Sunday, March 20, 2016

World Indoors Day 3

It's very simple, really, this sport of ours. Boris Berian, Curtis Beach, and Michelle Carter demonstrated just how simple - and challenging - it can be on the third day of the World Indoor Championships in Portland, OR, on Saturday.

Last week Berian seemed to have fulfilled his enormous potential by winning his first US title at 800m. Try topping that with a World title. He sprinted to the lead of this remarkably deep field, never relinquished it, and burned off the kicks of even the world's greatest kickers like World outdoor champion, Mohammed Aman (ETH), with his gutsy, assertive - and brave - wire to wire run to a World title. That he pulled along teammate Chris Solinksky to a bronze topped a first-ever1-3 for the US in this event.

Curtis Beach sat in 6th place with the 1000m run to go in the men's heptathlon. A former US national high school record holder in the decathlon (with both JR and SR implements), Beach needed to leapfrog his way to 3rd to put himself on the world scene once again after 3 years of fighting injury. He negative split the first four of five laps: 29.93, 29.84, 29.41, 29.36, and he came home in 30.50. Germany's Mathias Brugger meanwhile ran the 1000m over four seconds faster than he ever had before and nipped Beach for bronze by only 8 points, 6126-6118.

Meanwhile, Michelle Carter (US), a multiple US champion in the shot put who had been a steady presence on the international scene until her bronze at the World Championships in Beijing last summer, pulled out a classic last-throw win with a new US record of 66' 3 3/4". This breaks the previous record by 1' 1/2", a truly massive improvement.

Run faster, yes; throw farther, yes. It usually works, but not when 6 other events come into play, as they did for Beach in the heptathlon. A stumble in the hurdles likely cost him bronze. "I'd rather get 4th with that effort than anything higher with a mediocre effort," said Beach.

"I'm just happy to be in my mid-20s and compete in track and field. A lot of my friends have awesome jobs, but if they had the chance they would probably be doing track! I'm just happy to wake up every day and go out and train and that's the truth. I'm already ahead of the game and I'm loving it."



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