One thing has struck me this indoor season - the depth (or lack thereof) of the Russian women in events they usually dominate at this time of year. I'm talking 400m, 800m and 1500m. Every year we've become used to seeing superb depth in each of those events from Russian athletes, but not so much this year. There has been just one sub-52 clocking in the 400m by a Russian, just one sub-2:00 in the 800m and just one sub-4:10 in the 1500m.
I just had a quick look at comparisons with previous years. These are the figures for the number of performances (not performers) under 52/2:00/4:10 each indoor season for the past 10 years...
I wonder whether they're almost forgetting about this indoor season in order to invest all their resources in the World Championships this summer. And without going too far down the road of making accusations, you do wonder if the recent busts from the biological passports have had an effect on the standards.
What's also interesting is to compare the depth in 2006 (their all-time high across all events), which was also the year they hosted the World Indoor Championships. It shows that when they play host, they'll be prepared.
I totally expect medals in each of these events, perhaps more than one in each event, but what will be more interesting is any success 100/m200m where they have been quiet since Privalova retired from these events 15 years ago, or surprising with a 100mh medal.
Likewise medals in the 400m, 400mh or 110h on the men's side where they have some finalist level talent already who could step up in front of a home crowd.
A thing to note here is that Russia's men won more medals (and golds) at Göteborg than their women did, which is very unusual. (For comparison, 2 years ago Russia's women won 11 medals and the men only 3.) The men's team certainly wasn't held back very much; in fact, I can't think of any medal favourites not taking part. (You could argue with the HJ team I guess, but Mudrov and Dmitrik are both super-strong. The top PV guys were all absent but their chances of medalling would have been doubtful anyhow.)
Of course, Jon did specifically point to the women
Also worth noting that Russia's top shot putters (Sidorov and Kolodko) both competed.
Last edited by LopenUupunut on Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Politics of selection is something seldom talked about that also holds Russia back. they sometimes don't send their strongest team; advancing the theory of selecting up and comers in a sport that is/should be about what have you done for me lately. I would guess that in order to not run afoul of errant selectors, the Russians are trying to be their best to represent Russia in front of a home crowd.
Jon wrote:And without going too far down the road of making accusations, you do wonder if the recent busts from the biological passports have had an effect on the standards.
Not going too far down the road of making accusations, i can't see a world where the GBR team can get better and the Russian team "slips" because of the supposed efficacy of biological passports and the importation of american coaches and expectations. If any team would show regression it would be Ukraine.
Indoor running, thankfully, is just taking a back burner to the more important Outdoor champs.
Biological passport seems to have only got rid of runners at 800 and up, but apart from Hamera-Shmyrko in the marathon (and she was beaten by a Russian in London) and possibly Mishchenko when on form (as she wasn't in London), Ukraine's strength compared to Russia is clearly at 100 and 200, why would BP affect them more than Russia? (Belarus I'd argue not much at all, since their strength is SP and HT.)
As for Russia's men, Smirnov didn't compete and I'd have expected him to have challenged at either 1500 or 3000.
andyjgt wrote:Biological passport seems to have only got rid of runners at 800 and up, but apart from Hamera-Shmyrko in the marathon (and she was beaten by a Russian in London) and possibly Mishchenko when on form (as she wasn't in London), Ukraine's strength compared to Russia is clearly at 100 and 200, why would BP affect them more than Russia? (Belarus I'd argue not much at all, since their strength is SP and HT.)
I don't think biological passports are supposed to have anything to do with which events come back positive. And though you say Ukraine's "relative strength" is with the 1/2/4x1 (bronze medal in London), Ukraine w4x4 was 4th in London and 1st in Helsinki and Ukraine had at least 2 women in 400h (sorry, I have to go off of memory, the iaaf site doesn't return the information i'm looking for in an intuitive manner so i've given up trying to find the relevant info) - making UKR at least as good at 400/400h/4x4 as they are in the 1/2/4x1, imo, and very close in quality to Russia. If Ukraine is still at relative strength than Jon shouldn't include biological passports as even a possible reason for why Russia is down in 2013. it doesn't make sense. Ukraine would be down too. His comment was taken by me to be a naked and unnecessary slight towards why Russia has been successful.
az2004 wrote:russian women tend to produce solidtimes or marks at home but not replicaate them away from home
This isn't exactly accurate. Currently this mostly describes their 400m women's but not their current or recent crop of 800m runners and steeplechasers.
Savinova has consistently run her best times in championship finals, hence her 3 year domination (and unlike other Russians runs the Diamond League) and Poistogova ran her best time in London as well. Gulnara broke the SC world record in Beijing, Volkova ran the 2nd fastest ever time in Osaka and Zaripova ran her two best times Deagu and London in WC and OG finals before topping it in Sweden late last year.
Of course all rules have exceptions and the 400m exception from Russia is Natalya Antyukh whose best times are at the Olympics.
zaripova and savinova and antyuk krivoshapka gushina firova navarova kapachinskaya
off the top of my head these are russian women i can think about. men menkov morgunov adams any hjer on team litvinov krivov ruzavin
That's a good list.sure there are others i know a little about like Kolodko who I think will take over Val Adams best around Shot Putt title and Abakumova must fancy her chances with Spotakova taking a year out.
Flumpy wrote:Kolodko went from 16.73 in 2010 to 19.78 in 2011.
She added another 70cm in 2012.
Make of that what you will.
Merlene Ottey failed a drugs test, got off on a technicality and was coached by somebody we know was receiving methods on how to beat doping tests.
Make of that what you will....or alternatively avoid all logic and sense and hold double standards.
On a more objective note Valerie Adams had years where she jumped 2 metres in her throwing after making a meter and a half progression the year before and in 2009 jumped up 51cm again out the blue. I don't think young athletes making rapid progression is suspicious, especially for a young athlete in or just leaving their teenage years.
We could all point to Usian Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Paula Radcliffe, Shelly Ann-Frazer-Price, Xiang Liu, all had big jumps in performances at a similar age, or what we call their breakthrough years. Some athletics change something, events, coaches, training, effort and make sizeable jumps. Heck just this month Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child have made big jumps if their 400m times to beat both the European outdoor and european indoor champions by a huge margin. Heck 26 year old Eilidh Child has just knocked a whole second off her 400m time in only 6 months and I have no cause at all to suspect her performance.