Friday, July 21, 2017

Jager magnificent in Monaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evan Jager turned in an outstanding performance to win the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night in 8:01.29, the fastest time in the world this year and his quickest in more than two years. Coming less than two weeks before the beginning of the IAAF World Championships in London, it served as the perfect confidence boost for the 28-year-old Olympic silver medalist.

Jager seized command of the race shortly after the 2000m mark, which was reached in a sensible 5:25.40, which means he ran his last kilometer in a blazing 2:35.89. He wound up the pace over the final three laps with relentless power, finally breaking the trio chasing behind with 500m to run. From there, he accelerated all the way to the finish, sprinting to the line to just miss out on the eight-minute barrier, not that he will have been bothered.

“It was our plan to run only the steeple on the Diamond League circuit now,” said Jager, who was running his first race in Europe this year. “The previous ones did not fit into our plans with training camp and altitude.”

However, despite beating the best Kenya had to offer on the night, the Bowerman Track Club athlete will not be resting on his laurels over the upcoming fortnight. After all, a late withdrawal from the race was the man who beat him to gold in Rio last year, Conseslus Kipruto, who erred on the side of caution while nursing a foot injury. The pair met afterwards in the mixed zone, with Jager reportedly telling Kipruto that he was sorry not to have him out there and that they’d see each other in London.

“We are keeping our options open for the best possible tactical plan for the worlds,” said Jager. “But one thing is clear: I’m going for gold.”

 

 

 

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Final tune-ups ahead of London

A host of Kimbia athletes will run their final races this weekend before the London World Championships, with Evan Jager, Emily Infeld and Coleen Quigley all set to compete, among others.

Jager, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, will compete in the 3000m steeplechase at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday evening. The 28-year-old has been in impressive form so far this year, winning the US Championships with ease on June 25 in 8:16.88. However, Monaco will represent his first race of the season outside the US, and it’s a hot one, featuring Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, among others.

Colleen Quigley will also be in her first race in Europe this year, though the Nike Bowerman Track Club  athlete will compete in Heusden, Belgium, a meeting synonymous with fast times in the distance races. Quigley will sharpen her speed ahead of London with a 1500m, and with a 4:24.88 mile to her name indoors this year, it will be no surprise if her personal best of 4:11.61 falls.

Emily Infeld, meanwhile, will also tune up for her 10,000m outing in London with a 5000m race in Heusden, where she will be joined by fellow Kimbia athlete and Nike Bowerman Track Club teammate Shalane Flanagan, who she has been training with in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in recent weeks. Infeld’s last race was when she finished fifth in Lucerne over 3000m in 8:55.41, while Flanagan’s last race came at the US Championships in Sacramento, where she finished fourth in the 10,000m in 31:31.12.

Fellow Kimbia athlete Marc Scott will race over 5000m in Heusden. The 23-year-old clocked a PB of 7:43.37 over 3000m at the London Diamond League last week and looks capable of lowering his best of 13:36.81. Farther afield, Izaic Yorks has been in impressive form in recent weeks, the 23-year-old running a season’s best of 3:37.91 last week in Sainte-Therese, Montreal. He backed that up on Wednesday night with a 3:39.75 run to finish second over 1500m in Seattle, just behind race winner Brannon Kidder (3:39.39).

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hall of Fame award for Amy Cragg

Amy Cragg has been announced among a group of eight sportspeople to be inducted into the Arizona State Athletics Hall of Fame. The 33-year-old Kimbia athlete, a member of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, will be formally inducted during a luncheon on October 13 and introduced to the crowd at a home football game the following day.

Athletes become eligible for the Hall of  Fame 10 years after their senior class has graduated, and Cragg (nee Hastings) has certainly put together a career worthy of the honor. She was a 10-time All-American in track and cross country and an NCAA indoor champion over 5000m in 2006.

Since turning pro, Cragg has become one of America’s finest distance runners. She finished 11th in the Olympic 10,000m in 2012 and last year, in Rio, she finished ninth in the Olympic marathon, having won the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles earlier in the year in 2:28:20. So far this year she has raced sparingly, but has made it count when she toes the line. She clocked a personal best for the half marathon in Marugame, Japan in February, running 68:27, and finished second at the Payton Jordan Invitational over 10,000m in Stanford in May, running 31:17.20.

 

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Infeld and Frerichs impress in Lucerne

London-bound athletes Emily Infeld and Courtney Frerichs turned in a pair of impressive performances in Lucerne on Tuesday night (11) as they continue their preparations for the IAAF World Championships, which get under way on 4 August.

Competing in a loaded 3000m field, Infeld clocked a season’s best of 8:55.41 to finish fifth, while Frerichs came home just moments later in sixth, her time of 8:56.99 a lifetime best.

The race was won by Ethiopia’s Azmera Gebru in 8:52.63, with Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui second in 8:53.36 and Jamaica’s Aisha Praught-Leer third in 8:53.43.

Frerichs, who finished 11th in the Olympic final in the 3000m steeplechase last year, has been in outstanding form this summer, the 24-year-old lowering her lifetime best to 9:19.09 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. She booked her place in London by finishing second in the US Championships in Sacramento last month and will join Emma Coburn and fellow Kimbia athlete Colleen Quigley on the US team for the 3000m steeplechase next month.

Infeld, meanwhile, has raced sparingly this season but had made it count every time she takes to the track. The 27-year-old Kimbia athlete, a member of the Nike Bowerman Track Club, booked her spot on the US team when finishing second in the 10,000m at the national championships in Sacramento last month in 31:22.67. The 2015 world bronze medallist over 10,000m will next be in action in Heusden, Belgium, on 22 July, where she will hope to fine-tune her preparations for another tilt at the medal rostrum in London.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Statement from Evan Jager regarding Fancy Bears document

I woke up this morning to find out that my name had been published as a part of a list released by the ‘Fancy Bears’ and they are saying that I had an abnormal blood passport test result. I was incredibly shocked to see my name amongst a list of athletes believed to be “likely doping.” I have so many questions as to how and why my name got on that list. I have never taken any banned substance and have always prided myself on doing things the right way and being a clean athlete.

I have gone through my records looking for the test results or test notification from February 9, 2016 (the date listed as my “last ABP test date”) and cannot find any notification of having taken a drug test on that day. I also was not contacted by USADA/WADA/IAAF regarding an abnormal blood panel test result. There is a possibility that I did take a test that day, but I have no record of it. I am trying to contact the authorities to determine if I was tested that day and how my name could have ended up on such a list.

Though the IAAF has clearly determined that there was no anti-doping rule violation committed, I’m still very saddened about the idea that people might think that I have broken the rules when I, and all those close to me, know that I have not. It has always been important to me to not just do things the right way, but to have the trust of my fans and competitors and to prove to people that you can reach the top of the sport clean. I have never and will never break or try to bend an anti-doping rule. I hope this gets cleared up very quickly and that I can maintain the trust I have worked so hard to build in the running community.

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