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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Day 1 Review

IAAF highlights
USA Today Worlds notebook

My thoughts on the first day of the World Championships...

In total I watched 5 hours of TV coverage but didn't have the opportunity to see anything live on WCSN.

I'm not a big fan of CBC's announcers; Don Whitman's inability to pronounce anyone's name just turns me off, and Michael Smith's thick-headed comment that the marathoners should be able to run fast because of a flat course and low elevation but in spite of a heat index of 87 didn't go over so well either. But CBC's metric-friendliness does make some of their coverage better.

Unlike CBC's hours of marathon coverage, Versus gave the event less than three minutes. But this did free up time to give us superior coverage just about everywhere else. CBC didn't show the women's 10k at all whereas Versus gave it the air time it deserved. And Versus muzzled Carol Lewis while prominently featuring Ato Boldon.

Overall grades: CBC gets a C, Versus gets a B+.

Individual event reactions...

Men's Marathon: Worlds marathons tend to be wide-open, so the fact that a Kenyan won is hardly a big surprise. But I thought the one area of the world that had no chance at all due to the heat was northern/western Europe. Then Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland ran a brilliant race to come up with third (and damn near second).

Women's Heptathlon: Kluft is still the queen. The competition isn't over, but she's leading with her best event up next.

Men's 1500m heats: Kiprop looks dangerous and so does Ramzi.

Women's 800m heats: No clues here on who's looking the best right now.

Men's 400H heats: Felix Sanchez is back from the dead. T&FN put him tenth on the formchart but after that heat he has to be considered a real threat to win.

Men's 100m heats / quarters: Boldon said Gay must start well. If he does, I still say he's far superior to Powell. But those first two rounds make me nervous.

Men's Shot: Hoffa is one of my very favorite athletes, so I was happy to see him win. I'll have to drop Rutger Smith from my fantasy team after two athletes I underestimated beat him.

Women's 10k: The winner was no surprise, although she did it in a more interesting fashion than she wanted. The stunner was Kara Goucher in third, probably the story of the day from a US perspective. SI's Tim Layden weighs in.


M. Haubs said...

Love the blog. I concur that Wittman's mispronunciations border on the ridiculous, but I think Michael Smith is a first-rate T&F analyst, knowledgable across many events as a former decathlete.

I wish he were on American TV.

The Track & Field Superfan said...

He is, and his analysis of the heptathlon shot put was almost like Ron Jaworski breaking down a play on ESPN. But they need some help for Beijing next year--it can't be hard to find an announcer who can communicate decently about distance races.