This coming Friday's Meeting Gaz de France in Paris Saint-Denis may be too hot for Alan Webb to handle. He is scheduled to compete in the men's 1500m against 7 of the 8 highest-ranked 1500m runners in the world, according to the IAAF rankings. Webb is not even ranked in the top 100. Even so, Webb has the 8th fastest 1500m time in the world this year with a 3:34.82. Since he also boasts the 5th fastest mile time in the world in 2007 with a 3:51.71, he certainly belongs in the race. But how will he do?
Ten men in the race have faster 1500m PR's than Webb's PR of 3:32.52. Webb would have to beat his PR by 1.47 seconds just to match Mehdi Baala's 2007 world-leading 3:31.05. Webb's kick at the national championships indicates that he is ready to contend in the European circuit this year. Only trouble is, he is probably going to have to break Bernard Lagat's American record of 3:29.30 to do it. Paris will be a preview of what we can expect from Webb in Osaka.
Here's the start list, along with the PR's of the men in the race:
Bernard Lagat, USA, 3.26.34
Mehdi Baala, FRA, 3.28.98
Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, KEN, 3.29.02
Alex Kipchirchir, KEN, 3.30.46
Shadrack Korir, KEN, 3.30.72
Adil Kaouch, MAR, 3.31.10
Tarek Boukensa, ALG, 3.31.58
Augustine Kiprono Choge, KEN, 3.31.73
Youssef Baba, MAR, 3.32.13
Nicholas Willis, NZL, 3.32.17
Alan Webb, USA, 3.32.52
Mounir Yemmouni, FRA, 3.32.97