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Monday, September 03, 2007

Worlds Summary

SI's Tim Layden has a nice look back at the eight days of the meet--it's a definite must-read. The man just gets it like no other mainstream US sportswriter.

Dick Patrick at USA Today has a summary but it’s more of a Beijing preview.

EDIT: The New York Times has its own "Best & Worst" selections.

My own look back...

Athlete of the meet, men: Tyson Gay. Dominated the 200 and kicked the world-record holder's ass in the 100 while (supposedly) going into the meet with a tricky knee. Bernard Lagat earned honorable mention.

Athlete of the meet, women: Allyson Felix. An eye-popping 200 meter win, a good leg in the 4x100, and then 48.0 in the 4x400.

Performance of the meet, men: Jeremy Wariner's 43.45. He's gettin' closer...

Performance of the meet, women: The above-mentioned relay split for Felix. That's half a second faster than anyone has run since Ben Johnson got busted. It could now be argued that her best event is the longer one, and if Sanya Richards can get healthy we might be looking at the sport's greatest rivalry since Ovett-Coe--but they'll actually race each other!

Competition of the meet, men: With four rounds to build tension, and the outcome in doubt for at least 80 meters of the final, the 100 is my pick. Honorable mention: long jump.

Competition of the meet, women: Shot put. Nadyesa Ostapchuk barely scarped into the final, then took the lead on her first throw. Valerie Vili fought to hold silver through the first five rounds and then took the gold on her final attempt.

Oh-so-close, men: Gary Reed darn near pulled off a shocker of a win in the 800. It would have been Canada's first-ever in this event at a Worlds or Olympics; it's their first silver since Alex Wilson in 1932.

Oh-so-close, women: 100. This is why they invented the automtic timer.

Stunner, men: Virjilius Alekna threw like crap. He hasn't finished fourth in years. Of course, no one knew he was hurt (calf) before the competition began. Honorable mention: Felix Sanchez.

Stunner, women: Janeth Jepkosgei went from a 1:59.14 best this summer to 1:58.95 in the heats, 1:56.17 in the semis and 1:56.04 in the final. The former World Junior champ was second at both the World Cup and World Final last year and put up a 1:57, so she didn't come out of nowhere. But she hadn't won a single race on the GP circuit and didn't look like a champ until she got to Japan.

Media: SI's Tim Layden had nearly daily insight that was first-class. WCSN had huge amounts of coverage, and the IAAF website was easily navigable and chock full of great stuff. But the tops was Versus' coverage. I had only minor complaints; if you had told me a year ago we'd get two hours of prime-time US coverage every day, available in hi-def, with no up-close-&-personal crap and a minimum of Carol Lewis, I'd say you should switch to the kind of cigarettes that have filters. But that's exactly what we got. It was so good it made my father-in-law into a track fan (yesterday he told another in-law "you should watch it, it's just like NASCAR but with people").

Fun & Games: The IAAF's fantasy league was a brilliant idea, and we should plead for them to continue this in the future.


Scott Bush said...

All your comments are spot on. The IAAF Fantasy T&F was a monster success and the media did a better job covering these WC's than any time in the past ten years.

Albert Caruana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Albert Caruana said...

I am back from my European trip and just catching up on all the coverage. I have also been catching up on the Versus coverage and have to add that Ato Boldon deserves a lot of praise for his commentary. Good stuff.

On a side note, while in Rome, I watched most of the meet on Eurosport and the British announcers were classic. A must listen if you ever get a chance.