Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daily Daegu: Kenyan Women dominate and is Kenenisa Bekele back?

Will Kenny B hoist the flag in Daegu?
The first day at Daegu was the won by the Kenyan Women. Edna Kiplagat led the sweep in the Women's Marathon and Vivian Cheruyiot led another sweep (including a the 4th spot) in the Women's 10,000. Tera Moody led the Americans in the Marathon with a 17th place finish in 2:32:04. Shalane Flanagan led much of the 10,000, but ended up 7th in 31:25.57 (with a strong 9th by Jen Rhines). Oregon Track Club got their first ever World Championship medal with Sally Kipyego taking the silver in the 10,000 in 30:50.04, just over a second off the win.

Day 2 brings on the first Men's distance final. It's been awhile since we've seen the king of distance running, Kenenisa Bekele. And until he's on the line Sunday morning at 6:30am eastern (7:30pm Daegu), I won't be 100% convinced he's actually running. Kenny B hasn't toed the line since January 2010, when he finished fourth in a cross country race in Edinburgh. Whether he shows up or not, he and the field will have their hands full with the star of 2011, Mr. Mo Farah. As strong as Farah has looked all season, it's going to be hard to pick against him, although it will be very fascinating to see what kind of shape Bekele shows up in.

Beyond the two superstars, in America, we'll be cheering for Galen Rupp, as he's got a legitimate shot at a podium finish. Standing in his way will be the bruising Ethiopian, Imane Merga, the up and down Sileshi Sihine, as well as Eritrea's Half Marathon World Record Holder, Zersenay Tadese. This isn't even speaking of the always strong Kenyan contingent. Rupp will have his hands full, but if he runs to his capability, he should be in the mix with a mile to go. Also in the mix for America is the 10k newcomer, Matt Tegenkamp, and Mammoth Track Club's Scotty Bauhs.

Day 2 also brings on the semifinal heats for the Men's 800, as Khadevis Robinson and Nick Symmonds qualified out of the opening round. The Women's 1500 heats start as well with Morgan Uceny, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury taking the stage. Finally, day 2 brings on the 100 meter final. Not a distance race, but always exciting to see Usain Bolt go against the world!

As usual, Universal Sports will have coverage on television and online. Full results are on the IAAF Daegu page here.

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