Red, White and maybe feeling blue? by Alan Abrahamson, 3WireSports.com

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Alan Abrahmson wrote a superb piece on the trials and tribulations of the USA team in Beijing. It has been a tough champs so far.

Here are Alan's thoughts. And remember to check out 3WireSports.com, his website!

Rowbury_ShannonSF-Worlds15.jpgShannon Rowbury, photo by PhotoRun.net

Red, white and maybe feeling blue?

BEIJING -- Coming into these 2015 track and field world championships, it looked for -- and to -- all the world like this could be the meet when the American team finally reached that elusive 30-total medal count.

With the meet now at its (just-past) halfway point, that looks exceedingly unlikely. The question now is more fundamental: is this 2015 performance a blip or a precursor for next year's Rio 2016 Summer Games and, indeed, beyond?

Coming into Wednesday, four nights into the nine-day meet, the United States had exactly as many golds as Canada: one.

The American Joe Kovacs won the men's shot put; the Canadian Shawn Barber, the men's pole vault.

After Wednesday, the United States still had -- one.

The Brits? Three. The Americans' new political friends in Cuba? Two.

Overall, Kenya led the medal count, with 11, six gold; the Americans were next, with nine (that one gold, three silver, five bronze).

Kenya is not just marathoners anymore. Julius Yego won the men's javelin Wednesday night with the farthest throw in 14 years, 92.72 meters, or 304 feet, 2 inches.

Meanwhile, the IAAF announced earlier in the evening that two Kenyans, Francisca Koki and Joyce Zakari, had tested positive after providing samples on August 20 and 21, respectively -- that is, immediately before the meet started. These "targeted tests were conducted by the IAAF at the athlete hotels," the federation said in a statement. No other details were immediately available.

The run-up to the 2015 championships has been marked by waves of media reports alleging doping positives and cover-ups in the Kenyan track and field scene.

Zakari had run second in her 400 heat in 50.71, then proved a no-show for the first of Tuesday's three semifinals.

Koki, in the 400 hurdles, ran 58.96 in her opening round, second-slowest in the entire field.

For the U.S. to prevail in the medals count next year at Rio, as it did in London 2012, with 103, China next at 88, the weight rests on its track and swim teams.

In London, the swim team won 30 medals at the pool, 31 including Haley Anderson's silver in the open-water competition. The track team: 29.

To read the complete story, please go to: http://www.3wiresports.com/2015/08/26/red-white-and-maybe-feeling-blue/

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