I’m going to try something different this year, in that I’m going to go five deep for events as I rank them and present both the men & women simultaneously. Five Deep because in general that’s really where the top athletes are in any given event. After that things usually get rather fuzzy. And since the lists will only be five deep, it should make for more interesting reading to include both genders at the same time – essentially presenting a top ten athletes for each event.
The first event, the 100 meters, actually was fairly easy to rank, as the Olympic Games proved to be the best indicator of how everyone really ranked on the year. The results in London however, merely mirrored how the athletes performed outside of the Games – at least on the women’s side of the ledger. As it was great to see the top women competing regularly on the circuit. The men could use with more head to heads, but still the results in London were indicative of their other performances – lack of head to head notwithstanding.
With that, here are my top five men and women in the 100 meters for the 2012 season.
Men’s 100 Meter Rankings
1. Usain Bolt (Jamaica) – For a minute it looked like Bolt may have been in trouble this year. He suffered losses in both this event and the 200 at the Jamaican Trials amid rumors of injury. Then Bolt pulled out of his final tune up meet before London, further casting doubt on his season – at least for me. A 9.87 semi, followed by a 9.63 (#2 time ever) final gave Bolt the Olympic title and the #1 ranking in the event for 2012.
2. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) – The man who would be king is Yohan Blake, last year’s World champion who defeated Bolt at the Jamaican Trials with a sizzling 9.75 run. Blake replicated that time in London but found himself earning the silver medal behind Bolt in his only loss of the season. He finished off with a 9.69 run in Lausanne to become =#2 all time, and a 9.76 in Zurich. Easily earning the #2 spot for the year.
3. Justin Gatlin (United States) – Gatlin’s return to elite sprinting found was completed in 2012 as he won the US Trials (9.80); then followed up with bronze in London (9.79). As quiet as it’s kept he only suffered two losses in 2012 – the Olympic Games to Bolt/Blake; and Paris to Tyson Gay. Otherwise Gatlin defeated everyone else in his path and had 7 legal races at 9.90 or better.
4. Tyson Gay (United States) – For much of the spring the question was whether or not Gay was going to be running at the US Trials or not, as he was delayed in getting on the track as he was rehabbing from surgery last year. A test run in New York however, saw him fit enough to compete at the Trials where he was 2nd behind Gatlin. Gay then captured wins in Paris and the Aviva meet in London before taking 4th at the Games at 9.80 in the fastest final in history. A 2nd place finish to Blake in Lausanne and only those ranked ahead of Gay had better overall seasons.
5. Ryan Bailey (United States) – Bailey had his best season to date as he began to fulfill the promise he’s shown for a few years now. He finished 3rd at the US Trials to gain a ticket to London. Then finished behind the contingent above in the fastest final in Olympic history. Only those ranked ahead of him proved to be superior to Bailey in 2012 as twice equaled his PR of 9.88 and had 6 sub10 clockings on the year.
Women’s 100 Meter Rankings
1. Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce (Jamaica) – This was a close call as Pryce and Carmelita Jeter traded wins on the year as they ran against each other six times (men take notice)! At the end of the day they were 3/3 head to head, with the win at the Olympics getting Fraser Pryce the nod. She also moved to #4 all time in the event with her 10.70 win at Jamaican Trials and have five clockings under 10.90, two under 10.80.
2. Carmelita Jeter (United States) – As previously stated Jeter gave a strong run for the #2 spot as she and Fraser Pryce gave us fans a great show in 2012. Jeter’s loss to Pryce in London proved to be the difference, her runner up there gaining her the runner up sport here as well. Sizzling wins over the Olympic champion in Lausanne (10.86) and Birmingham (10.81) were not quite enough as SAFP turned the tables once more in Zurich. Jeter was US champion as well as #2 on the clock with her 10.78 in London.
3. Veronica Campbell Brown (Jamaica) – VCB was short on wins in 2012, but only because she constantly ran in races involving either Fraser Pryce or Jeter. Third behind the pair at the Games, she was 2nd to SAFP at Jamaica Trials and trailed both in Lausanne. She did have a loss to Allyson Felix earlier in the year as well as finishing behind Kelly Ann Baptiste in Lausanne, but her Olympic bronze and solid overall season gets her this spot.
4. Tianna Madison (United States) – This was a break through year for Madison who started out the year blazing on the indoor tracks. She didn’t let up outdoors setting several PR’s; scoring the runner up position at the US Trials; and gaining 4th in the hot London final in a PR 10.85.
5. Allyson Felix (United States) – Known more for her deuce, Felix had a better than solid year here as well. She won in Doha. Was 4th in a hot New York race. Ran 3rd at the US Trials and finished up with 5th in London in a huge PR 10.89. She was generally in the top 3 in her races at this distance and finishes as #5 on the season.
Next up I’ll take a look at the 20 meters which should be a tad more challenging.