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Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 7:29PM - in reply to Jeff Wigand Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jeff--

Is that a serious question?

You can demonstrate its seriousness to me by first posting what YOU can tell us about transition from 8 to 7 steps.

I'm weary of being suckered into posting first all the time.
Jeff Wigand
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 7:32PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Here's a serious question (which I believe will show fault in your logic): what is your assessment of 8.90?
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 8:41PM - in reply to Jeff Wigand Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jeff--

I see that, disappointingly but predictably, you haven't offered anything but another question.

I'm glad I avoided getting suckered this time.

However, I'm still willing to go second if you go a meaningful first.
clean
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 8:57PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
He did not as much as whisper on any one of those hurdles. Pretty rare to see a 110 high hurdle race where an athlete never as much as touches a barrier. Gorgeous.

To the hurdle guys out there, given the technical demands of the event, how much would PEDs really do for a guy? Watching the race video, I see gorgeous technique, flawless trail leg, beautiful rhythm. Not sure PEDs can ever enable that.

We just might be seeing his magic year. All of the great ones seem to have one campaign where they put it all together. This might be his one.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 9:13PM - in reply to clean Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yes, his technique was wonderful.

Can PED's enable a great trail leg and beautiful rhythm?

Mark McKoy, 13.08, Barcelona gold 13.12, the Justin Gatlin of the hurdles.

He served only a 2-year suspension.

I personally remember seeing him go from a normal-looking sprint athlete, to an abnormal-looking sprint athlete.

I will never forget him taking off his warmups, and seeing that he now had SQUARE biceps.

His vascularity was so exaggerated, that that is what it looked like. I will NEVER forget it.

You want to talk about improved time to the first hurdle?
Jeff Wigand
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 9:19PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You've stated:

"juicing can absolutely enable 7 steps rather than 8 to the first hurdle"

And I'm doubtful that you have any real world experience or hard data to back up this claim. Maybe I'm wrong and you have personal experience with seven stepping or you coached people to seven step, but I'd be surprised.

Furthermore, you claim that Aries' stupendous season and historic WR are without a doubt drug enhanced. A record such as Aries' is not without precedence.

As I alluded to earlier, Bob Beamon had jumped superbly leading up to the Olympics, hitting 8.30 indoors and 8.33 leading up to the games, with the indoor mark a world best, and the outdoor mark just under the world record. He then goes to Mexico City, where he jumps 8.90A +2.0, which is worth about 8.60 under normal wind and air pressure conditions, still a 22cm improvement on the sea-level WR, an adjusted performance not met until Carl Lewis in the early 1980s. He had been tiptoeing around the world record until he absolutely smashed it.

Jonathan Edwards is another example. Look at his 1995 season:

17.58 +1.4
17.46 -0.3
17.72 +0.5
18.43 +2.4
17.74 +1.7
18.03 +2.9
17.69 +0.5
17.98 +1.8 WR
17.45 +1.0
18.08 +2.5
17.58A +3.3
17.46 +1.4
18.16 +1.3 WR
18.29 +1.3 WR
17.49 +0.4
17.60 +0.3
18.00 +1.3
17.35 +0.8
17.29 +1.6

After meet after meet of hitting the high 17s, everything came together and he took the WR another 31cm. Because with these incredibly fine tuned athletes, executing technique flawlessly will produce extraordinarily good results. And once that day has passed, they'll probably never do it again. Owens never beat the day he had at Big Tens in '35. Beamon never broke 27ft again and Edwards never came within 25cm of his WR after his 18.29. There are these rare occasions where an athlete at the top his game pushes an event forward by a decade (sometimes more) and this was one of them.

We've always known how good Aries is, running 13.12 his final year at Tennessee. That was a glimmer of what was underneath the surface. Refining technique (which included cutting out a step in his approach) and acting more like a professional (improved diet, leading to less excess weight) have helped him waste less time on the hurdles and stay healthy this whole year, something that hasn't happened during his professional career. Allen Johnson said it himself.

The thing that gets me with your statement (as if it's fact) is that it's not as if he's coming from some back water in the former Eastern Bloc, or working with Team Balco (unlike some people still competing today). He's no Debbie Dunn (everyone knew who was behind her when she sprang up in 2009). Show me the dirty influence. Or do you assume Beamon and Edwards were chemically assisted to their WRs? Which you might.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/8/2012 9:23PM - in reply to Jeff Wigand Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jeff--

I see you continue not to provide anything on 7 vs 8 steps.

However, I will respond to some of your post tomorrow.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 12:19PM - in reply to Jeff Wigand Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Jeff--

As you have posted absolutely none of your thinking on 7 steps vs 8, you're apparently not serious about it, and so I won't waste my time providing you with the baseline you are requesting.

Instead, I would direct you to this brief synopsis:

http://www.hurdlesfirst.com/sevenstepping.htm

I repeat: juicing can absolutely enable 7 steps rather than 8--more to the point, it can absolutely enable a quicker time over the first couple of hurdles while using 7 rather than 8 steps to the first. But I've said too much already.

As to your point that "a record such as Merritt's is not without precedence"--it is NOT "the record" that is of primary importance, it is Merritt's performance history, which includes the record. In making your argument, you have exalted the importance of a single dimension of a single performance above the multiple dimensions of his performance history which were enumerated in my original post. Hardly convincing, wouldn't you say? Especially since I agree with you on that particular dimension, for reasons better than the reasoning that you yourself posted. Here is that agreement:

Yes, there are definitely precedents for a record such as Merritt's--however, the less similar the scenarios are in those precedents compared to Merritt's scenario, the less those precedents say about whether or not Merritt is doping.

On the second point, although there are many who believe that Edwards doped, I think it's reasonable to assume that both Edwards and Beamon were clean.

On the first point, forget about Beamon and Edwards. They are athletes in different events, both jumps--everybody knows that if you get lucky with a puff of wind in a jump, you will sail. (I'm not saying that is what happened with them, I'm just pointing out one dimension in which your chosen comparisons are wanting; there are other such dimensions as well as this one.) It would be much better to instead use athletes in the 110mH event, which would be the most direct comparison.

There are 2 kinds of scenarios at the top of the 110mH: guys who have consistently good performances, and for whom the "exemplary" one is not much better than the average of their best--guys like Robles, Liu, Oliver, and Johnson. In order, their exemplary performance is ahead of the average of their next-best 3 performances by .03, .04, .03, and .01

Merritt is ahead by .13

By itself, this fact doesn't really prove anything, because the other scenario, where an athlete has one disproportionately excellent time, has been proven possible in the 110mH by other top hurdlers like Arnold, Jackson, Kingdom, and Nehemiah. In order, their exemplary performance is ahead of the average of their next-best 3 performances by .13, .08, .07, and .11

Notice that Merritt is at the very top of this range compared to his peer group--so even though a one-off is possible in the 110mH, a one-off of this magnitude, though not specifically unprecedented in his peer group, is HIGHLY unlikely.

Further, the ultimate conclusion that he is not doping rests on the assumption that none of the peer group to which he is being compared was doping. The first group of 4 is not a good basis of comparison, as they didn't exhibit the huge one-off performance. The best comparisons in the second group are Arnold and Nehemiah. I offer no opinion on their status, which should probably be accepted as clean, in the absence of any decent argument to the contrary. So, Merritt's performance is left in the highly unlikely category, however not suggesting juicing based on that fact alone.

******************************************************

HOWEVER THAT IS NOT THE ONLY FACT, AS HAS ALREADY BEEN DISCUSSED.

Did you read the original post?

" Synopsis: He is ahead of second by .07 Nine (9) guys are sandwiched into the next .07 Ridiculous.

His average finishing position this year is something like 1.2, because he won literally all his races except one. Last year it was 2.5 Ridiculous.

He went under 13 8 times this year, zero times before in his career. Ridiculous.

He had the 8 of the top 10 performances this year, and all top 7. Ridiculous.

His best last year was equal to something like his 10th best this year. Ridiculous.

I don't remember everything from that deleted post specifically, but you get the picture.

Also, juicing can absolutely enable 7 steps rather than 8 to the first hurdle.

Put it all together, and there is no way that he is clean IMO.

12.80 by Merritt is quite egregious, actually."

NOWHERE DID I MENTION THE SINGLE DIMENSION THAT YOU ARGUED, AND I HAVE HEREIN IN FACT AGREED WITH IT, MAKING YOUR ARGUMENT MOOT.

Consider this merely conclusory, chest-thumping comment:

"There are these rare occasions where an athlete at the top his game pushes an event forward by a decade (sometimes more) and this was one of them."

So was Ben Johnson's 9.79

"That was a glimmer of what was underneath the surface."

Merely conclusory, assumes what it sets out to prove.

"Refining technique (which included cutting out a step in his approach) and acting more like a professional (improved diet, leading to less excess weight) have helped him waste less time on the hurdles and stay healthy this whole year, something that hasn't happened during his professional career."

PED's inarguably enable superior technique, leaner body mass, and injury prevention/quick healing.

"The thing that gets me with your statement (as if it's fact) is that it's not as if he's coming from some back water in the former Eastern Bloc, or working with Team Balco..."

This suggests that he is, and has been for years, a highly trained professional who has availed himself of the best that the system has to offer to the best of his ability to so avail himself, which would militate against his massive year-over-year improvement in both times and finishing placement.

"Show me the dirty influence."

I cannot, but it is not required. It would be only one piece of evidence in a body of evidence, and it is not dispositive of the issue.
jerry123
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 1:17PM - in reply to Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
merritt absolutely enhanced by peds ,no matter what
excuses , and considering past two w.r holders doped
also suggests this. tell me how many past and future chinese high hurdles of note have there been .


as was beamon ,juiced to gills in 1968 like alot
of other americans in such events ,dianabol ,etc .
and as didnt know how to best cycle or dose them at that
stage more than liked ruined the rest of his career .





and edwards probably enhanced by steroids in 95 ,however got away with it, . probably inside help from federation knowing when and where will be selectivly tested for whole season . ,allowing
joints ,tendons ,etc be able for stress of event and his high impact technique that used for it but unlike previous two,
,there is a chance that could be clean .mike connolly was convinced that was doped .

triple jump by far more technical than other two , and he used newer techniques to suit his joint strength and speed and light weight and frame .he actually was quite strong and fast and seems moralistic on the extreme ,
that alot more chance that clean and just had great qualities that all added up to these performances in it ,

but then again the numbers are hard to ignore now and since ,and brits are known
for such covert doping ,i.e coe and middle distance running in 1980's that highly probable for 1995 anyway .
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 2:13PM - in reply to jerry123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
One of the big problems with unscathed dopers is that they are used by people like Wigand as false precedents. Again, I have no opinion on whether or not either or both Beamon or Edwards was doped.

Check out the hurdles records viewable on the IAAF site. In 3 of the years since the beginning of the records list in 1999, a single athlete has had a ridiculously dominant year:

2012-Merritt
2010-Oliver
2008-Robles

In all the other years, the top performances were more evenly distributed, as were the performances of the top athlete of the year.

Now consider the validity of using Oliver's 2010 and Robles' 2008 seasons as precedents for Merritt's 2012 season.

The first season to consider is that of Robles. It is known that Robles is willing to cheat in order to win, as he tried to do in the WC 2011 final. Among other things, including but not limited to his WR and his dominance in 2008, this is strong evidence that he has not only the moral capability to dope, but that he actually has, in fact, doped.

The second season to consider is that of Oliver. Oliver is the guy who has almost universally been labeled "Capt. SARMS". Although innuendo is not by itself convincing, once again, other factors provide evidence of his having used in that season.

To argue that Merritt's 2012 season was clean on the basis that it is analogous to either Robles' 2008 season or Oliver's 2010 season is unconvincing, because it is entirely believable that Robles' 2008 season and Oliver's 2010 season were juiced.

While Robles and Oliver have receded back into 110mH reality, Merritt has filled the void.

Note that I am not using the suggestion that Robles and Oliver were dirty as precedent that Merritt is dirty, I am simply pointing out that as precedents for the proposition that Merritt is clean, they can reasonably be considered to be of dubious value. No, I'm not going to do an exhaustive analysis.

What surprises me is that the naive masses will let hero-worship affect them to the point that they relinquish their ability to think, to their desire to identify and belong.

I call them like I see them, and nationality is irrelevant to me.

Jeter, Blake, Merritt, Bolt, Makhloufi are all the same in my book. Incredibly, perhaps the least convincing doping case for any of the above would go to...Makhloufi. The others are all much more egregious. For now.
MeHereYouWhere?!
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 2:16PM - in reply to jerry123 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
When did LaShawn Merritt become a hurdler? I thought he was a 400m runner.

Either way, congrats to LaShawn for setting a new WR in the 110m hurdles. Very impressive range from 110m hurdler to the 400m. Definitely two different disciplines. Is thinking about moving up to the 800?
wtfunny
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 2:25PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, speaking of doping .. I don't know what Sprintgeezer is on, but it seems to screw with rationality.

You just said that Roble's WC 2011 final is strong evidence that he actually has doped.

Which is absurd.

Anyone of those athletes have WAY more credibility to their performance than Sprintgeezer's "argument" does.

In short he says:

These other guys who we don't have any record of doping may have doped. Ergo, Merritt is dirty.

Geezer - whether you're right or not I have no idea. But you wanna be careful making a stretch like this, you'll tear a hammy.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 2:34PM - in reply to wtfunny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
wtfunny--

You're right about one thing, I mis-spoke, having used the wrong word in my haste to post:

"Among other things, including but not limited to his WR and his dominance in 2008, this is strong evidence that he has not only the moral capability to dope, but that he actually has, in fact, doped."

I did not mean to use the word "among". Please substitute "Considered with" instead.

Thanks for pointing that out.
wtfunny
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/12/2012 3:06PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Sprintgeezer

Don't you think, though, that a dominant athlete having a consistent world-beating form all season, year after year, is more an exception than the norm? To me, an athlete who pops out a great performance like 12.8 is much LESS likely to be a sign of doping than an athlete who drops world beaters race after race over a sustained period of time. There's a reason why athletes value their PR; because those are exceptions, not the norm.

Sprinters deal with hundredths of a second; running 0.07 second faster than a time they've consistently run isn't a sign of drug use, imo. Distance runners, on the other hand, deal with factors like rabbits, tactics, etc, that all affect what they might run on a given day; it's the exception, again, that they run a PR, because in most cases they're not trying to.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/13/2012 10:03AM - in reply to wtfunny Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
wtfunny--

Your first paragraph contains 2 distinct ideas: first, exceptional seasons; and second, exceptional PR's.

*****************************

Exceptional seasons--

When you look at world-beating seasons, you have to try to find out why, or how, that season was produced, because in addition to the performances of the particular athlete, that measure is also affected by the performances of all the other athletes.

If everyone at the top remains relatively the same for quite some time, and one guy is just better by a bit, then he is, well, just better. If he's consistently better by a lot, he must be considered more carefully.

If, on the other hand, a particular athlete all of a sudden has an exceptional season compared to the rest of their seasons, you have to consider things like how well-trained they were, how long they had been competing, injury status, modifications in technique, etc., because there has to be a mechanism of improvement over their previous years. After the mechanism is identified, the search for a cause or causes of that mechanism can be made. This is the significant individual improvement that can be enabled by luck, fitness, technique, drugs, etc.

Then, there is the situation where a particular athlete has a season that is not only exceptional compared to the rest of their seasons, but to everybody else's season as well. This situation immediately strains credibility, just for statistical reasons. There are so many guys competing, and trying so many things, and sandwiched so close to each other in terms of performance, that even if somebody were to have a really good season, the standout performances of other athletes would be among the top performances of the year. That is not the case with the 3 seasons by Robles, Oliver, and now Merritt, who were absolutely dominant in their years.

And last, but not least, there is the situation where a particular athlete has a season that is not only exceptional compared to the rest of their seasons and to everybody else's season as well, but also compared to everybody else's season, ever. Unadjusted for wind, the averages of the top 10 performances in Robles 2008, Oliver 2010, and Merritt 2012, are respectively 12.97, 12.99, and 12.94 That is a significant betterment of any other dominant season in recent history, if not ever.

When these things are combined--when Merritt is not only so much better than he ever was, but so much better than everybody else has ever been in terms of his single season performance--it is a red flag. It's not conclusive, of course, it must be compared to the baseline they all established. As I've indicated earlier, Merritt's improvement remains a massive red flag.

*******************************

Exceptional PR's

There are PR's, then there are PR's. Merritt's PR, however, is huge compared to all other PR's. Remember that there are 9 guys crammed into the next .07 increment, and only Merritt in the first .07 increment. You cannot ignore that fact. Is Merritt intrinsically THAT much better than anybody else has ever been? Has nobody ever gotten lucky before in history, with the perfect race? Of course they have. Has nobody ever 7-stepped to the perfect race before? Of course they have. And they are all crammed into the same amount of space that Merritt is out ahead of them all.

At least with someone like Bolt, people tried to find reasons for his inherent superiority. Although those reasons have been disproven fairly robustly, the point is that they were initially sufficiently credible to at least merit analysis, and in the minds of some, are still compelling in the argument.

Fair enough, for Bolt--but what about Merritt? What is intrinsically superior about Merritt over all the other top hurdlers? Absolutely nothing.

The only argument that can successfully be made at this point in Merritt's favor is that previous great hurdlers have just not performed to their potential, as suggested by some disallowed performances. There is no proof of this--people run what they run. Most of these guys have had very long, stellar careers, and the results are visible for all to see. There is even the category of top competitor in the 110mH, as I showed before, in which category the athletes had 1 huge PR, 1 even as big as Merritt's. It is not reasonable to suggest that only those athletes intrinsically inferior to Merritt have had "the race of their lives", for obvious reasons.

***************************

Merritt didn't run 0.07 faster than he has consistently run, he ran an incredible .16 faster than he has consistently run in this historically exceptional year alone as judged by the average of his top 10 performances excluding that best performance. Not only that, but the difference between the 12.80 and what he has "consistently run" over any period longer than the immediate 2012 season is ABSOLUTELY GIGANTIC when you consider that, of his 12 best performances listed on the IAAF all-time list, 11 OF THEM WERE RECORDED IN 2012. I'm not even going to show how much of an improvement the 12.80 is over, say, his past 5 or 10 years, somebody can do that if it matters to them. If somebody does it, they should also show how much his 2012 season average improved over his average of the past 5 or 10 years, excluding the 2012 season, of course.

****************************

Both Merritt's 2012 season, and the 12.80 individual performance, considered in the light of not only his personal history but of the recent history of the 110mH over about a decade, is most certainly a sign of drug use, IMO.
I too saw this!!
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/13/2012 11:02AM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Sprintgeezer wrote:

Yes, his technique was wonderful.

Can PED's enable a great trail leg and beautiful rhythm?

Mark McKoy, 13.08, Barcelona gold 13.12, the Justin Gatlin of the hurdles.

He served only a 2-year suspension.

I personally remember seeing him go from a normal-looking sprint athlete, to an abnormal-looking sprint athlete.

I will never forget him taking off his warmups, and seeing that he now had SQUARE biceps.

His vascularity was so exaggerated, that that is what it looked like. I will NEVER forget it.

You want to talk about improved time to the first hurdle?


I saw this change as well. He practiced starts with Ben and looked like he was being booted in the butt when the gun went off; that two foot push off. I am not a sprinter; Sprintgeezer, do you know why more don't try this technique? I"m sure it is hard to do.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/13/2012 2:15PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hey Wigand--

I just realized that you're the same moron who expressly claimed that "East Africans have a distinct physiology when it comes to O2 delivery"--a claim which, of course, you never substantiated when asked to do so, because it is laughably indefensible:

http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=4423544&page=4

Nice work, buddy! That's right up there with things like more oxygen in Rieti producing faster sprint times.

What a joke you are.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/13/2012 2:25PM - in reply to I too saw this!! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think that more don't "try", because it feels unnatural compared to other starts. Also, it leaves less time for you to apply force on your very first footplant, which means that you have to have monstrous power capability to deliver any useful force down the track on that footplant, vs just using that footplant to stabilize, keep the CoM up, and prepare for the second footplant.

Many believe that start to be very quick out of the blocks, but slower to any distance more than 15m than other starts, and all things being equal, they are correct with most athletes. Although PED's will obviously help, mercilessly practicing technique can also help to a certain extent, although the technique to do faster than other starts is really only enabled by the juice.

With the new juice that is around right now (legal or not), I expect somebody else to try it, looking for some sort of an edge. Ashmeade has tried it, as others might. The thing with juice is that it can make all different types of starts faster, reducing any advantage that the jump start might have.

And, nobody knows or teaches the start. I can still do a version of it, and did so for an Italian coach I met just before the Olympic 100m this year. He laughed in amazement, because he had never actually seen it done--and this was a guy who has been around for years.

And the real upshot is this: it is entirely possible that Ben would have gone even faster than he did, had he used a different start, and thereby enabled a better drive phase! We will never know.
I too saw this!!
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/13/2012 6:05PM - in reply to Sprintgeezer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Sprintgeezer wrote:


And, nobody knows or teaches the start. I can still do a version of it, and did so for an Italian coach I met just before the Olympic 100m this year. He laughed in amazement, because he had never actually seen it done--and this was a guy who has been around for years.

And the real upshot is this: it is entirely possible that Ben would have gone even faster than he did, had he used a different start, and thereby enabled a better drive phase! We will never know.


Well nobody now that Charlie Francis is gone.
I was around MEtro centre when those guys were training in the mid 80's.. Once I asked Mark and Desai when they were practicing starts for tips fixing a sore hamstring, Mark laughed and said I was too skinny to have hamstrings! Those guys spent hours working out as they were there at lunch when I'd run and later after class they were still there. At the time I had no idea of any steroids and I knew them fairly well. It seemed like they would pop up and be running sooner but you could be right he might have been faster. Charlie seemed like he knew his stuff. Once he went over a book of Olympians and explained what each guy was on how how he could tell.
Sprintgeezer
RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone! 9/14/2012 2:31PM - in reply to I too saw this!! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ahh, the glory days. It was amazing up there.

Do you remember the old track at the CNE? That was a LONG time ago, but that's where it was when I was running Optimist as a little kid.

And like you, although I was there, I never saw anybody doing any roids whatsoever--unlike at the old Gold's Gym on Eglinton east.

On another note, it looks like that excrement Wigand has been flushed from this discussion.
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