Friday, June 1, 2012

Wilson Kiprop wins Kenyan Olympic Trials 10000m race to end day 1 of Pre Classic...

EUGENE--There was no half stepping in the Kenyan Olympic Trials in the 10000 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon Friday night as the Nike Prefontaine Classic got underway.

Wilson Kiprop (left/photo by Paul Merca), the world champion at the 2010 IAAF world half marathon and African champ at 10000, took control over the last 800 meters but could not quite shake off Moses Masai until the final straightaway as Kiprop won the Kenyan Olympic Trials in the 10000 with the fastest time in the world this season of 27:01.98, with Masai close behind at 27:02.25.

Fifteen men toed the line, brought in by the Kenyan federation with the assistance of Nike to compete for the three spots on the Olympic team.

The top two were guaranteed spots on the Olympic team by Athletics Kenya, with a third to be selected.

However, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said to members of the media that Bitan Karoki, the third place finisher in a personal best of 27:05.50, would get the third spot to the London Olympics.

There was no real sense of separation in the race, as 13 of 15 were still in contention with 2500 meters to go, when Kiprop methodically worked his way toward the front.

With 1000 meters to go, Eliud Kipchoge, a two time Olympic medalist at 5000 and former world champ at 5000, who famed Italian coach Renato Canova felt would win if the race were a tactical contest, took the lead, hoping to run away from the pack, but could not shake anyone off, as he faded to seventh in 27:11.93.

On Hollister Night at Hayward, there were other events happening besides the Kenyan Olympic Trials in the 10000.

In the women's discus, which was a Samsung Diamond League event, Washington alum Aretha Thurmond finished sixth with a best of 185-4 (56.50m), as Croatia's Sandra Perkovic won with a meet record 219-7 (66.92m).

Former Husky Katie Mackey finished seventh in the women's 1500 in 4:09.51, as North Carolina alum Alice Schmidt ran a personal best 4:05.64 to beat world champion and Colorado alum Jenny Simpson, who ran 4:06.10.

In the women's 800, Cal alum and three-time national champion Alysia Montano set a meet and stadium record, leading from gun to tape in 1:57.37.

Auburn Riverside alum Jordan McNamara served as one of the two pace setters in the international mile.

Spokane native Britney Henry was seventh in the hammer with a mark of 217-11 (66.42m), as former world champ Germany's Betty Heidler threw 249-1 (75.93m) for the win.

In finishing fourth, Jessica Cosby set an American record with a toss of 243-5 (74.19m).

Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's 10000 in a world leading time of 30:24.39.

In the other Samsung Diamond League event contested Friday, world champion Christian Taylor won the triple jump with a world leading mark of 57-9 3/4 (17.62m) to beat his former University of Florida teammate Will Claye, who jumped 57-4 1/4 (17.48m).

The Nike Prefontaine Classic resumes Saturday beginning at 11:20 am with the women's pole vault. NBC begins coverage of the meet starting at noon, pacific time.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

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