Aregawi, Simpson, a replay in Shanghai? photo by PhotoRun.net
Justin Lagat wrote this preview on the Shanghai DL races, on Sunday, May 18. Just how fast will they go? Who will win? You will just have to wait and see!
Preview; 800m to 5000m at the Shanghai IAAF DL
The women 1500m, the women 3000m steeplechase and the men 5000m are among the events that will feature for the first time this season during the Shanghai IAAF Diamond League this weekend. Looking at the start lists, the meeting promises to be as great as the one that happened last week in Doha.
Hagos Gebrhiwet has the fastest PB (12:47) among the stars that will feature in the men’s 5000m race. His countryman, Yenew Alamirew who also happens to have the second fastest PB here of 12:48 will also be there to help him battle the rest of the competitors and ensure that the win goes to Ethiopia.
However, Edwin Soi with a PB of 12:51 and known for his great finishing kicks, together with Thomas Longosiwa whose PB is 12:49 are the two Kenyans who have a lot of experience in this event and will be there to see to it that it won’t be an easy race for the Ethiopians. Another Kenyan-born who now runs for Baharain, Alpert Rop who has a PB of 12:51 will also be among the contenders to watch out for in this event.
It will also be interesting to watch the New Zealand athlete, Zane Robertson who just won an Athletics Kenya (AK) meeting a few weeks ago in Kenya, beating some strong Kenyans who were in that competition. This guy is out to demonstrate to the world that it does not matter where one comes from, and that, as long as anyone trains hard and well, they have a chance to win a long distance race. This athlete, together with Moses Mukono who just won the junior race at the African cross country championships, may surprise us in Shanghai.
The women 3000m steeplechase event has got the two greatest runners in the world in it; Milcah Chemos and Lidya Chepkurui. But, Kenyans will not take the first eight positions like they did in the men’s race last week in Doha because of two reasons: There are only seven of them in the race and there are two strong Ethiopians too.
Assefa Sofia is the strongest athlete from Ethiopia having won bronze medals both at the London Olympics and at the Moscow world championships. The other Ethiopian here, Hiwot Ayalew also ran at the London Olympics and has got an impressive PB of 9:09. There are other impressive entrants from other countries, but the real competition will definitely be between the Kenyans and the Ethiopians. It will also be interesting to watch Magdalene Maasai, sister to Linet Masai, try the steeplechase event after featuring in the 5000m event for some time.
The men’s 800m event will be a very interesting event to watch also. None of the entrants has a PB of under 1:43, but six of them have run under 1:44 with only micro-seconds separating their PB times. Everyone here has a chance of winning because there are no specific pre-race favorites who are in the caliber of Aman and Rudisha. And that’s exactly what will make this race interesting. It is unpredictable. These six are the athletes who have PBs of under 1:44 and with the potential to win here: Brandson Johnson, Jeremiah Mutai, Som Bram, Abraham Rotich, Makhloufi Taoufik and Lewandowski Marcin.
In the women 1500m event, Swedish Abeba Aregawi is definitely the favorite to win. Besides being entered with the fastest PB, she is also the current world and European champion and the Diamond League winner both in the 2012 and the 2013 seasons.
Other strong contenders in this event include US’s Jennifer Simpson and Kenya’s Violah Kibiwot who was fourth last week at the 3000m event in Doha. Others to watch out for include Lydia Wafula, considering the form she was in as she paced the fast 3000m last week and Morgan Uceny.
To all athletic fans around the world, I wish you a great experience while you will be watching the Shanghai Diamond League. To the athletes participating, the best form and health during the competitions.