“MO MANIA” CONTINUES WITH WIN AT AT SAINSBURY’S ANNIVERSARY GAMES
By Chris Lotsbom @ChrisLotsbom
(27-Jul) — “Mo Mania” continued here at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,
as Great Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah ran away with the
3000m title in front of a sold-out crowd of 65,000 at the Sainsbury’s
Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League Meeting today. Taking the lead
with 500 meters remaining, a smiling Farah cruised to earn his third
win in the Olympic Stadium, adding to the Olympic 10,000m and 5000m
victories achieved last year.
“It was great to come back to
this track, I’ve got great memories from 2012,” said Farah, holding a
Union Jack. “It was real nice to come back here one more time and win
Per usual, Farah did not touch the lead in the
opening laps, leaving that to the designated pace setter Ismael
Kombich, Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Tariku Bekele, and Kenyan
Gideon Gathimba. Though he wasn’t in front, Farah’s presence was
clearly known, tucked in behind like an animal waiting to pounce.
calm and content through the opening kilometer (2:38.50), the
30-year-old shared a few words about the pace with fellow Oregon
Project teammate Dathan Ritzenhein.
“He wanted to go slow and I
wanted to go fast, and he said don’t pass him [the pacemaker],” said
Ritzenhein, describing the exchange. “Mo said ‘don’t,’ but I don’t know
why I didn’t cause it was too slow. He wanted an easy race and I wanted
an honest race, as I’m getting ready for the 10,000m and marathon so
it’s got to be faster than that for me.”
The pace disagreement
passed when Bekele subsequently took over the lead, injecting a small
surge. Farah followed suit without a moment’s hesitation, as Ritzenhein
did the same a step beside his teammate.
Shortly after the 2000
meter mark, Ritzenhein made the decisive move to take over for Bekele.
Still calm, Farah followed into second, with Bekele falling back to
third. Looking like a man on a mission, Ritzenhein kept pumping his
arms in an effort to chip away at Farah’s reserves.
if this move was to help Farah achieve Dave Moorcroft’s 3000m record of
7:32.79, Ritzenhein said no; rather he was just trying to quicken the
pace and make it a more honest effort. Farah would later add that he
was not aiming for the record whatsoever.
Farah moved around
the American with 500 meters to go, a wide smile across his face.
Knowing he had the win in his pocket, Farah chose to enjoy the moment
in front of his home fans.
“It was important to win this race
on this track,” said Farah. “It’s great to be back, it was a good race
and the crowds were great. There’s so many people here to support us.”
would cross the line all by himself in 7:36.85, more than five seconds
up on surprise second-place finisher, recent North Carolina State
graduate Ryan Hill. In the final lap, Hill moved from fourth to second,
passing the likes of Ritzenhein and Bekele.
“I made a move with
700m to go to try and get up with the Farah group. By the time I got
there he wasn’t there anymore,” said Hill. “I moved up well the whole
When asked his thoughts on beating one of the Bekele Brothers, something no one foresaw, Hill joked around.
“It’s the other Bekele, only the bronze medalist,” he said wryly with a smile.
Rounding out the top three was Andrew Bumbalough, followed by Bekele and Ritzenhein. Ritzenhein was OK with his performance.
“It’s been really hard training, so this means I’m in a good place,” he said.
back in the 14th and final position was Canadian Cam Levins, also an
Oregon Project team member. When the stadium had cleared close to an
hour after the final race, the entire Oregon Project team could be seen
doing a workout around the track.
CHOGE UPSETS SOULEIMAN IN EMSLEY CARR MILE
the Emsley Carr Mile, Kenya’s Augustine Kiprono Choge upset IAAF
Diamond League 1500m points leader Ayanleh Souleiman, 3:50.01 to
3:50.07. Choge’s time, a new personal best, ranks fourth in the world
After a fast, 54.76 second opening 400m run by pacer
Bram Som of the Netherlands, the 20-man field had strung out to single
file, with Souleiman and Choge taking their places behind the
designated rabbits. Roughly a second back sat American Galen Rupp, the
2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist.
The pace had dramatically
slowed down by halfway –hit in 1:53.24– which meant the African duo
at the front could restore their energy in preparation for the final
charge home. Joining them for a period were Kenyans Collins Cheboi and
Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, while Rupp stayed behind holding strong
At the bell, Choge and Souleiman held a step on
the field, and it appeared the two would duel all the way to the
finish. Choge tried to drop the native of Djibouti to no avail, as the
20-year-old responded promptly. Just as it appeared Souleiman may pull
off the pass, Choge closed the door and responded, taking the win by
six 6/100ths of a second. Souleiman wound up second in a national
record of 3:50.07.
With the win, Choge etched his name in the
pages of the Emsley Carr Trophy, a red leather-bound book in its second
volume. By his side was Lord Sebastian Coe, a two-time winner of the
historic, 60-year-old race.
“It was one of the greatest races
won and one of the best stories and to run in the Olympic Stadium
itself, I’m so thrilled,” said Choge. “The crowd was so fantastic, I
wish all the races could be like this. The stadium was just so lively.”
overcame a period of being boxed in to finish fifth in a personal best
of 3:52.11. Fellow Oregon Project athlete Matthew Centrowitz was off
the pace from the start, winding up 16th in 3:58.75. Both athletes
declined to speak to the written media in the mixed zone after the race.
Oregon athlete who did speak was Jordan McNamara, who finished seventh
in a personal best of 3:52.42. McNamara’s performance caps off a very
good month of July, which saw the 26-year-old set personal bests at
1500m and the mile, and earn a hard fought win at the KBC-Nacht Meeting
“I have been doing workouts indicative of this kind
of fitness all spring, but I just couldn’t get my legs right on race
day,” said McNamara. “I’m so thankful to have my hard work show now.”
KIPRUTO SECURES MEET, STADIUM RECORD IN STEEPLECHASE
Kipruto moved with ten meters to go, overtaking Gilbert Kirui to win
the 3000m steeplechase in a new meet and stadium record of 8:06.86.
“I’m feeling OK and my body is running well,” said the quiet Kenyan, who won’t be competing in Moscow.
in second for nearly the entire second half of the race, Kipruto
watched while Jairus Birech worked hard in the lead. With less than a
lap remaining, Kirui surged in hopes of taking the kick out of Kipruto,
but it was to no avail, only spurring on the 2008 Olympic champion.
waited until the final possible moment to match Kirui, coming up on his
shoulder to the crowd’s approval with less than 20 meters to go.
Passing in an instant, the win was Kipruto’s.
“I am in good
form. I broke a stadium record from my compatriot from last year
[Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi] and I also beat the time that my
coach set so I am very happy. It’s great to win,” said Kipruto.
American De’Sean Turner finished sixth in 8:31.25, a performance the Indiana University alum wasn’t too happy with.
need to rest up,” said Turner, visibly saddened. “My hurdling was
awful, I think that’s because I was so tired during the race. I just
need to rest up and get my legs underneath me.”
* * * * *
Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games was the eleventh stop of the 2013 IAAF
Diamond League circuit. The Diamond League now goes on hiatus until 22
August when the series resumes in Stockholm after the IAAF World
Championships in Moscow.