PREVIEWS DAY 7200m Men
Everybody waits for this race. The duel Bolt – Blake can produce the first competition in the history with the second running under 19”50. Both the Jamaican interpretated their semifinals as a test in training, also if in different way : Blake ran very fast the first 150m, and went to slow down suddenly in the last 30 meters, while Bolt distributed his easy stride with an average good enough for winning, without trying to reach his peak of speed. I think, if the conditions are good, possible to see a new WR this night. Bolt showed in his 100m to be able to run under 19”20. We have to remember that , when he ran the current record, Bolt had to face a contrary wind of -1.8 m/s. This means that, without wind, the WR could already be under 19”10. About Yohan Blake, we need to refer his possibilities to the race he ran last year in Brussels : 19”26, 3rd performance all time.
The two best sprinters of the World can give to the others more gap in 200 than in 100m. For the bronze medal, I see a big fight between SPEARMON from US, LAMAITRE of France, MARTINA of Nederland (always very good in every final) and WEIR of Jamaica, that impressed me very much during the heat and the semifinal.
I’ll not surprised to see, for the first time, 6 athletes under 20” in the same final.
About the US sprinters, already during Trials it was clear there were not athletes of high talent, apart Spearmon. With Dix injured, Xavier Carter not in training, Crawford becoming old, and a season too heavy for the best sprinters from different Universities, the tank of US sprinters is at the moment empty of top talents, while Jamaican can continue to produce very good specialists, also if far from the level of the two masters dominating the last 4 seasons.
One name only : David Rudisha, the only Kenyan really sure at 99% to win Olympic Gold. In this race, there are not tactical problems : David prefers to go directly in front, probably trying a split under 50”, maintaining fast 200m between 400 and 600 (with a possible split of 1’15”/ 1’15”5), for closing in about 26”. I think the final time can be around 1’42”, may be something better.
In a race like this, two athletes still junior can fight for the medals : NIJEL AMOS of Botswana, and MOHAMMED AMAN of Ethiopia.
NIJEL AMOS is an athlete completely new. Born on 15th March 1994, started his official activity in 2011, with a best result of 1’47”28 finishing in 5th position during the World Youth Championships won by Leonard Kosencha.
This year the explosion, with 1’43”11 in Mannheim (9.06), 45”94 in 400m (20.06) and the victory in World Junior Championships ahead another athlete in the final, the Kenyan Kitum.
Amos runs putting his feet on two different lines, so he’s not completely efficient under a technical point ov view. However, always showed a great ability in increasing the speed in the last furlong, and I’m curious to discover his current limits.
MOHAMED AMAN, born on 10th January 1994, showed last year a good consistency. In Milan (18th September), he was the only athlete to defeat Rudisha, for the first time in 3 years, in a very cold and rainy night. His PB is 1’43”37, always in 2011 in Rieti, and till now he was able running faster than 1’44” in 5 different occasions, 3 this year. He is a type of runner very different from Amos : the Botswana guy is a “fast” specialists, running 400 / 800m, while Aman is a typical middle distance runner, having in 2011 a PB in the Mile of 3’57”14.
The other athlete fighting for the Silver medal is the historical rival of Rudisha, the Sudanese ABUBAKER KAKI. Born on 21st June 1989, with normal morphology (176 x 65 kg), Kaki won World Junior Championships in 2008, was twice the World Indoor Champion in 2008 and 2010, and won in Daegu the Silver Medal behind Rudisha. He always showed big consistency, running 2 times under 1’43” (with a PB of 1’42”23 in Oslo (4th June 2010), and 15 times under 1’44”. However, this year neve seemed to be very close his best shape. Particularly, he suffered the superiority of Rudisha under psychological point of view, and was not aggressive like in the past in the interpretation of his races.
Percentages : Rudisha 99% (Gold). For Silver : 50% Aman, 30% Kaki, 15% Amos, 5% Simmonds
TRIPLE JUMP Men
This is a final particularly interesting Italian fans. In a very poor participation for the Italian Team, Italy can be proud to have 2 jumpers in the final, with good chances : FABRIZIO DONATO and DANIELE GRECO.
FABRIZIO DONATO is the most expert specialist in the World. Born on 14th Aug 1976 (so in few days becomes 36), he’s tall and light (187 x 73 kg), and for that reason he is very fragile. His main quality is the elastic reactivity : he’s able to bound on the board, and when is fit has great continuity.
He started with the specialism on 1996, finishing the season with a PB of 16.35. He became Italian Record Holder in 2000, when, in a spectacular competition in Milan (7th of June) shocked everybody with an astonishing 17.60. After this performance, Donato had to face a lot of injuries, and several times was supposed not to be able to come back. But, in the last years, was finally able to find, with his Coach Roberto Pericoli, the right mix between training and prevention, and started, already athletically old, to produce the results everybody expected from him at the beginning of the new millenium.
He won the European Indoor Championships 2009, in 2011 won the Silver medal in the same championship, and this year became for the first time European Champion, finding good continuity at high level. Till now, he jumped 5 times over 17.50, and 29 times over 17m. Having some problem in one Achille’s tendon, this night he can use no more than 3 attempts, and his tactic is to try the best from his first attempt.
Opposite the case of DANIELE GRECO. Born on 1st March 1989, very compact (184 x 75 kg), Greco has a very high speed (10”38 in 100m and 21”24 in 200m, events that he never frequents, because probably his value as sprinter is about 10”20), but his technique is not yet precise. Running very fast before taking-off, he’s not able to have a final jump well balanced, and usually closes his attempts with his two feet at different level, losing 20-30 cm. He surprised everybody winning the European Championships Under 23 in Kaunas, with a PB of 17.20 (19th July 2008), and was the first time he jumped over 17 meters.
This year he’s living his best season. Greco won the Italian Championships in Bressanone defeating Donato with an astonishing 17.67 (with too strong favorable wind, +3.4 m/s), and bettered his legal PB with 17.47. Till now, he has 6 competitions over 17 meters, including the Olympic qualification, where he had to jump one time only for reaching the 4th position.
The favorite is the World Champion 2011, CHRISTIAN TAYLOR of US. Born on 18th June 1990, tall and light (190 x 75 kg), he used to work during winter as a specialist of 400m, and every year starts his outdoor season with one competition on the distance in Gainesville (Florida). The fact is that he normally runs very fast : his PB of 45”34 is from 2009, while his PB in 200m (20”76) is from 2011, and in Long Jump (8.19) from 2010. Taylor won Triple Jump in World Youth Championships in 2007, and is the current silver medal in World Indoor Championships 2012. He always showed to be a great competitor, jumping his best for winning in Daegu (17.96). Till now, he has 6 performances over 17.50 and for 17 times jumped longer than 17 meters.
With him, we need to pay attention for the World Indoor Champion, WILL CLAY, already bronze medal in Long Jump. Very young (born on 13th June 1991), of normal size (180 x 68 kg), Clay was already 3rd in Daegu. As Taylor, he is a great fighter in the top Championships : for winning World Indoor this winter he bettered his PB with 17.70. He jumped 5 times over 17.50, and 17 times over 17 meters.
JAVELIN THROW Men
After the qualification, I think the best at the moment is VITESZLAV VESELY, from Czech Republic. Born on 27th Feb 1983, compact and explosive (186 x 92 kg), Vesely was for several years a good athlete of the circuit, without particular chances (his PB at the end of 2008 was 81.20). The big change happened in the winter 2009/2010, when he wen under Jan Zelezny as coach. Vesely changes his technique, and improved in his self confidence. This year, already for 2 times was able to throw over 88 meters, with his PB in the qualification, showing his shape is the best all time at the right moment. Vesely threw over 85 meters 5 times only in his career, but is the only athlete in raising shape.
The best in the field, looking at his palmaree, is the Norwegian ANDREAS THORKILDSEN, born on 1st April 1982, Olympic Champion in 2004 and 2008, World Champion 2009, European Champion 2006 and 2010, and 3 times Silver Medal in WCh in 2005 / 2007 / 2011.
Thorkildsen always was able to peak at the right moment. In his career, he went 8 times over 90 meters, with a PB of 91.59 in 2006, but now these days seem very far, since this year his best performance is 84.72.
His continuity is very impressive : 16 times over 89m, 27 times over 88, 44 times over 87 and 67 times over 85.
A big surprise, also if doesn’t have any chance for a medal, is the Kenyan JULIUS YEGO, till now the only Kenyan athlete able to improve a PB in Olympic. With his 81.81 Yego bettered again the National Record, qualifying as 9th in a very competitive field. Being very young (he’s born in 1989), has the qualities for becoming a specialist of international level, continuing to train in Finland where there is the best tradition for this classic specialism.