5 Storylines At Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

Mo Farah leads a talented 3000m field on Saturday. Photo: Race Results Weekly

Race Results Weekly reports from London’s Olympic stadium ahead of Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, an IAAF Diamond League meet.

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Oregon Project In The House

Alberto Salazar and the Oregon Project have a full roster on the meet program. In order of their races, Jordan Hasay and Tara Erdmann are in the 3000m, Mary Cain and Treniere Moser in the 1500m, Matt Centrowitz and Galen Rupp in the Emsley Carr Mile, and Mo Farah, Cam Levins, and Dathan Ritzenhein in the final event of Saturday, the 3000m. Salazar, a three-time ING New York City Marathon champion, will have a busy weekend.

All of the Oregon Project athletes are contenders in their respective events. A majority of the team is coming off a high altitude training camp in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Emsley Carr Mile Sure To Be Crowd-Pleaser

When you think of the most iconic British distance event, it has to be the mile. There’s nothing more British than four laps around a track (plus 9 meters): Briton Roger Bannister was the first to break the four-minute barrier in 1954, the glory days of Seb Coe vs. Steve Ovett, and Steve Cram’s holding the world record from 1985 to 1993. A fantastic Emsley Carr Mile will take place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, featuring a number of the best milers in the world. A quick run-down of those on the start list just shows how deep the race will in fact be:

RELATED: Roger Bannister Reflects On Mile Record

- Matt Centrowitz: 2011 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist and Olympic 4th place finisher
- Collins Cheboi: Personal best of 3:51.44 for the mile, 3:31.53 for 1500m
- Augustine Choge: Olympic Games and World Championships finalist at 1500m; 2006 CWG 5000m gold medalist
- Henrik Ingebrigtsen: 5th in the 1500m at last year’s Olympic Games, 2012 European Champion
- Daniel Komen: 22-times under 3:33 for 1500m with a 3:48.28 personal best
- James Magut: Prefontaine Classic Bowerman Mile champion, 3:50.68 personal best
- Jordan McNamara: Rapidly developing miler this summer has dropped 1500m PB to 3:34.00
- Mohamed Moustaoui: Fourth at Paris Diamond League 1500m in 3:33.18
- Galen Rupp: Olympic silver medalist and fastest indoor miler of 2013 season (3:50.92)
- Ayanleh Souleiman: Winner of the Oslo Bislett Games Mile in 3:50.53

Talent-Packed Men’s Steeplechase

Brimin Kipruto leads the charge in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, the only man in the field to have gone under eight minutes during his career (7:53.64 PB). Kipruto finished fifth at last year’s London Olympics while fellow Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi went on to win gold. Surely he’ll look to improve upon his 2012 finish in the stadium, though will have to deal with sub-8:10 athletes Jairus Kipchoge Birech and Gilbert Kirui. Also racing is American De’Sean Turner, who will be contesting the event at the IAAF World Championships.

Farah Can Relive Olympic Glory

While other British Olympic stars have been snake-bitten by injuries, Mo Farah will return healthy to the Olympic Stadium, site of where he won double distance gold in 2012. The 30-year-old is in fine form, breaking the British and European record for 1500m last week by running 3:28.81 in Monaco. Farah is the only gold medalist in the distance events to compete at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, making it that much more special when he takes the track for 3000m (see below).

RELATED: Farah Breaks The Rules At Wimbledon

Tough Competition For Farah In 3000m

Mo Farah will face a tough field in the 3000m, one that resembles the Olympic 10,000m of a year ago. Tariku Bekele, the bronze medalist over 10,000m last year, returns with hopes of dethroning Farah for the top spot, while fellow Olympians Cam Levins, Dathan Ritzenhein, Chris Thompson, and Daniele Meucci all hope to find their way into the top three. Gideon Gathimba has a season’s best of 7:42.18, and American Ben True has run under 13:17 for 5000m four times this season, showing he could be in the mix.

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