The women’s 1,500 meters in AREVA Paris meeting was something special. Americans like Jenny Simpson, looking for fast races, Sifan Hassan and Abeba Aregawi seeking fitness tests for the Europeans.
Jenny Simpson, June 2014, USA Outdoors, photo by PhotoRun.net
The results of that race have been read and re-read across the world. Sifan Hassan and Jenny Springer staged a battle over the last 400 meters that will be remembered for years to come. In the end, Sifan Hassan ran 3:57.00 and Jenny Simpson ran 3:57.22.
And with that race, Jenny Simpson showed that she is the best American woman miler in thirty-one years!
Jenny Simpson is one of my favorite athletes to interview. Articulate, thoughtful, Jenny understands that part of her job, as a professional athlete, is to be able to communicate her thoughts, her races and her philosophy into a form that can be communicated by modern media.
Jenny Simpson ran 3:57.22 on 5 July 2014 in Paris France. Not since August 1983 has an American ran faster, and that was wunderkid Mary Decker Slaney, a figure with as much pathos and bravado as any character from a Greek tragedy. Mary Slaney ran 3:57.00 and set an American record that has not been challenged for thirty-one years.
Until, this summer.
“I knew I could handle 2:07-2:08 for the 800 meters, but you just do not know.” was how Jenny Simpson portrayed the beginning of the race. ” I wanted to see how fast I could go in Paris. When Sifan Hassan took off with 300 meters to go, I had someone to race with! “
And race they did. Sifan Hassan and Jenny Simpson battled until the last several meters, when, both ladies, tired and exhilarated, finished the race with huge personal bests!
For Jenny Simpson, she was just one tenth of a second off the American record!
That American record, coincidently, was run in Stockholm on August 23, 1983, in the DN Galan Meeting.
Jenny Simpson, Drake Relays, April 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net
“The race this year has a top field. Sifan Hassan, Abeba Aregawi top the list. It could be very fast tomorrow, and no one knows who will win. But I can tell you this, the last lap will be very fast!” noted Jenny Simpson, in the DN press conference earlier today.
Jenny Simpson is no slouch when it comes to finishing kicks. ” I had not broken four minutes point fifteen in four years! To break my personal best by so much meant a lot to me.”
But Jenny Simpson is looking for that fast race, where the AR for the 1,500 meters becomes hers. ” I have Stockholm, and Zurich. In Brussels, I am running the 3,000 meters.”
For Jenny Simpson, fast times and another medal or two in the dresser will come, if she trains and races as she was meant to be!