As I started to write the Ten Revelations from the Worlds, I realized that there was much that happened that needed some additional comments. So, here we go:
12. Liu Xiang is the world’s top hurdler, for now. Liu Xiang showed that he can recover even when he crashes into a few hurdles, which he did last week in Osaka. If you can play the film of the race back in your head, you will notice that Liu first looks to his left, checking on both Trammell and Payne.
13. Terrance Trammel will be tough next year, but the performer who suprised me the most was David Payne. Last Monday this guy knew he was watching the final, the following Saturday, he was taking the bronze. Payne just made the making of the U.S. Olympic team that much harder in 2008.
14. Last minute surge–Jenn Rhines is one tough cookie. She caught Shalane Flanagan who had ten to fifteen meters on her most of the 5,000 meter women’s final-and caught her just before the finish. Meseret Defar was never in trouble, and would have won that race in any shape or form, but Rhines has made the 5,000 meters a tough event to make on the U.S. women’s side.
15. Relays-short. The 4 x 100 meter relays were won both by the U.S. Better hand offs on the guys side and a world record would have happened, dusting our friends from Jamaica. Better hands offs on the women’s side and the U.S. would have busted the race right open!
16. Luke Kibet in the Men’s marathon. Kibet showed how hot it was out on that course that day. Running a 2:15.59 and taking the gamble at 35k was the right move for Kibet to take, but he was one hurting pup at the end of that race. Kibet was also the first Kenyan to win the men’s race since 1987- and Douglas Wakihiru!
17. Catherine Ndereba is the most bemedaled women marathoner alive. Catherine has a pedigree that just won’t quit. Two seconds at ING NY and FLORA London, four wins at Boston, top 2 in Paris, Helsinki, Athens. And now, Osaka. Great win over the Chinese women. Catherine should be tough In Beijing.
18. Over 200 countries have teams, 46 teams score points, top 8 performances and 41 teams medal. This is a world sport. This is the toughest environment from which to compete and do well. Someone who ran well here should be proud of themselves.
19. Matt Tegankamp showed that the best place to train and develop, if you are a man in the 5,000 meters is Madison, Wisconson. Come on, Matt Tegankamp, Chris Solinsky, Jonathan Riley, the Downins-what do these guys have in common? Can you say Jerry Schumacher? Can you say, creating an environment where no one beats the other guy up too much, where one can have a high quality life and train well, focusing on the important tasks? Do no be suprised if two of the three 5,000 meter members of Oly team in 2008 for U.S. men are from the largest city in U.S. located on an isthmus-Madison, Wisconsin. And watch Andrew Rock return at the 400 meters next year as well!
20. With the most well rounded team that the U.S. has had in many a year, the outlooks for Beijing are that much better! From the Relays, to the Javelin, to the pole vault, to the 5 and 10k, U.S. will have athletes prepared for similar conditions to Osaka.