Track Shorts 2016: Lap 8, the Olympics

Well, I for one was entertained. Probably the most memorable Olympics for me since Montreal 1976. Certainly the AthleteBiz connection was a major reason. But I was also able to see so much more of the coverage. The live TV of the morning sessions was solid and in a deliberate scheduling move, usually included at least one final. TV still hasn’t figured out how to do field events yet, but even there, the morning coverage conveyed some of the drama.

A Complete Set

What does Tori Bowie have that Usain Bolt doesn’t? A silver and a bronze medal. In her first Olympics she takes home the complete set medals. She got technically sharper through the rounds of the 100; her reaction time in the final was the fastest in the field and her clinical finish got her the silver by .03 seconds. She might have been thinking of more in the 200 but the bronze was certainly a good effort in a strong field. In the 4 x100, the lead her teammates gave her meant she would not be pressed as she anchored the gold medal effort there. Nothing like setting a high bar for your next Olympic Games.

Missed It By That Much

Agent 86, Maxwell Smart will explain how close Sandi Morris was to gold in the pole vault. Think we exaggerate? Here’s Sandi’s final attempt at 4.90. Looks like her thigh grazed the bar on the way down. She jumped as high as Stefanidi but because of a miss at 4.70, Sandi lost the tiebreaker. Still,a great performance from another first time Olympian.

from Greenville News

from Greenville News

Steeplechasin’ Nation

For the second year in a row, the US put all six of its steeplers into the final in the premier meet of the year. Only Kenya matched that feat. And our guys came home with as many medals as the Kenyans. ABer Donn Cabral was part of that team. Following teammate Hilary Bor to the finish, he took 8th in the final at 8:25, a nifty 2,7,8 for the Americans.


Donn expressed his Olympic spirit in style (center) with Dustin Williams & John Nunn. Photo from John Nunn on Facebook

Distance Power

In fact, the US presence in all the distance events this time was impressive. The men took home medals in every race from 800 to the marathon, except the 10k. There were plenty of top 10 finishes as well, including ABer Jared Ward’s brilliantly paced 6th place in the marathon in PR time. Was he channeling Pre with that mustache?

On the women’s side, there were medals in the 1500 and steeplechase as well as several top ten finishes. Alexi Pappas took advantage of the hot 10k pace to break the Greek national record in 31:36.

More Than Happy To Be There

Amber Campbell found herself in a tough hammer competition. The winner tossed a world record, second place was a seasonal best and third place was a national record. Still she got herself untracked, first getting over 70 meters just to make the final eight on her third throw, then launching a 72.74 to move up to 6th. Nice work to get through the qualifying and then to get a top 10 finish.

Can You Win and Not Get A Medal?

Yes, as Heather Miller-Koch proved. Heather deserves mention for winning the final 800m event in the Heptathlon, after two long days of competing, in an impressive time of 2:06. Ever consider becoming a 800/1500m runner Heather? Heather finished 18th overall in the heptathlon.

Some Days You Eat the Bear

And some days he makes you carry him on your back for 26.2 miles. There’s probably a more technical term for whatever was ailing Meb Keflezighi in the marathon but there’s no doubt it took its toll. Even crossing the finish line was a struggle. And yet there he was after the race, happily answering questions, no bemoaning of his fate, just proud to compete.

Congratulations to all!

The Olympic ​medalists get all the attention, but fully 91% of Olympians do not take home hardware. They DO take with them the highly cherished title of “Olympian” and memories that will last a lifetime.

​Only 1433 days until Tokyo 2020​.

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