A 600m between Mutola and Guevara would be very interesting. But if they stay shoulder to shoulder during all the race with an even pace, Mutola would win thanks to her resistance in the homestraight. The only chance for Guevara is to run like a 400m runner, with a good lead over Mutola during most of the race, even if Guevara is struggeling at the end.
But don't know who would win! I put my money on Guevara if she takes risks...
If Guevara wants to beat Mutola at 800m, she needs to enter in a specific program, because her 800m background is behind her now, and if she comes back to 800, success is not guaranted.
Anyway, we are in a strange situation where we have to look at non-800m specialists in order to find someone to beat Mutola!
Mutola originally always said she would retire after Athens but now I read that she would like to continue to defend the world title in 2005, but if the opposition is anything like it was this year then she could remain at the top of the event for many more years. Age is no barrier, look at Jacobs.
As to people beating her, yes someone like Ayhan might do it once but very few people beat her consistently: Graf, Masterkova, Quirot, Formanova. And even then they were always close races.
I think the 1500m should be next for Mutola: sub 4 should be manageable.
I feel and I'm somewhat happy with what everyone is saying about this thread, (Very interesting) But I posed the question, "does anyone think the media is going to try and set up Maria Mutola, to THINK she should start trainning specificly for the world record?". No one has answered that question yet.
I don't think the media has all that much influence on what Maria Mutola will think. She is a very smart and well positioned athlete for the future. Hopefully, she will run her best in her best events. I'm curious as to why you may feel the media has any influence on her endeavours?
Like a lot of athletes, Maria can be lead to believe something is possible, and start working toward it. As well, Like a lot of athletes Maria can ignore what is being said and stay working on what is her current plan.
Like for the longest time now, the media seems to be saying Gail Devers should be ready to let the new "" young runners take the stage. Another case where the media help the athletes change forcus is with Michael J. and Moe Green, at the 2000 O.T. where the media built them up so high against each other in the 200 meters that neither athlete was about to focus and follow there job at hand, to advance to the Olympic games.
" Another case where the media help the athletes change forcus is with Michael J. and Moe Green, at the 2000 O.T. where the media built them up so high against each other in the 200 meters that neither athlete was about to focus and follow there job at hand, to advance to the Olympic games. "
I was very surprised that Michael Johnson allowed himself to be drawn into that game.
Johnson was never a trash-talker; he always let his running do the talking.
The 2000 trials was the only instance when he talked alot of trash, and look what happened in the 200.
Runners should stick to their own games; trash-talking was not Johnson's game, but it was Greene's game (even though it didn't work for Greene in the 200 at the 2000 Trials either).
It's silly to say that there's no other W800 speed around. Only 18 months ago, Ceplak and Graf both ran sub-1.56 INDOORS! They have both had injury problems, but they'll be back.
It's also silly to accuse Mutola of not trying to run fast. She had by far the heaviest schedule of all runners at distances longer than 400, doing the entire Golden League, WC, Grand Prix Finale and Moscow, while Guevara, Sanchez and El G took it easy (relatively). In addition, she pushed herself to an all-alone sub-1:56 in Madrid and attempted a 1000 WR (London?).
Original question: I seem to remember seeing a quote from her about wanting to chase the WR. She get a lot of press here in Austria because of Graf. But I can't imagine her changing her training, when her chief goal must be Olympic gold.
Actually, from her interviews, Mutola thought in the 93-94 years that WR was possible. Now, years after yearsn her thoughts have changed a little, and she has nearly come to the conclusion that the WR is out of hand for her.
Alos, 1:57 is enough to win her races, and it's asking too much for her to sub1:55 or much better as she's racing too much to do that. Mutola is a pro athlete, and needs money (i see nothing wrong here), but too much competition kills peak form.