2012 AVIVA London: Day 1
By Larry Eder
Oh where do we begin? A great night of track & field that rain was playing a small part! An hour before the meet, the rain came down in torrents, adding to the most rain in a London July in two hundred years!
The cool evening, the great crowd, the well produced announcing gave us what the sport should be: entertaining competition with the best athletes in the world!
Perri Shakes Drayton was the British highlight performance, as she ran a strong pb of 53.77 winning the 400 meter hurdles, handing Russia's Irina Dadova a stunning defeat. Shakes Drayton took hurdles 8-10 with focus and just flew down the track, earning her a huge applause and a big PB. Shakes-Drayton said, "I'm very happy with today's performance. I wanted a season's best so I'm very happy.I know I'm doing the right thing with my coach so roll on the Olympics." She now has the second fastest time in the world.
Aries Merritt won the 110m hurdles, running a fine 12.93, tying his world leader and running the fastest time ever run in the British Isles. Liu Xiang had pulled out of the final, citing back spasms after his round, which he won in 13.27.
Merritt and Jason Richardon both had good starts and ran fiercely, as Merritt moved away with three hurdles to go, taking the race in 12.93 to Richardson's 13.06. Ryan Wilson ran a fine 13.18 for third. Liu Xiang had run the first round, but withdrew from the final, citing a sore back worsened by the cold weather.
The 100 meter final was a return of one of the great stars, Tyson Gay and the emergence of a new star, Ryan Bailey. Tyson Gay had a pretty good start, but his strength, the middle of his race was shown even more with his fine win in 10.03. Ryan Bailey took second in 10.09, and Nesta Carter was third in 10.15.
The final event of the night, the 5,000 meters was the Mo Farah celebration. Like last year, before the World Champs, Mo Farah ran a strong pace, with Remmy Limo Ndiwa of Kenya leading through the 1k in 2:35.49, 2k in 5:16.07, 3k in 7:58.38 and the 4k in 10:39.11.
By 4,000 meters, Mo Farah, who had been sitting around sixth, moved up and influenced the pace until two laps out where the pace dropped to a 57. Over the final lap, with Collis Birmingham in tow and Moses KIpsiro right behind, Mo Farah stretched out the kickers so that he could win, using a fine 1:53.45 for the last 800 meters and 56.42 for the last 400 meters. Running 13:06.04, Mo Farah ran what will probably be his last race before the London Olympics.