July 2012 Archives

Justin Lagat is our newest columnist, he will write a piece a week for us. A young runner and writer, Justin wrote this column about his friend and team mate, Wilson Kiprop, the winner of the Kenyan Olympic Trials for 10,000 meters. 

Wilson endured many difficulties before he made the Kenyan Olympic team. Justin argues why he considers Wilson Kiprop his prime candidate for the gold medal in the 10,000 meters. 

A few of us have our own ideas of who will win the 10,000 meters, however, Justin's column makes a fascinating read....

Wilson Kiprop, Kenyan 10,000m Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

All the works that I have listed below are the labors of love of the IAAF communications department. The IAAF team provides this gems to enhance your enjoyment of the London Olympics. I have linked to some of the best links on our sport. Check them out! And remember to check out our nearly live coverage of runblogrun.com as well. 

2012 Opening Ceremony, London Olympics, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Paul Banta, circa 2009, photo from Facebook.com/paulbanta.3

I first met Paul Banta in the early 1990s, as I ventured to his adidas Oregon Track Classic. An important meet in the Northwest, Paul, with the support of his sponsor adidas, tried some innovative approaches to track & field. 

Paul held the shot put one hour before everything else at the meet. A nice turnout, around 1,000 fans, watched the shot put, as it became an important fixture on the circuit. I believe that we had covers from the adidas Oregon Track Classic three years in a row on American Track & Field (John Godina, Adam Nelson).

I spent a lot of time on the phone with Paul while he was working for Running USA. I enjoyed Paul's sense of humor, his laugh and his love of endurance sports. Even after the adidas Oregon Track Classic lost its title sponsor, Paul fought hard to revive the meet he loved. It just not was to be. 

Paul Banta wants to keep his newsletter, Endurance Sports Weekly, going. One of my partners in media, Dan Kesterson, and Paul's son, Tommy, are working on plans to keep the project going. We will provide details on the plans and also, support the plans. Paul would have wanted that.

A very nice obituary, written by Beth Salinger, appears below. Please keep Paul and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Consider those you love in your next walk or run. 

Aries Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net

The last day was a day of fast 200 meter runs, with Allyson Felix screaming a 21.69 for the 200 meter, and Wallace Spearmon flying through a 19.81. Aries Merritt's 12.93 in the 110 meter hurdles made the day a day of fast, fast finishes. Here is our recap of all the columns from Day ten of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Eugene, Oregon, as always, was the perfect host. 

Allyson Felix Dominates with her 21.69 for 200 Meters
by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

Felix, 21.69, Merritt, 12.93
by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Trevor Barron wins 20,000 meter Race Walk
by Elliott Denman, note by Larry Eder

Donnie Cowart, the Happiest Man Not Going to London
by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

Christian Taylor's eyes have the glow of London gold (and don't discount William Claye either!)
by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder

2012 US Olympic Trials Coverage: Morgan Uceny
by Mark Winitz, California Track & Field, note by Larry Eder

High Jump Dance Off, Lowe To Lead Strong Trio To London
by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 20,000m race walk produces top results
by Mark Winitz, California Track & Running News, note by Larry Eder

2012 Euro Champs: Lavillenie clears 5.92m, 5.97m for World Leader in pv
by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

TV Trials, July 1
by Jim Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

Allyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

The ninth day of the Olympic Trials was an exciting day. Exciting high jump competition, a very close women's steeplechase and a screaming women's 200 meters, well, what more could you ask for? Here are all of the columns done on runblogrun for June 30, 2012, day 9 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. 

Gabriele Anderson Disqualified in Women's 1,500-meters Semifinal, Files Appeal, Appeal Granted at 12:29 PM! Anderson Advances to Final
by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder
The TV TRials, Friday, June 28
by Jim Dunaway, note by Larry Eder
Yohan Blake Beats Bolt, NR for Fraser-Pryce
by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder
Julia Lucas' Perfect Storm
by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder
Wallace Spearmon, Sanya Richards-Ross, Shannon Rowbury, Thoughts on Day 8
by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder
Running Against The Pros
by Elliott Denman, note by Larry Eder
Law School Plans Temporarily Shelved for Princeton Steeplechaser
by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder
2012 USA Olympic Trials Coverage: Kim Conley Captures Olympic Team Spot in 5,000m
by Mark Winitz, California Track & Running News, note by Larry Eder
Storm Clouds Brewing For The 1500's, Deep Finals Promise Furious Finishes
by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder
2012 US Olympic Trials coverage: Kim Conley Captures Olympic team berth at 5,000m
by Mark Winitz, California Track & Running News, note by Larry Eder
Jillian Camarena-Williams defeats longtime friend and rival Michelle Carter in Women's Shot Put--But it's not over yet!
by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder
The TV Trials, June 30
by James Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

The London 2012 Olympic Stadium, Opening night Fireworks, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The London Olympics are finishing day three. I arrived earlier today and the travel from  Heathrow to North London was in record time. My credential took me through customs faster than I have ever been, with the exception of Harry Fry and his team at the Virgin London marathon. 

The LOCOG had taxis for credentialed media, athletes, and Olympic members, that quickly got us around a quiet London. Tomorrow, I will head to the Media Centre and adidas Media Lounge, using our Free Transport card. 

Press events at the Media Centre for USATF tomorrow, adidas Media Lounge, and some work at the International Media Centre. Details to follow. 

Paula Radcliffe's withdrawal, while considered for several weeks, did make people aware, once again, how tough it is to maintain health and fitness at the elite athlete level. Paula has been involved in four Olympics, prior to London,  where she has fought the good fight, but not medaled. 

Her World Records in the marathon were in 2002, at Bank of America Chicago, and in 2003, at the Virgin London Marathon. My belief is that her most valiant victory was in the World Cross Country, where she won, in the mud and muck, over the last 100 meters. Her European 10,000m win 2006, and her World Championships in the Marathon in 2005. 

Freya Murray and Steve Jones shortly after the Virgin London 
Marathon this Spring (Courtesy of Boulder Wave, Inc.)

Last spring, at the Virgin London marathon, Steve Jones, aka Jonesy, one of the nicest guys in the sport, told me to watch Freya Murray. Freya was part of that very epic battle for the last UK marathon position. Freya Murray got under the standard in Virgin London, but was not selected. 

With Paula Radcliffe's withdrawal from the marathon squad for the UK Olympic team, Freya Murray is now added to the UK squad. 

This should be a wonderful experience for Freya and we wish her best wishes on August 5. 
The three pictures below were taken by Running Network web editor, Chuck Bartlett, who found them on his camera as he cleared it out. The series takes place during the early stages of the very congested 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, held in Houston, Texas this past January. 

Talk about a simple twist of fate, to use another musical description. Shalane Flanagan almost fell early in the race!

We are hearing that Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher are in the shape of their lives. Should be quite exciting marathon on August 5. 

We have heard several things on Desi Davila. What we can determine is that she has had a hip flexor issue and she is considering whether to run or not. We wish her the best of luck.  
Paula Radcliffe, 2011BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the marathon, has withdrawn from the London 2012 Olympic marathon. In her official statement (courtesy of the BBC.com), Paula cites a foot injury, which have made her unable to find a level of fitness that would allow her to compete well in the London Games. 

Charles van Commenee, the UK Athletics Head Coach, had rated her chances of competing at 50/50 just weeks before. Showing some concern for her place in marathon history, he cautioned media and the fans into looking at her career around the Olympic Games. 

The great British runner David Bedford, ironically, had spoken to me years ago about the price that Paula Radcliffe paid for her brave front running. Mr. Bedford believed that Paula Radcliffe had paid a hard price with her brave front running and her superb world record, set on the Virgin London course in 2003. 

Paula Radcliffe has taken on challenges from cross country, to track & field to the marathon. Tom Fordyce, the noted British writer, calls her the greatest women British distance runner of all times. 

Paula Radcliffe wanted to make her fifth Olympic appearance and go out, in London with style. Unfortunately, it will not be. This does not, in any way, diminish the class with which Paula Radcliffe has conducted herself and her desire to show her love and support for her many fans. 

She will be missed in the London Olympic marathon. 

    Yohan Blake, photo by PhotoRun.net
    Yohan Blake surprised some last year when he won the 100 meters in the World Championships. A few weeks later, he blew many people away with his screamingly fast 19.23 for the 200 meters. Yohan Blake is fast. First junior under 10 seconds. Yohan Blake has two strong wins at the Jamaican Olympic Trials, in the 100 meters and 200 meters over his training partner and friend, Usain Bolt. London is upon us, and the battle for the 100 meters and 200 meters will be fascinating to watch and experience. The Shoe Addicts salute Yohan Blake, the current World Champion and fastest man in the world, in 2012, over the 100 meters and 200 meters.
    Thumbnail image for Rudisha_David-ParisDL.jpg                            David Rudisha, photo by PhotoRun.net

    David Rudisha broke the world record for the 800 meters twice, in seven days, in September 2010. He took the record from 1:41.08 to 1:41.01! In 2011, David Rudisha won his first World Championship title, in 1:43.97. In 2012, David Rudisha has run 1:41.78 and 1:41.52, in less than one month. Oh yes, he ran a 1:42.11 at altitude.

     "A world record needs many things to go well." noted David Rudisha, as he spoke to media, who seem not to comprehend, just because he makes running 800 meter races look easy, the mastery that he has of the event has not been seen in decades. 

     " All I need now is an Olympic gold medal," is what David Rudisha is focused on in the month of August 2012. The Shoe Addicts have presented this video of the greatest 800 meter runner of our generation. We look forward to seeing David Rudisha put the 800 meter record into the stratosphere.
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    Sally Pearson, 2012 AREVA Paris Meeting, July 6, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Sally Pearson is the dominant 100m hurdler over the last two years. She won the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, held in Daegu, Korea, and the 2012 World Indoor Championships, held in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The 100 meter hurdles is a terribly fast event. Over in less than thirteen seconds for the elite, Sally Pearson combines great speed, control between and over the hurdles and fearless style of hurdling. 

    Less than two weeks ago, in London, Sally Pearson told the assembled media that she is thinking about world records, which mean times around 12.20 for the 100 meter hurdles. She is that fast! 

    The Shoe Addicts prepared this salute to Sally Pearson prior to her momentous days in London. We hope that it adds to your enjoyment of our sport! 

    Toni Reavis is one of the most insightful columnists on the sport of road running, and athletics. This is Toni's call to sharing the wealth and providing a larger position for the athletes who are the focus on the 18 days of glory (remember the late Bud Greenspan's movie on the LA Olympics?). 

    The Olympic movement will give nearly four billion TV viewers a chance to see their favorite sports on the Olympic stage. Toni Reavis suggests that is way past the time to give athletes a piece of the pie that they should receive...

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    Tower of London Bridge, 27 July 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net
    The adizero Primeknit was launched the day before the XXX Summer Olympic Games of the modern era began. adidas is the official apparel sponsor of the London Olympics.
    Tower of London Bridge, 27 July 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Lots going on, on this second day of the XXX Summer Olympics of the modern era. London did a wonderful opening, and the comments have been coming in all night. Issue seems to be what the American audience sees from the NBC broadcast. NBC will do over 5300 hours of coverage on its various platforms. 

    More to come before I leave for London on Sunday afternoon. 

    Pat Porter, a man who won eight consecutive US cross country titles, father of two, husband of Trish Porter, high jumper, was killed in an aircraft crash on the 26 July. Porter was piloting the plane which crashed upon take off. On board the plane were Pat's son and a friend of his son. 

    Trish Porter announced the tragedy at a press conference. She noted that she had texted Pat just before take off and he was in a good mood. 

    Pat had a great sense of humor. A very talented athlete, he made several covers of our publication, American Athletics, featuring his cross country battles. 

    Pat Porter was a ferocious cross country runner. Coached by Joe Vigil, Porter took great training at high altitude and became one of the best cross country runners in the world. 

    Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. 

    Ad honoring Pat Porter and Lynn Jennings, two of US best cross country runners ever, circa 1991
    Christophe Lemaitre, photo by PhotoRun.net

    One of the first times I met Coach Brooks Johnson, just over thirty years ago, Brooks was giving a coaching clinic. After an hour listening why US distance runners just did not get it about racing on the global track circuit, someone asked him if white kids could run fast. 

    I can still remember Brooks' look. He was both incensed and pleased. He told a bunch of young coaches that of course white kids could run fast. They just talked themselves out of running fast, but most of all, Brooks said, white kids were afraid of falling, getting dirty and sprinting was a series of almost falling, getting up, almost falling, getting up. 

    I enjoy Brooks Johnson for many reasons, most of all , because we can be diametrically opposed and still learn from each other. On this one, and on the one about American distance runners not getting it, Brooks was right. 

    Christophe Lemaitre is a young kid who is not afraid of falling, and wants to run fast. He will run fast, very fast. 

    One of the best lessons that I received from running track & field was that our sport, as is our world, a rainbow of different people, with different skills and abilities. It is what makes the world fun. 

    If you want your kid or grandkid to be prepared to live in our modern world in the world, to really be part of it, to really thrive in our modern world, get them on a track and a cross country team. They will have fun, they will get in shape, but most of all, you will change their life forever. 

    Track & Field, as the late Payton Jordan once said, is the world's first and only sport, the other stuff are merely games. 
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    Starting blocks, photo by PhotoRun.net

    As we go into Day 2 of the XXX Summer Olympic Games of the modern era, we see some success with the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport. While I applaud the catching of cheats, I believe the issue is a cultural one. We live in a global culture where we celebrate people for merely being obnoxious on terrestrial television, or for having the intellectual quotient of a small soap dish (stole that from National Lampoon Radio hour), or worse of all, valuing people because of the size of their pocket books. We have a world with very difficult problems, we need to celebrate people who are not afraid to use their brains, their hearts and their souls for the betterment of us all. That is, dear friends, is one of the key themes of the Olympic movement. 

    In modern society, the Olympics are an anomaly. To make a successful Olympics a country has to go nearly into hock (look at Montreal in 1976, Athens in 2004) to support 18 days that cost several billion dollars. The organizers have to worship at the altar of advertising and marketing. The truth is, that the most successful advertising in Olympic broadcasts celebrates the athlete, the notion that the battle fought is key, that whether one wins or loses, the honor comes in the challenges battled. 

    Advertisers gain from supporting the Olympics. Don't believe it? Ask VISA, ask Coca-Cola, ask McDonalds. It is also why Rule 40, while well meaning, in that it is meant to protect Olympic sponsors from guerilla marketing, I find it, to say the least, over the top. That President Rogge of the IOC quieted the marketing police down is another example of why M. Rogge gets the mystique and culture surrounding the Olympics. It is a tough dance, and President Rogge is an excellent dancer (yes, that is a compliment). 

    I love the Olympics. It is the 18 days, every four years, that celebrate all that is good in sport. Of course I ignore the trite, the over sell. For the most part, the major sponsors know that crossing the line, trying to get too much implicit value from the Olympics would be frowned upon by the three billion TV viewers. 

    Because we value sport, and because, like other activities, the best get paid more, some people cheat. Drug testing in Track & Field, while far from perfect, is the most rigorous of any sport on the Olympic schedule. Funny, when T&F catches a drug cheat, instead of it being applauded, the non track sport media sees it as another indication of how the sport is going to hell. I have to admit, that I do tire of that. 

    The IAAF Athlete Biological Passport is a small step in the right direction. While drug testing is key, out of competition is obvious, the discussion of right and wrong, or sports ethics is key. This is not religion, this is ethics. A conscience is what is needed. Cheating is wrong, period, whether it is on one's spouse, taxes or using a banned substance in order to gain an advantage over another athlete. 

    Cheating is cheating, and if the IAAF Athlete Biological Passport catches more cheats, then, I am a believer. 

    2012 London Stadium, photo courtesy of London2012

    The first day of the XXX Summer Olympiad of the modern Games is over. Day 2 will begin in several hours. I am sitting, in my living room in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, washing some clothes and doing some final writing before I head to London. 

    Part of the story, for me, is the challenges that athletes overcome to make it to the starting line. Every athlete who makes an Olympic team has an amazing story. 

    We have added links back to the World Champs in 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001 and the 2004 Olympics. The result links do not work, as those sites have gone far, far away, however, the stories are all there. The stories of men and women who took on challenges to run, jump and throw. 

    More to come. 
    Elliott Denman, our man on the ground in London for the opening ceremonies (Gary Morgan is somewhere in the stadium, and I get there on Monday), mused about how many track & field athletes carried their countries' flags. 

    204 countries taking part in the 2012 Olympics. London is the ONLY city to host the Summer Olympics. 

    The 2012 Olympic Stadium, East London, courtesy of London2012

    Nicely done story telling, in a way only the Visa team has been able to do. Yelena Isinbayeva, who has broken the world record fifteen times out doors, and thirteen times indoors, is one of the real stories of women's sports. 

     A gymnast too tall for her sport at the age of 15, Yelena was given the suggestion, by her gymnastics coach, to consider the pole vault, a new event. She quickly grew into the event, setting World age group records at 17,18 and 19. 

    In 2003, at the age of 20, Yelena Isinbayeva took the bronze in the World Outdoor Champs. In 2004, she took the gold medal in Athens. And the story continues. Now, in 2012, after two gold medals in 2004, 2008, five World Champ golds, and 28 world records, Yelena is focused on the pole vault. Watch the final, August 6.

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    London Olympic stadium, August 2011, photo courtesy of Larry Eder

    This was the stadium, as it looked one year ago, as I was visiting London for the AVIVA London DL. Below you will find several stories, some fascinating, some funny, some not so funny, regarding this London Olympics, which starts today, July 27. I asked Adam, my son, to forward to me some of the pieces that he has found interesting as he researched the Olympics in London. Here is the first batch....

    Rupp_Galen5kQ-OlyTr12.jpg             Galen Rupp, 5,000m semi finals, 2012 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials established one of the best teams for Team USA ever in track & field. How will they fare in London? Here is the recap to Day 8, for your geek pleasure, as you prepare for the August 3-August 12 extravaganza of Olympic Track & Field! 
    Stacking hurdles, photo by PhotoRun

    Here is the recap of all the coverage that we did for Day 7 in the 2012 US Olympic Trials, from an exit interview with Shayla Houlihan to the destiny of one Bernard Lagat, we have some fascinating stories. We also have linked our live coverage of Day 7, so you know how the day built to its climax!  

    Exit Interview: Shayla Houlihan
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    It Takes Gall To Become An Olympian, Another Rowland Thoroughbred Breaks Through
    by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    For Bernard Lagat, the 5000 meters is destiny
    by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

    Women's 100m hurdles: What a difference 24 hours made
    by Elliot Denman, note by Larry Eder

    Heard In The Mixed Zone
    by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    Bob Roggy, A Great One
    by Elliott Denman, note by Larry Eder

    The Shoe Addicts Present Ashton Eaton, World Record 9,039, Decathlon
    note by Larry Eder

    2012 Euro Champs, Global News
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Eat Your Young, How we promote our sport, An Interview with Matt Taylor
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    LIVE Blog coverage:
    DAY 7: 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, June 28th

    Ashley Higginson was a wonderful surprise for many as she placed a gutty fourth in the U.S. Olympic Trials steeplechase final. Her huge pb in the AVIVA London steeplechase made her one of the top three time in her event in US in 2012. Jon Gugala caught up with Ashley earlier this week and here is how he sees her wonderful progression!  
    Thumbnail image for Higginson_Ashley-OlyT12.jpgAshley Higginson, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Elliott Denman did this thought provoking column on the US flag bearer. Elliott, a 1956 Olympian and long time observer of the sport, will join us in London as a daily columnist on all things track & field and all things Olympics. Elliott has a great sense of history and a wonderful sense of irony in his writing. We hope you enjoy this column. 

    Lomong_LopezFV1_USOut.Jpg                        Lopez Lomong, 2010 USA Outdoor, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Lopez Lomong was the 2008 flag bearer for the US Olympic team. A very fitting choice. Elliott Denman makes a strong argument for the choice of flag bearer and gives us some history on the subject. 
    Jon Gugala asked us to do a piece on TJ Doherty, who died this past week. A popular member of the Boulder running community, TJ will be missed. Please keep his memory in your thoughts and prayers...we also ask, plead, that when you bike, please wear a helmet. 

    blocks-thumb-400x601-927.jpg                       Blocks, photo from 2011 PR Invite, courtesy of Brooks Running
    London Olympic Stadium, photo courtesy of London2012

    I asked David Hunter, who wrote so eloquently for us during the Olympic Trials, to give us, over the next two weeks, his questions to be answered during the Track & Field portion of the Olympics. 
    Chasing Bolt, the Game

    We asked Jon Gugala to review the new game, Chasing Bolt! , a new video game featuring Usain Bolt.  Jon Gugala, who has been writing stories for us from France, had a few hours to give you a bird's eye view of the new game that is sweeping the track & field world. 
    Brooks Sports started this program last year, and it has taken off. The Brooks Sports 25 Most Inspiring High School Running Coaches is a great grassroots program to recognize some of the 37,553 head high school cross country and track & field coaches, who coach 1.4 million athletes six days a week, 46 weeks a year, two hours, fifteen minutes a day. When one averages out what a high school running coach makes, it is surely not about the money. Coaches are role models, teachers, cheer leaders and listeners. 

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    Jenny Barringer, 2011 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net

    More than 150 London Olympians have run at the The Armory. That is a fact. Pretty amazing that one of the true positive sanctuaries of sport has housed that many great athletes. But, with the 80 plus events and 100,000 plus athletes a year, it just makes sense! 

    Looking forward to some great track & field in the next three weeks and also to the 2013 Indoor season! 
    This release came across my desk. This is how another part of the world lives, but it is fascinating to see the draw that an event such as the Olympics has, in this day and age. I also had to use one of the photos of the planes that PlaneClear has access to for this ultimate travel experience. 

    Read the release, close your eyes, imagine you have $97k for a real adventure. When I grow up....

    Gulfstream GIV.jpg
      Gulfstream GIV, courtesy of PlaneClear
    David Rudisha has made it clear all summer. First, he will run the Olympics and second, he will run very, very fast over the 800 meters. Most people thought his 1:41.72 was fast, and then, his 1:41.58 was very fast. RBR thought both of those races, which we saw, were quite fast. 

    Now, David Rudisha wants to run real fast, after London. My guess? That world record will be put away...

    Thumbnail image for Rudisha_David-ParisDL.jpg


    As Jon Gugala travels through Europe this summer, we at Runblogrun asked him to develop several stories for us. Here is his second piece from the Herculis Monaco meeting. Jon is writing about one of our favorite athletes, Molly Beckwith. Molly is an eight hundred meter runner, and ran a near perfect race for 750 meters. She is also an example of the improvement in the US women's 800 meter fortunes. 

    Molly Beckwith is part of the reason for that success...
    Guor Marial, 2012 RNR San Diego, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The Olympics are more than a sporting event. In less than a week, the Olympics begin. In less than two weeks, Track & Field will begin. The men's 100 meters will be one of the most widely viewed events in sports history as nearly one half of the world's population, perhaps, even more, will see an Olympic broadcast.

    Guor Marial is from the new country, South Sudan. His country does not have a flag, and he does not have a passport. However, with the support of many, Marial will run under the IOC flag in the Olympic marathon.  

    The significance of the Olympics, for the people of the world, is that, four times a year, athletes can come together to run, jump and throw, and yes, play basketball, representing their countries. The best of the world is named, from this every four year celebration. However, it transcends sports. The Olympics is about the people of the world sharing a celebration of sports once every four years. 

    One week to go......
    nickelashmeade.jpgNickel Ashmeade, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Out of the Herculis Monaco meeting, we see Nickel Ashmeade winning the 200 meters and giving Wallace Spearmon his first defeat of 2012. Asbel Kiprop told RBR, at the Nike Pre Classic, that he was focused on the London Olympics. His 3:28.81 showed that, giving us the fastest time in the world and putting Asbel in the drivers seat in the 1,500 meters in London.

    Areva Paris 2011, 1,500m, photo by PhotoRun.net 

    Blessing Okagbare, who has won two 100 meter runs in a row, setting pbs in both, 10.99 in AVIVA London, and 10.96 in Herculis Monaco. Blessing Okagbare should be considered as a spoiler for London Olympics 2012. 

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    2012 Oxy Perf Steeplechase, photo by PhotoRun.net

    This story just came in from Jon Gugala, our writer in Monaco. Here is his piece on the new American record holder, Evan Jager. Jager has shaken up the paradigm on steeplechasing in America-a fast miler chooses the steeple, and in five races, makes the Olympic team and now, sets the AR. 

    Jon Gugala, who covered the Herculis Monaco meet for Runblogrun yesterday. We hope you enjoy this piece! 

    Sanya Richards-Ross told us at the Olympic Trials, after she cranked the 400 meters, and then, came back and made the 200 meters, that she was in the best shape of her life. Believe it. 

    The video features her race at the Armory. Just before she ran that race, four young women athletes came up to her, and she smiled, and touched their hands, and the girls went crazy. They had just seen and touched their heroine. 

    Here is the salute to Sanya Richards-Ross, from the Shoe Addicts. Watch it, listen to it. Just how fast will she go in London 2012? 

    The Herculis Meeting, two weeks ago, had the withdrawal of Usain Bolt, the biggest draw in the sport. Yet, without Bolt, the Herculis Meeting was a near sell out. Not only that, but the women's 100 meters, the deep men's 800 meters, the mens steeplechase, which combined roller derby with a brilliant run for an American record, plus a very deep and fast 1,500m for men and a women's pole vault that shows, no one is guaranteed a medal. 

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    The 2012 Herculis Monaco meeting on Friday is the last major meeting before the London 2012. Evan Jager's steeplechase record was exciting and fascinating. In his sixth race at the distance, Evan Jager has broken the AR of Dan Lincoln and become only the fourth American who has broken 8:10 in the steeple (Henry Marsh, Mark Croghan, Dan Lincoln). 

    Where can Jager go? It will be fascinating...

    Evan Jager, 2012 Payton Jordan Invite, photo by PhotoRun.net
    Blocks, 2007 USATF Outdoor, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Jeff Benjamin, one of our long time writers, reviewed the very cool, very geek, Athletics Weekly series of three books on Great British Runners, Great Marathoner Runners and The Greatest Olympic Athletes . Here is Jeff's commentary on the three volumes and why, he believes, you should rush out and purchase them! 
    Paul Kipsele Koech, 2012 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

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    LaShawn Merritt, 2012 Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Yelena Isinbayeva, 2011 Stockholm DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The 2012 Herculis Monaco meeting is going to be the last major meet before the London Olympics. With Track & Field being held August 3-12, some athletes have already been arriving in London. The US team had some relay practices in Monaco and will be running the 4 x 100m in the stately city. 

    We will have one of our writers, Jon Gugala at the event as well as several keen observers. No Live blog tomorrow, but watch us on twitter!  
    2008 Beijing Pusha 30m lead.jpeg
    Dita in lead, 2008 Beijing, 30km, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The London 2012 Olympic marathon will be held, for women on 5 August 2012. Constantina Dita, the 2008 champion, will be there, asking for no concessions. Just, underestimate Constantina at your peril..Dita is one of the toughest marathoners on the circuit, and at the age of 42, has a few surprises still in those racing flats...
    Valerie Adams throws 21.11m on Tuesday...(photorun.net)

    Some big throws yesterday in Minsk, Belarus.Nadezhda Ostapchuk took the world leader away from Valerie Adams, who threw 21.11m on Tuesday, with her 21.58m on Wednesday. The women's shot put has been between Adams and Ostapchuk for some time now, this huge throw will open some eyes, and make the women's shop put even more of a battle between these two great throwers.

    Nadezhda Ostapchuk threw 21.58m on Wednesday (not this,  photo by PhotoRun.net)

    Mondo is one of the most well respected manufacterers of track & field facilities in the world. An Olympic partner since 1964, Mondo sent us a Olympic Press kit that we thought might be of interest to our readers. 

    The Mondo track in London is supposed to be very fast! 


    Mondotrack: Safe for the Environment

    Mondotrack: The Making of the Track of the 2012 London Olympic Games

    Mondotrack: The official track surface of the 2012 London Olympics

    Tracks Through the Years
    A timeline of significant dates in the history of tracks


    Julie Culley, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net
    Yohan Blake, 2011 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The truth be told, the London 2012 Olympics should have all kinds of surprises. Some athletes are just getting into shape, some are weeks away, and some are just perfect. In the book, Self Made Olympian, the late Ron Daws had an observation about Olympic finals. His first is that, in the final, half of the field has a chance to win, some are burnt out, some have over thought themselves out. It is in that half of the field, the athletes who want the medal more than anything else at that moment, that the winner comes from. 

    Who will be the surprises in 2012? Who will put the javelin, hammer or discus out of reach? Who will win the long jump on the very last jump of their series? And who will come from the pack, with fifty meters to go, to snatch the bronze medal in the 1,500 meters? 

    It is one of the parts of the sport that makes it so exciting! As I do my preparations for our Live blogs and writing about the Olympics, I get more and more excited. I have been fortunate to write about Olympic Track & field since 1984. Before that, I relied on the thoughtful pages of Track & Field News to give me my inside view of the sport. 

    Luzern and Lignano were two of the last meets before London. Herculis Monaco, coming this weekend, will be the last big one....
    Alfons Juck collected some strong quotes from key athletes over the past week. Here are some of the comments:
    The Centenary of the IAAF was celebrated in the Palace of Monaco today, with the presentation of a new stamp, celebrating the 100 years of the global track & field federation. There have been some major city celebrations of the IAAF Centenary, most notedly New York City on the 8th of June, but this celebration marked the actual day of the Centenary.


    The IAAF will celebrate the year in November 2012, with a major sports exhibition and gala in Barcelona, Spain. Details to come. 

    The Herculis Monaco Meet, on Friday, 20 July, 2012, will give us some insight into several matters of immediate importance.

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    Gatlin, Lemaitre, Gay, Rodgers, AREVA Paris, 6 July 2012, 
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    How are the US 4 x 100m relay teams looking? Jon Drummond to RBR that US will have a relay camp prior to Monaco and that there will be some fast relay running, prior to the games.

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    LaShawn Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net 

    Who has the edge, James or Merritt? Watch for a 400 meter men's race that will be an epic battle as Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt battle. In the long Jump, Mitchell Watt should be impressive, as should Paul Kipsele Koech, who is running the steeplechase. 

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    Paul Kipsele Koech, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Watch for coverage from Runblogrun, on the Herculis Monaco Meeting. 

    Nijel Amos, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Nijel Amos ran 1:43.79 at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Barcelona, where he set a Meet Record. Three meets this week for elite athletes, last meets before the London Olympics. RBr will provide updates on those three meets this week. Watch for our updates on meet coverage.

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    Wells, Harper, Carruthers, Hengelo 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Sayers_Goldie-NYDL12.jpgGoldie Sayers, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Here is our coverage of the 2012 AVIVA London GP, Day two. Some amazing
    performances that shocked and amazed many in the stands!

    Evan Jager, 2012 US Oly Steeplechase final, photo by PhotoRun.net

    June 25 was a busy day. There was the 100 meters for men, where Justin Gatlin won in 9.80, a personal best. Tyson Gay was second in 9.86 and Ryan Bailey was third in 9.93. Dick Patrick, one of our columnists, wanted to know if they can collectively race against the Jamaicans in London?

    The 100 meter dead heat continued to grow in controversy, as USATF was dealing with the USOC and could not make a decision without the Federation that they ran the Trials for, making a decision.

    And Evan Jager versus Don Cabral, in the steeplechase, had lived up to all expectations.

    Is The Gold Within Their Reach? Considering Gatlin, Gay and Bailey
    by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

    How A Coin Toss May Decide Who Goes To 2012 Olympics With Jeter and Madison
    by Elliott Denman, note by Larry Eder

    No Surprises with Jennifer Suhr's Pole Vault Victory, but Becky Holiday's Second Place was a Gratifying Entrée to the U.S. Olympic Team for a Veteran Vaulter
    by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder

    Tiger On The Prowl, Is Their More Magic Left In Cabral's Special Season?
    by David Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    The TV Trials, June 24
    by James Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

    Saves the Day, Can Nick Symmonds lead track & field athletes to the Promised Land?
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    Speaking Latin, Journalistic Ignorance is not Bliss with Unfamiliar Events
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    2012 Oly Trials: WL's for Merritt, Hoffa, Sanya, Gatlin gets 9.80
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Ryan Bailey is an improbable and inspirational addition to the U.S. sprint team
    by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder

    ASICS Athlete LoLo Jones Secures Her Spot to London, release
    note by Larry Eder

    Saucony's Tiana Madison & Dee Dee Trotter lead Team Saucony at 2012 US Track & Field Trials, release
    note by Larry Eder

    Live Blog coverage:
    DAY 4: 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, June 25th

    Aries Merritt, 2012 Oly Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Even with the threat of rain, the first day of the AVIVA London GP was a continuing example of why the AVIVA London GP rates so high on the Samsung circuit. Friday had some simply exciting competitions.

    Javier Culson and Dai Greene in the 400 meter hurdles lived up to the hype. Culson remains undefeated, and Greene continues to round into shape. GBR Jack Green scores a pb with his fourth, in 48.60.

    Perri Shakes-Drayton is now a medal contender. Her 53.77 was a great run, and she really pushed her way through the last three hurdles, gaining the win.

     A high level long jump with Mitchell Watt, Chris Tomlinson, and Godfrey Mokoeno, with three jumpers over 8.24m.

    The 110m hurdles, with Aries Merritt running 12.93, WL equalling, shows that Merritt is rounding into shape for the London 2012 games. Jason Richardon, the WC from 2011 is not far off and Liu Xiang, who withdrew from the final with a sore back, will be there as well.

    The Men's 100 meters, where Tyson Gay ran 10.03, and Ryan Bailey at 10.09, was a strong race. Gay had good start, which is great start for him, and ran well through the finish. He is gaining more confidence and should be ready for the Olympics.

    And finally, the crowd went nuts when Mo Farah ran 1:53.5 and 56.42 for the last 800m, 400m, respectively, in a 13:06.04 5,000 meters. Collis Birmingham improved his PB to 13:09 by trying to hold onto Mo. And Dathan Ritzenhein, recovered from the Oly Trials and running quite well, ran 13:15.

    A great first day...

    We are down to less than two weeks before the Olympics open and three weeks before the London Olympic Track & Field. First thing to tell everyone: bring umbrella, rain slicker, warm clothes as July was wettest July in two hundred years of recorded British weather history.
    Two, be patient, and find ways to walk to places instead of relying on transit, of just about any kind.

    Watch for our coverage of the AVIVA London Grand Prix this weekend!


    Tyson Gay, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Bolt, Powell, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Asafa Powell, the man who has now run eighty sub ten second 100 meter races, has withdrawn from the AVIVA London GP this weekend. This was confirmed in press release issues this morning, Friday, 13 July, local London time.

    Citing a groin strain, Asafa Powell noted the following: " I have been carrying some soreness in my groin since the Olympic Trials and have been unable to train at 100 percent."

    Asafa Powell finished his comment as follows: " I need to ensure that I am ready for the Games, and can not take any risks. I will be ready in August."

    In the 100 meter race that Powell was to have run is Tyson Gay, who won his most recent race in Paris last week, July 6 in 10.00 over Justin Gatlin (10.03).

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    Rupp, Lagat, 2012 US Trials, 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Galen Rupp won the 10,000 meters in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday, June 22, 2012, running a meet record of 27:25.33, in epic rain. Rupp's last 800 meters was just north of 1:53, pretty darn impressive. 

    On Thursday, June 28, 2012, Galen Rupp ran 13:22.54, winning the 5,000 meters, in the last final meters, from Bernard Lagat. Running 52.54 for the last 400 meters, Rupp made his final move with 50 meters to go. 

    And the late Steve Prefontaine's meet record, dating to 1972, was owned by a young man who has trained in Pre's footsteps since he was a sophomore in high school. 

    In the media center, after the 5,000 meters, Galen Rupp and Bernard Lagat traded compliments, enjoying the role reversal after fourteen races, Galen Rupp had turned the tables on Bernard Lagat. 

    The Shoe Addicts, the digital partner of Runblogrun, created this video to celebrate Nike elite athlete Galen Rupp, who showed that he is getting closer and closer to the global medal table.....
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    Ashton Eaton, 2012, Oly Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Day Three, was June 24, 2012. The excitement was still there, as Ashton Eaton had set the world record for the decathlon, 9,039, the night before. In front of 22,000 track fans, Ashton had run 4:14.47 in the 1,500m to give Eugene it's fourth Decathlon world record (first set by Rafer Johson, then two by Bruce Jenner in the 1970s).

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    Bryan Clay, 2012 Oly Trials 110m hurdles,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    Ashton Eaton celebrated with all the living US gold medalists in the decathlon: Milt Campbell (1956 gold, 52, bronze), Rafer Johnson (1960 gold, 1956 silver), Bill Toomey, (1968), Bruce Jenner (1976), Dan O'Brien (1996), Bryan Clay (2008, 2004 was bronze), plus last two living sons of Jim Thorpe (1912), were all there.

    Bryan Clay had seen his dream of making a third team dissolve with the high hurdles, where he ran poorly, and was at first disqualified, and then reinstated. However, the reinstatement came after the discus, where, devastated, Bryan had thrown three fouls. Clay showed his class, and completed the decathlon. A true Olympian.

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    Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison, 2012 Oly 100m final,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    In the women's 100 meters, Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison were together at 60 meters. Jeter was sore, with a back issue, and then, she felt Tianna Madison start to drop back, and for Jeter, that party was over. Jeter ran 10.93 to the 10.97 of Madison.
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    Jeneba Tarmoh, photo by PhotoRun.net

    In third, Jeneba Tarmoh was named third at first, but, after a review of the photo, a dead heat was declared between Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh. A perfect storm ensued, where USATF would announce when a decision would be made, then the USOC took several days to make a decsion on how to break the dead heat. It was not until late in the day on Sunday, July 1, that Jeneba Tarmoh pulled out of the match race, to the consternation of many.

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    Allyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The dead heat situation completely overcame the athletes who took first and second in the women's 100 meters.    

    Bird Watching, To feel the U.S. Olympic team trials is a requirement for every fan
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    Ashton Eaton Treats Record Crowd at Hayward Field to Decathlon World Record
    by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

    The TV Trials, June 23 Broadcast
    by Jim Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

    Ashton Eaton gets WR 9039, Dawn Harper wins 100mh, Carmelite Jeter wins 100m
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Roman Sebrle on Ashton Eaton breaking his WR
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Jeremy Wariner and the Will to Win
    by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder

    Amy Hastings Realizes Olympic Dream in 10,000 victory
    by Mark Winitz, California Track & Running News, note by Larry Eder

    The Incredible Theater of the Decathlon at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials
    by Elliot Denman, note by Larry Eder

    Dee Dee At The Doorstep, Olympic Team Berth Would Complete Comeback
    by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    Deciding the Tarmoh/Felix Dead Heat, "Common Law" , Common sense
    by James Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

    Mutai runs 27:29, Bleasdale clears 4.71m PV UK, Proctor sets 6.95m LJ UK record
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Let Us Now Praise Alysia Montano, Nick Symmonds
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    Jeneba Tarmoh
    by Mark Winitz, California Track & Running News, note by Larry Eder

    Live Blog coverage:
    DAY 3: 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, June 24th

    Over a journalist's career, there are athletes that affect one. Such is the case of Abel Kiviat, 1912 Olympic silver medalist and our Jeff Benjamin. Jeff wrote first about Abel for us in 1990, and wrote a super piece about Kiviat's ARs in the late 1890s in the US.

    Here is the story of Kiviat's Olympic race, 100 years ago, and one day, July 10, 1912, and meetings that Benjamin was at, or hosted, 90 years later. We know that you will enjoy this one.....

    Surrounded by Allan Steinfeld, Jeff Benjamin, Tom Fleming, Fred Lebow, Abel Kiviat, smiling and telling stories!

    Usain Bolt, 2012 Golden Gala Roma, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Usain Bolt is healthy, per his manager, Ricky Simms. We just caught up at the AVIVA London press conferences, and Ricky wanted our readers to know that one of their favorite athletes will be ready to run in London. The 100 meters and 200 meters are shaping up to be tremendous events.
    LaShawn Merritt, 2012 Oly Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net


    Abel Kiprop, 2012 Nike Pre Classic, photo by PhotoRun.net

    LaShawn Merritt & Abel Kiprop are two of the lastest announcements for the Herculis Monaco meeting, to be held on July 20. The meet will also have some fascinating relays to watch as well. A great 110 meters, Aries Merritt, Jason Richardson, and David Porter will be featured in Monaco as well.

    The season is getting hotter and hotter. The truth is, so many fields are coming together, and there are some huge performances over the past two weeks. So much of Olympic success is, besides being fit and rested on race day, the medals come down, at 1968 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, Bill Toomey reminds us, to the athlete who wants that medal the most. Actually Toomey used the word, "covet". That does provide a good picture.
    Galen Rupp, Matt Tegenkamp, with Dathan Ritzenhein leading,
    2012 OT 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

    In reviewing Day 2 of the Olympic Trials, the 10,000 meters for men and women stood out. The torrential downpours during said races stand out. The guttiness of the men, the final stretch run of the women, stay in my mind. My overwhelming satisfaction was seeing Dathan Ritzenhein and Amy Hastings, who had both taken fourth in the Trials marathons, made
    the 10,000 meter team.

    Amy Hastings, 2012 US 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

    From their redemption, in those rain-soaked races, we the fans felt many of the same feelings. Luckily, both Dathan and Amy were strong enough to handle the challenges of an Olympic Trials competition. In the end, Dathan made his A standard, and Amy Hastings won the race, and both go to London!

    Is Galen Rupp ready for London?
    by Elliott Denman, note by Larry Eder

    Rupp and Ritzenhein, A Race Within The 10,000m Race
    by Dick Patrick, note by Larry Eder

    The Trials of Jim Dunaway
    by Jim Dunaway, note by Larry Eder

    Amy Hastings Wins 10,000m at 2012 US Trials, release
    note by Larry Eder

    Li-Ning USA Focus: Christian Taylor
    courtesy of Li-Ning USA

    David Rudisha Jogs 1:42.12
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Aldrich Bailey, The Youngest men's 400m runner in the US Olympic Trials
    by Roy Stevenson, note by Larry Eder

    Clearing Hurdles: Steepler Bridget Franek Glides Over Barriers - On and Off The Track
    by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    Disaster in the Decathlon, Bryan Clay has hurdle mishap
    by Larry Eder

    The Long Road Home, Resurgent athletes were the story in the men and women's 10,000-meters
    by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

    Bryan Clay Decathlon Clarification, by Jill Geer/USATF
    by Jill Geer/USATF, note by Larry Eder

    Live Blog coverage:
    DAY 2: 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, June 23rd

    Brianne Nerud broke the high school record for the steeplechase with her fourth place in the heat, running a fine 10:08.15! Brianne is not new to the steeple, as you can see from her World Youth picture from 2011.

    Special thanks to Tom Lewis, who is providing these reports to support the sport. Tom Lewis is the great guy who keeps us informed on all things coaching from USTFCCCA. We hope that you support their organization, it fights for you every day.

    Brianne Nerud, 2011 World Youth, photo by PhotoRun.net
    Isinbayeva_Yelena-StockholmDL11.jpgYelena Isinbayeva, Stockholm Diamond League, Photo by Photorun.net

    One of the best kept secrets in the sport of track & field is the World Junior Championships. Spencer Nel, adidas global sports marketing athletics manager told me that this is his favorite week and favorite track meet. Tall words for a man who sees so many major events. Thanks to Nick Davies, IAAF Head of Communications, we have the ability to receive great stories and results each day! Here are our picks for the first day. Remember, more at iaaf.org! Don't miss the coverage!
    Usain Bolt and his team are trying to determine how to work with Usain's sore back, which has flared up in the past. Most recently, the injury came to the fore after the Jamaican Trials, where Mr. Bolt ran 9.86 and 19.83, taking second in both to Yohan Blake. Details to come....

    Usain Bolt, Roma Golden Gala 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Yohan Blake, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Yohan Blake headlines a meet in Luzern on 17 July, which will also feature Wallace Spearmon running 200 meters to Blake's 100m race.

    Yelena Isinbayeva is opening tonight, 10 July, in Sottesville-les-Rouen, where she will debut her 2012 outdoor fitness. Her last competition was her gold medal performance in Istanbul, during the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

    Kibwe Johnson, 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field,
    by PhotoRun.net

    The recent 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials were one of the most successful ever. Time will tell how the 2012 US track & field team will be rated, but, from all indications, the team is superb.
    To provide you easy access to our Runblogrun coverage, with the work of six tremendous writers, and our photography team at PhotoRun.net, we are posting, day by day, the links to all pieces so that you can enjoy all of the excitement of the Trials, as you prepare to watch London 2012!

    Hammer Time... Thursday, Olympic Trials 2012
    by Elliot Denman, note by Larry Eder

    Glorious Overture To Olympic Trials "Hammer Time" Rousing Success
    by Dave Hunter, note by Larry Eder

    David Rudisha runs 1:44, More Global News
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    RBR Interview: Bryan Clay, two time Olympic Dec medalist
    by Larry Eder

    Kenenisa Bekele runs 27:02.59: He is back!
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

    Ashton Eaton leads Day 1 of US Trials Decathlon in 4728
    by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder
    Christophe Lemaitre, At Meeting AREVA 2012, © KMSP / P.Millereau

    Christophe Lemaitre is French. That is a fact. He is also the best sprinter to come out of France in a decade or two. At his young age, Lemaitre won two European titles, at 100m and 200m n 2010. In 2012, Lemaitre defended his 100m title.

    Ably coached by Pierre  Carraz, a man who has traits of Clyde Hart, Jim Bush, John Smith and Brooks Johnson, and he is French too!

    Anyone who discounts Lemaitre does so at their own risk. This young man is my pick for a medal at 200 meters. He is fast, runs the curve well and is young. He has time to screw up, but he wants one thing, to bring home a medal for his country, the land of Louis XIV, Napolean, Michel Jazy, good wine, cheese and great cafes. Christophe Lemaitre is for real.

    In the following interview, several members of the French sports media give Lemaitre the once over. Smart questions and equally thoughtful answers.

    Christian Cantwell, 2012 Oly Trials, shot put, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Jenn Suhr, 2012 Oly Trials, pole vault, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Christian Cantwell and Jenn Suhr made the Gill Field Meet a big hit. Cantwell threw 22.31m, longest throw of the year, and Suhr flew 4.83m over the bar, to take over the pole vault lead. Both are medal contenders for the US in London and have proved that their fitness is right where it needs to be!
    Jim Spivey, photo by PhotoRun.net (1991)

    Jim Spivey was one of the few American middle distance runners who duked it out with the Europeans, Africans on the global stage in the late 1980s and 1990s. First coached by Sam Bell, the iconic coach at Indiana, Spivey was then coached by Ken Popejoy and Mike Durkin. Durkin was, and is still, one of my idols. A midwest guy with a killer finish, he came up with the term, " controlled aggression. "  Popejoy, a top runner, also UCTC, was a stud masters runner as well as a superb coach.

    The 1988 Olympic Trials were a heart brake for Spivey, where he finished fourth. I was in the stands in 1992, and his win was just crazy train. Spivey dropped a 56 third lap and showed more guts in that last 700 meters than anyone I had ever seen in such a race. His emotions were real afterwards, he could not believe it!

    Jim knew how to race. He also paid his dues in Europe, working as a pace maker for a few seasons to endear himself to the powerful meet directors. Spivey spent years as a coach, and now works with ASICS America in the team sports area. We catch up once or twice a year.

    This piece, written by Jeff Benjamin, a long time writer for American Athletics (many will remember our first magazine), and great friend of the sport, knows that Jim Spivey was one of the few Americans (Bob Kennedy, Mark Nenow, Todd Williams, Mark Croghan, among others), who raced the best, to be the best, in a time when mediocrity was nearly celebrated in American distance running. Spivey wanted to be the best, and he gave the distance his respect and attention. 

    Jim Spivey did not know how to give up. This is the story of his biggest challenge and how he made it his magic moment...

    Pamela Jelimo, 2012 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Pamela Jelimo was one of the highlights of running across the world on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Running a world leader of 1:56.76 for the 800 meters, Jelimo is showing that she will be a player in the 800m wars. Also note that we saw that Caster Semenya is under two minutes once again. Anyone who counts her out of the 800 meters is sorely under estimating the talented South African.

    David Rudisha, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The Stade de France, after a torrential rain shower, plus hail in other parts of Paris, hosted 39,225 fans to two hours of great track & field. David Rudisha entertained with a 1:41.54, fastest time in the world, off a 49.37 first 400 meters.

    Renaud Lavillenie, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Dejan Gebremeskel showed why he is one of the key players in the London 5,000 meters with his huge 12:46.81 WL, leading 11 men under 13 minutes. Kenenisa Bekele ran 12:55.79 and was ninth!

    Dejan Gebremeskel wins 5,000m, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Sally Pearson, after hitting hurdle five, ran 12.40 for the 100m hurdles, running the WL. And in the final race, Tyson Gay, with a slow start, moved into contention about half way and into the lead with twenty meters to go, giving Justin Gatlin his first defeat of 2012 and Tyson Gay, his first victory in Europe since 2010.

    Paul Kipsele Koech, 2012 AREVA Paris, steeple,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    And then, there is Paul Kipsele Koech. Koech was not selected for London 2012, which has given him a focus. At AREVA Paris, Koech ran world leader of 8:00.57, watch him chase the world record this summer, as his consolation prize.

    Sally Pearson, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The women's 1,500 meters with five women under four minutes was a huge fan favorite. The winner runs 3:56.12, giving her country a new Moroccan National record and fastest time in the world for Selouisi, who just played with the field. Cakir, the Turkish runner who lead most of the race, was rewarded with the European leader, plus new Turkish record of 3:56.62!

    Selsouli, WL 3:56.15! 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    France was proud as well. Renaud Lavillenie, fresh off his European champs victory, won the pole vault. Christophe Lemaitre, starting slow, ran 10.08 for third, moving quite well. France's Hassan Hirt, ran huge PB with 13:10.64, giving him second fastest time in Europe over 5,000m.

    Tyson Gay, Men's 100m, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Samuels_Dani-ParisDL.jpgDani Samuels, 2012 AREVA Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Dani Samuels wins on the last throw, showing once again, that in London, it is not the one who has thrown 70 meters, but the person with the longest throw on the day that matters. The women's discus could be very, very competitive.

    What a meet!

    LoLo Jones, 2012 US Olympic Trials, 100m hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

    LoLo Jones and Mitchell Watt were two of the highlights on Saturday at the 30th annual Meeting de Atletisimo Madrid, held on July 7. LoLo Jones ran 12.70 for the hurdle win, in what looks like a wind-aided time. Mitchell Watt had a strong long jump of 8.26m, as athletes use this last weekend to get A  for the Olympics. Deadlines are July 8.

    In an exclusive story for Runblogrun, Jon Gugala writes about Steve Magness, who was an assistant coach for the Nike Oregon Project, under Alberto Salazar. Magness tells Gugala about what he learnt from Alberto and the opportunities afforded.

    I first saw Steve Magness as a fast high schooler, running the mile at the Nike Pre meet a decade ago. He has come a long way...

    Alberto Salazar has spoken in the past about his goal of showing how good American distance runners can be on the global athletics world. Now, besides athletes, we see a coach whom Alberto Salazar afforded a new opportunity. Fascinating reading.

    Areson_Jackie-Oxy12.JPGJackie Areson, 2012 Oxy High Performance Meet,
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

    Sally Pearson started hurdling at the age of 15. In her first final, she fell. She got up, dusted herself off, and continued to pursue the hurdles.

    Sally Pearson, 2012 World Indoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Since then, she has turned the 100 meter hurdles around, and after her run in AREVA Paris, many are suggesting a, dare we say, world record? That does not matter to Pearson, my guess is that she has her eyes set on the gold medal in London in August 2012....

    Renaud Lavillenie won the 2012 European Championships at the pole vault last weekend, with jumps of 5.92m and 5.97m. He is the world leader. He also is still exhausted from the Euros. But, he won here, in coolness of a post rained on facility at the Stade de France. This is how I saw it:

    Lavillenie_Renaud1-Rome12.jpgRenaud Lavillenie, 2012 Roma Golden Gala DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Our sport is about competition. Mano a Mano, womeno a womeno. Give kids a stick and they can run a relay. At the AREVA Paris 2012, Javier Culson and Dai Greene took each other on, and it was a superb race!

    Here is how I saw it:

    Thumbnail image for Culson_Javier1-Rome12.jpg
    Javier Culson, 2012 Roma DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The bronze medalist from Daegu has a special place in my heart. Dejan Gebremeskel ran with one shoe in 2011, at the New Balance Indoor. Dejen won the 3,000m over Mo Farah, and he has been surprising many since.

    His run last night was a work of art. And right behind him, setting a World Junior record, was Hagos Gebrhiwet, who ran 12:47.53! 11 men under 12:59.21!

    Thumbnail image for Gebremeskel_DejanShoe-NBind11.JPG
    Dejan Gebremeskel, 3000m, NB Indoor, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

    This is how I saw the race:

    Some sensational races in Paris on Friday night. It is a rainy Saturday, and I am finishing up our coverage of the event, while I hang out in Paris, for meetings and some fun. Getting to meet David Rudisha, thanks to James Templeton, his manager, was a rare honor and treat. I am now calling him the Zatopek of the 800 meters, the highest honor I can give as Emil Zatopek, in my mind, was the most honorable athlete I have ever met.

    Rudisha_DavidFV-Rieti11.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2011 Milano, photo by PhotoRun.net

    David Rudisha ran a 1:41.54 for 800 meters, the world leader, in less than ideal conditions. It was cool, the track was wet, and David's pacer maker, Sammy Tangui, took him out in 49.37, a bit off the 48.5 that David so desired.

    After having run 1:41.78 at the adidas Grand Prix, on June 9, and less than two weeks later, running 1:42.12 at altitude during the Kenyan Trials, David gives the world a loud siren call that he is ready to rumble and just be very careful how close you want to run to this guy.....

    In a race where Tyson Gay was dead last for the first 25-30 meters, the American record holder at 100 meters called on serious muscle memory to first reach Justin Gatlin, then defeat him. Gay's win at the 2012 AREVA Paris meeting is proof that Mr. Gay's body and mind are furiously improving as we come to less than one month before London 2012.

    Here is Tyson's story.....

    Rudisha_David-nycDL12.jpgDavid Rudisha, 2012 adidas GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Less than hour before the meet, torrential rains hit St. Denis, and fans were forced to try and hide from the pelting rain for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The sky cleared as 39,220 fans came to the Stade de France. And they were treated to a fantastic track & field meet.

    With great events throughout the evening, the local fans were entertained by Renaud Lavillenie, fresh off his 5.92m, 5.97m clearances in Helsinki, winning here in 5.77m. Christophe Lemaitre took third in a fantastic battle between Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin in the 100 meters.

    David Rudisha, with less than perfect pacing (49.37), ran 1:41.55. Dejan Gebremesakl surprised many with his 12:46.81 and eleven men under 13 minutes! Paul Kipsele Koech won the 3,000m steeplechase in 8:00.57.

    On the women's side, five women under 4 minutes in the 1,500m, with Mariem Alaoui Selsouli running 3:56.15. And Sally Pearson, battling Virginia Powell in the first half of the race, ran 12.40m for the 100 m hurdles, with Powell running a fine 12.59 in second.

    Watch for our event by event coverage later today!

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    Ivan Ukhov, Pre 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Ivan Ukhov missed twice at 2.28m, then cleared. He got to 2.37 m and just skipped the last two attempts afer his first attempt failed. He went to 2.39m, cleared it, and took over as the world leader.

    Four leaders on the last day at the Russian Champs! After that, Alfons gives us a preview of the AREVA Paris meeting tonight at 5.30 pm Local Paris time!
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    Anna Chicherova, Lausanne, 2011, Photo by PhotoRun.net

    The high jump is a technical event. It is also, a thing of beauty. The women's event has become quite popular with the likes of Anna Chicherova, Ariane Friederich, Chaunte Lowe and of course, Blanka Vlasic.

    This year, it seems like Chicherova and Lowe will be doing the battles in London as many of the top women have had injury issues in 2012. Part of the game, perhaps the hardest part, is keeping ones self injury free during the championship seasons.

    Lots of news today! Greetings from the Mercure Hotel Central Le Tour Eiffel! It is about 8.30 pm here, and after a few hours of writing, an early arrival, I actually slept and my brain stem is engaged.

    lemaitre.JPGChristophe Lemaitre, courtesy of Bob Ramsak/IAAF

    Christophe Lemaitre is the pride of France. Just coming off his defense of the 100m European Championships title, Lemaitre has run 9.94, albeit windy so far this season. He will be running with Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin, to name a few.

    AREVA Paris may not have Usain Bolt, but no one has him right now. Usain pulled out of Monaco Herculis today, as he needs a bit more time to prepare for London 2012. Lauren Boquillet, meet director of AREVA Paris will entertain 40,000 of his closest friends tomorrow as Christophe Lemaitre, Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin duel, David Rudisha races to immortality and Kenenisa Bekele shows he is one fit distance runner.

    David Rudisha, photo courtesy of Bob Ramsak, IAAF

    How does one describe David Rudisha? He is making himself a historical landmark in the 800 meters. Rudisha analyzes, considers, and finds way to keep things in the now, and also focused-he would make a great Buddhist. " Sometimes I run without a watch, and my coach will say, run 300 meters, I run them, and he says, you ran 37, 37, 37, 37, as I know my timing."
    It is truly chilling to think what David Rudisha can do. I believe he can and will run 1:40.

    Amazing how relaxed Justin Gatlin is when no one is hounding him about drug questions. Here is my point. Any one who has been nailed for drugs is being tested constantly. Gatlin stays focused on his running, and he seems very excited about the relay team as well.

    Justin Gatlin, photo courtesy of Bob Ramsak, IAAF

    And then, there is Tyson Gay. It was great to interview him before the Trials, and he was back in warrior mode. Gay and Gatlin locking horns in the Trials was tremendous, but, as Gay rounds into shape, I am thinking big moment in London 2012. Gay is fitter than he has been in years, is using the blocks and his end of race speed is coming back very well. I smell AR after London.


    Christophe Lemaitre, 2010 French Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Tyson Gay and Christophe Lemaitre highlight what will be a tremendous 100 meters. How do you not note Justin Gatlin? This could be, should be and will be one of the last great matches before the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    Tyson Gay, 2012 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    As you know, Tyson Gay is one cool character. Gay is fit, has run 9.86 and is ready to roll. Christophe Lemaitre is the pride of France, and with his thoughtful coaching, is developing quite nicely, knowing that he is years away from his top form. Christophe has run 9.94 this season and won the Euro Champs last week!  And remember, Justin Gatlin has just run 9.80, so this could be a barn burner.

    Justin Gatlin, 2012 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Justin Gatlin was nothing if not thoughtful about Tyson Gay in the press conference. Gatlin has been a sprint warrior for a long time, and knows that, one does not observe his competition. The race should be one of the highlights of the meet!

    Looking forward to Friday, 6 July, from 5.30 PM local time to 11 pm Local time. Runblogrun will be live, do not miss it!

    Bolt at 2011 Mt. SAC Speed clinic, courtesy of PUMA Running

    Elite athletes know their bodies.

    To run perfectly, to make one's body work properly, as David Rudisha, the 800m WR would know, one must have all things well. Usain Bolt ran 9.86 and 19.83 last weekend. That is a fact. He also lost to Yohan Blake twice. As one keen observer noted today in Paris, " Ah, Usain will be ready for London."

    Coach Mills & Usain Bolt are taking precautions. Coach Mills is one of the most astute coaches in our sport, and he has a group of elite sprinters that he has to understand each and every day. What makes them tick, what makes them race better. How do you juggle a Blake and a Bolt? Each athletes needs are quite different.

    The lead up to London 2012, my dear friends, will be fascinating.

    Jon Gugala continues his musings on the Olympic Trials. In this column, Mr. Gugala takes the 100 meter match race that did not happen as a focus and makes the match race his own. Let's see how he fares on the sprint circuit.....

    Gugala_7SD8476_sm.jpgJon Gugala, The Guerilla Runoof

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    Yohan Blake & Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Two of the most extraordinary sprinters of our life times will be running in the 2012 Belgacom Brussels Van Damme Memorial. Yohan Blake, the 2011 WC at 100 meters and Usain Bolt the WC at 200 meters in 2011, and Olympic gold medalist in 2008, in the 100, 200, and 4 x 100m and then, in 2009, he won the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay once again.

    Thumbnail image for Bolt-Blake4x1e-World11.JPGBlake to Bolt, 2011 WC 4 x 100m, photo by PHotoRun.net

    Here are Dave Hunter's top ten Olympic Trials special moments, tell us what you think! There were enough moments for all in the June 21-July 1 celebration of our sport!

    Oscar Pistorius, Rovereto 2010, photo by Photorun.net

    Oscar Pistorius is about all that is good with sport. A very thoughtful young man with a self depricating sense of humor, his story is about how a superb Mum raised her kids with seeing the sky as the limit. Oscar never saw handicaps, he saw fun.

    The IAAF and IOC saw scientific issues, and both sides, at times, just did not get it. Like Usain Bolt's story, Oscar Pistorius is a global phenomenon.

    That he has made the RSA 4 x 400m pool for London is the right thing to do. He has the wheels and he has done nothing but make RSA and his countrymen and country women proud. Enough said. Good luck Mr. Pistorius.

    The dead heat controversy has almost over shadowed the excellence of the 2012 Olympic Trials. Here is, in my opinion what all can learn from the Dead Heat controversy. Not all is bad...


    Christian Taylor, 2012 Prefontaine Classic, Long Jump
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

    The Triple Jump is an event that requires the speed of a sprinter, the agility of a basketball player and the endurance of a middle distance runner. Christian Taylor is all of these. A former soccer player, Christian took up the triple jump late in high school, and blossomed as one of the best long jump/triple jumpers in the US while in college.

    Last summer, Christian Taylor came into his own when he defeated Phillips Idowu, the 2009 World Champion, on his own turf, at the AVIVA London meeting last August, just before the World Championships.

    In August 2011, Christian Taylor won the gold medal in Daegu, Korea, with Phillips Idowu, the 2009 champ, taking second, in a titanic battle of three top jumpers.

    " I want to bring the gold home from London, " Christian Taylor told Li-Ning after the Pre Classic win on June 1. " I love competing in Eugene, it is my favorite place to jump in the world, but first, I have to make the Olympic team."

    Sharon Day, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Thumbnail image for Acuff_Amy-OlyTr12.jpgAmy Acuff, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Patterson_KaraQR-OlyT12.jpgKara Patterson, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Asics America had a nice group of athletes heading to the grand old London 2012 Olympics, with Sharon Day, Amy Acuff and Kara Patterson joining LoLo Jones, Julia Culley and Ryan Hall on the best team in the world, the US track & field team, of course!

    Jon Gugala has been writing a column a day for Runblogrun through the entire Olympic Trials. On the last day, we asked our intrepid journalist to write thoughtfully on the 400 meter hurdles. This is what he had to say, which we thought you will like!

    Jackson-Clement-OlyT12.jpgJackson and Clement, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, 400-meter hurdles
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Over the weekend, Yohan Blake defeated Usain Bolt over the 100 meters and 200 meters. In the 100 meters, Blake ran 9.75, a PB, to Bolts' 9.86, and Powell's 9.88. In the 200 meters, Blake won again, 19.80, a World leader, to Bolt's 19.83. What does this tell us.

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    Wallace Spearmon, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Consider this. We are a month away from the London Olympics, less than a month, actually. Tyson Gay has run 9.86, Justin Gatlin has run 9.80. Wallace Spearmon has run 19.81. And Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt are battling away. I see both 100m and 200m that there is true competition, with these five guys, plus others, ready to ramble. Anyone who says, well, so and so is a clear favorite, is not looking at the track.

    Thumbnail image for Uceny_MorganSF-USOlyT12.jpg
    Morgan Uceny, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The last day of the US Olympic Trials were as wonderful as a day of track can be. Morgan Uceny leading Shannon Rowbury and Jennie Simpson in the 1,500m. Leo Manzano, Matt Centrowitz and Andrew Wheating making the team in the 1,500m. Some tremendous jumping with Brittany Reese winning the long jump on her last jump, and putting three women over 7 meters!

    The truth is, the 2012 US team, is one of the best that we have had in decades. From the 100 meters to the marathon, we have medal contenders. Think not? Consider for a moment what the Kenyan and Ethiopian so called Trials have done to their top athletes. In the US, it is a battle of the fittest on that day, honest, cruel, and beautiful, all at the same time.

    Allyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

    One final note: Easy to point a finger at USATF over the 100 meter dead heat. I believe that they should have simply gone to the hundreths in the final times. But, that was not to be. That the USATF did not have a policy was not sad, it just was. In trying to be transparent, they sure made some media upset. My issue was with the USOC having to approve everything. The USOC should stay as far away as possible. Their King Solomon ploy was ridiculous.

    What did we learn from the 100m deadheat? That we should put some of those things on TV. My ideas? Top 8 sprinters in 60m or 100m during halftime of NFL football. During halftime, top 8 shot putters in the world, three throws, $1 million, and Made for TV, stories of 8 top sprinters, week after week, then one race, winner takes all.

    At end of the day, if sports fan can not see the excitement in the sport of track & field, check their pulse.

    Jeff Porter achieved a decade long dream with his third place in the men's 110 meter hurdle final in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, June 30. Elliott Denman, who has watched Jeff over the past decade, wrote this about the New Jersey athlete.

    Richardson, Merritt, Porter, Oliver, 2012 Oly Trials 100m,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    Dick Patrick wrote this piece about the match race, which is scheduled tomorrow, July 2, at Hayward Field. It will be one of the most watched events outside of the Olympics themselves. While it could be a positive for the sport, Dick Patrick reminds us what has happened with past match races.

    photo_finish.jpgFelix and Tarmoh 100m photo finish, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Leonel Manzano, 1,500m OT champion, photo by PhotoRun.net

    The women's and men's 1,500 meters finals were two of the best finals in the Olympic Trials past history. They were fast and furious, two very honest races, per Dick Patrick. In this column, Dick speaks about two very satisfying middle distance races.

    Morgan Uceny, 1,500m Trials winner, photo by PhotoRun.net

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    Wallace Spearmon, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Wallace Spearmon won the last official event of the 2012 US Olympic T,rials. By the time that you read this, most of the remaining fans will be at the Wild Duck cafe and then show up, at 5 pm tomorrow at Hayward.

    James Dunaway reviewed the July 1 NBC TV program which featured the last day of these amazing Trials...

    Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.92m and 5.97 at the 2012 European championships, to take title and world leader. We shall see him in London definitely, and perhaps in Paris this weekend? Wallace Spearmon just won the 200 meters in 19.81 to end the Trials. Morgan Uceny wins the women's 1,500m in 4:04.59. Leo Manzano wins the men's 1,500m in 3:35.75, with Brittany Reese winning Long Jump, her fifth straight champs in 7.15m, or 23-10.25. Congrats to Micheal Tinsley winning 400m hurdles in 48.33 and Lashinda Demus winning Trials 400m in 53.98!

    Trevor Barron, 20,000m RaceWalk, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Here is piece by Mark Wintiz on the 20,000 meter walk for California Track & Running News. Special thanks to Christine Johnson, editor of Cal Track, and Chuck Bartlett, web manager of Running Network.com.

    To read the story, please follow this link: http://www.caltrack.com/read_new/usa-olympic-track-field-trials-coverage-olympic-trials-20k-race-walk-produces-top-results-c
    The high jump was one of the most entertaining of yesterday, Saturday, June 30. With the youngest competitor, Gabby Williams, Amy Acuff, trying for her fifth team, as well as AR holder Chaunte Howard Lowe, the competition proved to be fun to behold. Here is how David Hunter saw it.

    Lowe_Chaunte-OlyTr12.jpgChaunte Lowe, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, High Jump
    Photo by PhotoRun.ne

    Uceny_MorganSF-USOlyT12.jpgMorgan Uceny, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Here is a fine piece from California Track & Running News on Morgan Uceny! This piece was written by Mark Winitz for CTRN. Special thanks to Christine Johnson, editor of CTRN, and Chuck Bartlett, web manager for RunningNetwork.com.

    Here is the feature:http://www.caltrack.com/read_new/usa-olympic-track-field-trials-coverage-uceny-leads-golden-states-1500m-contingent-olympic-
    Christian Taylor and Will Claye look, to this viewer, like two London medals. Phillips Idowu, the great British jumper, will make it an epic battle. In this piece, Roy Stevenson, tells us about the Olympic Trials triple jump, where Christian Taylor won, Will Claye took second, both on their first jumps!

    Taylor_ChristianTJ1c-OlyT12.jpgChristian Taylor, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, Triple Jump, Photo by PhotoRun.net

    Jon Gugala's column today is on Donnie Cowart, who we will watch for Rio 2016.  Donnie Cowart met with Jon Gugala, in a typical post event watering hole, and this is the piece that Jon came up with for today.

    Jon Gugala is one of our newest finds, a frequent contributor to Runners World, Running Times and I believe, Competitor magazines and online. A keen observer of the sport, Jon has a whimsical writing style and a wry sense of humor.

    How can you not like someone who thanks the media center for the fruit supplied to media each day, as it protects him from scurvy?

    Huling_DanQ-OlyT12.JPGHuling and Cowart, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, Steeplechase
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

    We asked Elliott Denman, 1956 Olympic race walker, to cover the 20,000m race walk, which was won by Trevor Barron, in 1:23:00. Elliott Denman, who knows the racewalk better than just about anyone else in US, wishes that the US could win a Racewalk gold, and start a walking boom.

    Here are Elliott Denman's thoughts.....

    Barron_Trevor-USOlyTR.jpgTrevor Barron, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, Race Walking
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

    Allyson Felix, 2012 Oly Trials 200m final, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Merritt_AriesFL-OlyT12.jpgAries Merritt, 2012 110m Oly Champ,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    Allyson Felix ran 21.69 for 200 meters, which is a paradigm changing race. Felix and VCB in the 200 meters in London could be a race for the ages. Aries Merritt, a hurdler who many have wondered about, became the first man to run sub 13 seconds twice in one day (12.98 and 12.93), special thanks to keen observer, TC.

    Dick Patrick focused on Allyson Felix and the women's 200 meters, which showed how special Allyson really is. With the sixth fastest 200 meter performance of ALL time, the 21,000 plus fans on Saturday, June 30, all saw something special.

    Here is how Dick saw the 200 meters:

    Felix_Allyson200M1-OlyT12.jpgAllyson Felix, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, 200 meters
    Photo by PhotoRun.net

    Wallace Spearmon, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Merritt_AriesQ1-OlyT12.jpgAries Merritt, 110m hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

    Fountain_Hyleas200M1-OlyT12.jpgHyleas Fountain, 2012 US Olympic Trials,
    photo by PhotoRun.net

    Our TV critic, James Dunaway, is viewing the NBC broadcast from Austin, Texas. I miss my editor, and mentor very much. Mostly his pithy comments, sense of humor, and stories. I remember a night in Athens, in 2004, where my son, Adam, had dinner with James and I, as James told Adam and I stories about his first Olympic experience in 1956.

    Here is James' critique of the June 30th NBC broadcast....

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