Beijing Diaries, Day 6: Some thoughts on the 100 meters, by Larry Eder


Bolt_UsainQ-Beijing15.JPGUsain Bolt, photo by

Gaitlin_JustinQ-Beijing15.JPGJustin Gatlin, photo by

I have to admit, I get really tired of the good versus evil and the big bad doper stories. It takes less much more work to write about the the pile of horse manure piled on the sport in recent times, than it does to write about one, how to change it, and two, what is actually going on in Beijing.

Underneath the brave talk about a sport in shambles, and do not get me wrong, our sport has real problems that must be answered or we will fall farther away from the real sports marketing dollars that could grow the sport, it seems to be forgotten, that, even if one things that 14-31 percent of athletes are cheating, what out the other 86-69 percent of the athletes?

What also seems not to be reported with the same vigor, is limitations on bans in the courts, and truly, how banned drugs work, and what they do to the athlete.

At the end of the day, simplistically, athletes who cheat get an edge because their bodies recover faster than others not cheating. So, if one gets one day a week of additional training over a non-cheater, that meanst 52 days a year or, 7 weeks and 3 days! Now, that is truly simplistic, because even the slightest benefit can matter in the finishes in races of events.

It is easy and it will be done, a thousand times on Sunday night, the night of the 100 meter men's final. No matter who wins, Bolt or Gatlin, or someone else. Remember, this is a sport, not professional wrestling. We do not know outcomes before the races.

But, there are tiny differences in the finish of races!

Is Usain Bolt all here today? Is this the Beijing 2008 Usain or someone older and wiser, and perhaps not as fast? Which Justin Gatlin do we see today? Obviously a fast guy, but do we have to assume that, with all of the media pressure on Gatlin, that he is tested more than most? USADA and WADA claim he is tested and observed? And does not the rules stipulate that after serving his bans, and anyone who has done their homework knows that his first positive was over ADD medication he had taken as a teenager, should be able to run?

Then, how about something unique? How about writing about the race tonight?

The 100 meters features a field that is full of surprises.

From Tyson Gay to Mike Rodgers, from Christophe Lemaitre to Usain Bolt. From Jimmy Vicaut to Justin Gatlin.

The truth is, no one is immortal in the sprints.

Usain Bolt, I believe, will be a much better runner in 2016 than he is in 2015. He just can not run well all of the time. A sprinter's body does not work that way.

Justin Gatlin is making up for several lost years. Remember that. This guy is driven. He wants to be the best and he has been waiting for some type of vindication since 2006. Never ever discount the human spirit.

I can see as many scenarios where Gatlin or Bolt wins, but tonight, I suspect that Justin Gatlin will have the upper hand.

I think anyone who makes the final should have the respect of the 50,000 fans in this stadium. I for one, am cheering for Mike Rodgers, Tyson Gay, Christophe Lemaitre and Jimmy Vicaut. They will be running the races of their lives to make the final. I also hope a Chinese sprinter makes the final, which will take a NR record twice to do!

Anyhow, I have emptied my frustrations on the 100 meters.

I, for one, am going to sit back and enjoy fast guys running real fast.

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