With Doha and the start of the Diamond League a week away, and no big meets on tap this weekend not a lot was expected in terms of upper level times. But with no global championship on tap it looks like we’re going to be treated to a lot of high level action this year. At least that’s how things worked out this weekend as Walter Dix and Javier Culson let everyone know that they are going to be major players in their events this year.
Dix (US) became the first sprinter to run sub10 and sub20 this season with a fast 9.98/19.89 sprint double at the Seminole Twilight meet in Tallahassee. Quite impressive when one considers that there was only about an hour between events. The marks were his 7th sub10 and 4th sub20 ever, indicating that Dix is in superb shape and possibly ready to improve upon his PR’s (9.91/19.69) this year. The times also make him #2 on the season in both events.
Competing in Puerto Rico, Culson (PUR) made significant improvement on his old PR with his world leading 47.72. Culson’s time moves him into the #20 spot all time in the event.Only Angelo Taylor’s Beijing gold medal run (47.25) and Kerron Clement’s Osaka gold medal run (47.61) have been faster in the last three seasons! Culson had a nice breakout season last year improving from 48.87 to 48.09 and taking silver in Berlin. He’s not missing a beat this season with his latest PR and looks ready to challenge for the top spot in the event.
Another hurdler that seems to be ready this year is David Oliver, who also ran a world leader in Puerto Rico – 13.12. After a nice indoor season where he took bronze at the World Championships Oliver has been steadily dropping his times outdoors - 13.32, 13.24, 13.12 - and could be the one to challenge Dayron Robles this year. Important when looking at potential medal counts, because with Terrence Trammell at 31 years old, we need someone that can move forward with Robles and even a rehabbing Liu as both are still very young. At 28 years old and with a best of 12.95 Oliver may have to be that guy until some of our young talent begins to emerge. So far his season is starting nicely.
Big change in focus next week as the relay season is nearly done. Doha will kick off the Diamond League, and the collegiate conferences get hot and heavy on their way to the NCAA championships.