Time to start wrapping up the season. The Pan American Games are still on tap for the end of the month, but I don’t see them changing anything here – or with most of the post season awards yet to be distributed. So I will start with event #1’s, move on to Athletes of the Year, give a few of my own special awards, then break down several events.
As I’ve lamented a few times since Daegu, 2011 was not a great year for U.S. men. As I went through each event, I could only find place for three #1’s among American men – and none on the track. American women faired slightly better with five #1’s overall – three on the track and two in the field.
While many of the decisions were fairly easy, there were some that were a bit more difficult. For those that I felt some may have question, I have provided a brief explanation following each set of #1’s. Feel free to ask about any you may have questions about and I will gladly give you my rationale.
With that, here are my #1 ranked athletes for the 2011 season.
2011 #1’s by Event – Men
|100 meters||Yohan Blake||JAM|
|200 meters||Usain Bolt||JAM|
|400 meters||Kirani James||GRN|
|800 meters||David Rudisha||KEN|
|1500 meters||Asbel Kiprop||KEN|
|3000 steeplechase||Ezekiel Kemboi||KEN|
|5000 meters||Mo Farah||GBR|
|10,000 meters||Mo Farah||GBR|
|110 hurdles||Liu Xiang||CHN|
|400 hurdles||David Greene||GBR|
|High Jump||Jesse Williams||USA|
|Pole Vault||Renaud Lavillenie||FRA|
|Long Jump||Mitchell Watt||AUS|
|Triple Jump||Christian Taylor||USA|
|Shot Put||Dylan Armstrong||CAN|
My Tough decisions:
Men’s 100 – Usain Bolt was undefeated, but never competed against World Champion Blake who in addition to the World title put up impressive numbers and only finished 2nd twice during the year.
Men’s 110 hurdles – Liu Xiang had the year’s 2nd fastest time, had only 1 loss outside the World championships (2nd to Oliver at Pre) and wins in Daegu if not for the impediment.
Men’s 400 hurdles – David Greene was never worse than 3rd and won the World title in Deagu. In a year where every major hurdler had major hiccups and losses, Greene gets my nod.
Men’s Triple Jump – Christian Taylor just won all year. He was the NCAA champion, US champion, and World champion. He had the best mark in the world and became #5 all time. He won major meets in London and Budapest and only had one hiccup all year (in Monaco). Most didn’t know who he was prior to Daegu – now they know. Reminiscent of Sergey Bubka’s debut in 1983.
Men’s Hammer – Koji Murofushi won Worlds and had only one loss – but he only had three meets with two of those at home. Meanwhile Krisztian Pars competed in 23 meets, winning 20 of them and was never worse than 2nd including his silver in Daegu.
2011 #1’s by Event – Women
|100 meters||Carmelita Jeter||USA|
|200 meters||Veronica Campbell Brown||JAM|
|400 meters||Amantle Montsho||BOT|
|800 meters||Mariya Savinova||RUS|
|1500 meters||Morgan Uceny||USA|
|3000 steeplechase||Yuliya Zaripova||RUS|
|5000 meters||Vivian Cheruiyot||KEN|
|10,000 meters||Vivian Cheruiyot||KEN|
|100 hurdles||Sally Pearson||AUS|
|400 hurdles||Lashinda Demus||USA|
|High Jump||Anna Chicherova||RUS|
|Pole Vault||Jenn Suhr||USA|
|Long Jump||Brittney Reese||USA|
|Triple Jump||Olha Saladuha||UKR|
|Shot Put||Valerie Adams||NZL|
My tough decisions:
Women’s 1500 – Morgan Uceny won the most big races (Brussels, Birmingham, Lausanne) was 2nd in NY, 3rd at Pre & Monaco, and was the world leader on the clock. Her fall in Daegu was her only major blemish, and she was tripped in that race.
Women’s Pole Vault – Jenn Suhr was only 4th in Daegu but she was the yearly leader, defeated gold medalist Murer in London, Stockholm & Zurich, and easily had the best overall record.
Women’s Javelin – Christina Obergfoll was only bronze in Daegu but never less than 2nd the rest of the year. She had the best overall seasonal record including wins over the gold/silver medalists from Daegu.