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a WR for Geb?

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  • #16
    Re: a WR for Geb?

    <<"He [Geb] could retire right now as the greatest distance runner of all time..."

    I vigorously dispute this, given his failure to pull off a 5/10 double at an Olympics or WC.

    If one wants to call Geb the greatest 10,000 runner of all-time, I have no problem with that, but I draw the line at overall distance running.>>

    I think Alan is right. Paavo Nurmi is almost untouchable in the overall distance department. Geb would have to win World/Olympic medals right up to (and including) 2008 to be ranked ahead of Nurmi (or maybe even Emil Zatopek); and I don't think is likely to happen. Once more, Nurmi won medals in both the 5K and 10K in multiple Olympics (I believe, 1924/28). Geb has yet to run in both races in a single Olympics.

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    • #17
      Re: a WR for Geb?

      Not that the prognosticator supreme dl needs defending, but I think his statement that Geb could retire as the greatest ever is well within reason. To compare his accomplishments to Nurmi is OK, but let's look at where the sport was versus where it is today. The sport now is truly inernational, and Africans have proved the true leaders at distance events. How many Africans did Nurmi or Zatopek face? It would be akin to the US not competing in the sprints in the 20's -60's - the best were not there.

      Geb has faced one of the top runners of all-time (Tergat) and found ways to beat him consistantly, plus beating all others as well. His string of championships in Olymypics and WC over the past decade is truly amazing when you consider who he has faced (and beaten).

      Forget his times (they will all be beaten eventually), but look at his range - amazing 3:32, 12:39, 26:22, and 2:05 - no athlete has shown this range to my knowledge.

      Finally, if greatness can be measured not only by performances but also by class (and indeed in the end it usually is), then Geb's place in history is assured.

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      • #18
        Re: a WR for Geb?

        We're now about an hour and a half from the start of the race. (12:35 left-coast time)

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        • #19
          Re: a WR for Geb?

          1 Gebrselassie Haile ETH 26:29.22
          2 Kemboi Nicholas KEN 26:30.03
          3 Hassan Abdullah Ahmad QAT 26:38.76
          4 Limo Richard KEN 26:56.63
          5 Yuda John TAN 27:09.83
          6 Kipketer Sammy KEN 27:13.42
          7 Mosop Moses KEN 27:13.66
          8 Berhanu Dejene ETH 27:14.61
          9 Kiprop Boniface UGA 27:15.88
          10 Korir John Cheruiyot KEN 27:17.24
          11 Kosgei Paul KEN 27:21.56
          12 Munyi Simon Maina KEN 27:22.29
          13 Kamathi Charles KEN 27:29.47
          14 Joseph Fabian TAN 27:32.63
          15 Kennedy Bob USA 27:51.06
          16 Talel Wilberforce KEN 27:54.44
          17 Iwasa Toshihiro JPN 28:58.08
          Afringi Ali Abdallah ERI DNF
          Geemi Richard KEN DNF
          Keino Martin KEN DNF
          Keska Karl GBR DNF
          Korir Shadrack KEN DNF
          Kosgei Joseph KEN DNF
          Mekonnen Hailu ETH DNF
          Mucheru Leonard KEN DNF
          Vega Teodoro MEX DNS
          why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

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          • #20
            Re: a WR for Geb?

            Much thanks for posting these results, and the 1500 results on the other thread.

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            • #21
              Re: a WR for Geb?

              I know that it is difficult/impossible to compare athletes from different eras, but as Sieg Lindstrom and I discussed in Paris, there is no doubt in our minds that if Geb simply ran an easy 4 miles a day, he still could've easily beaten Nurmi and Zatopek back in their day. Comparing Nurmi or Zatopek to Geb? Forget it. Geb is in a whole different class.

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              • #22
                Re: a WR for Geb?

                My basic point is that running a 5/10 double is a very draining task. Nurmi, Zatopek (with the marathon too), Viren (twice), Yifter (and maybe others that I'm missing) have been able to pull off the 5/10 double gold, going against the leading competition of their respective eras. Geb has not...

                (Various Olympic boycotts have weakened the fields in some years, I will acknowledge, but my main point is about having the resiliency to win the 5 and 10 in the same games.)

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                • #23
                  Re: a WR for Geb?

                  I voted "no" but am VERY impressed with the 26:29.2 that Geb did run...as Dan Lilot has said--this man is a remarkably gifted runner who loves what he does.

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                  • #24
                    Re: a WR for Geb?

                    >I know that it is difficult/impossible to compare
                    >athletes from different eras, but as Sieg
                    >Lindstrom and I discussed in Paris, there is no
                    >doubt in our minds that if Geb simply ran an easy
                    >4 miles a day, he still could've easily beaten
                    >Nurmi and Zatopek back in their day. Comparing
                    >Nurmi or Zatopek to Geb? Forget it. Geb is in a
                    >whole different class.

                    It is not difficult at all. All you do is determine how close they got to their potential by calculating how they converted their basic speed over the lesser distances to the longer ones. And from doing that you will see that Geb is only marginally better then Zatopek: He is a hell of a lot faster over 10k simply because he is a hell of a lot faster over 1500m, 3k, 5k. This is really quite simply stuff that I have seen many coaches from swimming, cycling and running do for many years. So yes it is definately possible to compare athlets of different eras, but further it is how you judge current performances: If you want an American to run 26:30 for 10k he will have to be able to run the necessary times over the shorter distances, if he can achieve those times and can not achieve 10k time then what is the excuse? Speed is almost everything, stamina is the rest.

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                    • #25
                      Re: a WR for Geb?

                      Re: Geb's "failure" to win a 5/10 double. It's clear to me that he would have been a shoo-in in Atlanta had the track not been so hard, forcing him to pull out of the 5 after the 10. He's still complaining about it to this day, and I'm sure that's one of the reasons that we're not seeing as many super-fast tracks.

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                      • #26
                        Re: a WR for Geb?

                        I was wondering recently if they couldn't just make the 100m straight harder
                        why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: a WR for Geb?

                          "It is not difficult at all. All you do is determine how close they got to their potential by calculating how they converted their basic speed over the lesser distances to the longer ones. And from doing that you will see that Geb is only marginally better then Zatopek: He is a hell of a lot faster over 10k simply because he is a hell of a lot faster over 1500m, 3k, 5k."

                          Not sure I follow the reasoning Ben. Geb is marginally better than Zatopek? No way. Geb is faster over 10k because he's faster over 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m? True. Marginally faster? False. Sh*tloads faster - True. Geb is in a different class - no disrespect to the great Zatopek.

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                          • #28
                            Re: a WR for Geb?

                            Like someone has said already - the competition in Nurmi's and Zatopek's days just wasn't the same. Imagine what would happen if the Africans had never entered the scene... Dieter Baumann (or maybe even Bob Kennedy) would be considered one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time, in the same category as Nurmi and Zatopek. Had Kenyan and Ethiopian been around in the 1920s, they might have been beating the Finns just as regularly as the Africans in the last 20 years have been doing.
                            Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                            • #29
                              Re: a WR for Geb?

                              "Re: Geb's "failure" to win a 5/10 double. It's clear to me that he would have been a shoo-in in Atlanta had the track not been so hard, forcing him to pull out of the 5 after the 10. He's still complaining about it to this day..."

                              Athletes of Geb's era have had not only the Olympics, but World Championships every two years, to make their mark on the sport. That would have given Geb numerous chances to pull off a 5/10 double (1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003). Yet he has NOT DONE IT ONCE.

                              Geb holds the world record at 5,000, so clearly he should be capable of winning a 5,000 at an Olympics or WC. Why hasn't he?

                              One could theorize that the 10,000 (which, as best I can recall, has always been run first in these meets) drains Geb to the point where he can't win a 5,000 (and he seems to have stopped trying in more recent years).

                              Give Geb unlimited time to prepare for a single race -- 5,000 or 10,000 -- and he's the best. No question.

                              In my opinion, however, the ability to pull off the 5/10 double gold (or in Zatopek's case, a triple gold with the marathon) WITHIN THE SHORT SPAN OF A SINGLE OLYMPIAD OR WC is a key element of greatness. In Viren's case, he recorded a "double-double" (5/10 in '72 and '76, although there was the African nations' boycott in '76).

                              Don't get me wrong -- Geb is an incredible superstar, and I'm willing to declare him the greatest 10,000-meter runner of all-time. But, given the flaw of his I've identified above, I cannot call him the greatest OVERALL distance runner of all time.

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                              • #30
                                Re: a WR for Geb?

                                regardless of geb not getting the 5k/10k double gold at the og's or wc's, he's still the greatest runner ever in both of those events.

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