JULY 7TH, 1999|
GOLDEN GALA - Roma, Italy -- Grand Prix Track & Field
Hichman El Guerouj of Morocco shatters the mile world record by over a second at the Golden Gala Mile in Roma, Italy in a time of 3:43.13. The old record 3:44.39 was set by Morceli Noureddine of Algeria back in September 1993 at Rieti. Noah Ngeny of Kenya also runs under the old record with a time of 3:43.40. El Guerouj set the 1500 meter record, 3:26:00, here in Roma less then a year ago. Ann Arbor's Kevin Sullivan was also in the world record setting mile, and he run's his second fastest time 3:52.96.
Here is Kevin Sullivan's first hand account of the race:
"Before hand I was feeling pretty good but definitely not as good as I was feeling in Lausanne. It was very warm, but not even a trace of wind. Already before our race there had been many other outstanding performances (8:27 women's 3000m, 1:42 800m, and 9.85 100m).
As the officials walked us from the call room onto the track at the 200m mark, and down the backstretch, I saw a familiar face. My teammate from Michigan Don McLaughlin, his girlfriend and Michigan runner Michelle Slater, and former Pioneer standout and current Loyola athlete Ben Ingrham.
I knew beforehand that the rabbits were supposed to be 2:46 at 1200m so I figured if I started in the middle of the pack and worked my way up gradually I would be setting myself up for a good personal best.
The gun went off and the guy to my inside and the guy to my outside both held me back and I ended up in the back of the pack, so my plans were already out the door. As it turned out I was feeling a little flat early in the race so it may have been just as well that I was not farther up in the field.
As we came through 400m I saw the clock stopped at 55 sec for the leaders and thought that they must be off the pace that El Geurruj wanted. As it turns out he was trying to run even splits. And he did.
I was in last place at this point and the pack in front of me was huge becuase the only one who went with El Geurruj was Noah Ngeny. I was looking for an opening to move up the inside but there was nothing at this point. I don't know what my split was at 400m or 800m but I know that El Geurruj was 1:50 at 800m so he was still on pace.
At 1200m El Geurruj was 2:46.91. I saw the clock at 2:56 when I crossed the line and figured I was still in the hunt to salvage a decent performance. I was still in last at this point and nothing was opening up. Down the backstretch I moved wide, but would have had to go to lane 3 to pass anybody. Finally an opening appeared with 200m to go, and I started to move, passing 2 guys. I swung wide and charged for the finish in the last 100m, but as in Lausanne I was a little short on turnover and distance to catch guys. I managed to pick off a couple more guys though and came out of the race with my second fastest time ever, 3:52.96 and an 11th place finish. "
Kevin Sullivan's next race is the 1000m in Ingolstadt, Germany on July 11. The current lineup for Ingolstadt 1000 meter includes Norredine Morceli, Rich Kenah, Karl Paranya and Sullivan.
GOLDEN GALA MEN'S 1 MILE
Pos Athlete Nat MarkPts 1 El Guerrouj Hicham MAR 3:43.13 18(W) 2 Ngeny Noah KEN 3:43.40 10 3 Silva Rui POR 3:50.91 9 4 Diaz Andrˇs ESP 3:51.15 8 5 Rotich Laban KEN 3:51.66 7 6 Sa•di-Sief Ali ALG 3:51.90 6 7 Shabunin Vyacheslav RUS 3:52.23 5 8 Amyn Mohammed MAR 3:52.66 4 9 D'Urso Giuseppe ITA 3:52.72 10 Mayock John GBR 3:52.79 11 Sullivan Kevin CAN 3:52.96 12 Cheruiyot Frederick KEN 3:52.99 13 Lelei David KEN 3:53.14 14 Kaouch Adil MAR 3:53.35 15 Baba Youssef MAR 3:53.64 16 Lazzari Lorenzo ITA 3:55.89 Kibet Robert KEN DNF Tanui William KEN DNFComplete GOLDEN GALA, ROMA Track & Field Results