Catching up on the 800 meters, Decathlon, and Mo Greene on Usain Bolt, by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

Thumbnail image for Symmonds_NickFH-OlyTr12.jpg
Nick Symmonds, 2012 US OT 800 meters, photo by

Thumbnail image for Eaton_Ashton1500Mwide-OlyT12.JPGAshton Eaton, photo by

Dick Patrick's column today, on the second off day, was a some comments from the hilarious 800 meter men's press conference, some deep thoughts on the Decathlon and Mo Greene on Usain Bolt. We think that you will like it!

By Dick Patrick

Eugene, Oregon - During the post-race press conference after he won the 800 meters Monday at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, Nick Symmonds alluded to his sports psychologist, altitude training, innovative gym work, international travels that have led to  "incredible dates," and a winter trip for training and racing in Australia.

Khadevis Robinson, who finished second in the race, looked at third-place Duane Solomon and couldn't restrain himself from commenting any longer. "Nick's telling us his secrets," said Robinson, 35, an assistant track coach at UNLV. "He sees a psychologist, weight room, Australia, incredible dates. Me and Duane are like, 'What is this all about? What is he talking about?'

"What kind of program is this? We don't have none of that. We're out on the track with our coach. No wonder you're kicking our butt. Incredible dates!?"

The media and the athletes cracked up. Later in the conference, Symmonds, a member of the Oregon Track Club, turned to Robinson, know as KD: "KD, you talk about I've got a sports psychologist and I go to Australia. We've got an Oregon Track Club jersey if you want it. Come on out."

The dec: The Trials are at the midway point, with rest days Tuesday and Wednesday, before competition resumes Thursday through Sunday. The signature moment may have occurred already with Ashton Eaton's world record Saturday in the decathlon as the event turns 100 and the USA's living gold medalists/world recordholders were in attendance and congratulated Eaton. The two surviving sons of Jim Thorpe, the winner of the first Olympic decathlon in 1912, were also in attendance.

Vin Lananna, the University of Oregon track coach and meet director, wasn't the only person shedding tears. "It was storybook," he said. "I don't know that we could have scripted it any better."

Don't bother to commit Eaton's 9,039 points to memory. "He's going to break it again," said Tom Pappas, the 2003 world champion, who owns a gym in Eugene.

Dan O'Brien, the three-time world champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist who lost his 20-year-old U.S. record of 8,891 to Eaton, doesn't think the record will fall again at the London Olympics. "It's just too hard to do at a major championships," O'Brien said, citing the long days of competition because of the large field.

Ready to exhale: Jesse Williams must be the most relieved athlete at the Trials. The reigning world champion in the high jump finished fourth Monday, but he'll be going to London.

Williams is on the team because third-place Nick Ross doesn't have the Olympic qualifying A standard of 7-7. Ross, as did winner Jamie Nieto, second-place Erik Kynard  and Williams, failed to clear 7-7 Monday after all cleared 7-53/4. The placing was determined by fewest misses at earlier heights. Nieto, Kynard and Williams all previously achieved the standard.

Williams secured the Olympic berth when Ross missed his third and final attempt at 7-7. Williams, who had to clear 7-53/4 on a pressure-packed third attempt, was "grateful" to make the team: "The whole goal was to make London. Now that I'm there, I want to get on top of the podium."

Mo on Bolt: Maurice Greene, a three-time world champion in the 100 and the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, doesn't think that Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the 2008 100-200 champion and the world recordholder in both events at 9.58 and 19.19, is necessarily a lock for gold medals in London.

"I look at the people and I analyze their races," said Greene, who set a world record of 9.79. "(Bolt) hasn't shown that type of shape he was in in 2008. I will say that if he shows up in that type of shape, he's going to win. I don't think there's anybody out here who can run with him, if he's doing that.

"But I don't think he's in that type of shape. I think he's having a lot of problems at the beginning part of his race he still hasn't figured out. He's having problems from zero to 65. ... His top end speed is probably superior to everybody else's right now. But (opponents) have to put together the race to withstand that cushion. If you can do that, he can be beat."

Greene thinks Bolt, 26 in August, may be feeling the effects of aging compounded by possible repercussions from an auto accident earlier this year. He does not think Bolt, despite a reputation as a party animal, is complacent, especially after he was disqualified from the world championships 100 last year for false starting.

"Usain is talking about his legacy now," Greene said. "He wants to prove last year he should have won. I still don't think he would have won that race (won by training partner Yohan Blake). When a person feel like they got something to prove, they're dangerous. I used to always love to prove people wrong."

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