September 2011 Archives

I liked this release, and believe it is something that you will appreciate too. Saucony, one of the top performance running brands, puts their money where their mouths or feet are. Like many of the brands who support our sport, Saucony's Run for Good Foundation is trying to do something important, getting people to move.

We need help like this nationally and locally. Get your kids out for a nice walk in the woods, turn off the computer, phone, and get them outside to run, walk, jump, skateboard, bike, do something outside. The key is movement.

Williams_Jodie200Q-WJunior10.JPGJodie Williams, 2010 WJ Championships, photo by

Jodie Williams won the 100m (11.18), 200m (22.94) and ran on the winning 4 x 100m team at this summer's European Juniors. She is being carefully groomed to be one of the world's elite sprinters, and to all indications, she is coming along quite well. Her performances this summer gave her the Rising Star award in the European AA.
Trey Hardee, 2011 WC, Decathlon, gold, photo by

Trey Hardee, decathlon deity, had surgery on his elbow, after a last throw in javelin at the World Champs decathlon caused some major pain and damage. He blew the ACL in his elbow, and has had surgery on it, which was successful. Watch for the two time Decathlon World Champion to be ready for London 2012. 
Deena Kastor, 2011 ING NYCM Mini, photo by

Keflezighi_MebFV-SanDiego11.JpgMeb Keflezighi, 2011 RNR San Diego, photo by

When one thinks of the moniker, Speed City, it was given to one city, San Jose, California in the sixties with the likes of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who were coached by the late Bud Winter, the coach at San Jose State University.

Bud Winter trained fighter pilots in World War 2 how to relax on their long flights over Europe. Using his practical knowledge about coaching his experiences with training pilots, Winter developed some of the greatest sprinters of all times. While the ghost of Bud Winter probably walks around the track at State, wondering what happened to the legacy he built, it is ironic that that the fastest half marathon course in California is in San Jose, California.

This year, the race has Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon and 2004 silver medalist and 2009 ING NYCM victor, Meb Keflezighi running. It will also be a place where many will qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials with a half marathon distance under the Olympic Trials qualification time.

Watch here to see how the field fares.......

Usain [email protected], 27 September 2011,
photo by PUMA
/Danielle Klebanow

One of those days. That is how yesterday started. I had to find a writer, the right writer, to cover a Speed Clinic that was being sponsored by PUMA and presented by their top athlete, Usain Bolt. A clinic being done by the best sprinter in the world!  How many athletes would want to go to that?

Friends at PUMA had told us about the clinic, and we were pretty excited. This was on ordinary speed clinic! I was unable to change my schedule around, so I needed to find a writer.  I needed to find a writer who would be able to cover the speed clinic as a valuable coaching tool, but also who understands the rock n roll nature of an athlete such as Usain Bolt: I needed someone special. 

After a few hours of panic, I hunted up Jon Sutherland. Jon has built a life around running and music: he has not missed a day of running in over 40 years, and he has spent his life, as a journalist, writing about musicians and athletes. Jon is a track & cross country coach at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California.  About six foot four, with long gray hair, Jon looks like a runner and in fact, went out for his run as I was sending him background info for the story.

Jon has that distance runner look, while at the same time, he looks like a bass player in a metal band. His favorite band is Thin Lizzy.  We joked that there are many similarities between both groups, athletes want to be musicians and musicians want to be athletes. Jon would surely understand the attraction of Usain Bolt.

Jon headed over for the clinic, which, while planned for crowd of two hundred, had a crowd of six hundred. " It was getting crazy, " noted a PUMA staffer.  The news had gotten out. It was all over the twitter world. PUMA knew Usain Bolt would pull a crowd, but it was not only the athletes, but the media. Usain, Sutherland told us, " took it all in stride.

Jon Sutherland called me Tuesday night, and noted that "Usain was great, he is part comic and part athlete. The crowd loved him." He also noted that Usain was pretty forthcoming on the interviews from news media. Watch for that story later....

We know one thing. Those six hundred high school, junior high and college athletes got one of those experiences of their life being that close to Usain Bolt, who kept the crowd laughing and learning about track & field! 

This is Jon's piece on Usain Bolt and the Speed Clinic, we hope that you enjoy it! (Special thanks to Kristina Fields/PUMA and Danielle Klebenow/PUMA for the photography).

We hope that you enjoy it. Make sure to pass it around!

Jenny Simpson, 2011 WC 1,500 meter final, photo by

Simpson_Jenny1-World11.JPGJenny Simpson, 2011 WC 1,500m, final, photo by

Simpson_Jenny1a-World11.JPGJenny Simpson, 2011 WC 1,500m, final, photo by

Simpson_Jenny1b-World11.JPGJenny Simpson, 2011 WC 1,500m final, photo by

The 1,500 meter run is an event where a middle distance runner is challenged in many ways. Running three laps, and then kicking for the last 300 meters is a text book way to run the distance. A 1,500 meter run, in a championship venue, is a totally different event. A championship 1,500 meter run is part roller derby, part chess match, part playing chicken. In the end, the athletes who can focus the most, cover the moves and kick when need be, will be in the medal hunt.

Jenny Simpson, Morgan Uceny and Shannon Rowbury were the US runners in Daegu. Shannon did not make the final, Morgan was knocked down in the final, and Jenny Simpson ran the race of her life, taking all of the lessons that she had learnt running those NCAA champ rounds, World Champ rounds and Olympic rounds, and putting them into practice in lone long, very long last straightaway.

With fifty meters to go, nine women were within striking distance of each other. Jenny Simpson made her move with fifty meters to go, just before Hannah England. Simpson knows how to kick, and kick she did. The quality of the women's event, globally, is that there will be fields like this in upcoming world champs and Olympic Games. A sizzling kick, the ability to time it right, and perform on the right day is what makes a gold medalist and a sixth placer.

Jenny Simpson has won the World Champs 1,500 meters. Nothing else really matters this year. Sure nice to win the Fifth Avenue Mile, great way to end the season, but for Jenny Simpson and her coach, Juli Benson, London 2012 began the moment Jenny Simpson crossed that finish line in Daegu.

This is Elliott Denman's take of Jenny Simpsons' remarkable year, 2011.

Radcliffe_PaulaWide-Berlin11.JPGPaula Radcliffe, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Paula Radcliffe finished third in the BMW Berlin Marathon this past Sunday. Afterwards, she admitted that she was not really happy with the marathon, but she would take a rest and then, start training for London. Paula Radcliffe will have surgery on her left ankle this week, to remove a bone spur. After that, Radcliffe will focus on London.

I had a conversation this morning with a friend who was noting that Paula Radcliffe did pretty well in Berlin. He also made this observation: " Paula Radcliffe can medal in London, perhaps even win. She just has to stay out of the lead for the first 35k, and then make those last seven kilometers count, like never before. " London 2012 will be her focus.

Meb Keflezighi, photo courtesy of SKECHERS communications

Meb Keflezighi is running the RNR San Jose Half Marathon this coming weekend, October 2, in San Jose, California, where he won in 2010. Meb will be wearing his new sponsor, SKECHERS' new running shoe, GOrun.

Meb Keflezighi is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 ING NYCM marathon winner. Meb is running the 2011 ING NYCM and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for the marathon.

We wish him luck.

Tyson Gay, photo courtesy of EAS Nutrition (photo credit: adidas communications)

Tyson Gay, the American record holder in the 100 meters (9.71), and World Champ and Olympic medalist, has signed an agreement with EAS Nutrition. During his buildup for London 2012, Tyson Gay will use EAS Sports Nutrition products which are tested for all banned substances and have the unique 100% certified label.

EAS has signed with one of America's most popular and talented sprinters, Tyson Gay. It will be interesting to see how he develops through 2012 as he prepares for Eugene 2012 and London 2012.

The road to London 2012 and Eugene 2012 is built through great coaching, consistent workouts, proper nutrition, focus and lots of rest. Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Walter Dix, Christophe Lemaitre, could be one of the most anticipated finals in the 100 meters (and then, the 200 meters) in London 2012. Oh, the anticipation!
Dix_Walter200FL-World11.JPGWalter Dix, 2011 WC, silver medalist, 100m, 200m, photo by

It was a curious World Championships for the US, but it was also a robust World Championships. One noted observer noted that, with a bit of luck, and medals in the men's shot put, and men's 400m hurdles, we would have been at 27. Taking that a step farther, the men's 4 x 100m would have put us over 30 medals.

The truth is, 25 medals is a tremendous accomplishment in one of the few world sports that actually exist. Face it, when you compete against the best in 200 plus countries, and win a medal, you are one of the world's best. The USA track team is, by all accounts, one of the most winning teams, if not the most winning team in US history. Consider the medals won by US track teams in Olympics and World Champs and one will get my drift.

The 2011 team had a nice collection of athletes new, athletes veterans and many at the top of their game. Our selection process, top three in Trials or best wishes, is both brutal and honest. It also makes the US champs, during Trials years, among the best days of track & field anywhere in the world.

Taylor_Christian1-WorChps11.jpgflyin....Christian Taylor, 2011 WC triple jump, gold, photo by

Williams_JesseR-Worlds11.jpgJesse Williams whooping it up! 2011 WC high jump, gold medalist,
photo by

just one more centimeter...Will Claye, 2011 WC triple jump, bronze, photo by

We took medals, two in fact, in the triple jump for men and one in the women's shot put medal was a great step forward. Jesse Williams in the high jump also showcased that event. Christian Taylor and Will Claye were first US triple jumper to go 1 & 3 in the triple jump World Champs since 1991 with Kenny Harrison and Mike Conley. Jillian Carmelita Williams took first global shot put medal for a US women since the 1960 Olympics, when Earlene Browne took the bronze in Rome!

Patrick Makau, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, 2:03:38 WR, photo by

Pat Butcher gives us some further reflections on the World record run by Patrick Makau, and the debut of Florence Kiplagat. Makau is here, will he dominate the marathon like Haile did before him. And, will we see Haile Gebrselassie back? Lots to think about...and Pat Butcher gives us some thoughts on this post-Monday marathon.

Bernard Lagat, 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile, photo by
Morgan Uceny, 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile, photo by

Middle distance runners challenge their bodies, their spirits and their hearts in the quest for the perfect mile. When one watches a middle distance runner after a great race, the emotion on their faces is what comes out in the pictures. Perhaps it is the realization that all of the bad training days, the bad races, the falls in races can now be relegated to memories.

Take Morgan Uceny, the 2011 USA champion at 1,500 meters. Uceny looked great in the rounds in Daegu, after a splendid summer of racing. Her final was changed by a collision, something, that, yes, happens in middle distance racing. Less than two weeks later, Morgan Uceny ran 4:00.06, and won Brussels Ivo Van Damme memorial. Uceny won in the world leading mark for the year. Perhaps the meet's namesake, the late Ivo Van Damme, silver medalist in the 800m and 1,500m in the 1976 Olympic Games,  would have enjoyed Uceny's victory, as Van Damme endured some tumbles and falls in his career.

Truth is, at 800 meters and 1,500 meters, US women's middle distance running may be at its best global level in two decades. London is calling, Morgan Uceny, among others.

Elliott Denman wrote this piece after seeing Morgan run the Fifth Avenue Mile. Morgan Uceny finished sixth in the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, here is Denman's story on Morgan.

Makau_PatrickFL1-Berlin11.JPGPatrick Makau, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, (time on finish clock is wrong), photo by

Patrick Makau showed his stuff in Berlin today, breaking World Records at 30k and the marathon distance, hitting the marathon in 2:03:38! Bernard Lagat and Jennie Simpson won the Fifth Avenue Miles on Saturday and Mary Keitany ran 1:07:34 for the half marathon in Lisbon, Portugal.

Men's elite start, 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile, photo by

MensPack-FifthAve11.JPGMen's pack, 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile, by

The Fifth Avenue Mile is the grand daddy of road miles. After five attempts, Bernard Lagat, WC silver medalist at 5,000 meters, nine time Wanamaker Mile winner, NY Armory two mile winner (setting AR), has won the Fifth Avenue Mile. Jenny Simpson, the WC gold medalist at the 1,500 meters, capped off her season with her fifth win here, showing that, once again, Jenny's win in Daegu was about having the right skills and managing the absolute crisis that is a 1,500 meter World Championship final.

Here is how our correspondent, Elliott Denman saw the races: 

Haile falters, Marke Milde with him, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

This photo was taken after 27k, when Patrick Makau started to charge away. Remember, Makau ran 14:19 for the 5k between 25 and 30k. Haile tried to stay. Afterwards, Jos Hermans, Haile's manager, noted that Gebrselassie had an asthma attack.

Gebrselassie_HaileStepsOff-Berlin11.JPGHaile Gebrselassie steps off, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Gebrselassie went off the course, and was off the course for about a minute.....

Gebrselassie_HaileStepsOff1-Berlin11.JPGHaile trying to catch his breath, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Gebrselassie_HaileStepsOff1a-Berlin11.JPGHaile Gebrselassie, breathing difficulties, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Gebrselassie_HaileStepsOff1b-Berlin11.JPGHaile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Gebrselassie_HaileWater-Berlin11.JPGHaile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

After  a minute, Haile Gebrselassie went off in hot pursuit of Patrick Makau, but it was not to be. Makauhad 2:34 on Gebrselassie by 35k. Haile dropped out right around 37k, citing the same issue he had in London, with an asthma attack.

Right after the race, it was announced that Haile would probably run Dubai Marathon or Tokyo Marathon in January or February or 2012, running for a fast time.

The emperor did not give up easily, and Patrick Makau, an athlete who some have seen as the next coming in the marathon, has shown his grit and desire by running a brilliantly spirited race, running like a world record holder, of which, after two hours, three minutes, and 38 seconds, Patrick Makau is the new World Record holder in the marathon!

Will Gebrselassie run London? Will Makau run London? We shall have to wait and see. My guess is yes on both, and it will be fascinating to see the Emperor going out with a fight and a new emperor starting his brilliant run for marathon greatness.

Makau_PatrickFVWR1a-Berlin11.jpgand the new world record is set, Patrick Makau runs 2:03.38,
2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Makau-GebrselassieH-Berlin11.JPGPatrick Makau, Haile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Berlin Marathon

Makau-GebrselassieLed-Berlin11.JPGthe Emperor falters, Patrick Makau begins to break Haile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Berlin Marathon

Patrick Makau pushes the pace, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Berlin Marathon

Patrick Makau has shown his promise, breaking not only the 30k mark of Haile Gebrselassie, but also the WR mark of Haile Gebrselassie in the marathon. Patrick Makau broke the former mark by 21 seconds, running a splendid 2:03.38. Haile Gebrselassie, the former world record holder, dropped out between 35 and 40k. Stephen Chemiany, one of the pacemakers, took second in 2:07.55. Edwin Chimaiyo took third in 2:09.50. Felix Limo took fourth in 2:10.38. Debut British marathoner Scott Overall took fifth in a strong 2:10.55.  

Florence Kiplagat won the women's marathon, running 2:19.44. Irina Mikitenko took second in 2:22.18. Paula Radcliffe, world record holder in the women's marathon took third in 2:23.46.

The emperor falters, the new emperor makes a breakthru, seems like a bit of a changing of the guard, we will have to wait til London 2012 to truly know. Our sport is tough, and Gebrselassie is not about to retire, and Radcliffe will rest, reassess and focus on 2012.

Here is Pat Butcher's account of the marathon, that transpired earlier today. With Makau's record, there have been eight world records set on the BMW Berlin Marathon course, in it's 38th year. 


Patrick Makau starts his surge, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon,
photo by

Patrick Makau showed that he is, today the best male marathoner in the world. Makau ran with Haile Gebrselassie, the current WR, with a phalanx of pacemakers (26 in fact). The early splits were 14:36, 29:17, 43:51, and 20k in 58:30. Makau hit the halfway in 1:01:43. The 25k was hit in 1:13:18, with Haile Gebrselassie hit in 1:13:19.

Makau surged at 27km and took off from Gebrselassie, who stopped for over one minute, holding his back and stomach. Gebrselassie got back on the course and ran, trying to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Makau hit the 30k in 1:27:38, with Gebrselassie one minute, ten seconds back (1:28:38). Makau did not stop, hitting 35k in 1:42:16, building a lead of 2:27 over Haile Gebrselassie at 35k. Patrick Makau broke the race open between 25k and 30k, running that 5k split in 14:19!

Patrick Makau did not stop, hitting 40k in 1:57.15. Makau's focus allowed him to break the former world record of Haile Gebrselassie of 2:03.59 by twenty-one seconds, running a new WR of 2:03.38!  Pacemaker Stephen Chemlany took second in 2:07:55. Haile Gebrselassie dropped out between 35 and 40k. The Berlin Marathon media page noted that Haile would probably run another marathon to qualify for London, more than likely Dubai.

Makau_PatrickFVWR1-Berlin11.jpga happy new world record holder, Patrick Makau, WR, 2:03.38, photo by

Makau told the media: "I came to Berlin to win. At the half way point I knew that I could break the record. It is the greatest day of my career."

Kiplagat_FlorenceFH-Berlin11.JPGFlorence Kiplagat, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, 2:19.44,  photo by

On the women's side, Florence KIplagat took the lead by halfway, and just did not look back. Building a lead of over 2 minutes, Kiplagat hit the finish line in 2:19.44. Irina Mikitenko, who had two rough years, finished second in 2:22.18 and Paula Radcliffe held one, running 2:23.46.

Radcliffe_PaulaWide-Berlin11.JPGPaula Radcliffe, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by

Paula Radcliffe twittered the following after the race: "Knew I may have to swallow my pride a little here. Now a break and then getting on with it."

Congrats to all who ran this morning in Berlin. For complete results, please click on:

Fritz Taylor, VP/GM, Running, Mizuno USA, photo courtesy of Mizuno USA

Our business is a trade. That trade is a collection of artisans. Face it. I have said this before and I will say it once again. The actual people who have the "vision thing", more honestly, who are willing to put their body parts on the wall to be hung, drawn and quartered are few, and far between. To criticize is easy, to challenge a preconceived notion is dangerous, to swim against the tide is nearly suicidal. In this day and age, very few, in any business are willing to put it all on the line. Very few. Fritz Taylor is one of them. 

The fascination to me, as an observer, is to see how these curious people translate their vision into the culture with which they are presented-some with success, some with little or no success. I recently told a group of twenty-somethings that I have learnt little or nothing from my successes, it is only in failure that I feel the breath of fresh air, and give myself time to reflect and learn. (Normally, that comes after one has been shown the door.)

That these artisans of performance running footwear are of a certain age, is also quite true. Over the next year, I will be visiting with many of the key influencers and players in our celebrated industry, picking their minds on their views of business, running culture, sports, and the optimism that virtually all members of this business possess!

We are in a time of unique challenges and tremendous economic volatility.  Volatility will be the status quo for some time in the future. Change is inevitable. Someone once noted that evolution is a terribly cruel thing. As our economy, and our lifestyle evolve, some things will go away, some things will emerge. Running will be here, as it is one of the few things that people can control: their fitness levels. 

Running, as we have known for decades, is more than putting one foot in front of the other. There is that spiritual side, that is like comfort food without the smell of mash potatoes (or the calories), and in times of turmoil, physical release is as important as spiritual release. Running will change the world: in some ways, it already has.

Trying to influence a brand is like trying to change the direction of a mighty river.
  However, like a Buddhist meditation, or, an appreciation of the esoteric, and a smile, small things sometimes do more to institute change than any memo or directive.

The manager in today's brands have many more challenges than putting a price on a running shoe box and making sure it arrives to the dealer on time. In this interview, Fritz allows us, once again, to see into his thought process, and his view of an excitingly revitalized Mizuno brand.
Perhaps, it is not about introducing new things, but using the tools one has in a more effective manner.

Remembering Art Hall, by Jeff Benjamin

SIAC Triple Crown awards dinner--1990,
Left to right--Art Hall, Jeff Benjamin--SIAC President at the time, Alan Steinfeld-NYRRC, Tom Fleming---2 time NYC Marathon Winner ,Abel Kiviat, Fred Lebow, Judge Brennan, Jim Higgins--SIAC VP at the time

Art Hall, one of the true builders of the sport of running in the New York Metro area, passed away. He was 64. We asked Jeff Benjamin, who was coached by Art, to provide us with his thoughts on his coach and mentor.

Valerie Adams, 2011 WC Shotput, photo by

Bolt-LeMaitre-ParisDL11.jpgUsain Bolt, 2011 AREVA Paris, photo by

Cheruiyot_VivianFV1d-WorChp11.jpgVivian Cheruiyot, 2011 WC 5,000m, photo by

Harting_RobertQ1-World11.JPGRobert Harting, 2011 WC discus, photo by

The athletes that you see pictured above were undefeated in 2011: Valerie Adams in the shot put, Usain Bolt over 200 meters, Vivian Cheruiyot over the 5,000m (and 10,000m), and Robert Harting, over the discus. Pretty amazing when you think how competitive most of the events are around the globe.....

Good luck to all in the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, September 24, 2011. On Saturday & Sunday, September 24-25, BMW Berlin Marathon will have over 70,000 participants, from a youth run, to a inline skating marathon, to a full marathon over the famous BMW Berlin Marathon course, held on Sunday, September 25, 2011. Good luck to all....

Gebrselassie-MakauPC-Berlin11.JPGHaile Gebrselassie & Patrick Makau, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon Press Conference, photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Berlin Marathon

The marathon season is upon us and the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, to be held on September 25, should be a brilliant way to begin the Fall 2011 marathon season. Paula Radcliffe versus Irina Mikitenko on the women's side, and Haile Gebrselassie versus Patrick Makau on the men's side. Pat Butcher, our global correspondent, gives us his thoughts on the Men's race below, after this morning's (Berlin time) BMW Berlin Press Conference

Thumbnail image for Mikitenko-RadcliffePC-Berlin11.jpg
Irina Mikitenko, Paula Radcliffe, 2011 BMW Press Conference, photo by

Lagat_BernardQ-WorCh11.jpgBernard Lagat, 2011 WC 5,000m qualifying, photo by

Busy weekend! Cross country races across the country, and the Fifth Avenue Mile in NY (Saturday) and the BMW Berlin Marathon in Berlin (Sunday). One season, track & field, ending and one (marathoning) beginning...

Paula Radcliffe, 2011 BMW Press Conference, 22.09.2011,
photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Marathon

Until a few days ago, Paula Radcliffe's supreme effort of 2:15.25, was the world record. Now, it is the world best. IAAF Congress has opened a hornets nest on this one, and may create a fissure between road running and the governing body.

Paula Radcliffe, all of 37, still has the world record and world best, and on Sunday, she will see what kind of shape she is in as she prepares for 2012 London. A World Champion in the marathon and in cross country, Radcliffe has lead women's marathon for most of the past decade. She has also shown the high price paid by elite marathoners who challenge the limits, as Radcliffe has.

BMW Berlin will be a race between Paula Radcliffe and Irina Mikitenko, who is also coming off a long respit. In the following article by our globerunner, Pat Butcher, you will see how Mr. Butcher views the battle this weekend!

Mikitenko-RadcliffePC-Berlin11.jpgIrina Mikitenko, Paula Radcliffe, 2011 BMW Marathon Press conference, photo by Victah Sailer/BMW Marathon

Hastings_Amy-Houston11.JPG Amy Hastings, 2011 USA Half Marathon champs, photo by

Lesley Higgins, a former runner at the University of Colorado, and currently, a steeplechaser running for the New York Athletic Club, had a conversation with me about this issue early in 2011. This is a column that we asked Ms. Higgins to write for RBR. Lesley has written several pieces for us in the past and can be seen daily on the NYAC web site.
Galen Rupp, 2011 USA Championships, 10,000m, photo by

Galen Rupp finished third on Friday night,September 16, 2011 at the Belgacom Brussels Van Damme Memorial 10,000m , with a time of 26:48.00. Rupp set a new American Record, breaking the 26:59.6 set by Chris Solinsky on May 1, 2010 at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

Rupp's run was a fine end to a fine season for Galen, where he won the 10,000m at the US champs, and took third in the US 5,000m, qualifying for the 2011 World Champs in Daegu. In Daegu, Rupp finished seventh in the 10,000m and ninth in the 5,000m, in both races until very close to the end.

Hitting the 5,000m mark in the Van Damme Memorial in 13:25, Rupp ran a negative split of 13:23 to finish in a superb 26:48.00.

A brilliant race for a young man who has spent most of the last decade "chipping away", to use his words, at the elite World distance runners. Now, Galen is in the middle of the fray. Earlier this summer, RBR watched Galen Rupp outkick Imane Merga in a 5,000 meter race in Birmingham, UK. When asked later about that one, Galen Rupp gave a huge grin and said, that he liked that moment too!

It was also another feather in the cap of one Alberto Salazar. Salazar has proved the great Emil Zatopek's gentle caution about elite runners becoming coaches wrong. Zatopek noted that elite athletes tend not to have neither the patience nor the stomachs for coaching athletes. Alberto has had both.

Evolving over the past two decades as a coach and mentor, he has put Galen Rupp and Mo Farah together as training partners, giving Rupp someone to relax with and Farah someone to train with, a ying to the other's yang. That Farah won the more difficult 5,000m in Daegu after a very tough battle to the end in the 10,000m, taking a silver, showed that Salazar's training and racing savvy have evolved and coalesced with Farah and Rupp. Salazar, who does not take credit, always notes to RBR that it is the team around Galen and Mo.

In the end, both Farah and Rupp, at different places in their careers, are improving and excelling working together shows that Salazar's constant observations and willingness to evolve and fuse training methods is a strong approach for both the American and the British runner.   

In a press conference on Tuesday of this week, Galen noted that he needs to work on his finish and that, in his mind is about strength. He reminded us that he has been training at above 100 miles a week for only a year!

Congrats to Galen Rupp on his AR for 10,000m!  Rest  up, Galen, 2012 should be a lot of fun!
Farah_MoFH-WorCh11.jpgMo Farah, 2011 WC 5,000m final, photo by

The decision for the 2017 World Championships will be made on November 11 in Monaco by the 27 members of the IAAF Council. London 2017 sent us this release today showing the support of the top stars from Daegu World Champs, including Mo Farah, Dai Greene and Hannah England.

Dai Greene, 2011 WC 400m hurdles, photo by

The battle for the 2017 World Championships will be challenging. Doha is the other candidate, and they also have several challenges. It all depends on what the IAAF wants.  Do they want a new part of the world holding an outdoor World Champs? Do they want to provide a legacy to London 2012, and after two of last three World Champs in Asia, does the World Champs go back to Europe?

England_HannahQ-World11.JPGHannah England, 2011 WC 1,500m, photo by

Those decisions will be made over the next six weeks. Stay tuned.
Gerd Kanter, 2011 WC discus, silver medalist, photo by

The track season for 2011 is about to end. Warsawa, Poland hosted the second annual Kamila Skolimowska Memorial. Oscar Pistorius, aka Blade Runner, entertained 3,000 fans with his 46.45 win over 400 meters. Gerd Kanter threw 67.99m in the discus to end his season on a high note. A fun three implement shot competition was held and Alfons has a great description of that battle between Armstrong, Cantwell and Majewski.

Marathon season is on, and 49,000 plus will run the 2011 BMW Berlin marathon, along with Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie!
Paula Radcliffe, 2003 Flora London Marathon, WR, 2:15.25, photo by

The run by Paula Radcliffe in London in 2003 was, well epic. Her 2:15.25 took much out of her, as a long distance record does, and she has battled injuries ever since. In the sporadic moments of brilliance in our sport, and Radcliffe's run in 2003, dear readers was one such moment, we see how far our mortal engines can take us.

In the recent IAAF ruling on WRs for women in mixed races, we see that Radcliffes' run, much like Beamon's long jump, will now be ruled as a world best as it was done in a mixed race. So, let me get this right, less than three dozen of the 35,000 London marathon runners in 2003 were in front of her and they somehow aided her.

Anyone who has run a marathon can tell you that nothing anyone can do can lessen the pain of running 26.2 miles. I completed 17 marathons and in none of those races, while I did find comfort in speaking to other runners for a few moments, I was always taken by the cold corner of hell I found about 22 miles, and while people were cheering, it was what was within me, and other marathoners that got us to the finish.

I applaud the WMM on their decision to take a position on the WRs with women in mixed races. I do think that, however, the IAAF, while well meaning, continues to confuse the casual fan, those folks who watch football, American sports and such too, and could be drawn in to track & field if we only not so, well, difficult to understand.

Want the big bucks? Demystify our sport. Give us stories to write about the elite athletes. Until then, a truly global sponsor spending global dollars (read as $50-$100 million) is out of the question.

The truth be told, if we put all of the money footwear companies put into the sport, that is over $150 million globally right there. For our sport to grow, we need to stop asking footwear companies for handouts, and look at healthcare, auto, energy, and financial companies (some are, look at B of A,  BMW, John Hancock, ING, Virgin Money). The idea that our sport could curb obesity globally, cut healthcare costs by a huge amount and give us more time to find viable alternative energy are considered, but, not seriously.

Robert Harting, 2011 WC discus, photo by

Robert Harting will probably be having knee surgery this November, as his right knee is causing him some problems. Congrats to Ben True and Julie Culley on winning the US road champs/CVS Caremark 5k!

Lagat-Willis1-Millrose09.JPGBernard Lagat, Nick Willis, 2009 MIllrose Games, photo by

Starting Blocks has been the news section for American Track & Field for the past decade. For most of that time, we have been fortunate enough to have Dick Patrick, along with editor emeritus James Dunaway, working on news that would mean something to our primary readers. The primary readers of AT&F are the 37,553 head high school, college and club track & cross country coaches who educate over 1.4 million athletes forty-six weeks a year, six days a week, for an average of two hours, fifteen minutes a day. There is more to our sport than jumping, throwing and running. (If you do not get AT&F and you are a coach, just send your address, and name and title to [email protected], with " Yes, I would like a subscription to American Track & Field" and you will be receiving AT&F within four weeks. And yes, we have back issues for all 18 years. )

Here is Dick's homage to the Millrose Games, which appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of AT&F:
David Rudisha, 2011 Milano, photo by

Rudisha_David1-Milan11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Milano, photo by

Amman-RudishaFV-Milan11.jpgMohammed Amman, David Rudisha, 2011 Milano, photo by

Pistorius_Oscar1-Milan11.jpgOscar Pistorius, 2011 Milano, photo by

Pistorius_Oscar-Milan11.jpgOscar Pistorious, 2011 Milano, photo by

The conditions in Milano were, well challenging, and several athletes added to their reputations. Oscar Pistorious, aka the Blade Runner, won the 400 meters outright. This was one of his few wins, and his quote about appreciating such moments was just another indication of why sports fans see Pistorious as something different for track & field.

Mohammed Amman finally got David Rudisha, the 800 meter world record holder. Rudisha and Amman battled in the rain, with Amman getting the nod. It was just not Rudisha's day....

Oh, and kudoes to Alistair Cragg, who set a new national record for 5,000m in the Brussels 5,000m with his pb of 13:03.53 and fifth place.

Jenny Simpson had a busy weekend. A 1,500m on Friday in Brussels, then one in Tangiers on Sunday (she won in Tangiers). Her next race is the Fifth Avenue Mile.

Walter Dix, 2011 WC 100m, silver, 200m, silver, photo by

You have to like Walter Dix. The guy has medalled in Beijing and now Daegu. Coached by former 100m world record holder Rey Robinson, Dix races when he is ready, and when he is ready, he is, well, dangerous.

One has to wonder what Mr. Dix felt after running 19.53 for the 200 meters in Brussels, the second fastest EVER for an American, and taking second to Blake's 19.26.  Dix then goes to the Great North CityGames (Gateshead) back on Saturday and screams a 14.65 for the 150 meters. Think this guy has some serious wheels?

Fast times and more accolades to come for Mr. Dix.  

Morgan Uceny, 2011 Lausanne, photo by

Having a very tough Daegu was U.S. champion Morgan Uceny. Looking good through the rounds, Uceny was caught in a tumble during the 1,500m final, finishing out of the medals. A tough tumble to someone who was thought to be a real medal contender.

Morgan came back at the Brussels meeting, winning the DL and running fastest time of the year with her fine 4:00.06 for the 1,500 meters.

Morgan Uceny is one of those athletes who we will see on the medal stands over the next few years. As in life, in our sport, one has to hit the lows to appreciate the high points .

 Yohan Blake runs 19.26!!!!!!!!( picture from 2011 WC 100m) photo by


Usain Bolt runs 9.76, photo by (from WC 2011 100m qualifying)

Bekele_Kenenisa-Worlds11.JPGKenenisa Bekele runs 26:43.16: He's BAAAACK!, (picture from 2011 WC 10,000m), photo by

Rupp_GalenQ1a-WorChps11.jpgGalen Rupp sets AR for 10,000m of 26:48.00, (picture from 2011 WC 5,000m heats), photo by

In the perfect ending to the 2011 Samsung Diamond League, Usain Bolt runs 9.76 for the 100 meters, World Leader, Morgan Uceny wins 1,500m, in 4:00.06, World Leader, and Kenenisa Bekele runs WL for 10,000m in 26:43.16, leading Galen Rupp to an AR of 26:48.00.

And that is not all sports fans. Yohan Blake ran 19.26, yes, 19.26, the SECOND FASTEST time ever. Walter Dix runs 19.53 for second and Carmelita Jeter defeats Veronica Campbell Brown over the 100 meters, 10.78 to 10.85!

Belgacom Brussels, the Ivo Van Damme Memorial memorial, named after one of Belgium's finest middle distance runners, lived up to its hype. Watch for more on Saturday!

I was in the stadium in Daegu, Korea, as Jenny Simpson entered the final straightaway and the field was all there. Suddenly, Jenny Barringer Simpson moved to the front and charged away from the field, opening a few centimeters, then one meter, then two meters. As Hannah England went by the field, and started after Jenny, Simpson kept her cool and expanded her lead.

Afterwards, Jenny told the media that " I wanted to make sure that I had won, I wanted to make sure that this was not a dream." Well, it was not and it is not. Jenny Barringer Simpson is the first women to take gold in the 1,500 meters since 1983 and one Mary Slaney.

 A championship middle distance race requires several skill sets for the athlete to be successful. There is a similarity to roller derby racing: the shoving and closeness of the field make for falling and tripping to be part of the race. The tension increases as one gets closer to the finish, especially when the pace has remained moderate. And the ability to focus on your race place, no matter what is happening around you are key to success in the 1,500 meters.

Jenny Simpson used all of those race skills and the wise advise of her coach, Juli Benson, to stay out of trouble and make her move when it made sense for her! Jenny Simpson is now the 2011 World Championship gold medalist at 1,500 meters! We asked theshoeaddicts (AJ Felice, videographer, Mike Deering, research/copy, Adam Johnson-Eder, voice over) to give us their view of the new World Champion.

We hope you like their vision of Jenny Barringer Simpson, 2011 World Champion at 1,500 meters!
Thompson, Bolt, Lematire, Compeed Golden Gala, Roma, photo by

Richard Thompson ran the fastest 100 meters in Slovakia, along with 8 meet records to highlight this end of the season meeting.....
Jenny Simpson, Hannah England, 2011 WC 1,500m final, gold, silver,
photo by

Simpson_JennyFL-Worlds11-LORES.jpgJenny Simpson, 2011 WC 1,500m champion, gold medalist,
photo by

Bernard Lagat, 2011 WC 5,000m, silver medalist, photo by

Two of the hottest runners in North America, Jenny Simpson and Bernard Lagat, will highlight the Fifth Avenue Mile, to be held on September 24. The 31rst running of this epic road mile should be a great ending to the 2011 track & field season!

Jenny Simpson was the first American women since 1983 to win the 1,500 meters at the World Championships. Jenny Simpson has excited many in the country, (along with her teammate Matt Centrowitz, who took the bronze in the 1,500 men's race, who is doing his Duck thing).

Bernard Lagat took the silver medal in the 5,000 meters in the World Champs, his second silver medal in a row in WC (2009). In 2007, Bernard won both the 1,500m and 5,000m at the World Champs. Lagat is one of the best middle distance racers in the world. The man runs fast, but also is dangerous with fifty or 80 meters to go!

I know, the Economist is one of my guilty pleasures when I am flying to Europe or Asia (or a weekend at home). It's not like watching No Reservations, reruns of House, or the Borgias, but it is close. Now that they have started a sports blog, showcasing their impressions of sports culture, I will be following everyday!

Radcliffe-Goucher-NYC08.JPGPaula Radcliffe, 2008 ING NYCM, photo by

The facts are these: Paula Radcliffe is the womens' world record holder for  the marathon, her best run was an astounding 2:15.25 on April 13, 2003, run on the Virgin London marathon course. Haile Gebrselassie is the men's record holder for the marathon, his best run was the eye opening 2:03.59, run on September 28, run on the BMW Berlin marathon course.

The marathon is a challenge that most men and women can train for, with some degree of success. Finishing a marathon is the first goal of a newbie marathoner.

Gebrselassie-Karsten-Berlin09.JPG Haile Gebrselassie, 2009 BMW Berlin Marathon,
photo by

For marathon racers, various goals come to mind, but the World Records are times that are respected and discussed. Racing marathon takes a huge toll on the marathoner, not only physically, but mentally. There is another price with racing to the edge; injuries. The hidden side of physical injuries is the self doubt and lack of confidence one feels during rehabilitation. This is something most marathoners go through. It is one thing to complete a marathon, it is another to race a marathon.

Both Haile and Paula like to run fast. Both have paid the price of pushing their bodies to the limits. In a piece on BBC News (Radcliffe: I might have quit without London 2012 (, and the Times of India, Paula Radcliffe sites how this year was a very difficult, if not most difficult in her career. She wants to medal in London, specifically, take the gold. That will be a towering challenge. Haile Gebrselassie, who set 25 world records so far in his career, had a tough 2010, and now seems ready to race. We shall see how both do in less than three weeks!
Face it, the Bank of America Chicago marathon is like no other marathon in the world. Not only is it fast up front, the but the 40,000 plus citizen runners love the race, as Carey Pinkowski and his team put together a great course, strong aid stations, a great expo and a city where pasta is worshiped. Chicago has built itself into the archetype of a major city marathon. B of A Chicago celebrates the Windy city and runners love it! (One of the major reasons why the Marathon Major marathons are so successful is that each has found its niche, and its local currency).

Bank of America Chicago Marathon celebrates, well, the city of Chicago. The promise of the Midwest, the focal point of most Chicago area runners entire year of training and racing. And you can run fast here, whether you are looking for a 2:05 marathon or a Boston qualifier.

One final note: If you can not find great pasta in Chicago, then, dear reader, you just were not looking.

Mosop_Moses1b-Pre11.JPGMoses Mosop, 2011 Nike Pre Classic 25k/30k WR, photo by

The release speaks about how the East Africans will keep the pace fast and competitive. I look at two guys right now, Moses Mosop, second fastest man EVER, at 2011 Boston Marathon, and Ryan Hall, fastest American man EVER, under any conditions, in 2011 Boston Marathon, will be duking it out across 26.2 miles of Chicago's finest streets.

Last June, Moses broke the World records, on the track for 25k and 30k, by running 75 laps of a 400 meter track, with the last 20 laps by himself! The guy is just an animal. Ryan Hall has more talent in his big toe on his right foot than some nations.

Hall_Ryan1b-Boston11.JPG Making a 2:04 look easy, Ryan Hall, 2011 Boston Marathon, photo by

If you do not think Mosop and Hall want to run fast, then you just do not get it. Hall, who is training well and answers to a higher authority (he listed God as his coach in recent USADA form), and Mosop, who has the 25k and 30k world records from last summer, wants a big win under his belt. These two are on a collision course. Let's see what they do on October 9!

And he prays.....Usain Bolt, 2011 WC 100 meters, first round, photo by

Usain Bolt, he who false started in the 100 meters and then flew over 200 meters in 19.40 in Daegu, and then joined his team mates and shattered the 4 x 100m WR with a 37.04, ran 9.85 in Zagreb on Monday, September 12.  Now, while EME points out that he is undefeated over 100 meters, I beg to differ.

In my mind, the point of racing is to run, without false starting, to the finish. As Usain Bolt was unable to do that in Daegu, his FS, is a loss, in my book. Not sure how he feels about that, but not trying to disparage the fine athlete, but stuff happens. False starts are part of the sport, and when they happen, they sour an event. Bolt should be congratulated for "Manning up" over the false start.  Enough said.

Nice to see double medalist Kim Collins (bronze, 100 meters, bronze, 4 x 100 meters), continuing to run well!

Collins_KimSF-World11.JPGAnd he runs....Kim Collins, 2011 WC bronze medalist, 100m, 4 x 100m, photo by

26.2 seconds for last 200 meters! 2011 WC 5,000m, photo by

Mo Farah came back from Daegu, Korea a changed distance runner. Earning two WC medals, a silver in the 10,000 meters and a gold medal in a very tough 5,000 meters, Farah is one of the most popular distance runners around the globe, with his fine running in Daegu and his racing over the past several years.

Farah ran to the wire in the 10,000 meters, getting nipped by Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia. Coming back in the 5,000 meters, in my mind, a much tougher race, Mo Farah ran a tough last 1,000 meters and got the jump on Lagat, over the last straightaway, giving him the room Farah needed to insure his win. 

You can watch him race this coming weekend at the Great North CityGames!
LeMaitre, Blake, 2011 WC 100 meters, photo by

Yohan Blake has shown, with his fine post Daegu performances, that he is the best 100 meter runner in the world for 2011. Blake has run 9.82 twice in 2011, and his grace under fire in Daegu, in the 100m final, showed that Blake was the class of the field. Usain Bolt, showing much class, wrote and noted saluatory things about Yohan and his performances in Daegu. Blake blazed the track in Berlin with his fine 9.82!


David Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 1/6, photo by

David Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 2/6, photo by

Rudisha_DavidFV-Rieti11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 3/6, photo by

Rudisha_DavidFV1-Rieti11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 4/6, photo by

Rudisha_DavidR-Rieti11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 5/6, photo by

Rudisha_DavidR1-Rieti11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Rieti, 800 meters, 6/6, photo by

David Rudisha is to the 800 meters what Kirani James will be to the 400 meters, and what Usain Bolt has been to the 200 meters. At the AVIVA London press conference last month, David Rudisha gave all who would listen, a symposium on how one has to study an event to master the event. Rudisha speaks very quietly, but his quite voice, belies the fact that David Rudisha has not even started to master his event. And, the amazing thing is, David Rudisha knows it.

A quiet, thoughtful middle distance runner, Rudisha has studied Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Said Aouita, Steve Cram, Wilson Kipketer, Joaquim Cruz, all of the masters of last several decades. He appreciates the training and dedication that it takes to run a fast 800 meters. One other point: Rudisha's front running is fearless.

Rudisha's run at the recent world championships was a case in point. He was running for one thing, a gold medal in Daegu. He made that quite clear every time he spoke,  for the past two seasons, that he wanted the gold medal in Daegu. He disappointed himself in Berlin, and he would not let that happen again.

Rudisha's run of 1:41.33 in Rieti showed that David Rudisha is not only the current master of the 800 meters, his performance gives a glimmer of what Rudisha can do to the 800 meter world record. It is this writer's belief that, before the year 2012 is over, David Rudisha will run 1:40.8. David Rudisha is that good.

David Rudisha is Alberto Juantorina and Ron Clarke all rolled up into one: the gutsy front running that made Clarke so popular and the strength and speed of the 1976 400m/800m Cuban gold medalist.

Rudisha runs with an abandon that is hard not to admire. Running a first lap in 48.8 and coming back in 51-52 is achievable. Time will tell. But, in Reiti, Italy, on September 10, 2011, David Rudisha gave track fans a look into the future. 

Robert Harting, 2011 Zurich DL, discus, photo by

Robert Harting is the 2009 and now, 2011 World Champion in the discus. I was lucky enough to observe Robert early in the season, around Roma and FBK Hengelo. Harting obviously has a great sense of humor, but his jovial nature post event hides an extremely competitive athlete, who, like most throws, is wanting for that perfect throw. Each time I would congratulate Robert on a throw, he would note that the throw was not " far enough". Robert knew that Daegu, his focus, would be difficult and as it should have been, the World Champs was the total focus of 2011. 

When people ask me why it is that Usain Bolt is the only super star in our sport, I get frustrated. Usain has captured the excitement of the sport and the fun of the sport. However, I look at athletes like Harting, Cantwell,  Farah,  Robles, Vlasic and see stories and heroics that would capture the imaginations of many sports fans. The challenge is how do we capture their spirits? their competitive natures? their senses of humor? That is the opportunity with digital media and new media options available now for our sport.

Kirani James, LaShawn Merritt, 2011 Zurich 400 meters, photo by

Robles-Richardson-Zurich11.jpgDayron Robles, Jason Richardson, 2011 Zurich, 110m hurdles, photo by

The Weltklasse was held just four days after the end of the Daegu World Championships. Traveling half way around the world was just one of the challenges. Some fantastic duels were held. Here is a brief update from Alfons Juck, our man on the global scene.

Bakulin_Sergey-Worlds11.jpg Sergey Bakulin, 2011 WC 50km, gold medalist, photo by

The 50,000m Race Walk is the longest, most grueling event on the World Champs and Olympic schedule. The U.S. has had a long history in the 50k, including two bronze medals, 1968 and 1972 by the iconic Larry Young, now a world renowned artist.

Race walking requires the oxygen uptake of a world class cross country skier with the agility of a sprinter. Technique is key, even while exhausted.

That we did not have a representative in 2011 is just sad. The key is finding athletes with the drive, and endurance to brave 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours on the roads.

Elliott Denman covered the 50k for RBR, which was held on Saturday, September 3, 2011, in the streets of Daegu, Korea. Here is his report:
Kaniskina_OlgaFV-WorCh11.jpgOlga Kaniskina, 2011 World Championships/Daegu, 20km, photo by

Updated September 8, 2011

We asked 1956 Olympian Elliott Denman (50k Race Walk), a noted journalist in the running trade, to cover the walks for us. Elliot did a column on the 20k men's race on the second day, and he will cover the 50k on Saturday.

Today, he is writing about Olga Kaniskina and her third win in the 20k. We hope that you enjoy Elliot's work:

Updated September 8, 2011

Well, it seems that the Tokyo Bid Committee means business. In naming Masato Mizuno as the CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, the committee wants the IOC to see that they are serious about their bid. Masato Mizuno is one of the major players of the global sports business.

Masato Mizuno 01.jpgMasato Mizuno, courtesy of the Mizuno corporation

As former CEO of Mizuno, Mr. Mizuno used to show up at the Super show, the largest sports trade show (from 1985-2000) in Atlanta, GA,  and not only take pictures with many of his clients, but send personal notes with the photos, astounding business associates and clients alike. Mr. Mizuno did not talk about relationships, he did it the old fashioned way: he built them over decades. 

Mr. Mizuno gave an extraordinary talk on sports cultures in the mid nineties,  and how Mizuno worked with local heroes who understood the local sports culture. I found him fascinating and was fortunate enough to meet him through an introduction by Pat Devaney, Head of Mizuno Running in the early to mid 1990s at Mizuno.

What an astute move by the bid committee. Masato Mizuno and his family, who run one of the major sports businesses in the world, obviously want the Tokyo bid to succeed. Competition is pretty tough, as six cities are making bids for 2020.  

At this time,
the bidders are Rome; Madrid; Tokyo; Istanbul; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan
. These six cities will bid for the 2020 Olympics. Bids are due February 2012. In April 2012, the IOC will meet to cut cities or designate final bidders. Decisions will be made in 2012.  There will be no US bids in 2020 (announced by USOC two weeks ago). Stay tuned.

Having just returned from the World Championships in Daegu, Korea, I do like seeing major sporting championships held around the world I do believe that events such as World Championships and Olympics give local cultures a chance to shine and also give the world a chance to see sport at its best.

The IOC has, at the top of their bucket list, the influencing of younger generations to aspire to Olympic sports. Bringing young people to major events, as they did in Daegu for the World Championships and as the plan is for London 2012 (to offer tickets at reduced prices), is a great investment in the future of global sports. 

Farah_Mo5kR-WorChp11.jpgMo Farah, 2011 WC 5,000m, gold medalist, (photo from 10,000m), photo by

The story of the 5,000 meters started a week ago, when Mo Farah was caught by Ibrahim Jeilan in the final meters of the race. While Farah took the silver, the first by a British runner in the World Champs, the British media were considering the race a let-down, as if a medal was a foregone conclusion. In distance running, there are no foregone conclusions, one must earn the medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m-there are no free rides

Farah_Mo5kR1-WorChp11.jpg2011 WC 5,000m final: Merga, Lagat, Farah, Gebremsekel, Koech, photo by

 The fact of the matter is this: In the 5,000m as well as the 10,000m, just about anyone in the final can win. And there are always surprises.
Farah_MoFH1-WorCh11.jpg 2011 WC 5,000m final: Merga, Lagat, Farah, Gebremsekel, Koech, photo by

The tactics of Mo Farah in this 5,000m final need to be understood from the experience of his 10,000 meter race earlier in the World Championships.
Farah knew that he had one chance in the 5,000 meters to take the race, and that was getting a few meters on Lagat's kick, which would require all of his racing skills. In that way, the 5,000 meter victory would be much, much harder than the 10,000 meters.

This is how we saw the race:

(updated September 7, 2011)
Meb Series action.jpeg

Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, the 2010 ING NYCM champion, has had a Sony Walkman Special edition named just after him! We have attached the release below from Sony, for your information. If you follow Meb on twitter, you know that he uses his special edition on many occasions. 
Jeter_CarmelitaQ-World11.JPGCarmelita Jeter, 2011 WC 100m, gold medalist, photo by

A US team will compete against an AVIVA Great Britain & Northern Island team over nine track & jumping events. Nova event manager Andy Caine is picking the teams, and has announced several of the US competitors, which include Carmelita Jeter, who took gold in the 100m, silver in the 200m and shared a gold in the 4 x 100m relays in Daegu, Korea.

Phillips_DwightR1-World11.JPGDwight Phillips, reminding all that he had just won 4 World Titles, 2011 WC Long Jump,
gold medalist, photo by

Dwight Phillips, the Rodney Dangerfield of track & field, and the four time World Champion at the long jump and newly crowned Jason Richardson, gold medalist over the 110m hurdles, will all be there.

Richardson_JasonQ-World11.JPG Jason Richardson, 2011 WC 110m hurdles, gold medalist, photo by

More details to come on the meet, which precedes the BUPA Great North Run by one day, on September 17. The BUPA Great North Run will be held on September 18.
Montano-Sinclair-Busienei-WorCh11.jpgMontano, Sinclair, Busienei,  2011 WC 800m, photo by

In an epic womens' 800 meters, Mariya Savinova of Russia, the world leader at 800 meters, stayed back in sixth, and caught Caster Semenya on the last fifty meters of the 800 meters, winning in 1:55.87, a world leader.

400 meters in 55.5!,  2011 WC 800m, photo by

Caster Semenya, who also stayed back, took the silver in 1:56.35. In third was the half way leader, J.J. Busienei of Kenya who pushed the leaders through 55.5.

At that time Busienie had Alysia Johnson Montano as company, with Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica, one of the top winners at 800m this year.  Montano finished fourth in 1:57.48, her seasonal best.


Semenya_Castor-World11.JPGCaster Semenya, (Maggie Vessey), 2011 WC 800m final, photo by

As Montano and Sinclair began falling back, Semenya went alive and moved to the front. Savinova was on Semenya's side and moved by, in the final stretch, running to victory. 

Savinova-Castor-Busienei-World11.JPGSavinova, ready to pounce, 2011 WC 800m final, photo by

Maggie Vessey of the US ran a smart race, finishing in sixth in 1:58.50. She just could not move up past sixth place. Kenia Sinclair finished in seventh in 1:58.66 and Yuliya Rusinova of Russia finished in eighth place in 1:59.74.

Savinova-Castor1-World11.JPGSavinova, Semenya, the battle is on, 2011 WC 800m, photo by

Many considered Caster Semenya unbeatable. Mariya Savinova had run perfectly timed kicks in each round. She used the same moves in the 800 meter final. Her finish was one for the ages: clean, surgical and timely. Savinova pulled up behind Semenya and went by her in one swift move. Semenya had no answer, as Savinova hit the finish line, all smiles. Her finish was more than enough to catch Semenya, who seemed relieved to have won the silver! For Mariya Savinova, she is now the World Champion at 800 meters!

Savinova_MariyaR-WorChp11.jpg Mariya Savinova, 2011 WC 800m, gold medalist, photo by

For Mariya Savinova, this was a gold medal day. For Caster Semenya, there was some relief in medaling. For J.J. Busienie, the bronze medal was hard fought, as J.J. had taken the race out in a swift 55.5! Holding on must have been tortuous. The women's 800 meter is changing. At 1:58.96 to make the final, Jenny Meadows of Great Britain did not make the final. The 800 meters for women seems to be changing once again.

For the fans, this was just a a great 800 meters to watch!

Busienei-Coach-Rosa-World11.JPGBusienie, Coach, Frederico Rosa (manager), 2011 WC 800m final, photo by

Updated September 6, 2011

Jessica Beard to Francena McCorory, 2011 WC 4 x 400m final, photo by

The women's 4 x 400m relay was a stunning race. On the final leg, Francena McCorory gave it all she had and held off the Jamaican and Russian teams, among others. Elliott Denman wrote this piece about the race, the team and the electricity in the stadium during the race:
Bolt-Blake4x1-World11.JPGYohan Blake to Usain Bolt, 2011 WC 4 x 100m, final, photo by

The men's 4 x 100m gave us the only World Record of the meet, and it was in the last event. Jamaica, with Yohan Blake in third leg and Usain in fourth leg, ran 37.04! Afterwards, Usain congratulated his team mates and enjoyed the crowd.

Bolt-Blake4x1d-World11.JPGBolt gets baton, 2011 WC 4 x 100m, final, photo by

The US 4 x 100m team had a mishap, ironically with Great Britain, the team that protested on them in 2009 and had them DQed. Three major champs in a row and US relay team had trouble.

Bolt-Blake4x1e-World11.JPGBolt takes off, 2011 WC 4 x 100m, final, photo by

However, as one observer told me, if you are going to complain about the 4 x 100m team, then also note that the Men's shot put and Men's 400m hurdles, which were truly surprises...

Here is Elliott Denman's thoughts on the men's 4 x 100m relay:

Tatyana Lysenko of Russia hit 77.13 on her third throw, to take the gold in the women's hammer. Her series was 76.80m, 77.09m, 77.13m, 74.51m, 75.05 and a foul.

Betty Heidler of Germany was the silver, throwing 76.06m. Heidler hit a foul, 73.96m, 74.70m, foul, 76.06m and a foul.

In the bronze position, Zhang Wenxiu of China, who threw 75.03 on her first throw. Her series was 75.03m, 74.31m, foul, 73.17m, 71.86m, 74.79m.

In fourth, Yipsi Moreno of Cuba, threw 74.48m on her third throw. In fifth, Anita Wlodarzyk of Poland threw 73.56m. In sixth place, Bianca Perie of Romania threw 72.04m, a seasonal best.

Jessica Cosby of the USA was tenth, her best throw being 68.91m.

Asbel Kirui, (gold), Vincent Kipruto (silver), Fayesi Lelisa (bronze), 2011 WC Marathon, photo by

Alfons Juck has some notes on the World Champs Marathon as well as Day 7 and Day . Here  are his comments:
Vinn Lananna, photo from 2008 Olympic Trials, photo by

In the end, a Head coach's job is to say nice things to the media, keep his athletes out of trouble and get the relays to pass the baton around the track. Lananna did pretty well on all accounts in Daegu, Korea (as did Women's head coach Connie Price-Smith). Here is what Gary Morgan got from Head Coach Vinn Lananna:

"We had a great championship. Sets us up well for London 2012. Fantastic performances in the 1,500m and the triple jumps. We had a great mix of Veteran and new athletes. We had some good performances and some not so good performances. Potential is there to exceed what we have done. 25 medals is pretty damn good. I have watched these guys the last eight days and they are working really hard. I don't know if we have exceeded , but have met our expectations."

In the rounds, US with a team of Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Maurice Mitchell and Travis Padget ran 37.79 WL. Trinidad and Tobago ran 37.92 and Jamaica ran 38.02.

In the finals, the US team changed to Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Doc Patton and Walter Dix.
In the finals, first two exchanges went well for all teams. On the third exchange, after looking at the videos, it looks like Doc Patton, in his lane, was hit by Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, in his lane. Patton was hit, we believe, near the groin with the British runner's arm and baton. This was not intentional, but it did happened. Patton fell and slid on his chest, the US team not completing the final pass. Great Britain did not finish either.

By this time, Yohan Blake handed off to Usain Bolt and Bolt was gone, running 37.04 a new World record and the only world record of the World Champs. France, (Teddy Tinmar, Christophe Lemaitre, Yannick Lesourd to Jimmy Vicaut) took the silver in 38.20, their seasonal best.

In third, Saint Kitts & Nevis( Jason Rodgers, KIm Collins, Antoine Adams, Brijesh Lawrence) ran 38.49 for the bronze. Poland was fourth in 38.50. Italy was fifth in 38.96. Sixth was Trinidad and Tobago in 39.01.

After the race, Justin Gatlin, after speaking with Jon Drummond, the relay coordinator, had this to say for the men's team:

We had great stick passing in the prelims and the heats. We really came together as a team this year in this relay. We had a game plan , it has been six years since we won and we really wanted to do it tonight.

With Doc Patton, it has been a tough for Doc, since he was on the relay when the last situation happened. It has been on his mind. Watching the replay, we believe that the Great Britain runner hit Darvis in the lower part of his body, with his hand and his stick, that made him go down. This gives us ambition for next year. Hopefully, this will give us a moral victory for next year for the 2012 Olympics."

Taylor_Christian-USout11.JPGChristian Taylor, 2011 WC gold medalist, TJ (from 2011 USA Champs), photo by

The Triple Jump is one of those activities that requires an appreciation of the technical nature of the event. It is also terribly hard on the body, and practitioners can attest.

The battle for the top three positions changed several times.

Idowu_Phillips1-Gateshead10.jpg Phillips Idowu, 2011 WC silver medalist, TJ, (photo from 2010 AVIVA Gateshead), photo by

Phillips Idowu, the defending champion, took the lead on his first jump, hitting 17.56m. Neslon Evora of Cuba took over second on his first jump with 17.35m.  Christiaan Olsson of Sweden hit 17.23 on his first jump, putting him into third.

On his third attempt, Christian Taylor put himself into second place with his 17.40m jump. On his third attempt, Will Claye put himself into second place with his 17.50m jump. Benjamin Compaore of France also improved on third attempt, hitting 17.17, which put him into eighth place.

On their fourth attempts, Christian Taylor let it fly, as he hit 17.96m, catapulting him from third to first. Phillips Idowu followed up with 17.77m, one of his best jumps ever, but placing him in second. Alexis Copello of Cuba had a very large jump, but fouled.

Claye_WillQ1a-WorChps11.jpgWill Claye, 2011 WC Champs, bronze medalist, TJ, photo by

On their fifth attempts, only Alexis Copello of Cuba improved, to 17.47m, giving him fourth place. 

In the sixth round, Phillips Idowu jumped 17.47m, but could not overtake Christian Taylor.

Christian Taylor, USA,  took the gold medal with his 17.96m jump, the world leader. Phillips Idowu of Great Britain, took the silver in 17.77, his seasonal best. Will Claye, also of the USA, took the bronze in 17.50m, his personal best.

The key to the short relays is to get the baton around the track. The USA sure did that tonight, as Bianca Knight handed off to Allyson Felix who handed off to Marshevet Myers, who handed off to Carmelita Jeter.

Jeter had a good lead on Veronica Campbell Brown, who anchored the Jamaica team. Jeter hit the finish line in 41.56, the world leader, with Jamaica (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kerron Stewart, Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell-Brown) taking the silver in 41.70 National record.

The Ukraine team (Olesya Povh, Nataliya Pohrebnyak, Mariya Ryemyen, Hrystyna Stuy) took the bronze in 42.51. In fourth, Trinidad & Tobago, in fourth in 42.58. France, in 42.70, Russia, 42.93.

Defenders had it rough tonight.

Anna Chicherova of Russia had nearly flawless high jumping. Chicherova cleared 1.89m, 1.93m, 1.97m, 2.00m, and 2.03 with a miss. At 2.05, she missed three times. By that time, Chicherova was at least winning the silver medal.

Blanka Vlasic cleared 1.89m, 1.93m, and 1.97m on her first attempts. Then, it took two to clear 2.00m and two to clear 2.03m. By this time, Chicherova had to miss at 2.05m and Vlasic had to clear 2.05m to take gold. When Vlasic missed three times at 2.05m. And Chicherova took the gold.

Antoinetta Di Martino of Italy, the 2011 European Indoor Champion, cleared 1.89m, 1.93m, 1.97m without a miss, and then took three to clear 2.00m and missed all three at 2.03m. Di Martino took the bronze.

In fourth, Elena Slearenko of Russia had a seasonal best at 1.97m. Svetlana Shkolina of Russia also cleared 1.97m, but took three times to do that, hence fifth place. Zheng Xingjuan of China and Deidre Ryan of Irelandtied for sixth, with 1.93m.

Bridgett Barrett of the US took tenth, also at 1.93m.

In an epic 200 meter battle, Veronica Campbell Brown held off hard charging Carmelita Jeter, and Carmelita barely held off a late charging Allyson Felix. Here is how we saw it:

Campbell-Solomon-Jeter-World11.JPGStewart, Solomon, VCB, Jeter, 2011 WC 200m final, (Felix to left), photo by

The women's 4 x 400 meters was just a great race. Teams from Russia, Jamaica, Great Britain, Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic and Nigeria were all in the final. None gave any quarter. In the end, the USA team was just too good to beat, although Jamaica and Russia came the closest!

Here is how we saw it:

Sally Pearson has spent 2011showing the hurdling community that she is the best in the world. She reinforced that tonight, as she gave a hurdling clinic to the world. Hurdling ten barriers flawlessly, Sally Pearson ran the fastest time for the 100 meter hurdles since the year 2000, and the Sydney Olympics!  Danielle Carruthers took the silver, and Dawn Harper took the bronze, with both scoring personal bests.

This is how we saw it:


Usain Bolt, 2011 WC, 200 meters, gold medalist (shown in qualifying round) photo by

Well Usain does like his productions! After false starting in the 100 meters, Usain Bolt had something to prove here, and he did it with style and some real grace. It is one hour since his race, and Usain is chatting and encouraging a group of Korean teen agers near the TV broadcast booths that are located in the Daegu Stadium.

Usain Bolt won the 200 meters in style tonight. Walter Dix took his second silver of the championships and Christophe Lemaitre showed why ASICS just renewed him for five years!

This is how we saw the 200 meters:

Kiprop_AsbelSF-World11.JPGAsbel Kiprop, 2011 WC 1,500m gold medalist, (heats shown here), photo by

Well, the 1,500 meters for men lived up to its reputation, and this was a singularly beautiful bit of racing! Asbel Kiprop took the gold in 3:35.69, Silas Kipligat took the silver in 3:35.92 and Matt Centrowitz of the US took the bronze, in 3:36.08, the first US medal in 1,500m since Jim Spivey's bronze in 1987 (before that, Steve Scott , silver in 1983).

Here is how we saw it:

The 5,000 meters is a classic distance race. 12 1/2 laps around the 400 meter track, the championship style is a build up over 4 kilometers and a kicking event over the last 1,000 meters. Such was the story with this championship race: 

Cheruiyot-Defar-Masai-World11.JPGVivian Cheruiyot, Meseret Defar, Linet Masia, 2011 WC 5,000m, photo by

Face it, Dwight Phillips is the Rodney Dangerfield of the long jump. The guy gets no respect. Now that he has won the WC long jump for the fourth time, equaling our favorite Marxist long jumper, Ivan Pedroso of Cuba, with four championships (fact: since 1995, only one person not named Phillips or Pedroso won a long jump title: Saldino of Panama).

In the qualifying, Dwight Phillips dropped a 8.32m qualifier, and he was on top of the world. This is how he won!

Phillips_DwightR-World11.JPGDwight Phillips is king of the long jump world! photo by

Storl_David-World11.JPGDavid Storl, 2011 WC Shot Put, gold medalist, photo by

The World champs, for USA shotputters, was a bit of a tragedy. With four American shop That took much more thoughts for others than many of us would have had.

Christian Cantwell, our 2009 World Champion in the shot, had a very rough day in Daegu. Christian, who had surgery on his non throwing shoulder, progressed all season, looking very good for the championships. He threw okay in the qualifying, but a young German, 21 year old David Storl popped a 21.50m throw, Storl's best ever.

In the final, As Cantwell watched, in the second attempts, David Storl, at 21, the third youngest competitor in all of the Champs, dropped a 21.60m throw, putting the young German in first place. Cantwell, with his 20.50m throw in attempt #1, and 20.73m in attempt #2, moved from 4th to 3rd.

Mikhnevich_Andrei1-World11.JPGAndrei Miknevich, 2011 WC shot put, bronze, photo by

Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, in round three moved into the bronze position with a throw of 21.40m.

In round #4, Dylan Armstrong of Canada had taken the lead, pushing Cantwell to fifth place.

Cantwell hit 2083 in #3, fouled in #4 and on his fifth attempt, hit 21.36m, four centimeters behind MIkhnevich, who was in third. Cantwell had moved back from fifth to fourth. Coul Cantwell pull off a last round throw, like he has done in the past?

In the sixth round, Cantwell fouled, meaning that he would not defend his title from 2009. He looked to the sky, forlorn asking silently, "Why?" and walked away from the shot circle.

David Storl, in second, went into the circle, released and hit a third pr of the week, throwing 21.78m and taking back over first place!

Armstrong_Dylan-World11.JPG Dylan Armstrong, 2011 WC Shot put, silver, photo by

Dylan Armstrong, who had just taken the lead in round four, now had the last throw, could he do it? The answer was no. When Armstrong saw his throw was short, he purposely fouled, just like Cantwell had done.

David Storl became the third youngest winner in Shot put history for Men. Dylan Armstrong was the silver medalist and Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus became the bronze medalist. Christian Cantwell was fourth. Reese Hoffa was fifth. Reese Hoffa, threw 20.90m, then 20.99m, then 20.97m, then 20.84m, then two fouls. As Cantwell was the 2009 champ, Hoffa was the 2007 champ.

Cantwell_Christian-World11.JPGChristian Cantwell, 2011 WC shot put, photo by

 Ryan Whiting was seventh. Ryan's series was foul, 20.48m,20.66m, 20.75m, foul, foul . Adam Nelson was eighth. Nelson tried, but he could not call on his 22 meter power that gave his a winning 22.08 m winning throw at the US champs in June 2011. His series was foul, 20.03m, 20.18m, foul, 20.02m, foul. Nelson had won a medal in every global shot put competition between 2000 and 2007, with the 2005 World Champs he took the gold. Nelson had come up dry in 2011. 

Hoffa_Reese-World11.JPG Reese Hoffa, 2011 WC shot put, photo by

For the first time since 1991, the US did not medal in the men's shot put.

Nelson_Adam1-World11.JPG Adam Nelson, 2011 WC shot put, photo by

For Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson and Ryan Whiting,  the road to London 2012 began on the shot put ring in Daegu. American shot putters just don't medal, (well, since 1991). 

LaShawn Merritt, 2011 WC 4 x 400m, photo by

The men's 4 x 400m was a fascinating race! Elliott Denman, our man for the relays, gives RBR readers a real view of the agility and talent of one LaShawn Merritt!
In a night where the U.S. won three gold medals in thirty minutes, the 400 meter hurdles showed that this is a world championships and reputations be damned. In the end, European Champion, Dai Greene of Great Britain just earned a huge amount of respect.

Greene_DavidSF-World11.JPGDai Greene, 2011 WC 400m hurdles, gold medalist, photo by

Ezekiel Kemboi, 2011 WC steeplechase, gold medalist, photo by

The men's steeplechase was a tactical affair. In the end, Ezekiel Kemboi was not about to let anything or anyone stand between him and defending his 2009 title. After three straight silver medals in World Champs (07,05,03), Kemboi is adept over the barriers, and with 7:58.85 pb, he can run from the front, back or in between. Kemboi likes the front, he does not like surprises, like two French steeplers running to steal the race down the last straight. Kemboi is not about surprises, he likes being the World Champion.
Demus_LaShindaQ-World11.JPGLaShinda Demus, 2011 WC, 400m hurdles, gold medalist, photo by

LaShinda Demus was the American Junior record record for the 400 meter intermediate hurdles, In 2005 and 2007, she came within two hurdles to taking the gold in the World Champs. She was not about to miss this opportunity.

Demus ran a flawless race. Most importantly, she ran her last two hurdle segments with perfection and came off the final hurdle in the lead, running the third fastest time of all times, setting the American record for the 400 mete hurdles, running 52.47 (there previous American record, which was also a world record, was set by Kim Batten in 1995, in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was 52.61)!

Melanie Walker of Jamaica was the silver medalist. The World and Olympic champion (2009, 2008), ran 52.73, her seasonal best. In the bronze position, Natalya Antyukh of Russia ran 53.85.

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who has been hot all summer, took fourth in 54.01. Anastasiya Rabenchenyuk of the Ukraine ran 54.18, her seasonal best, in fifth place. In sixth place, Vaian Stambolova of Bulgaria, who looked so good in the rounds, ran 54.23.

Demus_LaShindaQ1-World11.JPGLaShinda Demus, 2011 WC 400m hurdles, photo by

LaShinda Demus told mixed zone reporter Gary Morgan : " I knew she was there (Walker). I ran for my twins, my mother, my father and my family. I pulled through. I focused, my mother (her coach), prepared me. I executed today. Typical problems of being an athlete, the little aches and pains and I run less races as I am getting older. I only did six races this year, as compared to ten or twelve in previous years. It feels so good to win, after all of these years. I am excited to get the American record. Waiting has been torture. This I vowed not to hit anything, no messing up. I just executed. My husband and agent are here. My mother is Yolanda Demus Rich."

Yolanda Demus Rich told Gary: " LaShinda started hurdling at the age of nine". Demus has been a child prodigy. She has run the hurdles so long that we have expected her to win everything in sight. This is her first world Championship gold ! We hope that it is the first of many.

Williams_Jesse-Worlds11.jpgJesse Williams, 2011 WC high jump, gold medalist, photo by

Jesse Williams became the first American male to win a medal in the high jump since Charles Austin's gold medal in 1991 (and Hollis Conway took bronze in 1991)! Jesse did it in style, taking the gold with five first attempt clearances, from 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m, 2.32m, 2.35m. That 2.35 meter clearance was the difference.

Williams_JesseR-Worlds11.jpgJesse Williams, 2011 WC high jump, gold medalist, photo by

Jesse noted to our mixed zone reporter Gary Morgan, " It felt great to win. I wanted to jump 2.35 meters, and I did and I won. I saw all of the second place guys jumps (Aleksey Dmitrik). It has been a long road to get here.

Williams_JesseR-World11.JPGJesse Williams, 2011 WC, High Jump, gold medal, photo by

"I am a persistent guy" noted Williams. "I worked really hard. My best quality is that I like working hard. The Oregon TC is the best club in the world. We have won a lot of medals here. My family was watching from all over the world. I relived what Charles Austin did twenty years ago. I watched Charles Austin win the 1996 Olympics. It was my goal."

Williams_JesseR1a-World11.JPG A little respect for the high jump, Jesse Williams, photo by

The only misses he had were at 2.37 meters, which he missed three times.

Dmitrik_AlekseyR-World11.JPGAleksey Dmitrik, 2011 WC High Jump, silver medalist, photo by

Aleksey Dmitrik of Russia was the silver medalist. He cleared 2.35m, on his second attempt, hence his silver. Dmitrik cleared 2.20m on his first, 2.25 on his first, two attempts at 2.29m, two attempts at 2.32 meters and two attempts at 2.35 meters.

 Trevor Barry of the Bahamas was the bronze medalist. His best clearance was 2.32 meter, which was his personal best. Barry cleared 2.20m, 2.25m, both on his first attempt. He passed at 2.29m, and then cleared 2.32m on his first attempt. Barry missed 2.35m on three attempts.

Williams_JesseFL-World11.JPGJesse Williams, 2011 WC high jump, gold medal, photo by

In fourth Jaroslav Babba of the Czech Republic, who cleared 2.32m. In fifth, Ivan Ukhov of Russia, who took three attempts to clear 2.32m, and missed three times at 2.35m.

Tonight was Jesse Williams' night, who started three straight gold medal wins for the US on Day six of the World Championships.
Williams_Jesse-LondonDL11.jpgJesse Williams, 2011 WC high jump, gold medalist (picture from AVIVA London), photo by

Jesse Williams became the first American male to win a medal in the high jump since Charles Austin's gold medal in 1991 (and Hollis Conway took bronze in 1991)! Jesse did it in style, taking the gold with five first attempt clearances, from 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m, 2.32m, 2.35m. That 2.35 meter clearance was the difference.

Jesse noted to our mixed zone reporter Gary Morgan, " It felt great to win. I wanted to jump 2.35 meters, and I did and I won. I saw all of the second place guys jumps (Aleksey Dmitrik). It has been a long road to get here.

"I am a persistent guy" noted Williams. "I worked really hard. My best quality is that I like working hard. The Oregon TC is the best club in the world. We have won a lot of medals here. My family was watching from all over the world. I relived what Charles Austin did twenty years ago. I watched Charles Austin win the 1996 Olympics. It was my goal."

The only misses he had were at 2.37 meters, which he missed three times.

Aleksey Dmitrik of Russia was the silver medalist. He cleared 2.35m, on his second attempt, hence his silver. Dmitrik cleared 2.20m on his first, 2.25 on his first, two attempts at 2.29m, two attempts at 2.32 meters and two attempts at 2.35 meters.

Trevor Barry of the Bahamas was the bronze medalist. His best clearance was 2.32 meter, which was his personal best. Barry cleared 2.20m, 2.25m, both on his first attempt. He passed at 2.29m, and then cleared 2.32m on his first attempt. Barry missed 2.35m on three attempts.

In fourth Jaroslav Babba of the Czech Republic, who cleared 2.32m. In fifth, Ivan Ukhov of Russia, who took three attempts to clear 2.32m, and missed three times at 2.35m.

Tonight was Jesse Williams' night, who was the first of three straight gold medal wins for the US on Day six of the World Championships.

Simpson_JennyQ1a-World11.JPGJenny Simpson, USA, 2011 WC 1,500 meters, gold medalist, photo by

It was in the semi-final of the 1,500 meters that Jenny Simpson showed her stuff. Running a super last fifty meters, Simpson, who stayed fairly close, moved up and went by on the outside and made the final, setting her up for the final of her life.

Jenny Simpson, who took fifth in the 2009 World Championships in the steeplechase, ran a new AR of 9:12.5. In 2010, Simpson had injury issues and had just signed with New Balance in a very lucrative contract, and moved from the Steeple to the 5,000 meters and 1,500 meters. Many questioned the move.

In 2011, Jenny Simpson ran 1,500 meters and did well. But her runs in Daegu were well timed, smart and well positioned. Her first round was fine, but in her semi-final, it was amazing!

The final was where Simpson showed her stuff!

The race went out slow and the field was very, very close. Mimi Belete of Bahrain lead, with Maryam Jamal, also of Bahrain right behind her. Belete hit the 400 meters in 68.78. Morgan Uceny of the US, the US champion, was running well, right in fourth place, with Jenny Simpson tucked about eighth place at the time.

The pace did not really pick up over the next lap, as Belete continued to lead, hitting the 800 meters in 2:13.94.

Natalia Rodriuguez of Spain, a tough racer if there every was one, moved up to the front as Jenny Simpson moved up to the fourth position, and the pack got very close, and Maryam Jamal got herself beat up in the crowd, and fell to last. Hellen Obiri fell and Morgan Uceny, who had been poised to run well, fell over her, rolled, hit her hand on the track and got back up and started running. Uceny would finish tenth in 4:19.71.

Rodriguez_NataliyaQ-World11.JPGNatalia Rodriguez, Spain, 2011 WC 1,500m, bronze medalist, photo by

Natalia Rodriguez of Spain was starting to wind it up, hitting the bell in 3:03.47. And this is when it got interesting.

Natalia Rodriguez started to push, with Ingvill Makestad Bovim of Norway, Mim Belete of Bahrain, Kalkidan Gezahegne, Btissam Lakhouad all running well.

Simpson and Hannah England were in back of this group and Simpson moved to the outside at the start of the final straightaway and started eating up the track! Simpson, with that front leaning overstride that is her modus operandi, went by Lakhouad, then, Galkidan, who started to fall back, then Rodriguez and moved to first as Hannah England of Great Britain churned it up behind her, moving into second and looking like she was going to find a way to pass Simpson.

Jenny Simpson was not coming this close to a gold,  and she just put the proverbial peddle to the metal and hit that finish line in 4:05.40! The first gold medal for an American women since Mary Slaney in 1983 at the 1,500 meters !

England_HannahQ-World11.JPG Hannah England, Great Britain, 2011 WC 1,500m, silver medalist, photo by

Hannah England finished in second in 4:05.68, and Natalia Rodriguez of Spain took the bronze in 4:05.87. In fourth, Morocco's Btissam Lakhouad ran 4:06.18. In fifth, Kalkidan Gezahegne of Ethiopia, the 2010 World Champion Indoors at 1,500 meters, ran 4:06.42. In sixth, Ingvill Makestad Bovim ran 4:06.85.

Mimi Belete of Bahrain was seventh in 4:07.60. Tugba Karakaya of Turkey was eighth in 4:08.14, and Nataliya Tobias of the Ukraine was ninth in 4:08.68. In tenth, Morgan Uceny of the US ran 4:19.71, having to put her medal run off to another day.

Uceny_MorganQ-World11.JPG Morgan Uceny, USA, 2011 WC 1,500m, photo by

Tonight, running her perfect race, showing the talent that many have seen and wondered, Jenni Barringer Simpson did what one needs to do in a world Championship final; Stay out of trouble, be close enough to strike. Working with coach Juli (Henner) Benson, 1996 US Olympian at 1,500 meters, Simpson worked hard for this day.

Not only was Jenny Simpson close enough to strike, she had enough in the tank to hold off Hannah England, who was having the race of her life, as well.

What a race! Jenny Simpson ran a 1,500 meter final like she wanted to win it, and she did!

Gary Morgan, our mixed zone reporter, tracked Jenni Simpson down after the race, and here is how she summed up her gold medal performance at the World Championships:

"The Worlds is about top three. I ran within myself. I had a Prefontaine moment down the straightaway. Julie (Benson) is a positive coach who builds me up.Sometimes things just come together when you least expect it. I was been fighting some kind of flu six weeks ago."

Jenni continued: "Julie told me the World Championships are coming. My college coach had lots of influence on me. Husband is incredibly supportive and he is running the Chicago marathon. I focused on myself when I raced today and training at the Olympic training center has been incredible." 

Morning rounds on day six....
David Storl, 2011 WC Shot put qualifying, by

David Storl threw 21.50m for the shot put, his personal best and got the Juckster's Quote of the Day (see below).

Patterson_KaraQ1-World11.JPGKara Patterson, 2011 WC, javelin qualifying, photo by

Kara Patterson, US javelin record holder, had a bad day at the office. We are looking for her to be ready for London 2012. 

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