With most rosters for Worlds now in the books, every major get together between now and mid August will be looked at in terms of the World Championships. Who’s hot and who’s not? How do those with byes look? Who looks title worthy and who seems to be coming up out of the shadows? Lausanne was our first post Nationals snapshot, and with the lenses focused on Daegu there were some interesting performances.
Teddy Tamgho (FRA)
Tamgho was undefeated until New York. Then in the horrid conditions there he managed only 15.55m (51’ 0..25”) and 7th place. Leaving some to wonder if there was some sort of problem with Teddy. Umm, NO problem. Teddy sailed out to 17.91m (58’ 9.25”) yesterday to take the world lead and assert himself against defending World champion Phillip Idowu (17.52/57’ 5.75”). Since his 11th place finish in Berlin Tamgho has turned gold in both the World Indoor Championships (‘10) and Euro Indoor Championships (‘11). Idowu is going to have a hard time repeating with Tamgho seemingly a threat to go 59 feet at any time.
David Rudisha (KEN)
If yesterday was any indication, this is a WR holder who is on target to add gold to his accomplishments. Sometimes world records are outlying performances – an athlete can put it together in a “relaxed” setting, but has difficulty getting it done when the best are all together and the bright lights come on. Rudisha doesn’t seeem to be having any problems to this point. He was dominant, running as if he were out for a training run as he cruised to an easy for him 1:44.15 win. Runner up Marcin Lewandowski was nearly a second back at 1:45.01 – and if Rudisha had truly put the hammer down would have been as much as 2 to 3 seconds back! If someone doesn’t get it together soon, Daegu is going to be a Rudisha romp.
Morgan Uceny (USA)
I get excited whenever I see one of our middle distance runners perform well in Europe – and Morgan did just that. On the heels of her strong victory at Nationals, she took to the track in Lausanne – and won again. The time, 4:05.52, was good. But it was the manner in which she won that was pleasing to me. She ran a solid race, never losing contact. When she made her move it was strong and decisive. Her kick down the final straight was fluid, and she exuded confidence. She’s going to be in the hunt at Worlds – I can feel it.
Asafa Powell (JAM)
With the Big Boys home (Bolt & Gay) Powell was once again the bully on the block as he screamed to a 9.78 world leading win. With Michael Frater (9.88) and Christophe Lemaitre (9.95) running PR’s this win was never in doubt as Powell has run under 9.90 thirty three times in his career – although this was his first foray under 9.80 since Sept 7, ‘08. The issue isn’t whether or not Powell can run fast. The issue is can he get it done when everyone is wearing their bog boy pants. Twice fifth place in the Olympics. Twice bronze at Worlds. He’s had the best seat in the house for the three fastest 100’s ever losing to Bolt’s 9.58, Gay’s 9.69 and Bolt’s 9.69. At this point in Powell’s career only Daegu truly matters this season. And unless Bolt joins Tyson in the stands, well stay tuned.
Sally Pearson (AUS)
I was just saying that the rest of the world has been eerily quiet in the women’s 100 hurdles, as U.S. women have been dominating the yearly list. Sally must have heard me, because she ripped off a 12.47 to edge Danielle Carruthers’ 12.48. Never mind that the wind was +3.3, she won the race and Kelli Wells (6th in 12.76) was clearly in the rear view mirror. Pearson looked fast, strong, and potentially capable of better. The war for the medals in this event is just getting started! And I’m betting that this event could end up being the deepest race in Daegu.
Dayron Robles (CUB)
Speaking of hurdles, Robles is healthy, but is he back? And by back I mean can he compete for gold against Liu and Oliver? If Lausanne was a litmus test I’m not sure. Yes Robles won in 13.12, but he was unable to separate from Dwight Thomas (13.16) and Jason Richardson (13.17) – something that I would expect from both Liu and Oliver. Robles ran 13.07 in May indicating that he was physically ready. I’m looking forward to another run from him before I judge him truly ready, but right now it’s looking like a Big Two, instead of a Big Three in the 110 hurdles.
Blanca Vlasic (CRO)
NO she didn’t win – and that’s why it’s noteworthy. Not only didn’t she win, she finished SIXTH. Now in the high jump that’s not as horrible as it may sound, because she had the second best mark but fell to sixth based on misses. But Vlasic doesn’t miss – especially at those heights. Blanca is supposed to jump 1.90m (6’ 2.75”) rolling out of bed! But this is the second time within a month that 1.90m was her best mark as that is also what she cleared to take 2nd in New York. In between she leaped a WL 2.00m (6’ 6.75’) in Split, but are we starting to see a chink in the armor?
Those were the most exciting occurrences for me in Lausanne. By no means, however, was that all that happened. Lavillenie dominated the pole vault. Brittany Reese continues to jump well. And Christian Cantwell had his second big meet in a row throwing 21.83m (71’ 7.5”) for the win. Meanwhile Sanya Richards improved her seasons best but lost to Amantle Montsho – defending is not looking promising.
Ah but this is but the first in many meets before Daegu. So there is plenty of time for things to happen! There are several smaller meets sprinkled throughout this week, with the next Diamond League get together in Paris one week from today. With a bit of rest and training expect Paris to produce a few fireworks.