Coaching Athletics Fall 2015 cover, design by Alex Larsen/Photo by PhotoRun.net
So, here is the story.
I liked Stuart Weir’s recent piece on Team GB, I thought I would take Stu’s idea and extrapolate.
Here we go:
The World Champs in Beijing was not all bad news for the US.
So much of the performances tell us a bit about where we will see the US team go in 2016 and 2017.
We did well in 2015 in events we did not expect and had tough days in events we have been spoilt in for many years.
Fact is, track and field is a global sport.
And truth be told, the better the drug testing, the best our team does.
In the sprints, Torie Bowie won her first medal. I hope that the women’s 4x100m looks real hard at how to really battle Jamaica, we shall see how that goes. In the women’s 200 meters, US is developing some young sprinters.
On the men’s side in the sprints, we will see how Justin Gatlin goes in 2016. I see the future in athletes like Trayvon Bromell and Ryan Bailey. For the men’s 4×100 meter relay, key is to look at relay differently and stop giving away medals. As fast as men go, they need to seriously practice. RunBlogRun believes a new approach to the 4x100m needs to be discussed.
In the 400 meters, for men, LaShawn Merritt is at top of his form, and we shall see a combo of veterans and new runners in the men’s 400 meters. The long relay for men is the US’s territory, as long as the team continues to recognize that they have a) competition and b) get thee baton around. In 400m for women, Allyson Felix may be in her perfect distance. The women’s 4×400 meters is in transition. Coaching needs to focus on winning medal and respecting talent in this event.
Middle distances: On both men and women’s sides, we have potential medalists. If Duane Solomon stops worrying about the AR and races, and Nick Symmonds using his racing savvy to race, we might see a medal. In the 1,500 meters, we just had a bad day in 2015, Centro, Leo Manzano, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury should be in the hunt in 2016. Some real young talent here.
In the steeplechase, both Emma Coburn and Evan Jager are medal potential. 2016 should see them closer to the prize. Jager can medal, he has to run his own race, not Mr. Kemboi’s. Ezekial Kemboi is one of the steeple racers we have ever seen.
The men’s 5000 meters ad 10,000 meters, we had 5th in the 10,000 meters, and 5, 6 and 7, in the 5,000 for the men. On the women’s side, Emily Infeld’s bronze in the 10,000 meters, and fourth and sixth, plus three US women in the 5000 meters portends well for 2016. I think we could have a nice medal surprise in 2016.
The women’s 100 meter hurdles were a nightmere. 2016 should be better, with our US stars all back healthy. The men’s 110 meter hurdles had Aries Merritt and rough races for the rest of the team. Men should have two in medal hunt for 2016.
The 400 meter hurdles truly surprised me in men’s race in 2015, again, a bad race, but this should give all concerned something to focus on for 2016. The US women took two medals in the 400 meter hurdles-2016 could see improvement there.
In the throws, US men and women should have better days in the shot put and discus. Javelin could be a big event for us, if we can bring in some big throwers.
The triple jump? On men’s side, very good, on women’s side, we need tall, fast, basketball players to give us a chance here. And four years.
The long jump-on women’s side, we should be fantastic here (Tiana Bartoletta), and on guys, this year was perfect storm.
The pole vault for women should be good in 2016, and the men’s event will take some luck and some time.
What was 2015? It was up and down, and actually, “a perfect storm”. Team USA has to focus on timing in 2016, safe training places,
use of best coaches and trainers for our support staff. Having watched how much attention to detail that Team USA has with support, I think the team should be fine there.
Marathons? I think we could see medals for US in at least one of the marathons in 2016. Experience is key, and savy at championship racing is key.
RIO 2016 will be full of surprises, key is have some of those surprises to go our way!
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