May 9, 2008 - Doha Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar

Hilary opens season at Doha Grand Prix







The 2008 athletic season is officially underway and many top athletes when to Doha to shake the dust off. Good weather attracts many athletes to this early season meet in an attempt to get an edge on competition.

Doha did not disappoint on Friday as temperatures where around 30C and competition was equally as hot. Since Hilary still needs to hit a qualifying mark for Beijing, she decided to race in this early season meet. Nearly all the women who raced in the 1500m will represent their country in this year’s Olympic Games, making it a great field of competitors.

Unfortunately, no one was quite ready for the fast pace set by the rabbit that, if held, would end in 4 minutes for 1500m. As a result, the field went out extremely slow through 800m in 2:16.
“My plan was to get out in mid-pack and go through 800m in around 2:11-2:12 (on pace to run about 4:06). So, I got out mid-pack on the inside rail and realized I was in trouble when we passed 400m in 69 – in trouble because I was boxed in and wanted urgently to get to the front and get rolling, which didn’t happen.”

Hilary explains that she was disappointed to finish so far back in the pack with the slow time, but says she felt strong and is confident that her kick will sharpen up with more racing. She ended up running 4:12.02 for 10th place.

“I came here to run fast so it was a very disappointing time since I feel I’m in better shape. Nevertheless, I can still take it as a tactical experience and practice for championship races. I’m keen to get out there again and race another 1500m and will have a chance to do this in one week in England.”

Next up Hilary will run at the Loughborough International Meeting.

See full results of Doha here.










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