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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fantasy League Thoughts

I finished 28th out of well over 2000 who played USATF's Pick & Win game over the course of the outdoor season. I made a couple of bonehead moves that killed me; had I not picked Tyson Gay in the USATF 100, I would have been second.

EDIT: USATF's early updates were misleading. I finished 26th, and my errors only cost me about ten places.

So what wisdom can I give you? A number of things.

Never pick someone who has a Worlds bye
Who did? Tyson Gay, who dropped out of the 100 after one round. Jeremy Wariner, who ran the 200 and didn't make the final. Bernard Lagat, who opted for the 800 and didn't show up for his semifinal. Kerron Clement, who ran the flat 400. Michelle Perry, who was a no-show for the 100 hurdles finals. The only athletes who didn't take advantage of their byes were Allyson Felix, Brad Walker and Reese Hoffa. Two of those who dropped out before the final--Gay and Perry--I picked to win and it cost me second place.

I looked at Track & Field News' formcharts, saw Gay listed at #1 in the 100, and assumed it meant they thought he was going to run all the rounds. Those guys are generally plugged in and I thought they knew something. Turns out that wasn't the case, which killed me because I knew who were the next three guys in order after Gay. Which brings me to my next point...

The 100 is the easiest event to predict
Absolutely the easiest, so long as you look at the right information. The 100 is raw explosive power applied through highly skilled technique. Athletes must hone that technique through racing, and since the races are always close they can't let up before the finish. The result is that no one can hide what condition they're really in.

If you know where to look, that condition is obvious. Take their race times, use Dr. Jonas Mureika's online calculator to factor out the effects of wind and altitude, and it's pretty much right on the ball. Now, not all winds are equal; a crosswind measured with an aiding vector of 2.0 m/s is far different from a pure tailwind with the same aiding vector, and winds can be different at the start than at the finish. Humidity and temperature also play a small role in sprint times. But if you look at an athlete's three or four most recent races, these minor inconsistencies even out and you can pretty much tell how they're going to line up.

This is why I wanted nothing to do with Walter Dix. While his best single mark of the year was much superior to that of anyone in the meet (save Gay), it was way back in early April. His last outing before USATF saw him lose to Trell Kimmons and Bernard Williams in times that just didn't look very good. He was too much of an unknown quantity.

In the men's 100, if Gay was removed from the equation, the best series of times had been put up by Mike Rodgers and Darvis Patton, followed by Rae Edwards. I thought Patton was going to be hurt a little by his recent paternity-related short layoff. I was right on.

In the women's 100, I thought Carmelita Jeter was way better than everyone else, with Muna Lee next and Alexandria Anderson after her. I did not think Lauryn Williams was going to be a factor, despite her big-meet reputation. Jeter made a mistake early in the race and caught a cramp late but still managed to hold on for the win. And the wind/altitude correction exposes why Williams is such a big-meet runner: she and Lee were the only finalists who ran up to their season-best standard. Which brings me to my next point...

Do your homework
I saw that Maggie Vessey won the Prefontaine 800 and ran well at the Reebok Grand Prix, decided she was on a definite upswing, and picked her to win. But I neglected to look at how she runs, and as soon as I saw a Let's Run analysis of her semifinal I knew I was screwed.

She takes the Yuriy Borzakovskiy approach to the 800, namely stay way back on the first lap and then eat 'em up on the second. This works extremely well under certain circumstances, but not all, and when it fails it does so miserably. Borza still hasn't figured out when to moderate his tactics.

Athletes who run like this plan on even splits for the two laps. This works if the pace goes out crazy-fast and the athletes tie up. Perfect examples include the '72 and '88 men's Olympic final, and the Prefontaine Classic women's race this year went just like that. Vessey ran well back and ran pretty much even pace the whole way, and it was easy pickings to pass a strung-out field.

Today, the pace went out at 59.x and Vessey probably ran 63.x, by which time she'd already thrown away the race. No one was going to have a grizzly bear jump on their back, she was going to have to run negative splits, and go way wide to pass a crowd. So she ended up fourth.

Note that Nick Symmonds used to run this way, but has matured by realizing the situations where it doesn't work. Now he only trails if the pace is too aggressive, and today he started working his way up from the back after only 100 meters.

USA Championships Thoughts

My thoughts on the USA Championships and its TV coverage...

Larry Rawson appeared to be on his best behavior. I noted few if any truly awful moments from him. Ditto for Carol Lewis.

Ato Boldon broke things down in replays of the 100 races like a good analyst does in any other sport: using the telestrator and stop-action to highlight good and bad execution and comparing them side by side. So why do they handcuff Dwight Stones, who could do the exact same thing in most if not all field events, by keeping him out of the booth and away from the necessary equipment?

Speaking of field events, it looks like no one knows where to position the cameras for maximum effect.

Another classy move for the 100 finals: plugging in to the PA system and using stadium announcer Scott Davis' introductions.

USATF got smart and allowed both Flotrack and RunnerSpace to webcast the portions of the meet that ESPN/NBC didn't want. There's a lot of criticism of these outfits (Flotrack in particular) for being nothing more than a bunch of poorly prepared college kids, to which some reply that they care a whole lot more than the Rawson/Lewis type of outfit. I think both are valid criticisms, and they remind me of the early days of political blogs. Yeah, those were amateurish, but they were run by passionate people who cared about more than just the bottom line. And now many of them, such as Talking Points Memo, now do a far better job on investigative journalism than The New York Times. This is the first major step in broadening video coverage of domestic track, and it will get better by leaps and bounds.

Friday, June 26, 2009

USA Championships Preview -- Weekend

I'm going to be a bit busy this weekend, and I wanted to get my predictions out there now.

Men's 20k Walk, 10 AM EDT
Defending champ: Kevin Eastler
T&FN pick: Patrick Stroupe
My pick: ditto
Analysis: This is like the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards at the Oscars, in that no one cares who wins.

Men's Pole Vault, 5:55 PM
Defending champ: Derek Miles
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Jeremy Scott
Analysis: Derek Miles and Brad Walker have been a bit too inconsistent for my tastes. Scott might not win, but he won't bomb either.

Men's Hammer Throw, 6:25 PM
Defending champ: AG Kruger
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Kruger has dominated this event in the US for several years.

Men's Long Jump, 7:20 PM
Defending champ: Trevell Quinley
T&FN pick: Dwight Phillips
My pick: ditto
Analysis: The best jumper almost always wins in this event, and Phillips is head and shoulders above the rest.

Women's Javelin Throw, 7:30 PM
Defending champ: Kara Patterson
T&FN pick: Kim Kreiner
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Even coming off injury, she's the USA's best.

Women's 400m Hurdles, 8:15 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: Tiffany Williams
T&FN pick: Lashinda Demus
My pick: Sheena Tosta
Analysis: I see this as a toss-up between Tosta and Demus.

Men's Steeplechase, 8:40 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: Anthony Famiglietti
T&FN pick: Josh McAdams
My pick: ditto
Analysis: This is a pretty weak event.

Women's 400 meters, 8:54 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: Sanya Richards
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: As long as her Behcet's disease doesn't act up, this will be an easy win for Richards.

Men's 400 meters, 9:02 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: LaShawn Merritt
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: No one can beat Merritt right now, not even Wariner.

Women's 1500 meters, 9:11 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: Shannon Rowbury
T&FN pick: Christin Wurth-Thomas
My pick: Anna Willard
Analysis: The USA is four-deep in great milers, and one of them (Jenny Barringer) is only doing the steeple. The other three are listed above. You could make a case for any of them to win, but Willard's strong showings in both the steeple and 800 make me think she has more tools to work with than the others.

Men's 110m Hurdles, 9:23 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champ: David Oliver
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Terrence Trammell
Analysis: Trammell is having his best season in a few years and always seems to come up big at the national championships. It is most likely to be a tight race between him and Oliver.


Women's 20k Walk, 11 AM EDT
Defending champ: Joanne Dow
T&FN pick: Theresa Vaill
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Who cares?

Women's Heptathlon
Defending champ: Hyleas Fountain
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: It shouldn't be close.

Women's Pole Vault, 2:30 PM
Defending champ: Jenn Stuczynski
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Probably the strongest favorite in the whole meet.

Men's High Jump, 2:45 PM
Defending champ: Jesse Williams
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: On paper, at least, this is a no-brainer.

Women's Hammer Throw, 3:10 PM
Defending champ: Jessica Cosby
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: She's thrown further and more consistently than all the others.

Women's Long Jump, 3:30 PM
Defending champ: Brittney Reese
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: She's by far the best women's long jumper in the USA.

Men's Shot Put, 3:35 PM
Defending champ: Reese Hoffa
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Hoffa had an average indoor season but has come on strong outdoors, while Cantwell has done the opposite.

Men's 400m Hurdles, 4:05 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Bershawn Jackson
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: With a Worlds bye, Kerron Clement is running the flat 400 instead. That makes this pick a whole lot easier, because Clement was the only one I thought had any chance at Jackson.

Women's Steeplechase, 4:14 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Anna Willard
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Jenny Barringer
Analysis: This should be a ding-dong battle between Willard and Barringer and both will break the American Record. Willard will have the 1500 on her legs, so I went with Barringer.

Women's 800 meters, 4:44 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Hazel Clark
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Maggie Vessey
Analysis: This is not a strong event for the USA, which complicates an already unpredictable event. Clark isn't as reliable as her sister was, and Vessey has run two good races in a row.

Men's 800 meters, 4:53 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Nick Symmonds
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Symmonds has improved each year, and is racing on his home track. But the 800 is the least predictable of all running events, so anything can happen.

Women's 100m Hurdles, 5:22 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Lolo Jones
T&FN pick: Dawn Harper
My pick: Michelle Perry
Analysis: Damu Cherry has had the strongest season so far, but Perry has been righting her ship since a severe injury last year. She beat Cherry at the Prefontaine Classic and I think things are coming together for her now and should win.

Men's 1500 meters, 5:31 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Bernard Lagat
T&FN pick: Leonel Manzano
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Lagat has a bye to the World Championships and so is not racing the 1500. Manzano's recent form is better than all the others.

Men's 200 meters, 5:43 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Walter Dix
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Wallace Spearmon
Analysis: Dix hasn't raced well recently, and he'll have six rounds on his legs by the 200 final. Spearmon has had some good races this year and pretty much no one else in the field has.

Women's 200 meters, 5:52 PM (live on NBC)
Defending champ: Allyson Felix
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: This shouldn't be close.

Pick N' Win Update

I just want to let everyone know that I picked Amy Yoder-Begley to win in last night's USATF 10k. And she did, which even the Let's Run guys thought wasn't possible at all.

So far, there have been six finals. I picked five winners and a second. I wonder how I'm going to spend that $2000 VISA gift card...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

USA Championships Preview - Day Two

Friday's finals...

Coverage will be live on ESPN from 8 to 10 PM.

Women's Triple Jump, 7:50 PM EDT
Defending champion: Shani Marks
T&FN pick: Erica McLain
My pick: Yvette Lewis
Analysis: I'm picking Lewis for two reasons. She has the best American jump of the year after wind and altitude are factored in, and she beat McLain in the process of making it.

Women's Shot Put, 8:15 PM
Defending champion: Michelle Carter
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Liz Wanless
Analysis: Wanless has been consistent save the Reebok Grand Prix, and recently put up the yearly American leader.

Men's Discus Throw, 9:40 PM
Defending champion: Ian Waltz
T&FN pick: Jarred Rome
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Consistently top American this year.

Women's 100 meters, 9:40 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champion: Muna Lee
T&FN pick: Carmelita Jeter
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Jeter is not only the best sprinter in the USA right now, but the best in the world.

Men's 100 meters, 9:50 PM (live on ESPN)
Defending champion: Tyson Gay
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: The only question is whether Gay will run all the rounds or merely fill the requirements for getting his Worlds bye and run the heats only. If he's up for the whole thing, and it sounds like he is, he's essentially a lock.

Women's 5000 meters, 10:50 PM
Defending champion: Kara Goucher
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Goucher is head and shoulders above all the other runners entered in this race.

Men's 5000 meters, 11:15 PM
Defending champion: Bernard Lagat
T&FN pick: Matt Tegenkamp
My pick: diito
Analysis: I like how both Solinsky and Teg ran at the Prefontaine Classic; I think Tegenkamp is a more solid pick. But you can't go too far wrong with either one.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

USA Championships Preview - Day One

Over the next few days I'll preview the USA Track & Field Championships by filling you in on my choices for USATF's online fantasy league. I'm currently 35th out of more than 2000, so I think my opinion may carry some weight. Here goes with Thursday's final events.

Late update: Let's Run's Day 1 previews for men and women are up.

Men's Javelin, 6:30 PM EDT
Defending champ: Bobby Smith
T&FN pick: Mike Hazle
My pick: ditto
Analysis: The long throws are a bit outside the areas of my expertise. Further complicating the matter is the fact that none of these throwers are competitive on the international level. So I see no reason to argue with the Mountain View gang.

Women's High Jump, 8 PM
Defending champ: Chaunté Howard
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Howard's major competition will come from Destinee Hooker, but for Hooker to win she must be at her best at the same time that Howard has an average day or worse. Not likely.

Men's Triple Jump, 8:15 PM
Defending champ: Aarik Wilson
T&FN pick: Brandon Roulhac
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Roulhac has been consistently the best US triple jumper in 2009, the only American who can claim to belong in the top 20 or so in the world.

Women's Discus, 6:45 PM
Defending champ: Aretha Thurmond
T&FN pick: Stefanie Brown-Trafton
My pick: ditto
Analysis: She's the defending Olympic champion and has the world's leading throw by a meter and a half.

Women's 10,000 meters, 10:50 PM
Defending champ: Shalane Flanagan
T&FN pick: ditto
My pick: Amy Yoder-Begley
Analysis: My pick is based on trying to score points in USATF's online contest, and when in doubt you must follow the "do no harm" strategy. I don't really think Begley will beat Flanagan, but Flan has been oddly inconsistent this year and could possibly lay an egg. Begley is solid as a rock for second at worst.

Men's 10,000 meters, 11:30 PM
Defending champ: Abdi Abdirahman
T&FN pick: Galen Rupp
My pick: ditto
Analysis: Rupp has had a long season so far, but that's the only thing he's got going against him. He's proven he can win under any style of racing, and there are sober observers speculating he could run sub-27:00 right now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Team Track?

In this month's Track & Field News, Sieg Lindstrom has an article about Doug Logan's plans to start up a domestic team track circuit that would compete throughout the year indoors, outdoors and on the roads. The plan is anywhere from six to eight geographically-based teams in a league that would start in two or three years at the earliest.

My initial reaction was that this was the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The sport will not go this direction, because post-scholastic competition hasn't been team-oriented for a century. The best athletes will still compete in individual competition in Europe during the summer no matter what we come up with. This idea is much like World Team Tennis, which sports fans under 40 have probably never heard of, and those over 40 probably think it disappeared about the same time as disco. If it did disappear, no one wold notice.

But on second thought, this sounds like a good idea, as long as it's done right. Logan is the same guy who was heavily involved in the development of Major League Soccer, which has always faced the same issues: the best players will always be on European clubs, because that's where the real money is (and the real competition essential for high-level development). Ditto with track. Like WTT, I don't think most overseas soccer fans would notice if MLS went away. But it's done wonders in the USA.

First off, it allowed the second-tier American talent to get significant playing time in a reasonably decent league, which in turn made the USA a perennial World Cup qualifier (if not particularly competitive when they get there). The effect has been far, far greater though.

There's Fox Soccer Channel in the USA. ESPN now does live coverage of World Cup qualifying, Confederations Cup, UEFA Champions League, and the European Cup, and foreign club action is a SportsCenter staple. Soccer is now considered a major professional sport in the USA, although its appeal is still limited to the nut instead of the casual fan. Fifteen years ago this situation would have been thought near impossible, despite the momentary bump caused by the '94 World Cup. It took a long time, but domestic B-level competition was probably the single biggest driving force.

One of the failings of the US sytem of track & field is a lack of support for post-collegiate athletes who aren't good enough to make a living on the pro circuit. I had a college teammate who was an NCAA All-American, 8th at the Olympic Trials and 50th in the world, but earned more from his grad-school assistantship than he did from his Nike sponsorship and just couldn't keep it up after he got his master's degree. Given a few more years, I think he could have become an Olympian.

This kind of situation is very common in field events, where there's much less money available to be earned and athletes generally don't hit peak form for years after college. It's no coincidence that field events were our weakest area at the last Olympics. Logan's pro track league could give such "semi-pros" enough security to stay in the sport.

And then, of course, there's the possibility that a league like this could make professional track & field a major American spectator sport. I wouldn't expect it anytime soon, but just think of getting waht soccer got...a Fox Track & Field channel, European meet highlights on SportsCenter, and live coverage of every Diamond League meet and IAAF World Series event.

Again, the league must be based on the idea of giving B-level talent domestic competition instead of having to go to Europe to run their B-level meets. But in most events, American B-level talent is still pretty damn good. If one of the teams was based in Detroit/Ann Arbor, I'd get season tickets.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

World Rankings

I've come to the conclusion that World Rankings listings aren't fascinating reading. So instead I'm putting them up on a Google spreadsheet. I'll try to keep them updated as much as possible. The links will go in the sidebar on the right.

Anti-Doping News

Track fans, the word is schadenfreude. From Sports Illustrated's summary of the Dan Patrick Show:
MLB commissioner Bud Selig joined the show to discuss several issues facing Major League Baseball. Here are some of his takes:

-- Selig was upset that MLB gets ripped for the steroid problem while the NFL gets less coverage for it.

"Baseball is held to a higher and different standard," Selig said.

Selig pointed out the 1970s Steelers. They allegedly used steroids, but no one is calling to take away their trophies.

"Steroids were and are a societal problem. Not a baseball problem," Selig said.
Cry me a river. You ignored the problem just like Juan Antonio Samaranch did until it came up and bit you in the ass. Take it like a man.

Diamond League Changes Everything?

Today the IAAF released its Diamond League calendar for 2010.

The Diamond League format changes a lot of things, and almost all for the better. One of the big problems in getting the top athletes to compete against each other instead of ducking for the big money is that the most popular events are held far too often. Example: all 24 of the biggest invitationals have held or will hold the men's 100 meters. By contrast, next year's Diamond League will have the event maybe ten times in its fourteen meets.

When there are dozens of opportunities to compete, the talent pool spreads out and lining up deep races just doesn't happen very often. This isn't as big a problem in, say, the high hurdles, since hurdlers specialize in a single event. But sprinters generally run both the 100 and the 200, and between the two they're probably held 75 times on the World Athletics Tour. No wonder sprinters can duck each other. It's the exact same problem as when Seb Coe and Steve Ovett avoided each other: popular distances held all the time, and each ran multiple distances.

So finally the IAAF has figured out a way to control the problem: limit competitive opportunities in some events. At the same time, they've radically upped the profile of events that were virtually ignored in the Golden League setup by mandating they be held a minimum of eight times in those fourteen meets.

This is old news, though. What was really a big deal with today's announcement was the timing of the two US meets, the Reebok Grand Prix in New York and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. Respectively, they will be on June 19th and July 3rd, a radical departure from their traditional dates.

These two meets will bookend the USATF championships (June 23-26). There will be major international competition in the USA in the summer, after the national championships, for the first time in several generations.

Even more commonsense is the fact that these meet won't be swallowed up in the domestic college and high school seasons, when the natural fan base (coaches and athletes) are busy with other things. As much as I love the pros, I'll be at the state meet the first Saturday in June until I die (and I may require my casket to be brought down every year too). And where the major sports media is concerned, these meets are no longer up against the NBA and NHL playoffs--the only competition will be baseball and golf, which many will quite happily abandon in favor of something new.

Also, these meets are just the fifth and sixth in the Diamond League series. Unlike the Golden League, where competing in all the meets was mandatory if you wanted the payoff, it's not that way in the DL. So most domestic athletes will likely stay in home for just about the whole time until USATF/Pre...which should help out meets like Toronto's new Festival of Excellence and anything else someone decides to dream up.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

World Rankings Update -- Men's Throws

Shot Put
1. Reese Hoffa, USA, 133
2. Tomasz Majewski , POL, 96
3. Christian Cantwell, USA, 92
4. Dan Taylor, USA, 58
5. Dorian Scott, JAM, 34
6. Dylan Armstrong, CAN, 33
7. Adam Nelson, USA, 28
8. Daniel Taylor , USA, 26
9. Pavel Sofyin, RUS, 26
10. Anton Liuboslavski, RUS, 21
Cantwell ruled the indoor season but the others have raised their game outdoors and surpassed him. Hoffa has three firsts and two seconds since bombing at Drake in April.

Discus Throw
1. Gerd Kanter, EST, 188
2. Piotr Malachowski, POL, 69
3. Zoltán Kövágó, HUN, 37
4. Yennifer Frank Casañas, ESP, 35
5. Robert Harting, GER, 34
6. Virgilijus Alekna , LTU, 25
7. Jarred Rome, USA, 24
8. Erik Cadée, NED, 14
9. Ian Waltz, USA, 14
10. Markus Münch, GER, 12
This is probably the single most-ignored event on the World Athletics Tour and will benefit the most when next year's Diamond League plan goes into action.

Hammer Throw
1. Krisztián Pars, HUN, 136
2. Dilshod Nazarov, TJK, 65
3. Primož Kozmus, SLO, 57
4. Aleksey Zagornyi, RUS, 40
5. Marco Lingua, ITA, 39
6. Artem Rubanko , UKR, 32
7. Igors Sokolovs , LAT, 32
8. András Haklits, CRO, 31
9. Nicola Vizzoni, ITA, 25
10. Juriy Shaunov, BLR, 24

Javelin Throw
1. Andreas Thorkildsen, NOR, 55
2. Vadims Vasilevskis, LAT, 41
3. Tero Pitkämäki, FIN, 32
4. Stuart Farquhar, NZL, 21
5. Ainars Kovals, LAT, 17
6. Eriks Rags, LAT, 17
7. Kärlis Alainis, LAT, 15
8. Mark Frank, GER, 15
9. Igor Janik, POL, 12
10. Teemu Wikkala, FIN, 12
This is a late-starting event as the countries that dominate it—Finland and Norway—have barely shoveled out. Pitkämäki has already traded wins with Thorkildsen, and expect much of the same as the year goes along.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

World Rankings Update -- Men's Jumps

High Jump
1. Ivan Ukhov, RUS, 183
2. Jesse Williams, USA, 115
3. Andra Manson, USA, 69
4. Aleksey Dmitrik, RUS, 53.5
5. Linus Thörnblad, SWE, 47
6. Yaroslav Rybakov, RUS, 38
7. Aleksandr Shustov, RUS, 33.5
8. Raul Spank, GER, 31.5
9. Andrey Tereshin, RUS, 27
10. Jessé de Lima, BRA, 23
10. Tora Harris, USA, 23
Ukhov easily bested Williams on the American's home track at the Prefontaine Classic and remains well ahead of everyone else. If anyone is capable of knocking him off the top I think it might be Thörnblad, but not for months yet. Manson has been in a prolonged funk ever since his big PR at the Texas Relays.

Pole Vault
1. Steve Hooker, AUS, 182
2. Renaud Lavillenie, FRA, 50
3. Pavel Gerasimov, RUS, 49
4. Alexander Straub, GER, 40
4. Alhaji Jeng, SWE, 40
6. Romain Mesnil, FRA, 33
7. Jeremy Scott , USA, 32
8. Derek Miles, USA, 31.5
9. Evgeniy Lukyanenko, RUS, 30
10. Danny Ecker, GER, 18.5
The Pre Classic turned out to be a cluster***k as only three vaulters made a height. This event is strangely hard to find in World Athletics Tour meets. Aside from Hooker, no one has vaulted particularly high.

Long Jump
1. Dwight Phillips, USA, 145
2. Irving Saladino, PAN, 82
3. Sebastian Bayer, GER, 64
4. Salim Sdiri, FRA, 35
5. Yahya Berrabah, MAR, 33
6. Loúis Tsátoumas, GRE, 32
7. Fabrice Lapierre, AUS, 25
8. Nils Winter, GER, 20
9. Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, RSA , 19
10. Miguel Pate, USA, 18
I use wind/altitude adjustments for the long and triple jumps. They're crude, but they seem to describe what happens pretty well and often reveal some hidden information.

Phillips' big jump at the Prefontaine Classic was not only the longest low-altitude jump in eighteen years, it was made into a sizable headwind. In fact, only Carl Lewis has jumped further with any headwind at all. Phillips' mark is literally off my scoring charts. Saladino's second-place mark in the same meet is the second-highest scoring outdoor track performance of the year. It was quite a battle, and NBC didn't do it justice.

Triple Jump
1. Arnie David Girat, CUB, 158
2. Alexis Copello, CUB, 99
3. Yoandris Betanzos, CUB, 94
4. Teddy Tamgho, FRA, 66
5. Nelson Évora, POR, 61
6. Fabrizio Donato, ITA, 50
7. Phillips Idowu , GBR, 42
8. Osniel Tosca, CUB, 32
9. Igor Spasovkhodski, RUS, 27
10. Julien Kapek, FRA, 26
Girat has been quite active, with nine meet over the 17-meter mark. Idowu just began his season last week.

NCAA Championships

Random thoughts...

Surprisingly, the best place to keep up with the action over the four days is Let's Run. I've never though the Johnson brothers were particularly smart or good at writing, but they've gotten better as they've produced more and more of their own material. They really, really like this stuff and they pay attention to the little things in the same way that good analysts in any sport do. Since they have no pretense as being journalists, they bridge the gap between sportswriters and columnists...that strange thing called a blogger.

I like that CBS covers this live and in HD, but other than that I think it's an amateur operation. They did profiles instead of showing the women's 800 and 1500. They covered field events in the same "oh, I guess there are field events" way that domestic TV has done for the better part of two decades, even though they each ended up making a huge difference in the team titles. They couldn't even pronounce German Fernandez's first name right, and no one in the studio bothered to correct them through their earpieces. In other words, they do not respect the event (how could you, if you employ Carol Lewis?) and don't cover it like real sports.

Speaking of Fernandez, three of the last four NCAA D-I men's mile/1500 titles have been won by Latinos (and probably all four if Fernandez hadn't skipped the indoor championships). Please, please someone out there notice the latin upsurge in US distance running and try to build on it. Soccer is still far and away the biggest spectator sport in the American hispanic community, but there's an opportunity here that someone should take advantage of.

The NCAA indoor/outdoor championships sites appear to be set mostly with Oregon, Texas A&M and Arkansas, the same teams that either rule the present, recent history or near future of the championship titles.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

World Rankings Update -- Men's Hurdles

110m Hurdles
1. Terrence Trammell, USA, 71
2. David Oliver, USA, 58
3. Dexter Faulk, USA, 48
4. Ryan Wilson, USA, 31
5. Shamar Sands, BAH, 29
6. Joel Brown, USA, 24
7. Antwon Hicks, USA, 22
8. David Payne, USA, 20
9. Ryan Brathwaite, BAR, 19
10. Evgeniy Borisov, RUS, 18
Trammell continues to run well above everyone else. Faulk had a very good week in Europe to move up to #3.

400m Hurdles
1. Isa Phillips, JAM, 49
2. Javier Culson, PUR, 45
3. Bershawn Jackson, USA, 42
4. Kerron Clement, USA, 38
5. Angelo Taylor, USA, 21
6. LaRon Bennett, USA, 20
7. Tristan Thomas, AUS, 18
8. Danny McFarlane, JAM, 17
9. David Greene , GBR, 17
10. L.J. van Zyl, RSA, 16
This one seems to defy logic, as Jackson beat both Phillips and Culson in each of the last two weeks. It's just a quirk in the system that will work itself out in a week or two; they've run three high-quality races to his two, and once he's got another under his belt he'll pass them...provided he keeps beating them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

World Rankings Update -- Men's Middle Distance

800 meters
1. Abubaker Kaki, SUD, 146
2. Ismail Ahmed Ismail, SUD, 65
3. Yuriy Borzakovskiy, RUS, 51
4. Asbel Kipruto Kiprop, KEN, 50
5. Wilfred Bungei, KEN, 41
6. Kleberson Davide, BRA, 40
7. David Lekuta Rudisha, KEN, 37
8. Boaz Kiplagat Lalang, KEN, 34
9. Mohammed Al Salhi, KSA, 33
10. Fabiano Peçanha, BRA, 27
Kaki now has four outdoor races at 1:44.82 or better, all wins. Ismail and Borzakovskiy are coasting on indoor results.

1500 meters
1. Haron Keitany, KEN, 151
2. Augustine Choge, KEN, 101
3. Bernard Lagat, USA, 97
4. Mehdi Baala, FRA, 81
5. Deresse Mekonen, ETH, 75
6. Belal Mansoor Ali, BRN, 72
7. Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, KEN, 62
8. Mo Farah, GBR, 55
9. Bouabdellah Tahri, FRA, 54
10. Asbel Kipruto Kiprop, KEN, 53
Kiprop may be down at #10, but he's earned his points off just one mile race plus a bonus for a fast 800. Keitany has run five races, and his close second-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic was his worst outing of the year.

World Rankings Update -- Men's Sprints

I'm a little off the normal update schedule here, but I've been re-tweaking the system just a tiny bit.

100 meters
1. Michael Rodgers, USA, 113
2. Daniel Bailey, ANT, 101
3. Monzavous Edwards, USA, 74
4. Dwain Chambers, GBR, 63
5. Travis Padgett, USA, 57
6. Darvis Patton, USA, 56
7. Steve Mullings, JAM, 54
8. Trindon Holliday, LSU, 50
9. Jacoby Ford, Clemson, 43
10. Churandy Martina, AHO, 41
With two wins in two weeks over good fields, Rodgers is undoubtedly the top century man right now. Edwards is also a minor name who is earning notice, with second-places in Hengelo and Eugene. Holliday and Ford have a showdown at this weekend's NCAA championships.

200 meters
1. LaShawn Merritt, USA, 66
2. Dwain Chambers, GBR, 51
3. Brendan Christian, ANT, 50
4. Michael Rodgers, USA, 50
5. Tyson Gay, USA, 42
6. Darvis Patton, USA, 33
7. Monzavous Edwards, USA, 32
8. Jeremy Wariner, USA, 32
9. Ivory Williams, USA, 27
10. Xavier Carter, USA, 25
Merritt's fast 300 race in Eugene earned a few bonus points, and while he won't be atop the rankings in this event come August he's still a force to be reckoned with under any circumstances. Gay's remarkable run in New York rockets him up to #5 on one race, while those above him have run anywhere from two to five.

400 meters
1. LaShawn Merritt, USA, 76
2. Jeremy Wariner, USA, 47
3. Gil Roberts, Tex Tech, 26
4. Renny Quow, TRI, 26
5. Sean Wroe, AUS, 23
6. Andrae Williams, BAH, 22
7. Tabarie Henry, Bart JC, 20
8. Chris Brown, BAH, 17
9. Michael Bingham, Wk Fst, 15
10. Greg Nixon, USA, 13
Merritt has so far shown a hand much stronger than that of Wariner, and I think much of the Texan's decision to return to Clyde Hart was out of fear of never beating Merritt again.


I've been unusually absent from posting here in the last few days. Part of this is due to packing up and closing out the last few days of school (there will be no more "Six at Eleven" posts until September) and going down to see the Ohio high school championships.

But mostly it's due to a new project I started up. After reading a post by Scott Bush about educating the fan, I decided to start writing a Toledo-area track newsletter. Issue #1 and issue #2 are available.

I've also been reading an actual non-track book, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. It is an utterly fascinating read, and the basic thrust of the book is that the courses of our lives often turn on little things that come our way. He looks at highly successful individuals and groups and explains how hard work alone does not explain how they got there--that all of them have other things going for them. The final chapter is an explanation of how he, whose ancestors included Jamaican slaves, happened to find himself as a professional writer for the New Yorker instead of some laboring schmuck in the Jamaican highlands.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Random thoughts

I learned from the Rachel Maddow Show that our Secretary of Energy, Steven "I am a nerd" Chu, taught himself to pole vault when he was in high school in the 60s...

If track & field's TV coverage had a Bob Roll-type character, who would it be? I suppose it would require that we already had Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. By this I mean a pair of consummate professionals in the limelight who allow the goofball to do his schtick on the side.

A lot of sports announcing teams include such a sideshow freak, but in most if not all cases they are also knowledgeable and insightful (Dick Vitale may be an exception). The NFL has used Tony Siragusa in this way, and Gary McCord has annoyed many a golf fan too. John Salley has parlayed a post-NBA career out of silliness. But without a doubt, the prototype for this type of personality, the guy who is more Bob Roll than Bob Roll, is Don Cherry. Someone who educates and enlightens while he entertains.

I dunno...Reese Hoffa when he retires? Jon Drummond? Both Roll and Cherry were hardly well-known during their pre-broadcasting days. There might be a good one out there right now that we aren't aware of.

What's On The Weekend


The Prefontaine Classic, an IAAF Grand Prix meet and the penultimate stop in the VISA Championship Series, will be held in Eugene, OR on Sunday. NBC will cover the meet live from 2 to 4 p.m.
Meet website / IAAF page
IAAF preview / USATF preview / Let's Run fan guide
Universal Sports / Oregonian / Register-Guard / Kenya Daily Nation

The Meeting International d'Arles, part of the IAAF’s Combined Events Challenge, will take place in Arles, France on Saturday and Sunday.
Meet website (in French) / IAAF page
IAAF preview

The European Cup 10,000 meters will be held in Madeira, Portugal on Saturday.
Website / EAA preview

The Janusz Kusocinski Memorial, an IAAF permit meet, will be held in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday.
Meet website (in Polish) / IAAF page
IAAF preview

High Schools
State championships finish up.

California, in Clovis
Meet website / Dyestat page / Flotrack coverage

Texas, in Austin
Meet website
/ Flotrack coverage

Ohio, in Columbus
Meet website
/ Flotrack coverage


The Prefontaine Classic will be covered live and in high definition on NBC from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Pac-10 championships will be rerun on Fox College Sports Pacific at 4 a.m. on Saturday.

The Stockholm Marathon will be rerun on Universal Sports at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

The Reebok Grand Prix will be rerun on Universal Sports at noon, 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The Great City Games will be rerun on Universal Sports at 8:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The Big Ten men's indoor championships will be rerun on the Big Ten Network at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The Big Ten women's indoor championships will be rerun on the Big Ten Network at noon on Sunday.

The Doha Super Grand Prix will be rerun on Universal Sports at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

E:60, featuring a segment on Macharia Yuot, will be rerun on ESPN Classic at 10 p.m. on Sunday.

New website

Via Let's Run:
With Trackshark shutting down the community here may be interested in web 2.0 social news site for runners and track & field enthusiasts. Do check out .

It is a user powered community for athletes, runners, T&F fans where the community decides what stories to submit and publish on the front page. You can also write editorials and original stories, Q&A etc.

It is currently in beta and is open to all. So come join the month long launch party.
Looks interesting. Check it out.

Fantasy League Outlook

I don't know if my advice should be followed, considering the thumping I took in the Pick N' Win game last week. On the other hand, who else is handing out advice?

Under each event is the start list and the percent of fantasy players who picked them (as of Friday morning).

Walter Dix, 56%
Asafa Powell, 22%
Travis Padgett, 13%
Churandy Martina, 4%
Richard Thompson, 2%
Michael Frater, 1%
Jaysuma Ndure, 0%
Marc Burns, 0%
Analysis: Dix and Martina are the two to watch, and I'd go with the former.

Nutrilite 300m
LaShawn Merritt, 75%
Wallace Spearmon, 14%
Xavier Carter, 8%
Renny Quow, 1%
David Neville, 1%
Tyler Christopher, 0%
Darold Williamson, 0%
Analysis: Merritt might be better at this distance than he is at the 400. Barring injury or illness he cannot be beaten.

Nike 800m
Nick Symmonds, 51%
Khadevis Robinson, 25%
Alfred Yego, 8%
Yuriy Borzakovskiy, 6%
Boaz Lalang, 3%
Gary Reed, 2%
Ahmad Ismail, 2%
Matt Scherer, 1%
Christian Smith, 1%
Elijah Greer, 1%
Analysis: Yego is the '07 World champ and '08 Olympic bronze medalist. It would be hard to go too wrong with him.

Bowerman Mile
Leonel Manzano, 31%
Asbel Kiprop, 17%
Alan Webb, 16%
Lopez Lomong, 13%
Haron Keitany, 7%
Nicholas Kemboi, 3%
Nate Brannen, 3%
Shedrack Korir, 3%
Henok Legesse, 2%
Peter Vanderwesthuizen, 1%
Josephat Kithii, 1%
Will Leer, 1%
Jackson Kivuna, 1%
Moise Joseph, 1%
Evan Jager, 0%
Belal Mansour, 0%
Analysis: Last month in Doha, Asbel Kiprop ran 1:43 and Keitany ran 3:30. The race will come down to those two, and I'm going with Kiprop.

Paul Koech, 38%
Ezekiel Kemboi, 25%
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, 8%
Josh McAdams, 7%
Steve Slattery, 7%
Ben Bruce, 4%
Brian Olinger, 2%
Billy Nelson, 2%
Luke Watson, 2%
Tom Brooks, 2%
Kyle Alcorn, 1%
Roba Gary, 1%
Dan Huling, 1%
Analysis: Koech and Kemboi are head and shoulders above the rest of the world right now. Koech was beaten by Kemboi in Doha, who then started talking about attacking the world record. I would not be surprised if such an attempt were made on Sunday and I'm going with Kemboi.

Bernard Lagat, 77%
Saif Shaheen, 6%
Sileshi Sihine, 5%
Alistair Cragg, 3%
Matt Tegenkamp, 2%
Dejen Gebremeskel, 1%
Moses Masai, 1%
Jonathan Riley, 1%
Chris Solinsky, 1%
Abreham Feleke, 1%
Leonard Komon, 1%
Matthew Kisorio, 1%
Steve Sherer, 0%
Brent Vaughn, 0%
Juan Luis Barrios, 0%
Analysis: Lagat has run well in his last two meets, but Sihine and Shaheen are a dangerous runners. I'm picking Lagat in an attempt to minimize the possible downside since we know how he's running right now, but the others are coming off layoffs.

400m Hurdles
Kerron Clement, 45%
Bershawn Jackson, 31%
Angelo Taylor, 16%
Michael Tinsley, 2%
Isa Phillips, 2%
James Carter, 2%
Kenneth Ferguson, 1%
Markino Buckley, 0%
Analysis: Clement is probably the best hurdler, and he's become more consistent over the years, but he's still a bit of a crapshoot. If you're jumpy about taking him (I'm not), Phillips is your best bet.

High Jump
Jesse Williams, 29%
Andrey Silnov, 14%
Jamie Nieto, 12%
Andra Manson, 11%
Ivan Ukhov, 10%
Germaine Mason, 9%
Donald Thomas, 8%
Dustin Jonas, 6%
Analysis: The world's top three are all here, but Williams is competing at home. Jet lag alone gives him an advantage over the Russians, and Manson has been inexplicably average lately. Take Williams.

Pole Vault
Derek Miles, 47%
Tim Mack, 18%
Evgenyi Lukyanenko, 13%
Jeremy Scott, 13%
Jacob Pauli, 3%
Giovanni Lanaro, 3%
Daichi Sawano, 2%
Alhaji Jeng, 1%
Analysis: Miles and Lukyanenko are probably the favorites, and I'll give the nod to Miles.
EDIT: Lukyanenko is a scratch.

Long Jump
Dwight Phillips, 55%
Irving Saladino, 24%
Brian Johnson, 5%
Miguel Pate, 4%
Fabrice Lapierre, 4%
Trevell Quinley, 4%
Matthew Turner, 3%
Yayah Berrabah, 1%
Analysis: Saladino just beat Phillips in Holland on Monday. The Panamanian always finds a way to win.

Visa Shot Put
Reese Hoffa, 42%
Christian Cantwell, 23%
Adam Nelson, 20%
Dan Taylor, 8%
Tomasz Majewski, 2%
Andrei Mikhnevich, 2%
Dorian Scott, 1%
Dylan Armstrong, 1%
Analysis: This is a better field than the Olympic final last year. Taylor has had the hot hand as of late and is the world leader and I'd have to say is the favorite.

Visa 100m
Carmelita Jeter, 47%
Lauryn Williams, 13%
Kerron Stewart, 12%
Muna Lee, 11%
Shelly-Ann Fraser, 6%
Marshevet Hooker, 6%
Torri Edwards, 5%
Analysis: So should you go with the most dominant sprinter (Jeter) or the defending Olympic champ (Fraser)? The 100 is all about what you've done lately. Take Jeter.

Nutrilite 400m
Sanya Richards, 81%
Natasha Hastings, 8%
Shericka Williams, 6%
Novlene Williams, 2%
Melanie Walker, 2%
Amantle Montsho, 1%
Anastasia Kapachinskaya, 0%
Analysis: Unless Richards is ill (a distinct possibility), she should win. Shericka Williams is your backup pick.

Pamela Jelimo, 37%
Hazel Clark, 30%
Kenia Sinclair, 10%
Janeth Jepkosgei, 10%
Alysia Johnson, 6%
Tatyana Andrianova, 4%
Jemma Simpson, 3%
Jesse Carlin, 1%
Analysis: Interesting. Jelimo was untouchable last year but recently in Rabat she was ordinary. Since I don't think you can change your form in the middle distances quickly, I'm taking Jepkosgei, who has been consistently tough for several years.

Nike 1500m
Christin Wurth-Thomas, 22%
Shalane Flanagan, 17%
Anna Willard, 16%
Gelete Burka, 12%
Shannon Rowbury, 11%
Nancy Lagat, 7%
Jenny Barringer, 4%
Shayne Culpepper, 3%
Treniere Clement, 3%
Meskerem Assefa, 2%
Nikeya Green, 1%
Erin Donohue, 1%
Anna Alminova, 1%
Nuria Fernandez, 1%
Analysis: This is a great field. You could make an argument for any of eight athletes to win. Burka ran extremely well in Holland on Monday with a 3:58 which puts her at the head of the list. But Alminova's indoor season showed she is capable of running just as well.

Kara Goucher, 42%
Sally Kipyego, 14%
Maryam Jamal, 13%
Linet Masai, 8%
Vivian Cheruiyot, 7%
Sara Hall, 6%
Jen Rhines, 3%
Amy Yoder-Begley, 2%
Pauline Korikwiang, 2%
Lauren Hagans, 2%
Sara Vaughn, 1%
Ariana Lambie, 1%
Marina Muncan, 0%
Analysis: I don't think anyone here can beat Jamal.

100m Hurdles
Dawn Harper, 38%
Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, 13%
Damu Cherry, 12%
Michelle Perry, 11%
Hyleas Fountain, 8%
Perdita Felicien, 7%
Vonette Dixon, 5%
Virginia Powell, 4%
Brigitte Foster-Hylton, 2%
Analysis: I think Lopes-Schliep is the best hurdler in the race.

Long Jump
Brittney Reese, 28%
Hyleas Fountain, 20%
Grace Upshaw, 18%
Brianna Glenn, 9%
Tianna Madison, 7%
Yelena Sokolova, 6%
Jovanee Jarrett, 5%
Funmilayo Jimoh, 4%
Akiba McKinney, 2%
Ksenija Balta, 1%
Tabia Charles, 1%
Analysis: Sokolova is no pushover, but Reese bombed one big jump after another all through May. She should win.

Stephanie Brown Trafton, 55%
Suzy Powell Roos, 21%
Annie Hess, 6%
Aretha Thurmond, 6%
Gia Lewis, 5%
Summer Pierson, 4%
Becky Breisch, 2%
Lucy Cridland, 1%
Analysis: In the absence of any foreigners, Brown Trafton is almost a lock.

Oksana Menkova, 33%
Amber Campbell, 16%
Jessica Cosby, 13%
Betty Heidler, 11%
Britney Henry, 10%
Loree Smith, 6%
Darya Pchelnick, 5%
Sultana Frizell, 5%
Analysis: This will be the season opener for Menkova, the Olympic champion. This is probably the deepest competition of the year so far, but it's hard to pick against Menkova.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

What's On Tomorrow

High school state championships get underway.

California, in Clovis
Meet website / Dyestat page / Flotrack coverage

Texas, in Austin
Meet website
/ Flotrack coverage

Ohio, in Columbus
Meet website
/ Flotrack coverage

The Jesse Owens Classic will be rerun on the Big Ten Network from midnight to 2 a.m.

The Great City Games will be rerun on Universal Sports from 4:30 to 5 p.m.

The Pac-10 Championships will be rerun on Fox College Sports Pacific at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Six at Eleven

RW Daily has the headlines: Geb misses in a world record attempt, Bekele DNFs, Tyson Gay, and more.

Speaking of Tyson Gay, a 100-meter matchup between him and Powell is possible at this Sunday’s Prefontaine Classic.

Let’s Run recaps yesterday’s Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Holland.

The New York Times profiles Olympic decathlon champ Bryan Clay.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks at efforts to widen the fan base.

Threadspotting: Why is Dwain Chambers getting the cold shoulder but not Mauren Higga Maggi?

Monday, June 01, 2009

World Rankings Update -- Multis

1. Michael Schrader, GER, 114
2. Yordani García, CUB, 108
3. Trey Hardee, USA, 99
4. Roman Šebrle, CZE, 98
5. Oleksiy Kasyanov, UKR, 89
6. Pascal Behrenbruch, GER, 75
7. Jake Arnold, USA, 63
8. Mikk Pahapill, EST, 56
9. Leonel Suárez, CUB, 54
10. Norman Müller, GER, 49
Schrader and García both won over the weekend, the German at the big Gotzis competition in Austria and the Cuban at the new Americas Cup in Havana. American Hardee did well to take second in Austria. The big dog, Olympic champ Bryan Clay, hasn’t competed yet.

1. Hanna Melnychenko, UKR, 147
2. Jessica Ennis, GBR, 126
3. Nataliya Dobrynska, UKR, 123
4. Lyudmila Yosypenko, UKR, 81
5. Yvonne Wisse, NED, 77
6. Lilli Schwarzkopf, GER, 72
7. Jennifer Oeser, GER, 69
8. Julia Machtig, GER, 63
9. Tatyana Chernova, RUS, 45
10. Yuliya Tarasova, UZB, 45
By a quirk of the scoring system, Melnychenko is first. She hasn’t won a heptathlon but took second in two different major competitions. Winners of those were Ennis and Dobrynska.

Six at Eleven

RW Daily News has all the headlines: Reebok Grand Prix, Freihofer’s 5k, NCAA Regionals, San Diego and Stockholm marathons, and more.

Scott Bush picks the top five performances from the Reebok Grand Prix, and Joe Battaglia gives a report card from the meet.

The mainstream sports press has a story to latch on to: Tyson Gay lets Usain Bolt know that staying on top is not guaranteed.

How’d the Jamaicans do in New York? Not so good.

Kiwi miling legend John Walker has been knighted.

Threadspotting: Reebok Grand Prix thoughts