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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Things I Think I Think About The Worlds, Part 2

SI's Brian Cazanueve passed out his grades for the Worlds. He didn't give enough.

LaShawn Merritt, USA -- A
He's the new king of the 400, hands down.

Germany -- A
They almost always did better than expected.

Poland -- A+
Their best-ever showing at a Worlds.

Jamaica -- A++
Almost too good, if you know what I mean. Almost.

Kerron Clement, USA -- A
For a man who still seems surprised every time there's a hurdle in his lane, he's become awfully consistent.

USA distance running -- B
See my post below. Six finalists in the 1500, a medal near-miss in the women's steeple, four finalists in the 5k, three top-tens in the 10k. NBC was forced to show all the distance races save the men's marathon, because the USA had contenders in all but the men's steeple. If someone besides Lagat can get on the medal stand, they'll get an A.

Jeremy Wariner, USA -- B
What Michael Johnson made people forget is that the 400 has historically been a man-eater of an event. Until he came along, no one had ever been the world's best for more than four seasons--only the marathon has been tougher to keep on top of. Wariner reversed his split with Clyde Hart and got stronger; we'll see yet whether he can get back under 44, or if he's simply over the hill.

Steve Hooker -- A
Guts, pure guts. Two attempts on a bad hamstring and a pole vault gold medal.

Russia -- C-
No longer a powerhouse. Looks like they'll have to go back to the doping drawing board now that WADA figured out their game.

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