At the beginning of his short reign as CEO of USATF, Doug Logan set 30 medals as a goal for the US squad at the 2012 London Olympics. That bit of goal setting was the impetus for the creation of my “Thirty Watch List” – to monitor our progress towards that goal.
With Logan’s departure as CEO, I’ve asked myself if I should continue with this list. And after much consideration I’ve decided that keeping track of our progress towards earning medals is indeed a worthwhile endeavor. As part of any good plan involves some sort of monitoring progress towards the stated goals. With Logan gone, however, I’m not sure if USATF as a body, or whomever becomes his replacement, will continue with the number “30” as the goal.
To make the list relevant regardless of the goal, this current incarnation has been renamed the “Medal Watch List”. Since in essence that is what is being monitored – our progress towards earning medals in Majors.
So with the 2010 season now closed and athletes beginning preparations for 2011, here is how I see our medal hopes for Daegu:
The Medal Watch List
|1.||Tyson Gay||100 Meters|
|2.||Carmelita Jeter||100 Meters|
|3.||Tyson Gay||200 Meters|
|4.||Wallace Spearmon||200 Meters|
|5.||Allyson Felix||200 Meters|
|6.||Jeremy Wariner||400 Meters|
|7.||Lashawn Merritt||400 Meters|
|8.||Sanya Richards||400 Meters|
|9.||Allyson Felix||400 Meters|
|10.||Anna Pierce||800 Meters|
|11.||Andrew Wheating||1500 Meters|
|12.||Rowbury / Barringer||1500 Meters|
|13.||Bernard Lagat||5000 Meters|
|14.||David Oliver||110 Hurdles|
|15.||Terrence Trammell||110 Hurdles|
|16.||Bershawn Jackson||400 Hurdles|
|17.||Lashinda Demus||400 Hurdles|
|18.||Lolo Jones||100 Hurdles|
|23.||Dwight Phillips||Long Jump|
|24.||Brittney Reese||Long Jump|
|25.||Chaunte Howard Lowe||High Jump|
|26.||Jennifer Suhr||Pole Vault|
|27.||Derek Miles||Pole Vault|
|29.||Christian Cantwell||Shot Put|
|30.||Hoffa / Whiting||Shot Put|
Yes I know, I'm a tad past that magical 30 medal mark. I figured that since we're in between seasons and no one is actually competing I would take a few liberties.
For example, in the middle distances Anna Pierce, Andrew Wheating, Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Barringer have what it takes to medal. And with a touch improvement "could" score in those events. So I'm going out on a limb with this foursome.
Similarly in the field events I'm thinking that Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting and Derek Miles have the goods if they just get it right on the right day. So I'm stepping out there on that limb with them as well.
Allyson Felix has proven that she can double effectively over the season. So I'm betting that she attempts the double in Daegu and medals in both. I'm also betting that Sanya Richards and Terrence Trammell come back healthy and that both Bernard Lagat and Dwight Phillips keep defying age.
So basically this version of the list is an "if everything goes perfectly" list of medal possibilities. It's also my way of saying that 30 medals IS possible. Things have to go just right. Injuries have to be avoided. Athletes have to be motivated and focused. And everyone from coaches, trainers, and physios, to the athletes and management of the sport have to come to the table in 2011 with their game faces on.
We have the athletes and the potential to do something extraordinary. Let's see if we can do it.