rhymans wrote:I think there is a difference between great head-to-heads and "most hyped". The Donovan Bailey-Michael Johnson meeting over 150m was heavily publicised, but was just a money race.
So I'm definitely after 'most hyped' as opposed to great head-to-heads, where the media and sport has hyped a clash leading up to the event or during a champs.
The Bailey-Johnson meeting over 150m is a great example. The whole 'who is the worlds fastest man?' debate was very intriguing at that time, Johnson challenging the traditional view that the 100m champion was the fastest man alive.
What was the hype like in the US or Canada? In the UK it was taken fairly seriously, though there was a debate as to whether this was more circus than athletics. I remember British TV showing the event live (from memory it was ridiculous hour) with the other head-to-heads building up to the big event. But, as often happens, what a disaster.
The women's 100mh saw an obvious false start, failed recall, Engquist hesitate, Freeman steam ahead, only to lose her balance and allow the Swede to come through at the end. Okkert Brits totally doiminated Lawrence Johnson, 5.90 to 5.75; Charles Austin domninate Patrick Sjoberg, 2.30 to 2.20, and Heike Drechsler beat JJK 6.82 to 6.79.
Come to the main event, Johnson pulls up at 85m, clutching his leg, Bailey slowing as he crossed the line in 14.99, turning and taunting Johnson. Bailey would later claim Johnson 'chickened out' but Johnson refused to take the bait. But if anything, it was clear Bailey was the more concerned party before the race, insisting it had to be in Canada, claiming the curve was the wrong length and angle, threatening to drop out countless times.