulous debut of 2h07:36 over the distance (63:29 at the halfway point) followed by Japan-based compatriot James Mwangi in 2h08:38 filling the runner-up spot and local favourite Yuki Kawauchi in 2h09:57 to close out the top three.

The latter will be entertaining hopes that his showing could turn sufficient enough to convince selectors of granting him a place on the Japanese Olympic squad.

Irishman Alistair Cragg, who has been enjoying a second and even greener spring in his career lately, pulled out of the affair after going through 25km in 75:11 (63:29 in the leading pack at the halfway mark) probably down to some problem cropping up.

Full Results

http://www.fukuoka-marathon.com/results/index.php?lang=ja&search_by=1&taikai_nth=65

IAAF Report

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=63080.html

The body and spirit of Leonard Komon were willing and eager but the god of winds was not as he released his charges over the coastal course of the Great South Run in Portsmouth, blowing away the Kenyan’s challenge on the world best over 10 miles in the end.

Having missed great Haile Gebrselassie‘s mark by a mere four seconds in Holland a month earlier, the 23-year-old was highly tipped all week to have a crack at the 44:23 landmark and never even attempted to talk it down in the run-up to the race.

As he was neither dampened by weather conditions on Sunday morning and showed intent as he burst out to an electrifying pace from the gun to swiftly open up a huge gap on the rest of the field, led by a more conservative Albert Kirui (KEN) and an enterprising Chris Thompson – who confessed post-race that he is enjoying phenomenal form in training.

Komon had claimed the race sight unseen and was gliding through the early miles well inside schedule to power halfway through in 22:08 but the question hanging over was how he was going to fare when he turned into the menacing wind. And the answer didn’t take long to arrive that it wasn’t to be his day as he started to crack up rather than crack on as the second half wore on, the pace dropping substantially, and the gusts battered him over a hellish last couple of miles to an eventual 46:18.

That 24:10 second 5-miler told the tale and the Kenyan would have to be content with a still comfortable victory, lamenting the absence of anyone around to push him on early, as double world marathon champion Kirui maintained his form well through to come runner-up in 46:40, a 22-second margin rendering a measure of Komon’s form, and a rejuvenated Alistair Cragg came through strong to clinch third in 47:14 as Thompson tailed off into fourth in the late stages.

The Irishman enjoys a second and even more blooming spring to his career, demonstrated by a brace of national records of 13:03.53 over 5000m on the track and a 60:49 behind Mo Farah in the New York half marathon, as he prepares to tackle the next big step up to the marathon shortly – and he must have taken plenty of heart by his display.

Despite a PB of 48:07 by over a minute, ‘Thommo’ rued his audacious start and admitted learning a lesson the hard way about road running to take on board for the future. At any rate, he put in plenty of strength that could stand him in good stead when he takes on Americans Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp over 5km in the streets of New York on Saturday.

Scot Andrew Lemoncello finished a place behind and just 10 seconds in 48:17 to draw that so needed mental boost ahead of Daegu fourth-marker Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR), sixth four seconds adrift, and the man in the driving seat as concerns marathon spots for the British team in London, Scott Overall. The latter got in a solid run in 48:23 and Ryan McLeod followed in a massive PB of 48:33 to round out the top eight.

Asselefech Mergia finishes firth in the Great South Run in Portsmouth

The women’s race turned a more tactical affair, by sharp contrast, as favourite Asselefech Mergia (ETH) opted to stay with the leading pack of seven over the two thirds of the race, saving for the windy tough late miles, before she moved up a gear and away to a convincing win in 52:55.

The Kenyan duo of Doris Changeywo, the Commonwealth 10000m silver medallist, and Irene Jerotich, the marathon victor in Delhi, occupied the minor top three slots in 53:34 and 53:43 respectively while Charlie Purdue turned in another scintillating performance on the trot to come a close fourth in a debut run of 53:45, just two seconds off that is, after enduring some anxious moments early on when she slipped on her ankle.

But she picked herself up quickly to rejoin the leading pack and applied well despite a slight pain for a good day’s job eventually, backing up further her claim to a place over 10000m in London next summer. What’s more, her injury proved to be no serious and she was given the go-ahead to move on with her schedule. As a matter of fact, the 20-year-old is on her way to Kenya today to join the likes of teammate Steph Twell and Stevie Stockton on a lengthy altitude training spell at the famous Rift Valley.

Results

Men

1.Leonard Komon (KEN) 46:18, 2.Albert Kirui (KEN) 46:40, 3.Alistair Cragg (IRL) 47:14, 4.Chris Thompson 48:07 (PB), 5.Andrew Lemoncello 48:17 (SB), 6.Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR) 48:21, 7.Scott Overall 48:23, 8.Ryan McLeod 48:33 (PB), 9.James Walsh 48:37 (PB), 10.Jonny Mellor 49:08 (PB)

Women

1.Asselefech Mergia (ETH) 52:55, 2.Doris Changeywo (KEN) 53:34, 3.Irene Jerotich (KEN) 53:43, 4.Charlotte Purdue 53:45 (PB, debut), 5.Marisa Barros (POR) 54:14, 6.Anna Incerti (ITA) 54:18, 7.Agnieska Ciolek (POL) 54:41, 8.Iwona Lewandowska (POL) 54:42, 9.Freya Murray 54:49 (SB), 10.Juliet Doyle 56:49 (PB)

http://www.greatrun.org/Results/Default.aspx

BMW Frankfurt Marathon, Frankfurt, Germany

Wilson Kipsang storms to second fastest in marathon history in a 2h03:42 clocking in Frankfurt

Wilson Kipsang turned every bit as good as he promised when he set out to chase Patrick Makau‘s newly-set world record of 2h03:38 in Berlin and for roughly three fourths of the distance he was well on schedule to land his goal, cruising halfway through in 61:40 and four seconds faster than his compatriot under perfect racing conditions.

Peter Kirui, who is making a fine reputation as a marathon pacemaker, was taking him along the way with amazing timing precision while Ethiopian Deriba Merga and the Kenyan duo of Levy Matebo and Albert Matebor comprised the rest of the company through the third quarter of the distance.

However, either by lapse of concentration or fatigue creeping up on Kirui, the pace drifted considerably off target towards around the 2h04 region within three kilometres, between 30th and 33rd, and suddenly Kipsang found himself faced with a mighty task to haul in a substantial deficit effected.

To his credit, he didn’t pack up his original goal and sensing the record slipping out of his grasp he took over matters from there to move up a gear and start slicing away the lost time, opening up quickly plenty of distance on the rest up front. But he may have taken a little too late to make that move as it turned out.

For he may have put in a gallant effort that all but made up the lost ground in the dying stages but still fell short of his target by a mere four seconds reaching a stunning 2h03:42, the second fastest mark in history and a huge PB on his previous course record of 2h04:57.

Magnificent though it is a feat, there might have been a bitter-sweet taste in Kipsang’s mouth and possibly a question “What if” hanging on his mind looking at his time, which astonishingly cannot even make a national record. It’s not everyday that you come so close to a world record, let alone in an event where your next attempt has to wait at least a few months.

Nonetheless, a time he has taken full pride of and that raises him as a main contender in the battle royal for one of the three much coveted marathon spots on the Kenyan Olympic team for London, which is unfolding nothing less of relentless and breathtaking.

Following Frankfurt’s staggering results, the Kenyans now occupy all top 19 places in the world rankings to demonstrate a dominance of no equal in any Olympic event in history in a single season. Not to mention that Nicholas Manza is lying equal 20th at 2h06:34! Sadly, only three can make the journey so who those three to see the light are going to be?

A dominance that was demonstrated in overwhelming manner as a lengthy array of world class performances from Kenyans were laid out behind; just 22-year-old Levy Matebo finished well to smash his own PB into a new mark of 2h05:16 and fourth spot in the global lists, Albert Matebor followed closely in also a massive PB of 2h05:25 and fifth in the world and Phillip Sanga was fourth in a PB of 2h06:04.

Further behind, 23-year-old Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot ended up fifth in 2h06:29 – just a SB and six seconds shy of his PB on the same course in 2009! – and Kirui made yet another pacemaker lately to hold on through the whole distance and get finally rewarded with a PB of 2h06:31 for sixth!

The first non-Kenyan home was ‘poor’ Siraj Gena (ETH) in eighth despite a 2h08:31 (PB), a picture no much different than the all-time top ten has shaped up where great Haile Gebrselassie is the only runner beyond the Kenyan borders to figure now, lying third with the until two months ago world record of 2h03:59.

Men’s Results

1.Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (KEN) 2h03:42 (PB, 2nd fastest all-time, course record), 2.Levy Matebo Omari (KEN) 2h05:16 (PB), 3.Albert Kiplagat Matebor (KEN) 2h05:25 (PB), 4.Phillip Kimutai Sanga (KEN) 2h06:07 (PB), 5.Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) 2h06:29 (SB), 6.Peter Cheruiyot Kirui (KEN) 2h06:31 (PB), 7.Chumba Dickson Kiptolo (KEN) 2h07:23 (PB), 8.Siraj Genah (ETH) 2h08:31 (PB), 9.Duncan Koech (KEN) 2h08:38, 10.Henry Sugut (KEN) 2h08:56

http://live.bmw-frankfurt-marathon.com/2011/index.php?pid=list

In women, Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska rose through the ranks to score a rather surprise victory in a huge PB of 2h21:59, fifth fastest in the world and atop of the Ethiopian lists this term, shattering the course record by nearly one and a half minute.

Agnes Kirpop (KEN) followed on a distant runner-up in a PB of 2h23:54 and highly-rated compatriot Flomena Chepchirchir was third on an impressive debut of 2h24:21 while Rita Jeptoo Busienei dragged home fifth in 2h25:44.

Liz Yelling eventually came up short of the top end of qualication territory and had to settle only for a narrow Olympic B qualifier of 2h34:58 instead, a SB and her fastest in the distance since 2008. That means that she is finding herself very much on the ropes, with four runners holding already the high standard and Mara Yamauchi yet to go, so she will need to pull off an astonishing late rally to turn the situation round in the remaining months till the selection deadline.

Paula Radliffe ought to be considered a certainty for selection when the panel in charge meets for the first time on December 5 and others like Jo Pavey, who is racing in New York next Sunday, have the chance to improve on their times and pull further away in the race for places in London.

Women’s Results

1.Mamitu Daska (ETH) 2h21:59 (PB), 2.Agnes Kiprop (KEN) 2h23:54 (PB), 3.Fiomena Chepchirchir (KEN) 2h24:21 (PB), 4.Merima Mohammed (ETH) 2h24:32 (SB), 5.Rita Jeptoo Sisienei (KEN) 2h25:44 (PB), 6.Nadia Ejaffini (ITA) 2h26:15 (PB), 7.Fate Tola (ETH) 2h27:18, 8.Birugtait Degefa (ETH) 2h27:34, 9.Sabrina Mockenhaupt (GER) 2h28:08, 10.Alena Samokhvalova (RUS) 2h28:43,…, 18.Liz Yelling 2h34:58 (SB, Olympic B)

http://live.bmw-frankfurt-marathon.com/2011/index.php?pid=list

Patrick Makau conquers top of the world in an awesome world record of 2h03:38 in Berlin

You can never dismiss Paula Radcliffe, can you? She has made several miraculous comebacks against the odds through her outstanding career but maybe this one could go down as the hardest and most daring to date, shaking off a dismal display in the streets of London in late May and a last couple of seasons deep in the shadows to firmly restore her game back into the thick of affairs. That demands some courage, grit and class to pull off and she showed them all!

Much to virtually everyone’s surprise, she even dared challenge stride for stride a flowing debutant Florence Kiplagat (KEN), as if driven by her predator competitive instict rather than the particular dictates of the race, over the first 12km at a pace around low 2h20 which could have spelled suicide to her hopes – even herself admitted pre-race that this was very much of a journey in the dark. But her gamble paid off to drive her out into the light.

Florence Kiplagat runs away with victory in the ninth fastest time ever as Paula Radcliffe secures that much needed Olympic qualifying A standard some way behind

The Kenyan did finally break away to move through the gears into an overwhelming victory in 2h19:44, second fastest this term and ninth all-time over the distance, but the Brit held her ground in resilient fashion all along even though her pace was slightly dropping off. In the end, she had to give way only to fast-finishing Irina Mikitenko (GER), runner-up in a SB of 2h22:18, in the late stages but gritted her teeth to a classy 2h23:46 to nail that much needed A qualifying standard and revive her Olympic dream and challenge.

For she may have lost convincingly on the day but her rivals must have paid heed to her remarkable recovery of form as they know that 10 months is a sufficient enough spell for her to get back on the very top of her game, entertaining them all on her home ground in London in the battle for the Olympic crown next summer.

23-year-old Ethiopian Atsede Habdamu could very well claim the title of the most consistent performer of the year as she crept a second inside her PB in 2h24:25, occupying the 4th slot again as in Dubai in January.

For good measure, Radcliffe’s time was her fastest since her 2h23:09 in the Big Apple in 2007 and the best by a Brit since Mara Yamauchi’s 2h:23.12 in 2009. Among the other British girls coming home a long way behind, Amy Whitehead knocked off nearly four minutes to a new best of 2h35:39 in 14th place and Becky Penty removed close to six minutes from her own to a new figure of 2h36:19 for 17th.

The limelight, though, was dominated by that amazing runner Patrick Makau and he merited every ouche of it as he stormed to a new world record of 2h03:38, slashing a sound 21 secs off the previous landmark. Despite the imperious figure of the Emperor Haile Gebrselassie in the field, the very owner up to the race, the Kenyan was apparently struggling to rein in his pace and was itching to go as the leading pack breezed midway through in 61:44, and when he went around the 26th km he really let it rip and wasn’t to be caught.

Like Radcliffe, ‘Gebre’ was riding pretty much on a flatline matching the Kenyan’s every stride; but unlike the Briton, he didn’t take his foot off the gas the slightest and when he tried to contain Makau’s break he turned over swiftly a kilometre later. He had to momentarily drop out with breathing problems only to rush back in to the chase of the Kenyan a minute or so later, but was eventually forced to throw in the towel around the 35th to a bitter ending to his quest for an Olympic qualifier.

In the wake of a rampant Makau, pacemaker Stephen Chemlany felt inspired to hang on to second in 2h07:55, a smashing PB, and Edwin Kimaiyo made it a clean sweep for the Kenyan contingent in 2h09:50, also a big PB.

Not far off behind them reeled out the other, even more astonishing, successful British story of the event that even the finest of scriptwriters would have struggled to come up with. Scott Overall, wavering between distances for seasons, on his debut and on a bumpy ride in the run-up, got off to a sizzling pace around 2h09 that might have set some alarms going early but, to everyone’s astonishment, kept feeling and going strong on and on to pull off the unthinkable eventually. He did not only finish a smashing fifth and top non-African… Overall, but also came to clinch a massive Olympic A qualifier of 2h10:55 which very much equates to half a berth on the British Olympic team.

Of course, there is a long way ahead and many can happen but one thing the Blackheath runner hasn’t got to worry about is necessarily racing over the distance again or chasing a time up to the Olympics, which is a considerable edge over his compatriots in the race for spots in London. By the way, his debut time constitutes the fastest clocking by a Briton since Thomas Abyu‘s 2h10:37 in 2007 in Dublin.

Former steeplechaser Ben Whitby came 11th in 2h16:27 (SB) and Tony Ford was 18th in 2h17:16 (SB) among other Britons behind.

Results

Men 1.Patrick Makau (KEN) 2h03:38 (WR, AR, PB), 2.Stephen Chemlany (KEN) 2h07:55 (PB), 3.Edwin Kimaiyo (KEN) 2h09:50 (PB), 4.Felix Limo (KEN) 2h10:38 (SB), 5.Scott Overall (GBR) 2h10:55 (PB), …, 11.Ben Whitby (GBR) 2h16:27 (SB), 17.Anthony Ford (GBR) 2h17:16 (SB), 21.Andi Jones (GBR) 2h18:34 (SB)

Women 1.Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2h19:44 (PB), 2.Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2h22:18 (SB), 3.Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2h23:46 (SB), 4.Atsede Habdamu (ETH) 2h24:25 (PB), 5.Tatyana Petrova (RUS) 2h25:01 (PB), …, 14.Amy Whitehead (GBR) 2h35:39 (PB), 17.Becky Penty (GBR) 2h36:19 (PB)

http://results.scc-events.com/2011/index.php?pid=list

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Post-race news

***Kenyan Olympic Selection Poser – Over 150 men and 50 women led by the likes of Patrick Makau and Mary Keitanyhave obtained the Olympic qualifying marks so far in Kenya giving selectors a nice ‘heavy’ headache in view of London.

http://www.iol.co.za/sport/more-sport/kenya-s-olympic-selection-poser-1.1145031

***Patrick Makau’s new marathon world record reignites the question of how fast man can go

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/blogs/blog=blockheadblog/postid=558556.html

***Haile Gebrselassie turns his sights on Dubai

http://www.emirates247.com/sports/other/gebrselassie-sets-sight-on-dubai-marathon-2011-09-25-1.420495

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).

Results

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.

Results

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

http://www.nyrr.org/races/2011/pdf/FifthAvenueMile_Map_2011.pdf

IAAF Report

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=62617.html

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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.

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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

http://www.racewalking-naumburg.de/

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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.

Results

http://runtothebeat.nikerunning.com/leaderboard

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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

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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.

Results

http://www.swanseabay10k.com/index.cfm?articleid=45941