The 2013 IAAF Diamond League tour wrapped up on Friday (Sept. 6) in Brussels, where America’s two World Champion silver medalists looked to end the year on high notes.
Nick Symmonds did just that, running the 800 meters in 1:43.03, the second-fastest time of his career. It was also the year’s second-fastest time overall—which was great, except that Ethiopia’s Mohamed Aman also saved his best for last, posting 2013’s fastest time to win the race in 1:42.37.
Aman’s run solidified his spot atop the 2013 Diamond League 800-meter rankings, which earned him $50,000. It also landed him on the event’s all-time Top 10 list, where he stands at No. 9. (The world record, 1:40.91, was set by Kenya’s David Rudisha at the 2012 London Olympic Games.)
As Letsrun.com points out, Symmonds came tantalizingly close to breaking into the 1:42 range for the second time in his career—he was just .04 seconds off—but despite that disappointment, the 29-year-old Idaho native can look back with pride on the 2013 season. Coming in, he’d only broken 1:44.00 six times, and this year, he ran in the1:43’s five times.
Brussels proved less triumphant for Jenny Simpson, one of six runners involved in a fall just after the start of the last lap in the women’s 1500 meters.
By that point, Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi had already moved ahead of the doomed pack, and she cruised to victory in a time of 4:05.01. Kenyans Mercy Cherono and Hellen Obiri were also in the clear, and they took second and third, respectively, in 4:05.82 and 4:05.92.
Simpson, who took home silver in a time of 4:02.99 at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last month, picked herself up and finished in 4:10.70—good enough for tenth place. Her countrywoman Shannon Rowbury was fourth in 4:07.05.
Video of the race reveals some pre-crash contact between the Americans, Letsrun.com reports, and although Rowbury and Simpson’s incidental bumping may have contributed to the pileup, it seemed that Ethiopia’s Sifan Hassan—who finished ninth—started the chain reaction when she tripped and went down.
Although the season didn’t end quite as she planned, Simpson took the mishap in stride, and, according to Letsrun.com, she “handled the fall with great class,” giving Aregawi a post-race hug.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg