lunedì 12 agosto 2013


No distance finals today!!And coach Renato Canova gives his preview about 800m final tomorrow and some thoughts about NCAA runners

The final of 800m can be the most interested event, for people loving middle distances, in the 4th day of WCh.
We want to analyse what happened in the first two rounds, trying to find some point which can give us better ideas about what can happens in the final.
In the table, you can see the lane they have in the final, and their times/position/400m split in the first two rounds.
  1. Osagie 1:46.16 (3)h3 51.98 1:44.85 (4)s1 50.94
  2. Lewandowki 1:47.83 (2)h1 55.20 1:44.56 (3)s1 50.85
  3. Simmonds 1:46.90 (1)h4 53.67 1:45.00 (2)s3 51.95
  4. Souleyman 1:46.86 (1)h6 53.65 1:44.99 (1)s3 51.90
  5. Solomon 1:45.80 (1)h3 51.73 1:43.87 (1)s1 50.67
  6. Aman 1:44.93 (1)h5 50.96 1:44.71 (1)s2 53.04
  7. Mohammed 1:45.94 (2)h3 51.90 1:44.10 (2)s1 50.77
  8. Bosse 1:47.70 (1)h1 54.85 1:44.75 (2)s2 52.60
Among this group, some athlete like Osagie advanced both the round because of times, and this means his chances to win are practically nothing.  Little chances for Bosse and Lewandowski, too, also if the Polish guy in the past showed to be very clever in the interpretation of complicated races.
Personally, we were very well impressed by Mohammed : he has a wonderful technical action, a perfect morphology for a runner of 800/1500m, but still lacks of experience and personality, so can have a good position, but I don’t think can have real chances of winning.
The four athletes starting in the central lanes have the higher possibilities of medaling.
I continue to think Aman has the best chances, but he is also the athlete who spent more energy for qualifying, doing big tactical mistakes in the semifinal.  He was boxed in the internal lane till 150m to go, and had to use a wild kick, costing a lot of physical and nervous energies, in the last furlong, for reaching the 2nd position, overtaking a very good Brendan Johnson.   However, if his recovery is ok, nobody among the other finalists can have the same final speed, and for that reason he’s yet my personal favourite.
Instead, the other 3 were able to manage very well their semifinal.  Souleyman and Simmonds were very relaxed in the last 50 meters, and is not difficult to think they are in shape for running under 1:43.00, especially Simmonds who already has experience about this time.   On his side, Solomon developed a very comfortable race, always in front, and in my opinion, in spite of the best time, didn’t spend too many energy, because running fast at even pace has a lower cost than running slower, with several changes of pace and direction.
If I have to give my percentages, I give 35% to Aman, 20% to Simmonds and Solomon, 15% to Souleyman and 10% for some surprise, connected with possible accidents can happen during the race.

There is a common denominator among all the US athletes competing in bad way in the events of sprint : they had their seasonal activity inside some College, and needed to compete in all the activity interesting their University.
We must remember NCAA Championships were at the beginning of June, and US Trials two weeks later.
This means the athletes from Universities had to peak for NCAA, and could still maintain their top shape for the following two weeks ; but after this, since methodology is not only an opinion, their shape fatally decreased, and their bad results in Moscow are not fruit of some casual problem, but the product of a crazy activity, if projected on WCh.
Here we want to analyse the road they followed before WCh.   
CHARLES SILMON (born on 4th July 1991), 5th in his heat of 100m in 10.34
He arrived to WCh after 42 seasonal competitions : 8 times 60m indoor and 4 times 200m indoor during the winter season, than 14 times 100m, 7 times 200m and 9 times the relay 4x100m, peaking at NCAA on 7th June (winner in 9.89 wind assisted) and maintaining a top shape for NC in Eugene (3rd in 9.98 on 21st June).   After these 2 competitions, it was not possible to recover the same shape, and already in the Diamond Leaugue (Monaco, 19th July) he showed a decreasing condition, running in 10”20 for the 8th position.
ARMAN HALL (born on 14th February 1994), World Youth Champion 2011 and silver medal in WJCh 2012, 5th in his heat in 45.45, 5th in his semifinal in 45.54
He went in semifinal because of his time, running always far from his PB, both in the heat and the semifinal.  He arrived Moscow after 31 seasonal competitions : during the indoor season, 1 time 200m, 3 times 400m and 3 times the relay 4x400m.  Outdoor, 3 times 200m, 13 times 400m, 2 times the relay 4x100m and 6 times the relay 4x400m.  He peaked at NCAA on 7th June (3rd in 45.02) and repeated the same level at NC on 22nd June (3rd in 45.01), after improving his PB the previous day in his semifinal with 44.82.
ASHLEY SPENCE (born on 8th June 1993), World Junior Champion of 400m, 5th in his semifinal in 51.80
She arrived Moscow after 47 seasonal competitions : during the indoor season, 4 times 60m, 6 times 200m, 5 times 400m and 2 times the realy 4x400m.  Outdoor, 1 time 100m, 3 times 200m, 11 times 400m, 3 times 400m HS, 5 times the realy 4x100m and 7 times the realy 4x400m.   She peaked for NCAA on 7th June (winner with 50.28) and was 3rd in Eugene on 22nd June in 50.58.  Running in Moscow 1.52 slower than her PB clearly demonstrates she is completely empty, physically and mentally.
GEORGANNE MOLINE (born on 6th March 1990), 7th in the 1st heat of 400m HS in 59.05
She arrived Moscow after 34 seasonal races : during the indoor season, 5 times 400m, 1 times 800m and 3 times the realy 4x400m ; outdoor, 2 times 200m, 1 time 400m and 16 times 400m HS.  She peaked in both the NCAA and NC, winning both the titles with 53.72 (7th June) and 53.88 (23rd June).  Of course 59.05 is fruit of some mistake during the race, but these mistakes happen because the mental concentration is no more at the top, and physically the athlete feel tired and less reactive.
Of course, it’s also possible to meet some exception, and when we find something like this, we are in front of a talent who can become a top champion in the World. This can be probably the case of two girls, already sprinters at the best level : Octavious Freeman and English Gardner.

OCTAVIOUS FREEMAN (born on 20th April 1992) was 8th in the final of 100m in 11.16
She arrived Moscow after 50 seasonal races : during the indoor season, 13 times 60m and 9 times 200m ; outdoor, 12 times 100m, 9 times 200m, 6 times the relay 4x100m and 1 time the real 4x400m.  She was 2nd in both NCAA (11.00 on 7th June) and NC (10.87 on 21st June).   For what I saw during WCh, Octavious didn’t seem in the same shape of Des Moines, also if not far from her top.
ENGLISH GARDNER (born on 22nd August 1922) was 4th in the final of 100m in 10.97, after running the heat in 10.94
She competed in 33 races before Moscow : during the indoor season, 5 times 60m, 1 time 200m and 3 times the realy 4x400m ; outdoor, 12 times 100m, 6 times 200m, 1 time 400m, 4 times the relay 4x100m and 1 time the relay 4x400m. She won both NCAA (10.96 on 7th June) and NC (10.85 on 21st June), and seems ready for becoming next year one of the strongest sprinters in the World.   She has one of the best reaction times ever seen, and is very fast in the first 50m.  In the second part of the race, she is not still able to have full control on her technique, running with too long strides, losing frequency and elastic reactivity, and using her arms in disordered way.  Next year, if meets with one of the best American sprint coaches, can become the best sprinter in US, and probably the only one able to compete with Shelly Ann Fraser when in top shape.

So, it’s not a case the American sprinters/hurdlers in their best shape are “professional” athletes, free to have a strategy allowing to peak for the top seasonal event.  The fact is that, when you are in the University having a special scholarship, the top seasonal event are Universitary Championships, and for that reason we can’t have too many expectations with athletes qualified for WCh or OG, coming from a full College activity.

Renato Canova