Three more days to go and Ethiopia just has 1 gold and 1 bronze medals. No luck today.
Women’s 1500 M Final
With about 150 meters to go Kalkidan Gezahegne was where she needed to be, sitting right on the sholder of the leader Natalia Rodríguez and looked ready to explode with a sprint. The sprint never materialized. She finished a disappoinging 5th. What makes it more disappointing is that Maryam Yusuf Jamal faded with about 250 meters to go. Kalkidan Gezahegne had a very sluggish start and was at the back of the pack for the first 800 meters. She looked a bit out of it at times. When the pace picked up she made a fast move to the front. I wonder if that sudden surge took something out of her.
Men’s 3000M Steeplechase Final
The two Ethiopians started slow and made no attempt to stay with the leaders. They kind of ran their own race. During the last lap Roba Gary surged and there were moments when it looked like he was about to join the lead pack but that never happened. Roba kept passing runners who were dropping off the lead pack including Kenyan Richard Mateelong. He finished 5th. Things could have been different had he stayed closer to the leaders entering the last lap. I don’t think anyone could have beat Ezekiel Kemboi but the silver and bronze were avalible.
Men’s 1500 M Semifinals
The only Ethiopian finalist will be Mekonnen Gebremedhin. Deresse Mekonnen, the silvermedalist in 2009 won’t be in the finals. Deresse Mekonnen looked good most of the race and went into the lead on the last lap but he started a fast fade with 120 meters to go. A runner of his caliber does not fade suddenly unless he was experiencing some problem.
In the same heat as Deresse Kenyan Daniel Kipchirchir Komen the fastest runner in that heat who did most of the pace setting did not advance. In the other heat Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain, the defending champion failed to advance. The 1500M is a cruel race. You have to admire Hicham El Guerrouj and Noureddine Morceli who won this race consistenly.
Men’s 5000M Heats
All three Ethiopians qualified easily. This should be a very interesting and unpredictable final. Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp of the US looked good. Mo Farah looks fresh the Ethiopians and Kenyans didn’t sweat it so this makes for a great final. On an interesting note, Craig Mottram of Australia who once beat Haile Gebreselassie did not advance.
Women’s 800 M Heats
Fantu Magiso advanced to the semifinals. She was among the leaders going into the finals stretch but was outkicked. She fell out of the automatic qualifiers but advanced on time. Fantu looks like a strong runner but she has a lot of work to do. Her final sprint was not fluid. Her upper body moved a lot and she was not at all relaxed. Again if he gets good coaching and worked on her technique she can be good at this distance. Her goal right now is to make it to the finals.