The Meeting Herculis was one of the best track meets that I have ever seen. In a meet where the high level of performance gave viewers apoplexy, why would one suspect that a young, promising middle distance runner who run down, in the final straight, the unbeaten superstar in her event?
They, you need to know more about Ajee’ Wilson.
Ajee’ Wilson, Sacramento, June 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net
The 800 meters is one of the toughest events in the middle distances. It requires moderate speed, but requires great control of that speed. It is, for many distance runners, a most disagreeable distance. It is two laps of 400 meters where, if you go out too fast in the first lap, that last 200 meters seems like hell, as one if overcome by lactic acid and general discomfort.
This is the event that Ajee’ Wilson has chosen as the focus of her young career. A World Junior Champion at 800 meters, Ajee’ Wilson went professional right after high school. Ajee’ Wilson runs for adidas, while pursuing her college education.
Ajee’ Wilson has had a fine outdoor season in 2014. Her win in Sacramento at the US Championships was the start of a fine summer. Ajee’ followed that up with a fine win in Glasgow, over a strong field running 1:59.68, to hold off the hard charging Cuban 800m specialty, Rose Marie Almaza, who ran 1:59.94, coming out of the pack.
Ajee’ Wilson en route to her win in Glasgow,
photo by PhotoRun.net
Ajee’ has really developed some racing chops as well. While Ajee’ Wilson will follow the pace, she does not play her cards early. Her strength is her last straightaway.
Normally, Ajee’ Wilson goes by with 100 meters to go, as as the rest of the field is gasping for breath, Wilson flies down the final straight to victory.
In Monaco, eight woman broke two minutes. The pace was fast, with Agatha Jeruto taking the field through the 400 meters in 57.66. Jeruto was also leading at 600 meters, passed in 1:28.43.
At this point, Eunice Sum, the world champion and unbeaten in 2014, would charge on around the turn, running a high 1:58 for the win. But, not tonight.
As Sum came off the turn in the lead, Ajee’ Wilson came through the pack and ran up along side Sum. Sum challenged Ajee’ Wilson, and went by Wilson again.
The two 800 meter specialists battled. Ajee’ Wilson with a form that just suggests someone does her core work, and Eunice Sum, who was giving it, like Wilson, all she had.
Eunice Sum started to wail with her arms, a telling sign that this was going to get decided shortly, but, who?
As Ajee’ Wilson continued to push, the unbeaten string of Eunice Sum came to an end as the two continued to battle, with Ajee’ Wilson getting the nod in a world leading 1:57.67! Eunice Sum did not give up, running 1:57.93.
In her biggest win of her career, Ajee’ Wilson kept her composure. She even kept her composure, when WC Eunice Sum came over to congratulate her on her fine race.
The young warrior meeting the experienced warrior.
Something tells me that these two will be seeng alot of each other.
For Ajee’ Wilson, the time of being a young, talented American and hiding in the pack is over.
This race put Ajee’ Wilson on the map.
800 Metres – Women
1 Wilson , Ajee USA 1:57.67 4
2 Sum , Eunice Jepkoech KEN 1:57.92 2
3 Nanyondo , Winnie UGA 1:58.63 1
4 Busienei , Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 1:58.70
5 Poistogova , Ekaterina RUS 1:59.31
6 Beckwith-Ludlow , Molly USA 1:59.32
7 Roesler , Laura USA 1:59.44
8 Judd , Jessica GBR 1:59.99
9 Lamote , Renelle FRA 2:00.06
10 Fedronic , Justine FRA 2:00.41
Kimaswai , Agatha Jeruto KEN DNF
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."
Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."
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