Dunbar collects $5000, But with No Invitation to Worlds With Nationals Victory, by Elliott Denman

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CdUPjxrUkAANxTV.jpg-large.jpgColin Dunbar, Weight Throw Champion, photo courtesy of USATF

Colin Dunbar won the weight throw today, and also won the "best hair of championships", with his long locks, reminiscent to some, of the biblical character, Samson.

Whether you buy the Samons comparison, Elliott Denman gives Colin Dunbar his due, as the 35lb wieight throw is an event practiced by few countries in the world (US and Ireland, I guess). With so few countries competing in the event, Colin Dunbar will not be competing at the World Champs next weekend.

DUNBAR COLLECTS $5000
BUT NO INVITATION TO WORLDS
WITH NATIONALS VICTORY
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
PORTLAND - The Colin Dunbar "Fund Me to Rio" account can add a $5000 deposit.
That's nice and it will pay a few bills but it still won't get him to Rio. or for that matter, even keep him in Portland for the next big global track and field extravaganza.
"The best athletes in the world are coming to Portland," the adverts around here blurt. "Get your tickets now."
But sorry, all you 35-pound weight throwers, first athletes to step into action at the USA Indoor Nationals, you're just not invited back to the Portland Convention Center for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, coming here March 17-18-19-20.
Go home. Now. No room at the local Quality Inn.
Your event just isn't global enough for the IAAF's hierarchy. Sure, they have been arguing that "it's the indoor equivalent of the
hammer " for eons and eons but - other than a few outposts in North Europe - the event simply hasn't caught on anywhere out of\
North America.
What a shame. The weight throw is a dynamic event full of supercharged, ultra-strong athletes who'd surely be major stars in
any other brand of athletics they'd ever choose. Wind up,whirl and let it fly. Grunt a little on release, should you wish. And when it plops down out there, 65, 70 or 75 feet or more away. It represents one heck of an effort.
Colin Dunbar's 78-foot-7 1/2-inch performance (23.96 meters) in the fifth round yesterday, for instance.
"This is huge," he exulted.
"This is big, really, really big."
"It's not just the placing, but I added just under a meter to my PR, I was really clicking."
Dunbar, 28, a former collegiate star at Long Beach State, had seized the lead in round two at 75-6, only to see vet A.J. Kruger seize it back at 76-3 in round four.
This was now high theater - Dunbar rallied back to lead at 77-5 1/4 in round five, and the ball was now in
Kruger's court.
Kruger, eight times a past winner of this event, wound up and let it fly - but all he could manage was a pair of fouls.
The gold medal, the national title (after a pair of previous top-five Nationals performances) and the glory of it all were his - but no invitation back to the Worlds.
"Listen, I know all this," said Dunbar.
"Nothing was going to change for me. That's the way it is for all of us. We're just not a Worlds event. Maybe someday,
but not today. I accept that. Now, it's on to the hammer throw."
An old rule of thumb is that quality throwers should be able to throw 35-pound indoor weight the distances measured in feet equivalent to their outdoor distances for hammers measured in meters.
So that should put Dunbar right in the mix for one of the three possible hammer throw spots on this summer's Rio-bound
Olympic team, right?
Maybe yes, maybe not. The corollaries don't always work.
"I just know I'm going to give it everything I've got," said Dunbar, already pointing to next July's USA Olympic Trials at
Hayward Field in Eugene.
At 6 feet, 8 inches, Dunbar was the biggest man in the 15-athlete field for the National weight throw.
Also the most hirsute.
Dunbar is track and field's answer to Samson, with locks flowing down to his shoulders.
Do those locks give him super-natural powers? Do they give him confidence enough to kill giants, slay an Army with the jawbone of an ass, destroy a pagan temples, or two?
"Not really," he confides.
But plenty of confidence he can handle his "day job" with never a problem.
When he's not lifting and throwing and contorting himself in many interesting directions at track and field meets and gymnasiums,
Dunbar works as a security guard - OK, a bouncer - at the Acapulco Inn in Long Beach, California.
That paycheck supplements anything he can earn as a thrower or whatever he can raise in his "Fund Me to Rio" endeavors.
But it still can't buy his ticket back to Portland for the Indoor Worlds.

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