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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Worlds, Day 5

Afternoon session: recap / video-on-demand
Evening session recaps: IAAF / World Track / video-on-demand
Deca 100 / Deca long jump / Deca shot / Men's 400 semis / Men's 200 semis / Women's 200 heats / Men's disc / Men's 1500 / Women's 100 hurdles / Women's 800 / Deca high jump / Deca 400

Schedule / Preview
TV: Versus, 1:30-3:30
Web:, 3:55 AM (afternoon session), 11:45 AM (evening session); IAAF Radio, 11 AM
Highlights: M 200, M 110h, W High Jump, W 400h, Decathlon Day 2

My thoughts on the fifth day of the Worlds...

The throws have been screwy. Kristian Pars and Gerd Kanter were both undefeated on the season, and neither finished in the top two. Barbora Spotakova has been nearly unbeatable in major competition, but she got beat. The Germans are competing waaay over their heads in the field events. I sure hope Ariane Friedrich comes through for me in the high jump.

I thought Bernard Lagat was the best runner in the 1500, but two little things kept him from winning. He was in great position at the head of the backstretch, but there were too many other runners still in the picture and he got boxed in right before the turn. Even then, he might have had a chance, but Mehdi Baala gave him a shove just before the homestretch that more or less killed his last chance.

Asbel Kiprop may actually have been a better runner, but boy did he run stupid. Darn near last at the bell, he had to go out to lane 3 around the last turn and still got fourth. I'm glad the IAAF fantasy league system's cutoff kept me from picking him up for the 1500 final.

Which brings me to another issue. Kenyans will win many medals with a few golds among them. You can bank on that, year in and year out. But as for predicting which Kenyans...that is always very hard to guess. It's part of the reason they give off the aura of invincibility, even though they're second-fiddle to the Ethiopians at 5k and above.

As for the Caster Semenya rhubarb, I'll refer you to the sober analysis by the Science of Sport guys. I picked her in the fantasy league, but my loyalties end there.

Decathlon? Follow it here. Summary: Leonel Suarez may be in eighth right now, but that don't mean dick when you realize how good a second-day decathlete he is. And Germany's Pascal Behrenbruch, now back in 11th, will give the crowd a thrill when he makes a run at a medal. Again, the German is competing waaay over his head.

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