Marshevet Myers talks about winning her heat in a time of 10.99 before taking the finals in 11.01 while running into a slight headwind. What’s up next for the Texas Longhorn? Myers is set run the 100m in Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 1:30pm.
So far the first half of the Diamond Leagues Series and other grand prix races have lived up to expectations.
Post-doping era, track and field was supposed to be lifeless. Sort of like baked chicken with no seasonings - bland. The mainstream media has long written off the sport or at least will not write about the sport unless there is a drug scandal involved.
The bad press to the sport was a self-inflicted wound that was somewhat deserved. During the last decade a parade of athletes were found guilty of doping. The sport became the running joke of late night television fueled by ESPN reports that broke into programming to announce to deliver the news.
With a major international championship, 2010 was written off by some.
But the competition within the sport as it must goes on and it does. David Oliver has rebounded from an injury plagued 2009 season to not only break the American Record once, but twice. Almost immediately Kara Patterson became a household name among avoid fans after crushing the American Record in the javelin. Oh, and Chaunte Howard Lowe has emerged to break her own American Record in the high jump not once but twice while also finding time to dabble in the long jump this season.
The compelling force behind track and field is the athlete’s story - the most important ingredient. Their journey. Their toil. Their condition behind the wins, defeats, and records. The story is what the community wants to hear about. And we must never forget that athletes are center stage.
Allen Johnson announced his retirement on Saturday, said goodbye to a professional track career that seems the stuff of sports fiction.
“It’s just come to the point where my body can’t take it anymore,” said Johnson in a trackside interview.
“Maybe I can coach some hurdlers or some sprinters… give something back. I’m going to miss it, I really am, but it was fun,” added the former World and Olympic 110 meter hurdles champion.
One of the interesting things about his career is the University of Carolina graduate never won an individual NCAA title during his time at Chapel Hill but he quickly became a star as professional.
On Saturday, one of the unique chapters in professional track and field history closed when Allen, 39, announced his retirement after winning Olympic gold in Atlanta, and turned in countless outstanding performances.
He finishes with four World Outdoor Titles, three World Indoor Titles, finished the seasoned ranked number one four times, and one of greatest performances ever with a personal best of 12.92 seconds just .02 shy of the current American Record - is among the best in track history.
Few have been so good, for so long. In 2005, Johnson earned a bronze at the World Outdoor Championships at the age of 34. Johnson has run under 13 seconds more than an hurdler in history - nine times.
Allen showed grace even in defeat. I am him picking himself after falling in the early rounds of the 2004 Athen Games preventing him from competing for a second Olympic gold medal.
Allen never was one for attention. Yet he’s getting it now.
American record holder David Oliver said on his Twitter account, “Just talked to Allen Johnson, sad to see him call it a career and retire, a real genuine dude…”
“Allen Johnson is an inspiration for competition as lifelong pursuit. He embodies all the qualities you could ask for from a champion. Above all, he conducted himself with class, on and off the track”, said Doug Logan CEO of USA Track and Field.
“He won and lost with dignity, although clearly he won more than he lost. Allen set the standard for hurdling at the World and Olympic level and has inspired a generation of hurdlers, from the U.S. to Cuba to China, who continue to chase his achievements. That chase will continue for years to come.”
Lolo Jones once said, “”In track and field I most admire Allen because I have watched him growing up. I remember Allen, specifically, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I remember how he carried himself on TV and how he represented himself and his country was amazing.”
While Friday marked a bookend to Johnson’s career, to really appreciate his story you have to have met the man only once. He is widely known in track circles for mentoring young athletes on how to make it in the track game and befriending competitors. I’ve seen few hearts as big and as humble an athlete as Johnson.
The dashing, dazzling runs may be gone but Johnson’s contributions to this sport will never be forgotten.
INDIANAPOLIS - In his first 100m competition of the year, American record holder Tyson Gay used an impressive finishing burst in passing former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica in winning the men’s 100m Saturday at the Aviva British Grand Prix in Gateshead, England.
The British Grand Prix is a member of the prestigious new IAAF Samsung Diamond League series consisting of 14 of the greatest invitational track meets in the world. For more information visit: www.diamondleague.com
Gay trailed Powell for most of the race before passing him with 20 meters to go. In the first battle this season between two of the ‘big three’ of men’s sprinting (Gay, Powell and Usain Bolt) Gay put an end to Powell’s unbeaten season by crossing the finish line first in 9.94 seconds.
Competitors in the 100m dealt with a +1.7 meters per second headwind. “I felt good,” Gay told the IAAF. “Asafa’s one of my favorite competitors and I managed to get him today. I really had to stretch to the finish line and he didn’t see me coming. The wind maybe affected the time slightly, but not much.”
Powell was the runner-up in 9.96, with Daniel Bailey (ANT) third in 10.15 and Trell Kimmons fourth in 10.18.
In other events, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and 2010 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Walter Dix won the men’s 200 meters with his time of 20.26 seconds. Dix, who posted the second-fastest time in the world this year of 19.72 from his win last Saturday at the Nike Prefontaine Classic and won earlier this week in Lausanne, finished just ahead of two-time World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist and reigning national champion Wallace Spearmon, who was the runner-up in 20.29. Jaysuma Saidy Ndure (NOR) was third in 20.31 and Angelo Taylor was fourth in 20.50.
U.S. women’s sprinters also were successful in Gateshead with 2009 national 100m champion and two-time World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter winning her specialty in 10.95 seconds. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad was the runner-up in 11.00, with Sherone Simpson of Jamaica third in 11.02.
2007 USA Junior champion and Pan Am Junior gold medalist Bianca Knight was victorious in the women’s 200m in 22.71. Rosemarie Whyte of Jamaica was the runner-up in 22.81, with Anneisha McLaughlin (JAM) finishing third in 22.95.
2007 USA and NCAA Outdoor champion Alysia Johnson posted an impressive win in the women’s 800 meters by crossing the finish line first in 1:59.84. Finishing second was Halima Hachlaf (MAR) in 2:00.49, with Yuliya Krevsun (UKR) third in 2:00.67. 2008 Olympian and 2009 World Outdoor Championships fifth-place finisher Christin Wurth-Thomas finished fourth in 2:00.75.
Also posting a win today was two-time World Indoor champion and two-time Indoor Visa Champion Lolo Jones, who won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.79 seconds. Jones, who is the 2010 USA Outdoor champion and posted the fastest-time in the world this year of 12.55 on June 12 in New York, finished ahead of runner-up Danielle Carruthers (12.98) and Canadian standout Perdita Felicien, who was third in 13.01.
U.S. women turning in runner-up performances in Gateshead included reigning national 400m champion, 2009 World Outdoor Championships sixth-place finisher and current world 400m leader Debbie Dunn (50.66), and 2004 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Morgan Uceny (4:04.26), who posted the fastest 1,500m time by an American this outdoor season earlier this week in Lausanne when she finished fifth in 4:02.40, which is her career best. 2008 Olympian and Olympic Trials record holder Kara Patterson, who set the American record in the women’s javelin in winning at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships, finished as the runner-up today with her best throw of 63.11m/207-0.
Another impressive performance was turned in by 2010 USA Outdoor Championships runner-up Leonel Manzano, who posted the fastest time by an American this outdoor season with his 1,500m second-place finish in 3:33.51. His performance bettered the previous U.S. leading mark of 3:33.92 that he posted when he finished third in New York on June 12.
Also turning in a strong performance was Ben Bruce, who was the runner-up in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines. Bruce finished third today in 8:22.88, which is his personal best time and the second-fastest time by an American this year.
All-time hurdles great Allen Johnson retires at Gateshead
According to a report by the BBC, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, four-time World Outdoor champion and all-time 110m hurdles great Allen Johnson announced his retirement today in Gateshead at the age of 39.
“It’s just come to the point where my body can’t take it anymore,” said Johnson.”Maybe I can coach some hurdlers or some sprinters… give something back. I’m going to miss it, I really am, but it was fun.”
May 23, 2010: In his first trip to China since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt cruised to victory in the 200m in 19.76 seconds at the Diamond League Shanghai meet.
For the next couple weeks everyone will be talking about who had the biggest season. And for good reason. Usain Bolt had a mind boggling season that shocked even his most ardent critics. Yes, Sanya Richards sealed her legacy in the sport and Kenenisa Bekele added another chapter to an already hall of fame career.
But this debate is officially closed.
This year Usain Bolt’s answered the one of the last questions for the Jamaican superstar. The Jamaican megastar proved that he can win great competition in the 100 meter race and also shattered his own 100 and 200 meter world records. It’s the litmus test of greatness. Carl did it. Michael did it. At the World Champions in August, Bolt bettered a Tyson Gay who said before the meet that he was in the best of his life by a comfortable margin.
That’s what the great ones do.
The other pressing issue is whether Bolt is big enough to save the sport. Sure it’s a lot of pressure for any athlete and especially in track and field. Legend Michael Johnson remarked this summer that he believes the sport is in decline. Rather than another article bemoaning the sport’s ills, we should focus on the man who can do something about changing the tide.
Sure Usain Bolt astonishes every time he gets in the blocks. But can the three-time world record holder put butts in the seats, sell overpriced hot dogs, and give the average sports fan a single reason to care even a morsel about the goings on in elite track and field?
That’s what the great ones do.
Bolt puts on a show and that is good for the sport. He is not afraid to pull up before the finish line or strike a pose after a win. He is quickly becoming a global superstar on the track. The next challenge is to do so off the track.
Considering his track record, you would be a fool to beat against him. Stay tuned and you may want to get your popcorn ready.
BERLIN - The IAAF Congress on Wednesday approved a new rule that will disqualify athletes the first time they false start in any given race. The rule will take effect January 1, 2010.
The rule will replace the current false-start policy of the first false-start being charged to the entire field, with only subsequent false-starts resulting in disqualification. Implementation is set for 2010 in order to enable athletes to become accustomed to the rule well ahead of the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Speaking in support of the rule change, IAAF President Lamine Diack pointed to the NCAA’s longstanding no false start rule as evidence that such a rule is practical and enforceable. He stated his belief that “the current rule gives sprinters the chance to play the system,” he said, “to deliberately false start but not be punished for it.”
The rule change was approved by a vote of 97 to 55, with six abstentions. The IAAF Congress on Wednesday also approved defining masters as age 40 and over for long-distance running and road racing.
The IAAF Congress is being held in Berlin prior to the start of the 12th IAAF World Outdoor Championships, which begin Saturday and conclude August 23.
For more information on the World Championships, visit www.usatf.org
Tomorrow, the Aviva London Grand Prix begins. Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay take to the track at the Crystal Palace for Aviva London Grand Prix. Universal Sports has live coverage of this 2-day Super Grand Prix. Below is event coverage webcast and TV coverage.
Saturday, July 25
9:00am – 1:00pm ET (LIVE)
Universal Sports TV
Friday, July 24
3:00pm – 5:30pm ET
Saturday, July 25
3:00pm – 6:00pm ET