We continue our short series of interviews and mini-features focused on some of
the new names who have made such a dramatic impact on our sport this summer. We
began with Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi but now we profile the American miler
Alan Webb who the pundits are beginning to label with the same qualities as
American running greats such as Jim Ryun and Steve Prefontaine. Revival of Webb
in the Mile
Reston, Virginia, USA - It took 3:53.42 for Alan Webb to be christened as
the next greatest American miler as a high school senior in 2001. It’s
taken three years for 21-year-old to fulfill that prophecy.
Beset by injuries and the transition to the professional ranks, Webb failed
to improve on his high school mark until this season.
It’s been a big breakthrough for Webb, who has produced world-leading
marks of 3:32.73 in the 1500m in the Ostrava Super Grand Prix (recently
surpassed by Ramzi’s 3:31.87 and 3:30.25) and 3:50.85 in the Mile in the
Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. on 19 June.
Webb’s time in the Mile is the fastest by an American in seven years
and was the fastest ever run on U.S. soil. He is once again being tabbed as
America’s best Olympic medal hope in the 1500m and the favourite heading
into the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento on 9 July through 18 July.
“Whenever you run well, it puts pressure on you to do better,”
Webb said. “It just took some time for me to figure things out and get
into a good rhythm where I am getting better each race.’’
Dream Season Webb’s performances in Ostrava and Prefontaine have been
part of a remarkable progression of personal bests that has included marks of
3:35.71 in the Home Depot Invitational in Carson, California on 22 May, 3:33.71
in Hengelo on 31 May, and 3:32.73 in the Ostrava Grand Prix on 8 June.
Webb, who started the season with a PB of 3:38.26 run en route to his high
school mile record, has also notched career-bests of 1:46.53 in the 800m and
13:46.31 in the 5000m