2021 Olympic Games Middle Distance Previews and Predictions Mens and Women’s
Moriel Carreon contributed to this article. Aka. Yel Carreon! Aka. The original Pinoymiler!!! YON OH!!
Moriel Carreon was the founder of the Pinoymiler website, which I wrote articles for many years. He is a former UST Alumni who ran middle distance events. He is a guru on Philippines Distance Running knowledge.
Nigel Amos, then 18 years old, came into prominence during the 2012 London Olympics. He was a surprising silver behind the world record of David Rudisha, with a world junior record of 1:41.73. In 2014 he defeated Rudisha in the Commonwealth Games, but it was all downhill for the native of Botswana after that.
This year’s Tokyo Olympics, Amos might cap his comeback story with a gold medal. Amos actually registered a mark of 1:41.89 in 2019 before getting injured again. However, he owns the fastest time this 2021 with a surprising 142.91 at Monaco (July 9).
Breathing down his neck is a host of other capable half milers. Kenyans Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir, Canadian Marco Arop, and Americans Isaiah Jewett and Clayton Murphy.
But at the end of the day, the sheer talent of Amos will prevail. A mad dash for silver and bronze will be tricky. But Korir and Murphy might prevail over the others.
Forecast G-S-B: Amos (BOT) – Korir (KEN) – Murphy (USA)
19-year-old Athing Mu (June 28) 1:56.07 performance at the USA Olympic trials last June 28 was superb. She controlled the race from the front. Her time of 1:56.07, which is a 2021 world lead, could’ve been faster if somebody was with her during the last 150m of the race.
Cuban Almanza looks sharp in the Stockholm Diamond League race, where she won in 1:56.28. But her last 100m looks like a struggle as compared to Mu’s smooth wind up.
Jamaican Natoya Goule actually owns the third-fastest 800m mark this 2021 (1:56.44 last July 4 at Stockholm) but looking at the Monaco race where she was outkicked by Jemma Reekie (1:56.96 last July 9 Monaco), I would say the latter can outkick the former down the wire.
Forecast G-S-B: Mu(USA) – Almanza (CUB) – Reekie (GBR)
With the late inclusion of Timothy Cheruiyot by Kenya, he now becomes the heavy favorite to win the gold in the Tokyo Olympics. And this is due to his fast marks accomplished since 2020. He has consistently breach 3:29 in the last 3 years. What is scarier is that he can lead a 1500m race from the front at the right after the starting gun!
Even the great Hicham El Gerrouj hasn’t done that in any Diamond League and Global championship races. But Cheruiyot has demonstrated that at the 2019 World Championships, he won with a mark of 3:29.26.
With the late pull out of 2016 Olympics silver medalist Taoufik Makhloufi, we can narrow down the silver and bronze medals candidates.
Cheruiyot’s presence will drastically change the dynamics of the race. We can rule out a slow tactical race and expect a fast one. Cheruiyot has learned from this 2017 World Championship mistake where he kicked “only” from 800m out, losing the race as a result.
A blistering 1500m phase will benefit Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Stewart McSweyn, and even Olympic champion Matt Centrowi, another Kenyan Charles Cheboi SIMOTWO, and the ageless Marcin Lewandowski of Poland.
Mcsweyn’s 2021 credentials include the world’s fastest mile since 2014 and an Australian record of 3:29.51 in the 1500m, Jakob on the other hand, it was impressive in Monaco (July 9), where he lost to Timothy. His mark was a season’s best of 3:29.25 but what’s more impressive is that was he was coming from weeks off due to a throat infection.
Defending Olympic Champion Centrowitz recorded a PR of 3:49.26 mile last July 26 to test if he can sustain a strong phase from the beginning of the race. I think he’s capable of a 3:30 1500m, but not enough to salvage a bronze.
Forecast G-S-B: Cheruiyot (KEN) – Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) – McSweyn (AUS)
The Gateshead Diamond League race exposed the idea that Hasan is beatable if the race is run hard enough right from the very start. Faith Kipyegon won that race in an incredible 3:51.07 vs. Siffan’s 3:53.60. Not only that, two elements might spell out the difference in the finals:
1. Sifan’s ambition of a treble (1500m, 5000m, 10000m) might wear her down especially during the latter part of her campaign, as she is set to race 6 high-intensity races in 9 days. Below is her schedule courtesy of Athletics Weekly:
The 1500m final is scheduled to be held on August 6, which will be Siffan’s 5th race after 2 rounds of 5,000m and 2 rounds of 1500m.
2. Kipyegon’s decision to only run the 1500m will allow her to have fresher legs than Hassan’s. This will play a critical role during the last lap of the 1500m final, where everybody is digging in from their reserves.
The two elements above will definitely favor Kipyegon, the owner of a faster mark, even without considering the two aforementioned elements.
Britain’s Laura Muir also decided not to run in the 800m to concentrate on the 1500m. But her season’s best of 3:55.59 registered at Florence last June 10 was way off the marks of the two gals above.
Expect Muir to hang on until the last 200m of the race before getting detached. But Muir can definitely fend off challenges from the other finalist as she has sharpened her speed at Gateshead with a PR of 1:56.73 in the 800m.
Other major players in the medals are Freweyni Gebreezibeher of Ethiopia, Elle Purrier St Pierre of the USA, and Linden Hall of Australia. Still, the 3 girls mentioned above are a cut above the rest, barring any mishap and injuries.
Forecast G-S-B: Kipyegon (KEN) – S. Hassan (NED) – MUIR (GBR).
PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE
LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE