Some nice Finnish results from a FIN-SWE-NOR triangular match in Växjö (Sweden):
1. Jonathan Åstrand 20.72 (indoor NR) 2. Nil de Oliveira SWE 21.21
Previous indoor NR was 21.13 by Tommi Hartonen, so that was quite an improvement! Åstrand didn't look that sharp in the 60 but his endurance seems to be up. Let's hope he can break the outdoor NR (20.47) as well
1. Hanna-Maari Latvala 23.30 PB 2. Irene Ekelund SWE 23.57
Better than her outdoor PB, too. In addition, Ella Räsänen only lost to European Champion Moa Hjelmer by 0.02 in the w400 (though the time wasn't that great at 53.52), so it looks as if there's finally some light at the end of the tunnel for Finnish sprinting
NCs this weekend. An awful lot of very fast reaction times (even below 0.100) in the sprints; they blamed their new silent gun system, but I can't help wondering if that really explains everything.
Nooralotta Neziri set a new NR in the w60m hurdles of 8.07 in the heats before being DQ'd (false start) in the final. Ella Räsänen followed up on her good performance at Växjö with a 52.99 iNR and a 23.67 iNJR, so it seems she's progressing again after a couple disappointing years The only world-class mark was Eero Haapala's 803 in the long jump; he'll likely be our lone medal hope at the Euro Indoors. I just hope he qualifies for the final, he's had an ugly tendency to get his best marks in 5th and 6th rounds this year...
Since Eleriin Haas won another Finnish championship today I should probably elaborate. She's a citizen of Estonia but has permanent residence in Finland and represents a Finnish club, which means she (or rather, her club) can apply for an eligibility permit. Obviously, as an Estonian citizen she's also eligible for the championships of that country
LopenUupunut wrote:NCs this weekend. An awful lot of very fast reactions times (even below 0.100) in the sprints; they blamed their new silent gun system, but I can't help wondering if that really explains everything.
The reaction times of Jussi Kanervo are illustrative: 60m (heat): 0.102 60mh (heat): 0.107 60mh final: < 0.100 => DQ 4x200m: < 0.100 => DQ
This year's first bigger Finnish meet, the Elite Games opener at Joensuu, wasn't particularly brilliant. There were a couple nationally decent marks but that's it.
mJT: 1. Teemu Wirkkala 82.38 2. Lassi Etelätalo 80.39 3. Keshorn Walcott TRI 78.90
None of them really looked like 85+ throwers; Walcott's 2nd best was 75.82, and Etelätalo can probably add a couple meters on a good day, but in this shape I don't see any of these scaring Pitkämäki, Veselý, Tarabin etc.
(Apropos of nothing, a note on Tarabin. He's now married to Abakumova, and apparently encouraged her not to retire after a disappointing Olympics. He's seemed to be in good shape this year so far, with two meets at 85+ and a worst meet of 81.11 - where he still beat Veselý and Mannio. He might well be a factor at Moscow, and certainly at Euro U23s if he bothers with those. He's come a long way since representing Moldova at the 2007 World Youths...)
mSP: 1. Leif Arrhenius SWE 20.21 2. Tomas Söderlund 18.08
Arrhenius had a bad first throw but looked good after that; he got that 20.21 twice and his last foul was somewhere around 20.60-20.70. Our shot level has really sunk in the last dozen years
m1500: 1. Cameron Page AUS 3:38.27 2. Collis Birmingham AUS 3:38.44
Highest-quality Paavo Nurmi Games in quite a few years; I guess the organizers found some extra $$$. Unfortunately I had to be content with watching the action on TV.
mJT: 1. Ari Mannio 84.65 SB 2. Teemu Wirkkala 82.91 SB 3. Julius Yego KEN 81.79 SB 4. Tuomas Laaksonen 81.73 PB 5. Guillermo Martínez CUB 81.30 6. Zigismunds Sirmais LAT 80.89
The conditions were good; the wind whirled a bit but was mostly helpful. Somewhat disappointed with Martínez. Huge PB for 2007 World Youth Champ Laaksonen (previous PB was 75.21)... but it was just one throw where he nailed it and got some help from the wind, so I wouldn't call it a breakthrough yet.
mJT: 1. Pedro Pablo Pichardo CUB 17.15 (-0.2)
Only took 2 jumps. I don't think he had injury problems or anything - just got a satisfactory result, and having no real opposition (Aleksi Tammentie was 2nd with 15.71) there was no danger in skipping the last four rounds.
Some nice results at the Lapinlahti Elite Games today:
m100: 1. Marvin Bracy USA 10.09 PB (+1.8) 2. Igor Bodrov UKR 10.33
mLJ: 1. Zarck Visser RSA 819 (+1.0) 2. Godfrey Mokoena RSA 801 (+1.5) 3. Tommi Evilä FIN 801 (+1.4)
Visser was really consistent, with four jumps at 8+ (the other two, both fouls, were much shorter - it seems fouling messes up his technique). Evilä kept fouling his jumps and only got a good result in the last round; while encouraging, it isn't a WC standard and it's unlikely he'll get this kind of conditions again before it's too late. (Eero Haapala has the B from indoors, so we can send him; unfortunately, he's currently injured and it's unclear if he'll be back in time for Moscow.)
mJT: 1. Sampo Lehtola 81.67 2. Antti Ruuskanen 81.57 3. Ari Mannio 80.62 4. Sam Humphreys USA 77.62
Lehtola giving selectors some headaches again! He'll have to repeat this at the NCs next weekend to have any chance of being selected though, and preferably get the A there; he doesn't have the consistency of Ruuskanen and Mannio yet.
m100h: 1. Jeff Porter USA 13.52
Worth mentioning mostly for the performance of T&T's Mikel Thomas, who was still in the lead at hurdle 10 despite knocking down almost all of the previous nine. He ran right into hurdle 10, broke it (been a while since I've seen that happen!) and crashed into the track
w100h: 1. Brianna Rollins USA 12.47w (+2.4) (legal 12.65 in heats) 2. Vashti Thomas USA 12.99 3. Jackie Coward USA 13.04 4. Nooralotta Neziri 13.05
Neziri's time would be both a national record and a B standard... except Rollins looked awesome.
w100: 1. Tori Bowie USA 11.32 (+1.1) 2. Cleo VanBuren USA 11.35 3. Hanna-Maari Latvala 11.36 =PB
w800: 1. Caster Semenya RSA 2:04.48
She was supposed to try for a WC standard of some kind, but again ran only to win. (The esquilax went nuts in the first 200 so it's probably just as well she wasn't following.) Her finish looked more like the normal Semenya though, moving from 6th to 1st in the last 150 with ease; I think she's coming back to shape, but may not be in time for the World Champs.
Appreciate the results and the detailed notes on performances. And the use of "esquilax."
I am wondering about Semenya's progress, such as it is, toward a WC qualifier but as that isn't really "Finnish news," perhaps I'll post it on the outdoor results 2013 thread. I guess she has about a week (29 July) to get a qualifying time.
When I go to a Finnish news thread, I think of the distance running tradition. It's sad that, with their 'great cloud of witnesses', the pantheon of Finnish medalists and WR setters, today's generation(s) seems to have abandoned the pursuit of the top tier of 1500 and up racing.
Maybe a Fin can shed a little light. Where are Gen whatevers born 1985 and later? Where is the next Nurmi, Viren, etc?
pickle47 wrote:When I go to a Finnish news thread, I think of the distance running tradition. It's sad that, with their 'great cloud of witnesses', the pantheon of Finnish medalists and WR setters, today's generation(s) seems to have abandoned the pursuit of the top tier of 1500 and up racing.
Maybe a Fin can shed a little light. Where are Gen whatevers born 1985 and later? Where is the next Nurmi, Viren, etc?
Both lapsus and I weighed in on that in this thread; the short version is that there are a zillion reasons, many of which we didn't have the energy to mention.
We do still have talents now and then. Oona Kettunen just won two medals at the Euro Juniors, including a gold in the wSteeple. But those talents are few and far between and we lose too many of them to injuries, life outside sports, what have you; too many of them simply quit or stop developing after a certain point. That point is the one where they're supposed to become more independent, somehow manage to support themselves, study something or other and still keep life worth living; without a system like the NCAA to support you, it's extremely hard to fit sports into that equation. It's doable, sure, but it stretches you and involves risks many don't feel like taking. In USA talented athletes aged 18 to 22 become world class; up here talented athletes aged 18 to 22 become plumbers and make T&F their #6 priority. This is particularly true of females - if you look at our youth teams they have boys and girls in roughly equal numbers, but if you look at our WC/OG teams there are very few women.
And when it comes to long-distance running, the talented young athletes who have to decide whether to keep running a priority in their lives see a world top full of Kenyans and completely devoid of FInns, which isn't really inspiring. A look at the world top in say XC skiing or orienteering will give a quite different message.
Quite a bit of controversy surrounds the javelin team selections... which haven't even been made yet.
The problem is that according to the official criteria, team selection will be based on results from between 27 June and 28 July (ending with the NCs). Pitkämäki has been injured and hasn't competed in that time frame; while recovering, he isn't quite back yet and the doctors say he shouldn't return to competition until after the NCs.
Here comes the good bit. Our national alphabet is quite willing to ignore its own selection criteria and pick Pitkämäki if he does something brilliant at Kuortane on 3 Aug... but Pitkämäki is worried that if that happens, someone will say the alphabet has no right to do so and file a complaint to the Sports Legal Protection Committee to get on the team, like Ruuskanen in 2011. So basically Pitkämäki has to (and will) show up at the NCs this weekend, even though neither he or the team selectors think it makes any sense!
mJT: 1. Tero Pitkämäki 85.70 2. Antti Ruuskanen 82.90 3. Teemu Wirkkala 82.87 4. Ari Mannio 81.44 5. Sampo Lehtola 80.24
Pitkämäki took 3 throws (81 - 83 - 85), then skipped the last three rounds to avoid re-injury. Ruuskanen had a consistent series and should be in the Moscow team. Wirkkala looked excellent in the first 3 rounds but mediocre after that; he doesn't have the A so it's still somewhat unclear whether he or Mannio gets the remaining ticket. The conditions were pretty good, not sure if I expect these guys to repeat these performances in Moscow - though Ruuskanen has always been solid in major meets and Pitkämäki still wasn't at 100% here.
The only other event with a selection fight. They tried to get under 9:43 (A-standard) so both could get in but narrowly failed, even though NR holder Johanna Lehtinen paced them for the first 2K. (I think she only stopped at that point to save energy for the 1500, which she won. It's amazing how good she still is when you consider she's had injury woes for about seven years in a row and caught a cold recently to boot...)
Kettunen went on to win the 10K; she'd never raced that before, I guess she just wanted to get over the disappointment that way.
w100h: 1. Nooralotta Neziri 13.16
Another attempt to get the B of 13.10 and another failure. She made an instant trip to Sweden and ran exactly 13.10 (=NR) there this morning, so it seems she's in the team
mLJ: 1. Tommi Evilä 792 2. Roni Ollikainen 788 3. Otto Kilpi 776 4. Mikko Kivinen 771
A case of Everyone Has Injuries. The conditions were excellent but the jumpers weren't healthy enough; they all have the talent to jump 8+ but being all in one piece would help. Kilpi's 776 was very encouraging; he jumped 790+ three times in 2010 but has been fighting injuries since then and had an SB of 751 coming in (and that in just as good conditions), so I didn't really expect this. It was just one jump though, his second best was 754.
wHT: 1. Merja Korpela 69.38
Another narrow failure to get the B, which is at 69.50. Another narrow failure to get the NR, which is at 69.63. Of course, while missing out by 12cm is a pity she wouldn't have any real chances of even making the final in Moscow.
He was in good form indoors but injuries have spoiled his summer. He has until 9 August to show some health or he's staying home.
mPV: Jere Bergius (560) - chances: slim
He's been extremely inconsistent this summer, most recently no-heighting at the NCs. He has a small chance of making the final (if he manages to reproduce that 560) but given his major meet record I don't see that happening.
mJT: Tero Pitkämäki (85.70) - chances: OK mJT: Antti Ruuskanen (84.05) - chances: OK mJT: Teemu Wirkkala (82.91) - chances: some
Obviously, if we're going to win a medal at Moscow then this is the event where it happens. Pitkämäki is our top hope but Oly bronze medallist Ruuskanen also has some chances as a good major meet competitor. Wirkkala hasn't shown much this year; his early throws at the NCs were very encouraging but then he ran out of oomph. I hope at least 2 of our throwers will make the final.
m50kW: Jarkko Kinnunen (no SB - 3:46.25/'12) - chances: some m50kW: Veli-Matti Partanen (3:58:50) - chances: none
Kinnunen has been hyped up less than usual but he PB'd at 20k this year (1:22:53) so his form seems to be OK. In the past he's been 10th, 9th and 15th (and twice 15th at the Olys) - I would expect something similar this time. Making the top 8 would be excellent; medals seem out of reach. In any case, he's our top athlete outside the javelin. Partanen, 21, will get his first taste of major meet atmosphere; he's only moved up to the 50 this year so it's hard to assess his upside, but getting under 4:00 again would seem the most realistic aim.
She's the best female sprinter we've had in years and won a surprising WUG silver in the 200, but this is a bigger stage and she has no chances of making the final. Making the semis in at least one event would be good; probably more likely in the 200, especially given her bad starts lately.
w100h: Nooralotta Neziri (13.10) - chances: none
OK, so she equalled her own NR and made it to the team on the last possible moment. Now the question: what's she going to do there? - get some experience and nothing else.
Highlights from today's Elite Games meeting at Kuortane:
mJT: 1. Tero Pitkämäki 86.13 2. Antti Ruuskanen 85.70 3. Kim Amb SWE 83.36 4. Ari Mannio 82.57 5. Keshorn Walcott TRI 82.24 6. Andreas Thorkildsen NOR 81.34
It's excellent that Pitkämäki felt ready to take 6 throws, and obviously the 86 is nothing to complain about either, but I actually think he looked better last week. He opened with a nice 83 but then had three throws at <80 before getting back on track in the last two rounds. Ruuskanen is finally getting some air below his throws, they've normally been super-low. Mannio was extremely consistent with all six throws at 80+ (two were deliberate fouls; one was a tiny real foul). Walcott looked good in the first two rounds but less so after that.
mLJ: 1. Godfrey Mokoena RSA 800 2. Luis Rivera MEX 799 3. Michel Tornéus SWE 789
Rivera didn't really look like a 846 jumper, though he improved as the competition went on. He started with three fouls (none of them huge), then skipped his fourth jump before 786 and 799 in the last two rounds. Mokoena has been consistent at 80x here in Finland but I doubt he'll be a major factor in Moscow.
The first time since 2009 that one of our women threw 60+... too late to make the Moscow team, though. That Sormunen PB'd wasn't shocking but Utriainen surprised me, she's been struggling a lot lately but was very consistent here. The conditions were good (and traditionally, Kuortane has been a good place for big throws) but I don't think they really helped that much, and behind the top two nobody did anything special.
In less encouraging news, Moscow-bound Jere Bergius NH'd in the PV... apparently with inflamed something or other, though he no-heights a lot even while healthy
Eriksson only just missed out on Johanna Lehtinen's NR (9:40.28)... inching closer and closer. All of the top 3 essentially ran alone the whole way, though Eriksson did try to follow Chesang in the first 300.
wHJ: 1. Yevgeniya Kononova RUS 190 2. Linda Sandblom 188 PB
Nothing earth-shattering, but it's the best jump by a Finn since 2009