I’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.