USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?


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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby TxHottrack » Wed May 15, 2013 6:56 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
TxHottrack wrote:
Flumpy wrote:And Sanya usually gets an easy last leg because she has such a big lead given to her by Allyson.

Obviously she could do a lot more if necessary but it's not usually needed.



That's why I think it's best for Sanya to be on 1st leg or even 3rd. USA can pull another person for anchor leg and still win. I like it best when other teams chasing us down oppose to the other way around. Sanya 1st, Felix 2nd, Dee Dee 3rd, and anchor: Hastings, McCory, Beards and so on!

We also have this line up: Dee Dee 1st, Felix 2nd, Sanya 3rd, and anchor: Hastings, McCory, Beards and so on!

The one downside for putting Sanya on scratch leg is that you lose the benefit of the some of the subtle things she does better than everyone else:

    1) She always carries the baton securely so that it can't be knocked out of her hand when she's in traffic. Some of the other runners carry the baton like a loaf of bread and are an accident waiting to happen.
    2) She keeps the baton moving through the exchange zone rather than receive the baton from a stand-still like some of the other runners do. I've seen her gain two meters on other teams by doing this.
    3) Her tactics are impeccable. She never passes on the curves or catches unnecessary wind. I can't say this for some of the other runners on the team.



I have to agree! Sanya is great on anchor as well. I can't wait for the line up at World's since the USA women are so stacked. I have a good feeling that Beard is going to sneak in this time. Another name that I left off is Ebonie Floyd...she can take a spot as well. It appears that the USA may be stacked in this event for the years to come with athletes like: Diamond Dixon and Ashley Spencer.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby mump boy » Wed May 15, 2013 7:12 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
    1) She always carries the baton securely so that it can't be knocked out of her hand when she's in traffic. Some of the other runners carry the baton like a loaf of bread and are an accident waiting to happen.
    2) She keeps the baton moving through the exchange zone rather than receive the baton from a stand-still like some of the other runners do. I've seen her gain two meters on other teams by doing this.
    3) Her tactics are impeccable. She never passes on the curves or catches unnecessary wind. I can't say this for some of the other runners on the team.


Could someone please send these very simple pointers to the UK team
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby JumboElliott » Wed May 15, 2013 7:22 am

Another thing about Sanya is that she's one of the greatest 400m runners in history.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed May 15, 2013 7:30 am

JumboElliott wrote:Another thing about Sanya is that she's one of the greatest 400m runners in history.

Yeah, there's that too. When one of the greatest runners is also the most technically sound runner, what you end up with is an invaluable relay runner. If Allyson Felix had anchored in 2008 instead of Sanya, would she have shown the patience that Sanya showed, without which the U.S. might have lost the race?
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Wed May 15, 2013 9:18 am

Yep. She's one of the greatest 200m sprinters in history. And very technically sound. Same applies.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed May 15, 2013 9:39 am

EPelle wrote:Yep. She's one of the greatest 200m sprinters in history. And very technically sound. Same applies.

I wasn't talking about running technique, I was talking about relay fundamentals. Since Allyson's been running on national teams, she's never had to run in traffic on the 4x400. Since she never ran college track, who knows how she would respond if put in position where she had to make tactical decisions. One thing that I already know is that she doesn't secure the baton the way Sanya does.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Wed May 15, 2013 10:55 am

Personally, I consider Felix a professional who has tactical awareness. She displays this in her signature event, the 200m, and in the 4x1—she knows when to take off, where to pass and how much effort to apply on her leg. Everything is precise. She's been running world-class sprints for a number of years. And she's not new to the 400m. Nothing to me indicates that she, as a precise relay sprinter with excellent presence of mind on the track, would freeze up if pressed on the 4x4 anchor leg in Beijing. That's my own opinion. With respect to Felix, I'm not of the opinion that she's the sole reason the USA has been dominant at 4x4 since she started competing on the national teams.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed May 15, 2013 11:34 am

EPelle wrote:Personally, I consider Felix a professional who has tactical awareness. She displays this in her signature event, the 200m,

There are no tacitcs involved in the open 200.
EPelle wrote:and in the 4x1—she knows when to take off, where to pass and how much effort to apply on her leg. Everything is precise.

She was a little late getting out on Daegu causing Bianca Knight to run up her back. And if she's guaging how much effort to apply, she's not running all out. There shouldn't be any gauging of effort in the 4x100.
EPelle wrote:She's been running world-class sprints for a number of years. And she's not new to the 400m. Nothing to me indicates that she, as a precise relay sprinter with excellent presence of mind on the track, would freeze up if pressed on the 4x4 anchor leg in Beijing. That's my own opinion.

All either of us can do is speculate, but I'm not as confident in her as you are.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby gh » Wed May 15, 2013 11:57 am

The likelihood of Felix having to make much in the way of "tactical decisions" is very slight, no matter what leg she's on, for the simple reason that I don't see her getting the baton anywhere but in 1st and doing what she has been doing so well for all these years already, which is let it all hang out and watch people fade in the rearview mirror.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Wed May 15, 2013 12:09 pm

Au contraire, monsieur, the 200m does, indeed, have tactics. Johnson, Gay and, to an extent, Bolt, got (get) out hard through the curve and relax(ed) as much as possible at a rapid speed coming home. Spearmon's tactic, for better or for worse, has been saving his race for the final 50m. Regarding Felix's degree of effort applied in her relays, for clarification I meant that she isn't blasting off from the incoming runner without the baton and/or expending all of her energy before she reaches the third leg runner. Daegu wasn't London. Obviously something changed with one or more of the legs and the way the race was prepared for and contested. That's absolutley OK if we have opposing degrees of confidence in what, speculatively, Felix would have/could have/might have/should have done on an anchor leg five seasons back. She's a different monster than she was then. May she have run herself (and team USA) out of the number one spot if she were on anchor? It's possible, but not likely (in my opinion). Would she today, three championship seasons under her belt later? Not likely at all. Whatsoever.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby gh » Wed May 15, 2013 12:12 pm

EPelle wrote:Au contraire, monsieur, the 200m does, indeed, have tactics. Johnson, Gay and, to an extent, Bolt, got (get) out hard through the curve and relax(ed) as much as possible at a rapid speed coming home. Spearmon's tactic, for better or for worse, has been saving his race for the final 50m. ....


I'm willing to bet that's largely an optical illusion.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Wed May 15, 2013 12:21 pm

Indeed, that Spearmon saves his best for the final 50m or so may appear to be tricks played on the eyes due to others slowing down faster than he is, but it does appear that he's getting out slower than the top placers and gaining in the final stages of the race (again, due to their having slowed at a quicker rate). As we're all aware, Johson's PB/WR race had a curve run faster than he'd ever managed. Bolt's first PB/WR was also run faster than a curve he'd previously managed to split. There was a certain tactic involved in running that fast over 200m. Jazzy hasn't adopted such a belief. I don't have data (splits) on Gay's PB.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby gh » Wed May 15, 2013 12:33 pm

splits are basically irrelevant; at this level, anybody who isn't running as hard as they can (given the constraints of lane draw and elemental ability to run curves well) from start to finish isn't a medalist anyway.

That's why 21.1 high schoolers can suddenly drop close to a 10th when they get to college (and discover that the 200 isn't race where you jog the curve and then kick).
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby TxHottrack » Wed May 15, 2013 1:53 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
EPelle wrote:Personally, I consider Felix a professional who has tactical awareness. She displays this in her signature event, the 200m,

There are no tacitcs involved in the open 200.
EPelle wrote:and in the 4x1—she knows when to take off, where to pass and how much effort to apply on her leg. Everything is precise.

She was a little late getting out on Daegu causing Bianca Knight to run up her back. And if she's guaging how much effort to apply, she's not running all out. There shouldn't be any gauging of effort in the 4x100.
EPelle wrote:She's been running world-class sprints for a number of years. And she's not new to the 400m. Nothing to me indicates that she, as a precise relay sprinter with excellent presence of mind on the track, would freeze up if pressed on the 4x4 anchor leg in Beijing. That's my own opinion.

All either of us can do is speculate, but I'm not as confident in her as you are.



It was actually Tianna Madison at the time who ran up A Felix back. A Felix then gave the baton to Bianca Knight.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed May 15, 2013 1:56 pm

TxHottrack wrote:It was actually Tianna Madison at the time who ran up A Felix back. A Felix then gave the baton to Bianca Knight.

That was in London. In Daegu, it was Knight to Felix to Myers.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed May 15, 2013 2:12 pm

EPelle wrote:Au contraire, monsieur, the 200m does, indeed, have tactics. Johnson, Gay and, to an extent, Bolt, got (get) out hard through the curve and relax(ed) as much as possible at a rapid speed coming home. Spearmon's tactic, for better or for worse, has been saving his race for the final 50m..

Gay and Johnson didn't intentionally slow down in the straight, fatigued slowed them down. Even 100-meter sprinters slow down in the last 40 meters, but that's not due to intentionally taking their foot off the pedal. I spoke with both of them at the 2007 USATF Championships, and both of them said that they made no attempt to conserve energy in the 200. I had this debate with Eldrick in 2007 a couple of days before I headed to nationals, and I posted about my conversation with them back then. I'll see if I can find it so that I can accurately quote myself. On the other hand, Ato Boldon and Spearmon have both admitted that they conserved energy in the first part of their 200 races.
EPelle wrote:Regarding Felix's degree of effort applied in her relays, for clarification I meant that she isn't blasting off from the incoming runner without the baton and/or expending all of her energy before she reaches the third leg runner.

It's not the job of the outgoing runner to worry about "blasting off from the incoming runner without the baton". When properly coached, their only concern should be leaving on time, and then it's the responsibility of the incoming runner to reach them before they leave the zone. As for "expending all of her energy" to soon, if a runner is concerned about running out of gas after only 100 meters of running, that runner isn't fit. I don't think runners of Felix's caliber have to worry about "expending all of her energy" to soon in the 4x100 relay.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby ATK » Wed May 15, 2013 7:47 pm

The idea that felix has been tha major deciding factor on the relay is largely false...The US could win every relay they have won with or without her)yes assumption)
She has obviously been a major factor, but she is only one leg. Also considering she is the 2nd leg it makes it seem a bit unfair to the other legs since she is the one who cuts in at the break and you ultimately begin to see how the stagger panned out.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Wed May 15, 2013 8:38 pm

ATK wrote:The idea that felix has been tha major deciding factor on the relay is largely false...The US could win every relay they have won with or without her)yes assumption)
She has obviously been a major factor, but she is only one leg. Also considering she is the 2nd leg it makes it seem a bit unfair to the other legs since she is the one who cuts in at the break and you ultimately begin to see how the stagger panned out.


The US would lose 2007 and 2008 and most likely 2011 without Felix.
She is better by (at least) 1.5 second than her replacement (probably more). With all due respect to American spirit a 48.xx lag makes your job that much easier.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby Gabriella » Thu May 16, 2013 1:31 am

batonless relay wrote:The goal isn't to run sub-3:20, the goal is to win. As I said before, in the absense of Marion Jones, Allyson Felix or Crystal Cox the USA still may have won. The time they ran is irrelevant.


Times do matter; many teams are capable of running a 3:20 but when the US are capable (and do) run 3:16, then they wipe the floor with the other teams. No other nation is going to be able to run that time. It's as gh says; Felix gets the baton around 1st place (not always....but it's either 1st or close to first) & then it's over. Who else can run a 48 leg?

In the absence of Marion Jones they wouldnt have been DQed :P but seriously, it is aknowledged that Jones 3rd leg transformed the race. Without her & who knows, but I'd wager Fenton, Privalova & co would have run the US down.

I did a quick sort of split times from the majors since 2005, looking at anything below 49.5, which conveniently comes to just over 20 runs (21):

2007 Felix 48.01 (2)
2012 Felix 48.2 (2)
2009 SRR 48.43 (4)
2008 Felix 48.55 (2)
2007 Sanders 48.70 (4)
2009 Felix 48.75 (2)
2007 N. William-Mills 48.89 (4)
2007 SRR 48.91 (4)
2008 SRR 48.93 (4)
2012 SRR 49.1 (4)
2008 Litvinova & Firova 49.2 (2, 3)
2011 S. Williams & Kapachinskaya 49.22 (4, 4)
2011 SRR 49.3 (1)
2008 S. Lloyd 49.32 (2)
2011 Felix 49.4 (2) & Antyukh 2007 (4) Antyukh 2005 (2)
2004 Antyukh 49.43 (4)
2012 N.Williams-Mills 49.46 (4)

Between them Felix & SRR have nearly half the times with 10. Felix has 4 of the top 6 times, her other leg being understandably further down from Daegu, where she had a heavy programme.
The next fastest 2nd legs are from Litvinova & Lloyd in 2008 with a 49.2 & 49.3, but they were still 0.7+ slower than Felix. There has been no other consistently run fast second legs capable of challenging Felix. So while SRR has absolutely been a big factor in US running fast times & winning, it's usually all over by the time it gets to her.

NB Antyukh is the next best performer in terms of number of runs, with 3 times in the top 21 but her limit is 49.4(which she has run at European level meetings many times too). She is the stalwart of the Russian team & the most reliable, but which leg would be her most effective? Where is 49.16 PB runner Krivoshapka in the lists or 49.28 runner Guschina?
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Thu May 16, 2013 2:01 am

jazzcyclist wrote:I don't think runners of Felix's caliber have to worry about ...

Now we're on the same page. I don't think someone of Felix's calibre had to worry about ... Russians on her tail in Beijing. Felix is a pedigree. She's a professional. An accomplished sprinter. Accomplished relay runner. Accomplished teammate. The list can go on, but why exceed the character limit?

Regarding slowing down the final 20m or 40m, yes, there are laws for things like that. They're called physics. Wasn't ignoring them. These guys attempted to relax as much as possible (hold form) coming down the straight.

What those aforementioned athletes did do was to employ a certain tactic. That tactic was to run their asses off on the turn. Anyone brave enough to go with them would suffer. Badly. Hurt as much or more than the ones employing the tactics were for having blazed the curve, too. Knowing they could run ferociously around the curve must have been something for which they trained. A tactic they wouldn't just employ in a championship setting without knowing whether or not it would work.

Maybe the correct word would have been strategy.

In any case, my point was (and remains) that Allyson Felix, an accomplished 200m sprinter of high calibre, does employ a certain tactic in her race. She's going to run according to how she's trained. She's trained to win; physically as well as psychologically.

The gold in Beijing was still USA's. Because Felix is now (and was then) an athlete of high calibre. A professional with excellent awareness and who possesses great tactics. Nothing more. Nothing less. If you are less of a believer in that, that's OK. I'm not here to convince you otherwise, rather to state why I wouldn't bet against her had she had that opportunity to anchor the team five seasons back. Sure was a long while ago. Fortunately, our beliefs don't change that 2008 outcome. :)
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 5:14 am

olorin wrote:The US would lose 2007 and 2008 and most likely 2011 without Felix.
She is better by (at least) 1.5 second than her replacement (probably more).

1.5 seconds? :roll: Hyperbole Alert! :!:
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 5:26 am

Gabriella wrote:I did a quick sort of split times from the majors since 2005, looking at anything below 49.5, which conveniently comes to just over 20 runs (21):

2007 Felix 48.01 (2)
2012 Felix 48.2 (2)
2009 SRR 48.43 (4)
2008 Felix 48.55 (2)
2007 Sanders 48.70 (4)
2009 Felix 48.75 (2)
2007 N. William-Mills 48.89 (4)
2007 SRR 48.91 (4)
2008 SRR 48.93 (4)
2012 SRR 49.1 (4)
2008 Litvinova & Firova 49.2 (2, 3)
2011 S. Williams & Kapachinskaya 49.22 (4, 4)
2011 SRR 49.3 (1)
2008 S. Lloyd 49.32 (2)
2011 Felix 49.4 (2) & Antyukh 2007 (4) Antyukh 2005 (2)
2004 Antyukh 49.43 (4)
2012 N.Williams-Mills 49.46 (4)

I appreciate you taking the time to compile this data. However, I would list Sanya's 49.3 from 2011 as the third best performance since it was a scratch leg, and the rule of thumb is a one-second differential between scratch legs and the other legs.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby 26mi235 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:41 am

Also, the anchor legs can be slower for the winning team when the gap is big because the runner will not push as hard the last bit. In fact, other placers may do the same within the gap (too far behind to catch up but with a comfortable margin ahead of the next team).
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 6:04 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
olorin wrote:The US would lose 2007 and 2008 and most likely 2011 without Felix.
She is better by (at least) 1.5 second than her replacement (probably more).

1.5 seconds? :roll: Hyperbole Alert! :!:

Being so smart maybe you can tell me which American 400m runner can have a split of sub 50 that is NOT already include in the original team during these years.
To help you a little bit - during 2007, 2008, 2009 only Felix and SRR ran below 50. The best lag between 2007 - 2012 by anyone other than SRR & FELIX is 49.39 (McCorory 2012) which is still almost 1.5 second slower than Felix at her best.
I suggest before you post any more silly comments - stop to think
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 6:10 am

[/quote]
I appreciate you taking the time to compile this data. However, I would list Sanya's 49.3 from 2011 as the third best performance since it was a scratch leg, and the rule of thumb is a one-second differential between scratch legs and the other legs.[/quote]

You gain roughly a second in the 4*100. In the 4*400 you gain much less. Re- my advice in the previous post
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 6:41 am

olorin wrote:You gain roughly a second in the 4*100. In the 4*400 you gain much less. Re- my advice in the previous post

I think you're wrong on this, especially for runners like Sanya who are good about carrying the baton through the zone. That's why Felix can run 48s relay splits but can't sniff sub-49 in the open 400.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 6:55 am

olorin wrote:Being so smart maybe you can tell me which American 400m runner can have a split of sub 50 that is NOT already include in the original team during these years.
To help you a little bit - during 2007, 2008, 2009 only Felix and SRR ran below 50. The best lag between 2007 - 2012 by anyone other than SRR & FELIX is 49.39 (McCorory 2012) which is still almost 1.5 second slower than Felix at her best.
I suggest before you post any more silly comments - stop to think

Are you in junior high school? This isn't letsrun and I have no interest in getting into a pssing contest with you. I only called you out for hyperbole. FYI, neither Natasha Hastings, Mary Wineberg, Jessica Beard or Debbie Dunn are 1.5 seconds slower than Felix when they're in form. Of course they're all slower, but not 1.5 seconds slower.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby gh » Thu May 16, 2013 6:55 am

cease and desist. now
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 7:15 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
olorin wrote:You gain roughly a second in the 4*100. In the 4*400 you gain much less. Re- my advice in the previous post

I think you're wrong on this, especially for runners like Sanya who are good about carrying the baton through the zone. That's why Felix can run 48s relay splits but can't sniff sub-49 in the open 400.

This is a link to the 4*400 in London:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awc-TN7qg3c
look at the change between Trotter and Felix. Allyson is taking two - three small steps and then start to ran after she get the baton.
Then, look at the 4*100 (when they roughly gained a second)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAfhf_u_QBI
Look at the American exchanges are the two remotely close?
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 7:30 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
olorin wrote:Being so smart maybe you can tell me which American 400m runner can have a split of sub 50 that is NOT already include in the original team during these years.
To help you a little bit - during 2007, 2008, 2009 only Felix and SRR ran below 50. The best lag between 2007 - 2012 by anyone other than SRR & FELIX is 49.39 (McCorory 2012) which is still almost 1.5 second slower than Felix at her best.
I suggest before you post any more silly comments - stop to think

Are you in junior high school? This isn't letsrun and I have no interest in getting into a pssing contest with you. I only called you out for hyperbole. FYI, neither Natasha Hastings, Mary Wineberg, Jessica Beard or Debbie Dunn are 1.5 seconds slower than Felix when they're in form. Of course they're all slower, but not 1.5 seconds slower.

Unfortunately, my junior high school days are many many years behind me. I may misunderstood the meaning of hyperbole (I believed that it is a stupid comment that make the entire argument laughable).
Therefore, if I overreact I am taking it back.
Still read my post without the personal part. I have no doubt that Felix is NOT 1.5 faster in the individual 400, but as you pointed out she is a much better in relays. Typically, She is 1.0 -2.0 seconds better than the slowest lag in her team. In order to replace her you will need to choose someone that was ranked lower in the American trials that in all likelihood is going to be even slower.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 8:36 am

olorin wrote:This is a link to the 4*400 in London:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awc-TN7qg3c
look at the change between Trotter and Felix. Allyson is taking two - three small steps and then start to ran after she get the baton.
Then, look at the 4*100 (when they roughly gained a second)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAfhf_u_QBI
Look at the American exchanges are the two remotely close?

The video that you posted is an example of a poorly executed 4x400 exchange by Felix. Of course you won't get the one-second differential with exchanges like that. Hell, you won't get the one-second differential with 4x100 exchanges when they're poorly executed either. I'm glad you posted this video because it also undermines Epelle's claim that Felix is as technically sound a relay runner as Sanya, who would never take the baton from a stand-still the way Felix did. You have to also remember that in the 4x400, there's a lot of drafting going on that doesn't happen in the 4x100. This is why on average, you'll find that a runner's best 4x400 relay split is a second faster than their PR in the open 400, and with some runners (eg. Allyson Felix, Jessica Beard), it's close to 1.5 seconds faster.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 8:43 am

olorin wrote:I have no doubt that Felix is NOT 1.5 faster in the individual 400, but as you pointed out she is a much better in relays.

I didn't say that. Perhaps you're confusing me with Epelle.
olorin wrote:Typically, She is 1.0 -2.0 seconds better than the slowest lag in her team. In order to replace her you will need to choose someone that was ranked lower in the American trials that in all likelihood is going to be even slower.

When I have time, I'll look at who ran in the heats since 2007 and look at what their form was that year. Those alternates would be the people we're talking about exchanging for Felix.

Note: When I accuse someone of hyperbole, I'm not insulting them. It's more like I'm accusing them of exaggerating a lilttle and ribbing them in a good-natured way. I promise I didn't mean to offend you.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby JumboElliott » Thu May 16, 2013 9:29 am

26mi235 wrote:Also, the anchor legs can be slower for the winning team when the gap is big because the runner will not push as hard the last bit. In fact, other placers may do the same within the gap (too far behind to catch up but with a comfortable margin ahead of the next team).

Exactly, and the two guys who have run the fastest uncontested anchor legs are the greatest and arguably the second greatest 400m runners in history.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby EPelle » Thu May 16, 2013 10:25 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
olorin wrote:I have no doubt that Felix is NOT 1.5 faster in the individual 400, but as you pointed out she is a much better in relays.

I didn't say that. Perhaps you're confusing me with Epelle.

Nope. Apparently extrapolated from your quote of: That's why Felix can run 48s relay splits but can't sniff sub-49 in the open 400.

On thread, ¶2012 OG: w4x400–United States 3:16.87 WL, you agreed that the team of Trotter, Felix, McCrory, Richards-Ross seemed like the most logical for the team, yet you contended that "Maybe Drummond just wants to give other runners the opportunity to experience anchoring the U.S. to gold" when it was first announced that the team comprised of Felix, Richards-Ross, McCorory and Trotter. This proves that you believe that the anchor leg notwithstanding, the USA was going to claim gold. Why wouldn't the same hold true in the previous Olympics with Felix on anchor? Because she's Allyson Felix?

As everyone knows, Felix had Krivoshapka on her leg last year in London. Felix, with a 'suspect' hand-off runs 48,2 (maybe 47,9 to 48,0 if 'perfect'); the fastest woman on the planet over 400m last season, Krivoshapka, didn't cause Felix to panic or lose focus on the race or her run. As a matter of fact, she never caught her. For such reasons as this, I do not doubt for a minute that Felix wouldn't have panicked in Beijing. That really is enough now. Believe as you wish. I'm not here to prove anything. Does it raise the price of milk if you're right or wrong? If I'm on base or far off in left field? They're just two cents. One and two.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu May 16, 2013 12:19 pm

EPelle wrote:On thread, ¶2012 OG: w4x400–United States 3:16.87 WL, you agreed that the team of Trotter, Felix, McCrory, Richards-Ross seemed like the most logical for the team, yet you contended that "Maybe Drummond just wants to give other runners the opportunity to experience anchoring the U.S. to gold" when it was first announced that the team comprised of Felix, Richards-Ross, McCorory and Trotter. This proves that you believe that the anchor leg notwithstanding, the USA was going to claim gold. Why wouldn't the same hold true in the previous Olympics with Felix on anchor? Because she's Allyson Felix?

You're reading more into my post than I wrote. I don't believe that it's a forgone conclusion that the U.S. will win as evidenced by the fact that Sanya had to come from behind to win in 2008. However, Drummond may believe in the inevitability of a U.S. win since in 2011 he put McCorory on anchor and Sanya on scratch leg which I think was a mistake despite their eventual win. We already know for a fact that Sanya can handle herself regardless of the circumstances thrown at her, so why waste her on scratch leg?

EPelle wrote:As everyone knows, Felix had Krivoshapka on her leg last year in London. Felix, with a 'suspect' hand-off runs 48,2 (maybe 47,9 to 48,0 if 'perfect'); the fastest woman on the planet over 400m last season, Krivoshapka, didn't cause Felix to panic or lose focus on the race or her run. As a matter of fact, she never caught her. For such reasons as this, I do not doubt for a minute that Felix wouldn't have panicked in Beijing.

You're conveniently overlooking the fact that Allyson ran a staggered leg which means that she had no idea where the other teams were when she got the baton, and when she broke off the turn, she had a commanding lead. Why would she have any reason to panic over another runner that she never saw during the entire race? There are no tactical decisions to be made on the second leg when you're the first one to the break.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby JumboElliott » Thu May 16, 2013 12:32 pm

Looks like Sanya will be back next week at New York.
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby 26mi235 » Thu May 16, 2013 1:01 pm

:D
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby Weights&Shoes » Thu May 16, 2013 2:26 pm

Didn't realize my comment saying the USA wasn't a lock at this year's WC turned into this nice debate.

Carry on. 8-)
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 5:37 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
olorin wrote:When I have time, I'll look at who ran in the heats since 2007 and look at what their form was that year. Those alternates would be the people we're talking about exchanging for Felix.


Allyson Felix in the relays:
For each of the last five major championships I present the time by Felix, The difference between her time and the slowest lag by an American in the final (not including the first lag), The difference between her time and the fastest American athlete that compete in the qualifications but not in the final (this athlete is likely to be Felix’s replacement in case she didn’t run).
The final two rows present her contribution to the win. The first is the difference between her time and the time of the second lag athlete of the team that won the silver and the last line is my own assessment of her contribution.
I will demonstrate on 2007 and then present for 2008-2012
2007:
Felix time - 48.01
Faster than slowest American lag - Mary Wineberg ran 50.24 (third lag) so the gap is 2.23sec
Faster than fifth American - Hannangan is the fastest lag in the qualifications that did not compete in the final. She ran 50.01 so the gap is 2.09sec
Faster than Silver - the second Jamaican ran 50.05 so the gap is 2.04sec
Felix’s contribution - The gap between the US and Jam was 1.18sec so all the gap (more than 100%) is because of Felix. Another way to look at this is that except Felix all the other three Americans were slower than their Jamaican counterparts.

2008:
Felix time - 48.55
Faster than slowest American lag - 1.51sec
Faster than the fifth American - 1.42sec
Faster than Silver - 0.63sec (RUS)
Felix’s contribution - US won by a gap of 0.28. Again, the combine time of the other three American runners was slower than their Russian counterparts. The second lag Russian was actually the fastest lag by them.

2009:
Felix time - 48.75
Faster than slowest American lag - 1.35sec
Faster than the fifth American - 2.63sec
Faster than Silver - 0.89sec (JAM)
Felix’s contribution - The gap between US and JAM was 3.32 so Felix contributed roughly one quarter of the gap. Importantly, the second Jamaican athlete (Williams-Mills) was the fastest lag by the Jamaican

2011:

Felix time - 49.4
Faster than slowest American lag - 0.44sec
Faster than the fifth American - 2.25sec
Faster than Silver - 0.2sec (JAM)
Felix’s contribution - The gap between US and JAM was 0.62. As noted this was Felix’s worse relay after attempting the 200/400 double. Still very doubtful if the US would have won gold without her.

2012:
Felix: 48.2
Faster than slowest American lag - 1.19sec
Faster than the fifth American - 2.06sec
Faster than Silver - 1.6sec
Felix’s contribution - The gap was 3.36 so the US would have won without her. Still Allyson is responsible for half (!) of this gap
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Re: USA w4x400 'lock' debate: Why so dominant?

Postby olorin » Thu May 16, 2013 5:54 pm

So...
was the 1.5sec hyperbole?
Felix was faster than the slowest lag by an average of 1.35 (1.57 if you take Deagu out of the equation). This is assuming that the athlete that will replace Felix will ran as fast an athlete that finished ahead of her in the US trials. If we look at the gap between Felix and the fastest lag in the qualification the average gap is 2.09sec.
So I stand by my original post - Felix is "worth" ~1.5sec to the American team.

Her contribution to the gold was pivotal in 2007, 2008 and 2011. Of course this is a what if argument that can never be solved but I doubt very much that the US would have won any of these three golds without her.

Finally, I am not a Bolt fan (in fact I would like anyone but him to win), but I would never argue that he is not the greatest sprinter that ever been.
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