Well, while waiting for a cancelled flight that was revived and then cancelled and then revived again only to be finally cancelled, I thought I'd throw out some random thoughts from the Qantas club.
It will be interesting to see the reaction if Steffenson does win in sub-45.30 (third Olympics!) and how many will be claiming they always supported him over the last few years...... The win seems to be on the cards with nobody else showing much of anything this season but the time will be hard given the windy weather.
The new track layout might finally give Pearson a tailwind and a mid-22 200m but could easily be well over the limit. Same for the 100.
Middle distance for men will be interesting to see how Risely can hang with the Kenyans in the 800 and 1500 and to see what level Gregson is at after his recent injury. Women's middle distance can't match that but maybe Tamsyn will be inspired enough to cut 2 seconds off her last time...
The real star of the weekend could be Henry Frayne if the track is dry for his triple jump. With a big LJ PB last week, he could be pushing up into mid-17s and Australian record territory in the TJ.
The throws? Not looking good. Men's sprints and hurdles? The same except for 400m. PV? It's back to the 70's without the Big Ranga. The women should have some interest if the weather doesn't ruin.
Oops, have to run, my 6:40am flight is now leaving at 10:15
BJ was the only real positive surprise out of D1, with the horrendous weather (even though it was better than some expected..). Frayne did well of course, but that was pretty much expected. Shame it sounds like he may drop the TJ at World Indoors - would have been interesting to see him double (and he does have medal chances in both events despite no experience on the boards).
Sprints were a waste of time into those headwinds. Every meet in Australia should be prepared to use the back straight for dashes. Or we need to develop rotating tracks that can be spun around to match Mother Nature's moods..
The fields in some events were embarrassing really. Hard to see Melbourne's 'meet rating' going anywhere but down in 2012.
Looking forward to Men's 800, 5k, LJ, DIS and the 400s tonight and hoping Kerrie Perkins, Zoe Buckman and Jarrod Bannister can perform well. PV could be a test for the girls if rain and wind predictions prove correct. Was hoping Vicki Parnov might get back to PB/OQ form, but she might have to do this back in Perth.
Tim Driesen, had a great night in the hammer with a new PB of 70.76, improving on his earlier season PB of 68.99 at the Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart and moving him into equal 11th on the Australian all-time list. Not only a PB but his first, second, 4th and 5th throws were also over his previous best.
Series 69.04m 70.76m FOUL 67.70m 69.51m 69.63m
Australians over 70m 79.29 Stuart Rendell 06 Jul 02 77.58 Sean Carlin Adelaide 11 Feb 94 75.90 Peter Farmer 14 Aug 79 74.58 Joe Quigley 10 Mar 87 74.58 Peter Baxevanis 12 Feb 92 73.80 Hans Lotz 25 Apr 83 72.12 Dave Huxley 7 Aug 88 71.56 Aaron Fish 16 Mar 02 71.05 Simon Wardhaugh 18 Sep 10 70.94 Phil Spivey 5 Jul 86 70.76 Paul Carlin 11 Feb 95 70.76 Tim Driesen 2 Mar 12
I spent most of the night on the back straight in the new grandstand watching the TJ. The winds were all over the place and were changing direction as well as speed. I thought the competition was going to be a bust but Frayne built some momentum through the rounds and the crowd built up over time and were rewarded with his heroics in the last couple of rounds. He now moves into third place on the all-time list, just ahead of Ian Campbell.
17.46 +1.7 Ken Lorraway 7 Aug 82 17.32 +1.7 Andrew Murphy 25 Aug 99 17.23 +.06 Henry Frayne 2 Mar 12 17.09 +0.5 Ian Campbell 17 Jan 80 17.02A+2.0 Phil May 17 Oct 68
While a great competition to watch the venue layout caused problems. The concrete concourse between the grandstand was great for people circulating, but it but invited people to stand against the low fence blocking the view of those in the first half dozen rows. They also stood in front of the electronic distance board blocking about half the distances from being seen from my seat - lucky there were 23 fouls to stop it being annoying .
Next time AA, enforce a no stand zone except for a coaches area. Also the new grandstand has no provision for a camera stand for the TV, so the guy was standing next to the pit blocking that little bit extra of the view. I thought this was a world class venue for the 21st century.
I didn't pay much attention to the M HJ except for when the ground announcer said it was "at a very exciting stage"......at a height of 2.15....and then had a sudden loss of interest. Liam Zamel-Paez (PB 2.26) ended up winning with 2.18 in pretty difficult conditions and it might have been exciting for spectators if they could follow what was going on.
A height board continuously viewable from the back straight? Of course not! Why would people want to know shit like that? When put to AA in a possibly imagined segment of the 7:30 report, they responded, "Demanding fucking freaks, why do they keep complaining about trivial shit like being able to follow a competition they paid for when there is a most-excellently-high-performance-managed, possibly-medal-target-achieving sport in front of them. "
The men's PV was also on the back straight and "benefited" from the same winds as the TJers did. While not expecting much in the absence of the Big Ranga ® the non-international standard heights were more encouraging than expected with 20 year Jackson Bews winning in a jump off from 17 year old Brodie Cross(PB 5.05 in 2011).
Both cleared 5.00 in the main competition, so if they can handle difficult conditions they should be able to move up over 5.50 in a few more years. I think Jackson set a PB as I could only find a 4.90 but AA didn't mention a PB in their roundup and you would think that setting a PB in those conditions would be newsworthy but maybe I'm old fashioned, or wrong. (I might do some more checking later)
Third place, and ahead of specialist pole vaulters, was decathlete Stephen Cain with 4.85m, not far off his best of 5.00 set last year in the vaulter's paradise, otherwise known as Perth. Again, well done in difficult conditions.
The men's 110H had a false start and Mitch Tysoe was DQd. The race was well won by the improving Siddhanth Thingalaya of India with daylight second. The only thing is, you see, that Thingalaya didn't really win the race because they disqualified the wrong guy - it should have been John Burstow. How embarrassment
My prediction for the rerun tonight, Thingalaya first, daylight second, low standard performance third.
W TJ - Australia will have an A qualifier at some stage before 2150 but it won't this year. Commenting on a competition without the delightful Emma Knights seems somehow pointless and degrading, so I will say nothing further than to point out a factoid.
Ellen Pettitt, who set her HJ PB of 1.91 way back in 2006 when she was 20 has now turned to TJ. With a biiiig hop, tiny step and awkwardly landed jump, she managed 12.71m +3.0, so maybe she will make some decent distance with better technique.
WJT - Oh dear.
W5000 - At one stage this seemed as though Georgie Clarke had a chance of an A qualifier but the splits drifted and she dropped out with about one k to go after Emily Brichachek moved past her. Brickachek kept going and ended up winning the race in some time that is not available on AA's web server or mentioned in their roundup, so that's all that I have to say about that.
WSP - Kim Mulhall wins with 15.57m which seems to be better than her 2009 PB of 15.17 in AA's all-time list but this wasn't mentioned in their roundup, so maybe I'm wrong, or it just doesn't matter. If it was a PB, then congratulations for doing it in difficult conditions. But then, she is a Melbourne girl, so maybe she didn't notice. Series: 14.57m 15.57m 15.08m FOUL 15.06m 14.82m
Old King Cole might be destroying our atmosphere, but Old Brendan Cole (32 this year) ran a really aggressive race and carried his speed all the way to the line in an A qualifier of 49.39 just behind his 2009 PB of 49.35. This was the performance of the night for me (despite the M TJ) as he ran like there was no headwind in the main straight.
Of note was the performance of injury prone (I think it is official now) Tristan Thomas who came second in a 50.23. If Cole can keep this sort of form and get good conditions in Europe later this year, he should be able to hit the high 48s.
Australians under 49.50 (including Brendan Cole's coach Matt Beckenham) 48.28 Rohan Robinson 31 Jul 96 48.68 Tristan Thomas 9 May 09 48.87 Zid Abou Hamed 20 Feb 99 49.08A Blair Young 18 Mar 00 49.26 Simon Hollingsworth 29 Feb 96 49.32 Bruce Field 29 Jan 74 49.35 Brendan Cole 9 May 09 49.37 Garry Brown 7 Oct 82 49.47 Matt Beckenham 20 Feb 99 49.49 Nick Ward 13 Mar 94
W 800 Tamsyn does her thing but slightly slower. Will she get an A this year? It seems unlikely but you never now. Nothing more to say as I've said it many times before.
M 1500 was an interesting race on paper but far more interesting thing in reality. Its not often you see a world and Olympic champion blow up when racing second tier athletes. Still the reason he had problems today will also be why he he will majestically sweep past his conquerors later in the year. The superficial Australian favourite was Riseley and for most of the race he looked like he would deliver but his only change of gear in the last 150 was from 5th down to 3rd as Australian record holder Ryan Gregson, USAnian Torrence and Kiwi Willis left him in their wake.
In an Unreported Drama after the race, Torrence was apparently repeatedly punched in the kidneys by an unknown assailant who reportedly yelled "I want my @$%ing new pair of shoes and singlet!" during the vicious attack.
The night wisely finished up with the final of the W 100 because when Sally is finished, so is the meet. The time was unspectacular due to the cold and wind but the decisive margin of victory shows just how far she is ahead of the rest.
There's not much more to say except that, if I were in charge of the fashion police, I would make it compulsory for wannabe short shorts wearers to stand just behind the start of the 100m and be assessed against the hard won legs of these 100m ladies before being allowed to purchase said item. There would be a lot fewer sloppy messes to be seen on the streets and risk of my tasty lunch being disgorged.
El Toro wrote:In an Unreported Drama after the race, Torrence was apparently repeatedly punched in the kidneys by an unknown assailant who reportedly yelled "I want my @$%ing new pair of shoes and singlet!" during the vicious attack.
Wasn't me. I have an alibi. I was..err..standing in the concourse wearing my short shorts and blocking someone's view...
Last edited by Vault-emort on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Amazing time, I'm sure her coach will be analysing her race to see how close she is to the 60mh WR. Looking at the lists for this year, barring disaster, she's a lock for the gold. US Champ Castlin is likely to be her main challenger.
In some ways her performance in the flat 60m will be more interesting, if she chooses to run it.
Well, Day 2 was moist but generally better conditions for the tracksters than Day 1 while the field eventers had a bit of a hard time. Before I went into the stadium, I walked around to the warmup area to watch the paid of the discus throwers warming up in the wet but they had already marshalled, so I watched Sally Pearson warming up instead.
I normally manage to happen across her coach to get a time prediction beforehand but not this time as they are working, so I stand a few metres away and watch her superiority in all respects; focus, listening, drills, speed, everything. It might seem heresy now that she has run 12.28 but she is in no way the best physical talent I have seen in Australia but she certainly has the best attitude and commitment and a coaching environment that has an equal commitment to constant improvement. There's 10x more talent than achievers and she is definitely one of the achievers.
I spent most of my time on the back straight having my view blocked due to AA's failure to take my advice on the No Standing rule at the fenceline as well as the delightful addition of magical umbrellas into the mix. Now I say magical because apparently they take up no space around them and are invisible to others I'm with gh on this, ban the f$%^ers, cause this ain't interclub with 10 men and a dog.
Due to the aforementioned and antiquated signage at the WPV I spent a confused first half of the program trying to follow the competition in PV, DT, M LJ and W HJ through random glimpses of distance/height boards and random announcements over the PA. I could better follow the competition by reading the results this morning than I could by being there right near the competition. If that is the case, why bother paying the money and going through the hassle of attending in real life?
The PV was interesting as it was the first time that I had seen the two Parnov's in the same comp. They both, on occasion achieved massive height but consistency in penetration was the problem, esp for Vicky. The conditions weren't that bad compared to the men's the previous night but everybody seemed to have problems by none more so than Boyd who lost on countback to Liz at 4.45 after both failed at 4.55, which was also the meet record set by Emma George way back in 1997. That Boyd failed didn't surprise me - she is no Sally let alone a medal prospect in London.
100H happened on the other side of the track but the time did not surprise me as it did Sally. After watching her warm up and seeing a reply of the Sydney 12.66 the night before, I expected something around 12.50 and got it. Did anybody else run in that event? If they did I didn't notice them.
Men's LJ got the crowd excited but no A qualifiers. Maybe the conditions were too good for them?
W LJ was the last event on the back straight and the winds had picked up by then. Kerrie Perkins looked consistently fast on the runway even when she hit her best and winning jump of 6.41 into a 2.4 headwind.
Boden looked two levels above the rest but did not get quite replicate training partner, Brendand Cole's efforts from the previous night.
W1500 was a great race to the wire with Kaila McNight catching Zoe Buckman right on the line to win by a 10th.
Men's 400 and Solomon failed to overtake eveybody in the straight, with John Steffensen staying strong and in control. His post victory shirt change didn't get much reaction from the crowd and maybe wouldn't even if he ran 2 seconds faster. Well smoke deserved a beer but didn't get one. Why? Well look what he did to Steffenson's hair the last time he tippled
The the concluding event, the men's 5000, brought the reappearance of rain, or as I like to think of it, the tears of a baby Jesus poked in the eye by a friggin trackside umbrella. The rain increased in intensity proportionate to the race itself as eventually Mottram and Birmingham, the usurper, battled it out by themselves over the last mile. Mottram proved his re-emergence with a turn of speed unknown to Birmingham's legs and cleared away, saluting the crowd and celebrating down the main straight. Post finish, there was enough enthusiasm from him and the crowd to support a victory lap with regular time out for hugs. A great way to finish the night. The time? Didn't matter.
So, was it worth paying for a trip to a less than world class venue in a compromised location with so many fields with limited or sadly, no depth at all while needing to seek out the internets after the fact to understand what happened? Probably not. Would I do it again? Only if there's a 12.1x 100H on the cards.
What an incredibly negative piece El Toro. Why the snipping comments about Alana Boyd and men's LJ? I think indeed you should save your time and your money (if you paid) and stay away next year. I doubt anyone will miss you, am sure your negativity (did you complain about umbrellas all night?) is a downside for anyone sitting near you. For what it's worth I don't mind the venue and, despite the weather, enjoyed the two days. And I followed results on the large electronic scoreboard on the first turn.
Day 2 was wet but far better and warmer than day 1. Jit and Bull I'm disappointed you didn't come speak, I watched the hole race from the backstretch. What's wrong with the haircut?! We like it. Taking the Aussies a few minutes to adjust though lol Sally is far from an achiever, she's very talented, one of the fastest hurdlers in the world and it shows. love how John handled these three races and won. Now onto the meat of the season!
jlt wrote:What an incredibly negative piece El Toro. Why the snipping comments about Alana Boyd and men's LJ? I think indeed you should save your time and your money (if you paid) and stay away next year. I doubt anyone will miss you, am sure your negativity (did you complain about umbrellas all night?) is a downside for anyone sitting near you. For what it's worth I don't mind the venue and, despite the weather, enjoyed the two days. And I followed results on the large electronic scoreboard on the first turn.
Yours in track & field, jlt
Hi, jlt. I didn't have time to rework the piece like I usually do because I had to get out to the airport, so I'm sorry that you didn't like the writing. BUT the comments about the venue.organisation comes from my frustration where the administrators cry about the declining crowds (this new venue would have been packed out with crowds from even 10 years ago) yet don't seem prepared to work on constantly improving the experience for spectators.
While the video scoreboard was excellent for final results it was no use for following field events during the competition. This is where my interest usually lies, so we may have different views because of this. If the competition could be followed live on the internet as you can at WC and OG, this would be OK as well, but this doesn't happen either.
I wasn't sitting around complaining so I didn't spoil anybodies day but I certainly did hear other people complaining about the same things. Thanks for commenting anyway, most people don't bother.
Smoke wrote:..What's wrong with the haircut?! We like it. ........Sally is far from an achiever, she's very talented, one of the fastest hurdlers in the world and it shows. love how John handled these three races and won. Now onto the meat of the season!
Smoke, the haircut comment was just a bit of bullshitting, so don't take that seriously.
I think you got the wrong end of the stick about Sally. Sure she is talented but I've detected a certain view in articles about her lately that seem to imply this is the primary reason she is successful. My view is that what makes her different from equally talented athletes is the rigour of her training and coaching approach.
Talent without achievement is nothing and I've seen plenty of it wasted, so calling her an achiever is not a slight but a compliment, at least from my point of view. Sorry if it seems the opposite - my writing is upsetting everybody today.
I agree with you about John. It was good to see him do so well. I've always supported him and never understood why so many seem to dislike him despite his achievements. Roll on those 44s!
As for missing a catchup, I'll PM you and jlt later about that.
I guess I'm more a track guy El Toro but I like to follow good field event competitions; you're right of course about the lack of updates re progress (after say three jumps)......that's a standard issue/problem in our sport. They did of course many announcements such as "Frayne's jump of 8.00 the first 8m jump of competition, it takes him into the lead" etc.
Our sport so reliant on the conditions, given a warm, still night (as we had the week before eve day) it could/would have been so much better and I've no doubt Cole runs 48-high, Sally goes under 23, Stephenson runs 45-low and Frayne does 8.25 (not to mention Asbel running 3:32 and Rudisha 1:43...) etc. The big thing we missed yesterday was not having a fit and in form Mitchell jumping against Frayne; could have been special.
I heard pretty dire comments about the track/facility etc but apart from the wind (seemingly it is quite exposed) is it really so bad? I quite like it.....
jlt, the treatment of field events only annoys me so much because the technology is available to provide live results.
The data is trivial and now mobile internet access is trivial as well, so it should be easy to work with web updates, or better, sit there with a smart phone app that beeps a different sound when the different athletes you have marked to watch are ready to jump/throw then see results, change in place between rounds, call up their stats etc It's a nice dream....
I agree with you about the possible improvements in performance with better weather - at least there wasn't hail like there was one year
I think a lot of negativity about the track from Melbournians is due to most of them believing they should still be at Olympic Park. The decision to kick them out for football was bad enough but was made worse with some of the early government proposals which included lights that would not have been TV standard. I'm not sure if the back straight grandstand was going to be as big as it is now or if it was planned at all.
So people are a bit cynical about the government boasting about a "world class facility" when they spent as little as possible to get rid of the sport from it historic location and to shut people up.
Whether the track is compromised will depend on your event and preferences but the orientation was set because of the existing football grandstand and general lack of space due to the Grand Prix requirements. It might have been better East-West for cross winds on the straights with PV inside the curve to still allow tail winds for safer jumping.
Despite all that history, it is bright and shiny and new and you can walk all the way around without complicated manouvres, so that's good.
Great day for Australian men's discus throwing, with Benn Harradine improving his AR to 67.53 in Townsville and Scott Martin also throwing an A-qualifier (65.63) in Maui. The men's 4x100 team have inched closer to an Olympics berth too, running 38.84 in Japan this week, with another race to come at the Kawasaki meet tomorrow.
Vault-emort wrote:Jake Stein broke his national U20 decathlon record in Sydney today. His 7886 score places him #7 on the all-time junior list. 17 year old Ced Dubler also did well with 7504 in second.
Not quite on the world class level (yet), but Sam McEntee (Perth) is showing tremendous range for Villanova in his first full collegiate season. He split sub 1:50 last week on an 800 at the Penn Relays last week, ran a 3:57.X mile indoors and then ran away with the conference 5000m in his debut tonight. Kid's a stud.
More A-qualifiers for London over the last couple of days:
Steve Hooker vaulted 5.72 in an officially-sanctioned meet in a Perth warehouse. Ryan Gregson ran 3.33.92 at the Doha but still finished outside the top 10 over 1500. Dale Stevenson (SP) threw 20.63 in South Carolina.
Men's 4x4 team consisting of Solomon, Offereins, Cole and Thomas ran 3.01.5 last night in Daegu, giving them a good chance of securing a berth in London. No splits available but Solomon in particular looked fantastic running the lead leg and might go close to an individual qualifier if he can get into some good races over the next few weeks.
Well done to Kath Mitchell for her PB 64.34 for 3rd (on countback) in Ostrava overnight. Pretty much guaranteed an Olympic berth now and great to see a near veteran in career best form when so many other similarly talented athletes might have given it away by now.
Love it when these things happen in an Olympic year.
Today (Saturday a good piece in the Australian's magazine, on Sally Pearson), no new info, but thought the writer captured the "suffer no fools" part of Sally's personality, and her competiveness (flashback to her 400 relay run in Delhi)