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):
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent article. It seems that the entire sprinting community is happy to have their - our - queen back.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.
That's pretty impressive Well doneMO_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!
10.35 is very impressive! 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).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!