Recently in IAAF Category
LaShawn Merritt versus Kirani James, photo by PhotoRun.net
What LaShawn Merritt did to Kirani James in Moscow was no different than a prize fighter bringing his competition in close and doing a KO in the 14th round. Merritt took James out of his safety zone and ran him through a near personal best in the 200 meters. If you look at the pictures of Merritt at the 300 meters, he is flowing. LaShawn Merritt took two years of frustration, and just buried the London gold medalist. When Merritt came back and added a second gold for the 4 x 400 meters, LaShawn showed his domination and why he should be the Jesse Owens AOY for 2013. Nice job, USATF!
Brianna Rollins, photo by PhotoRun.net
And then, Brianna Rollins. Brianna Rollins flies over the hurldes and does it again, and again, and again. She is agile, she is fast and she is focused. Ms. Rollins decimated the best competition in the world with her fast hurdling, reminiscent of Gail Devers, Olympic hurdle goddess. Now, Brianna Rollins is a World Champ hurdle goddess and the JJK AOY for 2013.
Jackie Joyner Kersee is iconic. The JJK Athlete of Year award is being granted to Brianna Rollins, who will give us many things to smile about in the future!
Two AOYs by USATF and I think both are nicely done!
Truth is, we have several athletes who could be AOYs this year, but LaShawn and Brianna earned it with aplomb!
David Rudisha, photo by PhotoRun.net
David Rudisha, the London gold medalist and the World record holder, is back in training. The man who has taken the 800 meters by the scruff of the neck and it up is getting into shape for 2014. As track fans, we are happy when our real heroes are fit and healthy. Anyone who watched David Rudisha lead the 800 meters from start to finish in London, not only taking the gold medal, but setting the World record, knows what greatness is.
David Rudisha is back!
The Diamond League is a collection of some of the best track and field meets in the world. I went ten of the fourteen in 2012, and will see how many I can visit in 2014. Last year, I was able to visit the Belgacom Van Damme Memorial this past fall. The crowd of 50,000 fans, the great races and the music show were fantastic!
Usain versus the tortoise, only on ACCESS Hollywood,
photo courtesy of ACCESS Hollywood
Usain Bolt is the most patient of men. I have watched the IAAF World Athlete of the year put up with the most inane questions in press conferences, racing Jimmy Kimmel holding a cake, but the picture above tops the cake. It is obvious that Usain has a strong sense of humor and knows that, getting on American television puts him in front of the audience that he wants to buy his new book, Faster than Lightning.
For your viewing pleasure, here are few more pictures of note....
Rob Heffernan, photo by PhotoRun.net
Rob Heffernan, the gold medalist in the World Championships 50k at this most recent Moscow Worlds, is the Irish Athlete of the Year. As only third gold medalist in a World Champs from Ireland (Eamonn Coghlan, 1983, Sonia O'Sullivan, 1995, both at 5,000 meters).
Rob had some tough luck in 2011 and 2012, and now, Rob Heffernan is a gold medalist!
Deena Kastor, photo by PhotoRun.net
Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
Molly Huddle and Deena Kastor voiced their support of Mary Cain's decision to run professionally. This piece, by Chris Lotsbom, gives some thoughtful comments from two of the most experienced women distance runners on Mary's decision.
Millrose Games, photo courtesy of Millrose Games
The New Balance Armory Track & Field Center is one of my most favorite of venues to watch and experience a track and field meet. Sometime, I want to spend a weekend, just watching the relays and speaking with the coaches, fans and athletes on why they love The Armory so much.
The Millrose Games now has a title sponsor in the New York Road Runners. Congrats on NYRR doing this wonderful example of road running and track and field coming together. For over a hundred thousand teenagers a year, The NB Armory is their sanctuary of sport, a place to savor our sport, friendships and goals achieved and missed.
The Millrose Games has found a new home. And the New York Road Runners have, by sponsoring the Millrose Games, shown by example, how our sport could and should work together.
I think that the sponsorship by the New York Road Runners of the Millrose Games would make the late Fred Lebow, NYC Marathon founder, smile...
Rita Jeptoo takes 2013 B.A.A. Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net
The Boston Marathon in 2013 is a series of memories for me. That the B.A.A. has increased the size of the field and is now offering the remaining entries to those affected by the 2013 event seems like the right thing. What has been comforting to many of us who cover the sport is to see how the events in Boston have brought the sport together for some reconsideration of how we manage and promote our sport. That is, as one of my favorite publishers once noted, " a good thing."