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Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:00

Day 2 at the US Champs: In the 100m, Run Your Race. Featured

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Finish of the 100 meters Finish of the 100 meters www.Photo Run.net
By Larry Eder
The two 100-meter races on Friday night were very different. Both races, were examples of the quality of American men and women in the sprints. They also show that sprint skills are developed, and that experience wins out, in many cases.
 
On the women's side, Tori Bowie has finally come to believe in herself. Staying focused, Ms. Bowie has tremendous talent over 100 meters, and exceptional skills over 200 meters. In the 100 meters, Torie Bowie had an adequate start, and moved into contention with half of the race, and dominated the last 40 meters, running strong through the finish.
 Deajah Stevens, the fine sprinter from Oregon, took second in 11.08, running her own race. Stevens is a fine young sprinter, who we should see around for many years to come. Ariana Washington, a Duck team mate of Ms. Stevens, ran the next best race, finishing in 11.10. Akinosun, Brown and Gardner were in the race, but had their mishaps over the last 40 meters. Allyson Felix was in the 100 meters for speed work and her 11.03 in the first round was more than enough to get her ready for her real goal, winning the 400 meters in London.
 
The issue in American woman sprinting is this. The level of American sprinting is very high, so that any mistakes mean that your are no longer fighting for first, but for second, perhaps third. Make another mistake and the party is over.
 
Ah, the men's 100 meters. Oh, little grasshopper, how many times do you have to see this story? Remember that show Kung Fu? (If not, google it). Experience and patience win out at the big league level of the 100 meters.
 
Christian Coleman came into Sacramento as a Tennesse Volunteer. By the semi-finals, he was a Nike professional athlete.
 
Coleman ran 9.93 in 105 degree weather. Gatlin runs 10.00. Hmmm, what do we learn here? Then, in the semi finals, Coleman runs 10.00, and Gatlin runs 10.02.
 
Remember, get through the rounds with as little trauma and energy as possible, and put all into the final.
 
Justin Gatln used his decade plus experience, and as Christian Coleman started to slow down after 50 meters, Gatlin waited for his time. As Coleman came to 70 meters, he started to push, and as he pushed, he slowed down, tying up a bit. A relaxed Justin Gatlin let his speed take him through the finish, leaned well and made his move.
 
The win was Justin Gatlin’s. He deserved it, because he ran the smarter race.
 
What does this say for London? We should have three Americans in the final, and that Yohan Blake is not the Yohan Blake of 2012. Andre De Grasse should be tough in London, but Gatlin and Coleman look like they are in the medal hunt. I also think highly of the young Christopher Belcher.
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