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

My 2011 #1’s Rankers by Event

Oct 10th, 2011
4:22 pm PDT

imageTime 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

Event Athlete Country
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
Discus Robert Harting GER
Hammer Krisztian Pars HUN
Javelin Andreas Thorkildsen NOR
Decathlon Tre Hardee USA


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

Event Athlete Country
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
Discus Li Yanfeng CHN
Hammer Betty Heidler GER
Javelin Christina Obergfoll GER
Heptathlon Tatyana Chernova RUS


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.

2 Responses to “My 2011 #1’s Rankers by Event”

  1. Anderson says:

    I think there is a good argument for Jeter over VCB in the 200.
    Besides Daegu I think she raced the 200 only 3 times this year, 1 of thoes times was trials, another time was a loss to SAFP, and the final time was a tiny meet against SRR.

    Jeter on the other hand not only raced everywhere, but she managed to win the Diamond League 200 and a silver medal. She has beat all the other major competitors besides VCB this year(Felix, Solomon, Knight, Stewart etc…)
    Even though VCB won, I thin Jeter was overall a better 200m runner this season.

  2. Conway Hill says:

    I came real close to giving Jeter the nod .. But she had 4 losses … Adidas, Nationals, Birmingham and Worlds ..

    Jeter was four wins and four losses in eight events … VCB was four wins and one loss in five events …

    They were only .02 different on the clock … In the end I went with the World champ ..

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