Another exciting day of track and field, though I’ve missed most of it. The feed on my tablet was only clear for about 30 minutes, and froze completely at the introductions for the men’s 100 final! Knowing from the start of the morning that the app on my tablet was having trouble, I turned on my trusty lap top, and believe it or not, I never got NBCOlympics.com to work. The site wouldn’t let me log on and never showed a single minute of video! So I struggled for three hours trying to watch track and field today – and saw only a bit.
But, if I wait for NBC tonight I won’t write this until tomorrow and another day of track will be behind us. So I’m going to comment on the results of a few races, and may add more comment in future posts after I’ve actually had a chance to watch what I’ve missed.
What I did get to see was the semis of the men’s 400 and the final of the women’s 400. The men’s 400 is wide open and got even more so today. Out of nowhere Lalonde Gordon (TRI) broke 45 seconds for the first time – he actually smashed through the barrier running 44.58 in the first of three semis. In semi #2, Kirani James (GRN) ran 44.59, just ahead of veteran Chris Brown’s (BAH) 44.67. Then in the final semi, Luguelin Santos (DOM) won in 44.78 just ahead of Kevin Borlee (BEL) 44.84. No one looked “dominant”, and as Gordon proved, anything can happen in one race. James and Brown have been here before, though I’m not sure anyone would have predicted Brown would be here this year. Neither would anyone have said there wouldn’t be an American in the final – but that’s exactly the case. Tony McQuay drew lane eight in his semi, and went out way too hard in the first 200 – then faded badly in the stretch. Bryshon Nellum left too much to make up coming off the turn and though he finished third in the final semi, his 45.02 was just short of the time qualifiers – 44.99 & 44.97. So for the first time ever there will be no American in an Olympic final – not counting the boycotted Moscow Games.
The other event I saw was the women’s 400 final. Not the final I had envisioned, because this field had the potential to go under 49 seconds. However Krivoshapka (RUS) drew lane 5 and her early hard running had an affect on the field, with Richards Ross going out hard before settling down around the turn. A lane outside of R-Ross, Montsho (BOT) seemed to slow down with her around the turn instead of building a lead – that would cost her in the end. Williams Mills in lane 1 and McCorory in lane 8 both succumbed to lane draw. The beneficiary of the Russian’s hot pace was Dee Dee Trotter (USA) who ran faster than normal around the turn and found herself in contention coming into the straight. She, Montsho, and R-Ross battled down the stretch for the medals. The one person that ran exactly to script was defending champ Ohuruogu who, after being well off the pace early, came rolling down the stretch. She out leaned Montsho (49.75) and Trotter (49.72) at the tape to take silver in 49.70 – but ran out of room for Richards Ross (49.55) , who finally got the gold she’s chased for so long.
The big race of the day was the men’s 100 and I missed the semis AND final. I did get phone accounts of each, but would like to see them for myself. I will say that the accounts of Bolt being “injured” were greatly exaggerated. And pulling him out of Monaco had to be strategic as opposed to preventative, because 9.63 is a healthy man’s run. That said big up to Bolt for repeating. I consider this the first repeat because Carl lost on the track. This was the greatest race ever in terms of depth and Bolt defeated it by .12. With Blake (9.75), Gatlin (9.79), and Gay (9.80) within .05 of each other, and Bailey also under 9.9 at 9.88, I’d like to see the race before saying more. Though I will say, big up to Gatlin on completing his comeback. Now for my long wait to watch the race.
The women take center stage again as the 100H, and women’s 200 & 1500 get started. Oh, we get to see David Rudisha as the men’s 800 gets under way. Finals in the men’s 400 & 400H should be exciting. Let’s say Culson & Sanchez battle for gold in the hurdles and James & Brown in the flat. Hopefully I can see it all on time!