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Month: August 2017

August 31, 2017

Between Oasis’s Gallagher brothers, who’s the superior jogger?

For as long as there has been Oasis, there has been the obvious question, “Which Gallagher brother do you like better?” Well we have thoughts

August 31, 2017

CITIUS Mailbag: Who do you think will win the NCAA title?

The CITIUS Mailbag is open and ready to take reader questions. Email or tweet us your best cross country musings. Right now: Who will win the men’s title?

August 29, 2017

Pumped Up Picks: Sara Hall’s Pre-Race Playlist

What does marathoner Sara Hall listen to before a big race? In the latest installment of Pumped Up Picks, she shares her pre-race playlist.

August 28, 2017

Remembering David Torrence

Whether it was on the track or in life, the sky was the limit for David Torrence and that’s a fact that makes his death an even greater loss for us all.

August 28, 2017

How to avoid burnout in running: A search for answers

How do we prevent burnout? Some runners believe that they know the secret better than others. Some routines work and others don’t.

August 28, 2017

Track and Field Community Mourns The Loss of David Torrence

David Torrence was found dead in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday morning. He was 31 years old. The track and field community paid tribute to him on Twitter.

August 28, 2017

Last year’s NCAA XC returners and some questions surrounding them

Karissa Schweizer returns to defend her NCAA Cross Country crown but she will be challenges with six of last year’s top 10.

August 25, 2017

LeBron James opens as betting favorite for mile vs. Gladwell

LeBron James opens as the favorite for the hypothetical mile race that has been discussed against New York Times best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell.

August 25, 2017

Track Talk: What’s your favorite part of cross country season?

The leaves are starting to change colors. We consulted with our good friend what’s their favorite part of cross country season.

August 25, 2017

The King Is Gone: Who Is The Most Feared NCAA XC Runner Now?

With the departure of Ed Cheserek & Patrick Tiernan unable to defend his title, the throne is empty. What runner is favored and feared ahead of the season?

August 24, 2017

I let you simulate a HS XC race via Google Form; here’s what happened.

I made a Google Form so you could simulate a HS XC race. It was the worst sports video game of all time but 110 of you participated. Here’s what happened.

August 23, 2017

NCAA Cross Country Coaches and Their NBA Equivalent

What once started as a bar conversation is now a blog post. Thinking of NCAA Cross Country coaches and their notable NBA equivalents.

August 22, 2017

How fast can LeBron James run a mile? Faster than you think

Citius Mag asks the question every runner has asked about other professional athletes since the beginning of time: how fast could LeBron James run a mile?

August 22, 2017

The Alabama Additions That Could Shake Up The NCAA XC Scene

There’s a chance that Gilbert Kigen and Vincent Kiprop could make an instant impact on the front of the NCAA cross country scene.

August 21, 2017

Running Documentaries and Videos You Should Watch #8: Gabe

Watch “Gabe” a short documentary telling the story of Gabe Grunewald’s most recent battle with cancer and her drive to compete at the U.S championships.

August 21, 2017

Your First Day of Cross Country

A look at how your first day of cross country practice will go. Beware this will be your life for the next four to five years as well.

August 20, 2017

Marathoning Mind Hacks: Mental Tricks for the Marathon

Professional marathoner Becky Wade shares some of the tips and tricks that she uses while racing 26.2 miles in order to break up the race.

August 20, 2017

“I’m back:” beleaguered blogging jogger takes aim at niche division victory

Beleaguered jogging blogger Paul Snyder is back, following a string of debilitating physical setbacks after the Debajo Dos Debacle.

August 13, 2017

U.S. Distance Running Excellence is Here to Stay

For years, American distance running was labeled as “on the rise.” With stars like Evan Jager, Ajee Wilson, Jenny Simpson and Paul Chelimo, the time is now.

August 12, 2017

Worlds Day 9 Preview: Finales for Bolt and Farah

This is it. Today is the end of Mo Farah’s world championships track career, and it’s the end of Usain Bolt’s career, period. Farah runs the 5000 meters at 3:20pm EDT and, provided his relay team qualifies, Bolt anchors the 4×100 relay at 4:50pm.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today has a two-session format, with the morning session beginning at 5:00am EDT and the main part of the afternoon session beginning at 2:05pm. The morning session is the decathlon and the relay semifinals, while the afternoon concludes the decathlon plus six more finals. If you have only limited time to watch, make it that 3:00 to 5:00pm window.

And how, exactly, can you watch?

HOW TO WATCH

Today’s morning will be televised in the USA live on NBC Sports Network from 5:00 to 7:00am EDT and in tape-delayed fashion on the Olympic Channel from 9:00am to noon. The afternoon session will be carried live on NBC from 3:00 to 5:00pm and in tape-delayed fashion on the Olympic Channel from 8:00 to 10:00pm

Lie streams will be available to US viewers via NBC Sports Gold. There will be a track stream plus one each dedicated to each field event, along with a simulcast stream of the various television broadcasts. A “track and field pass” is required ($70 per year) but is well worth the cost – and unlike other broadcasters’ online platforms, no cable subscription is necessary for access.

Online coverage in Canada will be via CBCsports.ca from 4:10am and 11:50am EDT. Television coverage will be live on CBC from 3:00 to 5:00pm EDT with a replay at 7:00pm local time.

The IAAF will also offer a live stream via YouTube and Facebook which will be available in a large number of nations which includes Canada but not the USA. The IAAF Radio service will be available globally and can be accessed through both the IAAF website and the IAAF mobile app.

Determined fans can bypass various geoblocking measures by installing a VPN. Exceptionally determined fans can view CBC broadcasts by temporarily relocating to a postindustrial hellscape such as Detroit, Buffalo, or Toledo.

We also highly recommend the live results & text commentary page at the IAAF website.

EVENT-BY-EVENT

Headline Event: Men’s 5000 meters final
3:20pm EDT
Medal favorites: Mo Farah (Great Britain), Muktar Edris (Ethiopia), Paul Chelimo (USA)
US qualifiers: Chelimo, Ryan Hill
Canadian qualifiers: Mo Ahmed, Justyn Knight

This is Sir Mo Farah’s last track race at a World Championships. Can anyone beat him? And if so, who?

Headline Event: Men’s 4×100 Relay final
4:50pm EDT
Medal favorites: Jamaica, United States, Japan

Finalists will be determined in the morning’s heats. Jamaica has injury trouble but they have Usain Bolt, and that might be all they need. It will be the last race of his career.

All Day: Decathlon
110 hurdles at 5:00am, discus at 6:00am, pole vault at 8:00am, javelin at 12:30pm, 1500 meters at 3:45pm
Medal favorites: Kevin Mayer (France), Rico Freimuth (Germany), Damian Warner (Canada)
US entries: Trey Hardee, Zack Zeimek, Devon Williams
Canadian entry: Warner

The best way to follow the changing fortunes of a decathlon is to consult a forecasting service, such as this one. For example, a decathlete who is a good hurdler can have a bad race and still beat a poor-hurdling decathlete on a good day, but the first has left points on the table while the second has gained.

Warner is locked in battle with Germany’s Kai Kazmirek for bronze, and silver is not entirely out of the question. The Americans are fighting for a top-ten finish.

2:05pm: Women’s High Jump final
Medal favorites: Mariya Lasitskene (neutral), Kamila Lićwinko (Poland), Vashti Cunningham (USA)
US qualifiers: Cunningham, Inika McPherson

Lasitskene is one of the few Russians who were allowed to compete as neutral athletes and is a heavy favorite to win. Cunningham is a very real threat to win – she’s the best “junior” (U20) jumper since the Berlin Wall fell – and appears to be NBC’s anointed star for the next Olympiad.

3:05pm: Women’s 100 meter hurdles final
Medal favorites: Kendra Harrison (USA), Sally Pearson (Australia), Nia Ali (USA)
US qualifiers: Harrison, Ali, Christina Manning, Dawn Harper-Nelson

Harrison is the world record holder but has never won an international championship of any kind. In fact, this is just her second championship final (she finished last at the ’16 World Indoors) and almost didn’t make it here after walloping the first hurdle in her semi. She can’t be beaten if she puts it all together.

3:15pm: Men’s Javelin final
Medal favorites: Thomas Röhler (Germany), Johannes Vetter (Germany), Jakub Vadlejch (Czech Republic)
US qualifiers: none

The traditionally strong German team hasn’t done much at these championships but expect that to change here. Röhler and Vetter are #2 and #3 on the all-time world list. The javelin has become more diverse than it used to be: the finals feature not just Europeans but athletes from Kenya, Trinidad, Qatar, and India.

4:30pm: Women’s 4×100 Relay final
Medal favorites: United States, Jamaica, Trinidad
The USA hasn’t shown tremendous depth in the sprints this week, but no other single nation has either. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson will be looking to make up for her norovirus-related poor outing in the 100. Expect the stadium to explode if the Brits are in contention for a medal, which they just might be able to be.

August 11, 2017

Emma Coburn & Courtney Frerichs Shock the World

Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs shocked the world on Friday with a spectacular one-two finish in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase.

August 11, 2017

2017 IAAF World Championships Day 8: Ups & Downs

BIG UPS

EMMA COBURN AND COURTNEY FRERICHS 1-2 PUNCH

Emma Coburn lowered her own American record, broke the meet record, and won the gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase Friday night.

Not to be outdone was her fellow USA teammate, Courtney Frerichs, who also broke the the American record, and would be the meet record holder had it not been for Coburn.

Coburn and Frerichs stayed calm as Jebet of Bahrain and Chespol of Kenya set a hot early pace. Coburn looked very smooth over the water barriers and used the obstacles to put herself in position each time they came around. Coming over the final water barrier she went from third to first and would not relinquish the lead, holding off Jebet, and a charging Frerichs. Frerichs would run a fantastic final 100, to steal the silver medal, lower her PR by over 15 seconds, and give America the 1-2 punch in the women’s steeple.

The last qualifying spot

Men’s 1500m

Johnny Gregorek advanced to the 1500m final. After running in last for a majority of the race, Gregorek let out what is becoming a signature kick over the last 300 meters, running the fastest split of anyone in the field. He moved himself into 7th place in 3:38.68, snagging the last little ‘q’ qualifying spot. He has one day of rest before he enters the final as the Last American Hope. Needless to say he has quickly become an American hero.

Here he is in his post-race interview with Lewis Johnson where he gave us a great quote, “We needed an American in the final, so I said ‘Let’s do this Johnny G.'”

Women’s 100m hurdles

Kendra Harrison is the fastest woman in the world this year by 0.2 seconds. In a sprint event that’s night and day. But Harrison has developed a knack for underperforming in high performance situations. The world record holder missed out on the 2016 Olympic team after she finished 6th in the trials — a month later she went on to set the world record. In 2015, the last world championships she ran in, she false started in the semi-finals and was disqualified.

She’ll get her first crack at a major world final tomorrow, though, despite finishing 4th place in her heat after cracking the first hurdle and struggling to finish in her semi-final. She managed to squeeze in on time. Hopefully tomorrow she’ll bring her A game, and prove that she’s more than just a name in the record books.

BIG DOWNS

Brenda Martinez

Brenda Martinez has had a tough go in London. She finished 4th in her opening heat of the 800m, and sneaked into the semi-final on time, albeit as the 2nd slowest qualifier.

In today’s semi-final, though, the 2013 World Championships silver medalist failed to advance to the final. Martinez stuck with eventual winner, Neyonsaba the whole race, but found herself boxed on the inside on the bell lap. She tried making two different moves, but didn’t have the position to either swing wide or pass on the inside. She ended up finishing third in the slowest of the three heats, and well outside of the 1:59.74 it took to get through to the final.

Martinez is a household name in American track and field circles, but has failed to replicate her 2013 season that brought a silver medal. American fans can’t help but feel a little disappointed. But Martinez or not, we still have Ajee Wilson and Charlene Lipsey in the final.

Robby Andrews

Robby Andrews DNF’d in the smei-final of the men’s 1500m today. On the penultimate lap, Andrews, who was in last place, started making some moves. He jostled by a few other athletes and on the homestretch was midpack when he pulled up lame. From our stream, he looked a bit like a sprinter pulling up after tearing a hamstring. He pounded the track out of frustration, and stayed on the infield as the men went around the track one more time.

After the race in an interview with Lewis Johnson, he said that his calf locked up and he had to stop running. Up until now Andrews was having a good season, winning his first national championship as a pro, and looked poise to unleash is signature kick to make it into his final.

His streak of bad luck on the world stage continues, as in last year’s Olympics Andrews was disqualified in the semi-final after taking one too many steps on the infield in the homestretch of the 1500m.

But Citius loves him dearly, and we wish him well.

The Refs

Today’s 3000m steeplechase final went off without Colleen Quigley. She was DQ’d, after finishing third in her qualifying heat, for stepping on the curved line after a water jump. The one-inch infringement was apparently enough of a “material advantage” to warrant the IAAF to give her the boot. The USATF tried protesting on her behalf but to no avail.

Today’s women’s 800m semi-final had another fast and loose interpretation of the rule book, as Lynsey Sharp was disqualified from her semi-final heat after “impeding another runner” during her race. The infraction? Her forearm went wide as she crossed the finish line and brushed up against the eventual third place finisher Charlene Lipsey.

Had she not been disqualified, she would have secured the final qualifying spot in Wednesday’s final.

This “rules are rules” mentality that the officials in London have been maintaining is an obvious detriment to the quality of the fields. Did the athletes gain any advantage from the above scenarios? Obviously not. Were other athletes opportunity at a clean and fair race ruined because of them? The answer is no. But I suppose if you have a rule book in your hand the impulse to flex your muscles just because you can must be a little too great.

UPDATE: Lynsey Sharp has been reinstated into the women’s 800m final. Sorry for the rant.

August 10, 2017

Kori Carter Gets Her Golden Moment

Through the ups-and-downs of her career, there’s always been reason to believe in Kori Carter. On Thursday, she became a world champion

August 10, 2017

We Have a World Championship Conspiracy Theory

Normally, the British seem to have their shit together. They strike me as a well-organized brood with a sharp sense of humor that can sometime not be understood but is nonetheless appreciated because of their silly, fun accents. However, like any warm-blooded, honest American knows, “the times they are a changin’” and the British have now become inept in their organization of championship events. Because of said ineptness we are left with conspiracy theories.

I love conspiracy theories. A friend of mine does this thing where he sends me an email with a subject of, for example, “Wilson Kipsang does 10 x 5K @ 8,000ft” and then the email body is a hyperlink and I click it and I get taken to some conspiracy theory about Phantom Time. I actually hate when he does this. I hate conspiracy theories.

This year’s World Championships is bloody full of ‘em, though. Between a pesky norovirus that ensured the world’s best stayed atop the podium and a poorly-placed cone, these British blokes sure know how to stir the pot. But there’s one theory that has yet to get the warranted media attention and it’s also not a theory; it’s a fact. Susan Krumins is Lynsey Sharp and Lynsey Sharp is Susan Kremins.

EXHIBIT A
Photo evidence

These are two photos of the same person. Let’s move on.

EXHIBIT B

Strangely similar birthdates according to Wikipedia

 

 

 

While normally an incredibly reliable source for correct information, I don’t “always” trust Wikipedia. This is a case where I respectfully refuse to accept the purported information on Wikipedia and rely on my own intuition to conclude Lynsey and Susan were both born on July 8th, 1986 because they are the same person.

EXHIBIT C

They have never raced one another

This could not be true. I do not have the appropriate manpower to figure out. It’s a safe assumption though. (Because they are the same person).

EXHIBIT D

Are you kidding me?

You equals me.

BUT, WHY?

This is the real meat and potatoes of this theory/reality. Why would Susan want to pose as a British 800-meter star? This is a very good question and I’m so glad I asked it. The answer is: I have no idea. Running is painful and having to do it for two people terrifies me greatly. Running for yourself is already mostly a terrible pastime, so having to do that for another is really just a bad idea. No human would want to do this. Which leads me to a new theory: Susan/Lynsey is a cyborg created by an inter-governmental agency with a serious desire for world track and field dominance.

Also Laura Muir looks like Arya Stark.

August 10, 2017

London jogger learns the hard way that pushing women in front of busses is bad

Whether you’re on pace to win a major marathon, or are simply out for a stroll, there is never a good reason to body check a woman off the sidewalk, and into traffic, nearly contributing to her-bus-induced-decapitation. It doesn’t matter if she is mildly obstructing your path. Nor does it matter if you’re having a rough day. You just should never push an innocent person in front of a moving bus. There are few absolutes in life. That is one of them.

But that’s just what one unnamed London Man did this week, tacking another negative pock mark on a running list of controversies surrounding the 2017 IAAF World Championships taking place in the same city. The incident took place in May, but footage was recently promoted publicly by police searching for a lead in the case.

I apologize in advance if I link to the British media’s equivalent of Infowars or something. I’m not well-versed in the UK’s media landscape.

But if you’d like to for some reason watch security cam footage of the incident in question, the Evening Standard has you covered. Don’t worry. A heroic and alert bus driver veered masterfully and the woman was unharmed.

“In THIS country, we release the names of people charged with crimes!”

After a months-long manhunt for the infamous London Jogger, he was apprehended and promptly arrested. (I didn’t write the book on British legal proceedings, but it strikes me as odd that the man’s name wasn’t released.)

Anyway. Let this serve as a warning to you assholes who might otherwise be tempted to shove folks in front of vehicles while you’re indignantly exercising. Crime doesn’t pay and you WILL be arrested.

August 10, 2017

Worlds Day 7 Preview: Makwala, Van Niekerk square off in 200m final

The Isaac Makwala incident at the world championships has made the 200m final tremendously more interesting. That’s the biggest final of the day.

August 9, 2017

Dissecting the Wild Ending To the Women’s 400 Meter Final

Unpacking the wild and crazy race that was the women’s 400m final at the world championships in London, which was won by Phyllis Francis.

August 9, 2017

2017 IAAF World Championships Day 6: Three surprises, three disappointments

There were falls. There were upsets. There were priceless reactions. Recapping all of the best moments from Day 6 at the world championships.

August 9, 2017

Recognizing the Division II Stars At Worlds

From Drew Windle to Kibwe Johnson, highlighting some of the Division II stars that have found their way to the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

August 9, 2017

IAAF World Championships Day 6 Preview: Allyson Felix Gets Her Rematch

Allyson Felix will get her rematch against Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the women’s 400m final. Last Summer, Felix was beat out for gold with a dive at the line.

August 8, 2017

Analyzing Evan Jager’s Steeplechase Bronze Medal Run

Evan Jager has found the formula on how to break the East Africans in the steeplechase. Sometimes, like in Rio de Janeiro or Monaco, it works better.

August 8, 2017

Wayde Van Niekerk wins 400m World Championship

Wayde Van Niekerk–the world leader, the world record holder, the World Champion, the Olympic Champion–successfully defended his World Championship title in a time of 43.98.

Running from lane 6, Van Kiekerk looked in control from the gun. He stormed around the final curve, and came into the home straight with three steps on the field. He didn’t have much work to do to maintain his lead, and eased up at the finish to just sneak under the 44-second barrier.

Temperatures were in the high 50s in London, so no one was likely going to run tremendously fast–that is if we consider 43.98, not tremendously fast. This is what the era of Wayde Van Niekerk has done to us.

He gave a pretty subdued reaction upon crossing the finish line. This was perhaps due in part to the fact that his biggest competition in this race, Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, was barred from entering the stadium this afternoon, and the field was severely weakened as a result.

The lone American in the race, 22-year old Fred Kerley, shot out of the blocks and ran a very aggressive first 200m out of lane 1. His goose was cooked, however, and he faded to last place over the last 100m.

Rounding out the medals were Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, who became the Bahamian Record holder over the distance in the semi-final. And Bronze went to Qatar’s Abdalelah Haroun, who ran through the finish and stole his podium spot from Botswana’s Babolaki Thebe who let up just a little too soon.

The discussion surrounding Wayde now is if he is in fact the sport’s new Usain Bolt. He’s got the medals, he’s got the records, now all he needs is a signature pose.

August 8, 2017

Evan Jager makes history with world championships bronze medal

Evan Jager made history with his run at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. The track and field community lost its mind.

August 8, 2017

Contagion: The Isaac Makwala Saga

Botswanan 400m superstar Isaac Makwala has had an interesting trip to London.

Perhaps the only man on the planet with the chops to challenge all-but-assured-400m-World-Champ Wayde van Niekerk, Makwala finds his chances of competing at all up against IAAF policy forbidding violently ill, contagious athletes from toeing the line.

Makwala is one of several athletes–many staying in the same hotel–who have contracted gastroenteritis, which is a fancy word for food poisoning.

Track’s governing body has forbade Makwala (and other afflicted athletes, as well) from competing any further, a decision he is actively contesting.

Track Twitter is covering the situation as it unfolds, and grows stranger and stranger. The current IAAF stance is that Makwala–and any similarly ill athlete–is to be quarantined for 48 hours following the last known bout of vomitus.

The IAAF has released the following statement:

Isaac Makwala (BOT) has been withdrawn by the IAAF Medical Delegate – click here – from tonight’s 400m final after the athlete was diagnosed with an infectious disease on Monday.

As per UK health regulations, it was requested that he be quarantined in his room for 48 hours, a period which ends at 14:00hrs tomorrow (9 Aug).

These procedures are recommended by Public Health England and were clearly explained to the teams in writing on Sunday (6 Aug) and in person to the Botswanan delegation, a member of which was present with many other representatives of teams at a meeting that took place at the Guoman Tower Hotel on Sunday.

The decision to withdraw him from the 200m heats last night and the 400m final today was made on the basis of a medical examination conducted in the warm-up medical centre by a qualified doctor on Monday (7 Aug) and recorded in the electronic medical record system of the championships. A copy of this medical record was given to a member of the BOT team medical staff following the examination.

The team doctor, team leader and team physio had been informed following the medical examination that the athlete should be quarantined for 48 hours and would therefore be missing the 400m final on Tuesday.

The IAAF is very sorry that the hard work and talent of Isaac Makwala won’t be on display tonight but we have to think of the welfare of all athletes.

UPDATE (Aug. 9th)

Makwala was given the go-ahead to vie for a spot in the 200m semi-finals, after being barred from entering the event’s heats. The only stipulation? He had to run a qualifying time-trial heat, completely solo, from lane seven, in a chilly rain. If he ran faster than 20.53, he’d be in. What happened, you ask?


Track Twitter reactions and updates to the first day’s saga:

https://twitter.com/RogerPielkeJr/status/895024552849420289

UPDATE AUG. 9

It is raining in London but it appears that Makwala will be attempting to run a 200m time trial in an effort to try and get into the 200m semifinal. He missed the heats due to the food poisoning. This is still wild.

The IAAF later announced that Makwala has been medically cleared to compete and will be running a solo 200 in Lane 7 and if he runs 20.53 or faster then he will have a place in the semifinals. This will reportedly not affect any other of the semifinalists and their respective lane drawings.

August 7, 2017

Instant Reaction: Jenny Simpson’s Tactical Brilliance Shines Again

No American runner has shown such a consistent championship pedigree than Jenny Simpson in the clutch at the world championships.

August 7, 2017

2017 IAAF World Championships Day 3: Live blog, Stream, Results and info

Jenny Simpson vs. Caster Semenya vs. Genzebe Dibaba vs. Laura Muir and more in Day 4 of the track and field world championships in London.

August 7, 2017

IAAF World Championships Day 4 Preview: Merritt and Simpson go for gold

Jenny Simpson and Aries Merritt look to add to the United States’ medal count on Day 4 of the IAAF World Championships in London.

August 6, 2017

2017 IAAF World Championships Live Blog Day 3: online, live stream, TV info

The 2017 IAAF World Championships have begun in London and we’re still in the U.S. but here to provide the most entertaining and informative analysis and results from the championships.

The first day offers some of the early and qualifying rounds of events but we will see Mo Farah run his final 10,000 meter final. He has won every world championship title in this event since 2012. It’s fitting that his final world championship race will come before a home crowd in London.

The meet will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and can be streamed online using the $69 (#nice) NBC Sports Gold package.

Here are some key links that can help:

Our full Day 3 preview from Jesse Squire

Our full Day 1 recap from Ryan Sterner is here.

Our full Day 2 recap from our idiot blogger can be found here. 

Schedule and results can be found here.

The IAAF will also offer a live stream via YouTube and Facebook which will be available in a large number of nations (which includes Canada but not the USA).

Radio: The IAAF Radio service will be available globally and can be accessed through both the IAAF website and the IAAF mobile app.

Let’s get rolling!

Final Update: Holy shit. That’ll do it for me today. I’ll be back blogging tomorrow for the people (hello? Is anyone there?) What a day it was. I’m absolutely jazzed.

Do you not want me to blog ever again? Please direct your ire to my personal email account: [email protected]

Women’s 100m Final

1:50PM

It’s too bad, just from a consistency standpoint, that Elaine Thompson doesn’t have a hyphenated name like the other great Jamaican sprinters that came before her–Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Anne Fraser-Price, etc.

Anyway. Names aside I’m sure she’ll do great. It’s a formidable final, though. I imagine her stiffest competition will be Bowie and Ahoure. This is Bowie’s first stop in her quest for a historic double, but she’ll have to run a perfect race to steal a gold here.

HOLY CROW DID TORIE BOWIE TAKE IT AT THE LINE? IT LOOKED LIKE TA LOU HAD IT BUT TORIE BOWIE HAD A TEXTBOOK LEAN AND DOVE ACROSS THE LINE LIKE WONDER WOMAN. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BONKERS. DID ANYONE GET A PHOTOT? BECAUSE I’M POSITIVE AT ONE POINT SHE WAS COMPLETELY PARALLEL WITH THE GROUND. WHAT A FINISH BY BOWIE!!!!!!!!!!

The favorite and world no.1 Elaine Thompson, finishes off the podium. Who got the last medal? Netherlands Dafne Schippers. What an upset of a 100m final. And you know what? That’s the best kind of final.

Arena update: The DJ is playing the crowd pleasers. Who knew the Brits loved Neil Diamond? A rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline” is currently taking place, and the DJ is cutting the track when ol’ Neil gets to the “ba! ba! ba!” part. The crowd then takes over and, with no trace of their cheeky British accent whatsoever,  fills it in perfectly.

Hold the phone. Now they’re introducing the women’s 100m final, and the arena DJ (could it be Nijel Amos?) now starts playing Guns ‘n’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle.” American rock and roll is alive and well in the UK, my friends.

Shotput update: Joe Kovacs has just thrown himself into 2nd place. That’s a silver medal folks!

Proof:

Men’s 800m Semi-final

1:35PM

This heat is a real bear. A loaded gun, if you will. I’d say this will be the hardest one to get out of and I expect it to be the fastest of the three. Mo Aman, Brazier, Bett, Pierre Bosse. All of these men have high-1:42, low-1:43 PRs.

Bett controls at the front. Followed by Bosse, with Aman tucked in. They go through slower than the second heat, 51.52 and Bett still leading. Aman is boxed in. Bosse is in good position. Brazier is in bad position. Bett still leading with 600m to go. Who’s going to pull the trigger first? Everybody still in it with 100m to go. It’s going to come down to a sprint. Bett is going for it. Aman follows. It’s going to be Bett and Aman. Finishing time 1:45.03, which is the fastest time of the day. I imagine the other two qualifiers are going to come from this heat.

1:25PM

Drew Windle. Lewindowski. Korir. This should be fast.

McBride of Canada lead from wire to wire. He took it out nearly three seconds faster than the first heat, and the field responded by stringing out. Korir gave chase early, and was the only one intent on going with the Canadian. There was almost no movement until the last 75 meters. Korir began to fade and Langford of Great Britain and a few other men started to close. Korir tied up, and Langford snagged the 2nd place, auto qualifying spot behind McBride. We will not see Korir in the final, who is the world leader this year.

1:14PM

First heat lining up on the track. The overall favorite and Botswana’s no. 1 Club DJ, Nijel Amos is in the house. Your American in this race is Isaiah Harris. Also in this race is a general competitor, Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who hasn’t ran well this year but owns a 1:43.3 PR.

Rotich is in the front as they go through the first 400m in 52.95, which is rather pedestrian. Amos moves up onto his shoulder with 300 to go. Kszcsot will be the first to make the move with 200m to go and he’s making it a race. Kszczot still leading with 75 to go. Amos moving up into 2nd. Rotich will hold on for third and our own Isaiah Harris is fourth.

It was a rather handsy semi, with some bumping and clipping. But you know what they say, rubbin’ is racin’.

They’re taking two from each heat plus the next two fastest times to the final. Our first two qualifiers are Kszczot of Poland and Rotich of Kenya.

1:08PM

There’s been some rounds of the women’s heptathlon 800m. Since most of the events have taken place in the morning (I think, that’ll be my excuse anyway), I’m not well versed on what’s been going on. So I’ll just take a screenshot of the winners table when they’re done calculating the points.

The only thing I know right now is that the Americans did not do great.

Men’s 110m Hurdles Semi-finals

12:28PM

Aries Merritt, a man that’s made a tremendous comeback from a kidney transplant, is on the line. This is where he won his Olympic Gold back in 2012.

A very muscular Hungarian man, Balasz Baji, wins the heat, out leaning Merritt at the line. Merritt still gets the auto-qualifier.

12:19PM

Two-time US Champion, Devon Allen, is on the line in this 2nd heat. After a disappointing 5th place finish in Rio, Allen will be looking for a bit of redemption here in London.

Wow. Four guys, including Allen, all finished in a straight line. The naked eye will not be able to determine who will win. Thank god for computers.

As they sort it out, it looks like here are the results. Devon Allen will miss the final which is a huge bummer:

12:10PM

Omar McLeod, Rio Gold Medalist, shouldn’t have a problem winning this heat. He’s a member of the sub-13 club, with a newly minted 12.90 PR. Let’s see how it plays out–two big Qs and two small Qs.

McLeod came on late, but took the heat in 13.11. There was a fall over about the fourth hurdle by Al-Youha of Kuwait. The Frenchman Garfield Darian and McLeod were neck and neck over the last few hurdles, with McLeod just out leaning him.

12:05PM

A few things: Luvo Manyonga just got his medal for the long jump. If you need a refresher, Manyonga had a promising start to his career, but it was derailed in 2012 after he got addicted to crystal meth, went to jail, went to rehab, served a suspension and now he’s back. This is his second medal on the world stage since returning, as he was the silver medalist in Rio as well.

However, when he got his medal, he stood on the podium and dabbed. This is truly disappointing, as I thought that dabbing was something reserved for idiot teens, not reformed meth heads.

Men’s 400m Semi-final

11:57AM

I’ve spotted the other Borlee twin. I’ve also spotted a very fast Botswanan, Isaac Makwala. He went sub-44 and sub-20 in the same day. He finished 2nd to Van Niekerk in the Monaco DL 400m. I’d say he’s the number one contender for the South African world record holder.

Makwala runs 44.30 seconds and is the clear winner. Demish Gaye, a Jamaican, overtakes Gil Roberts down the home stretch to snag the 2nd auto-qualifier. Lane 7 has been a tough draw for the Americans. All three of them were in lane 7, and none of them are auto-qualifiers. Fred Kerley made it through on time, but Gil Roberts wasn’t as lucky.

Here’s your final:

11:47AM

Behold! Wayde Van Niekerk is in this race! As well as LaShawn Merritt. This should be a somewhat exciting pre-final match up.

Van Niekerk and Merritt broke away early, but as Van Niekerk continued to accelerate, Merritt showed his age and faded to last place. Van Niekerk shut it down early, finishing in 44.22, after chasing down Babolaki Thiebe of Botswana on the home stretch. Thiebe wanted to rattle the Olympic champ and World Record holder. It’s a strange phenomena, but I kind of like it: young runners trying to intimidate the overwhelming favorite in the semi-final. The big boys know where the real race is run.

Discussion question: Is this the last we’ve seen of LaShawn Merritt?

Results:

 

11:39AM

Two Americans in this heat: the great Fred Kerley and Wil London. I also recognize one of the Borlee boys. Should be fast. Kerley is young, but he’s also 16-0 this year, and the world no. 1. Let’s tuck in:

Kerley comes out of the turn in the lead. But loses to Gardner and Allen of the Bahamas and Jamaica over the last 100m. Kerley finished third. I’d say he went out far too hard over the first 200m, more than making up the curve. The world no.1 will have to wait anxiously to see if he gets through on time.

Steven Gardener of the Bahamas dipped under 44 seconds for the first time in his career, and in the process is the new Bahamian Record holder. He is still laying on the track though, and we shouldn’t discount the toll a sub-44 effort takes on your body.

Anybody know the fastest time in a 400m semi-final? Hello?

Women’s 100m Semi-final

I should take back the mean thing I said about Deajah Stevens. She had an O.K. start, but upon further inspection looks like her first three steps were essentially a stumble. It’s too bad, because, generally speaking, she is very fast.

Here’s tonight’s final:

11:29AM

Torie Bowie took this heat, making her 10.91 look easy.

Ahoure is the other auto qualifier. She will join her teammate, Ta Lou, in the final. The west African country with a population of 23 million has two women in the final.

11:20AM

The American to watch in this race is Ariana Washington. But the real story for this heat is Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, your world number one who has run 10.70 this year.

Thompson runs a very impressive, very easy 10.84. She took her foot off the gas with about 20 meters to go. The American, Washington, suffered the same fate as her fellow countrywoman, Stevens: a terrible start.

The other auto-q is Santos of Brazil who ran 10.91. According to IAAF, that’s a national record! By about .14 seconds! Big time!

11:10AM

We have the first of three very fast women’s 100m semi-final heats on the track right now. We have three Americans to watch, and you bet they’re fast.

Wow–The Duck, Deajah Stevens had, and I’m not exaggerating, the worst start I’ve ever seen in professional sprinting–and I watched Usain Bolt yesterday. She will not make it to the final.

The winner was Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, and the other auto-qualifier will be Schippers of the Netherlands, in 10.87 and 10.98 respectively. The others will have to bite their nails to see if they can make it through on time.

GOOD MORNING

11:07AM

I had a bowl of oatmeal and a slice of leftover pizza for breakfast. I watched the first hour of a Netflix documentary called Icarus, in honor of Justin Gatlin winning the 100m yesterday, and I feel ready to deliver some top notch blogging. Is anyone listening?

Oh right. Also, I’d like to give a big shoutout to Amy Hastings-Cragg! Big time!

August 6, 2017

World Championships Day 3 Preview: Women’s 100 takes the stage

Elaine Thompson and Tori Bowie go head-to-head in the women’s 100 meters. Can the United States make it two golds in the 100?

August 5, 2017

Instant Reaction: Bolt’s Golden Retirement Turns to Bronze

Wow.

Usain Bolt, the man who time after time has stepped up on the big stage, faltered on Saturday evening in London and had to settle for bronze in the World Championships 100 meters.

Instead, it was 35-year-old Justin Gatlin who pulled out the victory 12 years after earning his first 100 meter world title in 2005.

Young American Christian Coleman had the best start of the field and had a clear lead at halfway, while Bolt lagged well behind after a lackluster blast from the blocks. Gatlin was there, too, but only about mid-pack.

As Coleman started slowing, you could see Bolt making up ground in the adjacent lane, but it was ultimately Gatlin out in lane eight who rallied enough to nip both Coleman and Bolt at the line.

The final result:

Gatlin 9.92
Coleman 9.94
Bolt 9.95

If you remember back to Gatlin’s epic collapse at the 2015 Worlds, it was late race pressure from a surging Bolt that caused Gatlin to falter over the last 20 meters and lose to the Jamaican champion.

So the fact Gatlin was out in lane eight and couldn’t see what runners on his inside were doing might have benefitted rather than detracted from his world title performance.

One more thing I want to address: On the NBC telecast, Ato Boldon said people will forever question Bolt’s decision to race this season rather than hang it up after Rio.

I have to respectfully disagree.

People said Michael Jordan’s second comeback with the Washington Wizards would tarnish his legacy. Let’s be real – it hasn’t.

In 20 years, people will be talking about Bolt’s eight Olympic gold medals on the track and his swagger off of it – very few will remember this relative blip on Bolt’s resume.

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