I 'd say her chances are more as to whether she will be on the start line in London; but her run will be full of the usual drama before the race. Today she looked a very ordinary runner and we can be sure that we will be reading about all the health stuff tomorrow in the British Press. Old(er) athletes are a bit like old soldiers ... just slowly fade away. Sad but inevitable that her greatness is well behind her.
Radcliffe has been affected by pleurisy lately so none should jump to any conclusions yet. There are still over three and a half months to go until the marathon in London and 72:03 is a place from where she can leap into sub 70 within short time if fully fit. I think gold is slipping out of her reach but she could still medal if she shakes off her current health issues.
I will be very surprised if PR makes the top six in August. Her body has taken an enormous beating up over 20 years and all the signs are she will now struggle with the top East Africans and others irrespective of the next 3 months training and reasonable health.
72 wrote:I will be very surprised if PR makes the top six in August. Her body has taken an enormous beating up over 20 years and all the signs are she will now struggle with the top East Africans and others irrespective of the next 3 months training and reasonable health.
Unfortunately i agree with this, on a day in which 2 Ethiopians ran Sub 2.19 and sub 2.22 Paula couldn't run anywhere near that fast for half the distance
add to that Mary Keitany, Edna and Florence Kipligat, Lilya Shubakova, assorted other ETH, RUS, CHN, JAP etc etc
Paula didn't mention she was affected by any sort of injuries during the race so I guess that's a positive. She just said her legs felt heavy which was due to the bronchitis. I think I'd be more concerned if she was in the same situation as this time last year when she ran even worse over 10km in London and was complaining about her back.
Flumpy wrote:And yet the last Olympic Marathon was won by 38 year old Constantina Dita
39 yr old Irinia Mikitenko ran 31:42 over 10k on the road last week. She's not in her 2009 form but it's a good performance especially at her age and considering she's also had some injuries lately.
Both Dita and Mikitenko have shown that you can still run brilliantly well near 40. Paula's problem has been she has just pushed herself to the max so much, can she train smart and not go over the top leading up the London? I fear she'll just punish herself.
Still, if she completes the race and is smiling I'll be happy.
Flumpy wrote:And yet the last Olympic Marathon was won by 38 year old Constantina Dita
I'm not suggesting that Paula's going to do the same just that times often don't mean anything in championship marathons.
Everyone keeps going on about Constantina but but it was an aberration and everyone underestimated her, nobody is going to let Paula run off by herself.
Yes anything can happen in the Marathon but this is going to be the strongest OG field of all time and unfortunately i don't think Paula has the weapons to compete like she once did. Despite winning NY a couple of times she hasn't actually run an impressive marathon since 2005. There is no one i want to get a medal in London than Paula but at this stage i don't see it happening, i hope i'm wrong
I love Paula but she can be frustrating at times. In her BBC interview yesterday she said of the Vienna run: ""I am at a loss to explain why it was quite so bad" and "The thing that worries me is that I did not feel myself out there while running. The danger is that it affects my confidence [for the London Olympics]." Then in the same breath: ""I know that racing on antibiotics isn't the best idea." This coming from the runner who lost a gold medal in 2004 because of the way her body reacted to antibiotics.
Clearly, she felt she had recovered well enough from the pleurisy and bronchitis to compete but surely a runner with her experience can recognise that she was wrong and put the performance down to the illness and loss of training. Of course the sensible thing would have been to drop out and avoid the risk of making herself ill but she felt she had to carry on: "The format of the race meant that I could not stop, even though I felt really bad, so I tried to just keep going".
This in turn begs the question why did an athlete with her record of injuries and illness sign up to an event that was totally dependent upon her participation?
I realise that without this single-minded approach and occasional disregard for her own health and well-being is just the flip-side to other personaility traits that resulted in "2:15". I just wish that at 38 she had a little more self-insight and perspective.
Let's hope she recovers quickly and yesterday's effort hasn't made her ill. I'm no doctor but I've had chest conditions, including pleurisy that I've made considerably worse by running and found very hard to shake off as a consequence.
I don't think Paula should be too worried just yet because she has been known to turn around her form quickly. She ran even worse in the London 10km last year and had to miss quite a large chunk of training with a back injury but she still got herself into good shape for the Berlin Marathon. She was awful at the European Cup in 2005 but still came away with a world title and a 2:20 performance a few weeks later.
Like others have said, I don't think she'll take a medal in London because the event is moving on, as is Paula age-wise, but there's still enough time to get herself in shape to be competitive.
i don't think paula has started or finished a race in the last 5 years without some kind of problem, i don't understand why she starts these races when not fully fit, it does her no favours in the long run John G is spot on
Now the Games are so close things are getting scary for our athletes Dean Macey guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 17 April 2012 18.01 EDT "Now if you take our four best medal hopes – Dai, Jess Ennis, Mo, and Phillips Idowu, if I were in any of their positions I would love someone to say to me: "It is going to be tough for you, isn't it?" Because everything I am reading and hearing is making out like all four of them are going to win gold, as though it is a dead cert. They won't be thinking that way."
So Lawrence Okoye throws 66.67 to win the Discus at Mt Sac meet. His worst recorded was a 48 metre effort and he also had a 64m plus. He has the talent possibly to go into the final in London or even get a freaky one out; or not even qualify. Consistency is tough.
Most of us had written Rooney off but when a former OG finalist runs sub-45 in April, you have to consider him a potential medallist. With a normal rate of progression post -08 he should have been running close to the Euro record by now. 44.3 might just sneak a bronze.
bushop wrote:Charles van Commenee: Plastic Brits is offensive . . . there’s no such thing Mihir Bose 27 March 2012 "First of all, that is not a word I would use. I find it offensive,” van Commenee says. “In my eyes, there is no such thing as a ‘plastic Brit’. They don’t exist. “You’re British or you’re not. Sport in general and the Olympics in particular is about bringing people together. That’s how I look at it, so I’m astonished more than anything else.”
"Williams’ situation is identical to that of Shara Proctor, the world indoor long jump bronze medallist, who switched allegiance to Britain from Anguilla – another dependent territory that is not permitted to send its own team to the Olympics."
I find the behaviour of the Sun and the Daily Mail in particular very offensive in this regard. I'm disgusted, but not surprised, at these two newspapers....
How can they be labelling Shara Proctor and Delano Williams in particular as plastic Brits? THey come from Anguilla and Turks and Caicos, which are British colonies. As far as I'm concerned, once you are a member of a British colony, you are automatically a British citizen. Apparently, the Sun and the Daily Mail like the idea of having colonies of black people in the Caribbean, but don't like the idea of them calling themselves 'British'.
I'm sure they wouldn't have taken the same approach if Shara Proctor or Delano Williams came out of the Falklands....
Personally, I reckon that Sophie is well capable of reaching 72m, maybe 73m, this season and making the final in London. Have watched throws of hers and she's much faster in the ring and a great deal improved in the release phase.
A new medal hope that seems to emerge is Martyn Rooney in the 400m, not only because he beat Warriner in a sub 45 secs so early but also of the way he won it coming from behind - you don't beat Wariner so easily there - and the way he executed his race throughout. I have never seen him so focussed and timing his effort so superbly. He's now won two out of two races which falls in sharp contrast with previous seasons.
Further, if they can pull their act together, the men's 4x100 could definitely come in with a medal shout, especially now that Chambers is going to be available and Richard Kilty looks set for a big breakthrough.
Simeon Williamson is back solid, Christian Malcolm is in his best early season shape I've seen in many years, Delano Williams could come in handy and there are also HAA, MLF, Marlon Devonish to draw on too.
What encouraged me most about Rooney's run was that he looked really smooth. You coaches out there will know the correct jargon but to me he seemed to have lost much of the upper body sideways motion that IIRC was visible with him in the past.
I thought the same thing, I assumed that an injury free spell had allowed him to get the running in to hold form when he's fatigued in the home straight. Its one of his top 10 times ever and for so early in the season its a great sign for him and the 4x400m relay.
It does rather reek of sour grapes, and thinking too much about just one rival could be counter-productive. I can't recall Christine or her coach (Lloyd Cowan) ever disparaging any other athlete. As a spectator, I know which approach I prefer.
I don't think Hart is being particularly disparaging - he's just making the honest statement that he and Sanja never saw TBO as a threat or rival.
Whether their assessment of TBO is correct is another thing altogether. Actually, I think it suggests they went into Beijing over confident. Personally, I think they should have been at least a little wary of TBO: just the previous year she had won a World Champs and run a decent time after a less than perfect preparation. They should have seen her as an improving athlete with the proven ability to set pb's at major champs. Had I been them I would have been expecting her to drop a low 49 and be a very real threat to Sanja in 08. Maybe part of the reason Sanja tightened up so badly in the home straight was because she hadn't prepared herself for the possibility that TBO would have been with her at the business end of the race.
They underestimated her then and it sounds like they are underestimating her again. Don't get me wrong - TBO is no way near the class of SRR and will never get remotely close to SRR's pb and 9 times out of 10 SRR will beat her. But maybe that 1 in 10 occasion is due again soon!
Lawrence is 20 years old he doesn't need to be throwing what Harting is throwing no matter what the circumstances. I'm just glad that he is throwing consistently and the fact that we are even talking about a UK discus thrower in the same sentence as the World Champ
mump boy wrote:Lawrence is 20 years old he doesn't need to be throwing what Harting is throwing no matter what the circumstances. I'm just glad that he is throwing consistently and the fact that we are even talking about a UK discus thrower in the same sentence as the World Champ
Well, the topic is medal contenders, and if Okoye is to be considered as one you have to compare him to Harting, Malachowski, Kanter etc..
Actually, Okoye looks to establish himself steadily as an outside medal contender and is also building the consistency he was missing last season into his performances. So far he has thrown 62.48, 62.27, 66.67 and 66.25 in his four outings and all one has got to do is check out his last year card, marked by stark contrast. I'm very confident he could hit 68-69m when the season picks up and if he can pull that in London he will have as good a shout as anyone for a medal.
Incidentally, I saw that Sophie Hitchon reached 71.61 in both her last couple of attempts in the results. I don't know whether that's some mistake but if it is so that'd be very impressive.