It is now one day past the USA Outdoor Champs and many of those athletes are headed to Europe to race in Lausanne, Paris and or Birmingham.
The US team has some interesting components, from the men's shot to the women's long jump, from the men's 1,500 meter team to the women's 100m hurdles. We have several events that can take one to two medals in the Worlds in the event and others, that it will be a cold day in hell before we see a medal.
That being the case, the loss of Tyson Gay, Wallace Spearmon, Jr. will hurt us in the sprint medals. My modest suggestion is for Walter Dix to focus on the 200 meters, where he has a reasonable shot (his double was superb, but this is the World champs). The Jamaican athletes in the sprints are parallel to the Kenyans in the long distances. It took us two decades of asking questions and challenging our training stratigems for US distance runners to begin making inroads. I believe it is time to ask the right questions for U.S. sprinters, as the world of sprinting has changed, and there are great sprinters from all over the world.
I have seen Christophe Lemaitre run several times, and I enjoy watching him run. I remember asking Brooks Johnson one time if white kids could run fast. The response was quick, the look was something I have never forgot: " Color means nothing, do they want it? are they willing to work? Are they willing to fall?"
Watching David Oliver show his stuff, especially against Liu Xiang at Nike Pre, was fascinating. Oliver was nervous before the race, and yet, he stayed the course, he went past his comfort zone, and battled Xiang for five straight hurdles before David took the race.
This weekend, watching Adam Nelson throw his best since 2008 was one of my highlights of the weekend. Reese Hoffa and Christian Cantwell responded as well, and Cantwell's big foul shows that these three may be our best men's shot put team EVER.
On the women's side, Michelle Carter and Jill Camerena were the highlight of Thursday night. The 19.85m throw by Camerena, followed by 19.86m by Carter and then, a 19.84m by Camerena was, well what sport is supposed to be about.
Then, there was the men's 1,500 meters, and Matt Centrowitz, Jr., running that 52.25 last lap, holding off the likes of Bernard Lagat and Leonel Manzano, running a the last 200 meters like he was Portugal's Rui Silva. Now the job is, get those A standards and focus on Daegu.
Hot, humid conditions and all of the world's best, running for medals. The focus must be there now, the notes on the mirror, about one's goals and one's aspirations. And can one do it in front of 60,000 track fans and few billion TV viewers? That is the nature of the beast: it is what makes our sport so exciting.