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

World Indoor Medalists and Olympic Medals

Feb 21st, 2012
10:38 am PDT

The World Indoor Championships are right around the corner – and relatively speaking so are the Olympic Games. With so many top athletes not performing indoors, focusing instead of preparing for the outdoor season and ultimately the Games, it made me wonder which was more beneficial: using the indoor season to prepare, or continuing to train through the indoor season and opening in March/April instead.

Without undertaking a full scientific study on the subject, a quick and easy way to look at the matter would be to compare medalists from Indoor Worlds to those from the Olympics to see how well indoor success transferred to Olympic success. So here are the Olympic medalists from Valencia and Beijing.

2008 World Indoor Championships Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
60 Olusoji Fasuba Dwain Chambers Kim Collins
400 Tyler Christopher Johan Wissman Chris Brown
800 Abubaker Kaki Mbulaeni Muladzi Yusuf Kamel
1500 Deresse Mekonnen Daniel Komen Juan Carlos Higuero
3000 Tariku Bekele Paul Koech Abreham Cherkos
60H Liu Xiang Allen Johnson Yevgeniy Borisov
Stanislav Olijars
4×4 United States Jamaica Dominican Republic
PV Yevgeniy Lukyanenko Brad Walker Steve Hooker
LJ Godfrey Mokoena Chris Tomlinson Mohamed Al Khuwalidi
HJ Stefan Holm Yaroslav Rybakov Kyriakos Ioannou
Andra manson
TJ Phillips Idowu David Giralt Nelson Evora
Shot Christian Cantwell Reese Hoffa Tomasz Majewski
Hep Bryan Clay Andrey Kravchenko Dmitriy Karpov
60 Angela Williams Jeanette Kwakey Taheshia Harrigan
400 Olesya Zykina Natalya Nazarova Shareese Woods
800 Tamsyn Lewis Tetiana Petlyuk Maria Mutola
1500 Yelena Soboleva Yulia Formenko Geleta Burka
3000 Meseret Defar Meselech Melkamu Mariem Selsouli
60H Lolo Jones Candice Davis Anay Tejeda
4×4 Russia Belarus United States
PV Yelena Isinbayeva Jenn Stuckzynski Fabiana Murer
Monika Pyrek
LJ Naide Gomes Maurren Maggi Irina Simagina
HJ Blanka Vlasic Yelena Slesarenko Vita Palamar
TJ Yargelis Savingne Piyi Devetzi Marija Sestak
Shot Valerie Vili Nadezhda Ostapchuk Meiju Li
Pen Tia Hellebaut Kelly Sotherton Anna Bogdanova

 

2008 Olympic Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 Usain Bolt Richard Thompson Walter Dix
400 LaShawn Merritt Jeremy Wariner David Neville
800 Wilfred Bungei Ahmad Ismail Alfred Kira Yego
1500 Rashid Ramzi Asbel Kiprop Nick Willis
5000 Kenenisa Bekele Eliud Kipchoge Edwin Soi
110H Dayron Robles David Payne David Oliver
4×4 United States Bahamas Russia
PV Steve Hooker Yevgeniy Lukyanenko Denys Yurchenko
LJ Irving Saladino Godfrey Mokoena Ibrahim Camejo
HJ Andrey Silnov Germaine Mason Yaroslav Rybakov
TJ Nelson Evora Phillips Idowu Leevan Sands
Shot Tomasz Majewski Christian Cantwell Andrei Mikhnevich
Dec Bryan Clay Andrey Kravchenko Leonel Suarez
100 Shelly Ann Fraser Kerron Stewart Sherone Simpson
400 Christine Ohuruogu Shericka Williams Sanya Richards
800 Pamela Jelimo Janeth Jepkosgei Hasna Benhassi
1500 Nancy Lagat Iryna Lishchynska Natalya Tobias
5000 Tirunesh Dibaba Elvan Abeylegesse Meseret Defar
100H Dawn Harper Sally McLellan Priscilla Lopes Schliep
4×4 United States Russia Jamaica
PV Yelena Isinbayeva Jenn Stuckzynski Sveltana Feofanova
LJ Maurren Maggi Tatyana Lebedeva Blessing Okagbare
HJ Tia Hellebaut Blanka Vlasic Anna Chicherova
TJ Francoise Mbango Tatyana Lebedeva Piyi Devetzi
Shot Valerie Vili Natalya Mikhnevich Nadezhda Ostapchuk
Hep Natalya Dobrinska Hyleas Fountain Tatyana Chernova

 

The first thing that stands out, is that only three individual gold medalists were able to repeat their indoor performances outdoors:  Bryan Clay winning both multis; Valerie Vili the shot put; and Yelena Isinbayeva the pole vault. Coincidentally two of those runner ups also repeated outdoors: Andrey Kravchenko in the multis and Jenn Stuckzynski in the pole vault.

As a matter of fact, the field events saw several individiuals win medals indoors and out – especially on the men’s side, with nine athletes medaling in both events. On the track however, the indoor results could not have been more different as not a single individuals medalist indoors managed to pick up hardware in Beijing. The greatest irony being in the women’s 1500 where all three indoor medalists ran under 4:00, yet couldn’t medal in an Olympic final won in 4:00.23 – as a matter of fact none of the indoor medalists even made the Olympic final!

So it would seem that indoors seems to work in the preparation of the field eventers, but may not be that beneficial on the track. Something to think about while watching the upcoming Indoor Championships in Istanbul. I’ll be curious to compare charts again in September.

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