Lots of Sprint Intrigue: Allyson Felix Upended by Botswanan, WR-Holder Dayron Robles Goes From Gold to Zilch, Pistorius Has Chance But Fades
Quick Takes From Day 3 in Daegu
By Emory Mort, LetsRun.com
August 29, 2011
Daegu, South Korea
Editors note: After an epic 16 hour slumber (Wejo roused Emory at 6 PM Monday after he slept non-stop through the morning session and nearly through the evening session) and some coffee, Employee #1 was full of vigor and ready to recap the exciting sprint and field action on the docket Monday night.
Here are my Quick Takes from the wild evening session from Daegu, Day 3.
|Replay of controversy in 110 hurdles.|
QT1: Men's 110 Hurdles Final: Controversial DQ takes victory from Robles and gives it to Jason Richardson
I agree that world record-holder Dayron Robles contacted Liu Xiang, and probably took away his momentum. Xiang, to my eyes (and my seat is luckily directly above the finish line), was headed for victory before the contact. Due to some rather fortunate events, USA's Jason Richardson has now completed a shocking rise to the top. Had the contact not occurred, the results probably would have looked like this: 1. Xiang, 2. Robles, 3. Richardson. So Richardson, probably the 3rd-best hurdler in the race by most fans' judgment, wins gold.
The story how Liu and Dayron found out about the disqualification is an interesting one. Both were in doping control and Liu saw on Tv that Dayron had been disqualified. Here is what Liu said happened next via an interpreter:
"I told him, "You are disqualified."
Robles was surprised, "Really?"
"Yes it was on tv""
The interpreter then added; "Liu thinks it does not really matter because they are just talking to each other and really don't care about this competition and then they shifted the topic and talked about other things."
Before the DQ was announced I asked David Oliver about replays showing contact between Robles and Xiang. David said, "That happens often...It's unfortunate I hope it doesn't taint anything, Robles' victory or anything. If you're out in front it never happens."
Full interview with David below (starting at the point where he talks about contact in the hurdles), plus the full post-race press conference if you want it but I have it set to start where Liu recounts when he found out in doping control and how he told Robles. For what it is worth there will be no rematch between the hurdlers as Liu Xiang is going on vacation.
David Oliver Post Race Comments on Contact in the Hurdles
Full Post-Race Press Conference (We've got it starting near the end where Liu talks about telling Robles of the DQ but you can watch the whole thing)
LRC More Here: Men's 110H Final: Robles DQ'd, Richardson Gold?
QT2: Allyson Felix PR's, Comes Close; Amantle Montsho Holds On Like a Champ
Botswanan Amantle Montsho took gold in the women's 400m, defeating 2 top Jamaicans, 2 top Russians, and 3 top Americans, including Sanya Richards and the more fit Allyson Felix. Felix started fast, settled in, and made a final straight charge at Montsho. Montsho held on strongly, as she was looking vulnerable up until the final 10m. Felix will come back in the 200 and 4x400, where the USA should dominate again. Sanya was not super this time around, though perhaps given her injury troubles her performance was still admirable. American Francena McCorory likely would have medalled had Felix not decided to go for two medals. Yesterday McCorory decisively defeated Sanya Richards and Shericka Williams in their semi-final, and today she was fourth, though it looked like she moved in the blocks.
And while Allyson Felix did not win is there any doubt she's a big meet performer? 3 of her 4 fastest 200m were run at the Olympics or World Champs and now her fastest 400 was at the World Champs.
Men's 400m Semis:
QT3: American 400m running hits a low point with only Merritt in the final
Greg Nixon, Jamaal Torrance (semi-finalists) and US champ Tony McQuay all failed to make the 400m final. Imagine if LaShawn Merritt - who for the 2nd straight round advanced with the fastest time in the field - hadn't received a light ban for admitting use of Extenze... America would have been 0-for-8 in acquiring lanes in the final of their perennial signature event.
"Not to be cocky, but the 4x400 is our event." Torrance and Nixon, despite disappointment in their individual performances, independently told me, in no uncertain terms, that the USA is still the clear favorite in the 4x400, noting that going on performances, the US easily has the top team.
QT4: Borlee Bros. and 2 Grenadians (Kirani James and Rondell Bartholemew) Make 400m Final
My favorite interview of the day involved a discussion with 18-year-old Grenadan Kirani James. James, the University of Alabama NCAA champ, when asked whether his countrymen in Grenada would be awake to watch the 400m final said, "I can guarantee you that every Grenadan will be watching." James and Rondell Bartholemew (21-year-old who turned pro after running on a South Plains College relay team that posted a remarkable 3:03) both made the final for Grenada.
The other 400m final duo that grabs attention are the Borlee twins from Belgium. In college at FSU, Jonathan was the more successful individual, but at this point Kevin, the individual European champion, is even or perhaps tenths ahead of his brother.
|Kirani James says you can bet Grenadans will be watching the 400m final.||Oscar Pistorius' run to the IAAF podium ends in semi-final.|
|Jamaal Torrance reminds me and fans that USA 4x400 are still clear favorites.||Jonathan Borlee: Making the final with his brother is a dream come true.|
QT 5: Oscar Pistorius Misses Opportunity - Finishes Last in 46.27
So much attention has been given to the amazing attempts by Blade Runner to make the IAAF final. The strong-willed South African made the meet with a 45.07 clocking in the summer. If he had run 45.42 today, he would have made the final. Instead he ran 46.27, got last in the final heat out of lane 7 (a fortuitous lane considering his difficulty with turns), and goes home with no excuses. He was a fan favorite in the stadium and a media darling beneath the stadium, though many track insiders offer their opinion that he should not be competing. Personally I think it's an amazing story and don't have an opinion either way. I think it's a quirky aspect of this particular sport that he's allowed to compete at the championship. Would the NFL allow Brett Favre to quarterback the Packers in the Super Bowl if he had a mechanical arm? Probably not. But, owing to the current state of our sport, Pistorius' participation boosts interest and, at least for me personally, adds intrigue where intrigue is often lacking. After seeing him mobbed by literally hundreds of cameras and microphones, I can say that Pistorius handles himself and the media attention extremely well.
QT6: USA, Meet your medallists - Jillian Camarena-Williams wins American's 2nd shot put medal, first in 50 years
Jillian Camarena-Williams couldn't beat heavily-favored Valerie Adams, but she did become the first world medallist for the USA in the women's shot put in half a century. The 2008 Olympian and her coach (both coaches at Arizona) went bonkers after her bronze-winning throw that put her 5cm ahead of 4th. Adams' 21.24 set a championships record and won by over a meter.
QT7: Coach John Smith and HSInternational win 2: Jeter takes 100m gold over Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kelly-Ann Baptiste
In the only sprint thus far not to end in controversy, Carmelita Jeter backed up her bigtime performances with a world championship gold over a tough Carribean challenge. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a brilliant semi-final to again rise from a mediocre "pre-season" to set herself up as a championship favorite. Fraser-Pryce looked to have a medal locked up until the final meters when she was passed by both Campbell-Brown and Baptiste. With Jeter's win combined with Jason Richardson winning 110m Hurdle gold, coach John Smith and HSInternational took both short sprint medals on the evening.
|4||3||514||Shelly-Ann Fraser - Pryce||JAM||10.99||0.194|
QT8: Cuban pole-vaulter has dream day, wins silver
Lazaro Borges won silver to earn Cuba's
4th 3rd medal following discus tosser Yarelys Barrios, decathlete Leonel Suarez and hurdler Dayron Robles. While Robles lost his gold, Borges still gave Cubans a reason to celebrate as he set 2 national records in an exciting pole vault final that saw five guys over 5.85m.
Coming Up Tomorrow - Women's 5000m preliminaries, Men's 800m final, Women's Steeplechase final, Men's 1500m heats