All Hail Salazar!


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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby TN1965 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:55 am

Bruce Kritzler wrote:(East) Africans = Kenyans?
I expect Ethiopia to keep it's young stars on the track.


I certainly agree with this. When I see the likes of Gebremeskel and Alamirew deserting the track at a young age, then I believe the Ethiopian talent is moving to the road. Lelisa Desisa (13:22/27:11) recently made a marathon debut at age 23, but it is not clear whether he is gone from track for good. Gebremariam made the Olympic 10K team last year after running a few marathons.

I also think there is a difference between 5K and 10K. There are many road racers who also run 10K on track. (Wilson Kiprop, Lucas Rotich, Geoffrey Kipsang and Peter Kirui are prime examples.) This is partly because there are few 10K track races, but the ability needed to run a fast 10K is a bit different from the 5K.

And finally, I think Geb and Bekele were outliers. The quality at the very top is lower now, because those two had elevated it to an unrealistic level. The quality at the very top in 1500m is lower than it was in late 1990s, and the quality at the top in 800m was lower between Kipketer and Rudisha. But we were not losing any middle distance talent to road races. Those are (were) just interval between exceptional talents.
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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby odelltrclan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:41 pm

I think the 10k numbers being posted are a bit skewed by the fact that there are far fewer open races for athletes to run on the track. This is likely another reason that certain athletes have moved to the road more. While the 5k is still very popular, the 10k is almost obsolete with the exception of championship races.

While many of these marathoners may run excellent track 10ks, I doubt many of them would be competitive at the top level in the 5k.

The times today are still fast, but, I think comparing them to the greats of recent past is misleading. Some of those guys were chasing records as the records in those days were rather soft. They are at a very high level now. Rarely do we see guys chasing times. In the right races, I believe we could possibly see sub 12:40 and sub 26:30. The latter being so difficult now because of lack of racing opportunities. Getting the right conditions is difficult enough not to mention having so few opportunities.

In looking at times we also fail to appreciate other telling aspects, namely, the finishing prowess of the likes of Farah, and even what Rupp is now beginning to approach. Being able to finish races in 52, 53 and 1:55, or a final 4 laps in the times these guys are doing favor very favorably with the very best of all time. They may not be quite to the level of Bekele at his very best, but they aren't far behind now from where he was at in his prime. To me that is more indicative of their overall quality than times. The 5k last year with all the sub 12:50's showed that in the right race, there are a lot of quality athletes. Some of those athletes in that same sub 12:50 race were blown away by Farah and Rupp just weeks earlier at Pre.

Lastly, I find it a bit amusing about how everyone has been so in awe of the East Africans that at the point others get to this level they can only believe it is happening because the quality has now dropped. :(
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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby Conor Dary » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:01 pm

odelltrclan wrote:

Lastly, I find it a bit amusing about how everyone has been so in awe of the East Africans that at the point others get to this level they can only believe it is happening because the quality has now dropped. :(


Considering they were running 7:20, 12:37, 26:22 16 and 17 years ago and pretty much transformed the sport, yea, I would say I was in awe.

And it isn't just because Rupp is running well now. Kennedy was running at that level 17 years ago and those guys were just as awe inspiring. It just that the marathon has been a boom lately, syphoning talent, I believe, from the 10k. The 5k, I admit, is another story. The fast twitch 5k guys, like say El G, probably wouldn't be that great at the marathon.

As I said, Rupp is an amazing runner and fun to watch. I think he can get down to around 12:40 and 26:20. Super times no matter who the competition is.
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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby odelltrclan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Conor Dary wrote:Considering they were running 7:20, 12:37, 26:22 16 and 17 years ago and pretty much transformed the sport, yea, I would say I was in awe.


Yes Conor, those performances were (and are) awe inspiring, but my problem is with the word "they" especially as it is being used in context of the conversation of this thread. D Komen and K Bekele, were two of the greatest of all time. There were not many in history at that level among the Ethiopians and Kenyans. It is kind of like saying the NBA is at a much lower level today because Michael Jordan is not playing anymore. We may never see another Bekele again. But "they" were not all doing it, a select few were. And judging by the finishing prowess of Mo Farah, he is not all that far behind Bekele. He simply was running for championships, and not attempting records. I suspect he could have come up with some awe inspiring times, if that was what his intentions were. Farah's times for the final 2000 on in to the final 400 are very comparable to Bekele's when he was king of the hill. Were these guys (Farah & Rupp and several others) to be in the right races, I think they could be in the low 12:40's and 26:20's this year.

So what I am saying is just because Farah and Rupp are near the top of the world right now, it isn't just because the Kenyans have moved to the roads, though certainly, that is a factor for Kenya not having athletes at the top of the 10k world right now WITH Farah and Rupp.
Last edited by odelltrclan on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby eldanielfire » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:40 pm

odelltrclan wrote:
So what I am saying is just because Farah and Rupp are near the top of the world right now, it isn't just because the Kenyans have moved to the roads, though certainly, that is a factor for Kenya not having athletes at the top of the 10k world right now WITH Farah and Rupp.


Had the Ethiopian's been moving to the road than you may have had a point. However as ever present as they are the Kenyan's have hardly been top dog in the 10,000 for decades. There has been one Kenyan 10,000m world champ in 20 years and there hasn't been an Olympic 10,000m champion since the 1960's. I almost feel Ethiopian's get their distance Track achievements downgraded by being called the generic East African's and Kenya's goes up on the track in distance events. Ethiopia has dominated Kenya for decades, now Farah and Rupp appear to be topping the Ethiopian's it is fair to say it's isn't because East African's are disinterested in the track now when the country that matters is still there with their best offerings.
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Re: All Hail Salazar!

Postby JumboElliott » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:03 pm

kevinsdad wrote:For those arguing that a talent shift to the marathon explains the success of Farah and Rupp in last year's olympics, maybe it's time to name names. Who among the present top marathoners would likely have replaced a London 5 or 10K medallist but for the shift in distance? Put otherwise, who among the present crop of top marathoners could have presented a tougher challenge to the medallists than the London 4th place finishers, Lagat and K. Bekele? None is my guess.

The only name I can think of period is a healthy Ibrahim Jeilan, and he's not a marathoner. His last lap in Daegu makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time I watch it.
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