Saturday, September 3, 2011

Daily Daegu: Matt Centrowitz surprises with Bronze Medal

Matt Centrowitz did big things in 2011
From NCAA Champion to surprise USA Champion to World Championships 1500 Bronze Medal, it's been quite a season for the University of Oregon's Matt Centrowitz. Once again, Centro executed an excellent race plan in getting to the podium in Daegu. New Zealand's Nick Willis took the early lead at right about 3:45 1500 pace and Centro tucked in right behind, not giving up the rail. The proved to be an excellent tactic in the semis and it proved the same in the final. When the group behind him began to charge, he maintained his composure and began to kick with 250 to go. He closed harder than anyone in the final 100, looking super smooth in his shifting of gears and rolling past everyone but Kenyan favorites, Asbel Kiprop (Gold) and Silas Kiplagat (Silver) to finish a strong third in 3:36.08. What a way to finish an excellent season.

The field saw a lot of Bolt's back tonight
The Women's 4x400 team matched the Men with another Gold, and Danielle Carruthers took the Silver and Dawn Harper the Bronze in the Women's 100 hurdles (aka the Sally Pearson Party). The Usain Bolt show closed the night with an excellent win in 19.40. Walter Dix ran the second fastest time of his life in 19.70 for the Silver, while a hard charging Christophe "White Lightning" Lemaitre broke 20 for the first time, bringing home the Bronze in a French National Record of 19.80.

Day 9 kicks off tonight for us in America (and in the morning in Daegu) with the Men's Marathon at 8pm eastern. Once again, it will likely look like a Kenya vs. Ethiopia dual meet up front, but with a stronger Ethiopian contingent than on the Women's side. Watch out for NYC Marathon winner, Ethiopian Gebre Gebremariam, to sit and try to take it from one of the Kenyans at the end. Vincent Kipruto, Benjamin Kiptoo and Abel Kirui will lead the Kenyan assault against Gebremariam and countryman, Feyisa Lilesa.

The final session on the track kicks off at 6:40am eastern with the Men's 5000. This is an event that many distance fans have been waiting for. Is this Bernard Lagat's chance at Gold? Is this Mo Farah's chance at redemption? Can Galen Rupp run as smart and tactically as Matt Centrowitz, and sneak on the medal stand? Will Imane Merga throw anyone to the track? Lots of questions for the 5k, but it should be a good one. To make the medal stand, you better be ready to run a sub 4:00 final mile and possibly a sub 53 final 400 if it gets real tactical.

Next up is the final distance race of the championships, the Women's 800. This will be another excellent race as no one is quite sure which Caster Semenya will show up. If she runs like she did in the semis, it's over. If she runs like she has the rest of the season, it's anyone game. Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair  has had an excellent season, but barely snuck in. Same with Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei. Can Maggie Vessey or Alysia Montano make the medal stand? They've surely got a great shot. If Vessey closes like she did in the semis, finishing second to Russia's Yuliya Rusanova, she should be in the cards. We'll know at 7:15am.

Closing it all out will be the Women's 4x100 at 7:35am and the Men's 4x100 at 8:00am. Can the Women and/or Men top Jamaica for Gold? Can both teams finish without dropping the baton? We'll know in less than 24 hours!

Watch the action unfold on Universal Sports.

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