Friday, August 16, 2013

Jager Fifth in Worlds Steeple

For an athlete who “wanted a medal real bad,” Thursday’s steeplechase final may have looked like an exercise in frustration for Evan Jager, who saw the race play out in similar fashion to last summer’s Olympic Final when he came in sixth. Once again, he was in the lead pack at the bell, but was out of reach of the medals at the final water jump.

But Jager’s performance yesterday shows true progress from his performance in London, even if he improved “only” to fifth place here in Moscow, running 8:08.67 to miss a medal by 0.81 seconds. His upgrade in the final results came in a field with more top talent than the London final, as the Kenyan team entered four athletes, owing to the wild card entry given to defending world champions. Yesterday, not only did he narrowly miss fourth place by just five-hundredths of a second… he was less than one second from bronze, and just 2.66 seconds behind the eventual winner, all-time great Ezekial Kemboi. Compare that with finishing twice as far behind the winner (also Kemboi) in last year’s global championship, and a whole¬†3-plus seconds awash of third place. Most impressive: Read the full article

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekend 1 of 2013 Worlds, Wrapped

Half a world away from home in Moscow, Team KIMbia hit the track at the 2013 World Championships, in a variety of distances. Kicking things off on Sunday, Shalane Flanagan led the early proceedings in the 10,000m final before coming home in 8th place. Looking to ensure the steady and honest early pace likely to suit a strong, rhythm-running marathoner such as herself, Flanagan ran three straight kilometers around 3:07 — 31:10 pace — before Hitomi Niiya of Japan took the lead and began to pick things up. As the lead pack broke up, Flanagan was gapped a few laps later but soldiered on in “no man’s land” and clocked a 31:34.

In the first round of the men’s steeplechase, Evan Jager executed the race one would expect from a medal-hopeful: conserve energy early, break things open late, cruise home safely in an automatic qualifying position. Read the full article

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