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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Predictions comparison

T&FN finally mailed out its preview the other day. There's an essential dilemma in doing this kind of stuff; you want to have enough time to read and digest the material before the meet, but you also want the details to be up-to-date.

Anyway, I did my pre-meet picks before theirs were released. For the most part, I've picked the same winners as they have. When we disagree, it's probably because they're better at making picks than I am. But I thought I'd at least defend mine.

Men's 800m
Their pick: Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia)
My pick: Belal Mansour Ali (Bahrain)
Justification: Ali is listed for the 800 but apparently not running it. I think Borza will be runner-up anyway due to his unimodal and overly-simplistic race strategy.

Men's 1500m
Their pick: Bernard Lagat (USA)
My pick: Belal Mansour Ali (Bahrain)
Justification: They say Lagat because of big-meet experience and recent good races. I say he's old and even his best races were inferior to Ali's. Note that British bookmakers' odds have Ali at 9-2 and Lagat at 16-1, with Webb as the favorite at 2-1.

Men's 5000m
Their pick: Tariku Bekele (Ethiopia)
My pick: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)
Justification: Kipchoge has very good speed, which he has used to win big meets before. If T&FN can use "experience" to justify picking someone to win, so can I.

Men's Pole Vault
Their pick: Brad Walker (USA)
My pick: Steve Hooker (Australia)
Justification: Walker has been too inconsistent.

Men's Hammer Throw
Their pick: Koji Murofushi (Japan)
My pick: Ivan Tikhon (Belarus)
Justification: Murofushi, 11th on the yearly list, has thrown over 77 meters only once this year.

Men's Decathlon
Their pick: Brian Clay (USA)
My pick: Andrey Kravchenko (Belarus)
Justification: Clay has only finished one decathlon in the last two seasons. Kravchenko is a star on the rise.

Women's 100m
Their pick: Torri Edwards (USA)
My pick: Veronica Campbell (Jamaica)
Justification: When conditions are taken into account, Campbell's times are clearly superior to Edwards'. While 200m results should be taken with a grain of salt, Campbell thrashed Edwards at the distance in London.

Women's 800m
Their pick: Olga Kotlyarova (Russia)
My pick: Kenia Sinclair (Jamaica)
Justification: None.

Women's Long Jump
Their pick: Lyudmila Kolchanova (Russia)
My pick: Tatyana Lebedeva (Russia)
Justification: Lebedeva is a supreme big-meet competitor and Kolchanova is still a bit green. But I'm probably going to be wrong here.

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