Stuart Weir covered this meet for RunBlogRun, and covered it he did. Providing pictures during the meet for our readers to see a bit more from the sidelines, and this, the first of two stories this evening. This was a mighty 1,500 meters. Seventh place was 4:01!
Up front. Laura Muir made a masterful move with 150 meters. In any other race, the double European and world indoor medalist woud have won. Tonight, however, an on form Shelby Houlihan, who had felt poorly prior to the race, was right there. Shelby had talked herself into staying the mighty pack, and moved perfectly when she needed to, taking a masterful win, in a huge PB of 3:57.34. Remember, kind readers, that the American record is 3:56.29 (2015, Shannon Rowbury, who just had a lovely baby girl with her hubby Pablo this past week).
Of Shelby Houlihan, Stuart Weir says that she has changed the landscape.
Nothing more needs to be said.
The women’s 1500m was an eagerly awaited race at the Athletissima Lausanne Diamond League. With a loaded field fireworks were expected. Pacemaker, Noelie Yarigo had taken them through 400 metres in just under 62 seconds. Emily Tuei did the second 400 in 64.5 seconds before Gudaf Tsegay took the lead. On the final lap, Laura Muir moved from fourth to lead with 150 metres to go but Shelby Houlihan timed her finish to perfection to gain the win.
The final times and places were:
1 Shelby Houlihan 3:57.34
2 Laura Muir 3:58.18
3 Sifan Hassan 3:58.39
4 Gudaf Tsegay 3:59.07
Caster Semenya who had looked strong throughout the race could only finish sixth.
Houliham said of her race: “I didnÂ´t have many expectations coming into the race today and was actually a bit worried as I was not feeling very well. I had to talk to myself during the race to stay in a comfortable position and the incredible crowd here brought me home during the last 200 meters. I would love to continue my winning streak and looking forward to coming back to Switzerland and Zurich later in the season”.
Laura Muir said of her valiant attempt at victory: “I was happy with it. I knew it was going to be a fast race after what the girls had asked for. I was happy to sit in on the first half, work hard and use my strength in the second half. I felt a lot better than I did in the race a couple of weeks ago so it’s a step in the right direction”. She explained her decision to take the lead with 150 to go: ” I could see Tsegay was tiring so I thought I had to go at that stage and not leave it to a sprint finish. I just wanted to run as far as I could. I nearly got the win, so I’m really pleased with that”.
Laura Weightman who won the 1500m at the GB championships, while Laura Muir was winning the 800m, was 7th in a season’s best 4:01.76, pronouncing herself: “very pleased with that. I felt very strong and competitive”. Eilish McColgan – eighth in 4:01.98 was delighted with her run, frustrated only to miss a PR by a third of a second.
Houlihan’s excellent form has transformed the landscape of the women’s 1500m but there are several others well capable to giving her a good race. From a British point of view, seeing 3 girls finish in the top eight was an encouraging confirmation of our progress in the event.