Mo Farah Smashes European Record In Dominant Chicago Win

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The most decorated distance runner in track and field history can now add a major marathon victory to his incomparable résumé. 

Mo Farah won the 2018 Chicago Marathon on Sunday in a new European record of 2:05:11, as the 35-year-old Brit owned the final miles while taking 37 seconds off Norwegian Sondre Moen’s 2:05:48 previous mark.

Running just his third career marathon, Farah won in damp Windy City conditions in much the way he used to win on the track: by lingering in the background until the late stages of the race, then overwhelming the competition with his superior speed.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist took control of the race between 35 and 40 kilometers as part of an acceleration that would drop defending champion Galen Rupp and 2017 Boston Marathon winner Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya. Rupp would ultimately finish fifth in 2:06:21, while Kirui settled for sixth in 2:06:45.

Just before 39k, Farah dwindled his adversaries to just one— Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew, the fastest man in the field with a 2:04:00 PR— as Rupp’s training partner, Japan’s Suguru Osako, and Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi fell off as Farah continued to ratchet down the pace.

Geremew finished runner-up behind Farah in 2:05:24.

Osako would go on to place an impressive third in a new Japanese record of 2:05:50, the fastest time ever for an Asian athlete and the first under 2:06. With the run, Osako made himself a rich man— the 27-year-old will receive 100 million yen ($879,350) from his home country for breaking the Japanese record. The Nike Oregon Project team member now owns the NOP marathon record as well.

Kipkemoi took fourth in 2:05:57 on Sunday.

But the day belonged to Farah, who made his final move with just 600 meters to go, a triumphant push that Geremew couldn’t cover. As he entered the final stretch of the race with the victory in hand, Farah began to wave his arms in celebration, a signal that he had conquered a deep field in Chicago while simultaneously securing his breakout moment in his new event. 

Farah broke the tape with his familiar Mo-Bot “M” victory gesture, a reminder of who he was before, and now, what he may become in the marathon.

24-year-old Brigid Kosgei runs No. 7 All-Time 2:18:35, Third-Fastest In Chicago Ever

While the men’s race garnered much of the pre-race attention given the heavyweights involved, 24-year-old Kenyan Brigid Kosgei turned the women’s race into an assault on the record books as she won by two minutes and 43 seconds in 2:18:35, making her the seventh-fastest woman in marathon history.

The time is also the third-fastest in Chicago history, behind only Paula Radcliffe’s 2:17:18 course record from 2002 and Tirunesh Dibaba’s 2:18:31 last year. Kosgei finished runner-up to Dibaba in 2017, but on Sunday she was all to herself for the last several miles, as she split a remarkable 15:36 between 30 and 35k to break the race wide open. 

Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje finished a distant second in 2:21:18, while her countrywoman Shure Demise was third in 2:22:15.

29-year-old Sarah Crouch earned the honor of top American as she ran a seven-second PR of 2:32:37. Crouch’s previous best of 2:32:44 was also set in Chicago back in 2014 as she placed sixth then as well. 

2016 Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen finished 11th in 2:36:23 while running her first marathon since focusing solely on running. Jorgensen had previously run 2:41:01 in New York back in 2016.

House Of Run: Sprinters Have Stolen The Show In 2019

Jason and Kevin discuss the reaction to Noah Lyles’ close victory over Christian Coleman in the 100m, the budding rivalry between the two, Kenny Bednarek’s coming out party at JUCOs, Michael Norman’s smooth 19.84, Caster Semenya’s 3000m future and Matthew Boling’s superb Twitter skills.

Kelati, Oduduru & The 10 Biggest Stars At NCAA West Prelims

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Yesterday, Lincoln took a look at the top athletes to watch in the NCAA East Preliminary Round. Today, I’ll do the same with the West Prelim, which begins this Thursday, May 23, in Sacramento.

FloTrack's NCAA Prelim Predictions

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FloTrack predicts the mid-distance/distance qualifiers for NCAAs.

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Roberts, Holloway & The 10 Brightest Stars At NCAA East Prelims

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The 2019 DI NCAA East Preliminary Round is this Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25, in Jacksonville, Florida, and it will be LIVE on FloTrack. 

Kenny Bednarek Makes History With 19.82/44.73 Double At JUCOs

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One day after riding a blustering tailwind to the fastest wind-aided 200m in history, Indian Hills freshman Kenny Bednarek decided to give wind legal a try on the final day of the 2019 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The result? Still damn fast.

Shanghai Diamond League: Lyles Stuns Coleman, Samba Tops Benjamin

The second leg of the 2019 Diamond League season made its stop in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, and it was jam-packed with marquee matchups and tight finishes.

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Kenny Bednarek Runs Fastest Wind-Aided 200m In History

If you’ve ever wondered how fast a world-class sprinter could run with a comically strong tailwind, Indian Hills Community College freshman Kenny Bednarek had your answer on Friday with his 19.49 200m (+6.1 m/s) in the 2019 NJCAA Track and Field prelims.

What Did It Take To Qualify For NCAA Prelims Over The Years?

Since the NCAA moved to a two-regional system in 2010, the qualification process for the NCAA Championships has consisted of the top 48 individuals and top 24 relays in the West and East regions competing for 12 qualifying spots during the last weekend of May.

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Samba/Benjamin Pt. I, McLaughlin Debut Headline Shanghai DL

The first six-ish weeks of the professional track season have offered one clear lesson: the late World Championships aren’t going to tamp down fast times. From Michael Norman’s 43.45 to Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 49.05, it’s feeling like mid-August already. Perhaps the non-championship year in 2018 caused some energy and emotion to be bottled up, only being released in a year with a clear championship target. 

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Schneider, Praught-Leer Notch 5k Olympic Standards At Oxy

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