Aviva London Grand Prix, Day 2, Flash! Anna Willard Takes 1,500m, by Larry Eder



Anna Willard, Nike Pre Classic, June 7, 2009, photo by Photorun.net

Running a pedestrian pace of 70 seconds for the first lap, and then a 67 second run for the second lap, Stephanie Twell took over and gave it all that she had, leading at two laps in 1:46 and when the field hit the bell in 3:05. Right on her shoulder was the whose-who of women distance runners, Shannon Rowbury, Lisa Dobriskey of UK, Erin Donahue of the US, Malindi Elmore of Canada and Anna Willard, floating in between third and sixth.

First, Shannon Rowburty started to unleash her long 300 meter run for home, passing Twell, with Lisa Dobriskey behind her and Anna Willard on her side as Hannah England moved through the crwod and Stephanie Twell started to falter.

Coming off the last turn, Anna Willard pulled into lane three and just put her kick into another speed, and took the lead, with Shannon Rowbury just behind for second, Lisa Dobriskey in third, Hannah England in fourth, Erin Donahue in fifth and Stephanie Twell in sixth.

The winning time was 4:07.95, and Willard's last took 62.95 seconds! And what do you think Ms. Willard will run in Berlin? As she has qualified for the 1,500 meters and steeplechase, do not be surprised if she focuses on the 1,500 meters!

After the race, Anna Willard observed: " I am enjoying every race I am doing at the moment. My speed and strength have definitely improved, especially now that I have decided to concentrate on the 1,500 meters and forego the steeplechase. I can not deny how well it has gone this year, 4.01s in the 1,500 meters and 1.58s in the 800 meters. The race started very slowly today and my new found speed really helped. I can not wait for the World Champonships!"

Well, you heard it here, Anna Willard is not running the steeplechase in Berlin!

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