Back on top, Rudisha Claims Beijing Gold Medal, by David Monti, RRW, used with permission


Rudisha_DavidFL-Beijing15.JPGDavid Rudisha, gold medalist, 800m, Beijing, photo by

Rudisha wins, Dibaba wins, and the middle distance world has lots to talk about. Jenny Simpson gets her shoe ripped off and shows real class. Adam Kszczot, Polish silver medalist at 800 meters, wonders out loud why runners are so fearful of Rudisha and Sifan Hassan fumes that she did not win the silver, or, better yet, the gold.

Such are the sounds in the press conferences after major events.

This piece, by David Monti, of Race Results Weekly, is used with permission.

Rudisha explained. "It's because of the problem I had before. The injury wasn't allowing me to do good high speeds. It was just a matter of refreshing my muscle memory."

Uncharacteristically, Rudisha ran his last 400 meters much faster than the first, gunning the last lap in 51.67. With the slight lead he had through 600 meters, combined with good position close to the rail, it was impossible for Kszczot --or anyone else-- to pass him, even if he had the speed.

"I stepped to the metal line between the infield and the track," said Kszczot referring to the track's inside rail. "At that point, you know, I think David figure it out that someone's coming."

Kszczot closed nearly as quickly (51.74) to claim the silver medal in 1:46.08, giving him his first global medal in an outdoor championships. Behind him, breakout star Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina, closed even faster, coming from the back of the field to win the bronze medal in 1:46.30, the first medal ever at this championships for his country.

"I really feel amazing," said Tuka. He continued: "This is something special for me, also for my country."

Also dominating tonight was Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba who, like Rudisha, saved her best running for the end for the women's 1500m final.

The American duo of Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Simpson found themselves at the front of the pack after the gun, and decided to take it slowly. Very slowly. They ran the first 400 meters in 77 seconds, not even the pace of a good high school race.

"It just kind of happened that way," said Rowbury, who would finish seventh.

The pace picked up after 400 meters, but it wasn't there were two laps to go that things got really interesting. Dibaba shot ahead, running a 57.3-second circuit from 800m to 1200m, taking Kenya's Faith Kipyegon, Netherlands' Sifan Hassan, and Ethiopia's Dawit Seyaum with her.

But Simpson, the 2011 world champion, could not join the battle. She had her left shoe stepped on, pulling it off. She was forced to run the last 700 meters of the race with one shoe.

"I was jogging along with everyone else, then I kind of paid a price for it," said Simpson, who finished second to last, ripping the skin off part of the bottom of her right foot. "Dibaba made a big move and I got shoved into traffic. My shoe even ripped. I got spiked bad enough that it totally ripped when it came off." She added: "I was just unlucky."

But not Dibaba. She did not let up, running an eye-popping 1:57 for the final 800m to finish in the slowest winning time ever at these championships: 4:08.09. Kipyegon got second (4:08.96) and Hassan third (4:09.34).

"As you know, my preparation was very good," Dibaba said through a translator. "I think that I did the right thing, that my expectations were right."

Dibaba is not finished competing here. On Thursday morning, she'll line up for the preliminary round of the 5000m, where she is also a favorite to win gold.

"The history is two golds from my sister," she said, referring to big sister Tirunesh Dibaba who, in this same stadium, won gold medals at both 5000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Olympics. "Then my mind is made up. I have to do both."

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