Thursday, August 4, 2011

Diamond Dash: Rudisha vs. Kaki showdown leads Day 1 at Crystal Palace

Rudisha says hi to Kaki after a World Record
David Rudisha and Abubaker Kaki will be bringing a World Championship feel to the Aviva London Grand Prix tomorrow with an epic showdown in the 800 meters. I personally can't remember the last time Rudisha was beaten. Maybe it was the last World Championships when he didn't make it out of the rounds, but I'm not 100% sure. The way I see the race unfolding is Rudisha's personal rabbit, Sammy Tangui will go out in 49.5 (per usual) and Rudisha will sit and turn it on at 500m. If Kaki can keep it within a second, I'll be impressed. Also in the field is Nick Symmonds. Once again, Symmonds is having a great year and is a true medal threat in Daegu. Tomorrow will be a great chance for him to test his mettle (pun intended). Full 800m startlist is available here.

Other distance events on the docket Friday are the Men's 5000, which includes Americans Ben True and Brandon Bethke (whose Quiksilver deal seems inside the box after Meb Keflezighi's Skecher's signing last week), as well as Brits Andy Vernon and OTC's Chris Thompson. Steve Cram did briefly mention last week that there could be a surprise last minute entrance by Kenenisa Bekele as well, but I wouldn't count on it. Full startlist for the 5000 is here.

In the Women's 800, Molly Beckwith will continue her excellent season against a strong field that includes Daegu favorite, Kenia Sinclair, as well as Brits Jenny Meadows, Marilyn Okoro and OTC's Jemma Simpson. A few strong Russians round out the field, and you never know what's coming from them. Could be 1:56, could be 2:02. Full 800 startlist is here.

Closing out the night is the Mo Farah show, aka the Men's 3000. Farah has been unstoppable this year and this should be an excellent showcase for him, being the final event of the night. Farah will have "Steady Eddie" David  Krummenacker pacing the field of Irleand's Allistair Cragg, Australia's Collis Birmingham, Ben St. Lawrence and Craig "Buster" Mottram, as well as Kenyans Mark Kiptoo and Sammy Mutahi. I don't know what the English record for the 3k is, but I would think that Farah could make a run at it, considering his fitness. Full startlist for the 3000 is here.

I'll preview Day 2 tomorrow. Full meet information is here and the event will be broadcast on Universal Sports.

Update: Here's video of Mo Farah's big win in the 3000 that wasn't aired during the television window:

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