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RE: 800m is tough

Sir Lance-alot wrote:

Again, where are ALL the Chinese times from??? FROM ONE MEET IN CHINA!!! They could never reproduce those times again outside China???

To start with, I'd like to say that I'm of the same opinion as (seemingly) the majority of the people on here - that the Chinese WRs are dirty. However, like trackhead said, there is a very small chance that they are genuine clean performances...

Sir Lance-alot, I agree with most of what you say, however your explanation of the meets ("one meet in China") does a great disservice to the Chinese National Games (the quadrennial event in China where all of these records were set). With China being such a notoriously insular nation, these games hold FAR more importance (for both the athletes and spectators) than the World Championships and the Olympic Games. The athletes themselves spend a good few years in the build-up for the games, making sure they peak for exactly the right time. Grants and scholarships are awarded for success, which explains why a lot of these athletes were fairly young when they produced these great marks.

Also, sheer hard and respect for authority is at the core of the Eastern mind-set, so the athletes tend to strictly obey everything that the coach tells them. For the athletes who make it through all of the intensive sessions (including the infamous "marathon-a-day" schedule), they will inevitably produce astounding results (and yes, that includes 1500's at 3:50 and 10k's at 29:30).

There's also a distinct lack of information from Chinese sport - we seem to get very few results of athletics meets from China which, for a nation of that size, is very unusual. For all we know, there could be many many more athletics meetings going on in China that produce equally as good marks. For such a huge population, it's only natural that they can produce such a number of great athletes.

HOWEVER.. like I said above, the most likely situation is that illegal substances were used alongside the rigorous training.

JonD wrote:

no drug testers, no official track measurements, and no verification of correct lap counting. you can videotapes of every other WR out there; why can't you get a tape of the Chinese WR's? Becuase they don't exist!

Wrong. I do have a tape with some coverage of the 1993 Chinese games and believe me - those performances did happen. Also, if there was no drug testing, track measurements or lap counting, then the records wouldn't have been ratified by the IAAF.

Another thing to consider - it's not like these were mediocre athletes who took advantage of some partisan officiating in their home country (i.e. it's not like only ran 24 laps of the 25, or it's not like they only ran well in China). They DID run well outside of China - remember all the medals they won at the 1993 World Champs? And remember Wang Junxia winning '96 Olympic gold? OK, so their times weren't as fast as the ones they ran in China, but there was still a huge gap between them and the rest of the world. Plus, they won their races quite emphatically by putting in mind-blowing closing km's. Watching them at the '93 World Champs, it was obvious that they were capable of running fast times.

So, while I agree with you that they were most likely doped, some of your facts needed to be ironed out. ;-)

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