The traditional two day format of the Aviva Grand Prix concluded on Saturday with a number of surprising performances – notably from Lauren Fleshmen and Sanya Richards-Ross.
- The women’s 1500 meters was virtually an American-British dual meet as some of the two country’s best faced off. Britain’s Lisa Dobriskey and Hannah England went 1-2 in front of the home crowd, confirming their status as legitimate Daegu medal contenders. American Shannon Rowbury was third in a season’s best 4:05.73 while former University of Minnesota All-American Gabe Anderson set a massive personal best 4:06.77 in fourth.
- The unfavorable wind conditions at Crystal Palace led to another slow sprint race in the men’s 200 meters. Walter Dix obliterated his competition to win in 20.16 seconds into a 2.0 meter per second headwind. Dix still appears to be the only man with a legitimate shot of taking Usain Bolt down in the 200 at Worlds.
- We’ve been waiting for Sanya Richards-Ross to hit her stride in 2011 and it finally looks like she is back. The defending World champion ran a seasonal best 49.66 seconds to narrowly defeat Rosemarie Whyte of Jamaica. The sub-50 second performances by both complicate the medal picture for Worlds.
- Kenya’s Milcah Chemos continued her undefeated Diamond League season to win the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase in 9:22.80. Colorado Buffalo Emma Coburn returned to racing after a long training stint after USA’s with a personal best time of 9:37.16.
- Leo Manzano’s up-and-down season has reached its high point thus far as he outsprinted Bernard Lagat and Augustine Choge in the Emsley Carr mile. Although his winning time of 3:51.24 wasn’t spectacular, Manzano seems to have regained his racing savvy, a skill that will be crucial to succeeding at the World Championships.
- Lauren Fleshmen has been plagued with injuries throughout her career and 2011 has been no different. But since she’s been able to train consistently in April, things have been on the upswing for her. The Stanford grad made a major move with 500 meters remaining to crush the field and earn her second-fastest 5000 meter time ever. The 15:00.57 winning time is an Olympic ‘A’ standard and puts her in the mix for the Olympic team next year as long as she can stay healthy.
- Sally Pearson continued her dominance of the high hurdles, winning in London for her fourth Diamond League victory. She’s the overwhelming favorite for Worlds but – as Lolo Jones found out in Beijing – the hurdles can be quite unpredictable.
Full results from London here.