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USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

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  • USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

    Given the USA's exceptional wealth in 400m this Olympiad and the fact that only 3 will go to Beijing plus 3 more for the 4x4, how many of these gifted individuals will move up to the 800m where the competition to qualify may be less intense? It could be the path of least resistance to punch your ticket to Beijing, if you are willing to undergo the training and mental outlook changes involved. I think you would have start changing soon. This 400m explosion could be the best thing to happen to 800m in the USA since Johnny Gray!

  • #2
    Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

    I think your right the competition in the 400
    will be very intense and if someone had the courage to move maybe they could pull a
    400/800 double.

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    • #3
      Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

      >Given the USA's exceptional wealth in 400m this Olympiad and the fact that only
      >3 will go to Beijing plus 3 more for the 4x4, how many of these gifted
      >individuals will move up to the 800m where the competition to qualify may be
      >less intense?>>

      Probably the same has have moved up every Olympiad since time immemorial when the USA had exceptional weath: about zero.

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      • #4
        Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

        speed trickles up in track and field. the US 800m talent pool has been undervalued and is long overdue for a big jump. why wouldnt we have a a fleet of guys in the 144 range? within 4 years we could be sending 5k runners to WC w/ 144-145 800m speed, and thats the road to competing at the longer distances.

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        • #5
          Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

          why wouldnt we have a a fleet
          >of guys in the 144 range? within 4 years we could be sending 5k runners to WC
          >w/ 144-145 800m speed, and thats the road to competing at the longer distances.

          The 800 US herd is very puzzling, seems there should be 100 americans under 145.... we should have at least 20 under 144... and a few under 143... this is one (or rather another) event Americans should totally dominate..

          this post is dedicated to all the Euro track fans out there.
          ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

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          • #6
            Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

            I think it is overstating things to say there should be that many talented 800m runners. Going from the 400m to 800m is a huge leap. Maybe more so mentally than physically, but a big challenge nonetheless.

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            • #7
              Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

              It would be nice to think that it will happen but I do not see it as likely. Most high school programs have a sprint coach (100-400) and a distance coach 800 on up. I know there are exceptions but for the most part here in the U.S. most kids want to be a sprinter. Hell most distance runners would want to be sprinters if they could. It is the mindset of the kids. The 800 just is not cool to most kids. If you polled a large number of H.S. track kids, my guess is that 90% would not know who won the last Olympic 800. In my mind the 800 is the best race in track. I just wish more kids would give it a try.

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              • #8
                Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                At one time the US dominated this event. I just think this event typifies the US decline in track.....

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                • #9
                  Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                  >Probably the same as have moved up every Olympiad since time immemorial when the USA had exceptional weath: about zero.>>

                  True. But has there ever been such a glut in the 400m at the same time as the dearth in the 800m in the USA? Let's say your real dream is to go to the Olympics. You know you are good enough to go in the 400m, but there is so much competition in the 400m, you might figure you have a more certain chance of going in the 800m. So you start training like Alberto Juantorena. You don't lose a whole lot of your 400m speed, but you get world class in the 800m. Depending on how things are going for your 400m/800m competition in Spring 2008, you can now decide if you have a better chance in 400m or the 800m. There is now even a chance at both, or one and the 4x4.

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                  • #10
                    Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                    I think that the 400 crop could contribute to the 800 problem.. but is is really necessary?.. .my guess is that there is plenty of talent out there to fill the 800 void.... kids just are not running, and no being exposed to racing... I agree, to me there is so much excitement to an 800 race.. It is one of my favorite races to watch. the speed the grace and tactical component it is all in the 800...in my opinion it is the ultimate test of running ability.. the 400 comes in second.
                    ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

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                    • #11
                      Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                      I will never again underestimate the ability of converting almost any 400 runner into a good 800 runner with the right training. A couple of years ago, a local rival coach had a group of footbacker linebackers that could run near 52 in the 400. He trained them as 800 runners and they all got down to 2:00 - great 4x8 relay. These guys averaged 200 pounds a piece. He had them running 600s and 1000s at tough paces in practice. That's all it took.

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                      • #12
                        Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                        Back in the mid-70's the Kentucky State coach put all of his sprinters on the cross-country team. Some of these guys were clocking 28:00 for 5 miles, which is not bad for sprinters. His goal was to turn them into 440 runners, and he ended up with a dynamite 4x4 team for a school of that size (around 3:03, with the help of 440H runner Randolph Williams on the anchor).

                        I agree with TAFNUT that turning 400 runners into 800 runners is most doable. For it to be effective at the more elite levels, it will be necessary to target athletes who have a mental predisposition to the type of tactical races they will be facing. I would also think you should look toward athletes built in the mold of Wariner rather than Tyree Washington. Obviously, you would need to identify athletes who are pretty sure they are going to be short of making the national teams, or even getting substantive paychecks on the circuit.

                        Can we get a shoe company working on this?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                          great posts... as a former 200+lb footballing 1/4 miler in HS Im sympathetic.. but there are so many 5'11' to 6'3" 150-170lb frames out there with great athletic potential to be taped.. the 800 is an event that should be attractive to kids... it is a fast race and has all the varoom that should get the testosterone-charged battle-cry demanding soul of highschoolers racing. It does not require the very rigid speed demanded of the 1 2 and 4 .... There are alot of kids out there that given the time and proper training could be low 150s in this race.
                          ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                            <At one time the US dominated this event. I just think this event typifies the US decline in track.....>

                            The last time the US had more than one Olympic medalist in 800 was in 1912.
                            "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                            by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                            • #15
                              Re: USA's wealth in the 400m may benefit the 800m

                              >>The last time the US had more than one Olympic
                              >medalist in 800 was in 1912.<<

                              The fact that we HAVE dominated the 400 means we're just not utilizing our resources very wisely. I agree with the coaching phiilosophy that says take EVERY athlete that wants to run and bump them up at least one event above what they think they're good at. Another local HS coach is very successful in the hurdles because he makes EVERY sprinter train as a hurdler. Only the ones who CAN'T adapt to the hurdles end up in the sprints. When the State Series comes, the outstanding sprinters can go wherever they can do best. My team gets lots of points in the Pole Vault and Triple Jump, because their technique can beat better athletes. It's up to the coach to find the best event for his athletes. America has too many 45-46 sec 400 guys and too few 1:44 guys. Wouldn't you think MANY 45-46 guys could put together two 52's? I know it isn't quite that simple, but it sure isn't that difficult either.

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