The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Looking Ahead to Moscow

Jul 9th, 2013
9:07 pm PDT

PlaceholderI’m rather looking forward to the World Championships in Moscow in large part because the US missed out on the opportunity to attend the Olympics there way back in 1980. A lot has changed since then. Track and field is now a professional sport – sort of. The Eastern Bloc is no more. And our current war in Afghanistan has surpassed Vietnam as America’s longest war.

Some things never change however, one of them being the competitiveness of athletes when they’re on a global stage. That and the fact there’s still something mystical about the idea of competing in Russia. Russia is one of those countries that does very well in the sport, and there’s something  about defeating a strong opponent at home.

That’s part of the back drop entering Moscow – Russia defending itself against the rest of the world. But trust me, there’s a lot more than that.

Distance races tend to get "tactical" in the majors. I know I’m hoping against hope, but I’d love to see at least the 1500′s just rip! If that’s not the case, give me Mary Cain and even odds on the bell lap of the women’s race.

Haven’t seen Allyson Felix since Nationals. Felix and Kersee know a wake up call when they get one. Everyone else should be worried that theirs is coming!

Haven’t seen Gatlin either. Can he PR again in Moscow? More importantly, will it be enough to move up from bronze?

Speaking of Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay, who’s the favorite heading into Worlds – and why? I can make a case for both sprinters in both sprints. Does that mean we get a split, or a decisive double?

Bondarenko, Mutaz, Kynard. Drouin and the Russians. Who gets their heart broken in the men’s high jump? Imagine going 7’8" and NOT being in contention. That could happen this time around! I hope this group of jumpers doesn’t get overlooked, because it’s as awesome a group as ever jumped at the same time. Surpassed only by the 90s group of Sotomayor, Austin, Conway, Sjoberg, Matei, Partyka, Topic, et al – anybody remember them?

Who’s going to win the men’s long jump? Really. Want to talk about a wide item event. I’m not sure there’s a crystal ball on the planet that has a clue. Menkov? Mokoena? Li? Will this be the podium? Just throwing it out there.

21.0, 31.5, 43.5. That’s it right there. That’s the formula for gold in the men’s 400. Now, who runs it? Merritt? He’s got the pure speed. James? He’s got the strength if he can hit the numbers. Or will both fall short? Both are running well, and pushing each other hard. I say one hits the mark with the other breathing down his neck!

Will the Kenyans have as many problems getting to the podium as they did in London? Will the rest of the world out point the Kenya/Ethiopia distance juggernaut? If I’d said that last summer you’d have laughed. Laughing now?

Speaking of unseating a Juggernaut, can Mohammed Aman unseat David Rudisha? Then again perhaps the real question is, is David Rudisha healthy? If he’s healthy forget that first question. If not Aman appears to be the best half miler out there.

What’s up with the men’s triple jump? I know Christian Taylor wanted to follow his coach, but Britain doesn’t seem to be agreeing with him. Will Claye seems off too. And Teddy Tamgho hasn’t been the same since his injury a couple seasons ago. Another wide open event?

I thought Montsho was going to dominate the women’s 400 in SSR’s absence, but this is looking like a wide open event too. Well maybe. Ohuruogu is at her best in majors. At this rate gold could go in 50.00!

On the flip side men’s version is on two man lock down! Merritt v James could be the highlight matchup of the meet!

More thoughts later.

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6 Responses to “Looking Ahead to Moscow”

  1. hopeton says:

    I was thinking, are the number of elite injuries this year a norm for the year after an Olympics. While some are recovering, getting injured in January onwards has a serious negative effect on preparation. To name a few, there’s Jeter, Blake, Sanya, Jessica, Rudisha, Aries. Any correlation between these and a rough ‘prior’ year? I wonder.

    • CHill says:

      I don’t have specific numbers, but the number did seem high to me this year .. And they’re at the very top of the food chain .. That’s a short list of some of the top athletes of the last half decade right there ..

      When I get a minute I may go back and see if I have enough information to compare ..

  2. Anderson says:

    Looks like Jeter is Healthy and rounding back into form. in addition to her last 2 200′s, she just ran 11.07 in Budapest. Yes its not 10.7, but it shows she is rounding back into form after her injury. 4 weeks till the games should be enough time for her to challenge for a medal, not necessarily a gold, but a medal.

    Also at this point, I would say Gay is a favorite in the 100 and Bolt in the 200. But Gay is in 2007 health with 2009/2010 speed so anything can happen. Bolt could win the double, Tyson can win the double…well see.

    And the 43.5 could still be the formula for silver if conditions on that day are good!

    • CHill says:

      Jeter close to sub 11 with time left makes her dangerous .. But it’s going to be tough .. The women’s race is much deeper than the men’s race .. The emergence of her teammates and Okagbare as threats changes things .. And Baptiste ran very well at her trials .. Throw in SAFP and the semis are guaranteed to be a war ..

      Gay with 07 health and 09 speed,I don’t think most people understand what that could produce !! Weather permitting, we should get the first race with two men under 9.70 – question is how far .. Depending on what the 100 takes out of either of them, the deuce could see a push towards 19.0x .. I remember when folk laughed at Shawn Crawford when he said his goal was 18.99 !!

      (Bolt v Gay)2 could be the formula for the greatest sprint series ever seen if both get to the line fit and healthy ..

      Merritt v James is right there as well .. Definitely two sub 44s .. I believe they can both get close to that 43.5 .. Below that ?? I almost feel like that would produce a 2000 US Trials 200 like result – two injured warriors down on the track .. But I could be wrong ..

      One thing is clear, we could have 1968 like sprint results in Moscow ..

      • Waynebo says:

        Hey, I was born in ’68! :-) I didn’t see it live, but at least I’ve Done enough reading to know that there were WR’s set in all 3 sprints. I don’t think we’ll see one in the 400 though. Maybe in 2015. In the 100 – good chance. In the the 200,I’ll say yes IF I see Gay & Bolt run 19.5 in the next few weeks. I’m just looking forward to seeing them in the deuce together. Been far too long.

        • CHill says:

          Yeah the Mexico sprints were world records as well a rewriting the all time lists ..

          I’m expecting the 100 to be like Seoul .. Not sure how the deuce will match up .. 400 hmm .. Well be something new .. No record but the fastest two man race ever ..

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