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Subject: RE: Times Are Overrated:Guess 2008 Olympic Champ Wiflred Bungei's Seasonal Best Time For 2008
I would argue time means everything. The fact that Bungei peaked during the Olympics rather than earlier in the season doesn't mean everyone who runs 1.44/45 can win the Olympics if their head is just in the right place. Its not that simple even tho I know you Americans love to think that Symmonds have a great shot at a medal. He really doesn't.
You can talk about (and Bungei can aswell) the mental part as much as you want, but if a 1.42 shape runner are side by side 1.44 shape runner the last 100m and both have a run at a good pace until then the 1.42 runner WILL win no matter how much the 1.45 runner wants it.
You can destroy a race by struggling with the pressure, but you can't run a race equvivalent of 1.42 if you are in 1.44.5 shape.[/quote]
I agree with you.
Rudisha is head and shoulders above the rest of the world's 800m runners and the fact that he is a front runner and likes a fast pace should mean he will win by a clear margin. Then again Coe was a front runner (well, he could when he chose to) and also liked a fast pace, and we know what happened to him in Moscow!
Luckily Rudisha has no "history" with any of his rivals, whereas Coe was arguably psyched himself out of winning in 1980 due to his history (European 800 in 78) with Ovett. I have no doubt Coe could and should have run from the front in Moscow and he'd have won easily.
I think there is less doubt in Rudisha's mind, but I hope he doesn't try and win with a kick from the pack. He should be able to win whatever the type of race or pace, but by not running his natural race, i.e fast and free from the front, he increases the chances of something unexpected happening. Coe had more options for winning, but didn't execute any of them with conviction on the day.
Ironically when Coe lined up for the Moscow final his pb was 1.57 faster than the next fastest in the race, Marajo's 1:43.9.
Looking at this year's 800 rankings, Rudisha is also exactly 1.57 faster this year than the next best, Nijel Amos (??) of Botswana; 1:41.54 to 1:43.11.
If we look at the pbs of the likely finalists in London, then Rudisha has a 1.22 sec advantage over the next fastest, Kaki on 1:42.23.
So, while Rudisha is probably the biggest favourite in London and has looked imperious in all his outings this year, we should remember that the Olympics are a strange place and the pressure can get to someone much more so than a Worlds. Let's hope his limited experience from Beijing will stand him in good stead.
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