PREVIEWS DAY 8HAMMER THROW Women
This is an open competition, with 4 athletes looking at Gold medal.
BETTY HEIDLER of Germany, born on 14th Oct 1983, very fast (174 x 80 kg), is the WR holder with 79.42 on 21st May 2011 in Halle. Dhe is also an athlete able to win important titles : World Champion in 2007, with silver medal in 2007 and 2011, and European Champion in 2010. This year has a PB of 78.07 , and an average of 77.474 for her best 10 perfromances. Heidler is very consistant, since was able to overtake 75m in 35 different competitions. However, it seems her shape is not at the best, at the moment.
TATYANA LYSENKO of Russia is the most elegant thrower in the event. Born on 9th Oct 1983, is tall 180 x 84 kg. She was able to better the WR for 3 times, and has a best seasonal performance of 78.51 winning on 5th July in Cheboksary the National Championships. Lysenko was banned for 2 years (from 15th July 2007 till 14th July 2009) for doping, and the National responsible for Hammer Throwing of Russia was fired by Russian Federation. She is the current World Champion, and has 26 competitions longer than 75 meters.
AKSANA MENKOVA of Belarus is the defending Olympic Champions. Born on 28th March 1982, is the taller specialist with her 186 x 85 kg. She seems in the best shape of her life at the moment : winning the National Championships on 18th July with 78.69 she is the leader of the season, with other 2 performances over 78 meters, so has 3 of the best 4 seasonal performances.
ANITA WLODARCZYK of Poland is the youngest in the field. Born on 8th Aug 1985, with big mass but very fast (178 x 94 kg), is the World Champion of 2009 and the current European Champion this year. Her PB is of two years ago (78.30), but is very consistant, with an average on 76.60 for the best 10 competitions.
I think two veterans like the Cuban YIPSI MORENO (World Champion 2001 and 2003, twice silver medal in Olympics in 2004 and 2008 and twice silver in WCh in 2005 and 2007), with 15 competitions over 75 meters and 123 longer than 70 meters, and the Chinese ZHANG WENXIN, bronze medal in Olympics 2008 and in World Championships 2007 and 2011, can be in the final, but in my opinion don’t have chance for winning.
POLE VAULT Men
The French RENAUD LAVILLENIE (born on 18th Sep 1986), with normal size (176 x 69 kg) but very fast, is the number one of the season, and also of the last 3 years. European Champion in 2010 and 2012, and European Indoor Champion in 2009 and 2011, Renaud won the bronze medal in WCh 2009 and 2011.
His PB, obtained in the indoor season, is 6.03, but he was able to overtake 6.01 also in the outdoor activity.
He jumped 15 times higher than 5.90, and has an average of 5.955 for his best 10 performances.
His way of jumping is very aggressive, and sometimes , for this reason, it’s for him difficult to control his action on the bar. Renaud is a fighter, and many times was able winning meetings and championships with his 3rd attempts.
The other two more accredited competitors are from Germany : BJORN OTTO and MALTE MOHR.
OTTO is very expert, and with a long career. Born on 16th Oct 1977, with very good morphology for the event (188 x 84 kg), started to jump when 17 years old, and finished his junior season in 1996 with 5.20.
This year is his best season, with the two silver medal won in World Indoor Championships and in European Championships. Otto has a PB of 5.92, a highness he overtake 3 times in the season (twice indoor and one outdoor), with a total of 5 competitions higher than 5.90.
MOHR is more young (born on 24th July 1986), and is taller but less compact than Otto (193 x 78 kg).
Silver medal in World Indoor Championships 2010, won the bronze medal in the European Championships this year. Mohr has a PB, in this year, of 5.91, but can improve very much if able to be mental relaxed facing the highest measures. We saw him several times jumping with big margin over 5.80, and after to be very weak in the next attempts. However, potentially can be an athlete able to jump 6 meters.
Opposite situation for the American BRAD WALKER. Born on 21st Jun 1981, with very good morphology (188 x 86 kg), Walker usually is one of the best fighters in top Championships. World Champion indoor in 2006 and outdoor in 2007, won also 2 silvers, the first outdoor in 2005 and the second indoor in 2008, and one bronze, this year, in the indoor season.
Walker shocked the athletic world when jumped 6.04 in Eugene (8.06.2008), and overtook other two times the barrier of 6 meters. After 2008, he faced 3 years of physical problems, but this year was able to come back close to his best shape, jumping 5.90. In his career, he jumped 3 times higher than 6 meters, 14 times higher than 5.90 and 38 times higher than 5.80, and can look for a medal being so much consistent.
In my opinion, there is a clear favorite : the Ethiopian ABEBA AREGAWI, born on 5th July 1990, tall and elegant (1.72 x 52 kg), that showed a different class not only in the heats and semis, but in all the season.
Abeba dominated the indoor season 2011, but immediately after had a very bad injury in one jnee. Married with the marathon runner Yemane Adhane, winner in Rotterdam with 2:04:48, and living great part of the year in Sweden, she found the way to be followed in that Country for all the rehabilitation, starting her real training from the beginning of December only.
This year, she ran 3 times under 4’, with a best of 3’56”54 winning in Rome on 31st May. Abeba always gave a sensation of ease in her victories : she usually uses a progression in the last 200m, increasing the speed in the last furlong and reaching a speed the other are not able to follow.
In this tactic, Abeba can be helped by the Turkish ASLI CAKIR, born on 20th Aug 1985, very light (168 x 50 kg) and aggressive in her behavior. Asli Cakir ran an astonishing competition in Paris (3’56”62), but doesn’t have big results before this season (4’21”79 in 2008, 4’08”07 in 2009 and 4’02”17 in 2010). However, she showed a good ability inside Championships, winning the bronze medal in World Indoor and European Championships this year, but never ran under 4’ before or after Paris.
Out of the competitions for the most part of the season, for a tendon injury, MARJAM JAMAL from Bahrein, Ethiopian born with the name of Zenebech Tola, seems now in clear improvement, also if probably Olympics come too early for her shape. She is the most expert, having won twice World Championships in 2007 and 2009, and is also the athlete with the best PB (3’56”18 in 2006) and the best continuity (she ran 15 times faster than 4’). Her career was very strange : living in Lausanne (Switzerland) after leaving Ethiopia, started with long distances (HM in 1:11’43” in 2004), after moved to track after receiving the new citizenship from Bahrein (14’51”68 in 5000m and 8’28”87 in 3000m in 2005). The next year, 1500m became her main event, and she continued to improve in her speed, running 1’57”80 in 800m in 2008.
Also the history of the Russian YEKATERINA KOSTETSKAYA is very particular. Born on 31st Dec 1986, she started as specialist of 400m hs, and became World Junior Champion in 2004 with 55”55. After continuing in this event without improving for two years (55”89 in 2005 and 56”75 in 2006), she decided to move to 800m, running under 2’ in 2007. Only in 2011 she moved to 1500m, and this year broke the barrier of 4’ running 3’59”28. She doesn’t have any experience, but with her speed can be dangerous if doesn’t do some tactical mistake during the race.
If the race is slow, the American MORGAN UCENY can have some chances of medal, same chance can have the Kenyan HELLEN OBIRI in case of fast race.
We can see again a competition like in 10000m, with the extra-participation of Meseret Defar.
I think TIRUNESH DIBABA goes to win again. I’m really confident in this athlete, in my opinion the number one all time in the long track distances for women. She can win with a short sprint (was able to finish last lap in 56”3 years ago) or long progression, in tactical races or in record attempts (she is the WR holder with 14’11”). I really don’t think she can be defeated.
VIVIAN CHERUIYOT, in the last 3 years, always defeated MESERET DEFAR in 5000m (WCh 2009 and 2011), but her current shape doesn’t seem to be the best, as demonstrated by the lost with SALLY KIPYEGO during the last lap of Olympic 10000m. She has to fear the final lap of these two athletes, since also Defar seems in better shape, compared with the two last years.
I think these athletes are the top 4 at the end, with in 5th and 6th position the Kenyan number 3 (VIOLA KIBIWOTT) and GELETE BURKA, now no more strong like 3 years ago. Viola and Gelete are two athletes coming from 1500m, but I don’t think can be dangerous for the other 4, also in case of tactical race.
My percentages : Dibaba 90%, Defar, Cheruiyot and Kipyego 10%