Category: World Championships

The Indoor World Championships are over!  Very exciting, some big surprises, some expected outcomes, but always very watchable.  The showstopper moment, as far as I’m concerned was Lolo Jones and not just the unbelievable race she ran, but her beautifully cathartic reaction to it.  But I made some predictions, so let’s see how I did, yeah?


60 Meters:  I said Daniel Bailey, Mike Rodgers and Dwain Chambers – just reverse the order.  I had the right names, wrong gold and bronze!  Chambers drugged ran a drugged strong 6.48 for the best drugged time in the world this year.

60 Meter Hurdles:  I said Trammell, Robles, Svoboda – Svoboda was 5th, but Robles and Trammell put on a freaking show, with Robles having to set a Championship record of 7.34 to just beat out Trammell’s American record 7.36!  In third was David Oliver, who I think I’ve overlooked before (my bad!)

400 Meters: I said Batman, and maybe a US sweep with Ireland’s Gillick possibly sneaking in the medals.  Turns out Chris Brown led from the gun to win in 45.96, followed by William Collazo and Jamaal Torrance, but the real story was Batman and Gillick tangling on the last corner and both winding up not just out of the medals, but badly out of the medals. Really tactically bad running, and Gillick was crushed by his mistake (Batman seemed none too pleased himself).

800 Meters: I said Ismail, Lalang, Kaki.  Close, but no cigar – Kaki won in 1:46.23, Lalang second, and the Pole Adam Kszczot (just pronounce that, I dare you) took the bronze.  Really glad I pooh-poohed the eastern Europeans in this one.

1500 Meters: I said Mekonnen, Ali, then took a pass.  I got Mekonnen right (3:41.86), silver and bronze went to Iguider and Keitany.  It was a pretty pedestrian, which was disappointing, but it was fun to watch for all the lead changes; it turned out to be exciting in the end!

3000 Meters: I said Choge, Lagat and Sanchez.  My man Kip wound up winning in a blazing 7:37.97, Sanchez was second (so I got that part of the order right), with Sammy Mutahi third.  Choge had a hugely disappointing race; way back almost 20 seconds off the pace.  Congrats, Kip!


60 Meters:  I said Jeter, Campbell-Brown and Jones-Ferrette, and as with the men’s 60, got the names right but order wrong.  Campbell Brown scorched a 7.00, followed by Jones-Ferrette and Jeter.

60 Meter Hurdles: LOLO! LOLO! LOLO! LO(squared)!  Okay, that’s out of my system.  I said Lopes-Schliep, Lolo, and Ginnie Powell. Turned out to be Lolo (LOLO! LOLO! LOLO!) in a Championship record 7.72 (seriously, watch it again.  I’ll wait), followed by Felicien (who I totally overlooked), and Lopes-Schliep, who just continues to grow on me.

400 Meters: Okay, I said Felix, Dunn and Firova.  It was pointed out to me that Allyson Felix didn’t make the team, with the unspoken assertion that I’m an idiot.  Sigh.  Anyway, I got Dunn and Firova right!  They were 1-2, with Dunn winning in 51.04, followed by Stambolova.

800 Meters:  I said Meadows, Pierce and a Russian in third – real brave on that bronze pick.  Turned out to be Savinova (hey, a Russian!) in 1:58.26, Meadows in a national record for second, and Alysia Johnson setting a PR in third.  Pierce PR’d too, but just missed out on the medals.  She’s going to be tough outdoors!

1500 Meters: I said Burka, Jamal and Gezahegne.  Would someone please remind me to check the actual start lists before I do this?  Jeebus.  Jamal didn’t run.  So it turned out to be Gezahegne in 4:08.14, Natalia Rodriguez getting some satisfaction after her Berlin disaster, and Burka in third.  Again, got two of the names right, wrong order.

3000 Meters: I said Defar, Ejigu and Cheruiyot – my prediction of a scorcher proved unfounded, as this was just painfully pedestrian, but I did get all three medalists right, although Ejigu and Cheruiyot switched. It was Defar in 8:51.17 with a crazy-fast kick, Cheruiyot and Ejigu.

Blanka screamed a bit, and won with a surprisingly low height, and Jessica Ennis blew away the Pentathlon field with a Championship record 4937 points. Bryan Clay won the Heptathlon, while Ashton Eaton was busy setting a new Heptathlon world record at the NCAA championships in Fayetteville – congrats to Ashton and Bryan, and I can’t wait to see a US sweep in the Decathlon in 2012!  🙂

All in all, I think I did way better than my Olympic predictions; I guess I’ve got more cred on the indoor scene than I thought!


Well, I failed to do predictions for Berlin last summer, so I might as well weigh in for the indoor championships that start…um, in about 10 hours.  So first I have to issue a caveat: this is my first year really following indoor track at the world level, so I’m still new to the game.  Also I’ve been busy and distracted.  And I’ll think of another excuse, unless I do really well and then I’ll say it’s because I’m awesome and know lots.  Anyway, this is for Rachel. 🙂


60 Meters:  Ivory Williams seems to be out, due to being an idiot, so that opens up the field a little bit.  I see 5 guys with a chance: Daniel Bailey, Dwain Chambers, Nesta Carter, Lerone Clarke and Mike Rodgers.  Throw out Clarke, and you’re down to four.  I think Bailey’s young but real, so I think it goes like this:  Daniel Bailey, Mike Rodgers, and Chambers for the bronze.  (I hope Nesta nudges his drug-addled ass, though)

60 Meter Hurdles:  This is down to Terrence Trammell and Dayron Robles.  I say Trammell, Robles, Svoboda.

400 Meters:  Batman!  Bershawn Jackson takes this, I think.  He looks unbeatable this year.  Could be a USA sweep here, but I don’t want to rule out Gillick from Ireland.

800 Meters:  Ismail Ismail looks monstrous so far; really tough to beat.  I see him coming in ahead of Boaz Lalang, with Abubaker Kaki third.  Eastern Europe has a couple guys that can fly, but these three are just too strong and too swift.

1500 Meters:  Wow, where to start?  Kenyans and Ethiopians, oh my!  Laalou, Iguider, Keitany, Gathimba, Mekonnen, Gebremedhin, Ruiz, Ali…so many strong runners to choose from.  This will be a monster race.  In the end, I think Mekonnen’s got the kick, then Ali, then someone else…I’m not even going to try.  This could turn into a quick race.

3000 Meters:  Kip!  Bernard Lagat is in phenomenal shape, you guys.  He’ll have a battle with Tariku Bekele, Sergio Sanchez, Augustine Choge, and Sammy Mutahi.  This is the showcase race in my opinion.  I think Choge is unstoppable, Lagat brings home a silver and Sanchez makes Spain proud.  But truly, this is wiiiide open.  Expect a tepid early pace and a screaming close over the last 1200 meters or so.


60 Meters:  Nobody is even in the same class as Carmelita Jeter and LaVerne Jones-Ferrette.  Jeter wins, Veronica Campbell-Brown in third.

60 Meter Hurdles:  I so want my girl Lolo to win this, but I don’t think she’s all the way back just yet.  Priscilla Lopes-Schliep continues her bombardment of the sport, followed by Lolo and Seattle native Ginnie Powell.

400 Meters: Allyson Felix takes her new Nike duds to a gold, with Debbie Dunn and Firova following.  If only Sanya Richards-Ross was here!  #sweep

800 Meters:  Kinda loaded here!  Russia is (suspiciously) loaded, especially, with Savinova and Zinurova posting super quick times.  I see a quick race shaping up, with Meadows edging out Anna Pierce, with one of the Russians in third.

1500 Meters:  Maryam Jamal, Gelete Burka, Gezahegne and Jelagat make this as loaded as the men’s 1500.  It’s Burka’s crazy fast kick, Jamal, and Gezahegne.

3000 Meters:  Can anyone run with Meseret Defar?  No, anyone cannot.  Sentayehu Ejigu has challenged her, and I think is well positioned for silver, with Vivian Cheruiyot grabbing bronze.  I think Defar pushes the pace early to try and break those two, and it’s going to turn into a rout – possibly a one-woman rout.

I’d love to cover the field events for you, but I just don’t have the know-how.  I know it’ll be nice to see Blanka Vlasic give us a primal scream again (Oh, how I’ve missed you, Blanka), Ennis dominates the Pentathlon if she’s healthy (Fountain and Dobrynska duke it out if not)

Okay, girls and boys, that’s it!  The fun starts at 6am PDT tomorrow on Universal Sports, so let’s all get on there and clog up the intertubes!

Well, it’s that time of year again – the leaves will turn soon, and it’s time to leave the road and start running trails.  I’m lucky to live in, um, or near, Seattle so I can join one of the largest cross country teams in the country, Eastside Runners XC Team.  For those of you paying attention, yes, I was on the team last year, but only ran one meet and then the “incident” happened.  I suspect this year will be a bit more rewarding, what with 50 pounds less on the frame and a bit more speed in the legs.

Last night was our first team meeting, where we got to mingle a bit and cover the bases – team captains, who and how to pay, team uniforms, how to register for races, etc.  I am pumped!  I love track, but there’s something so unique in XC – the changing terrain, different challenges in every race, and given the time of year, you can deal with anything from heat to sub-zero temperatures.  It’s a sport for the hardy, with the added benefit that you tend to run in beautiful locations.  And entering a new age group, the 40-49 division, opens up some new competitive territory for me.  Let’s face it, the odds of me competing with 25 year old guys running sub-15:00 5Ks are slim.  But if I can get under 20:00 consistently, I should at least be able to help my age-group team score, and that’s what it’s all about.

Now, onto something a little more serious…

I’ve been following the World Championships in Berlin, and the women’s 800 meters has an unusual bit of intrigue – the gender of the gold medalist has been called into question.  Apparently, she improved her PR quite suddenly this July from 2:04 to 1:56, and when the IAAF saw photos of her, they asked South African officials to investigate her gender.  See why here or here.  I think, visually, there appears to be a legitimate question, and the rapid appearance of dominant ability in this person is at a minimum suspicious.

But here’s what concerns me.  This is an 18-year old kid, however the gender issue is resolved.  Why was this released to the press the day before the final?  Why not just keep the info behind the scenes until the IAAF has their answer, and then release it?  Does this person deserve no dignity?  Even the IAAF officials, from their statement, don’t believe this is a case of fraud, but rather of someone who may think of herself as a woman but not, biologically, be one.  And this 18 year old kid has had this played out on global television.

Watching her face prior to the final, filled with defiance, and the lack of any joy after winning a world title, just broke my heart.  Even at the medal ceremony, it was obviously bittersweet at best.  If she turns out to be clean of any doping issues and biologically female, what good has been done here?  We’ll have someone whose crowning achievement, what should be a moment of unsurpassed joy and pride, has been stripped by a public whipping that no one deserves.

Of course, if she has doped or is biologically a male, the question of fairness is moot – she doesn’t deserve the medal.  But that will still not change one salient, oh-so-important fact: this is an 18-year old kid, who will carry what’s happened this week the rest of her life.  Are there no adults in the IAAF or the media who could’ve thought better of this?