Pitkämäki at least got a solid series. Wirkkala opened with a completely lazy ~76m non-effort, but they somehow forgot to take the mark so he got a new 1st attempt and threw that 83.88 That was about his only throw with any energy in, though he did have a 81.53 2nd best. Haatainen was 8th at 73.60...
Sandra Eriksson got her third gold this weekend in the 5000 after previously winning the 1500 and her main event, the steeplechase. She's not any kind of super-athlete, we just don't have anybody else 16-yo Anna Hämäläinen (daughter of Eduard) won the w200 but again, that doesn't indicate talent as much as our complete lack of depth.
Wirkkala apparently leaving Hannu Kangas (his coach since 2007, Pitkämäki's coach since before the Big Bang and national coach), following in the footsteps of Kangas' own daughter who fired his dad last year. Hopefully this will get him back on track (though I wouldn't bet on it)...
Missed this year's Paavo Nurmi Games. The weather for most of the meet wasn't quite optimal (15 degrees, rain) but the rain apparently stopped just before men's 5K, which produced the one good mark in this meet.
m5000: 1. Josphat Kiprono Menjo KEN 12:55.95
Complete solo effort, nobody in sight at any point except the guys he was lapping (i.e. almost everybody).
m100: 1. Justin Gatlin USA 10.28 (-2.0) (10.19 +2.3 in heats)
Wasn't easing very much in the final, he's not probably capable of that much better (into a ~2m/s wind anyway). Steve Mullings, who could potentially have won the Elite Games jackpot, was out injured. Gatlin himself says 10-flat with a tailwind. Seems about right.
mMile: 1. Josephat Kiprono Menjo KEN 3:53.62 ... 6. Vyacheslav Shabunin RUS 4:01.62
Another strong performance from Menjo, in windy conditions. This time he did have a rabbit until 700m or so. I included Shabunin just to keep TrackCEO happy, in case he happens to read this...
mLJ: 1. Morten Jensen DEN 810 (should have been ruled a foul, 805 2nd best) 2. Roni Ollikainen FIN 786w (+2.2) 3. Tommi Evilä FIN 783
w200: 1. Natasha Hastings USA 23.30 (-0.8)
wHJ: 1. Lavern Spencer LCA 182
Not up to her usual standards (she doesn't seem to be in form right now) but enough to win the Elite Games jackpot of €30K. Jensen was 2nd in that contest (€15K) and Salomäki 3rd (€10K)
Sudden comeback from 2000 Olympic champion Arsi Harju, who competed this weekend for the first time in 6 years, recording a mark of 18.48.
This may well have been inspired by the fact that our current level in the shot put is lower than mump's confidence in life after seeing Justin Gatlin get a warm welcome. On the national stage, 18.48 now is about the equivalent of 21m in his prime
Ari Mannio opened his season with an okay 83.57 in Dessau. Up here in Finland, the domestic season is slowly getting underway; in Lappeenranta, Kristiina Mäkelä jumped a wTJ NJR of 13.64. I know, not really noteworthy by the standards of anyplace else, with the possible exception of the US
This year's Elite Games series opened in Tampere. Conditions excellent for sprints (very warm, wind), bad for most other events (very warm, wind, a bit of rain for the later events). Nothing stellar happened, though the 100m times were excellent by Finnish standards...
100m: 1. Hannu Hämäläinen 10.29w (+2.3) heats: Jonathan Åstrand 10.26 (+2.0) (3rd all-time on Finnish lists...) Hannu Hämäläinen 10.26w (+2.4)
Heikkilä hasn't opened yet (not sure if he's injured). Hongisto is healthy but in very bad form. Välimäki's doing okay (47.29 this year - well, that passes for okay here...), though he lost in his opener to Petteri Monni (who's currently our #2 guy at 47.63).
Teemu Wirkkala had an elbow operation, which puts him out of any action for the next few months.
In other news, Finland (as noted elsewhere) stays on the second-highest level of European team competition. Day 1 was a disappointment, day 2 on the other hand was mostly good. The highlight of day 2 was Jonathan Åstrand's 20.50 (+1.8) PB in the 200, putting him 2nd on the all-time national list. Hardly a surprise after the excellent 100 from last week and good 200 form indoors, though he did get somewhat lucky with the conditions. Now let's just hope he stays healthy... It was also nice to see Johanna Lehtinen back in decent form (taking 2nd in a very slow w1500) after many consecutive years spoiled by injuries.
LopenUupunut wrote:Heikkilä hasn't opened yet (not sure if he's injured). Hongisto is healthy but in very bad form. Välimäki's doing okay (47.29 this year - well, that passes for okay here...), though he lost in his opener to Petteri Monni (who's currently our #2 guy at 47.63).
I tend to look at the brighter side of things. With the 100m coming together, Matti and Petteri is decent form, and hopefully Jussi getting back on the track, a 3:06 4x400 in peak condition doesn't seem that far off. Baby steps!
Coach says Pitkämäki will be affected by his buttock injury for the rest of the year. Seppo Räty says...
Seppo Räty wrote:...an old friend called me just to laugh about it. Back in my times everyone had all kinds of injuries and no need to make it a media incident. I made it through a whole summer with a throwing leg full of broken ligaments and still medaled. I had a broken arm at one point and that didn't make the news. I was healthy in a grand total of one major meet [...] I know many others who should have been operated and instead competed. At a high international level, despite legit injuries.
I can understand this from a media point of view - they need something to report and our marks aren't really worth it. But from the sportsman's point of view, it sounds more like "see, that's why I failed to medal yet again, I had this tiny little injury!" A real top athlete can medal with a tiny little injury.
Top 2 looked good. Evilä was very angry after the comp and thought he had plenty more in the tank. Manyonga had these really awkward-looking landings where he almost ended up on his nose... (didn't actually cost him much distance, just looked scary.)
1. Andreas Thorkildsen NOR 84.33 2. Ari Mannio 79.60 5. Tero Pitkämäki 77.05 9. Zigismunds Sirmais LAT 75.38 10. Vítězslav Veselý CZE 73.24
OK, time to admit it: javelin throw today is a bad joke. This is what our guys were throwing 70 years ago... I'm starting to wonder if Železný regrets retiring.
1. Tuomas Seppänen 75.31 PB 2. Dilshod Nazarov TJK 74.71
Biggest upset of the day. Seppänen looked good... rain spoiled the last few rounds somewhat, though most guys kept throwing in the same area anyway.
Next edition of Elite Games at Lapinlahti... Full results here.
Weather: CHAOTIC. During men's long jump alone the wind varied between -3.8 and +5.5, with the last few rounds being quite calm. And the brightly burning sun was suddenly replaced by torrential rain...
Some good results from our guys, but they didn't do anything internationally shocking. From a Daegu point of view, the main news are that 1) Dodson was totally off and 2) Ibargüen is definitely for real.
m100: 1. Jacques Harvey JAM 10.20 (+0.5) 2. Jonathan Åstrand 10.36 .. 5. Marc Burns TRI 10.46 6. Jeremy Dodson USA 10.76
m400: 1. Rabah Yousif SUD 45.13 .. 3. Johan Wissman SWE 46.20 4. Lansford Spence JAM 46.85 5. Matti Välimäki 47.07 (national leader) 6. Petteri Monni 47.67
Nice time from Yousif... and, on a "somewhat" lower level, our guys.
mSteeple: 1. Youcef Abdi AUS 8:16.41 .. 5. Jukka Keskisalo 8:26.45 (national leader) 6. Janne Ukonmaanaho 8:27.08 PB
Ukonmaanaho is definitely improving nicely, with a bit of luck we can send 2 guys to Daegu (not that they'll achieve anything there...)
mLJ: 1. Luvo Manyonga RSA 800 (-2.7) 2. Roni Ollikainen 790w (+4.0) 3. Tommi Evilä 789 (+0.4) 4. Norris Frederick USA 781w (+2.4)
mHT: 1. David Söderberg 75.11
Unfortunately Tuomas Seppänen seems to have peaked too early...
mJT: 1. Antti Ruuskanen 82.29 SB 2. Harri Haatainen 81.01 SB
Ruuskanen finally got some air below a couple throws... Tero Järvenpää also SB'd at 76.21 but that's some 11m off from where he should be. He's throwing way too far from the side (think Fatih Avan x3) and can't get any height that way
Finland was aiming for the Daegu standard of 39.20 (which would have also been a NR) but (unsurprisingly) didn't make it. Dodson was the weak link in Team International, both Barnes and Åstrand toasted him on the curve...
wTJ: 1. Caterine Ibargüen COL 14.59 (+1.6) 2. Amanda Smock USA 13.84w (+2.5)
Quite a slow start to NCs in Turku (that was expected, since most of the early events weren't that exciting)...
1. Jarkko Kinnunen 1:23:40 PB
His form over shorter distances seems at least as good as in '09 when he went 3:47 at World Champs, but whether that translates to a good 50k remains to be seen.
1. Janne Ukonmaanaho 8:39.44
Keskisalo not running. Could be a tactical move (they both have the B standard so we can only send one, as long as Keskisalo doesn't lose he's probably in, and the best way to avoid losing is...), or then he just feels he's been racing too much.
1. Johanna Matintalo (14yo) 2:08.25 PB
Lack of talent has never been the problem here... it's the way we manage to waste 99 per cent of it.
More action at NCs today. I was there watching, for the first time in a decade Great as it was, I'm not going back tomorrow; body just can't take it
1. Hannu Hämäläinen 10.72 (-1.2) 2. Jonathan Åstrand 10.77
1. Ella Räsänen 12.06 (-1.1)
1. Matti Välimäki 47.47 2. Ville Wendelin 47.84 PB 3. Jani Koskela 48.17 PB
1. Karin Storbacka 2:03.97 2. Johanna Matintalo 2:05.87 (14yo, 15yo NR)
1. Olli-Pekka Karjalainen 75.20 2. Tuomas Seppänen 74.47 3. David Söderberg 73.12
14th consecutive gold...
1. Antti Ruuskanen 82.21 2. Tero Järvenpää 78.23 SB
1. Tommi Evilä 808 SB 2. Roni Ollikainen 804 PB 3. Mikko Kivinen 789 =PB
Evilä won with his last jump, just missing the B standard... Kivinen was robbed when one of his jumps was mismeasured (almost certainly would have been PB). That got the loudest crowd reaction of the day... everybody was shouting, whistling and swearing at the officials. (There was a previous mark that hadn't been smoothed properly and they measured from that!!)
1. Jere Bergius 560 =PB 2. Eemeli Salomäki 554
1. Tiia Mäki 623 PB
She was a huge crowd favorite as the home crowd girl, perhaps that boosted her to a surprise gold (though it was known she was in good shape) Probably the most emotional winner of the day too, she was jumping all over the place