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The eighteen medal haul of Team USATF was pretty impressive. Truth is, we probably missed a couple of medals with the plethora of DQs, but I’m not going to get grumpy. Some fine athletes and some fine performances. Thanks to Ashley Mitchel and Josh Gurnick of USATF,, who toiled each session to provide us the support we needed to cover the four days of global track & field.
BIRMINGHAM, England - A six-medal afternoon Sunday at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham gave USATF one of its most successful performances at World Indoors.
A championship-record performance by the women's 4x400m relay team of Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline, Shakima Wimbley and Courtney Okolo was complemented by silvers from Ajee Wilson, Jarret Eaton, Sam Kendricks and the men's 4x400m relay team.
By the end of the day, Team USATF had amassed 18 total medals for the 2018 World Indoor Championships, equaling its third-best performance ever at World Indoors. Along the way, American athletes racked up four championship records, an American record, and 10 performances that were the best ever by Americans at World Indoors.
In team competition, Team USATF's 18 medals led Great Britain's seven, with six U.S. gold medals to Ethiopia's four. Team USATF tallied 208 points on the placing table, followed by Great Britain with 67 and Ethiopia with 57.
Published in Track & Field
The sixty meters is an unforgiving sprint. You either are on, or you are off.
Christian Coleman has been on all season.
His 6.37 for the 60 meters woke us up on January 19. A fast time, but again, early in season, and without electronic blocks, a Zero gun and drug testing (it costs money), no record. Maurice Greene's 6.39 from 1998 and 2001 was safe for a bit more time.
That time ended on February 17, when Christian ran 6.34 at the USATF Indoor Championships, destroying the World Record and setting a WR with electronic blocks, Zero Gun and drug testing. Coleman had his world record.
And then comes the World Indoors....
Published in Track & Field
The World Indoor Championships in Birmingham are being marred by offer officiating. It was a problem on day, it became a nightmere on day 2, and now, it is the narrative. Ironically, a conversation with Seb Coe from a year ago, noting that some of the rather arcane rules that hurt the sport need to be revised.
The 400 meter that never was, first two DQed, Pavel Maslak wins, photo by
That runners are going out of their lanes is a fact. That they are impending others is not a fact. That several key stars were DQed for events that did not impeed others. The over judging of events will be, unfortunately, one of the narratives of this championships. The IAAF now had another problem that can mar the sport.
Consider this, why would a family of four come to a major championships, and see, to their shock that, after they watch a fantastic 400 meters, the gold and silver medalists are DQed for impeding other athletes'progress?
That is the issue, before the 400 meter and 800 meter fiascos, there was over 25 DQs, so anything after that was questioned. How could this happen in the birthplace of modern track & field?
What about Federations that file complaints, hoping to get their athletes a medal? It sure seems like what is happening.Our sport has bumping and physical contact, get over it.
A 400-meter heat where all in the heat are DQed?
The sport needs an Ombudsman, someone who is above the Jury of Appeals, and brings people to their senses. This is like a Monty Python episode, The Athletes who run out of lanes.
Please read this well-considered piece by our English friend who I thought was a Scot, J. Stuart Weir.
From the sublime to the ridiculous:
The evening of Day 3 produced many magnificent moments of outstanding brilliance and compelling high drama. Sadly the evening was also marred by moments of farce and controversy.
Starting with the Good
Christian Coleman won the 60m from Bingtian Su. The only disappointment was that Coleman was 3/100s of a second outside the World Record.
Genzebe Dibaba won the 1500m to pull off a two-day double of 3000m and 1500m. She really is a class act.
Keni Harrison won her first global title in the 60m hurdles in 7.70 to equal the World Lead. Winner of the IAAF Indoor series, Christina Manning was second in 7.79, in a race where any of the first four would have been a worthy winner.
Sandi Morris won a pole vault competition that lasted 3 hours with a vault of 4.95m. Katerina Stefanidi, the reigning World outdoor and Olympic champion was third, only managing 4.80. That Morris, who has been runner-up in the last three global finals, and Stefanidi could only clear 4.80 at the third attempt made the final even more absorbing.
The Bad
The evening was marred by far too much intervention by the officials. The nadir was the decision to disqualify Drew Windle (USA) who finished second in the 800m for obstruction and to promote third to second and fourth to third. And then, over an hour after the race finished, to reinstate Windle and demote the two previously promoted athletes.
In the men's 400m the winner, Oscar Husillos (Spain) and second-place finisher, Luguelin Antos (The Dominican Republic) were disqualified. Spain lodged an appeal but the Dominican Republic did not. The Jury decided that the disqualifications should stand.
I cannot say that any of the officials' decisions were right or wrong. I do not have the evidence. But there must be a better way to do it! Better, surely to hold a result if there are genuine doubts than to announce a result, change it and then change it back. There also did seem to be too many disqualifications for marginal offences which had no impact on the outcome of the race.
Published in Track & Field
Keni Harrison is the World Record holder for the 100 meter hurdles. She has been followed by bad luck for a while now, not making Olympic teams, missing medals. Each time an interview came up, she would be asked about her tough luck. It had to be overpowering. Yet, this weekend, Keni Harrison took her legacy into her own hands and ran strong rounds in the 60 meter hurdles. Her semi final made it clear that Keni Harrison was here for business.
In the final, Keni Harrison had one of her finest starts, and ran, hurdle for hurdle, with precision and focus. No one was going to stop Keni Harrison at the Arena Birmingham on Saturday, March 3, 2018, as she ran a championship record of 7.70! Her time is only two tenths of a second off the WR set by Susana Kallur of Sweden in 2005. Harrison now has her first global title, and she knows it. I told BBC last night that Keni Harrison is one of the finest hurdlers in the world. She had to believe that. 
Published in Track & Field
A great pole vault competition.
There have been many great events this weekend but it’s hard to think of a more exciting competition than the women's pole vault. Christian Coleman had to "work" for just over 6 seconds to win his 60m gold medal. Sandi Morris was out there for 3 hours to win hers.
Two streaks came to an end. Katerina Stefanidi, the reigning World outdoor and Olympic champion, was finally beaten after a winning streak of 19 competitions. Sandi Morris broke a less welcome streak - silver at the Worlds Championships (indoor and outdoor) and the Olympics.
Pole vault involves running with a pole and vaulting over a high bar. It involves a lot more than that! An elite competition is often two competitions in one, with the event over for some athletes before others have started. When Stefanidi entered the competition at 4.70, others had been jumping for an hour and a quarter. When Stefanidi cleared 4.70 and moved on to 4.75, only six competitors of the original 12 were still standing - or still vaulting.
Morris recently explained to me her approach to the tactics of the event: "The general rule of thumb for me has been to enter the competition about 30 centimeters under my PB. At this point, with my PB at 5.00m, that’s still pretty high so I like to enter the competition at 4.40m or 4.50m. [In Birmingham she came in at 4.50.] If I’m feeling really good, I may pass a bar. It really depends on an athlete's confidence because that really is the key to making bars at the first attempt: trusting that you are doing the right thing. Having the right coaching, what pole to start with and so on, are also factors. You also go off your warm-up. If I have a bad warm-up, I might come in a bit lower and jump more bars to get myself into a rhythm. That is my tactic.”
Published in Track & Field
Seb Coe is the President of the IAAF. He took over the Federation during its lowest time in modern history. Coe survived the incarceration of Lamine Diack, the Russian drug crisis, and has been left with a sport that has a future that still may have some unpleasant things from its past.
A global federation is only as good as its members, and its leadership. Seb Coe, for whatever reasons, seems still personally invigorated by his sport, and genuinely wants its future success.
We were fortunate to meet with Lord Coe on Saturday evening, as he was walking through the Mixed Zone, speaking with the BBC, Olympic TV, Czech TV and then, RunBlogRun.
I asked him a few questions. I wanted to see what were his favorite moments as a British citizen and his favorites as the leader of the global federation. Seb, being Seb, beat me to the punch on that one. My final question was, how do you deal with the two lords of modern sport, Entertainment and Real Sports?
His answer was thoughtful, as you would expect.Below is our audio interview with Seb Coe, from 3 March 2018.
Published in Track & Field
The USATF team at the World Indoors Championships goal was 17 medals, and they achieved 18! A fantastic group of young and old athletes, Team USATF kicked the proverbial butt. A fine group of athletes, and an honor to their country, @theshoeaddicts and @runblogrun did many interviews with the athletes, which we'll be posting over the next few weeks.
This is from the USATF communications team, which was superb. Special thanks to Ashley Mitchell and Josh Gurnick, who survived my questions each and every session and even provided some geek stuff to help @runblogrun provide better coverage for our readers!
Women's 60m Hurdles 7.70= Kendra Harrison
Men's 60m — 6.37 — Christian Coleman
Women's 60m Hurdles — 7.70 — Kendra Harrison
Women's Pole Vault — 4.95m/16-2.75 — Sandi Morris
Women's 4x400m Relay — 3:23.85 — Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline, Shakima Wimbley, Courtney Okolo
Men's 60m — 6.37 — Christian Coleman
Men's 800m — 1:45.52 — Drew Windle (semifinals)
Men's 4x400m Relay — 3:01.97 — Fred Kerley, Michael Cherry, Aldrich Bailey, Vernon Norwood
Men's Long Jump — 8.42m/27-7.5 — Marquis Dendy
Women's 400m — 50.55 — Courtney Okolo
Women's 800m — 1:58.99 — Ajee' Wilson
Women's 60m Hurdles — 7.70 — Kendra Harrison
Women's 4x400m Relay — 3:23.85 — Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline, Shakima Wimbley, Courtney Okolo
Women's Pole Vault — 4.95m/16-2.75 — Sandi Morris
Women's Triple Jump — 14.31m/46-11.5 — Keturah Orji
-- Set a Team USATF high for silver medals with 10.
-- First-ever U.S. 1-2 finish in the women's 400m, by Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley.
-- Third 1-2 finish in the women's 60m hurdles, by Kendra Harrison and Christina Manning.
Published in Track & Field