I miss the 10K heats.
Good read. I would say Bor has a higher chance just due to the weakness of the event this year.
The Joe Klecker line was great.
John Wesley Harding wrote:
1. Athing Mu - Women’s 800 - 75% - The only American middle or long distance runner who can be considered the outright favorite. 1:54.x gun to tape would honestly not be shocking.
2. Emma Coburn - Women’s Steeplechase - 55% - She’ll get a tough race from Chepkoech, Kiyeng, and Yavi, but should be considered among the medal contenders as much as anyone, having won gold in ‘17, silver in ‘19, bronze in ‘16, and having set PBs at 800, 1500, and 5k in the last 2 seasons.
3. Raevyn Rogers - Women’s 800 - 50% - Sliding in fairly low-key but I like her medal chances. She was the silver medalist in Doha, and at this year’s trials she lowered her PB to 1:57.66. She ran a 4:29 mile PB a few days ago, indicating great fitness. I wouldn’t be surprised by 1:56.xx for 2nd or 3rd.
5. Ajee Wilson - Women’s 800 - 35% - She was the gold medal favorite heading into Doha 2019, where she placed 3rd, and is still technically ranked #1 in the world by World Athletics. But she had to scramble to qualify for the U.S. team behind two women I predict will continue to beat her, and there’s no shortage of ~1:57 women to contend with for the other medal at the moment.
6. Clayton Murphy - Men’s 800 - 25% - It’s hard to figure what we’ll see from Murphy in Tokyo, given his inconsistent nature (over the past 4-5 years, really), but we know when he’s at his best he can medal, and he was at his best as recently as 4 weeks ago. His European appearances since were rather lackluster, but perhaps it’s all part of his master plan?
7. Bryce Hoppel - Men’s 800 - 21% - 4 to 5 months ago I liked predicting Hoppel would upset Brazier for the gold medal. After running 1:43.2 for 2nd in Monaco ‘20 and then 1:44.37/2:16.27 (NR) indoors, he looked like a smart bet to improve on his 4th place from Doha. However, he’s stalled out at 1:44.x this outdoor season, which meant he had to work very hard for 3rd at the Trials, and he was only 11th and 5th in his two recent DL races.
11. Hillary Bor - Men’s Steeplechase - 15% - Placed 7th in the event in Rio and 8th in Doha and is having a fairly promising season, winning a slow (8:30) DL race in Gateshead and earning his second U.S. steeple title. The steeplechase field seems a bit weak this year (after El Bakkali), but 5th-6th for Bor sounds do-able, a medal feels like a bit of a stretch.
12. Courtney Frerichs - Women’s Steeplechase - 10% - She took silver behind Coburn at the 2017 WCs, and was 6th in the event in Doha. She ran well at the Trials, putting at least some pressure on Coburn, but it’s hard to see her having the turn of speed when the real racing starts in Tokyo. 6th place again, I’d wager.
13. Isaiah Jewett - Men’s 800 - 10% - His showing in Tokyo will be one of the most intriguing of the list, in as far as it relates to the future of the event in this country. 2 months ago, the 24 year old college senior was a 1:45 guy—now, he’s a 1:43.85 man who established the entire tone of the U.S. final. Was that a stepping stone to 1:42.xx or the performance of his life? I guess we’ll get some idea in Tokyo.
18. Yared Nuguse - Men’s 1500 - 3% - I think he has a 40-50% chance of making the final, compared with ~65% for Hocker and ~75% for Centro. He may well possess the tools to win a medal someday, but probably not in the next 3 weeks.
19. Karissa Schweizer - Women’s 5k - 3% - I’m not convinced she’s a 14:26 runner anymore, and even if she is, that doesn’t count for much in this ridiculously stacked field which includes 3 women who ran 14:15 at the Ethiopian Trials, plus arguably the two favorites in Hassan and Obiri. She should make the final but will be way out of medal contention.
21. Benard Keter - Men’s Steeplechase - 3% - Bor seems like our only chance whatsoever for a medal in this event, though I do think we can put 3 in the final. Keter ran an 8:18 PB for 8th in Monaco 2 weeks ago.
22. Mason Ferlic - Men’s Steeplechase - 3% - He’s having a fantastic season but probably lacks the talent of an Olympic medalist. The field is fairly shoddy, so he could place 6th-8th if he runs a great race.
24. Elise Cranny - Women’s 5k - 2% - I believe she will make the final. 1. Hassan 2. Tsegay 3. Cranny 4. Obiri? Please.
25. Grant Fisher - Men’s 10k - 2% - I’m not as down on our men’s 10k team as some posters, and feel we could go 8-11-13 or so on a good day—Fisher is my pick for that #8. 8th isn’t too far from 3rd in some events, but with the teams Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia are sending for the men’s 10k, it could be 200m+ in this one.
26. Woody Kincaid - Men’s 10k - 2% - Yes, he outkicked Fisher in this event at the Trials, but Fisher has better consistency and a marginally better PB (27:11 to 27:12). Who knows, Kincaid’s obviously surprised us before.
29. Heather Maclean - Women’s 1500 - 1% - She barely qualified for the USOT final on a questionable appeal, so an Olympic medal seems highly unlikely. Given her 800m background and upward trajectory, she does have a chance to make the final, but top 6 would be utterly shocking.
30. Rachel Schneider - Women’s 5k - 1% - Schneider, who turned 30 two days ago, has quietly, gradually developed into an Olympian with a great range of PBs (4:02-14:52-31:09). But this event is stacked and Schneider will do well to make the final.
31. Joe Klecker - Men’s 10k - 1% - “And with less than 100m to go Kiplimo breaks away from his compatriot...watch the clock, the Olympic record is going to be OBLITERATED—26:28, 29, 26:30 for Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda with his countryman Cheptegei just a few strides behind...now look at the battle for third, Kejelcha and Barega stride for stride—BUT WAIT, HERE COMES JOE KLECKER. JOE KLECKER WINS THE BRONZE IN 26:35.” Yeah, probably not.
34. Valerie Constien - Women’s Steeplechase - 1% - She was 6th in the steeple at NCAAs as a senior two years ago. She PR’d by 7 seconds to place 3rd at the Trials and make the team. Good for her.
Bumping to evaluate JWH's fine work at mid-point:
Mu - Clearly not high enough, Mu was the clear class of the field. JWH's thoughts on her potential were high enough, just less faith in her than warranted in retrospect.
Coburn - I can't knock the number here. Just a disastrous performance. Chemutai and Frerichs were the big shocks, but Coburn way underperformed as did Yavi and Chepkoech.
Rogers - Perfect number, this was really a 50-50 proposition. Reekie went too hard at 200 to go and Raevyn pulled it out. She also didnt AQ into the finals. So maybe it should be lower? But she got the medal so....
Ajee- Too high a number, but I think the 1:57 helped mislead. Also very strong performances by Alemu, Wang and Alex Bell which were hard to anticipate. But Wilson was struggling more than could be easily seen.
Clayton - I think good number, he made the final and looked great. But then his biggest strength in some races (tactics) was a gigantic weakness.
Bryce- Same analysis to Ajee. There were more underlying injuries/issues than we knew about.
Bor- Too high as it turned out, he did not look good and the top 3 were very solid as it turned out. An 8:08 at his best type guy would not have held off Kigen's kick.
Frerichs - What a surprise! I don't fault JWH but I think 9/10 times, she gets a medal. She looked excellent in the heat and finals and had a low-risk tactic.
Jewett - Fair number, but we'll never know. Considering how nobody pushed it to the final maybe a redo of his USA finals could've shocked the field.
Yared - N/A
Fisher- No medal but he exceeded all expectations even a pretty lofty 8th, that being said a medal was not close just yet
Woody- Too high, just can't trust Woody to hang with a pack
MacLean- fair, she just needs more seasoning
Schneider- correct, tough luck with her heat
Klecker- my fave analysis but yeah, maybe in 3 years!
Val- yep, though she did great to make the Final
14. Paul Chelimo - Men’s 5k - 7% - He medaled in this event in Rio (silver) and the London WCs (bronze), and looked strong winning the U.S. title this year. He was 7th in Doha, clocking 13:04 to the winner’s 12:58, and I expect Tokyo will be run in a similar fashion, if not faster. Against a field full of sub-12:50 runners, 6th-10th seems far more probable than a medal.
16. Molly Seidel - Women’s Marathon - 5% - I give her the nod as our best (slim) women’s marathon medal hope. After placing 2nd in her debut marathon at the Trials, she lowered her PB to 2:25:13 in placing 6th in London last year. This year she’s won two half marathons in 68-69 minutes and lowered her 10,000 PB to 32:02. Given the nature of the Olympic marathon, I suppose it’s conceivable that enough runners blow up that she winds up in 3rd.
Bump for decent spots on Paul & Molly. Spot on on Molly not being ranked in the 30s and specifically sighting the unpredictable nature of the marathon. Paul maybe should've been higher given his past medals but who knew the Ethiopians would be so far out of it for this race.
Yeah once we saw the carnage of the 5,000 heats, Chelimo suddenly bumped up a good deal. Going into the final, it felt to me like the medalists were almost 100% going to come from Cheptegei, Kiplimo, Kimeli, Chelimo, Ahmed, Katir and Knight. Chelimo's scrappiness/antics kinda stole on from the fitter athlete in Kimeli IMO, but if it doesn't get DQ'ed (Chelimo says there were no Kenyan officials on-hand to appeal) it's legal.
**that's what Kimeli said I mean.