Tag Archives: 1500m

Track Beauty of the Week: Ingvill Måkestad Bovim

Ingvill Måkestad Bovim is this week’s Track Beauty!

Måkestad Bovim is Norway’s best middle distance runner. She holds the Norwegian records in both the 800m (1:59.82, 2010) and the rarely run 1000m (2:36.7, 2011). [1] Ingvill’s 1500m run personal best is 4:02.20, only two seconds from the legendary Grete Waitz’s national record. As a junior, she specialized in the two-lap event before shifting to the longer distance as she grew older.

Click this link to read the full article…

Track Beauty of the Week: Hannah England

Hannah England is this week’s track beauty!

The middle distance runner is at the forefront of British athletics hopes in the upcoming London Olympics. At the Daegu World Championships last August, the aptly-named England stormed from seventh place all the way to second place to clinch the 1,500m run silver!

A victorious Hannah England at the Daegu World Championships (Photo from Standard.Co.Uk)

This was her first ever major international medal – in her maiden appearance at the prestigious world stage.

Prior to Daegu, England’s best performance in a major meet was tenth at the 2010 European Championships. England had a stellar 2011 season, shaving off 3 seconds to run a lifetime’s best of 4:01.89. In a span of five years, the 24-year old improved her personal best by 16 seconds.

The Oxford-born athlete is the daughter of a geophysicist. She attended Birmingham University to take up biochemistry. According her Wiki profile, she spent a year in Florida State Univeristy where she won NCAA titles in the 1,500m run and the Mile.

Track Beauty of the Week: Gabrielle Anderson

Gabrielle Anderson is this week’s track beauty!

Anderson finished 7th in the 1500m run at the 2010 U.S. Outdoor Championships. With a personal best of 4:06.46 in the 1500m, Anderson is amongst the elite of her event.

The American middle distance runner stands out from her peers because she is a cancer-survivor – not once, but twice. In March 2009, she was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Gabrielle went under the knife to remove the cancerous growth. She also underwent weeks of radiation therapy, foregoing her fifth year of eligibility in the NCAA.

Read the Universal Sports feature on Gabrielle Anderson

In light of these uniquely unorthodox circumstances, the NCAA allowed her to compete next season. Anderson did not disappoint, lodging twin silver medals in the 800m and the 1500m. In September 2010, Anderson finished in 13th place at the prestigious 5th Avenue Mile – barely two years after learning she has cancer.

In 2011, Anderson ran a lifetime best of 4:06.77  in London. She shaved off three-hundredths of a second from her 2011 best last May 2011 (4:06.46). Coming into the cutthroat U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Gabrielle is ranked fifth among all entries.

Read: Gabrielle Anderson Dreaming Big”

Updates on Gabrielle’s campaign to follow. The semis and finals are scheduled on 29 June and 1 July. Click this link for the event schedules.

Read: “Former Gopher Gabriele Anderson emboldened by cancer surgeries”

Regardless of the outcome of the Olympic Trials, one thing is for sure: Gabrielle Anderson is an inspiration. The mere fact that she was able return to the sport faster, stronger, and a lot better – considering her illness – is a remarkable story in itself.

Godspeed, Gabrielle!

Additional Links:

All-Athletics Profile

IAAF Biography

Track Beauty of the Week: Yelena Soboleva (Елена Владимировна Соболева)

Yelena Soboleva (Елена Владимировна Соболева) is this week’s track beauty!

The disgraced Russian 1500m specialist once won silver medals at the 2006 World Indoor Championships and the 2007 World Championships. In 2008, the talented middle distance runner set world indoor records in the 1500m run twice, as well as Russian records in the indoor mile and the 800m.

Photos from thesun.co.uk, blas-atletismoyalgoms.blogspot.com, iaaf.org, xinhuanet.com

However, her sterling list achievements was blighted by a doping controversy before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Soboleva, as well as 6 other Russians, were charged with substituting their urine samples ahead of drug tests. Soboleva was meted out a 2-year ban for this infraction, with her performances since April 2007 erased from the record books.

It’s quite unfortunate how doping shrouds the performances of the sports’ elite with clouds of doubt. Indeed, such harsh moves are necessary to protect the image of athletics.

Video credit:


Track Beauty of the Week: Shannon Rowbury

Shannon Rowbury is this week’s track beauty!

I’m not really fond of distance running. Events higher than 400m evoke a certain, unpleasant kind of pain alien to this sprint hurdler. Hence, aside from established distance running legends, I’m not familiar with the dramatis personae of the endurance events as much as, say, the 110m high hurdles! However, Rowbury exudes a breath of fresh air. I like her laid-back demeanor, as seen in her Universal Sports video logs. It’s a departure from the apparently stoic, no-non sense approach of the African runners who dominate the endurance events.

Photo from Gary Rowbury

Rowbury is at the forefront of the resurgent American distance running scene. With a personal best of 4:00.33 in the metric mile, Rowbury ranks among the world’s elite. The 24-year old placed third in the 1500m during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. She went on to finish 7th at the Olympic final, the only American to qualify. A year later, Rowbury won her first ever major championship medal – a 1500m bronze at the 2009 Berlin World Championships.

Rowbury graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University, taking up Film and Women’s Studies. Interestingly, Rowbury was a former Irish step dancer as a child!

Additional links:

Shannon’s website

USATF profile


2010 BCN Wrap-up: Underdogs and Finishing Kicks

The past two weeks have been quite exciting for this track & field buff. I had fun watching the future of athletic strut their stuff at the 2010 Moncton World Junior Championships. A week later, the Barcelona European Athletics Championships took place. And boy, did I have my fill of high caliber track & field action.

Despite the absence of marquee names such as Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and the African distance specialists, the quality of the competition was superb since the cream of the crop of events like the heptathlon, the throws and the jumps originate from this storied continent. Europe, after all, is the hotbed of track & field.

Even though I’m thousands of kilometers away and every inch an Asian, I became so engrossed at the Euro Championships that I devoured every single video clip and news article that piqued my interest. Thanks to broadband internet, it seemed as if I was actually amidst the crowd, savoring the championship festivities.

Experience a panoramic view of the Barcelona Olympic Stadium

What I liked best about the 2010 Euro Champs are the underdog victories and last-ditch bursts of speed to the tape.

The Monstrous, Finishing Kicks (or last ditch leaps)

3.) 4x100m (M): Martial Mbandjock’s anchor leg:

2.) Long Jump (M): Christian Reif rewriting Robert Emmiyan’s championship record with his final jump:

1.) 200m (M): Christophe Lemaitre erasing Christian Malcolm’s lead:

The Underdogs

7.) 1500m run (W): Nuria Fernandez’s first major championship crown:

The 33-year old overcame fast-starting world leader Anna Alminova in a free-for-all dash to the tape.

6.) 4x400m (M): Russia wins first-ever 4x400m relay medal since 2002 – a gold at that!

5.) 200m dash (W): Myriam Soumare’s golden half-lap:

The French sprinter had the slowest PB among all finalists, but still managed to shave off a significant chunk of her previous best to win the gold:

4.) Decathlon: Romain Barras‘ Decathlon victory!

Barras hung-on to a 5-point lead coming into the 1500m run – and his first major crown.

3.) 4x100m (W): Ukraine grabs relay gold:

Ukraine, with its nifty passing, wins the 400m relay crown – without a Top 10 sprinter in its lineup!

2.) 400m dash (M): Kevin Borlee does a Marc Raquil:

The “other” Borlee twin came out of nowhere all the way to first place, ahead of his more illustrious brother, Jonathan, and two Britons.

1.) 100m dash (W): Verena Sailer’s decisive dive (and Soumare’s unexpected bronze)

I’m just a sucker for underdog stories. The football movies “Rudy” and “The Replacements” are one of my favorites. There’s an infectious magic found in those unexpected victories. It doesn’t have to a gold medal. Once an athlete exceeds his/her expectations and does the improbable, the sheer joy the athlete exudes is indeed priceless.

Being an athlete myself, I know how it feels to chase something distant, to give your all for a single larger-than-life goal.

Perhaps that’s why we love sports so much. Despite its fair share of scandals, sport brings out the best in our being human. Those Herculean feats inspire and sustain, enables us to smile more often amidst the reality that is life – to dream a little bit higher.

Video Credits:


Photo credits:

Yahoo News

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