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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Van Damme

Tomorrow’s Van Damme Memorial meet in Brussels will crown the remaining half of the inaugural Diamond League champions. Many of the titles are already clinched, but some others are still in play.

I’m trying out a new rankings system this year, known as the Superfan Rankings. The criteria for ranking high is similar to that of Track and Field News’ world rankings, but with one difference: avoiding tough competition in order to avoid losing is penalized.

While the Brussels meet is not the last one, it’s the last really big one. In order of the meet schedule, here’s how the rankings in each event being run tomorrow could play out.

Women’s discus: Yarelis Barrios leads and cannot be caught.

Men’s shot put: Christian Cantwell leads and cannot be caught. A big throw, something over 22 meters, would help him fend off Tyson Gay and Bershawn Jackson in all-event Athlete of the Year rankings (in which he is currently third).

Women’s triple jump: Right now, Yargeris Sevigne leads over Olga Rypakova. That will reverse if Rypakova wins by anything more than about 6 or 7 centimeters.

Men’s steeplechase: The Diamond League final was last week, and Paul Koech won the title. There’s a steeplechase tomorrow, though. Koech is ranked #2 behind Ezekiel Kemboi, and could go to #1 if he wins with a sub-8:00 clocking.

Men’s 400m hurdles: Bershawn Jackson leads and cannot be caught. If he wins with a 47.40 or better, he would pass Christian Cantwell in the overall rankings.

Women’s 200 meters: Allyson Felix leads and cannot be caught. If she runs a world leader, she’ll pass Jessica Ennis for #2 in the overall rankings.

Men’s pole vault: Renaud Lavillenie leads and cannot be caught.

Women’s high jump: Blanka Vlasic leads and cannot be caught. If she wins, she’ll pass Betty Heidler (currently third) in the all-event Athlete of the Year rankings.

Women’s 800 meters: Mariya Savinova leads and cannot be caught.

Men’s 100 meters: Tyson Gay will pass Asafa Powell for the #1 ranking, unless he false-starts or injures himself. If he runs under 9.75 or so, he would pass Christian Cantwell for third in the all-event Athlete of the Year rankings.

Women’s steeplechase: The #1 ranking is on the line here. Whoever wins between Milcah Chemos and Yuliya Zarudneva will take the top spot.

Men’s 1500 meters: Augustine Choge has this all but sewn up. If he totally bombs, Amine Laalou could take the top spot with a win. Asbel Kiprop also has an outside chance at the top ranking.

Women’s 100m hurdles: Priscilla Lopes-Schliep just about has the #1 ranking sewn up, barring disaster.

Men’s triple jump: Teddy Tamgho leads and cannot be caught.

Men’s javelin: Andreas Thorkildsen leads and cannot be caught.

Men’s 800 meters: David Rudisha has clinched the #1 ranking, and just about clinched #1 in the all-event Athlete of the Year rankings.

Women’s 5000 meters: Vivian Cheruyiot would have to run poorly to lose her #1 ranking, in which case it would go to Sentayehu Ejigu.

Track on TV
Beijing 2008 – America’s Olympic Glory, 7:45 AM on Showtime Family Channel
Diamond League London rerun, 11:30 AM on Universal Sports

Around the Web
Runner's World Racing News has all the headlines: Mary Keitany will run her debut marathon in New York, and weekend previews

Britain's Athletics Weekly says the upcoming Commonwealth Games will be a delight, not a disaster.

SPIKES Magazine interviews Tyson Gay and David Rudisha

An interview with Mo Farah

Doha, Istanbul and Rome have bid for the 2017 IAAF World Championships.  Should the Turkish city win, I have the perfect theme song.

RunnerSpace has video highlights of the recent Leadville Trail 100 and a 10-minute interview with Alan Webb.

Rome 1960: when the Olympics went modern.

Flotrack interviews Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie.

Hometown newspaper features on Morgan Uceny and Christian Cantwell.

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