Yohan Blake, 2011 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net
The truth be told, the London 2012 Olympics should have all kinds of surprises. Some athletes are just getting into shape, some are weeks away, and some are just perfect. In the book, Self Made Olympian, the late Ron Daws had an observation about Olympic finals. His first is that, in the final, half of the field has a chance to win, some are burnt out, some have over thought themselves out. It is in that half of the field, the athletes who want the medal more than anything else at that moment, that the winner comes from.
Who will be the surprises in 2012? Who will put the javelin, hammer or discus out of reach? Who will win the long jump on the very last jump of their series? And who will come from the pack, with fifty meters to go, to snatch the bronze medal in the 1,500 meters?
It is one of the parts of the sport that makes it so exciting! As I do my preparations for our Live blogs and writing about the Olympics, I get more and more excited. I have been fortunate to write about Olympic Track & field since 1984. Before that, I relied on the thoughtful pages of Track & Field News to give me my inside view of the sport.
Luzern and Lignano were two of the last meets before London. Herculis Monaco, coming this weekend, will be the last big one....
Blake 9.85, Adams 21.11, Young 19.86 PB
LUZERN (SUI, Jul 17): It was an special evening in Luzern at Spitzenleichtathletik meet EA Classic) at Allmend Stadium. World champion Yohan Blake clocked in his last test before the Games fast 9.85 meet record (+1.6) in the 100 m ahead of Michael Frater 10.00 and same time for third Marc Burns of Trinidad, his best of the season.
In the B race Jason Young improved to 10.06 (second Calesio Newman 10.09 +1.0 and here well beaten as fourth Wallace Spearmon in 10.33). But that was only a begin from Young who some time later achieved an astonishing improvement 19.86 (+1.5) beating his Racers Club mate and Olympic bound Warren Weir 20.11. Young had 20.42 PB before Luzern.
Carribeans won also 100m women with Sherri Ann Brooks in 11.12 (+0.1)
over Kelly Ann Baptiste 11.13 and US Charonda Willams 11.13 PB.
Williams then prepared a surprise when she beat in the 200 m with 22.52 second PB the olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown 22.70. US hurdles win for Ginnie Crawford in 12.61(+0.7) in a race with all eight athletes under 13 seconds. Second Nevin Yanit 12.73 and third in a tie Kellie Wells and Kristi Castlin 12.79.
In B-race two important national records. Winner Anne Zagre clocked Belgian NR 12.79 (+1.4) and second Beate Schrott 12.82 as Austrian top all-time mark.
Mercy Cherono won the 3000m in 8:45.93 over junior Diriba Buze from Ethiopia 8:46.85 and Azmera Gebru 8.47.49.
British Kate Dennison won the pole vault with 456. In women high jump two personal best for Bulgarian Mirela Demireva in 195 over German Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch.
World champion Valerie Adams won the shot put with excellent 21.11 not only season best but also her second best ever.
Russian Daegu medalist Olga Kucherenko leaped to 683 in the long jump and beat a very strong field headed by world champion Brittney Reese 677 and other US Janay DeLoach 664.
Ryan Wilson was the best in men hurdles in 13.32 (+0.1) ahead of Jamaican Andrew Riley 13.33 in his pro debut and US David Oliver 13.38 with 2010 European champion Andy Turner 13.48.
In B-final even faster Ty Akins of USA 13.30 (+0.1) beating Joel Brown 13.32
and David Payne 13.35.
Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge won easy the steeple with 8:16.56 and in hammer Ukrainian Oleksyi Sokyrsky got 78.66 in front of Szymon Ziolkowski 75.57.
Nigerian Joke Odumosu won the 400 m hurdles 55.12, Bahamian Donald Thomas the high jump 227 and in Helsinki revenge Christina Obergfoll beat in javelin with 62.94 Ukrainian Vira Rebryk 61.04.
Six athletes splitted the $20 000 USD jackpot (Adams, Crawford, Blake, Young, Weir, Williams) with $3333 USD each.