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Postby JSparksFan » Sat May 24, 2014 8:20 pm

Headed to the World Relays now! I'm so excited! :D :D :D
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun May 25, 2014 3:59 am

Day one was pretty fantastic! It even exceeded my already massive expectations! :D

Two world records were broken, courtesy of Jamaica in the men's 4x200m and Kenya in the women's 4x1,500m. I suppose as both relays are rarely contested, those marks were very much within reach, but it was still surreal to bear witness to any athletic world record being broken.

As far as individual performances go, I was impressed with all of my faves. Yohan ran a solid anchor leg for the Jamaican's 4x200m team, but Warren Weir had an even more impressive leg. He completely blitzed the other nations on that second leg. Warren is in fine form right now.

Blessing Okagbare looked like an Amazonian princess today. She was beautiful and lightning quick too. She ate up that second leg for the Nigerian women's 4x100m final. It's just a shame that the final runner wasn't able to hold on to that bronze medal position, but instead ended up finishing fourth, just outside of the medals. Blessing will be a force to be reckoned with at the World Champs next year though!

Sanya Richards-Ross ran a very solid second leg in the heats of the 4x400m. The crowd really loved her too and she turned and waved to us several times after the race and even blew kisses. She's very popular here and it was lovely to see her put together a good race again. She was the highlight for me. <3

I remember being so miserable that Allyson pulled out, but my other favourites did so well to make up for her absence that I'm alright with it now.

So excited for the women's 4x200m tomorrow so I can see pocket rocket Fraser-Pryce! The crowd will go wild for her for sure!

The men's 4x400m final should be very, very, VERY hotly contested! The Top 4 teams - the Bahamas, the US, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica - ran very close times so that should be the premier event tomorrow. If the Bahamian men win, which I suspect they will, the crowd will just go mad! :lol:
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Postby JSparksFan » Wed May 28, 2014 3:33 am

Day two was great too!

I was really excited to see Fraser-Pryce in the women's 4x200m, but the American squad was just too strong for the Jamaican women to overhaul. Plus that last hand-off was mediocre, placing them out of contention even for silver. Hats off to Bianca Knight though. She really ran a storming bend and had the best leg overall from my estimation.

The men's 4x100m final was a bit boring with the American men getting disqualified in the heats. Jamaica didn't win by quite the margin I expected though. Trinidad is really much stronger than I thought! Blake must have been a bit weary from his 200m leg the day before.

The women's 4x400m final was terrific too. Richards-Ross had some difficulties holding off Williams-Mills, but Natasha Hastings really separated from the pack and Joanna Atkins had an easy task to carry the baton the final lap to gold.

The men's 4x400m was just otherworldly though. I don't mean in terms of the performance, even though that was pretty impressive also. But the CROWD. Oh my word, I have never heard such a deafening roar before in my life and the Bahamian men really did gave it their all. I knew with LeShawn Merritt being on that final leg, and with the US being only two metres down, that the race was over, but it was gallant run by the Bahamian quartet.

All in all, epic event! I'm hearing rumours that The Bahamas is the host nation for next year's world relays too and if it's true I'll be overjoyed! :D
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri May 30, 2014 1:20 am

Their first clash this year didn't materialise, but the Fraser-Pryce vs. Felix duel is on for this Saturday! :D

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Olympic Champion vs. World Champion

Olympic Talk wrote:The stars are out for the third Diamond League meet of the season – Allyson Felix, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Ashton Eaton and David Rudisha, among others.

The Prefontaine Classic is the most mouth-watering outdoor meet of 2014 so far, living up to its venue, revered Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Competition starts Friday night, with Olympic and world champion Brittney Reese in the long jump, Mary Cain in the 800m and Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp in the 10,000m. USATF.TV will have live coverage.

NBCSN will have live coverage Saturday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET, followed by NBC from 4:30-6. NBC Sports Live Extra will be available for the entire 3:30-6 window. The full schedule and entry lists can be found here.

Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

Friday
10 p.m. — Women’s discus
10:03 — Women’s long jump
10:30 — Women’s 800m I
10:50 — Women’s 800m II
11:10 — Men’s shot put
12:17 a.m. (Saturday) — Men’s 10,000m

Saturday
3:22 p.m. — Men’s triple jump
3:25 — Men’s pole vault
3:59 — Women’s high jump
4:03 — Women’s 400m hurdles
4:11 — Women’s 3000m steeplechase
4:25 — Men’s 400m
4:34 — Men’s 100m
4:38 — Men’s javelin
4:42 — Women’s 400m
4:49 — Women’s 1500m
5:05 — Men’s 110m hurdles
5:13 — Women’s 200m
5:20 — Men’s 5000m
5:41 — Men’s 800m
5:49 — Bowerman Mile

Here are five track events to watch Saturday:

Men’s 100m

No Usain Bolt or Yohan Blake, but all seven men in the field have a personal best of 10.0 or better. The favorite is Justin Gatlin, who owns the fastest time of the year at 9.87. His top competition should be France’s Jimmy Vicaut, the second fastest man this year (9.95), and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, who was second to Gatlin at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai on May 18.

Women’s 1500m

Ethiopian-born Swede Abeba Aregawi has owned this event the last year, winning all six Diamond League races she entered in 2013, then the World Championship and then the World Indoor Championship.

American Jenny Simpson, the 2011 world champion and 2013 world silver medalist, will try to break Aregawi’s streak. As will Kenyan Hellen Obiri, who set a meet record in winning in Eugene last year (it wasn’t a Diamond Race event in 2013).

Men’s 110m hurdles

Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton will try his hand against all six hurdles medalists from the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships, including world-record holder Aries Merritt and world champion David Oliver.

Eaton has been running the 400m hurdles this season, dabbling outside the decathlon in a non-outdoor World Championships year. His personal best in the 110m hurdles, 13.35 from the 2011 Pre Classic, would have placed fourth in the London Games final.

Women’s 200m

Bill this as Allyson Felix vs. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic champion vs. world champion. Remember, Felix collapsed to the track with a torn hamstring in this race at the World Championships on Aug. 16. Fraser-Pryce, in a neighboring lane, went on to win gold.

Fraser-Pryce has said she’s focusing on the 200m in 2014, while Felix is putting greater emphasis on the 400m. Both have pulled out of meets so far this year, reportedly due to injuries, giving hope to reigning U.S. champion Kimberlyn Duncan and world silver and bronze medalists Murielle Ahoure and Blessing Okagbare.


Men’s 800m

Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha will race for the first time in more than one year. The field is worthy of his return, including world champion Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia, Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana and American Duane Solomon, the fastest man in the world this year seeking to break the American 800m record.
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri May 30, 2014 3:46 am

The world relays are coming back to The Bahamas! :o :D

World Relays 2015 set for May 2 & 3

Track Alerts wrote:The second edition of IAAF World Relays is planned for 2015, again in Nassau, but for an earlier date May 2-3. Last weekend's inaugural event was a huge success according to the IAAF.

“The IAAF’s faith in the innovative IAAF World Relays, a new event with a new presentation concept and The Bahamas ability to deliver a top global sports entertainment product have been richly rewarded this weekend,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack.

“In the ‘sun, sea and sand paradise’ that The Bahamas markets itself, we have experienced a true sporting paradise which has excelled beyond our expectations. The people have embraced the IAAF World Relays and the noise of their support will be left ringing in our memories for many years to come.”

Meanwhile, the new event proved to be a success with 3 world records and world leads in all 10 events. 13 countries got medals with USA the best 5-2-1 ahead of Kenya 3-1-0 and Jamaica 2-2-1.

Golden baton for the best team given by president Lamine Diack to USA.
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Postby JSparksFan » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:06 am

The awkward moment when the gun goes off in a women's 200m race featuring the reigning Olympic and World champions and neither one of them wins. :lol:

I did tell my mom and sister that I wouldn't be surprised if neither Felix nor Fraser-Pryce won. I actually had my eye on Blessing Okagbare to win, but nobody saw Tori Bowie coming in lane one! :lol: 22.18 seconds is impressive! Funny how the Top 2 finishers are both long jump specialists. Congrats to Blessing on the new PB and congrats to Felix on finishing healthy. We've not seen the best of her yet and I can't wait to see her get back to top form by the end of the season. 22.44 seconds is a decent start. :D

What about that men's 400m though! :o Right down to the wire! This Merritt/James rivalry is making the men's 400m is even more exciting than the women's! Can't wait to see them clash again this season and in future championships!
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:30 pm

I was elated to learn that Allyson Felix won her very first race of the season in Oslo yesterday. I mean, 22.73 seconds isn't anything remarkable - in fact, that's more than a second off her personal best - but I'm so accustomed to seeing her win races that it's been odd watching her finish fifth and third in her previous 2014 outings.

This shows some return to form is taking place and I couldn't be happier. Fingers crossed that she stays healthy and rounds into top form by the end of the season. The sport needs its queen back. <3
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Postby oasisbobo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:01 pm

Another brit under 10 seconds. Coming into something of a golden period for British sprinting!

Chijindu Ujah watch out for that name!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/27756892
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Postby JSparksFan » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:10 am

^ Between Chijindu Ujah and Adam Gemili, the future of British sprinting is looking bright!

I was very happy to see Allyson Felix winning her second consecutive 200m race of the season. I don't like the fact that she's not at 100% and in that race in Ostrava on Tuesday, the young Briton almost caught her at the end and that is never supposed to happen. Anyway, it's not a championship year so she can use the remainder of the season to return to top form.

Oh, and interestingly enough, Allyson has signed up not for the 200m, but for the 400m, at the USA Track & Field championships starting next weekend. It'll be interesting to see if she can win her second national title at that distance, but I wouldn't bet on it. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best though.
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:10 am

Boo at Felix only running the first heat of the women's 100m at the US Nationals and then dropping out of the semi-finals. It also sucked to see Tori Bowie finish her semi-final injured. I'm sure she would've won the final were it not for that. Tiana Bartoletta is a very worthy champion though. Also a big boo at LaShawn Merritt pulling out of the US Nationals though his race in Lausanne with Kirani James was thrilling to watch. Their rivalry right now is just unparalleled. Can't wait to see a few more duels this year.

The men's 100m was alright, but that semi-final with Mike Rodgers and Ryan Bailey with all those false starts was a mess. :lol: Good for Mike Rodgers on winning the title for a second time, but it means a lot less since Gatlin wasn't there.

Speaking of Gatlin, the man has been indomitable this year! :o He looks set for a new personal best before year-end. His race in Lausanne against Tyson Gay was exciting to watch. Gay is in much better form than I imagined. Worlds is going to be very interesting next year.

I am very happy that Sanya Richards-Ross is back though! I've never been so happy to see a favourite of mine finish second than I was when Sanya earned silver with her 49.66 run last week. Good for her that she won her first diamond league race of the year earlier today too. Nice to have the very best at an event actually being the very best for once this year! :lol:

I loved Felix's race with Okagbare though, despite Okagbare getting the better of Felix in the last 30m. Allyson seems to be getting better and better this season and I think she will be able to finish the season with something in the very low 22s or maybe even a sub-22 clocking...I'm probably asking for too much. :lol: Fraser-Pryce is not looking good though, nor is Yohan Blake for that matter.

Not sure what's going on in the water in Trinidad, but kudos to Richard Thompson and Michelle-Lee Ahye for emerging as the second fastest man and fastest woman in the world this year, respectively.

VCB running 10.86 at 32 is also pretty mindblowing.

Now that I think about it, this has been a weird year for track and field. :lol:
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Postby JSparksFan » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:19 am

I don't know what's going on right now with European sprinting, but it's beautiful and amazing and so refreshing! I don't usually follow European athletes because there's usually not much to follow, but there were two stand-out performances at this year's European championships that excited me.

Adam Gemili winning the men's 200 was pretty expected, but the fact that he ran 19.98 into a 1.5 m/s headwind is impressive! He could've broken the British record had that been reversed into a nice little tailwind instead. He's easily the most exciting British sprinting prospect, although I do have my eyes on Jodie Williams too. She keeps getting better and better, setting personal best after personal best this year.

But Dafne Shippers in the women's 200. :o 22.03 into a freakin' headwind? :o :o :o She would've won the 2004 Olympic Games final with that time...and quite a handful of World Championships finals too! With more reasonable conditions, she'll be under 22 seconds easily. For so long, that was a mark I thought only VCB and Felix (of this generation of ladies) were capable of achieving. I didn't even know what to say when I read it; even after watching the video, I didn't believe a heptathlete could uncork such a time. If she sticks to the sprints, she could be a real headache for Felix!
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Postby oasisbobo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:30 am

Love the success Adam Gemili is having! What a guy (great smile too). Two European golds and two commonwealth silvers! Could easily become the fastest british sprinter ever!
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Postby oasisbobo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:33 am

:x On another note...

Former World Champion Kim Collins! Such an inspiration and a great sprinter too! At the age of 38 still running PB's! :o

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Postby JSparksFan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:13 pm

She waited until the very final race of the year to uncork it, but Allyson Felix is finally back to where she ought to be - at the very top of the sprinting tier. 22.02 - the fastest time in the world this year! On top of that, she takes home the diamond league trophy for the 200m - a comeback fit for the sprint queen she is. :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Postby JSparksFan » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:01 pm

Felix Rises from the Ashes

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When Allyson Felix crashed to the track in the 200m final at last year’s IAAF World Championships, some questioned whether it was the beginning of the end.

She was only 27 years old, but it was her 13th year of international competition in a career which goes back to the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships, where she won gold in the 100m.

Felix is one of a rare breed of athlete who made a seamless transition from being a prodigiously talented teenager to a world-beating superstar athlete. And for more than a decade – during which she picked up eight world titles, including relays, and four Olympic gold medals – she had never had a serious injury.

That was, of course, until Moscow last year.


Her torn hamstring in the Russian capital meant that she would be entering uncharted territory during the winter as she set out on the long road back to full fitness.

But, just like her style on the track, her rehab appeared to go smoothly and she was back racing in May this year.

She opened her season with a 50.81 clocking over 400m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai. It was her slowest time over one lap of the track for three years, but that didn’t matter. The race was simply about getting back on track.

Felix then clocked 22.44 in her first 200m of the year, finishing third behind Tori Bowie’s break-through performance at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene with the former long jump specialist winning in a world-leading 22.18.

Felix’s first win of the season came less than two weeks later, triumphing in Oslo and then again in Ostrava one week later.

In July, Felix got faster with times of 22.34 in Paris and 22.35 in Glasgow as well as an 11.01 clocking in the 100m in Monaco, but she was beaten in all of those races.

Dutch heptathlete Dafne Schippers then stunned the athletics world by winning the sprint double at the European Championships, clocking a world-leading 22.03 in the longer sprint.

That remained the world-leading mark until Felix bettered it by 0.01 at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday.

Finally, Felix was back to her old self again.


“It feels good to be back to my best,” she said after clocking her fastest time since winning the London 2012 Olympic Games title. “It’s been a bumpy season, but I just had to stay patient throughout, which was tough to do, but I finally feel happy again.

“I wasn’t surprised by the time,” she added with a chuckle. “It has been a long time coming and Bobby [Kersee, her coach] kept telling me that we were focusing on the end of the season. As crazy as I feel like he is, he is right a lot of the time.”


Her time in the Belgian capital was comfortably faster than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s winning time from last year’s World Championships.

There’s no telling, of course, what Felix may have been capable of doing in Moscow had she not torn her hamstring, but at the very least, she says, this season will put her in good stead for next year.

“You always go out there wanting to win and I went out there [in Moscow] thinking I could do something special,” she said. “But for me, this year was just about getting back and I feel I can really build off this for next year.

“I try not to read too much stuff, especially in a year like this,” she added. “I just like to take my own time, which can be hard as an athlete to do, because you just want to get out there and be at your best, but it was a different kind of year.”

It certainly has been an interesting year for the 200m. Specialist sprinters such as Felix and Fraser-Pryce were being beaten by former long jumpers such as Bowie and Blessing Okagbare; and then a heptathlete rocketed to the top of the world list.

But with Felix now back on top, normality, it seems, has been restored.


“It’s always good to feel good and be at your best,” she said. “It’s been good competition with a lot of people coming into the 200m this year, so it’s been fun.”

It helps that there was no major senior global outdoor championship this year, but the pressure will be back on in less than 12 months’ time as Beijing hosts the 2015 IAAF World Championships.

Out to win an unprecedented fourth world title over 200m, Felix will be up against the likes of defending champion Fraser-Pryce, Commonwealth champion Okagbare, European champion Schippers, double world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure and two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in what could be one of the best races of the championships.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Felix also doesn’t rule out having a tilt at the 400m in Beijing in an attempt to improve on her silver medal from the 2011 IAAF World Championships. Of course, she is also expected to be a valuable part of both the US relay teams.

“As much as I try to put it off, my future will probably be more 200m and 400m based,” she said. “Next year I’d like to do the 200m and maybe the 400m, but we’ll see what happens. As you get old, I feel like your journey changes so you kind of adapt.”

Clearly, it will take more than a hamstring injury – and the challenge of non-specialists switching to the 200m – to stop Felix.
Excellent article. It seems that the entire sprinting community is happy to have their - our - queen back. 8-)
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Postby oasisbobo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:48 pm

Jo Pavey has been named British Athletics Athlete of the Year! What a year she has had! :D
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Postby MO_FAN95 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:28 am

Nice thread! I use to run Varsity in high school! I ran the 100, and 4 X 100, and every now and then the 200 and 400. My personal best 100 was 10.35. I never really kept up with the professional sport outside the Olympics but it was a nice read going through these posts very interesting! 8-)
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Postby oasisbobo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:08 pm

MO_FAN95 wrote:Nice thread! I use to run Varsity in high school! I ran the 100, and 4 X 100, and every now and then the 200 and 400. My personal best 100 was 10.35. I never really kept up with the professional sport outside the Olympics but it was a nice read going through these posts very interesting! 8-)
That's pretty impressive :o Well done :)
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:59 am

MO_FAN95 wrote:Nice thread! I use to run Varsity in high school! I ran the 100, and 4 X 100, and every now and then the 200 and 400. My personal best 100 was 10.35. I never really kept up with the professional sport outside the Olympics but it was a nice read going through these posts very interesting! 8-)
10.35 is very impressive! :o There aren't too many non-professionals with that on their résumé. (I'm tempted to do some research and find out just how few there are, but I'll leave that one alone). :lol:

You're not the only one who doesn't follow the sport outside of the Olympics; sadly, track and field seems to be a dead sport in non-Olympic years, especially in the US, where basketball, football, and baseball stars get all the press. It's an exciting sport nonetheless and there's so much that happens within those four years between the Olympic Games. The IAAF has its work cut out in developing a more aggressive, effective marketing scheme, but I suspect it's a sport that will forever play second fiddle to the bigger guns. :(
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