04 Jun 2015

Golden Gala, Rome

1st – 3:59.31 – Jenny Simpson 2nd

04 Jun 2015

1st – 3:59.31 – Jenny Simpson

2nd – 3:59.68 – Sifan Hassan

3rd – 3:59.76 – Dawit Seyaum

By letsrun.com, June 4 2015

Jenny Simpson solidified herself as the woman to beat this summer’s World Championships. Simpson came on strong in the last 80 meters to win her fourth straight 1500 at a Diamond League meet in a seasonal best 3:59.31 over two of her biggest expected rivals at Worlds as Sifan Hassan was second and Ethiopian teen sensation Dawit Seyaum third.

Simpson clearly wanted to run fast today as she slotted herself into 4th (2nd racer) behind the first pacers as the rabbits took the field through 400 in 63.04 (Simpson roughly 64) and 800 in 2:09.09 (Simpson just under 2:10).

Running down the backstretch for the third time, Simpson nearly passed the final rabbit but at the bell it was last year’s world leader Hassan (3:57.00) who had the lead. Heading into the final 200, it was a five-person race as the final top three were also accompanied by Brit Laura Muir and Kenyan Viola Kibiwot, but it soon turned into a three-person race.

As the runners hit the homestretch, a tiny gap opened up between the top two and Simpson with about 80 meters left and we thought Simpson looked beaten.

Shame on us. Simpson’s last 50 is often very strong as her strength comes through. Sure enough, Simpson powered home to the victory to finish off a final lap of just under 61.00 (leader-to-leader it was 61.00). Simpson’s last 200 was definitely under 30, possibly something close to 29-flat.

Simpson said after the meet, “I started to panic in the last 200 meters as I felt packed in the field. Then, my energy came out automatically and I started to speed up. I am very proud of myslef to be so consistent during this season and I was really hoping for the time under four minutes. I do not want to feel myself as the one to beat now. It always puts more pressure on you and it is easier to attack from behind. People here were so good and supportive.”

Quick Thought #1: Jenny Simpson Still on Top of the World: What can you say? Simpson has now won four in a row at Diamond League meets (not all were DL races). Perhaps more importantly, she beat Seyaum for the first time although they’d only raced once previously (at last year’s NY meet).

She’s clearly the best woman in the world right now at 1500 when looking at all of the women who have run a 1500 this year.

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