Friday Aug 24, 2007

Track and Field World Championships Start Tonight

The much anticipated (by me at least :)) World Track and Field Championships from Osaka Japan start tonight with the men's marathon kicking things off at 3pm PDT (7am Saturday in Osaka). Several other key events also occur tonight including the mens 1500m and 100m heats and early tomorrow morning the mens 100m quarters, final of the shot put, and womens 10000m final occur.

Versus will be having televised coverage but things don't start until tomorrow evening in the U.S. and NBC will have a little coverage next weekend, but for those die hards like me we thankfully have WCSN which is providing end to end live streaming video from Osaka so I'll definitely be watching the events later today. Coupled with a variety of different runners now blogging and/or having their own web-sites and videos, track and field has gone Web 2.0!

As is probably no surprise for those that have read my blog, I'm a huge middle distance fan and so will be looking to see how the 1500m heats play out and how Alan Webb, Bernard Lagat, and Leonel Manzano do. Webb and Lagat should cruise through and ultimately be in the final, and it would be great to see Manzano have some success to.

And on the subject of Webb, I was pleased to see a great story on him in today's L. A. Times and there have been several others on him lately in Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, and USA Today. And a good story on Lagat going for the 1500 and 5000 double is a good read too.

Saturday Jul 07, 2007

Media Coverage of Paris Golden League and Alan Webb

For those interested, here are a number of links with more information about the Paris Golden League results and specifically Alan Webb's great run
However, I was very disappointed to see some of the general media give poor coverage of the meet. ESPN did have a story on the whole meet but makes absolutely no mention of Webb's win while setting a new personal best and world leading time. I couldn't find a story at all on the Los Angeles Times newspaper or web-site. At least CNN/SI ran the wire story that does include a mention of Webb.

I know I'm in the minority among American's with an interest in track and field, but when we have athletes performing well in the biggest meets and especially as we are having a resurgence in the middle distances, I would hope the media would give it some coverage. It is a bit self fulfilling to say no one is interested if the events are never covered to generate interest ...

Friday Jul 06, 2007

Alan Webb wins Paris Golden League 1500

I was excited to see Alan Webb perform brilliantly in the 1500 meters at the Paris Golden League event. He ran a new personal best of 3:30.54 beating his previous best by nearly 2 seconds while also setting the fastest time in the world this year. There were a couple of notable athletes missing, namely Daniel Komen, Alex, Kipchirchir, and Rachid Ramzi, but this result still was good enough to move to to #3 on the US list behind Bernard Lagat and Sydney Maree.

This after he set a new PB in the 800 meters of 1:45.80 on Monday. This should bode well for the rest of the summer and his chances at the World Championships in Osaka in August.

Monday May 21, 2007

Adidas Track Classic

I was able to attend the Adidas Track Classic yesterday and it was an outstanding meet. It included 2 American Records and a World Record along with a number of world leading results for the year.

The day started off with Breaux Greer having a huge throw in the javelin (a good 40 feet past the longest to that point) that probably has the pole-vaulters thinking twice about their location (javelin being thrown towards the pole-vault pit, but enough room). My wife, a big Greer fan said "ok, we can leave now" as that was the highlight of her day. They measured it, and it broke his own AR by about 10 feet and then proceeded to get the metal tape out (more accurate but apparently harder to use, otherwise why not just use it all the time) and confirmed it was actually 10cm longer than originally measured.

We were then privileged to see an AR in the pole-vault (after Greer finished throwing his implement their way I believe :)) by Jenn Stuczynski by going over 15-10 1/2 breaking Stacy Dragila's record.

Being a fan of the distance races, I enjoyed Anthony Famiglietti's win over Barrios whom he had been edged by at Mt. SAC several weeks ago. Nick Willis then cruised a 3:35.85 1500m making it look easy.

The fireworks of the day came in the women's 2 mile where Meseret Defar began her attack on the World Record of 9:11.97 by following the pacers through the first 4 laps or so going through mile in 4:35.4 (ahead of WR pace for those doing the math). She then had to go the last mile on her own and her lap times slipped a bit to the point that she was off WR pace with 2 laps to go. Having averaged just under 70 second per lap to that point, she needed to close in 2:13 (66.5 per lap) to break the record. She proceeded to run a 69.7 putting the record in further jeopardy but then dug deep and threw in a 62.2 final lap to break the record by over a second finishing in 9:10.47. Very impressive.

But the day wasn't over yet. Immediately following Defar's impressive run was the men's 100. The race was fairly close between Tyson Gay and Derrick Atkins but there was a gasp through the crowed as the time showed 9.79! That time is the current AR by Maurice Green and only 2 hundredths off the WR of 9.77 by Asafa Powell, but a quick look to the wind gauge revealed that the wind 2.5 meters per second, 0.5 over the allowable (for record purposes) 2.0. Still a fantastic time.

ESPN showed the event live so hopefully many of you watched (I still need to go back and watch again!) and enjoyed.

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