This has been a very interesting year so far. Lots of transition going on throughout the sport. Rising athletes. Injured athletes. Athletes returning from injury. More transition than usual in the year following the Games it seems. Then of course there are the usual off the track issues such as drugs, which never seem to go away. So many things that I don’t know where to begin, so rather than say a lot about one thing, today I’m going to take a stab at saying a little about a lot of things – starting with the Diamond League which gives us a Fourth of July meet in Lausanne in two days time.
While I’m excited about Lausanne on Thursday, and another meet to watch, I’m also starting to feel like there might be too many Diamond League meets. Yes I said it, too many meets! Why? Believe it or not, not enough talent. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the athletes we see each week aren’t talented. But this is the league that promised huge matchups among the major players on a regular basis. And yes we’re getting that in some events, but the marquee events and names are still lacking. Perhaps fewer meets with full schedules and the biggest names would be better?
Speaking of big names, VCB has tested positive and is facing a ban. One, I’m a big VCB fan and hope that she is somehow vindicated. Having said that I’m going to say what many have thought, that if this were a big name American it would be getting Paula Deen / Trayvon Martin type headlines and hype. Which says that we still have lots of issues with drugs in this sport, chief among them how the issue is dealt with publicly. I’m just sayin.
Speaking of drugs and problems in the sport, the more we talk about countries like Jamaica and Kenya – they too have some issues on the table – the clearer it becomes that we have an inequity in doping agencies with some federations being afforded the luxury of little to no true testing scrutiny. How can they be when they don’t have the facilities with which to test? If the sport wants to talk about credibility, this must be changed.
Let’s talk about credibility and change for a minute, because the sport is undergoing change and some veterans are on the verge of losing their truly elite cred. Kenenisa Bekele, Asafa Powell, Wallace Spearmon, Angelo Taylor, Jeremy Wariner, Dwight Phillips. Are were watching a blip on the radar or the end of the road?
What’s happened to Morgan Uceny? Injury worse than first thought? She’s been nothing like the woman of the previous two or three seasons. Racing style is even different.
Ditto Andrew Wheating – I thought he was ready to take on the world a couple seasons ago. Might as well add Robbie Andrews while I’m at it.
Anyone seen Anna Pierce lately? I’m looking for a sighting – you know the real Anna Pierce. And how about Kristin Wurth Thomas – I really miss her style! Heart.
Speaking of injuries worse than first thought, what’s up with Yohan Blake? Last I heard he was headed to Germany for more diagnosis.
Welcome back Tyson Gay. Tyson is back as good as ever, and I’m beginning to wonder if this rash of injuries, individuals changing racing plans, athletes opting for surgery, and some folk just not racing is indicative of a massive case of Tysonisreallybackitis running through the sport? The sport needs Tyson Gay because Usain Bolt needs a rival. Any sport is better off with at least two stars battling for wins/glory/accolades, because then you have something to sell. My question is can Usain/Tyson this year be as big as Ben/Carl in ’88? Because that rivalry was nearly transcendent of the sport.
Speaking of rivalries, what happened to the men’s 110 high hurdles! Two years ago we were looking at a big three (Robles/Liu/Oliver) that somehow disintegrated, yet transformed last year into a two man show (Merritt/Richardson) and resulted in a sterling individual season and new WR (12.80). Now we’re back to square one and starting from scratch with average times and no clear leader heading into Worlds.
Flip over to the women and Brianna Rollins is this year’s version of the 2012 Aries Merritt and one of the sports most ancient records could take a tumble. I’m going to risk looking like a fool and climb out on that limb and say I think she can run 12.15! Behind her Queen Harrison and Nia Ali have stepped up nicely. Young talent taking over.
That said, can Kimberlyn Duncan repeat her National title run against Allyson Felix in Moscow? That would be on the level of Joe Deloach winning Trials and Games over Carl Lewis in ’88 – that was a good year.
That reminds me. With all the shuffling around and changes in the sprints this year, what can we expect from the relays? What will Jamaica v United States look like in the 4x1s? And will the US have enough fire power to bring home the 4x4s?
Does anyone other than me think Barshim Mutaz can go 8 feet? Sometimes he makes it look so easy! Ditto Christian Taylor, when he’s on it looks like 60 feet is once again in reach.
Wow, I guess now you know why I try to stick to one topic at a time – once I get going it’s hard to stop! Let’s see how Lausanne plays out on Thursday. With a little luck, we could have track and field fireworks on the Fourth of July!