Thursday, August 18, 2016

V 6 N. 57 More Observations from Our Superintelligent Readers

It's noon Wednesday on the West Coast,  I'm playing catchup with this AM's events (Aug. 17) including men's Steeple finals, 5000 prelims, men's hammer, women's 800 prelims, decathlon.   Now men's HJ, PV are complete.  Derek Drouin of Canada was one of the most dominating figures out there joining the club with  Usain Bolt, Wade Van Niekerk, and Almaz Ayana.  No misses to win the event, not a  single air of concern or worry on his face, and a super intelligent interview post competition on the CBC.   I hadn't realized he attended Indiana University.  Sam Bell must be smiling down on that one even though he may not have personally coached Drouin.  I've since learned that Drouin may have been much better rested than the other jumpers, as his jumping was curtailed the past winter while receiving treatment for a back injury.

  What a wonderful budding of a home town hero in Braza Da Silva in the polevault and a huge disappointment to Lavillenie.  Great competition, great result  nontheless.   A resurrection of the name Da Silva in the world of athletics more than fifty years after the great Brazilian triple jumper of that name.   Congrats to Evan Jaeger for taking it to the Kenyans in the steeplechase.  A huge contrast in running styles, techniques, and body structure.  Conseslus Kiprutro proved the better man, but it wasn't handed to him, Jaeger made him earn it.   I don't think the disqualification of Ezekiel Kemboi was necessary or merited, but it was within the rules.  I've noticed a number of people stepping over the inside curb and not getting  DQ'd, but then no one filed a protest.  It came down to a medal and I suppose the French had a right to file that protest, but somehow it leaves a bad taste. Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad has a history of bizarre behavior in competition and this doesn't alleviate that reputation.      Now this AM (Thursday) a new controversy in the women's 4x100.   I can't see any interference, but haven't had a second cup of coffee yet.  Looks like Allison Felix just had a misstep or hitch in her git along and it cost the US the exchange.
Also did you happen to notice Dafne Schippers take off very hesitantly then stop and then get over run by the incoming runner?  I think that blunder cost the Netherlands an advance to the finals.  Didn't look like Dafne got the benefit of much practice with her teammates.  Good job Jenny Simpson hanging in with the Kenyan and Ethiopian chargers in the 1500 for bronze.

US gets to run again in 4x100.   

Looks like the American team has been allowed a second chance to qualify in the 4x100, but will run alone and will have to beat 42.70, and if they do so they will replace China in the final.   I'd like to have been in that meeting where the decision 
was made.  Has anyone heard of this type of re-run in the past?

Well, the US women redeemed themselves in the  4x100 didn't they?  They won from lane 1 going away.   And the cocky US men's 4x100 team got another DQ.  Does 'snakebitten' describe that history?

Hassan Mead goes to 5000 final.   After his trip, Meade got into the final.

D'Agostino and New Zealand runner Hamblin also get into Women's 5000 final after their collision connected at the wrist finish.

This story is way overblown, as neither runner would have made it into the final on their own, and Hamblin was last in the final, but NBC made sure everyone knew the agony and heartbreak.  There is a movement on social media to sign a petition to let D'Agostino carry the US flag in the closing ceremony.  Will they ask Hamblin to push her wheelchair?  It is reminiscent of Bud Greespan making John Stephen Akhwari ,the Tanzanian marathon runner, into an iconic figure while finishing last in the Mexico City marathon as his bandage came unravelled.  Sorry, but I'm not buying it.

One observation on Africa.  What has happened over the years to Tanzania?  They used to have some great runners like Bayi and Nyambui, now nothing.  Do they even have entries?   Would be a lot closer to home for a few Kenyans to slip over the border and run for Tanzania.  The good Ugandan runners all come from the area right across the border from Eldoret in Western Kenya.  They are tribally related to the Kalenjin runners on the Kenyan side of the border and there may be a bit of border jumping going on there.  Perhaps  Tanzania doesn't care to accept outsiders representing them like so many other countries are doing hoping to buy national notoriety, because they have oil money.   Open door refugee policy I have less objection.

There are also some comments about the dive that was taken in the women's 400, and a few other items.  We'll also put up a second question from Jim Fixx's book for the superintelligent.  Here it is.

Ups and Downs

A snail is at the bottom of a well 30 feet deep.  It can crawl upward 3 feet in one day, but at night it slips back 2 feet.  How long does it take the snail to crawl out of the well?

Speaking of Ups and Downs  during the US Olympic Trials I noticed that one of the runners who DNF in the men's steeple chase was named   Tripp Hurt.     What an inappropriate name for a steepler.  However have you seen so much tripping and falling as of late?  This all began with the fall in the women's 800 back in Eugene.   Someone brought to our attention an article on the famous Zola Budd Mary Decker Slaney collision in L.A. in 1984 which also brought some comments. See further below.

Regarding the men's 800 and Clayton Murphy's bronze

david rapp

Was glad to see Murphy exceed Phil's prediction last night. - His composure and strength served him well. - Do you think Pierre-Ambroise Bosse knows where (New )Paris, Ohio is now?

My son thinks Miller's dive in the 400 should be illegal.  I tried to explain to him that diving is not the most efficient way to cross the line and it hurts.  Nonetheless, the torso that crosses the line first wins. - Never try to reason with a thick-headed 11 year old.
From Stev e
Clayton Murphy's father now lives in Piqua, OH.

From Phil Scott

  At one time this morning I had 4 electronic devices going. Tablet- pit a women's pv. Mobile pit B womens pv, laptop mens tj final and women's discus final.  TV 100m h womens heats.           When Olympics over back to watching cup cake wars with

Wilfred Schnier

7:23 PM (17 hours ago)

   The rules clearly say the torso, and Miller's torso was first.  However, that rule will change if everyone starts to dive and win.  Felix had her entire body across the line long before Miller had half of her body across the line.  In all fairness, the real winner was Felix.  Based on the rule, it was clearly Miller.

Decker-Slaney v. Budd Controversy  click here to read the story and understand the  comments.

And now you know . . . the rest of the story.  There is always more to any
 story than what is presented, even in this one.  I was in Sweden two
years ago, talking with a Swedish female 800 M. Olympian, who
indicated by hopping around that Mary Slaney tripped herself, unlike
 the American interpretation.  I am now reading "Long Walk to Freedom,
" about Nelson Mandela, trying to piece together that entire episode in
world history and the history of South Africa.  Reading this story about
Zola Budd only makes the story more compelling.  Zola describes a
different life in South Africa, not necessarily a different point of view.  But
 in reading about Zola, Nelson, and so many others, what I gleaned most
 was that life is lived in the gray and not in the black and white which is
 so much easier to talk and think about.  Celebrate the gray!
   Bill Schnier

John Bork , Jr.

Dear Will and fellow track nuts:

Last week I was listening to Al Michaels autobiographical  Book and the 
call by Marty Liquori that laid the blame on Mary Slaney's trip and fall
to Zola Budd.  In the retelling, Al Michaels and his crew; realized after
 looking at a tape replay; that Marty Liquoiri's impassioned call
was incorrect.  However, they had at first only 30 seconds to make a 
retraction to correct the error then that was reduced to 4 seconds, as 
they ended the Telecast,
making it impossible to make a a retraction. The next day was too late to
 re-set the fall in the minds of many, including myself.

Postscript, during the recent Olympic Track and Field, I noted that there
 were more falls, with subsequent, tragic consequences  in the women's
 races vs the men's.
I am wondering if the women tend to run in tighter packs than the men 
and thus get into more trouble.?

What do you men Feel?

John Bork
WMU Class of 1961

In my years of coaching women and men, I feel like girls have tendency
to be more impatient and anxious about racing, the nerves cause mental
errors. Saying that I am sure I will be hated by females. I coached a girl
who ran the Distance Medley 10 years ago at indoor Nationals, she to
this day does not remember running the race. That wet spot on track
was not perspiration, I am sorry to say!


Joseph Rogers

A  It says a lot about how we react to media and really don't 
always know "the rest of the story".  To borrow a line from Paul Harvey.

Bill Riggs

In the years I coached women at SIU Carbondale I always felt they didn't
 like being in packs. I was always trying to get mine to learn to tuck in but
 they always tried to run front or side. 
A lot of talent but they weren't good at using other runners!
Bill Riggs

Bruce Kritzler

Bill Riggs,
Agree totally. Decker always "had" to lead, either because of
her clear superiority, or just that alpha thing. Friends in Eugene
told me they were not allowed to run on Hayward track when
Mary was doing a workout. Husband Dick was there to chase
runners away. Mary never learned to run tactically or in a pack.

Wilfred Schnier

   I have always thought that boys grow up falling a lot in their play as
children and their playground sports, hence, they become good at
tuck-and-roll.  They know if they fall they can come out of it unhurt,
usually.  If they ever play football or wrestle, this is even more true.
Girls tend not to fall in everyday activity so they think they will be hurt if
they do fall because they are not as skilled in coming out of a fall safely,
hence, they avoid falling at all cost.  This is a huge generalization, of
course, but I have always thought it was a reasonable explanation.
   As for Mary Decker, she absolutely had to lead.  I don't know why.
Only she could say, and even then she might not know because it might
have to do with lack of confidence.  In any case, she always had to lead
 and when Zola took the lead she probably did not know what to do.   

david rapp

Because Decker "had to lead" and preferred to be alone, she
may have been better suited for the individual time trial in
cycling (if they'd had the event back then). - Just a thought...

If it would have come to a kick, I think Budd and Decker would
have lost to Puica's kick. - So, if Budd could have helped keep
the pace high, it may have neutralized Puica's finish.

Who knows?

From Stephen Morelock

George -

Interesting about Fixx. Below is an excerpt from my Sundayblog.  (

Rio Olympics: In my youth, I considered the Olympics – summer and winter – the grandest events in sports. In
fact, I aspired to be on the summer Olympic team for the
1964 Games in Tokyo. Unfortunately, America had many
 better hurdlers than me. I was running 14.3; they were
running around 13.8.

Over time, however, I have lost interest in and respect for
 the Olympics. The corruption, doping, nationalism and commercialization has become so distasteful that, with
one exception, I am not even watching the games in Rio.
The amateur spirit of the games was lost years ago. With
 the exception of only a few sports, most of the athletes
are paid or government sponsored.

The very idea of our men’s basketball team, made up of
multi-millionaire professional NBA players epitomizes how moribund is the Olympic spirit. Living as they are on a
cruise ship, completely isolated from the Olympic village
and other athletes and countries, coming to shore only
long enough to play a game and then return aboard ship,
is insulting.

My one viewing exception was opening night. Not the ceremony, but the Parade of Athletes. I enjoyed seeing
the athletes marching in together in their respective
costumes, smiling, waving and taking pictures. At this
parade, every one of them is a winner; they made it to
the Olympics!


Steve Price

Enjoyed learning more bout' Jim Fixx. A thought for your readers: 
 What can be done about the "country jumping" of athletes who compete
 for nations other than their own. Bahrain may lead the pack here but
 certainly is not alone. Any ideas/solutions ?

George Brose

to Steve
Increase number of entries a country has.  Allow anyone meeting the
standard in a legitimate meet to qualify.   Having a preliminary event a 
month before the Os where anyone can enter and qualify.   Thowing out 
Nepal, El Salvador, Solomon Islands and the like, but that would not be
 in the Olympic  spirit. What is the Olympic spirit anyway in these days of professionalism, marketing, PEDs,  and the always present nationalism?  Requiring an athlete who is nation jumping to demonstrate a legitimate 
proof  of persecution in their home country.     Really this is about
Kenyan distance runners and Jamaican sprinters and a few 
Americans getting a chance to participate when they deservedly
 have a right to be 
there, but to also have a way for the restof the world to share the 
spotlight even if for a short  time.  In distance races  make lapped 
runners step off the
 track.  They do that in some, not all, bicycle races on the velodrome.  
 Have an 'other world' event like a B final and run it at 3:00AM local time.

Did you see the Brazilians say they aren't going to fork up the 
$100 million to pay for putting on the paraolympics which are scheduled 
to begin next week?

From Steve Price:  Thanks to Phil Scott, I watched the Olympics
tonight on the "other" NBC. It was probably the most enjoyable 
evening of Track&Field ever on TV. One (1) well informed 
announcer, no "color commentators", no after race interviews, no
"human interest" stories, tremendous coverage of all the field 
events, and lastly, NO beach volleyball. All track and almost no 
commercials. If you aren't on this go to: Be
 ready with the name of your server, password and user name. 
Unlike me, you will be able to get on tomorrow is less than 
one (1) hour which is what it took me. Good Luck and enjoy
 the meet tomorrow.  Hugs  Steve

Phil Scott

A few observations from last night Olympics! 1.The European style 
landing on LJj not always beneficial vs Carl Lewis Bob Beaman 
type not dragging butt in feet holes.2. Sydney  McGlaughlin
 h.s. 400IH sensation
 looked emotionally out of it also off one stride whole way 3.
Drouin super HJ  Silver and Bronze medalists celebrating while he
 had chance at WR. Poor judgment.

from George
Wow, Ryan Crouser wins Mens Shot Put.  Joe Kovacs 5th, a
tough one
for him to swallow.

From John Cobley:

George:  You should be watching the French CBC. They cover the
 field events properly—watched the whole of the high jump and
 pole vault—marvellous.

Smith and Moorcroft are fine on the English CBC. Yes, the 
commentator is awful but I don’t really listen to him. One thing 
bugged me in the Women’s Marathon: They left the race for the 
time of the big break, when Flanagan and others were dropped, 
but when they came back on air they said clearly that nothing had
 changed in the race. A blatant lie.

Incredible last 100 by C Murphy; reminded me of Wottle—minus 
the hat! Rupp didn’t seem to want to medal. He hardly ran last
 400 under 60.

Ups and Downs Answer

Twenty-eight days.  On the twenty-eighth day the snail reaches 
the top of the well.  Once there , it does not, of course slip

1 comment:

Richard Trace said...

i thought you'd never tell about the snail.

V 8 N. 43 Book Review "My Marathon, Reflliections on a Gold Medal Life" by Frank Shorter and John Brant

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