Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold


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Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Slowrunner » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:32 am

I am going to start the argument, going by event...BTW, I do not include athletes who won individual gold in a different event, so no Seb Coe in the 800, I did include relay gold medalists who won no individual golds.

Men:
100m - Ralph Metcalfe, USA
200m - Frank Fredericks, NAM
400m - Butch Reynolds, USA
800m - Wilson Kipketer, DEN
1500m - Hicham El Guerrouj, MAR or Steve Cram, GBR
5000m - Ron Clarke, AUS
10000m - Henry Rono, KEN
110H - Greg Foster, USA
400H - Harald Schmid, FRG
3000st - Moses Kiptanui, KEN
Marathon - Bill Rodgers, USA
LJ - Mike Powell, USA
TJ - Jaoa de Olivera, BRA
HJ - Dwight Stones, USA
PV - Bob Gutowski, USA
SP - John Godina, USA
DT - Wolfgang Schmidt, GDR
JT - Janusz Sidlo, POL
HT - Aleksey Spiridonov, URS
Dec - Tomasz Dvorak, CZE

Women
100m - Marlies Gohr, GDR
200m - Merlene Ottey, JAM
400m - Jarmila Kratochvilova, TCH
800m - Ana Quirot, CUB
1500m - Mary Slaney, USA
3000/5000m - Sonia O'Sullivan, IRL
10000m - INgrid Kristiansen, NOR
100H - Pam Ryan, AUS
400H - Marina Stepanova, URS
Marathon - Grete Waitz, NOR
LJ - Fiona May, ITA
HJ - Tamara Bykova, URS
SP - Helena Fibingerova, TCH
DT - Tsvetanka Khristova, BUL
JT - Daniela Jaworska, POL
Hept/Pent - Romana Neubert, GDR
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby waynehobley » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:54 pm

Women
100 Meter Hurdles: Gail Devers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4x4 Relay Team: 1988 Seoul Team
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby 6 5.5hjsteve » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:57 pm

wayne, you missed one of Slowrunner's caveats; he did not include anyone that won in another event.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Pego » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:29 pm

My additions:
110H-Skeets Nehemiah (USA)
100H-Ginka Zagorcheva (Bulgaria)
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby 6 5.5hjsteve » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:36 pm

and I would pull out Cram, as El G is a clear cut choice. And anyway, if anyone would be second it would be Ryun, not Cram.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Slowrunner » Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:59 pm

>and I would pull out Cram, as El G is a clear cut
>choice. And anyway, if anyone would be second it
>would be Ryun, not Cram.

I put in Cram as a second choice as El G is still active & can change things next year. Cram/Ryun is an interesting comparison, I have to think about it.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:33 am

I think Coe would have to be the guy at 800m.

He got 2 1500 wins but none at 800 and he was the WR holder for a very long time.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Slowrunner » Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:33 am

I've thought about Cram vs. Ryun - very similar.

Both won silver medals at the Olympics in their prime & did not win a medal in their other Olympics. Cram was closer with a 4th in '88, although Ryun never got the chance to run in the '72 final.

Both ranked #1 in the world in the 2 years prior to the Olympics, but while Ryun never ranked #1 again, Cram did 4 more times, '85-'88.

Both set world records in the mile that lasted for 8 years. Ryun set two world records at 1500, Cram set one.

Cram won a world championship, Ryun never had the opportunity.

Cram lived in an age of dawning professionalism in track which allowed him to compete at the highest level for another 4 years. This opening of track also increased the competition as other athletes were able to do the same.

Ryun had only two "great" runners as adversaries, Kip Keino and later, Marty Liquori. Cram faced Seb Coe and Said Aouita, although Aouita never concentrated solely on 1500.

Largely on the basis of his 6 #1's to Ryun's two, I would still stick with Steve Cram. Interestingly, it seems as though Cram's legacy has been much more quickly forgotten (at least here in the USA) than Ryun by his inability to win Olympic gold.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby The King » Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:52 am

>My additions:
110H-Skeets Nehemiah
>(USA)
100H-Ginka Zagorcheva (Bulgaria)


I know that I'm gonna got a lot of stick for picking this guy over 'Skeets' but;

110H-Colin Jackson (GBR)

And another one of my picks,
Men's Triple Jump-Willie Banks(USA)
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:18 am

>I've thought about Cram vs. Ryun - very
>similar.


>Cram lived in an age of dawning
>professionalism in track which allowed him to
>compete at the highest level for another 4 years.
>This opening of track also increased the
>competition as other athletes were able to do
>the same.

At the great risk of starting another huge argument, I personally wouldn't say that lack of professional opportunities kept Ryun from competing at the highest level for another 4 years.

Ryun had only two "great" runners
>as adversaries, Kip Keino and later, Marty
>Liquori. Cram faced Seb Coe and Said Aouita,
>although Aouita never concentrated solely on
>1500.

I don't think Aouita ever entered an Olympic 1500.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby billthedog » Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:10 pm

Gutowski over Warmerdam, Fredericks over Harold Davis? Absurd. Stones over Steers is a little closer. But Godina over Torrance or Fuchs, and Schmidt over Gordien are just about as modernistically (a word?) myopic.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 03, 2003 1:30 pm

Steve WIlliams
Houston McTear
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby 6 5.5hjsteve » Fri Oct 03, 2003 1:52 pm

careful billthedog, someone will make fun of your age again, but YOU ARE RIGHT.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Slowrunner » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:25 pm

>>I've thought about Cram vs. Ryun -
>very
>similar.


>Cram lived in an age of
>dawning
>professionalism in track which allowed
>him to
>compete at the highest level for another
>4 years.
>This opening of track also increased
>the
>competition as other athletes were able to
>do
>the same.

At the great risk of starting
>another huge argument, I personally wouldn't say
>that lack of professional opportunities kept Ryun
>from competing at the highest level for another 4
>years.

Ryun had only two "great"
>runners
>as adversaries, Kip Keino and later,
>Marty
>Liquori. Cram faced Seb Coe and Said
>Aouita,
>although Aouita never concentrated
>solely on
>1500.

I don't think Aouita ever
>entered an Olympic 1500.

He did enter the '88 race, but withdrew after the heats with a hamstring injury.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby billthedog » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:48 pm

And, at that, I neglected McKenley in the 400m and Harbig in the 800m. I would think they rank ahead of the current nominees.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:27 am

100--Ben Johnson
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 06, 2003 6:55 pm

>Interestingly, it seems as though Cram's legacy
>y has been much more quickly forgotten (at least
>here in the USA) than Ryun by his inability to
>win Olympic gold.

Probably because Cram came close to reaching his ultimate potential in terms of his PR's. Many observers feel Ryun's training actually kept him from reaching his potential, never mind the lack of real competition when he was at his peak. The mono and everything else pretty much derailed him, though he did come back for a go at it in '72. In short, Cram came close to his potential at the 800, and pretty close in the mile. Ryun was probably physically capable of PR's back then that would match the PR's of most of the greats of the last decade or so. But it didn't happen. I'd go with Ryun over Cram in the 1500. Ryun blew the 1500/mile records out of the water by huge margins as well.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Per Andersen » Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:37 pm

Good pick on Ben Johnson! He was pretty dominant in both the 100&200 in 1937 and 1938. Had there been O.G. in one of those years he would have been favored.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Falken » Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:59 pm

Trouble with Johnson is that he was past his peak in 1940...... Davis would have bin favoured, with Ewell as a close second

The list of non-winners is however long

100
Bernie Wefers, Arthur Duffey, Howard Drew, Frank Wykoff, Ralph Metcalfe, Eulace Peacock, Davis and Ewell, Art Bragg (!!), Dave Sime, Jom Golliday, Charlie Greene, Steve Williams, James Sanford, Calvin Smith, ....

200
Wefers, VS Rice, Ralph Metcalfe, Davis, Ewell, Sime, Ray Norton, John Carlos (!!),Williams, Clancy Edwards

400
John Baxter Taylor, Harry Hillman, Ben Eastman, Grover Klemmer, Hubie Kearns, McKenley (!!), Ulis Williams, Larry James, Wayne Collett, John Smith, Reynolds,

110HH
Robert Simpson, Steve Anderson, Jack Davis, Earl McCullough, Nehemiah, Foster,

and so on, and so on ....
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:16 pm

I think Canuck was refering to Ben Johnson of 84 and 88. I guess he did win a Gold for a few days?
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:57 pm

billthedog I agree with your thoughts regarding Godina & Goldien but Fredericks & Reynolds were better than Davis & McKenley

Clay
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Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby bushop » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:31 pm

Discus ... Jay Silvester
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Godina, modernistic bias=hogwash

Postby Hunter » Sat Oct 11, 2003 8:05 pm

he has been among the top handful of shotputters for a decade: #1 in the world 4 times, 4 world championships, olympic bronze and silver, NCAA record. There arent more than 2-3 other shotputters EVER that have been as dominant as him over a long period of time.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:14 am

My thoughts on the events discussed:
M200: Fredricks has always been so close. Remember he ran 19.68, and Johnson may not have run 19.32 if Fredricks hadn't run faster than Johnson in the semis.
M400: Reynolds broke a long standing record and had a couple of dominant seasons.
M1500: Ryun because he improved the records so much.
MSteeple: Rono. I saw his record, and with better conditions he could have been under 8:00. He just never concentrated on the event.
5k/10k: switch Rono and Clarke. Clarke specialized at 10k, and his WR would still get him a Top 10 TFN ranking. Rono's 5k was more historic than his 10k.
MMarathon: Khannouchi still has a chance, but he's obviously more dominant at the world level than Rodgers ever was. I'd rank Salazar, DeCastella, Clayton, and Hill (not in that order) over Rodgers too.
MHH: Nehemiah was untouchable by anyone and broke through with the WR. Jackson had a losing record to Johnson.
MPV: WARMERDAM!!!!! How could it be anyone else!!!!! (And a pox on all of you others who missed this one.... ;^) ).
W800: Kratochvilova here too. Her mark is still unapproached and she won at will.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:03 am

<M400: Reynolds broke a long standing record and had a couple of dominant seasons.>

Sorry, have to disagree. Herb McKenley is my choice - he got a gold in 1952, but in the 4 x 400 relay.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 18, 2003 12:14 pm

><M400: Reynolds broke a long standing record and
>had a couple of dominant seasons.>

Sorry, have
>to disagree. Herb McKenley is my choice - he got
>a gold in 1952, but in the 4 x 400 relay.

I say Lon Myers, but it's kind of hard to defend.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby billthedog » Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:12 pm

I've been away for a while. I see that there has been some disagreement with my choices, very civil disagreement for the most part, and even "hogwash" would pass for civil among the louts who inhabit the Cur rent Events board.
Nobody seems to disagree that Harbig belongs on the list. And the consensus on Warmerdam seems overwhelming.
Davis over Fredericks is disputed. I would simply say that Fredericks, apparently a prince of a fellow, ran (runs; it seems he's not retiring) very fast but often behind somone who ran faster. Davis ran fast and won races. Look at his record for 1940 through 1943 recapitulated in Track & Field Performances through the Years at the end of the 1937-44 volume, an almost unbroken record of firsts. If I were doing it from scratch I'd have Davis in the 100, Metcalfe in the 200; the latter was legitimately beaten in two Olympics 100s but lost a 200 only, apparently, because of a faulty stagger.
McKenley over Reynolds is disputed. (I wouldn't quarrel with Lon Myers.) Here is a case where comparison is reasonably possible because the ancient, McKenley, had about as long a career as the modern Reynolds. Reynolds has 67 all-time ranking points, McKenley 60. But before there were rankings, McKenley won the AAU meet in 1945 (fifth in 1943, second in 1944, second in 1946) and the NCAA in 1946. He was fastest in the world in 1946 and in the top 10 in 1944 and 1945. He beat Eastman's 14-year-old record for the 440y and was the first under 46 for 400m.
Torrance or Fuchs over Godina is disputed, Here, I suppose, it depends on your criterion. I watched John Lyman put 54-1 in the Big Meet in April 1934, the first official 54-foot put. In August Torrance put almost three feet farther, 57-1, for a record that stood for 14 years (some of them, to be sure, the years of the war and its aftermath). Talk about Beamonesque! He was almost as far ahead of his time as Rose and farther ahead than Matson or O'Brien. Fuchs doesn't have as many ranking points as Godina, but he set a world record four times and was dominant until O'Brien came along.
Someone mentioned Silvester in the discus throw. He was good but Gordien was great.
I'll concede Stones, but Steers not only set a world record that stood for 12 years but was a graduate of Palo Alto High School, enough to qualify him just by itself.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:24 pm

Without a doubt Brain Oldfield, one of the greatest if not the best shot putter of all time, he once beat OJ simpson in a race in the SuperStars cometition!!! The man was way ahead of his time and one of my favorite shot putters
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 25, 2003 7:39 pm

Hey, Oldfield is a good choice. He was a hoot. He'd smoke during competition, and even played a crazed killer in a low budget flick back in the eighties. He was also fast as hell for a big man.

Jim Ryun was so dominant during his short run at the top, that I think he was one of the best not to win the Gold, despite that goofy squires always looking for excuses to say Kip Keino was the greatest runner ever.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:15 pm

Ron Clarke may not have won an Oly medal, but he did get one. In 1966 Zatopek gave Clarke his gold from the Helsinki 10,000. If Zatopek felt Clarke deserved it, that's good enough for me.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 27, 2003 11:55 am

<I say Lon Myers, but it's kind of hard to defend.>

His only chance would have been at the 1896 (Athens) Games, when he was really past his prime. We should look at people who got a chance to compete and could not win. Otherwise you have really high level people such as Gunder Hagg, Hal Davis, Walter George, Cornelius Warmerdam, to name a few. (Add Rudolf Harbig perhaps, though a "green" Harbig was there at the 1936 Oly, wasn't he?)
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:44 pm

Warmerdam, hands down.
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:43 pm

><M400: Reynolds broke a long standing record and
>had a couple of dominant seasons.>

Sorry, have
>to disagree. Herb McKenley is my choice - he got
>a gold in 1952, but in the 4 x 400 relay.

This may be a generational issue. I'm too young to remember McKenley, and he doesn't get the play that other athletes of the era get in the history books.

On the other hand, Reynolds was really dominant in an era when there were many more competitors than in the early 1950s. I think on that basis, Reynolds has to get the nod. (Also didn't Reynolds get a gold on the relay in 1988?)
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:50 pm

Davis over Fredericks is
>disputed. I would simply say that Fredericks,
>apparently a prince of a fellow, ran (runs; it
>seems he's not retiring) very fast but often
>behind somone who ran faster. Davis ran fast and
>won races. Look at his record for 1940 through
>1943
I'm afraid that war year competitions in the US have to be heavily discounted for obvious reasons. Unless an athlete was smashing WRs, a la Wammerdam or Hagg, it's hard to make comparisons to other eras solely on competitive records. Fredricks faced much stiffer competition.

McKenley over Reynolds is disputed.
>(I wouldn't quarrel with Lon Myers.) Here is a
>case where comparison is reasonably possible
>because the ancient, McKenley, had about as long
>a career as the modern Reynolds. Reynolds has
>67 all-time ranking points, McKenley 60.

But Reynolds career was truncated by what many would consider to be a botched drug penalty case (yes, we can move to another forum to discuss this issue further-not! ;^)).
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby Devers66 » Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:44 pm

Gail Devers ( 1992 )

John Capel (2000 Oylmpics, should of been a false start called, but wasn't, John should of won the gold)
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby michael lewis » Sat Nov 08, 2003 2:02 pm

Women 200- Evelyn Ashford
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Re: Best Athletes to Never Win Olympic Gold

Postby michael lewis » Sat Nov 08, 2003 7:18 pm

"Women 200- Evelyn Ashford"

Sorry, missed the part about winning in another event. Here are a few of my picks:

Women:

100 - Merlene Ottey
200 - Merlene Ottey
800 - Ana Quirot
1500 Mary Slaney
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