Tuesday, March 9, 2010
World Indoors Preview - Men's 60 Hurdles
The indoor season will end this weekend with the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar. While the season itself has been somewhat unspectacular, the grand finale should be quite exciting as there are several high quality match ups. Perhaps the hottest match up of the weekend could be the men's 60 hurdles.
Top Entrants with their seasonal bests:
7.41 - Terrance Trammell (USA)
7.44 - Dayron Robles (CUB)
7.44 - Petr Svboda (CZE)
7.49 - David Oliver (USA)
The world leader on the clock, Terrence Trammell has been swift all season. He has burst from the blocks and taken control of every race he's been in early - forcing the rest of the field to try and play catch up. Indoors playing catch up over barriers is typically a losing proposition. Trammell has won this title twice before ('01 & '06) and is running well enough to do so again.
But it won't be that easy as world outdoor record holder Dayron Robles, has also been swift all season long. And he will be looking to make amends for not medaling at last year's outdoor World Championships as he was hindered by injury. Robles has looked just fine during the indoor season, however, and will be looking to upgrade from the silver medal he won at the '06 indoor championships!
The defending indoor champion is Xiang Liu (CHN), the former outdoor world record holder. Liu has been working his way back from injury and enters the meet with a meager season's best of 8.05. But somehow I don't think Liu would go to Doha unless he was ready to compete - that's the type of athlete that he is. The fact that he's in Doha means he feels he's ready. But this is no ordinary field as it could easily take a time under 7.40 to take gold.
The "flies in the ointment" should be David Oliver and Petr Svoboda. Oliver is strong and fast and will close on the leaders. The question for Oliver will be, "can he get out with the leaders"? A good start and he puts pressure on everyone. A poor start and he sits outside of he medals. Svoboda is simply one of those solid/steady performers that will reach the podium should anyone else falter.
For the ultimate spoiler keep an eye on Dwight Thomas. Thomas is a 10.00 sprinter turned hurdler and easily has the best field of all hurdlers. Of course his Achilles heel as a sprinter was his start, and the hurdles is very start dependent. Should he get out with the leaders, however, he could make the race interesting.
Having said that, Trammell should lead at the gun. The three questions for this race will be: how fast Robles gets out; how close will the field be; and will Trammell falter. My guess is that Liu is not quite ready and Robles will be running with the incentives of failure at last year's Worlds and having the specter of Liu in the race. The race should be won around 7.35 with the medals going to:
G- Dayron Robles
S- Terrence Trammell
B - David Oliver