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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Athletes of the Year, Men

With the Continental Cup done, the track season is pretty much over (with a few notable exceptions).  There will be a few more meets over the next two weeks, and then there's the Commonwealth Games in October, but for the most part the track season is done.  Tom Fordyce of the BBC already has his year-end awards decided.

Those few notable exceptions are the decathlon/heptathlon, which will have a big competition in France this coming weekend, and various distances of road racing.  But for 20 of the 23 categories I rank, the season is pretty much done.

Here's how my points system came up with overall Athlete of the Year rankings...

1. David Rudisha (KEN/800m) 435
2. David Oliver (USA/110H) 370
3. Christian Cantwell (USA/Shot) 346
4. Bershawn Jackson (USA/400H) 324
5. Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR/Jav) 323
6. Tyson Gay (USA/sprints) 322
7. Teddy Tamgho (FRA/TJ) 314
8. Ivan Ukhov (RUS/HJ) 302.5
9. Renaud Lavillenie (FRA/PV) 301
10. Wallace Spearmon (USA/sprints) 299
11. Dwight Phillips (USA/LJ) 298
12. Usain Bolt (JAM/sprints) 293
13. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH/marathon) 292
14. Walter Dix (USA/sprints) 286
14. Abubaker Kaki (SUD/800m) 286
16. Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN/Steeple) 281
17. Tariku Bekele (ETH/3k-5k) 279
18. Asafa Powell (JAM/sprints) 271
19. Piotr Malachowski (POL/DT) 268
20. Paul Koech (KEN/Steeple) 264

Like I said, these are still in a little bit of flux, but not a lot.  My top two are the consensus picks, but after that it starts to get a bit different.  Why?

My system rewards those who win a lot and post marks that are unusually good.  But how it differs from most is that it rewards consistently facing off against the best competition more than it penalizes losing.  Cantwell showed up to the two biggest meets of the year in his event (USATF and Stockholm), while Tyson Gay avoided both of them in the 100 (USATF and Rieti).  Had Gay been there and won, he would have been an easy #3 (as most other rankings probably will place him).

Weekend Roundup
IAAF Continental Cup: Results / Day 1 recap from Let's Run / Day 2 recaps from IAAF and Let's Run

New Haven 20k (aka USATF 20k Championships): results / Let's Run recap / video coverage

London Women's 5k: recap and results

City of Padua meet: results / recap

College cross country: weekend results

What's On Today?
Pedro's Cup takes place in Szczecin, Poland.

Track on TV
Continental Cup Day 1 rerun, 6 PM on Universal Sports
Continental Cup Day 2 rerun, 1 AM on Universal Sports

Around the Web
Runner's World Racing News has all the headlines, including a good piece on unapproachable East German records.

David Oliver blogs on the Continental Cup; Lauren Fleshman blogs on the London women's 5k; Briana Glenn blogs on delays.

The track facility for the upcoming Commonwealth Games is in poor shape, to put it midly.

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