Sunday, August 5, 2012

Commentary - A Terrific Start in London

Saturday was one of the greatest days of track and field in recent history. From Oscar Pistorius' historic 400m heat to Jessica Ennis' Cathy Freeman-like performance in the heptathlon, one event after the other after the other provided stadium as well as international audiences with performances that will be remembered for a very long time. Lost in the excitement of singing "God Save the Queen" so often is the quality of Ennis' score. Her 6955 makes her the #5 performer all-time, with the #11 performance.

Meanwhile, the women's marathon has just passed the halfway mark. It's 4:10am in Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest is still celebrating  yesterday's men's 10,000m in which Oregon Project members Mo Farah and Galen Rupp won gold and silver. Farah was already a gold and silver medalist from last year's World Championship; it was thrilling to see Galen Rupp apply on the international stage what he has for so long - since high school days, in fact - done so well in the United States and most especially at Eugene's Hayward Field.

It's a rainy day in London and wet rats all over the Pacific Northwest are wondering if rain is an advantage for two more Oregon Project runners, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher. The Olympic marathon course is quite different from those found in the World Marathon Majors series, as those tend to be flat and fast, and the Olympic course is notable for its many twists and turns - hard to sustain momentum when you're changing pace so frequently.

There is much anticipation for today's men's steeplechase, and I hope you'll take a moment to read my preview; Evan Jager has been one of the most exciting runners to burst upon the scene in this Olympic year.
Can he pull off one more memorable race?

Well, the marathon is over now, with Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana the victor. Flanagan and Goucher both PRed in 10th and 11th. It's 5:30 in Seattle and time for bed. Gotta rest up for that steeple!

After all the drama surrounding the women's 100m dash, the competitors produced the deepest race in history, with a remarkable 5 under 10.90. While Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won, Allyson Felix, center of the U.S. Olympic Trials storm, was only 5th.

After all this, Ally-Fraser wasn't quite what it was the first time around.


  1. Great blog, Mark. Pretty good predictions, too. Gold medal worthy.
    Greetings from the sofa in Willsboro.