August 2012 Archives

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The Virgin London Marathon is one of two events I visit every April. Like Boston, Chicago, Berlin and New York, the London Marathon is the standard by which all other marathons should be judged. 

Former London Marathon Chairman James Clarke, who had involvement from the earliest days in the London Marathon, has died, at the age of 89. James was instrumental in developing the entry system for the very first marathon.

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

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Jim & Jean Clarke, at London Marathon Post Race Party, 
courtesy of London Marathon
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Dejan Gebremeskel, AREVA Paris 5,000m, photo by

The Zurich Weltklasse meet, to be held on Thursday, August 30, has some of the best end of season of the fields on the season! The men's 800 meters is looking like a real barn burner if not an all out assault on the 800 meter world record. In the 5,000m, all but Mo Farah are there to run fast and make the crowd go crazy. A cool, clear evening in Zurich could mean a memorable night of track & field. 

The Aviva series for 2012 ended with a great event, the AVIVA Birmingham DL on Sunday, August 26, 2012.  Aries Merritt comes out flying, running 12.95 for the 110m hurdles, with Jason Richardson not far behind, with his 12.98. 

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Aries Merritt, 110m hurdles, London 2012, 

photo by

In the women's 100 meters, Carmelita Jeter, who had taken a close on in Lausanne from Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, made it clear who was the winner with a 10.81 to 10.90 victory. 

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100 meter final, London 2012, 

photo by

And, to finish off a great day of athletics, new father of twin girls Mo Farah, who had won the 5,000m and 10,000m in London, used a 26.84 last 200 meters to show who is the king of distance running in 2012. 

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Mo Farah wins London Olympic 5,000m, 

photo by

Kudos to Uk Athletics, their sponsors and meet director Ian Stewart, who once again show that track and field, is about the competition, and, properly produced, can bring crowds and sponsors. 

80,000 fans in the evening, 75,000 fans in the morning sessions. Track & Field is the most popular sport in the Olympics, bar none. BBC media from TV to radio to digital did a great job in giving their readers and viewers what they needed when they needed it. NBC needs to learn from BBC. They would not have lost an iota of their audience with live coverage (and even charged for it). 


Back in the fall of 1976, maybe as early as spring of 1975, I remember meeting Bruce Jenner. He was this guy who was constantly working out at San Jose City College. The campus was about 2 1/2 miles from our high school, Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. 

My training partners, Bob Lucas, Pete Dolan and I would do our easy runs through the streets of San Jose, hurdling bushes, to keep ourselves from nodding off. We would see this guy throwing the discus on a lunch run. Then, later in the day, we would see him still working out as we were finishing a second run or perhaps a some quarters on the City College track. 

We knew about him. Jenner was a decathlete. Jenner was an Olympian. He was, in our eyes, a real athlete. I had seen him in Visions of Eight, a Bud Greenspan movie on the 1972 Olympics where he had placed tenth, I believe, knowing that his day was ahead of him. 

Not all was easy for Jenner. He had no money. He lived in a small apartment in San Jose, coached by Bert Bonanno at SJCC. Jenner was the beast master, the guy worked out all day. Jenner no heighted in the pole vault one time. That happens when you are a real athlete. 

Later, I was able to spend time with him as he and other other American gold medalists supported the VISA Decathlon program, which gave Dan 0'Brien, Dave Johnson, Steve Fritz, Chris Huffins the encouragement that they needed to stay with an event that is much a part of America's Olympic history. 

The following video was done at the Eugene Olympic Trials this past summer. Jenner was there to support Ashton Eaton as he set his World record in the city that Jenner set two of his three WRs.

Lance Armstrong, photo by

The following column is reprinted, with permission of the author, Toni Reavis. Toni writes on the sport of running most of the time, but has a great understanding of our sport and it's position in our culture. 

I first met Lance Armstrong in 1991, I believe, at a Bike show with the late Ed Burke, who had coached Lance for a while and was one of our columnists in American Athletics magazine. It was nothing of consequence, but I do remember Ed and Lance speaking about training. He was a skinny bicyclist. 

When I heard that Lance Armstrong had given up the battle with USADA, I was not surprised. USADA had become obsessed with Armstrong, and Armstrong obsessed with USADA. In the end, USADA comes off, in my mind, as dirty as they have alleged Lance Armstrong to be. 

I have grown up in a sports culture where drugs were always an option. We have football movies that celebrate athletes who are doped up on pain killers, playing one more game with the bad knee, and always getting the girl. Lance Armstrong, Toni Reavis will remind the reader, was really in a sport where the drugs he is accused of using made him an equal among his co-horts. 

In none of the cases that USADA has prosecuted has any real evidence come before a jury.  That is not USADA's fault, as drug cheating is pretty insider information. It is who you know, who knows this guy, who has you meet this guy. 

Just before the Olympics, 9 athletes were caught through the IAAF blood passport program. During the Olympics, a potential gold medal cheat was caught. I applaud the catching of drug cheats by drug testing. In most cases, these are tests that stand up in court, or arbitration. If the tests are not administered correctly, or handled with care, the Arbitration group will throw them out. 

I do believe that drugs are an indication of how our culture has valued winning over all else. I also believe that we are getting to an era, soon, where, rich parents and not so rich parents will be able to try and give their kid the legs of David Beckham and brains of Albert Einstein. 

In the end, those people just don't get it. David Beckham loved the sport he was gifted at playing, as do most footballers. Albert Einstein opened his mind to the wonders of math and physics while, at the age of 12, he laid in bed, sick, and was mesmerized by a watch his doting father gave him, that did not work. In the end, the powers that drugs are supposed to give one, or the powers that genetic engineering will give, can only give us the physical powers, not the powers of appreciation, or focus. 

In the battle between Lance Armstrong and USADA there have not been any winners. A sport sullied for years just lost it's seven time winner. Cancer survivors will care nothing about USADA, as they clutch one of Lance Armstrong's books to their chest, reading favorite passages during chemotherapy. 

Lance Armstrong, I believe, thought that USADA would relent. But, challenging them in public was probably not the best idea. USADA, for all of the good, still does not seem to get it. Have they with Armstrong, or will they, in the near future push or gloat so hard that any good they have done will be for naught?  Something to consider. 

The American Sports Builder Association announced a new Running Tracks manual, updated and made for ease of use. The ASBA is a non-profit group established to promote the quality of track facilities.  If you are a coach or AD and are looking to learn about how to do the right facility for your school, club or university, we encourage you to check out I have included their national meeting in my yearly schedule each and every year for the past decade. ASBA is truly a great resource. 

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London Olympic stadium, courtesy of London 2012

Kelly Sotherton, Carolina Kluft, 2007 World Indoor Champs,
 photo by

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Mo Farah takes the Olympic 5,000 meters, 
photo by

Mo Farah became a father of girl twins this past week. Farah mentioned, in his post race comments on Sunday, August 26, 2012 after his two mile victory at the Aviva Birmingham today, that he was exhausted as his wife had just had twin girls. We congratulate the Farah family. Mo has had a tremendous season, and with one race left, a half marathon, and then, a respit. 

Carolina Kluft was one of the greatest women multi-events of her era. I saw her in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. In twenty-two multi events, Kluft has not been defeated. Her last and best heptathlon was in the World Outdoor championships, where she won the gold and scored 7,032 points. 

Injuries slowed her down. In 2005, she won the World Champs on a bad ankle and after 2007, she took a break from the multi events. Kluft competed in the long jump (she was a member of the Swedish 4 x 100m relay team), but has dealt with injuries for the past four years. 

Her performance in Osaka, Japan, under very hot conditions, was one of the best athletic performances that I have ever seen. 

This weekend, on Swedish TV, Caroline Kluft has announced that she will be ending her career this year. Kluft was a great athlete, and a wonderful interview. She will be missed. 
Carmelita Jeter, photo by

The AVIVA Birmingham GP was a meet to celebrate the fantastic performances  of the British team in London. The meet ended with a great two mile won by Mo Farah with a 26.84 last 200 meters. 

The AVIVA meets are some of my favorites to attend each year. Meet Director Ian Stewart organizes his fields to showcase the top athletes in the world, as well as give opportunities to young British and American athletes. In the midst of the competition, one finds some pretty tremendous races! 

Here are the results from Sunday's event: 
Reuters did a story during the Olympics on how Valerie Adams, the potential gold medalist, and now the actual gold medalist, was left off the New Zealand team. Just a little bit of journalistic discovery and one finds that there have been issues with NZOC before. 

Valerie Adams, Lausanne 2012, photo by

Valerie Adams had a sh#t sandwich of an Olympics. First, she has to fight to even get on the entry list as the NZOC did not even have her declared. Then, her uniform did not fit, and on top of that, she is beat by a drug cheat, and does not even get a gold medal with her national anthem being played in front of 80,000 cheering fans. 

Valerie Adams has been the best women shot putter  for three World Championships (07,09,11), two Olympics (2008,2012), She is the dominant thrower in her event. A country of four million has a two time gold medalist to celebrate now. Let's hope Valerie Adams gets the celebration and respect that she deserves. 
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This is the front cover of the book, Run Simple, A Minimalist Approach to Fitness and Well-Being. Jon Gugala, one of the RBR columnists that you have come to know and enjoy, tells RBR that Duncan Larkin is the most dangerous man in running. Well, write on, Jon Gugala, let us hear how Duncan Larkin wants to take us to a simpler, saner time, when trails and golf courses were for Holmer fartlek and treadmills were to be avoided....and GPS watches? well, 
you get my drift....
A nice video, short and sweet on four concepts of good form running. Makes sense,no bs, should be something most high school coaches should discuss and attempt. I am not a big believer in changing form, stretching, core work, good feet health will get you to a good place, in most cases. But these four concepts make sense for most runners.
Liliya Shobukhova, the three time consecutive winner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, wants to win four times in a row. Because of that, and her amazing domination of the fields at Chicago, Liliya Shobukhova will be running the streets of Chicago on October 7! 

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Liliya Shobukhova, 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, 
photo by

Shobukhova has had huge successes in Boston and London, as part of the Marathon Majors series, having won two years in a row. 

One of the toughest marathoners in the world, Liliya Shobukhova will join 45,000 other runners on the streets of Chicago for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. will be covering the marathon LIVE on our new live blog site, watch for details. 
The Athletissima meet last night was tremendous. Some great competitions, as well as Yohan Blakes' 9.69 for the 100 meters, Usain Bolt's 19.58 and the high jump battle which saw three men over 2.37m!  The 100m battle between Carmelita Jeter and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, came to 10.856 to 10.857-and Jeter took this one!

Carmelita Jeter, photo by

The Samsung League, in year two, is delivering on the its mission, to promote the sport and show our greatest strength, competition. 

Next Samsung DL is in Birmingham, England for the AVIVA Birmingham DL, to be held Sunday, 26 August. Runblogrun will cover the meet live, with reporters in the stands and Live results and updates! See you then! 

Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, 2012 London Olympics, 200 meters, 
photo by

The Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Switzerland lived up to the hype once again, with some tremendous competitions. The men's 100 meters had Yohan Blake running 9.69, with Tyson Gay running 9.83. In the 200 meters, Usain Bolt ran 19.58 to set a new meet record. 

The high jump, with three men over 2.37m and Mutasz setting an AR, MR an WL with his 2.39 meter clearance! 
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David Rudisha, 800 meters, photo by

We asked Justin Lagat to give us his impression of how David Rudisha's World record has changed the life and times of Kenya, David Rudisha and the sport of athletics. Here is Justin's commentary....

Updated 2 September 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland will host the Athletissima Lausanne tomorrow in Pontasse stadium. 17,000 people, a sell out for months now, will enjoy one of the best nights of track & field in one night in 2012. The 100 meters and 200 meters are amazing enough, but the 110m hurdles, men's pv, women's shot put, and some killer women's sprints. 

Justin Gatlin has called it quits to 2012, after his food poisoning in Linz, Austria. Andreas Thorkildsen has called 2012 to an end after DN. Galan meeting. Molly Huddle will focus on 2016, either 5,000m, where she has AR, or the 10,000m. 

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2012 U.S. Oly Trials, 110m hurdles, photo by

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Usain Bolt, 2012 London, photo by

Usain Bolt came into this season less than perfect. With three real weeks of training right before London, Usain Bolt took Yohan Blake's wake up call at the trials and worked himself into shape, winning the 100m in an Olympic record of 9.63, running 19.32 for 200m and anchoring a blazing 36.84 for the 4 x 100 m relay. Bolt tells us that he is a legend. That he is. 

In this interview, one sees, in french and english, the loose and fun style of the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt. 
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Aries Merritt, 110m hurdles, by

Aries Merritt is the fastest hurdler in the world in 2012. He is the U.S. Olympic Trials champion, World Indoors champion and now, Olympic champion at 110m hurdles. Merritt is fast, but most important, is his agility and his focus. A successful 110m hurdler requires a certain elegance over the hurdles, no wasted motion, that gives the observer a sense of easiness. Au contraire mes amis. Success in the 110m hurdles is hard won. Ask any of the men who battle, week after week, year after year, to be at the top of the world.

For 2012, Aries Merritt is the le roi de 110m hurdles. His interview, en francais et anglais, is courtesy of our friends in the press team at Athletissima Lausanne. We thank them for their stellar efforts....( and yes, I think Aries Merritt will break the WR tomorrow). 
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Renaud Lavillenie, photo by (Rome 2012 Golden Gala)

Renaud Lavillenie is the le roi de pole vault. In 2012, Lavillenie has won the World Indoors (March), the Euro champs (June) and now the Olympics (August). He wants victory in the Samsung Diamond League as well. 

Here is his interview en francais at anglais. Lavillenie speaks French and English with seemingly equal presence. Thanks to Athletissima press team for their superb work with the interviews.  
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Yohan Blake, photo by

Yohan Blake is one of the top sprinters in the world. Truth is, next to his training partner, Usain Bolt, Blake is the second best sprinter in the world. A tough one to consider, but Blake seems to do well. Bolt credits Blake's defeat of Usain in the Jamaican Trials 100 and 200 meters as the wake up call for London 2012.

Athletissima Lausanne's press team asked Yohan the following questions....
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Kirani James, 2012 London Olympics, 400 meters, gold medal, 
photo by

Kirani James now has the 2011 World Championship gold medal and the 2012 London Olympics gold medal for the 400 meters, and he has not turned 20. His run in London was excellent, and he treated the 80,000 fans cheering him on to the fastest 400 meters ever run in Great Britain-43.97 to be exact. 

The following humorous interview was conducted this morning by the press team at the Athletissima Lausanne this morning. Here are the excerpts: 
Brittney Reese, 2012 DN. Galan Stockholm, 16 August 2012, 
photo by

Brittney Reese won the long jump in London, taking her first Olympic medal. She now adds that to two gold medals in the long jump at World Outdoors and Indoors. A former basketball player, like Jenn Suhr, Reese is one of the top natural athletes on the US track & field team. Amazingly competitive, Reese has won more than one major event on a last jump! 

Here she provides some thoughts, courtesy of our friends in the press team at Athletissima Lausanne! 

Updated 22 August 2012: 7:45 pm, updated Brittney competing in Zurich and her goals, per her management.
Thanks to the press team at Athletissima Lausanne, who have provided us with several well done interviews of athletes who will compete tomorrow night, August 23. Here is the interview with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m gold medalist in 2008 and 2012, and bronze medalist in 200m in 2012. After the 100 meters in London, Shelly-Ann relaxed and seem to really enjoy the other races in London. Let's see how fast the pocket rocket runs in Lausanne! 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, London 2012, photo by

This is a great idea! Adding two of the top college and university track programs in New York Metro to one of the biggest charity supporters in our sport! Nice job, ING NYCM! Let's see more of this! 

Photo below: Meb Keflezighi, 2011 ING NYCM Marathon, 



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Usain Bolt, photo by

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Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, photo by

PACE Sports Management had a very nice ten days in the London Olympics with thirteen medals in the track & field portion of the Olympics. From Usain Bolt to Vivian Cheruiyot, PACE had some strong performances. Here is the the compilation of their performanances. 
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Aries Merritt, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Jason Richardson, Aries Merritt, Jeff Porter, David Oliver, 2012 Oly Trials, 

Dayron Robles, Jason Richardson, 2011 Zurich DL, by

Liu Xiang has had surgery, Dayron Robles is injured, but every other 110m hurdler who is out there seems to be running in Lausanne on Thursday. Should be a barn burner. Aries Merritt, fresh back from a trip to his sponsors headquarters where he me Reebok CEO Uli Becker and many Reebok employees, is ready to race. So is Jason Richardson, David Oliver, Jeff Porter, Sergey Shubenkov, Euro champ and Oly bronze medalist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica. 

Also, looking forward to seeing Mo Farah sport a beard ala Sir Richard Branson in Virgin Airlines commercials.

In the upcoming inquiry in Kenya as to why male athletes did not do so well, they are considering halting or limiting foreign athletes training in Kenya. This is silly. The Kenyan running community needs to look at a federation that made the best athletes in the world race to exhaustion to make their team, developed little or no tactics in racing in the 5,000m and 10,000m and needs to understand what the focus should actually be. 

Great news is, that after a five year absence, the LInz Gugl meet is back. Kirani James and Felix Sanchez impressed the fans. So did Cory Martin on the street shot put performances. 

The post London track season is in full swing with Budapest and Linz on Monday, 20 August, Lausanne on Thursday, August 23 and AVIVA Birmingham on Sunday, August 26. And you will not believe next week! 


Kirani James, London 400 meters, photo by

August 20 was a busy day, with several meets in Europe. The Linz Gugl and Gyulai Memorial were both on Monday and there were some strong performances. Sanya Richards-Ross ran 22.70 to the delight of the 16,000 fans. Christian Taylor improved from last Friday's 17.11m to 17.30m and Jason Richardson ran 13.15 to win the 110m hurdles. 

Sanya Richards-Ross, DN. Galan Stockholm, 17, August 2012, 
photo by

Dave Hunter's column this week is on Curtis Beach as Dave eyes the future of the decathlon. Dave tells us the story of the final event in Ashton Eaton's World record decathlon and the part Curtis Beach played. 

We hope you enjoy it! 

Beach_Curtis1500FV-USAout11.jpgCurtis Beach, 2011 USA Outdoor Championships
photo by

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Mo Farah, 2012 London Olympic 5,000 meters, photo by

The success of the London 2012 Olympics can not be debated. Great performances, three world records in track & field, 80,000 fans in evenings, 70,000 fans in mornings. The success, however, was all about many disparate groups coming together, and working for the common good. 

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Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, 10,000 meters, photo by

Glenn Latimer, former agent, athletes manager, LDR USATF board, wrote this for some friends. I asked him if I could share it, as I felt that Glenn was able to give us some real points why London 2012 was so amazing. Here they are:
One of our kind readers, Jerry Kokesh, sent us this clip with Usain Bolt. It is from 18 August, just after the Olympics. Usain comes across quite relaxed and the repartee between Bolt and Ross is hysterical. Bolt is outside of London right now, just before he heads to Lausanne on 23 August. After that, it's Zurich and Brussels to send his season. 
At the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, Megan Saafield, the public relations contact for Running for the past several years, took the Shoe Addicts through the new Flyknight technology plus the cool new uniforms and apparel technology for the U.S. Olympic team. The Shoe Addicts thought you would appreciate some of the technology offered to the team that brought back 29 Olympic medals in track & field!
Robert Harting, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Reese Hoffa continued his winning ways from DN. Galan and won in Warsaw today, with a nice series that included throws of 21.47m, 21.67m and 21.72m. Cory Martin won the shot put on the street in Linz, Austria today in 21.24m with Ryan Whiting at 20.84m and Christian Cantwell at 20.24m.

Robert Harting, 2012 Olympic discus champion, won his 31rst straight discus competition this weekend! 

Justin Gatlin was hospitalized with stomach pains, in Linz, Austria, with more details to come. 

Runblogrun is back home in Fort Atkinson, but will keep you up on the exciting track and field action over the next couple of weeks! 
While the Shoe Addicts were visiting the London adidas media lounge they met Jim Jennings. Jim is the Category Manager of running for adidas America. A long time player in the footwear biz, Jim was on vacation. So we asked him to tell us about the new adidas Supernova Glide 4M, and this is how the Shoe Addicts saw it. 
Asbel Kiprop, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Justin Lagat, our correspondent from Eldoret, Kenya, wrote this fascinating piece about concerns regarding the fortunes of the Kenyan team in the London Olympics, which were mixed. The Kenyans had some great performances, many of them woman, and some rough performances. The men in the 10,000 meters and the men in the 5,000 meters, as well as the 1,500 meters, had a rough time. 

Times change. In my mind, the Kenyan athletes, and the Ethiopians, had no plans in either the 10,000 meters or the 5,000 meters. They played into Mo Farah's hands, whose  tactics were quite similar to one Flying Finn, Lasse Viren, who won double victories in the 72 and 76 Olympics. 

Now is the time to plan for Rio and wherever we will be in 2020...
Thumbnail image for Adams_Valerie-Olympic12.jpg                         Valerie Adams, 2012 London Olympics, gold medal, shot put, 
photo by

The DN. Galan meeting was the first major athletics meeting, and the first of the Samsung Diamond League to be held after the Olympics. There were some strong clashes and a receptive crowd. On top of that, the rain that started two hours before the event, stopped and the weather was just about perfect, for a Swedish summer night in mid-August. 

Please find below the complete results for the DN. Galan meeting. We hope that you enjoy! 

Asafa Powell broke the world record for the 100 meters twice and tied it a third time. He has also run under ten seconds 80 times! He also made the Olympic final in the 100 meters three straight times. Being one of the nine fastest guys every four years should mean something, right? 

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 Asafa Powell, photo by
Usain's new billboard in NYC, courtesy of SLAM 

Usain wins three gold medals, sets an Olympic record in the 100 meters of 9.63 and then anchors Jamaica to a 36.84 in the 4 x 100m relay! The crowds loved him, and he loved the crowds. Here is how PUMA gets the world out after the Olympics. I am sure you will enjoy it! I just want it in our publications and websites, as it very much rocks! 
In the Olympics, Yelena Isinbayeva added a third Olympic medal to her coffers.While it was a bronze, Yelena was ecstatic. " I love my bronze medal, I have faced injuries this spring and only started training ten days ago." Yelena noted to the press conference at the London Olympics. 

So, now that Yelena is back in training and healthy, where does she go from here? 

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Yelena Isinbayeva, 2012 London Olympics, photo by
We missed this release from Brooks about their strong first half growth, in the flurry around the Olympics. Performance running is still strong, even with the daily negative comments on the US economy. In my travels, the economy seems to be picking up in US. The London Olympics simply saved the British economy, with jobs for youth especially and the Paralympics should do the same. 

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Amy Hastings, 2012 US Olympic Trials, photo by

A crowd of 11,000, modest for DN.Galan standards, greeted the first major meeting after the London Olympics. Several great clashes, and some fantastic performances. Sandra Perkovic finally won the discus battle at 68.77m, as three different women upped the Meet record in the discus. 

In the women's steeplechase, Yuliva Zaripova took the lead after the 1 kilometer mark, hit in 2:58.82. Zaripova had the lead at the 2k, hit in 6:05.45, and that was it. Zaripova pushed hersleft to the Meet Record, World Leader of 9:05.02. 

And the award for best quote from an athlete at DN. Galan was Yuliva Zaripova herself, " I speak No English but can say, very, very, happy. No record but very happy." 
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Olympic gold medalist Yulia Zaripova ran 9:05.02 WL at DN Galan, photo by

The 1912 Olympic Stadium is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The DN Galan Meeting is celebrating its 46th. The 1912 Olympics were held in this hallowed stadium one hundred years ago. And the IAAF, the governing body of our sport, was formed 100 years ago, in this fine city. 

Maryam Jamal won the DN Galan 1,500m in 4:01.19,

The 2012 DN Galan Meeting was held right after the end of the London Olympics, The exhaustion of the athletes was palpable. They are only human. The fields were quite good, and the performances were fine. Yuliya Zaripova's world leading steeplechase, in 9:05.02, set a meet record and was a world leader. Sandra Perkovic's 68.77m in the discus was a meet record (the record was broken by Perkovic, Pshchalnikova and Muller, all in the same event). 

Sanya Richards-Ross won the 400m in 49.89, 
photo by

The fast 1,500 meters, run by MaryAm Jamal, with a fast 59.23, gave the Olympic bronze medalist a fine run with 4:01.19. Sanya Richards-Ross win in the 400 meters, over Amantle Montsho, 49.89-50.03, with Christine Ohuruogu in third, in 50.77, was a great show. 

And the final race, where Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia caught Olympic gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, 1:43.56 to 1:43.71. Makloufi ran his 800m pb in the race, was exciting for the crowd.

But, the crowd was down from last year. Sponsorship was down due to a messy coup over meet management. A crowd of 11,000 greeted the fans, and while they were polite, they were not screaming as in years past. 

What was missing? The man who put Asafa Powell together with Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay in 2010, in the most anticipated 100 meters outside of the Olympics, was not here. His name, Rajne Soderberg, a doctor from outside of Stockholm, (I believe, Malmo), and long term supporter of the sport. Rajne Soderberg was well respected in the industry, and it was through his relationships, his thoughtfulness, and his team, that the DN Galan Meeting grew and thrived.

"Rajne did not need the DN Galan job, but he did it well and he is one of the top three meet directors in the world. " noted one keen observer of the sport.
Several managers, agents and former sponsors shared the same opinion of Rajne Soderberg. 

The new meet team, not associated with the unseemly coup, did a fine job. They are just not Rajne Soderberg, and his contacts, his relationships influenced this meet for over two decades. He will be missed. 

Reese Hoffa, 2012 US Oly Trials, photo by

Reese Hoffa won the first Samsung League meeting after the London 2012 Olympics, the DN. Galan Meeting. Opening with his big throw of 21.24 meters, Hoffa threw a series of 21.24m, a foul, 21.20m, 20.84m, 20.67m and a foul. This was less than two weeks after Reese Hoffa scored his first Olympic medal, a bronze, in the men's shot put. 


Valerie Adams, photo by

Valerie Adams woke up last week to the news that she actually was the gold medalist in the women's shot put as the named gold medalist tested positive and was, in fact, a drug cheat. 

Valerie won in DN Galan today, with a throw of 20.26m.  Here is what she had to say about that competition, on winning the gold and assorted other issues:

" The goal was to win today. That is always the goal. I wanted to throw more but after the drama that has gone on over the last seven days, it's been pretty hard to get back. So, I am happy with the win. I am happy to blow some cobwebs out of the system and get ready for the next Diamond League event in Lausanne, which is kind of like a home games for me since I train most of the year there. I have not been able to enjoy my gold medal for the Olympics because I have not got it yet. But I am sure I will when I get it. That is sport. That is life. I am enjoying being Olympic champion, back to back. I do not know how I will get the medal, but I want the whole shabbang because I missed that moment so hopefully then can do something in the next Diamond League maybe. " 

1. Valerie Adams, NZL, 20.26m, 2. Yevgeniya Kolodko, RUS, 19.08m, 3. Christina Schwanitz, GER, 4. Natalya Miknevich, BLR, 18.51m, 5. Michelle Carter, USA, 18.39m, 6. Cleopatra Borel, TRI, 18.11m

Thumbnail image for Taylor_ChristianH1-Pre12.jpg

Christian Taylor, photo by

Christian Taylor, the newly minted gold medalist in the London Triple jump, won his first competition after the Olympics. His jump was 17.11m. 

Taylor had a couple of fouls, but his 17.11 won the show today. It was a pretty relaxed competition, and a everyone seemed a little tired after the Olympics. Some nice comments from 
Christian below. 

1. Christian Taylor,US, 17.11m, 2. Sheryf El Sheryf, Ukrain, 17.04m, 3. Lyukman Adams, 16.93m, 4. Will Claye, US, 16.88m, 5. Tosin Okey, Nigeria, 16.76m, 
Krisztian Pars, photo by

Sanya Richards-Ross, photo by

The post London meets are on. From Samsung DL, to EA Permits to IAAF Challenge meets, track & field athletes are everywhere. I am in Stockholm today for the DN Galan meeting, the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Olympics, 1912 Olympic stadium and the forming of the IAAF. 

Amy Hastings and Desiree Davila Teammates Again?

by Jon Gugala
August 16, 2012

Earlier today, RunBlogRun reported the leaving of 2012 Olympian Amy Hastings from the Mammoth Track Club, with a possible interest in the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, which would match her Brooks contract.

In an email sent to RBR within the last hour, Hastings confirmed her departure, saying, "I am extremely grateful for everything Terrence [Mahon, coach of MTC], the MTC, and the town of Mammoth [have] done for me but I feel that I am at a point in my life where I would like to make a change.

"I am currently looking for a new place to train but I have not made any final decisions as to where I am going yet."

While Hastings may have not decided officially, from an anonymous source in the HBDP camp, the source reported that Kevin Hanson, who with brother Keith founded and coaches the team in Rochester Hills, Mich., has informed the team of Hastings' interest in joining.

"[The Hansons] like her, but last I heard were awaiting approval from the women's team," the source said.

The source added that the chief thumbs-up had to come from 2012 Olympian in the marathon Desiree Davila. Seeing as how Davila was a teammate of Hastings at Arizona State University and that the pair has a close relationship, this seems a rubber-stamp decision.

The source was unsure of the possibility of the addition of two-time U.S. 5,000-meter bronze medalist Angela Bizzarri, who also has left MTC recently.

Stay with RBR as this story continues to develop.
Jon Gugala has sent us breaking news on the Mammoth Track Club.

It happens, but not often. The US was beaten in the men's 4 x 400 meters. Bahamas ran a great race and in the end, outlasted Angelo Taylor as Ramon Miller went by Angelo, giving Bahamas their first gold in the mens' 4x400m relay and a national record of 2:56.72. The US ran 2:57.02.

McQuay to Taylor, London 2012 4 x 400m, 
photo by

It was nearly the end times, as in the men's 400 meters, no US runner made the final, besides 1980, it had not happened since, oh, 1896! 

A very good US team, considering LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner, Olympic champs in 2004 and 2008, with hamstring injuries. I might suggest in future, we consider the likes of Christian Taylor (45.04), Nick Symmonds or Duane Solomon and yes, Micheal Tinsley for the 400 meter relay pool.

The Bahamas team did it right. They moved their team around and they wanted it bad. Angelo was tired after three 400m hurdles rounds, but he would take a brick wall for his team mates. 

It was a fun race to watch, and yes, it is okay when other countries win, but damn, the 4 x 400 meter relay? Please do not let that happen again, guys! 

Guess whose going to Weltklasse? photo by

A long season just got longer. While some athletes are calling it a season, many are focused on the last four weeks of all out action. Zurich sounds phenomenal, and depending on the weather, watch for a strong 800 meters from Mr. Rudisha. 
           Meseret Defar celebrates, London 5,000m, by

Meseret Defar was the Olympic champion in 2004 in the 5,000 meters. In 2008, Tirunesh Dibaba took the gold and Defar took the bronze. 

This time, Meseret was not playing around. Jo Pavey lead the 1,000 meters in 3:07.58. Elena Romagnolo of Italy lead through a 3:10 even slower kilometer, hitting the 2k in 6:17.35. Jo Pavey gave it another go, hitting the front and leading through 9:27.75, another 3:10 pace. 

Dibaba en route, photo by

Meseret Defar was there, lurking and Tirunesh Dibaba, the gold medalist in the 10,000 meters, already, floating. 

Dibaba had run a fine 10,000m in Nike Pre, then creamed Defar in the 5,000m in adidas Grand Prix. Tirunesh went to the front, floating along and dropping the pace to 2:57 per kilometer, hitting the 4k in 12:24.81. 

So, this is when it got interesting.

Dibaba, Defar (Cheruiyot in background), 5,000m heats up, 

Sally Kipyego, Vivian Cheruiyot, Meseret Defar in tow, Tirunesh Dibaba got real serious, dropping the pace to 2:40 for the final kilometer. 

Dibaba, Cheruiyot and Defar puts some real estate between Kipyego and the three potential medalists. 

It came down to the final straight away. Defar went by, or tried, and Dibaba held her off, until about 50 meters to go, as Meseret Defar went by for the win, running 15:04.25. Then, Vivian Cheruiyot went by, adding a silver to her bronze in the 10,000 meters. Vivian ran 15:04.73. In third, Tirunesh Dibaba ran 15:05.15. 

Meseret Defar was ecstactic. She cried, she showed a picture of the Virgin Mary that looks like a scapular, that she had obviously prayed to, hoping that she could regain her form in 2004. 

We guess it worked. 

Jamaica's World record, 4 x 100m, photo by
(Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake,  Nesta Carter, Micheal Frater)

The final event on the track and field venue lived up to the reputation. The US got the baton around the track, which, yes is half the game. Ryan Bailey, in his first relay final, had to 
run against Usain Bolt. 

The Jamaicans and US team battled through the final hand off, and Bolt got that baton in his hand and just flew. Bailey ran hard, and ran well, but this was Bolt's fly into history. Consider this, dear readers. The US broke the NR in the heats, with 37.37, and then, in the final, tie the current WR, of 37.04 and set another NR. The Jamaicans kept it simple: good handoffs and run like hell. 

Congrats to all the teams in the final, and to the Jamaicans, who set the WR, but I have to admit, so darn happy to see US team run well, get that baton around and two NRs! 

And relay consultant to USATF, Jon Drummond should get kudos on putting the teams together, getting the batons around the track, and running faster than anyone but 1 team, on men's side. It was a race. 

US team (Ryan Bailey, Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Trell Kimmons, ) 
photo by
US 4 x 400 meter Relay, gold, photo by

Nice to see all four US relay teams medal, get batons around the track and have 
fun kicking butt. The women's relays were superb, and they really enjoy the 

DeeDee Trotter handing to Allyson Felix, then off to Francena McCorory, and finally 
to Sanya Richards-Ross. 

The long relay is a tough one. I had expected the Russians to give them some 
challenge, but with the legs that team had, and their hand offs, the US team was

And respect to the ladies involved in the heats as well. 

The US team ran 3:16.87, the fastest time in 19 years! Russia took the silver in
3:20.95 and Jamaica took the bronze in 3:20.95. 
The victories by Mo Farah in the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters were some of the greatest moments in British athletics. My friend, Matt Turnbull, sent this link to BBC reaction to the dramatic races. You will see Brendan Foster and Steve Cram doing the event live and Colin Jackson, Diane Lewis and Michael Johnson getting animated during Mo's races! 

When asked, I told the BBC world radio that Mo Farah's racing tactics made me a nervous wreck. But Mo's modus operandi, getting in the lead by 700 meters to go, picking up the pace and knocking the snot out of his competitor's legs, followed by a 52 point or 53 point last lap is very dramatic and tremendously effective. Mo Farah is the most effective distance racer in the world today. His competitors had chance after chance to take him out, and they did not. Farah took the chances and the gambles, and he won. 

Oh, and one more thing. Mo Farah is a Brit, through and through. In GBR, like in the US, people come to those countries for a better life. Our falafel guy in Storrige, he was from Turkey and told us about how UK is the promised land. 

Having watched Mo Farah race and develop as an athlete, as well as Galen Rupp, it makes bits like what we have below even more fun. Mo Farah has brought people back to the fun and competitiveness and nobility of our sport. Well done ! 
The Olympics traditionally end with the men's marathon. In this tradition, Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda held off two superb Kenyan marathons, Asbel Kirui, two time World Champion and Wilson Kipsang, winner of the 2012 Virgin London Marathon. This column, by Dave Hunter, is Dave's analysis of the marathon, where he pays proper attention to Meb Keflezighi, who scored
a fourth place on the toughest race every four years-the Olympic marathon, eight years after his silver medal in Athens. 

I spoke with Dave Bedford, who was instrumental in developing the marathon course, with his team from Virgin London. I complemented
Mr. Bedford on the challenging course that was also a course that 
showcased the city of London and gave fans a chance to see an Olympic
event with no big ticket prices. From underneath that classic mustache,
Dave Bedford smiled. 

A proper marathon course for the city that gave the marathon it's proper distance, and have hosted the event three times. 

Kiprotich-Kirui-KipsangH1-OlyGames12.jpgMen's Marathon, London 2012 Olympic Games, photo by

This is the final column by Elliott Denman for the the 2012 London Olympics. Elliott competed in 1956 Olympics in the 20k. Since then, he has been one of the top sports writers on athletics in the US. 

We have worked with Elliott since our first online coverage in 1996, with American Track & Field magazine. Back then, it was the late Doug Speck,
and myself sending out pieces to our RunningNetwork partners. 

Our daily coverage on goes to sites on the and is also sent out each night via a RBR newsletter and now, a new Global News Feed. 

Well, Elliott is now relaxing somewhere I can not reach him, lucky guy. We will see more of his columns around the ING New York City marathon. We hope that you enjoy this column. 

Rudisha_David1-OlyGame12.JPG                                       David Rudisha, 2012 London Olympics, 
photo by
Christian Taylor, gold medalist, Triple Jump, photo by

After the Triple jump battle on August 9, one of the most enjoyable press conferences that I have ever witnessed was Christian Taylor, gold, Will Claye, silver and Fabrizio Donatao, bronze. 

All three praised each other, spoke of the respect that they have, how much they love competition and how much any one of them can get Jonathan Edward's epic Triple Jump World record. 

Here is the big question, the guy with the best jumps over the last two years, Christian Taylor, who jumped 17.96m in 2011 and, so far, 17.81m in 2012--can he get the World Record? That is 18.29m, just over sixty feet! 
This video is just fun and inspirational. Li-Ning had a very small team, but some pretty good prospects. Li-Ning had Asafa Powell (injured), Christian Taylor (gold),Andreas Thorkildsen (sixth, javelin) and not pictured here, Yelena Isinbayava, (bronze). A fun video. Always like when track athletes are used.  

Mariya Savinova takes the gold in 800 meters with ease, 
photo by

Mariya Savinova won the 800 meters with style and ease. She was not truly
challenged in the final. Savinova took the lead when needed, and took the lead with the precision of a surgeon. Savinova followed the swift pace and made her move when she chose. 

Anna Chicherova, gold medalist, HIgh Jump, London Olympics, 
photo by

Anna Chicherova won her Olympic gold medal in the high jump, a medal that she was somewhat destined for, with a series of clean, first attempt jumps until her winning height of 2.05m, which she cleared on her second attempt. Six attempts, five clearances, one gold medal.

Chicherova is superbly talented jumper, who has an elegance of style, and a technical savvy that makes her dangerous in every competition. To see how excited she was to win the gold medal and how much pressure she had endured in the competition made the event even more memorable. 
            Keshorn Walcott, gold medalist, Olympic Javelin, photo by

All of nineteen, fresh off the World Junior Championships, Keshorn Walcott just shocked the javelin world with his gold medal win in London. Look at Keshorn closely,
as Trinidad celebrates, this young man will become the Bolt of the javelin, mark my word. 
Greg Rutherford, gold medal, Long Jump, London Olympics, 
photo by

Super Saturday it was. In a period of thirty plus minutes, Jessica Ennis took gold in the  heptathlon, running a tough and gutty 800 meters to complete her new British record. Then, Greg Rutherford cemented his win in the long jump with a fourth round 8.31 meter jump and finally, Mo Farah became the first Brit to win the Olympic 10,000 meters. As Athletics Weekly noted so well, this was the best night in British track & field in at least 100 years. 80,000 British fans agreed and cheered on all three athletes.

Last night, however, at dinner with some former British athletes who should know a bit, when I asked them about Greg Rutherford, they smiled and said his performance was brilliant and that his moment was a bit overshadowed. 

I am trying to right that, here is Mr. Rutherford's brilliant performance as I saw it. 
Mo Farah wins 5,000 meters, photo by

What a crazy, wild, strange Olympics it has been. The US has won 29 medals, in events, like the 10,000meters, 1,500 meters, all 4 relays, triple jump (2), 110m hurdles(2), no men's 400 meters, two in women's 400 meters, 400m hurdles, both men and women. Some of the stalwarts, like 100 m and 200m for men, got us one medal and for women, we had 1 in the 100m and 200 m. Then, Kenya got womens medals in 5,000m, 10,000m, 800m, marathon, Kenyan men got no 10,000m medals, no 1,500m medals, one 5,000m medals. 

The truth is, as one former WR holder  told me the other night, " Quite frankly, if you train hard enough, even British and American males can win medals at 5,000m and 10,000 meters, but, you must put in the work! It is all about the ten to fifteen years of tireless work to, perchance, have a shot at the elusive Olympic medal. "
After a nice Italian dinner last night with Jon Gugala and our writing team members in London, I asked Jon to do a column on drug cheat Nadezya Ostapchuk.

Let's make this really clear. I respect the IAAF rules and IOC rules, I believe that they are lenient. I believe in LIFETIME BANS on drug positives. My thought process is this, by testing positive, you dirty our sport, you have benefitted from sponsor largesse and have been a focal point of the media, you should be banned from sport forever. 

In that light, we will not show a picture of Ostapchuk here, as she is banned and she deserves no photograph, no recongnition. 
Andreas Thorkildsen, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Andreas Thorkildsen is the best javelin thrower in the world. He knows it, and most of Scandinavia knows it. Even Andreas knows it. His sense of perfection is such that, when he throws a plebian throw such as an 81 or 82 low meter throw like he did in London several times, he fouls. As a former coach, I am very unhappy when he does that. Truth is, Andreas Thorkildsen could give a kroner or less what I or anyone else says. His coach, and his soul are all that matter. 
I was so happy for Meb Keflezighi, in his gut wrenching fourth place in the 2012 London Olympic marathon. Meb noted afterwards that he is pretty darn sure that this is his last Olympic marathon. I was frustrated, for that matter, with Ryan Hall and Abdi Adirahman as they dropped out before half way. For me, the Olympic marathon is really not about participation, it is about competition. I do understand that Ryan and Abdi, had some injuries.
The stories about Ryan's coach, aka God, have worn past being funny to, my new favorite tweet, " I only want to hear about God as Ryan's coach if god is Alberto Salazar. " Translation: perhaps God is sending Ryan a message-get a human coach, this is not working. 

And perhaps, this about no matter how strong the human heart is, human feet and hamstrings have their limits. Not everyone is Meb Keflezighi. Meb is now the second highest US Olympic marathon performer of all times, with his silver in 2004 and fourth in 2012. 

Jon Gugala makes a strong point here, that it is time for a new generation, as has happened on the women's side, of marathoners to come to the fore. We hope you enjoy this last of Jon's Olympic articles. Don't worry Jon will be working on others for us. 

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Meb Keflezighi, 2012 London Olympic marathon, fourth place, 
photo by

Mo Farah completes the double, 11 August 2012, 
photo by

Elliott Denman loves Mo Farah, but he is not happy with how championship distance races are run anymore. 

John Walker told RW, way back in 1976, that he would prefer a final with a lot of senior citizens. The pressure of the race, for him then, the World record holder in the mile, top ranked miler for a couple of years, was huge from the land of New Zealand. He did not get an easy race, as his final, while not fast, was a fast and furious closing race with the likes of the late Ivo Van Damme running up very close on him. 

For Mo Farah, the Kenyans and Ethiopians could have run a much faster race and made Mo Farah hurt. I am not sure if that would have made a difference. In my mind there are times for fast races and times for slow races. This race was epically tactical, and in the end, a four minute last mile (after miles of 4:43 and 4:30), ended with Mo Farah holding off a field of kickers with a 52.94 last lap. 

RBR encourages you to read Elliott Denman's arguement for a faster race in is enjoyable reading. 
Our correspondent from Eldoret, Kenya writes about a guy he saw training, Stephan Kiprotich, and the Olympic marathon. In his piece he exhibits some of the introspection needed to understand why the Kenyan men had so many challenges in London. 

Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda, gold medal, 2012 London Olympic marathon, 
photo by
Pat Butcher is a great friend, mentor and a writer that I envy. His writing style is clean, his comments are thoughtful and if he has not irritated someone in a column with a good jab, then Butcher is probably not feeling good. His jabs, however, are done in a style, and written by a man who has a strong command of the English language. 

This homage to David Rudisha is a piece that I wish I had written. I did not. Mr. Pat Butcher wrote this, in the globerunner blog. We are greatful that Pat allowed us to reprint it. 

Pat Butchers's blog,, is a must read for the track enthusiast. Today, Pat tackles an remarkable first-US men not making the 400 meter title. Fascinating reading on an event that we have dominated since 1896. 

In fact, it was a perfect storm. LaShawn Merritt injured, Jeremy Wariner injured and others just not prepared to deal with the likes of Kirani James. 

And in truth, the 400 meters in London is the global introduction for Kirani James, a wildly wonderful talent, who at 19, has the 400 meters in his sights and the world by the proverbial starting blocks. 

Mo Farah, London 2012, Olympics, photo by

Mo Farah has won the double at the London Olympics! His dreams have come true! Winning the 10,000 meters last Saturday, August 4, and now, on August 11, Mo Farah, using a grueling last mile and tough last lap, won the 5,000 meters.

Here is how he did it! 
Nunn_John-FV-Athen04.jpg               John Nunn, 2004 Athens Olympic Games, photo by

The 50 kilometer race is the longest on the Olympic circuit. Race walking is technical walking, and while exhausted keeping form. Racewalkers have the oxygen uptake of elite distance runners and cross country walkers. 

Morgan Uceny had a terrible night last night. Here is how Jon Gugala puts it into perspective...

W1500final-OlyGame12.JPGWomen's 1500m final, London 2012 Olympics, photo by

The men's pole vault competition in London was a dog fight. In the end, Renaud Lavillenie needed to use his experience to win the pole vault. Here is how they won.....

Renaud Lavillenie, 2011 Euro Indoors, photo by
This story was the biggest news story on the's national site! Read on to learn about this young athlete's heroics...

Manteo Mitchell, 2012 London Olympics, photo by
The hammer throw was won by Tatyana Lysenko of Russia. That is a fact. Her fifth round throw of 78.18m throw set an Olympic record, breaking the former record of 76.34m, by 2008 champion Aksana Miankova of Belarus. 

The strange bit was how technology played a part in the hammer throw this year. Betty Heidler, the world record holder (79.42m), had a throw "lost" by the electronic measuring devices for a bit, and when her throw did show up, Betty Heidler had won the bronze. 

Sometime, the old measuring tapes have a use.....

Tatyana Lysenko, hammer throw, gold medal, London, 
photo by
Jenebah Tarmoh to Bianca Knight, 4x100m relay rounds, 41.64, 
photo by

For the second night in a row, we watched history be made. I should have known last night when the USA 4 x 100m relay team of Tianna Madison to Jenebah Tarmoh to Bianca Knight to Lauryn Williams, wih superb hand offs, ran a sizzling 41.64. How sizzling you ask? Well, dear reader, like third fastest time of ALL times, only behind the 41.60 ran by the GDR team at the Moscow Olympics (1 August 1980), and the World record of 41.37, again run by the GDR team on 6 October 1985. 

 On top of that, the US women's 4 x 100m had not taken home gold since 1996. Something needed to change. 
Ashton Eaton, Decathlon gold, photo by

Trey Hardee, silver medal, Decathlon, photo by

Two tough decathlons within a month of each other. The decathlon is ten events that give you lots of places to screw up. Ashton and Trey did not screw up, that is the short story. Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee went 1,2 in the decathlon. This is first time for US going 1,2 since 1956 when Milton Campbell took the gold and Rafer Johnson took the silver. Leonel Suarez of Cuba, a tremendous athlete, took bronze in the decathlon. 

This was one of the best races of the Olympics. LaShinda Demus and Natalya Antyukh, and it came down to the final three hurdles. Anyone who does not see the quality of women's track & field and the level of competition in events such as the 400 meter hurdles is just blind. 

Here is how Natalysa Antyukh took the gold from LaShinda Demus.....

Antyukh, Demus, 400 meter hurdles, photo by

I was in the stadium in Atlanta when Michael Johnson ran 19.32 for 200 meters, destroying his own world record of 19.66 at the time. It was an historic race. I never believed that I see that record broken in my lifetime. 

Then, along comes Usain Bolt, who breaks the WR in Beijing during the Olympic Games in 2008, and again, in Berlin during the World Championships in 2009. 

This is 2012, and on August 9, 2012, Usain Bolt defended his 200 meter title, running 19.32, leading a sweep for Jamaica, with Yohan Blake, in 19.44, and Warren Weir in 19.84.


Usain Bolt defends his 200 meters, photo by
David Rudisha's World Record last night had the world abuzz. David led from the front from the first step and did not look back. His World record of 1:40.91 has been, so far, the performance of the meet. 

In this column, Jon Gugala focuses on the man who has rewritten the record books in the 800 meters, David Rudisha...

Rudisha_David1-OlyGame12.JPGDavid Rudisha, Men's 800m final, 2012 London Olympics
Photo by

David Rudisha, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Natalya Antyukh just missed the Olympic record for 400 meters hurdles in her battle with LaShinda Demus. They just missed the Olympic record in that gripping final. Here, Alfonz Juck gives us the behind the scenes info for August 8, 2012.... 

Ivan Ukhov won the high jump on Tuesday night. An exciting high jump competition on Tuesday night. Here are some behind the scenes info from our friend, Alfonz Juck.

Thumbnail image for Ukhov_Ivan-OlyGame12.jpg
 Ivan Ukhov, high jump, photo by

Twenty years after Mike Conley and Charlie Simpkins did it, Christian Taylor and Will Claye go 1, 2 in the Triple Jump. And Christian, challenged by Will, pulls a 17.81m, longest jump in world this year to take gold! Here is how they did it.

Taylor_ChristianQ-OlyGame12.JPGChristian Taylor, London 2012 Olympics, photo by

Isinbayeva_Elena-Olympic12.jpg                         Yelena Isinbayeva, bronze medalist, by

Yelena Isinbayeva is a diva. She told the media ad nauseum, about her injuries and her only ten days to train, which is all probably true. That she did that in ten days and won the bronze, was amazing.

At the end of the day, Jenn Suhr is the Olympic gold medalist and probably had one tenth of the questions in the press conference. My guess is that the press conference may have been harder to endure than the competition. 

Aysia Montano is one of my favorite runners. She has guts and gives her event honor every time she runs. Jon Gugala wrote this piece about one of our hottest 800 meter runners, Alysia Montano. We hope that you enjoy it. 

Montano_AlysiaFV_Pre12.jpgAlysia Montano, 2012 Prefontaine Classic, photo by


Brittney Reese, gold medal, Long Jump, by

Two jumps and four fouls, and Brittney Reese takes gold in London! Here is how she won the biggest meet of her life!  Elena Sokolova scored a PB to take the silver and Janay DeLoach, on her fifth jump, took the bronze!

Justin Lagat, our correspondent from Eldoret, Kenya captured for us, a moment in Kenyan Athletics, that would have been unheard of only a few years ago. The Kenyan men were shut out of the 10,000 meters, and now, the 1,500 meters. 

The lasting image from this story, for me, is the TV being turned off. Some wonderful writing from our newest correspondent, Justin Lagat. 

Thumbnail image for Kiprop_AsbelSF-OlyGame12.jpgAsbel Kiprop, 1500m at London 2012 Olympics, photo by

Liu Xiang, the 2004 Olympic champion and the 2007 World Champion, injured his achilles in the build up to the 2008 Olympics. His first round was excruciating for his countrymen to watch. That day, on Chinese websites, the chatter on the websites was accusing pretty frantic: people torn up that their hero was hurt, accusing one and all of sabotaging him. Later that day, in a tearful news conference, his coach,in tears, apologized to the Chinese people. On Chinese TV that day, it was a death march.

Thumbnail image for Liu Xiang poster.jpg
People's Daily,2008 Olympics: Liu Xiang

Liu Xiang returned, taking the silver last year in the World Champs. This year, he defeated everyone, but was injured mid season and in the first round, hit a hurdle very hard, where he had to be taken away in a wheelchair. 

In this column, Elliott Denman considers Liu Xiang's difficult years, and believes that Liu was injured due to the year of the Rat. Next year should be better...

Aries Merritt has been on a roll this year. In Istanbul, he caught and defeated Liu Xiang for the World Indoor hurdles gold. In the Olympic Trials in June he ran sub 13 twice in one day. He also won the Trials. 

By the time he got to the final, he had run 12.94. In the final, he was perfection, running against Dayron Robles, Jason Henderson, Jeff Porter. Liu Xiang had been hurt in the first round, hitting the first hurdle and injuring his achilles tendon. 

The hurdles is fraught with injuries, and good days and bad days, what would it be for Aries Merritt? 

Aries Merritt, by

Merritt_AriesQ-OlyGame12.jpg                                               Aries Merritt, photo by

Day six of track & field showed that the US team is on a roll. Brittany Reese, after her masterful long jump gold said, " I think we can win more medals, we are getting some surprises in our medals." With golds from Allyson Felix, Brittany Reese, and Aries Merritt, plus a silver from LaShinda Demus, and bronzes from Janay DeLoach and Carmelita Jeter,  the US track team is at 19 medals. 

Veronica Campbell Brown, 200 meters, 
photo by

Veronica Campbell Brown won the 2004 Athens Olympic 200 meters in 22.05 from teenager Allyson Felix, who ran 22.18. In 2008, in Beijing, Veronica Campell-Brown, aka VCB, added to her collection of Olympic medals with a fine 21.74 win over Allyson Felix, then, all of 22, who ran 21.93. Add to that, VCB has a bronze in the 100 meters in Athens. And do not even get me started in the World Champs. 

Allyson Felix, 200 meters, photo by

So, in 2012, Allyson Felix, who already has eight Olympic gold medals, wanted a gold medal that had, until now, alluded her. In winning the 200 meters in 2012, Allyson Felix ran her race, an elegant run around the curve, with a superb last straight. Felix is made for the furlong. And she knows it. 

This is how she added a ninth Olympic gold medal to her wardrobe, with Veronica Campbell-Brown, her nemesis, in the same race, looking for her third Olympic gold at the 200 meters. This time, it was all about Allyson Felix, and 80,000 fans willed her on, faster and faster...
This is one of the many reasons why Jon Gugala is really growing on me. After his recent steeplechase hommage, I thought that was tops. Now, he adds 1,500 meters and 100 meter hurdling. 

Jon Gugala, you complete me....

Centrowitz-Manzano-Iguider-MakhloufiFH1-OlyGame12.JPGMen's 1500m, London 2012 Olumpics, photo by

James Dunaway is the editor of American Track & Field. He is mentor, friend, colleague. I know my day is going to be long, when I hear, "You may want to fire me today." There are days like that, however, Dunaway is so real, so honest, that it hits one hard. He loves track & field, and he knows that track & field can be communicated well and televised well on American TV. 

The funny thing is, if NBC took some of his suggestions, and actually improved the quality of their coverage, advertisers would stop seeing so many twitter hate rays and comments on blogs. 

Here is James Dunaways' second column. After this, wow, not sure when the next column will come! Mark my word, James will have something to say and you will want to read it! 

Lebar_615.jpgOn July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 beamed video from the moon back to Earth, live.

Well, back by popular demand, Runblogrun's Media Critic, James Dunaway is back. Just between you and me, James, is not pleased about the methods and coverage of NBC's Olympic coverage. 

In this column, his first, James gives you a birds eye view of a man who has been to fifteen Olympic Games, as a credentialed member of the media. He did not go in 2012, so we asked him to watch it and tell us all about it. 

Here is James' first column....

Thumbnail image for Trotter_DeeDeeQ-OlyGame12.jpgDeeDee Trotter, London 2012 Olympics, photo by

The folks at Nike sent us this information on the special Nike spike pad that goes on the Ossur Foot Flex Cheetah Blades, used by Oscar Pistorius. Oscar has rewritten what the world considers the limitations of human endeavor and human spirt. He inspires many athletes and many sports fans. 

A thoughtful young man, who was brought up to not see limitations, but opportunities, Oscar Pistorius is fascinating to observe while training and racing. 

OSCAR_PISTORIOUS_01_med.jpgThe Nike Spike Pad is comprised of a spike plate and midsole pad.

At Runblogrun, we try to give you a sense of history as well as a sense of the contemporary world. After Jon Gugala's column on the 1,500 meters, we thought that this piece on Abel Kiviat, the 1912 silver medalist at 1,500 meters, and his influence on Andrew Valmon, the US Olympic T&F head coach, would add to the culture around our sport.

We hope you enjoy...

Thumbnail image for KIVIATSIAC.jpgSurrounded by Allan Steinfeld, Jeff Benjamin, Tom Fleming,
Fred Lebow, Abel Kiviat, smiling and telling stories

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Men's 1,500m final: Centrowitz (4), Manzano (2), Iguider (3), and Makhloufi (1), 
photo by

A fast 1,500 meters, and some huge surprises. First, Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic champion, the 2009 and 2011 World Champion, and the fastest man in the world in 2012, finished last. Reuters' Gene Cherry suggested to me, just before the final, that Kiprop might be injured. He was right. 

And, miraculously, Taoufik Makhloufi, who dropped out of the 800 meters the day before, was disqualified for not making an honest effort, then, reinstated, then won the race with a kick from 410 meters out! 

And, Leo Manzano became, with Jim Ryun (68), Bob McMillan (52), Glenn Cunningham (36) and Abel Kiviat (12), one of the few Americans to take silver in the Olympic 1,500 meters. Add to that, Matt Centrowitz,s fourth place in the 1,500 meters, and you had a truly hot August night of distance running! 
Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, London 10,000 meters, photo by

Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Tariku Bekele, London Oympic 10,000 meters, 
photo by

The 10,000 meters, the longest race on the track is 25 laps. In those 25 laps, one has many times to make an error. A championship 10,000 meters is even more fraught with complication. Last year, at the World Champs 10,000m, Mo Farah out ran all but one in the race. Mo Farah obviously learnt from that race.

The 1,2 finish of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp was not just two great training partners, two mates training well and racing well, it was the cooperation of coaches, supporters in two countries. Athletes from Great Britain's rich tradition, Dave Bedford, Ian Stewart and Sebastian Coe were involved. Uk Athletics Neils de Vos and Charles van Commenee gave support. And Alberto Salazar brought the two young men, under his wing. Last February, Alberto and Ian told me how please they were that both guys were training together so well. 

It is one of the greatest successes of Uk Athletics in this Olympics and one of the greatest successes of Team USA as well, as Mo Farah won the first 10,000m gold for the British team and Galen Rupp took the first silver medal for US in the 10,000m since 1964 (oh, before that, was 1912). 
Ivan Ukhov, 2012 London Olympics, High Jump, Gold, by

This competition showed the level of quality in the event once again. Eight men over 2.29m, and none of them were Jesse Williams, 2011 World Champ, or defending Olympic champ, Andrey Silnov. 

In the end, Ivan Ukhov showed that yes, he can be eccentric, but that is why he jumps high. Erik Kynard made sure everyone is remembering him and Mutaz Essa Barshim is making his presence known, along with Derek Drouin and Robbie Grabarz. 

The women's 100 meters does not, unfortunately get the hype that the mens' race does, but it is just as compelling a story....

Women's 100 meter final, 2012 London Olympics, 4 August, 2012, 
photo by
Centrowitz-Manzano-Iguider-MakhloufiFH-OlyGame12.jpg              The men's 1,500 meters, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

August 7, Tuesday, Day 5 in the London track and field schedule, was a strong day for USA Track & Field. Our combination of talent, great coaching and focused athletes began to show with Erik Kynard in the high jump (silver), Dawn Harper (silver) and Kellie Wells(bronze) in the 100m hurdles and Leo Manzano in the 1,500m (silver) and Matt Centrowitz in the 1,500m, in fourth. 

A great day and more will come.....

What can you say about Usain Bolt? In the years since his amazing three world records in Beijing in 2008, and his amazing two world records in Berlin in 2009, he has had, for him, his ups and downs. 

However, with the rise of Yohan Blake, who defeated him in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters in the Jamaican Olympic Trials, Usain Bolt rose once again. He overcame a sore back, admitted nervousness, and in becoming more human, endeared himself to the 80,000 fans who came for the men's 100 meters.

In fact, two million people tried to get 80,000 tickets for the evening session on Sunday, August 5, 2012.

2012 London Olympics, Men's 100 meters, 
photo by
The guy should have been drawn and quartered in front of the Tower of London. It would have made splendid television. 

There are always jerks in this world, the nice thing is the good people out number the jerks, in my world view. I sure would like to buy the folks that corralled the rocket scientist who threw the bottle. 
Robert Harting, 2009 WC, he likes to pull his shirt off, photo by

Robert Harting is one of my favorite characters in track & field. He has a very cool website. He has a hot girlfriend. Oh, in the discus, he won his Olympic gold medal, continuing a series of victories that started August 10, 2010. 

Robert Harting is a perfectionist. I remember speaking to him at FBK Hengelo in May 2011, speaking about his throwing. He was annoyed, even though he had won. " I am not throwing far enough." His attention to detail is why he is the best discus thrower in the world. 

Robert Harting has won gold medals at the Worlds in Berlin in 2009, Daegu in 2011, and now, the Olympic gold medal in 2012. Congrats to one of my favorite Germans, who has a great sense of humor, and shows, once again, that throwers, along with distance runners, are the fun guys at the party. 
NBC has spent a lot of money on the rights to the Olympics. It does not mean that they know what they are doing. 

Understanding what the audience wants is a key part to being successful. Of course the IOC will defend NBC. NBC put $2 billion in their hands for the rights (BBC paid $100 million for UK

For sports to grow, NBC needs to embrace the digital world. You are now a multi-platform entertainment company. 

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The Munich Massacre, in 1972, affected the nature of the Olympics and the nature of global sports. That the IOC is nervous about taking the time to have a moment of silence is a bit silly, but also the fact that NBC did not show the section of the opening ceremony dedicated to the victims of terrorism was questionable.

We live in a world where many are offended every day by something that others find silly. The murder of a sports team, no matter what their religion, color or beliefs is just wrong by any standards. 

ASICS America is fighting to regain the number one position in performance running from Brooks. They had a very nice first quarter. We like good business news. 

Merritt_AriesQ-OlyGame12.jpg                Aries Merritt, 110m hurdles, London, photo by

Tuesday morning, August 7 was a strong morning for the US. All of our athletes made the next round. GBR had a rought time as Phillips Idowu, Triple Jump, Andrew Pozzi, 110m hurdles and Gail Sayers, javelin did not advance, all due to injuries. 

Jon Gugala has written his take on the relatively new event, the women's steeplechase. I have a letter, dated from 1991, from a college coach taking me to task for having put Carla Borlavika on our American Athletics cover running the then newly minted women's steeplechase. And I quote, " dear god, after the steeplechase, will you put a women pole vaulter on your cover?" And, we did.

Here is Jon's piece on the women's steeplechase....

Zaripova_Yuliya-Olympic12.jpgYuliya Zaripova on her way to Gold, London 2012 Olympics, photo by

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Savoring his 100 meter OR, and gold medal, 5 August, 2012

Ezekiel Kemboi, on way to his gold medal, Steeplechase, 
photo by

Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, Tariku Bekele, 10,000m medal winners, 
photo by

Christine Ohuruoghu, 400m silver, 
photo by

We are now into the fifth day of track & field at the 2012 London Olympics. Some people, and I am one of them, do enjoy the other sports in the Olympics, but the Olympics begin when the first day of track & field starts. 80,000 people have been here, in the morning and evening, two sessions a day, for track & field. Two million people tried to get tickets for Sunday, August 5, 2012. 

Anyone who thinks that track & field does not draw is, well blind. And while I have watched the track & field on BBC TV, I must say, I am impressed. Here is the story:  when track & field is produced creatively, with announcers who know their sport, and producers who genuinely love athletics and are willing to tell the real story of our sport, it is an amazing TV experience. 

However, when track & field, as it does happen, sometimes, in my country, is produced and announced by people who would rather be doing something else, then it can be more boring than watching  paint dry.  
Here is another piece from our columnist from Eldoret, Justin Lagat. Justin has written a nice piece about who to consider in the 1,500 meters, which will be held tonight, August 7, 2012. He considers who Asbel Kiprop, the man who has won the Olympic title, the World Champs titles and now wants another Olympic title. 

We have asked Justin to write his thoughts on the 1,500m as he watches it from Eldoret tonight. Hope the TV coverage is good! 

Asbel Kiprop, 1,500m, photo by

Suhr_JennQ-OlyGame12.jpg                   Jenn Suhr, Olympic gold medalist, photo by

Jenn Suhr's gold medal and Michael Tinsely's silver medal were two of the major highlights for the US on Mondaay night, August 6, 2012. Congrat to both Jenn and Michael, who held up under tough conditions! 

Jon Gugala has written a very strong piece on the marathon. Tiki Gelana's win was exciting, as the Olympic record was broken. But, the race gave us more questions about the exciting changes in the elite women's marathon landscape than it answered. Here is how Jon saw it....


Early lead in Women's Marathon, London 2012 Olympics
photo by

Jenn Suhr won one of the most difficult pole vault competitions in recent history. Everyone was there. In winds that were swirling,and conditions that were cold, Jenn Suhr went from the silver of Beijing to the gold in London. 

Jenn Suhr, Gold medalist, Pole Vault, London Games, 
photo by

Kirani James, 2012 Nike Pre, photo by

Kirani James won the 2011 World Indoor Championships, then he did not medal at the World Indoors. But, in the end, Kirani James ran the fastest time ever run in Great Britain. 
Felix Sanchez won the World Champs in 2003. In 2004, Felix won the 400m hurdles on the largest stage of all. 

Now, eight years later, Felix Sanchez woke everyone up in the semi finals, when he ran 47.74 and set an age 36 world best! 

This is how he won the final! 
Nadzeya Ostapchuk, Belarus, Gold medal, shotput, 
photo by

Valerie Adams of New Zealand had won the shot put in Osaka, Beijing, Berlin and Daegu. Nadzeya Ostapchuck of Belarus stopped her reign, this is how she did it..
Elliott Denman, who competed in the 20k Racewalk in 1956, wrote this piece for Runblogrun about the racewalk, the history around it and the men's competition. 
Here are the complete results of the morning performances of US athletes from Monday, August 6, 2012's morning session. This report is courtesy of USATF's Katie Branham and Susan Hazzard. 

Centrowitz_MattSF1-OlyGame12.jpg                                   Matt Centrowitz, 1,500m, photo by

Usain Bolt, Beijing 2008, photo by

Usain Bolt got an okay start on Sunday night in London. He then, caught the crowded field, assembled as the fastest men alive, all taking on Usain Bolt. At seventy meters, with strong effort, Usain Bolt grimaced and galloped by, setting a new Olympic record of 9.63 for the 100 meters and joining only Archie Hahn and Carl Lewis as male sprinters who have defended their 100 meter titles. 

Usain Bolt, as I shared with BBC TV last night, and BBC Newsday radio this morning, was probably ninety percent. 

80,000 fans worshipped the man as he won the perhaps the greatest 100 meters of all times. But, perhaps, Bolt is human.

Elliott Denman, our fearless writer sure thinks so, in this column.

Perhaps in his human frailty, the world will even love the Jamaican gold medalist even
Mo Farah & Galen Rupp go 1,2 in London 10,000m, 
photo by PhotoRun.n
For me, the Olympics began on Friday night, with the opening of track& field. Last night, after watching the best 100 meters that I have ever seen, I was asked by BBC TV and BBC radio Newsday show to comment on US medal count, the 100 meters, Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, and of course, Usain Bolt.

The SuperSaturday, when Greg Rutherford won the LJ, Jessie Ennis won the Heptathlon and Mo Farah and Galen Rupp went 1,2 in the 10,000 meters had to seen to be totally appreciated. The crowd of 80,000 British fans was overwhelming in their adoration and support of the athletes.

BBC TV told me that Galen Rupp had mentioned that he was nervous during the race, and Mo Farah told him to hold back. When they went, both running their own races, it showed that the Alberto Salazars' plans were working. On Saturday night, an hour before the race, UK Athletics's Ian Stewart sent a note via a friend, " Last week workout by Mo Farah showed he was ready." 


Jessican Ennis, Gold medalist, London heptathlon, 
photo by

Jessica Ennis had the weight of the country on her shoulders. Pressure must have been intense, yet she performed brilliantly. Her new British record of 6,955, with pbs in javelin of 47.49m and British 100m hurdle record of 12.54, showed her amazing talent. It also showed the strength of coach-athlete relationship between Jessie Ennis and Coach Toni Michiello. 

Galen Rupp, Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah, 
photo by

Greg Rutherford won the long jump with a series of strong jumps, finally hitting 8.31m to hold off a building onslaught of premier jumpers. Within 20 minutes of his jump, we had Jessie Ennis winning gold, and Mo Farah winning the 10,000m-the best half hour in British Track & Field history! (Watch for pics of Greg Rutherford in our upcoming feature on Greg!)

Women's 100m final, Fraser-Pryce, Jeter, VCB, 
photo by

Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her 100m title from Beijing with a tough race, as Carmelita Jeter was second and Veronica Campbell-Brown was third. Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce joines only Gail Devers and Wyoma Tyus as women sprinters who have defended their 100 meter titles in the Olympic Games. 

As Usain Bolt was starting his race, a crazy fan, who was then punched by an Olympic medalist, and arrested, threw a bottle behind the start of the 100 meters. Bolt ran 9.63, a new Olympic record and joined Archie Hahn and Carl Lewis as the only men to defend their 100 meter titles. 

And we are only on day 4!!!!!
Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, 10,000 meters, London Olympics, 
photo by

Carmelita Jeter, silver, 100 meters, London, 
photo by

Will Claye, Long Jump, bronze medalist, 
photo by

Galen Rupp gave us the first medal for an American male in the 10,000 meters since 1964. Carmelita Jeter took the silver in the 100 meters and Will Claye took the bronze medal in the long jump. This was all on Day 2 of the track and field portion of the London Olympics. 
Bailey-Bolt-GatlinFH-Olympic12.jpg                Ryan Bailey, Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin  photo by

Sanya Richards-Ross, 400m gold medalist, London Olympics, 
photo by

Trotter_DeeDee1-OlyGame12.jpgTrotter, 400m bronze medalist, 
photo by

Day 3 of the London Olympic Track & Field, was Sunday, August 6, 2012, had Sanya Richards-Ross give us our first gold medal, in the women's 400 meters. DeeDeeTrotter took the bronze in the 400 meters. 

In the great men's 100 meters, Justin Gatlin took the bronze, Tyson Gay took fourth and Ryan Bailey took fifth. 

As a kid growing up in St. Louis, I remember watching Channel 11 for Professional Wrestling, Roller Derby and Three Stooges Marathons. While my TV tastes have improved (Weeds, Borgias, Californication, Jon Stewart), my appreciation for the strange and unique have not. 

This steeplechase final was one strange final. In a final that pretended to be a 1,500 meter championship race (sleep, walk, fall, kick), this was one of the slowest in ages. But, the race was fascinating over the last three laps and the press conference, dear God, was one of the most amusing that I have ever witnessed ( I was watching it from the stadium). 

Here is how I saw the race. 
Sanya Richards-Ross, 400 meters, Gold, London, 
photo by

The 400 meters is a race where speed and endurance meet. The human body, apparently, as I have not tried this myself, can run all out for about 300 meters. After that, have some curry and pray to God that you can run that last one hundred meters.

Sanya Richards-Ross has Clyde Hart as her coach. She is a lucky women. Hart is one of the great 400 meter coaches (Jim Bush, Bud Winter, John Smith). Hart is part scientist, part cheerleader, part pragmatist. Clyde Hart has coached a few good ones: Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner come to mind. 

But Sanya Richards-Ross has had her own trials of Job (biblical reference, get it out of your hotel drawer). After busting her butt for years, Sanya Richards-Ross won her first Olympic gold medal at the 400 meters the old fashioned way--she earned it. And here is how she earned it! 
Olga Rypakova, gold medal, Triple Jump, 
photo by

The Triple Jump is the most technical of all the jumps. It requires coordination, speed, and grace. It would also be nice if the US could put some focus on this event. Coaches in high schools, get your prospects from good spiker in volleyball, good basketball jumper, and former gymnasts, and even ballet dancers who want to do a sport. Come on!

I was happy to see Olga Rypakova win the gold medal tonight with a nice jump of 14.98. It was sad, for me to see Tatyana Lebedeva, of Russia, the best combo LJ/TJ er in the world, finish in tenth place. She was a master and at thirty-six, she still is a classy athlete. 
Flanagan_Shalane-OlyGame12.JPG                   Shalane Flanagan, Marathon, London, photo by

Kara Goucher, London Olympic Marathon, photo by
Krisztian Pars, Hungargy, gold medal, Hammer Throw, photo by

On his last third throw, Krisztian Pars of Hungary threw 80.59 meters. His series, 79.14m, 78.33m, 80.59m, 79.70m, 79.28m, 78.88m. With a close competition, Pars won as his throw was only one over 80 meters. " I have to confess, my feelings were that I could throw over 82 meters. After the first two rounds, I could see Pars and Murofushi were not going to throw over 81 meters. I had to stay in control and focused." noted Krisztian. 

Krisztian Pars concluded,  " I am so happy to win the fifth gold medal for Hungary, it is very special to me. 

Primoz Kozmus, Slovenia, silver medal, hammer throw, 
photo by

Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia, threw 78.97m, then three fouls, and then, 79.36m and 78.59m. His throw of 79.36, a seasonal best, got him the silver medal. 

Primoz Kozmus, when asked, had this to say about his silver medal,  " I am happy for Kriztian Pars, this year was difficult for me. I am happy to win the silver medal. Krisztian was too fast for me today!" 

Koji Murofushi, Japan, bronze medal, hammer throw, 
photo by Photo by

Koji Murofushi was happy about the hammer throw,  " I am proud of myself today. To be in this event, a wonderful event. At my age, it is difficult to be in good condition. I want to dedicate this bronze medal to those who supported me." 

Koji threw a foul, 78.16m, 78.71m, 78.09m, 77.12m, and 76.47m, his third round throw of 78.71m gave him the bronze. 

And please, lets get the hammer throw in the Samsung Diamond League! It is a fun event, and great event. The throwers are great guys and good stories for our athletes. 

The marathon was run in rain most of the way. A tremendously competitive race, it was only decided in the last 2,000 meters for the medals. Here, David Hunter gives us view of a race that broke the Olympic record and showed some tremendous performances. 

Tower Bridge, London, 2012, photo by

The final will be Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, Ryan Bailey, Tyson Gay, Richard Thompson and Churandy Martina. Here is how they made the final. 

Justin Gatlin ran 9.83 for quickest 100m semi final, photo by
Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, 2012 Nike Pre Classic, 
photo by

Okay sports fans, one of the things that I treasure is creativity. Jon Gugala, one of our writers, and a non accredited media member in London, has, how shall we say, a difficult time getting to some athletes at times. Without credentials, one can not get into the MPC, mixed zone and interview areas.

So, Jon has gotten creative. He used an audio interview of Bono, yes, that Bono, as answers that actually line up pretty well, with Jon's questions (which are really answers). You will enjoy this perspective of the 10,000 meters, so have a run, grab a cold beer (have been having issues over here with that), and enjoy a good read.

And yes, we are happy as hell that Mo Farah and Galen Rupp went gold, silver in one of the best 10,000 meter races I have ever seen! 

Oh, and apologies to Bono....
The first day of the track & field portion of the London Olympics, or the real Olympics, as yours truly calls them, were held on Friday, August 3, 2012. 

So, after having written about seven Summer Olympics and having been credentialed at five, here are my givens about Olympic events:

1. Taxi Drivers always get screwed-some car company gives free cars to LOCOG, or as in 
London, one gets free tube transport for day with purchase of ticket. 

2. One third of Locals leave Locale, and Olympic community is relaxed, very few lines, beer is cold and food does not run out. Media scares locals out of area.

3. Volunteers are nicest people in world, cops, military during Olympics get new idea of regular humans-not all are jerks. 

4. Olympic events give one a positive feeling of humanity. 

Reese Hoffa, photo by

This is an amazing Olympics. The men's shot put was pretty cool, a great battle between Tomasz Majewski, the defending camp, David Storl, the tough young German and Reese Hoffa. Christian Cantwell took fourth in 2011 and took fourth in 2012. Cantwell had some 
bad luck, missing a medal by 4 centimeters. Ryan Whiting just did not seem to get into a groove.

Tirunesh Dibaba, who fought stomach issues for two years, is back and her killer kick, hence the name babyfaced Destroyer. Dibaba went by Kipyego and Cheruiyot like they were not there. A 2:09 last 800m, then a 62 last 400m with a 31 second last 200 meters! KIpyego went by Cheruiyot, and checked to see if she was coming to get her. Vivian Cheruiyot seems to be having a tough time with one of her ankles. 

Liked Amy Hastings, Janet Cherebom-Bawcom, and Lisa Uhl ran quite well, 11,12,13, all getting personal bests. 

You have lots to be proud about with your American team. 

Andrew Wheating, Matt Centrowitz, 2012 US Oly Trials, 1,500m, 
photo by
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Reese Hoffa, 2012 London Shot Put, photo by

Elliott Denman choose to write about Reese Hoffa, and his bronze medal in the shot put. Hoffa took home his first Olympic medal in three tries. David Storl of Germany took the silver and Tomasz Majewski won the gold. A great shot put competition....

On Friday morning, I asked Mary Keitany one question. Was the Mary Keitany we would see on Sunday, August 5, in better shape than the Mary Keitany we saw dominate everyone in the Virgin London marathon last April? Mary looked at me, smiled, and said, " I think I am a marathoner now. My training has gone well." The Shoe Addicts salute Mary Keitany, winner of Virgin London marathon, and a marathoner to be reckoned with on the two loop, championship course that will be London's Olympic marathon.
Jessica Ennis, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Jessica Ennis overcame two years of silver medals (2011 Worlds, 2012 World Indoors) to take the largest stage in our sport, the Olympics. With 80,000 British and global fans willing her on, plus 100 million Brits, Jessica Ennis showed that she is, as friend Tom Bedford suggested, Jessica Ennis is Simply Amazing! 

Here is how she won the London Olympic heptathlon: 
At the end of the day, the first day, in fact, of the Olympic 2012 track & field schedule, opened in a magnificent way! 

Tomasz Majewski, 2010 Belgacom Brussels, 
photo by

Tomasz Majewski of Poland defended his shot put title from Beijing. This was the first time since the late Perry O'Brien, who won in 1952 and 1956! 

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Tirunesh Dibaba, 2012 Nike Pre Classic, photo by 

Tirunesh Dibaba, aka the babyfaced Destroyer, defended her title at 10,000 meters, which has never been done before! 

The day started off cloudy, then rainy, and now, wondrous. It is 4:30 pm Local time in London, and we have two and a half hours to go before the evening sessions start. Here is how I saw the first session of track & field.

A few points. 80,000 people jam packed the stadium as Jessica Ennis entertained and British athletes did quite well (so did US athletes). Stadium is beautiful, crowds well behaved and media are happy, as the sun is out and we are covered (well some of us are). 

Jessica Ennis, photo by
Jon Gugala sent this piece on Amy Hastings to us this morning session, which was wonderful! Amy Hastings, one of our faves, has a double secret, well kind of secret plan to do well in the 10,000 meters. We want Amy Hastings to do well. Well, read Jon's story and you will get it! You just have to love the title! 

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Amy Hastings gutting out finish, 2012 Oly Trials, photo by
This is going be an amazing meet! And, if the weather continues, some of the races will be just, well, epic! The men's 100 meters could be one of the best we have ever seen. 

Here is a picture of the full stadium in the morning session! 

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View from row 65, seat 312, London stadium, 
photo by

Elliott Denman's Friday column is on the variety of announcing and award ceremony practices as he travels around the London Olympic venues. He has some modest suggestions. And he lis looking forward to seeing Track & Field! 

Dai Greene, AVIVA London 2012, photo by
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Phillips Idowu, by

As a former coach, and athlete, I can not help but think that anytime an athlete, days before a major competition, allows themselve to be involved in drama over coaches, federations, etc., then something is just wrong. 

Obviously, big difference at times from what we hear and what is real. In the case of Phillips Idowu, Great Britain's most gifted triple jumper, we are just not sure. Mr. Phillips is not speaking to his coach or his federation per reports. 

We hope that Mr. Idowu has just isolated himself to focus on the upcoming triple jump, which should be an epic battle between Christian Taylor of the US, Will Claye of the US and Phillips Idowu of Great Britain. Only time will tell.....
Tyson Gay, adidas Media Lounge, by Larry Eder
adidas made a special adizero Prime SP, that is quite patriotic, for Tyson Gay. It also has Trinity on it, for his daughter. The special adizero will be on sale from EastBay shortly, details below.

Tyson Gay in adidas Media Lounge, 1 August 2012
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Jessica Ennis, photo by

Jessica Ennis may be the British athlete who is the focal point of the most pressure and most best wishes. The 2009 World Champion, Jessica showed her class in taking the silver at the 2011 World Outdoor Champs heptathlon and the 2012 World Indoor Champs pentathlon. 

In Gotzis, Austria, Jessica Ennis broke 6900 points setting a brilliant new British record. That performance shook up the multi event world and put Jessica Ennis on top of the heptathlon food chain. 

Starting tomorrow, August 3, we get to watch Jessica Ennis, for two days, battle the best athletes in the world, as she focuses on doing her best in the heptathlon on the grandest stage of all, the London Olympics. 

If you want to see how US Universities and colleges are a huge development program for Olympic teams around the world, then check out this document. Special thanks to the for proving once again, the American universities and colleges support the Olympic programs of the world. 

Andrew Kastor, courtesy of Sugerman /LA Marathon

Andrew Kastor, one of the most accomplished and thoughtful marathon coaches, will be joining the LA Marathon family for the 2012 LA Marathon race. Part of the Elite ASICS Coaching team, Andrew understands the challenges of road racing, and will help marathoners, new to the game and veterans, run faster and enjoy the experience more. We highly recommend both Andrew Kastor and the LA Marathon! 
Jon Gugala joins David Hunter, Elliott Denman, Justin Lagat and myself in our coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. (James Dunaway will soon join us). 

Today, his piece is a thoughtful piece on Desi Davila and the challenges she has had since she made the Olympic marathon team for the U.S. in January 2012. 

To be the best, one must challenge the body, the heart, the soul, and the feet, to do things, miles and more miles, that many would never do. That is how one becomes an Olympian at the marathon. Desi ran the old fashioned way,
and she earned her berth. 

A hip flexor injury has challenged her, and Jon Gugala considers that and other signs, from her twitter chatter to her reading list, to see how Desi will possibly gather herself on August 5, for the Women's Olympic marathon. 

We hope that you like Jon's piece. He writes about the road not travelled by many of us, and as fans, enthusiasts and readers, we are better for seeing  a clearer view of the athlete and the person. 

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Desi Davila, 2010 USA Outdoor, photo by
Three of our most competitive athletes, on the US team, Sanya Richards-Ross, Jesse Williams, and Ashton Eaton, spoke to a full room of global press in the MPC. The excerpts are courtesy of USA Track & Field's Katie Branham. 

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Ross, Williams, Eaton, photo courtesy of USA Track & Field
Yohan Blake, November 2011, photo by

The adidas Media Lounge was quite full at ten in the morning, on August 1, as 150 plus media outlets photographed Yohan Blake, his new adizero Prime SP, which was quite popular, as his pair had the Beast written on the tongue of the shoe. 

Yohan Blake is coming into the London Games, after his two defeats of Usain Bolt in the Jamaican Trials in the 100 meters and 200 meters, as the prohibitive favorite. We are taking him seriously. 

The 100 meter final, will be one of the most hyped races in recent history. My guess, it will live up to or surpass the hype. This race, as Tyson Gay noted, could take 9.7 just to finish in the top three.

I do not believe that a world record will be set, but I do believe, that we have three men who can break 9.7, perhaps four. This race will come down to who makes the least mistakes, and who, by the middle phase of the race, has complete control of his domain. 

Could that be, Yohan Blake? 

We will have to wait. I do think, that Yohan Blake would make a tremendous poker player. With Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Tyson Gay, and my guess, Ryan Bailey and Dwain Chambers, this race will be a barn burner. 

acuff_amy1a-olyt12.jpg                    Amy Acuff, 2012 US Oly High Jump, photo by

Brigetta Barrett, 2012 US Oly High Jump, photo by

Chaunte Lowe, 2012 US Oly Trials High Jump, photo by

This is the second half of a series we asked David Hunter to consider. What questions, left open from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, would be answered at the London Olympics. We think David did a nice job in asking the big questions. What do you think? Let us know, email me at [email protected] Thanks! 
Elliott Denman's third column for the Olympics is about the strong relationship between lifters and throwers. In the olden golden days, the US used to have a plethora of shot putters and weight lifters. Now, the weight lifting tradition is slowly going away. Elliot Denman argues that we need to bring it back! 

Ask guys like Christian Cantwell, who puts a huge focus on his lifting, how important it is to being a successful shot putter. 

We hope that you enjoy this column! 

Cantwell_Christian_Pre12.jpg                  Christian Cantwell, 2012 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

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