Sunday, June 30, 2013

Farah wins Diamond League 5,000m in Birmingham

Mo Farah last week suggested the 5,000m Diamond League showdown in Birmingham would be a handy indicator of what might be expected at the world championships in Moscow in August. If that indeed proves to be the case then the Russian capital can expect a thrilling race. And Farah can expect to come out on top. The fastest two men in the world this year – Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew – and the 2011 world champion Ibrahim Jeilan were all alongside Farah on the start line at the Alexander Stadiumon Sunday. Gebrhiwet and Alamirew were still on Farah's shoulder as the bell rang and the former momentarily threatened to overhaul him on the final bend. But down the straight there was clear track between the British athlete and the men likely to rival him for the title later this summer.
"For me it's important to race against these guys," Farah said. "I could've had an easy race but I didn't want to have an easy race – I wanted to test myself, I wanted to know where I was. Training is going well, but training is one thing and competition is another." Farah said he did not expect the first three here to be the first three over the line in Moscow. "It completely changes. In long distance you can't pick one person. There's always someone new, or some underdog who comes out". He expects those beaten to go back to the tactical drawing board. "They tried to race me on the last lap today," he said. "[Now] they know they don't want to leave it to the last lap. So they'll probably sacrifice someone to go hard somewhere. Even today the three guys were talking between each other." It means a busy few days for Farah end on a high note. The double Olympic champion was briefly the subject of an All England Club investigation on Thursday after uploading video footage of his visit to Wimbledon's Centre Court to the internet. On Friday he collected his CBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Yet for the second week running he came close to being upstaged by an 18-year-old 800m runner who will spend as much of the summer fretting over her A-level results as thinking about success on the track, with Jessica Judd further enhancing her reputation by breaking the two-minute barrier for the first time. The youngster nearly stole the show with victory at the European Team Championships last weekend and repeated the trick here, storming down the home straight to win in 1min 59.85sec. "I got to 600m, took a quick look at the clock and thought: 'I'm on for it'," she said. "I kicked down the home straight and the crowd were going nuts. It was amazing. I couldn't believe it when I crossed the line, I just couldn't believe it." Such times are unlikely to put Judd in the medal mix in Moscow but she should now be a shoo-in for the British squad. And back-to-back wins in significant races indicate an athlete of exciting potential. "I was a bit worried because last week you thought it might be a one-off," she said. "But then I got some PBs in training and I thought: 'Well, maybe it's just because I'm running well.' I got really nervous before the race, but I feel like I'm running all right. I just hope it lasts until the trials." The men's 400m hurdles included the top three from the Olympic final and Dai Greene, who finished fourth in London. But it was another Welshman who impressed, with Rhys Williams finishing second behind the bronze medallist from the Games, Javier Culson, and ahead of the Olympic champion, Félix Sánchez, and the silver medal winner Michael Tinsley. In the women's 400m hurdles Perri Shakes-Drayton cruised to victory in a season's best 53.82sec, the fourth fastest time in the world this year, while Christine Ohuruogu pipped Amantle Montsho, No2 in the world in 2013, in the 400m. In the men's 100m James Dasaolu continued his fine season with a runner-up spot behind Nesta Carter, fourth behind Usain Bolt in the Jamaican world championships trials, with a personal best time of 10.03sec. In the field Robbie Grabarz, bronze medallist in London last year, was third in the high jump with a season's best 2.31m, while the Olympic champion Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson were second and third, with 8.11m and 7.90m respectively, in the long jump.