Not much has changed in the stadium since 1912. Walking through the same places that Jim Thorpe and many other great athletes have was very inspiring. I tried to soak as much in Friday evenings' meet as I could.
But, you know you are in one of the grand cathedrals of our sport. Here is what I thought about the DN. Galan Stockholm DL:
Jim Thorpe in the 1912 Olympics, held in DN. Stadium. Image via Wikipedia
Some thoughts on the DN. Galan Stockholm DL:
Women's 100 meters: Carmelita Jeter is near the top of her game. Her run of 11.14, into a 2 meter per second headwind showed her toughness and her ability to focus with competition such as Marshevet Myers. How Jeter runs against the Jamaican team will determine whether she medals in Daegu. I pick her and VCB to have an epic struggle over this distance.
Men's 200 meters: Usain Bolt gets dissed everywhere right now. I am not sure it is completely fair to do that, however, I also think that, naturally, 2008 and 2009 were special years. What makes this sport go is competition. I believe that Usain is nearly unbeatable over 200 meters-which I believe is his best distance. Over 100 meters, Bolt will have a tougher go, making for a more exciting race.
Women's 5,000 meters: Vivian Cheruiyot was just amazing to watch and behold. Running by herself from 2,000 meters on, Cheruiyot ran like a metronome. The crowd clapped in unison, giving her energy, as Cheryuiyot charged each lap. I believe she is capable of 14:15. Her 14:20 is just behind two Meseret Defar runs and one Tirunesh Dibaba run. The battle over the 5,000m and 10,000m in Daegu for women is looking like classic distance racing and perhaps, two of the best races of the World Championships.
Hats off to Shalane Flanagan, who while chasing the 5,000m AR is just getting herself better and better prepared for a medal fight over the 10,000m distance in Daegu. Nice run by Magdelena Lewy Boulet, who ran her pb in the 5,000m.
Men's 400 meters: This race is so open. Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica won here, but, my belief is that, with two more rounds of racing, LaShawn Merritt may be unbeatable. The 2008 and 2009 world champ, who sat out 21 months over a banned substance from a sexual enhancement product, wants to race, and ran 350 meters of great 400 meters. He is focused and he knows, he has to do some serious running to get on the medal stand. Greg Nixon of US is also a good shot at a medal.
Men's 1,500 meters: Silas Kiplagat won the 1,500 meters here, with Asbel Kiprop and Nick Willis in tow. These three men should be in the medal hunt in Daegu. Willis has run quite well since his return and the 2008 Olympic silver medalist continues to impress. Asbel Kiprop, the 2009 World Champ, is tough and wants it bad, but does it want it more than Kiplagat? We shall see.
Men's Shot Put: Cantwell, Majewski, Armstrong would be most folks' picks for Daegu. I think Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa can make it that much stickier. The battle between Cantwell and Majewski for supremacy should prove fascinating, and down to the last jump. I liked that
the meet management here put the Shot in the center of town. Nice job!
Women's Shot put: Valerie Adams is truly on form. Jillian Camerena-Williams has a strong medal shot as does Michelle Carter.
Women's pole vault: She is back! Yelena Isinbayeva won here, clearing 4.64 and 4.76m, and she is looking higher.
Crowd was supportive. Loved Angjelica Bengsstrom, the Swedish PV phenom, and love their Swedish athletes, but celebrated the global stars. The media center was new and improved and seating and work areas were fantastic. I loved the Mixed Zone. One of the best and most ingenious Mixed Zones that I have seen, going up and out of the stadium.
In the end, the 2011 DN. Galan Stockholm DL was true sports entertainment. Should be a great meet to watch! Congrats to the meet management, on making the meet such a tremendous fixture.