Deji’s Doodles is a weekly column by Deji Ogeyingbo. Deji gives us his deep thoughts on the week that was in athletics. And he can stir it up!

Kiptum breaks Kipchoge’s course record at the London marathon, Hassan makes a winning start on a marathon debut, and Jackson runs the world lead over the 100m in Jamaica.

What a week in Track and Field! The London Marathon topped the pile as we witnessed Kevin Kiptum break the course record and shoot up to the second spot on the all-time fastest marathon list while Sifan Hassan walked the walked on her marathon debut. Elsewhere, Shericka Jackson made 10.82s look like a cakewalk as Godson Brume runs a wind-aided 9.97 in Louisiana. 

Sifan Hassan wins the London Marathon on her debut and does the unthinkable!

Sifan Hassan is an enigma. We already knew that after she became the first person to win three medals over 1500m, 5,000m, and 10,000m. Her odyssey from refugee to one of the greatest athletes of this or any other era continues to reach new heights, and in her latest attempt to set new boundaries for herself, the Dutch runner took on the London Marathon Course for the first time in her career. 

Sifan Hassan takes the 2023 TCS London Marathon
London, England, United Kingdom
April 23, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

In fact, it was her first time running over 26.2 miles. It was either going to kill her, or she would kill it. When asked how she envisaged the day would go, those were her exact words. As we would come to realize, it was the latter. The double Olympic champion kicked to victory in her debut in 2:18:33.

In an era where many runners are dropping outrageous times in the marathon (especially in the women’s category), Hassan’s time might not make one’s jaw drop. However, the sheer grit, tenacity, and range of accolades she has picked up over the middle and long distances make her special. 

This year’s London marathon assembled arguably the fastest elite field ever, with eleven runners all part of the sub-2:20 club, Hassan was unflustered, and as she has always done in her career, she took time for everyone. She also brought a new twist/fun to her race, having stopped to stretch her legs at the halfway point of the race. This is not the fastest performance in a marathon, but she beat a well-assembled field.

 

Rather more thrilling is how versatile Hassan is from the middle distance to the marathon. From the 800m in which she has run 1:56 for 800m; 3:51 for 1,500m; 4:12 for the mile; 14:22 for 5000m; 29:06 for 10,000m; 65:15 for the half marathon, she has laid claim to be one of the fastest runners of all time. Maybe Helen Obiri and Letesenbet Gidey will have a response for her as the season progresses. 

Kelvin Kiptum breaks course record in London, on course to break the sub-two-hour marathon.

History was made at the London Marathon and is happening in our eyes. Very rarely do we see runners take on the road from the early stage of their careers. The normal trajectory has been to build from cross country to the track and retire to the road. But now, the reverse is the case. Maybe many of these runners realize early on that the money is on the road, and with proper training, they can get as much as possible. 

Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptium falls amongst this spectrum of runners. The long-distance runner has been crushing the roads since 2018. It wasn’t until last year that we began to take notice of him. The Kenyan came out of nowhere to win the Valencia Marathon in 2:01:53 for the fastest marathon debut ever and put himself at No. 3 on the all-time list, just behind Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. 

Kelvin Kitum, TCS London Marathon
London, England, United Kingdom
April 23, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

A couple of months later, the 23-year-old Kiptum ran 2:01:25 for the second-fastest marathon performance in history to win the London Marathon. It wasn’t an easy field by no means, as four of the fastest men in history were present. Tamirat Tola, who is the defending world champion and two-time Ney York City marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor added spice to the race. 

Kiptum crossed the opening half of the race in 1:01:40; there was a strong indication that Kipchoge’s course record was going to fall. He did after a strong closing mile and a closing half of 59:47s, shattering his countryman’s record by well over a minute and becoming the second-fastest athlete of all time. 

This race here just shows how talented Kiptum is, and under the right conditions and proper pacing, he surely will be on his way to becoming the first man to break the sub-two-hour marathon officially. It’s all posting at this point, but there is a strong feeling he seems destined to take the mantle from Kipchoge. Perhaps, this might just be the flame that ignites Kipchoge to have one last tilt at the record or maybe take on Boston and New York. On the whole, Kipchoge has got his work cut out for the next 18 months. 

Shericka Jackson is the early front-runner for Gold in Budapest after her 100m win at the Velocity Fest.

Shericka Jackson clocked a new world lead of 10.82s to win the women’s 100m at the velocity fest in Jamaica over the weekend. The race came a few hours after the indoor sensation Aleia Hobbs scored 10.86s at the LSU Alumni Gold meet. What a way to jump ahead of the queue and put herself as the firm favorite for the 100m Gold in Budapest this summer. 

World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July15-26, 2022

It’s still early days, but Jackson looks pretty smooth over the 100m. We’ve seen Sha’Carri Richardson run a wind-aided 10.57s earlier this month, but let’s be honest, she would struggle to take down Jackson in a match-up. Hobbs looks good for the price and has also brought her indoor form outdoors. 

But the real challenge for Jackson is taking on her countrywoman and arguably the greatest 100m runner of all time Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. At the moment, Fraser-Pryce’s season debut (well, if you don’t count her run at her son’s school) slated for the Gaborone Meet in Botswana has been moved, and we still don’t know what sort of shape she’s in. 

Whatever happens, Jackson will set her sights on winning the double at the world championships, and it will take something significant to stop her.

Godson Brume wins the men’s 100m at the LSU Alumni Gold 

Godson Brume comes from a family of sprinters. His elder sister is the multiple Olympic and world medallist Ese Brume, while he has a younger sister that runs for Texas Tech in College. But of all of his siblings, he’s seen as the most talented and touted to follow or surpass the footsteps of his Ese. 

Until injury struck in late 2021 during the World U20 in Nairobi. Godson nursed that injury during his first year in college as a freshman at LSU and struggled to reach his peak. All that seems a thing of the past now: after lowering his indoor Personal Best indoors, he has continued from where he left off. 

Godson Brume, SEC athlete of week, LSU Track & Field

Over at the LSU Alumni Gold meet over the weekend, Godson ran a slight wind-aided 9.97s to win the men’s 100m. He was so dominant in the race that he had enough time to look at his opponents with about 10 meters to go. One of those opponents was Hakim Sani Brown of Japan, an Olympic semifinalist. 

Godson sure does have the talent to run faster and will be keen on proving a point this season. His win this weekend just goes to show how precocious he is and might just disrupt the scene this year in the NCAA.

 

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