Elliot Giles, Adam Kszczot, 800m at Copernicus Cup / Torun, TV screenshot photo by Stuart Weir
Elliot Giles leading the 800m in Torun, TV screenshot photo by Stuart Weir
Elliott Giles wins the 800m, TV screenshot photo by Stuart Weir
The Copernicus Cup was held on Feb. 22, 2022, in Torun, Poland. 2/22/22 is a palindrome. The Copernicus Cup had a limited audience this year, and some amazing performances as well.
Justin Lagat watched it on streaming from Kenya, and wrote this piece about the middle distance races that were so amazing in Poland!
The date, 22-02-2022, was unique, and so was the world indoor meeting in Torun. There was something to do with the number two as runners with big names actually finished 2nd in their respective races; Elaine Thompson in the women’s 60m, Barega in the men’s 3000m, and Halimah Nakaayi in the women’s 800m. However, since Tsegay Gudaf was in a class of her own, she could only run the 2nd fastest time in the women’s 1500m race.
Perhaps it is true that in order to achieve a world record, one runner has to be in a different class from the rest. There is always too much pressure when more than three rivals are put together in one race, which was the case in the men’s 3000m race at the Torun world Indoor meeting. With Lamecha Girma, Selemon Barega, Jacob Krop, and Getnet Wale all there in the race, the focus for these top runners would quickly turn into winning the race rather than going for a fast time and letting others beat you at the finish line. Girma was the one with the best plan that worked. He let Barega do the pacing duties and preserved his energy to use in a deadly finishing kick in about the last 70m of the race to upset Barega for the second time in a week, winning the race in 7:31.09. The top two results were the same as that of the Lievin meeting, on Thursday 17th February, as Barega finished 2nd in 7:31.39 and Krop spoiling the party for the three Ethiopians as he finished 3rd in 7:31.90.
Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi was beaten by Australia’s Bisset Catriona in the women’s 800m race after what looked like an effort from her to try front-running this time around to avoid getting blocked as it happened to her at the Lievin meeting where she also settled for the 2nd position behind Jamaica’s Natoya Goule. Catriona would overtake her in the home stretch to win the race in 2:00.16 as the fading Nakaayi managed to hold off Tigist Girma to finish 2nd in 2:00.19 (185) against Girma’s 2:00.19 (189).
As expected, Ethiopia’s Tsegay Gudaf won the women’s 1500m race after breaking away early in the race to win it in a world-leading time of 3:54.77. Hailu Lemlem was second in 4:02.25 ahead of Hailu Freweyni who came 3rd in a new personal best time of 4:02.50.
Elliot Giles of Great Britain won the men’s 800m in 1:45.42 after a strong finish, beating Kramer Adreas who came second in 1:45.71, and Collins Kipruto who finished 3rd in 1:45.94.