2012 Nike Pre Classic: Mo Farah wins sizzling 5,000 meters, by Alfons Juck, deep thoughts by Larry Eder

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Mo Farah, Nike Pre 2011, photos by Photorun.net

This was the best Nike Pre Classic that I have witnessed in my fifteen plus times here. So many things to comment on:

Justin Gatlin continues his stated goal of  making this Olympic team. His 9.90 for 100 meters puts him the driver seat to make the 100 meter squad. Mike Rodgers, Trell Kimmons, Walter Dix in hunt.

Wallace Spearmon came off the turn and just blazed down the straight, fighting allergies, runs a 20.27.

LaShawn Merritt just willed himself past Kirani James. Big win for Merritt. Warner did not look good, will have to see how he does in three weeks.

Abubaker Kaki and Mohammed Amman duel as Nick Symmonds moves into third, running one of his savviest races in years.
Asbel Kiprop may be the David Rudisha of the 1,500 meters. My interview of Kiprop proved to me that Kiprop will do something special this summer. Sixteen men under 3:56.8. David Torrance in ninth at 3:52.01. Bernard Lagat not a factor in race, and Andrew Wheating sixteenth and last. Mr. Wheating has some work to do over the next three weeks.
My favorite race of the day was the 5,000 meters. Mo Farrah scared the Living hell out of me with his one kilometer surge to the front. Farah increased the pace, as he, Isaiah Koech and Galen Rupp broke the field. Running 2:27 for the final kilometer, Farah and Rupp put a wee bit of lactate in their rivals legs, increasing the pace until they hit overdrive, with a final lap just about 54.1.
What does this tell us? Mo Farah is rounding into beast master shape, and he is my pick for 5,000m and 10,000m medals, should he choose that. Galen Rupp is serious medal contender over 10,000m, four years before I would have predicted. Rupp's 12:58.90 makes Galen only the seventh American under 13 minutes, and second American to run sub 13 minutes for the 5,000m and sub 27 minutes for the 10,000 meters.
Speaking of beast masters, Kenenisa Bekele is racing himself into shape. 13:01.48 is light years better than 13:13.52 in Shanghai, and. 7:40 for 3,000m in Doha. " I was running poorly two months ago, I am feeling better." Noted Kenenisa in our quick pre event chat. Never underestimate Mr. Kenenisa Bekele.
Isaiah Koech is a dynamo. I still look at Mo Farah and think that this guy could win two golds in London.

The star of China is Liu Xiang. Liu had a great start, but, here was the catch, he hurdled each hurdle better than the previous! A wind aided 12.87? I predict a world record of 12.85 from Liu Xiang this summer. Aries Merritt has the dynamo hum thing going, sub 13 minutes, he is ready to run well. David Oliver, Jason Henderson should come around over the next three weeks. And with Robles next week? Wow!

Reese Hoffa is just throwing like the turkey leg eating monster he is. Majewski throwing better than last week in Hengelo, Armstrong looked tired. Cantwell just looked a week off, but he seemed healthy. Shot putters off to Oslo.
Allyson Felix just dominated the 200 meters, flying off the turn to run 22.23 in her opener. I sure hope that she focuses on the 200m, because she could do something special there.
Speaking of special, Sanya Richards-Ross won a tough 400 meters over Amantle Montsho, running a world leading 49.39! Again, if Sanya can focus on the 400 meters, she looks tough for Eugene and London.
At 3,000 meters, Sally Kipyego used another gear to nearly catch the fading Moroccan, as Kipyego improves by nearly fifteen seconds over the distance.
Micah Chemos wants gold in London. Her surge with 300 to go, and her world leader makes her look much better. Nice to see Barbara Parker see GBR national record of 9:24.4, ecstatic to see Emma Coburn run 9:25.8 a huge pub for the steeple studette.
I can watch Anna Chicherova for hours, and she did not disappoint, with meet record 2.02 meters. Chaunte Howard Lowe will be ready for Olympic Trials.
For London, I see Isinbayeva, Suhr and Bleasdale. However, Fabiana Murer and Svetlana Feofanova reminded me that the pole vault is not a reality show, but a very technical event. To win a medal, one must perform. This is going to be a tough event.
Sharon Proctor, who RBr was fortunate to meet, provided Brittney Reese and Janay DeLoach a bit of a message. Ms. Proctor won in Eugene with a world leading 6.84m. You are only as good as your last jump, and the London long jump will be an epic battle. Mark my word, the medals in the women's long jump will come down to the final round.

EUGENE (USA, Jun 2): Main part of Prefontaine Classic (Samsung Diamond League) was before 12 845 fans another great day of athletics with 6 world leads, 5 stadium records added by one meet record and 2 European leads 2012. When calculating also Friday it is 9 world leads and 9 stadium records. Eugene is in all-athletics.com rankings currently number one in the world.
Event by event review


100 m: Gatlin remains unbeaten this year 9.90 (+1.3), second Jamaican Ashmeade improves to 9.93, Dix only fourth 10.04 (beaten by Kimmons also 10.04).
200 m: Spearmon also unbeaten 2012 with 20.27 against -2.1, Dix did not run due to cramp.
400 m: Merritt continues his winning streak 44.91, world champ James ran under protest (finished 2nd) but his dq was confirmed, Wariner only 5th.
800 m: Kaki ruled in 1:43.71 over Aman 1:43.74, Kszcot 5th, Borzakovskiy 9th.
Mile: Kiprop is in top shape, world leading 3:49.40, his rival from Doha S. Kiplagat only 13th, Bernard Lagat 14th. To note young Suleiman of Djibouti NR 3:50.21 as third.
5000 m: The distance race of the day Farah 12:56.98 WL, SR, MR. Second young Isiah Koech 12:57.63 came closer to WJR 12:52.61. Third under 13 was Rupp 12:58.90 over Kenenisa 13:01.48 (still number one this year among Ethiopians).
110mH: Only wind was against +2.4. Otherwise Liu would equal the world record 12.87. Sub 13 also for second Merritt 12.96. Next race in NYC could see the record go, also Robles should be there.
SP: Hoffa confirmed his number one position with world lead 21.81, second Majewski 21.60 EL, third Armstrong 21.50 SB.
JT: Vasilevskis new meet record 84.65 and first loss of the year for Vesely (83.78) who was second.

200 m: First 200 of the year for Felix pretty fast 22.23 (+0.8). Jeter well beaten into 5th (22.78).
400 m: Sanya improved the WL to 49.39 and beat all her closest rivals, world champ Montsho 49.62 and Kingston+Shanghai winner NWM 49.78.
3000 m: Moroccan Selsouli world leading, meet and stadium record 8:34.47 over 10k specialist Kipyego 8:35.89 PB.
SC: Chemos gets the win in WL, MR, SR 9:13.59, best from Ethiopians second Assefa 9:15.45. Fourth Briton Parker 9:24.24 NR and European lead 2012.
HJ: Two meters first time at Hayward Field. Chicherova WL 202, Shkolina outdoor PB 200 and Lowe third 197.
PV: Here some spice missing. Murer 463 and Feofanova 458.
LJ: Surprise winner Proctor 684 (+1.6) new outdoor best. Maggi 6th and Reese only 7th.
DARIEN 13.24, VASSELL 22.49

GENEVE (SUI, Jun 2): As usual fast times in good conditions at 25th Meeting International de Genčve (EAP Category). French Garfield Darien improved at the hurdles to great 13.24 (-0.5) ahead of Briton Lawrence Clarke 13.33 and Dimitri Bascou 13.37. Another European improvement for Conrad Williams of Great Britain in the 400 m to 45.08 beating Luke Lennon-Ford 45.23 and Yannick Fonsat 45.41 over Richard Buck 45.61. In another race also fast 45.47 by Robert Tobin ahead of Louis Persen 45.77. For all of them except Tobin lifetime bests. Fast 400 m hurdles for Kurt Couto of Mozambique 49.22 beating Australian Tristan Thomas 49.39 who returned back to the shape from the past. The 200 m races saw Greek Likourgos Tsakonas having the fastest 20.52 (+0.3, also Greek U23 record) ahead of Briton James Ellington 20.55 and French Jimmy Vicaut 20.67 (PB). Experienced Italian Simone Collio was the best in the 100 m in 10.27 (+0.9). Fabrice Saint-Jean cleared 228 to win the high jump. From women events to note Netherlands national record in the 4x100 m with 42.90. Another superb Dutch time was the 200 m by Kadene Vassell 22.49 (-0.6) what is also national record and European leader 2012. Veteran Christine Arron was the 100 m best in 11.39 (+0.1). Another French win at 100 m hurdles for Aisseta Diawara 13.02 (-0.4, PB). At the 400 m hurdles top 3 improved to personal bests. Briton Eilidh Child 54.96 over Italian Manuela Gentili 55.58 and Denmarks Sara Petersen 55.83 also a national record. German Kristina Gadschiew cleared 450 in the pole vault.

REGENSBURG (GER, Jun 2): Sparkassen meet saw increase of shape by British junior Adam Gemili who improved first in heats to 10.11 (+1.2) and then in finals to 10.08 (+0.8) what is not only fastest junior time 2012 in the world but also fourth best European junior ever (and best at age of 18). Second Julian Reus 10.27. British win also in the 200 m by Christian Malcolm 20.46 (+1.2) over Sebastian Ernst 20.59. Also here fast junior David Bolarinwa of UK with 20.69 (+1.9) improvement in his race. British relay team (Bolarinwa, Malcolm, Devonish, Gemili) clocked 38.89. Alexander John was fastest over the hurdles 13.46 (+2.7, and legal 13.45 +1.5 in heats). Silvio Sichrrmeister improved at 400 m hurdles to 49.21. Florian Orth won the 1500 m in 3:38.54 PB. In jumps Eike Onnen 226 and Yung Zhiming of China 810 (+0.7) in the long jump. From women events fast sprints by US Charonda Williams 11.22 (+1.1) and Briton Anyika Onuora 22.93 (+0.6). German Cindy Roleder with 12.95 (-0.2) qualified to Helsinki and Corinna Harrer after Rome PB in the 1500 m won the 800 m in another personal best 2:01.60. In technical events Levern Spencer of St. Lucia cleared 191 in the high jump and Briton Kate Dennison 435 in the pole vault.

FLORO (NOR, Jun 2): Great shape of Norwegian sprinter Ezinne Okparaebo at the Hyundai GP meet here. She clocked two national sprint records with 11.16 (+2.0, also European leader) and 23.30 (+0.4). Another Norwegian record in men´s hammer for Eivind Henriksen 75.57 but he was beaten by Czech Lukas Melich 76.87. Johan Wissman of Sweden won the 200 m in 20.75 (+0.8) and Belarus Yekaterina Poplavskaya personal best 12.97 (+1.5) at 100 m hurdles. Christina Vukicevic after non-finishing in Hengelo second with 13.39. Ukrainian Olena Kholosha cleared 190 in the high jump to win.

CLERMONT (USA, Jun 2): Fast and windy times at the NTC Open meet in Florida. Trinidad´s Keston Bledman clocked 9.85 (+3.6) over Travis Padgett 9.88 and Jamaican Ramone McKenzie 10.05. In other final Gerald Phiri of Zambia 10.11 (+3.4). Also 200 m was wind-aided, Curtis Mitchell returned after injuries with 20.24 (+2.9) beating Charles Clark 20.38. Miles Smith was the best in the 400 m 45.42. Jamaican record holder Dwight Thomas won the hurdles in 13.17 (+4.3) beating Antwon Hicks 13.19 but had legal 13.36 (+0.9) in heats. World medalist Kelly-Ann Baptiste tested her shape with 22.23 (+3.8) at 200 m ahead of Italian quartermiler Libania Grenot 22.45. In other race Jamaican Samantha Henry-Robinson got 22.50 (+3.6). In the 100 m sub 11 times with +2.5 Alexandria Anderson 10.92 ahead of Samantha Henry-Robinson 10.94 and Lauryn Williams 10.96. US Indoor champion Kristi Castlin won the hurdles with 12.48 (+3.8) over Jamaican Shermaine Williams 12.65. Castlin got legal 12.75 (+1.7) in her heat. Mary Wineberg posted 51.96 in the 400 m.
OORDEGEM (BEL, Jun 2): Memorial Leon Buyle meet registered 1:45.96 in the 800 m for South African Andre Olivier and 13.72 (-0.4) by his team-mate Lehann Fourie at 110 m hurdles. French Simon Denissel won the 3000 m in 7:51.37.
KALAMATA (GRE, Jun 2): Good news from Greece. The organisers of traditional meet Papaflessia (lost EA status due to financial difficulties) were able to stage the event. Home Athanasia Perra achieved Helsinki qualifier in the triple jump 14.26 (+0.2). Spiridon Lebesis confirmed good shape with 79.30 in the javelin. Briton Rikki Fifton won the 100 m in 10.46 (+1.5). Ukrainian Ihor Davydov was the best in the 800 m 1:47.33 and Belarus Dmitriy Platnitskyi 16.85 in the triple jump.
YERINO (RUS, Jun 2): Pechonkina Prizes International meet was marred by strong winds. Despite that Anastasiya Kapachinskaya clocked 51.20 in the 400 m over Tatyana Firova 51.51 and Natalya Nazarova 51.57. In the 800 m Belarus guest Maryna Arzamasava achieved 1:59.67 beating Yelena Kofanova 1:59.80. Good quality also the 1500 m won by Kristina Khaleyeva 4:05.67 PB beating European U23 Champion Yelena Arzhakova 4:06.06. Hurdles world leader Irina Davydova could not do better than 55.71 at 400 m hurdles. Aleksandra Fedoriva tried at 100 m but achieved only 11.52 against -2.4 wind. Svetlana Denyayeva was on the other side aided by +2.2 when leaping to 685 in the long jump. Irina Tarasova won the shot put 19.11. In men events olympic winner Andrey Silnov cleared in his opener 221 over Aleksandr Shustov 218. Pawel Shalin got windy 803 (+3.2) in the long jump and Maksim Sidorov 20.09 in the shot put.
KLADNO (CZE, Jun 2): Czech Clubs League saw Josef Prorok qualifying to London at 400 m hurdles with 49.77. Jirina Ptacnikova cleared 450 in the pole vault. Lucie Pelantova improved national 5000 m walk track record to 21:34.33. In good shot put Ladislav Prasil with 19.69 beat Jan Marcell 19.61. Tereza Kralova improved in hammer to 69.20. Roman Sebrle was back to testing his shape with 14.80 at hurdles, 460 in the pole vault and 45.95 discus.
TRES CANTOS (ESP, Jun 2): Nigerian Patrick Chinedu clocked 10.20 (+0.8) at the 100 m during Spanish Clubs A final. Second Cuban Yunier Perez 10.34. Luis Felipe Meliz made it from Budapest and won the long jump with 786 (-0.6). Mario Pestano beat with 64.21 his discus rival Frank Casanas 64.07. Solid also 76.08 hammer fo Javier Cienfuegos.
CASTELLON (ESP, Jun 2): In women Clubs A final in Spain Ruth Beitia cleared 193 in the high jump.
BYDGOSZCZ (POL, Jun 2): One day before the big meeting the pre Meeting was held here with Donald Sanford of Israel clocking 46.11 in the 400 m. In women race Agata Bednarek improved to 52.67.
IRAKLIO (GRE, Jun 2): Two Cyprus national records at this meet. Parellis Apostolos 63.63 in discus and Stathelakos Constantions 71.01 in hammer.
YALTA (UKR, Jun 2): During last day of Ukrainian junior championships new national mark in girls 10 000 m walk Lyudmila Olyanovska 45:54.94.
NEW YORK (USA, Jun 1): At development meet at Icahn Stadium Trinidad´s Lalonde Gordon clocked personal best in the 400 m 45.33. April Garner also achieved PB at 100 m hurdles 12.97 (0.0).
BIRMINGHAM (GBR, Jun 2): Weather in Britain was bad during Saturday, from results to note from England Championships Tom Parsons 221 in the high jump and Sarah Holt new best of 68.50 in hammer.
SOFIA (BUL, Jun 2): Georgi Georgiev clocked Helsinki qualifier 10.36 (-0.1) at the 100 m in an extra race during Bulgarian junior championships.
NASHVILLE (USA, Jun 2): Briton Anthony Whiteman (40) clocked here World Masters record over one mile with 3:58.79.
TULSA (USA, Jun 2): Jack Whitt cleared here 572 PB in the pole vault.
ALBUQUERQUE (USA, Jun 2): Great Southwest Classic high school meet saw Abraham Hall winning the 100 m in windy 10.20 (+2.4) and the 400 m in 45.59.
ALBANY (USA, Jun 2): A wet and overcast morning did nothing to dampen the intensity of competition in the 34th annual Freihofer's Run for Women. Ethiopian Mamitu Daska clocked 15:19.1 to win ahead of team-mates Ashu Kasim 15:36.7 and Alemitu Abera 15:40.2. In the walks US 10 km championships were held with titles going to Dan Serianni 44:25 and Teresa Vaill at age of 49 with 47:41.
SANDNES (NOR, Jun 1): World medalist Trond Nymark won the Norwegian 10 km walk title here with 42:09.

WARSZAWA (POL, Jun 2): Polish national 5 km road titles for Henryk Szost 13:59 and Dominika Nowakowska 15:52 in close finish over Karolina Jarzynska 15:52.
STOCKHOLM (SWE, Jun 2): Asics Stockholm marathon had 15 968 starters and 14 686 finishers. Winner is from Jordan with 2:19:16 Abu Drais. Second Ethiopian Dereje Debele 2:19:45. In the women race Derebe Godana 2:40:19 ahead of Russian Veronika Lopatkina 2:44:58.

VOLGOGRAD (RUS): The best female pole vaulter ever Yelena Isinbaeva is celebrating her 30th birthday on Sunday. She plans to start the season in Reims on July 4.

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