The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Worlds Preview – Moscow Mid & Long Distance…

Aug 4th, 2013
10:14 pm PDT

Mo Farah Time to take a look at the middle and long distances before the starting gun goes off. Right off the bat, I have to say that we’ll be minus one of the biggest stars in the sport with the loss of David Rudisha – out due to injury.

That won’t diminish things overall however, as London star Mo Farah and all time greats Bernard Lagat, Meseret Defar, and Tirunesh Dibaba are all healthy and on board for this one. So, while it’s unlikely we’ll get a WR performance like we got in London, we should get some tremendously exciting competition! And that, after all, is what a championships should be about.

So let’s take a look.


Men’s 800

Without Rudisha it’s an open race again. We’re also missing Timothy Kitum. Meaning this one could go in the high 1:42s to low 1:43s.

Mohammed Aman

Ayanleh Souleiman

Duane Solomon


Men’s 1500

Asbel Kiprop is now the 4th fastest man in history over this distance. Looking at how he dominated that race, he should be dominant here.

Asbel Kiprop

Silas Kiplagat

Mekonnen Gebremedhin


Men’s 5000

This should be second half of the Mo Farah show, as I expect Mo to repeat his double from London. Lagat may still be the best kicker in the business. We’ll probably find out when this pair unleashes their kicks on a field that should know better than to let the pace lag.

Mo Farah

Bernard Lagat

Hagos Gebrhiwet


Men’s 10000

The meet will open with the first act of the Mo Farah show. Farah is currently racing like Bekele and Gebrselassie in their primes. Deadly off any pace. He’ll run as slow as the others let’s him before he cuts them up.

Mo Farah

Imane Merga

Galen Rupp


Men’s Marathon

Kenya and Ethiopia will dominate. With athletes contesting so sparsely, it’s a crapshoot to call places.


Men’s Steeplechase

If any event is a "lock" for a sweep it’s this one as Kenya dominates like no other event on the planet. With some luck, perhaps Yager can move the AR closer to 8:00.

Paul Koech

Abel Mutai

Ezekiel Kemboi


Women’s 800

This event is more wide open that it’s been for a while, but Niyonsaba is the best talent out there. The question is how the podium fills behind her. How well you can compete will strongly affect this race.

Francine Niyonsaba

Janeth Jepkoskgei

Brenda Martinez


Women’s 1500

Fast pace or championship pace? I say championship which plays into the smart runners, and that favors Simpson. Can Mary Cain get to the podium? Yes, I’m assuming she gets to the final.

Jenny Simpson

Abeba Aregawi

Genzebe Dibaba


Women’s 5000

Defar and Dibaba are doubling up and we should be treated to two outstanding distance battles as as result. Can Shannon Rowbury run well enough to get to the podium or will D & D take this out too fast?

Tirunesh Dibaba

Meseret Defar

Shannon Rowbury


Women’s 10000

Act 2 of the Defar & Dibaba show (though first on the schedule) should provide another great battle between two of history’s best over the long distances. Can they be broken up?

Meseret Defar

Tirunesh Dibaba

Gladys Cherono


Women’s Marathon

I mirror my thoughts from the men’s event. Difficult events to call given the nature of competition in these races. Suffice to say that at this time Ethiopia and Kenya are the dominant competitors.


Women’s Steeplechase

Milcah Chemos

Sofia Assefa

Hiwot Ayalew


Those are my thoughts on the mid and long distances. After some comments regarding the Sprint and hurdle predictions, let me make one statement. At some point things change – that’s why they compete. Everyone that medaled before won’t necessarily medal this time. At some point youngsters cross the line from youngster to accomplished vet. Sometimes they simply break through. Sometimes you medal against a weak field, perform better but don’t medal against a strong field. There are a multitude of situations that occur in sport that affect the bottom line. So simply writing down a repeat of the previous championships and/or listing the top of the yearly list is not enough come prediction time. So yes I take some risks. And yes there are times when I search for reasonable scenarios where athletes that I’d like to see do well can do so. There are infinite possibilities in sport – not just one or two. There IS a scenario, for example, where Mary Cain can medal – and it’s not that far fetched. That’s the beauty of sport. Personally I’m looking forward to this Worlds primarily because it is going to be unpredictable. Because THAT’S exciting.

6 Responses to “Worlds Preview – Moscow Mid & Long Distance”

  1. Eaton says:

    I have been a fan of yours for some time now because you actually put thought into some of your pieces. However your piece on drugs was lacking in context and you missed a great opportunity to inform and educate.

    Your predictions in the sprints last Olympics were laughable and now you have Jenny Simpson over Aregawi. It’s OK if your wish is for Simpson to win, we all have wishes but if you want us to take you seriously, you need to expand on this pick.

    • CHill says:

      The only sprint prediction that was of had to do with Bolt .. And I explained then, and still defend the picks, that we were told that Bolt was injured and NO sprinter in history performed as he finally did with injury .. Clearly he wasn’t injured but I took the information that was given to everyone at face value .. History was on my side IF we hadn’t been given misleading information .

      As for the drug issue it’s highly complicated .. I had written a lot more but felt it was too long to be read so edited down to what I posted .. I intend to discuss more in off season and now wish I had waited instead of posting because it was a hot topic .. Should have followed my original instinct ..

      Simpson has proven to run very well in championships .. Aregawi not so well .. Simpson just ran her second fastest ever, do she’s more fit that ever at this stage heading into a championship .. On the Circuit I have no doubt that Aregawi would hand Simpson get lunch .. But at championship pace, Simpson seems to manage traffic and position better .. We’re going to find out shortly ..

  2. Rohan says:

    I think it might be possible for the Frenchman( cant remember is name) to break that Kenya 1-2-3. I believe he ran a shade over 8 minutes at the Paris Diamond League a couple weeks back.

    • CHill says:

      Benabbad … I thought about him .. Depends on the pace … The steeplers don’t have a problem running fast in championships if they feel like it .. And several are sub 8 capable … Fast pace he’s in trouble, slow pace he could medal .. But the Kenyans usually run as a team, and would attempt to run him out … He is next in line though ..

  3. Aurelio Feldman says:

    I don´t know about you guys, but the Marathon for me is an a very strange event .

    Because of it´s circuit of events the WC and even the Olympic race does not have the same appeal that the track events.

    It is like road cycling that has the Tour of France and other events that are more important that the olympic road race.

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