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Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 4: What Happened

IAAF recap

A number of shockers today...
1) Liu Xiang came up injured in the 110m hurdles heats and is out of the competition. The most anticipated moment of the whole Olympic Games is sadly no longer. Terrence Trammell was also a DNF.

2) The USA won a women's throwing event, namely the discus. Stephanie Brown-Trafton pulled off the single biggest upset of the Olympic track & field competition, maybe the whole Olympics. This is only the third American women's throwing gold in any Worlds or Olympics, and the first since the Hoover administration; it's the fourth medal of any kind since WWII (ignoring the '84 games).

3) The 400 meter heats eliminated World Indoor champ Tyler Christopher. Not really a shocker if you knew he was still suffering the lingering aftereffects of illness.

4) Susanna Kallur, short on racing due to a hamstring injury, crashed out of the 100m hurdles semis. She knocked Vonette Dixon off stride and she won't be in the final either.

5) The men's triple jump q-round eliminated six of the year's top ten. But heavy favorite Phillips Idowu looked by far the best. There will be no Americans in this final, making it 0 for 9 so far in the horizontal jumps.

Officially not shockers:
1) Yelena Isinbayeva won the pole vault with a new world record. You cannot have expected anything else.

2) Pamela Jelimo won the 800 and broke her own World Junior Record, with Janeth Jepkosgei in tow for silver.

3) The USA swept the 400m hurdles medals. It was a bit of a surprise that Angelo Taylor won, but not if you read the semis correctly.

4) A Kenyan won the steeplechase. But they didn't sweep; France's Mahledine Mekhissi-Benabbad actually made it a fight and took silver.

5) Irving Saladino won the long jump. He was probably the surest winner in the entire men's side of the indibvidual competition. The places behind him went pretty much to form as well.

6) Usain Bolt did little more than jog the first two rounds of the 200 meters. All the major players will be in the semis.

7) The women's 400m hurdles semis didn't eliminate anyone of note besides Nickiesha Wilson.

8) Your top women's hammer throwers will all be in the final, and none of them are American.

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