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Thursday, August 13, 2009

World Championships Fantasy League

There are three online contests that I know of: Let's Run's prediction contest, USATF's Pick N' Win contest, and the IAAF's Fantasy Athletics.

My other responsibilities are ramping up, so I'm only playing one. The first two are straight pick-em games and not terribly interesting. The IAAF's game includes a bit of strategy and therefore more intriguing.

The rules: You pick 20 athletes--10 men and 10 women--and one team in each of the four relays. You get points for place with bonuses for world and meet records. The twist is that each athlete must be from a different country, and the same for each relay. You can drop an athlete and pick up a new one (forfeiting points already earned in the process), but only one per day.

I cribbed winner picks from Track & Field News and Let's Run and tried to be smart about it. I went with strong favorites from small countries, such as Kristian Pars and Valerie Vili. I went with athletes picked to win two events, such as Kenenisa Bekele and Usain Bolt, figuring they were more or less guaranteed to win at least one. And then I picked athletes from big countries who were favorites to win events held early on in the championships, such as Sanya Richards, figuring I could swap them out for other favorites later on should they fail to win gold.

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