In Praise Of David Rudisha And The Olympic 800
"What lingers on for me about London?" asks reader David Graham. Here's his No. 1 moment...
<World Record was incomparably the best performance of the Games. I think I’m allowed to say that...I think I would go so far as to say it was the most accomplished piece of running I’ve ever seen."
Yes, there were 32 World Records in 8 sports at the 2012 London Olympics, with 4 WRs in track & field. While I salute them all, my favorite was the men's 800 race.
I have gone back to watch the British announced video literally dozens of times, still mesmerized by it. (I've yet to see NBC's version of it.) Any way you slice the race, it comes up greatness:
•It's the greatest 800 race ever run by an individual;
•It's the greatest 800 race ever run by an entire field;
•It's the greatest 800 in Olympic history;
•It produced a World Record;
•An Olympic Record (with three men bettering the old OR; i.e., the old OR wouldn't even have medalled in this race);
•A World Junior Record;
•3 National Records (Kenya, Botswana, Ethiopia);
•3 Age-Group World Bests (for 17, 18, & 23 years of age);
•The 1st, 2nd, and 5th World Junior Bests in history (Nigel Amos, Timothy Kitum, Mohammed Aman);
•the best-ever marks-for-place for ALL EIGHT finishers.
•7 lifetime bests (plus one seasonal best);
•The last-place finisher (GB's Andrew Osagie) ran a time (1:43.77) that would have medaled in EVERY previous Olympics but one (1996), with the medal being GOLD in all but 5 of them (1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996)!
Another highlight for Americans is that Johnny Gray is no longer the only person in the elite sub-1:43 club, as Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds joined him there.
And as an indication of just how high the quality of competition was for this race, all eight finalists had to run 1:44 in their three semifinal races just to make it to the final! (Marcin Lewandowski's 1:45.08, Yuriy Borzakovskiy's 1:45.09, and Pierre-Ambroise Bosse's 1:45.10 all failed to make the final...)
To David Rudisha, Nigel Amos, Timothy Kitum, Duane Solomon, Nick Symmonds, Mohammed Aman, Abubakir Kaki, and Andrew Osagie, I say:
"You all were awesome...">>