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The Athletics Thread...

Toon Wolf

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So the London Olympics are just over a year away, which makes this year a crucial one for our Olympic hopefuls. We have the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, at the end of August, the Diamond League which includes Powell v Gay (twice) in the UK and of course the prestigious :)icon_wink:) English Schools Championships all to come in the next few months. I thought we could kick off this discussion with our top 5 athletes of all time lists and take it from there.

1. Michael Johnson. Not even close, the greatest athlete I've ever seen. And a great analyst too...

2. Haile Gebrselassie. The greatest distance runner that there has ever been. What he has achieved in distance running will never be repeated.

3. Sergei Bubka. Transformed the pole vaulting event and took it to levels that had never before been thought possible.

4. Steve Ovett. The main reason I took up athletics as a kid. I wanted to run like him, I wanted to have his spikey personality. Some may say I achieved one of those things...

5. Merlene Ottey. Competed in SEVEN Olympic Games, a truly incredible feat. Won an Olympic medal at the age of 38 and was still competing last year at the age of 50. Amazing woman.

I feel bad that I have only included one female athlete, because there have been some great ones, but when I think of great athletes it is usually the men that come to mind first. Maybe a separate post will be needed for the greateset women in athletics...
 
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Deutsch Wolf

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There are plenty these days that I admire (Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis and many others) but for now I will stick with the guys and girls that got me interested in track and field in the first place:

Michael Johnson
Steve Backley
Carl Lewis
Colin Jackson
Roger Black

Linford Christie would have been in there but he is a cock, as well as having a massive one.
 

Deutsch Wolf

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I've posted that and put no girls!

So Denise Lewis, Wolverhampton's own, can have her own mention and a picture:

unbranded-denise-lewis-and8211-sydney-2000-olympics--signed-print.jpg
 

FrankMunro-371

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Gebresellasie
Seb Coe
Rosa Mota
Henry Ronoh
Mark Spitz - are swimmers allowed, if not then
Said Aouita
 

Toon Wolf

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Gebresellasie
Seb Coe
Rosa Mota
Henry Ronoh
Mark Spitz - are swimmers allowed, if not then
Said Aouita

We'll have to start a separate thread for swimming, Frank! Some good athletes on your list. Henry Rono, that's a name I haven't heard in a while...Apparently he became an alcoholic, destitute and lived in a homeless shelter. Rather sad.

I would add Miruts Yifter ('the Shifter') to your list of great distance runners.

And Ed Moses to the list of great athletes. He won 122 consecutive races for crying out loud! Apparently he went 9 years, 9 months and 9 days without losing a race...:icon_eek:
 
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Deutsch Wolf

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Toon - what do you reckon of Mo Farah's chances in the Olympics? I read this week that he is intensifying his training even more and really focusing on 2012. I think he's a wonderful runner and an even better person, always comes across as an incredibly nice guy.
 

Toon Wolf

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Toon - what do you reckon of Mo Farah's chances in the Olympics? I read this week that he is intensifying his training even more and really focusing on 2012. I think he's a wonderful runner and an even better person, always comes across as an incredibly nice guy.

I think he's the best distance runner we've had for a long, long time. He's a genuinely nice bloke and a great advert for British athletics. But he'll have a tough job breaking the African dominance in distance running. The Kenyans and Ethiopians are just too damned good. Those 2 nations could each put out at least three 5000m/10000m runners that would beat the rest of the world. I hope he does make it onto the podium in London, but making the final will be tough.
 

Deutsch Wolf

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This is true. Winning the Europeans was great for him but it's the next level up for him now. Still, his story is inspiring.
 

Paddingtonwolf

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Can I offer Emil Zatopek - truly incredible athlete in his time
 

Toon Wolf

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Question for you: Geoff Capes v Brendan Foster in a 100m race- who wins?
 

Deutsch Wolf

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So, our medal hopes for 2012: (gold wise, anyway) limited to Jess, Paula Radcliffe (is she running) and erm....that's it?
 

Deutsch Wolf

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Question for you: Geoff Capes v Brendan Foster in a 100m race- who wins?

:icon_lol:

I've met Mr Capes, about eight years ago. He's a unit. I'd have to go with Mr Foster.
 

Toon Wolf

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So, our medal hopes for 2012: (gold wise, anyway) limited to Jess, Paula Radcliffe (is she running) and erm....that's it?

Lisa Dobriskey, the relay teams, Jenny Meadows, Christine Ohurougu, Phillips Odowu, Dai Greene, Tasha Danvers all have chances of getting a medal. Of those I'd say Dobriskey and Odowu are the only ones with any chance of a gold. Odowu is a good bet, Dobriskey would have to run the race of her life but she is capable.

Stephen Miller in the Paralympics is a dead cert for a gold.

As for Paula, who knows if she'll be running. If she gets back her fitness she's certainly a gold medal contender.
 

Deutsch Wolf

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Is there any reason why we don't produce good middle distance runners any more? Or was the 80s peak of Coe/Evott/Cram just a freak spike? As far as I can tell it's not like the long distance events where Africans dominate, it's a real mixed bag. But we haven't had anyone any good for 20 years or so now.
 

Toon Wolf

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Is there any reason why we don't produce good middle distance runners any more? Or was the 80s peak of Coe/Evott/Cram just a freak spike? As far as I can tell it's not like the long distance events where Africans dominate, it's a real mixed bag. But we haven't had anyone any good for 20 years or so now.

Dobriskey and Meadows plus Hannah England are all potential medallists, definite finalists in the women's middle distance events. In the men's Michael Rimmer has the ability to be a medal contender in the 800m but his race tactics are always so suspect that I'm not sure he ever will. He always seems to make a mistake in the final. Whether it's kicking too early or allowing himself to be boxed in at the 200m mark, I've never yet seen him get the race right when it mattered most. He's still young though, so there is time. He is another contender that is for sure, it's all about preparing correctly and getting it right on the day.
 

Toon Wolf

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So, our medal hopes for 2012: (gold wise, anyway) limited to Jess, Paula Radcliffe (is she running) and erm....that's it?

Lisa Dobriskey, the relay teams, Jenny Meadows, Christine Ohurougu, Phillips Odowu, Dai Greene, Tasha Danvers all have chances of getting a medal. Of those I'd say Dobriskey and Odowu are the only ones with any chance of a gold. Odowu is a good bet, Dobriskey would have to run the race of her life but she is capable.

Stephen Miller in the Paralympics is a dead cert for a gold.

As for Paula, who knows if she'll be running. If she gets back her fitness she's certainly a gold medal contender.

Paula Ratcliffe must be worth a mention i think

*cough*
 

Dublin Drummer Wolf

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Not really a fan of athletics but Sonia O Sullivan deserves a mention for her marathon running back in the 90's. Epic stuff back here in Ireland. Just dont mention Michelle Smith....
 

Penk Wolf

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Geoff Capes used to spend a bit of time in Penkridge, I assume he had friends there. You don't see him anymore, so I assume his friends have moved on.

Edwin Moses was always top of my list of athletes.
 
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