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Uceny wins Diamond League

September 17, 2011

Friday evening, the following message was posted on the popular running Website, letsrun.com:
“Let there be no doubt, ‘Morgan Uceny is the best 1,500 meter runner in the world.’ Let us repeat, ‘Morgan Uceny is the best 1,500 meter runner in the world,’” the Website reported after watching Friday’s Van Damme Memorial track meet in Brussels, Belgium.
Just two weeks after she was knocked to the ground at the World Track & Field Championships in Korea, Uceny bounced back to win the women’s 1500-meter run at Brussels, clocking the fastest time in the world this year, 4:00.06.
The Plymouth High School graduate also wrapped up first place in this year’s Diamond League standings, good for a prize of at least $50,000, on top of her other winnings this season.
The Diamond League is track & field’s equivalent of, say, the NASCAR circuit. Runners earn points for their performances in races around the world. Uceny’s prize money will likely be increased due to the world-leading time she ran.
Uceny finished the season well in front of the other 1500-meter contenders with 19 points.
Friday’s win virtually guarantees Uceny will be ranked No. 1 in the world when the year-end rankings come out. It also means she will be the early favorite to win next year’s London Olympics.
Uceny tucked herself in the middle of the field through most of the race and didn’t move to the front until approximately 150 meters remained. Then, she literally blew away the field down the homestretch.
Mariem Alaoui Selsouli of Morocco finished second (4:00.77) and defending champ Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain took third.
The USA’s Jenny Barringer-Simpson, who won the world championship meet after Uceny was tripped on Sept. 1, ended up 13th in Friday’s race with a 4:03.68.
Uceny had been one of the favorites to win a world title in Korea, but she was tripped by a Kenyan runner and fell during the 1500 final at the world championships.
In the end, she may not have won a gold medal, but she certainly earned the gold.

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