What a Year Sam Kendricks is Having and Hope You Didn’t Bet Big on the Favorites: Random Thoughts From Worlds
August 18, 2017
A crazy 2017 World Track and Field Championships are over and the LetsRun.com US distance grades are in which you can find here.
We’ve got some more random thoughs on the Worlds below.
What a crazy worlds, not many people saw this coming at the start of the year
- A Turkish win the men’s 200
- A Norwegian win in the men’s 400 hurdles
- A US 1-2 in the women’s steeple
- Elaine Thompson failing to medal in the 100.
- Allyson Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo both failing to win gold in the 400.
- Mo Farah and Usain Bolt both losing with Usain Bolt going out injured in his final race.
Worlds were definitely unpredictable but they were also fascinating and London deserves a ton of credit for packing the stadium each and every night and creating an amazing atmosphere. The only negative besides weather that wasn’t warm enough for great sprinting was overly zealous officials. Runners shouldn’t be barred from event finals because they threw up. Similarly, runners shouldn’t be DQd from a race for grazing a line in the middle of a 2-mile race.
Best performance that no one is talking about: Sam Kendricks’ gold in the pole vault/Sam Kendricks entire 2017 season
Kendricks has been spectacular THIS YEAR as he’s lost a grand total of zero times. That nearly came to an end in the qualifying round of London as he needed three attempts at 5.60 just to make it to the final. But he made the final and then won the final, his 11th win in 11 tries this year.
We decided to go back and look and see if the the greatest pole vaulter in history Sergey Bubka ever had an undefeated season that resulted in a global title and the answer is no he did not. Bubka’ only one undefeated season during his career comes with a huge asterisk as it was an injury abbreviated 1996 season during which he hurt his heel and didn’t compete in the Atlanta Olympics. In 1996, Bubka won all 11 of his competitions of the year, but had none after July 7th according to tilastapaja.org.
Even if Kendricks does go undefeated on the year, it won’t be the greatest season in pole vault history. Picking the best season out of Bubka’s career is really hard to do as he was a total machine from 1984 through 1998. He competed at a prolific pace, won at a prolific pace and went really high very often.
If we counted right, according to tilastpaja, from 1984 to 1998, Bubka won 214 out of 254 competitions. 84.2% of the time he was a winner during a 15 year time frame during which he averaged almost 17 competitions per year (16.9).’
But if we are forced to pick the best season of Bubka’s career, we’d say it was 1991. In 1991, Bubka won 23 of 25 competitions (92%) and went over 6 meters 10 times indoors and out, setting a world record in 8 different meets.
For comparison’s sake, in 2017 Kendricks has competed about half as often (11 competitions) as Bubka and has cleared 6 meters just once.
Most Anti-Climatic US distance medal- Evan Jager’s bronze in the steeple
This is a new category for us and shows how good Jager is now. We’re happy Jager came away with hardware but third was about as low of a result that would have been acceptable for Jager.
We hope you didn’t bet on the favorite at Worlds.
In event after event, there were a lof of unpredictable results at Worlds. As a result, we hope you didn’t bet on the favorites in every event at Worlds. We went back and calculated how much money you would have lost if you bet $100 on each of the 40 favorites (20 men/20 women) listed in our betting guide.
You would have lost a ton of money – $684.51 to be exact ($532.30 on the men’s side and $152.21 on the women’s side). So your return on your $4,000 investment would be a negative 17.1%.
More Post Worlds Coverage: The Grades are In: USA Distance Runner Report Cards from the World Championships in London