Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?


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Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby fasttrack85 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:38 pm

So its been almost five years since VCB spectacular 21.74 run at the Bejing Oly's that put her down in the books as one of the greatest ever at the distance. VCB was barely a 10.8 sprinter at the time. After VCB fixed her start and brought her 60 m down to 7 flat and her 100's down into the 10.7 in 2010 i thought sub 22's would be easier to come by not harder. Is she prioritzing the 100? Or is it something she is doing wrong in training? Her curve running looks as good as ever but she is fading mightily on the straight. Since when does Veronica lose at JA trials and not even come second but third? What do you think she will have for us this year?
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Re: Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby eldanielfire » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:30 am

It's possible, she said in an interview that injury this year prevented her ideal preparation so in that context a bronze and silver look fantastic. It's also possible she has achieved everything she can in T&F with the 2011 200m World gold and there has been an edge taken off her focus and mentality that might return having not even been on the podium in London.
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Re: Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby tandfman » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:01 am

She'll be 31 in May. How many world-class sprinters stay at the top of their game at that age? Some do, to be sure. Gatlin will be 31 next month; he PRed in London and doesn't seem to be slowing down at all.
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Re: Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby gh » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:04 am

Gatlin had 4 years without that level of wear-and-tear on his legs.
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Re: Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby tandfman » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:25 am

Good point.
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Re: Is VCB sub 22 form gone for good?

Postby Master Po » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:57 am

My predictive powers are nil. However, some historical analysis is worthwhile, even though we all know this stuff. The point is to put VCB & sub-22 in a broad view, to show: (a) VCB is a truly special athlete, & (b) sub-22 is a rare accomplishment. Using all-athletics.com data:

We are now 34 seasons into the sub-22 era (1979-2012). A quick glance at the data suggests that sub-22, while special, may not be a big deal. After all, 23 women are in the sub-22 club, & 94 performances. However, if we break this sub-22 era down into two equal groups -- first 17 seasons (1979-1995) & second 17 seasons (1996-2012), we see a different picture emerge. It's a familiar picture, but a fresh look is useful.

In the 1979-1995 half of this era, 18 women entered the sub-22 club, with (assuming I counted right) 72 performances. Ten of the 18 women in the club ran multiple sub-22 -- crossing this threshold seemed common.

However, in the 1996-2012 half of this era only 5 women entered the sub-22 club. One of these was Marion Jones, & because this is my post, I get to disqualify all of her marks. Someone else can add her in if you wish. Absent Marion Jones, that leaves just 4 athletes (and only 11 performances) entering the sub-22 club in the past 17 seasons:

Allison Felix (5)
WC 07
OG 08
Stockholm 09
USA Ch 12
OG 12

Veronica Campbell Brown (4)
Barcelona 08
Jamaican Ch 08
OG 08
New York/Adidas 10

Inger Miller
WC 99

Kerron Stewart
Jamaican Ch 08

Note these 11: 8 of them are the most important & competitive settings in the world for this event: OG, WC, USA & Jamaican championships. & in these competitions, several of the great ones of this era were present (i.e., VCB in 3 of AF's sub-22's; AF in 2 of VCB's sub-22s; Kerron Stewart in a couple of AF's & VCB's; & of course, other great ones such as SAFP, SRR, Jeter et al. in most of these competitions, too). In fact, the only competition among these 11 that was neither a WC/OG or USA/Jamaican championship nor a stacked Diamond League event was VCB's sub-22 in Barcelona 08.

What does clarification of the history tell me? What we know, but with greater clarity: VCB is one of the all-time greats in this event (Felix the other). And, sub-22 is rare -- the setting and competition has to be of the highest order.

I don't believe everyone was doping in the first half of the sub-22 era any more than I believe no one is doping now. But I do believe doping was more prevalent in the first half of this era, & the historical trajectory of the marks strongly suggests this. & in the first half of the era, a clean athlete's performances would of necessity be improved, simply for regularly being among very fast competition, however achieved.

This data, combined with VCB's age and age in the event, may mean that her prospects for sub-22 are remote, as they are for everyone in this era. Whatever she does this season, she is one of the truly greats.
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