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  • scoe
    replied
    I mentioned 4 countries with 250 million people and so you write ''its very different.'' Its not very different because 3 of those countries I mentioned have generally continued on a poor trend of the last few yearsand Germany and its Medals does not disprove the general thrust of my point.

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  • Madd Marine
    replied
    Originally posted by paulthefan
    i guess the ideal situation for the sprints, weights and jumps is if the national governing body is actually crawling with folks that are aiding and abetting the coaches in their drug use. Could simultaneously throw athletes under the bus to create a veneer o f legitimacy. Now that would be a nation with solidarity.
    I don't know if it takes national solidarity :wink: . Watch the film "Bigger, Faster, Stronger", the interview with Dr. Wade Exum juxtaposed with an interview with Carl Lewis is amusing to put it lightly. One could easily see some country offering up a third rate marathoner as a sacrificial lamb or a down the list shot putter to make it appear as if they're on board for testing.

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  • Powell
    replied
    Originally posted by scoe
    The most striking thing about the Track and Field national points is that the combined populations of Germany, France,Italy and Spain, a total of approx 250 million, got a few more points than Jamaica and the same as Kenya.

    The four countries mentioned have just about given up on Track and Field, as this result in Beijing is not greatly different to the last few WC/OGs.
    Actually, it is very different. Just last year in Osaka, Germany alone won 7 medals and 84 points (Italy and Spain had 3 medals each, France had 2). I still believe what we saw from them in Beijing was an aberration, not part of a trend. For all we know, their team might just have got their acclimatization wrong (and they also had some bad luck in the form of Dietzsch's injury). Yes, they are a lot weaker than they used to be, especially in track events, but in the throws (and to some extent the jumps) they still have quite a few potential medalists.

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  • scoe
    replied
    Of course GB is part of Western Europe but more to the point not part of Continental Europe , not that it is of any or much significance.

    GB's performance rating depends solely on what your expectations were. I reckoned three medals and max 10 top eight positions, so in that sense we did not do too badly with 4 medals and 14 top eights.

    I am not particularly obsessive about Medal Tables and as such they tell one no more than that a few countries have wonderful talent in a maximum of ten events . Kenya and Ethiopia took part in relatively few events at which they absolutely excel.

    Looking at the true positions of countries athletic prowess , using the usual points system of 8 down to 1, we see that Russia ansd the USA were nip and tuck with each other, and miles ahead of the rest. I suspect that the druggies left at home by the Russians would have helped them to top the table,

    The most striking thing about the Track and Field national points is that the combined populations of Germany, France,Italy and Spain, a total of approx 250 million, got a few more points than Jamaica and the same as Kenya.

    The four countries mentioned have just about given up on Track and Field, as this result in Beijing is not greatly different to the last few WC/OGs.

    I make the firm prediction now, that the relative disappointments, in a number of key USA events, this time round, will not be repeated in Berlin 2009 and USA will be back 11 to 14 wins and the usual domination by the points system at the top.

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  • paulthefan
    replied
    i guess the ideal situation for the sprints, weights and jumps is if the national governing body is actually crawling with folks that are aiding and abetting the coaches in their drug use. Could simultaneously throw athletes under the bus to create a veneer o f legitimacy. Now that would be a nation with solidarity.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sascha
    replied
    Re: The downfall of Western European T&F

    Originally posted by Jaack
    Originally posted by Novitiate
    Originally posted by joeltetreault

    Greece, Bulgaria and Russia are the biggest offenders...
    Ridiculous. As they say in Ireland, póg mo thóin ......

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_do ... s_in_sport

    http://www.usatf.org/about/legal/antidoping/DQs.asp

    :lol:
    Based on this wikipedia list I don´t think the US should be to quick condemning other countries… But - the wikipedia list is suspicious.
    To be considered: the national numbers do not necessarily reflect bad sports, but also effective testing.
    No testing -> no doping...
    When was testing initiated in the country? What are the relationships between different governing bodies within sports?
    What is the amount of control within professional leagues?
    What is the state of testing procedures within a specific sport?
    What is the amount and bias of in- and off-season testing to the number and level of athletes in the country?
    The answers to these question are pretty different for each one of the countries and comparing them on wikipedia figures alone would not be fair.

    The wikipedia list gives one doped bodybuilder, three powerlifters and 56 weightlifters. In my country alone these sports stand for 80% of the positive test results (2000 tests/year, 5-20 positive cases every year). Olympic sports usually get the testing and professional sports do things which ever way the like it.
    The list should at least not be used for comparison between different sports. All seven of the references used are from IAAF or other T&F sources.
    There was a rough figure some 10 years ago (things could have changed) that stated 60% of all the global testing (about 100 000 tests/year) was done within T&F, 20% in swimming and 20% in the other sports. In some countries national testing in certain "smaller" sports would not be reported or put into any global stats as "things are rather handled at home"

    Dopingcases in athletics/country (based on Wikipedias listing)
    United States 68
    Russia 31
    Greece 13
    China 13
    Nigeria 12
    Belarus 11
    France 11
    Germany 11
    Morocco 11
    Hungary 9
    Canada 8
    England 8
    Kenya 8
    Romania 8
    Ukraine 8
    Bulgaria 7
    Finland 7
    Norway 7

    and the rest 115 cases in 58 countries

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  • Madd Marine
    replied
    Oh, I'm aware it had to be certified. Whether it actually was up to spec is ... up to speculation. :wink:

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  • eldrick
    replied
    the track in atlanta had to be certified legal by iaaf otherwise it woud have to have been ripped out & replaced

    legal also means depth, so it's highly unlikely it was too thin

    http://www.iaaf.org/mm/temp/34365_640.doc

    & at $25k/application, mistakes are expensive

    http://www.iaaf.org/mm/temp/34155_632.doc

    Leave a comment:


  • Madd Marine
    replied
    Yeah, this topic is veering off toward something else. Some people might think all Africans are being accused of drugs, others might feel slighted for being called lazy, another person might be enjoying the status quo and be bothered by the fact that it could change. Yikes.

    I think Geb's foot trouble was due to that track in Atlanta being too thin, as in illegally thin. The new tracks do make some difference, their is no doubt about that at all. I think they might make less of a difference for larger, more physically powerful runners in shorter events. I don't think there's a huge "speed improvement" but there is enough of an improvement to make increasingly larger differences as the races get longer. Anyway, one thing to note is that as some times/records have gotten faster, the times in Europe have gotten slower. They seemed to be tailing off by the late 1980's. Less or no interest in the sport. This tail off will probably hit other events as well as time goes on, at least for a while.

    I had already previously mentioned the "Xbox" and the fact that there are so many activities available in the West for youngsters. Participation in track in US in High Schools is for most kids half-hearted, they just want to be on a team or it's a filler-sport while their main activity is not in season.

    There's little doubt some runners from the past would run much faster, as their "targets" would be higher. In an article linked to the front page of this site, John Treacy (the Irish marathoner) remarks on how he was training twice as hard as the Irish runners he observed today. This has been noted by lots of others.

    The flip side is the claim that the Africans were barely training which in some cases is not the truth. Liquori's story of the time he followed Kip Keino and Ben Jipcho on a training run is a well known anecdote. The pair ran something like a hard 12 miles or whatever, and they finally looked around to see Liquori behind them. Their eyes almost popped out. Liquori acted as if he had just come up on them and asked them what they'd run, and they told him an easy five miles or something along those lines. I ran into this myself in college with some Kenyans (and a few other runners of all stripes) who would downplay their mileage or interval sessions. Sometimes it was downright comical. But that's part of the mind games in sports, it doesn't only go on in track and field.

    Of course the rise in competitors from around the world will change things, I mentioned that also. Early on I was only half joking when I mentioned Peruvians getting into distance running. A doctor friend of mine had actually mentioned that they had some adaptations that were different from other high altitude dwellers but he didn't really go into it too much, but he did say that some of the smaller guys from the slopes might be built for the marathon. I've seen a few of these guys at Venice Beach playing their pan flutes and banging on drums, and I'd have to say a few of them were so small and light they would make Geb look buffed. Whether that translates to running, maybe we'll see if they ever come around to giving a darn about it.

    It's interesting that kamikaze7 mentions India, a friend of mine is Indian and to quote him, Indians "...don't give a shite about track." That may have more to do with it than weather. That thinking isn't far off from most Americans who see it as a high school "activity" or a once every four years sport at the Olympics. The Europeans apparently see it as something to do, maybe, if you're no good at soccer or anything else, and if you really want to spend a lot of time exhausting yourself.

    The Kenyans did put more effort in getting the sport going and going big. But unfortunately that dovetailed with the arrival in the sport of some people who are just, well, bad people. Bald-faced, lying, bad people. People who will take advantage. A connection with these people might taint some runners here and there. But as mentioned previously, what you see today is more a reflection on interest in the sport combined with talent, although there are some juiced competitors. There is no completely clean event I'm afraid. So I just try to enjoy watching what I see and hoping that the sport grows, not only in the US, but everywhere else. However, if attitudes don't change, Paul is right. But that will kill the sport in the end.

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  • paulthefan
    replied
    stick a fork in 'er, the West is done.

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  • kamikaze7
    replied
    MM I think your assertions are worth another thread or a PM. I am intrugued.

    This issue is of particular interest to me. I have done some digging on the web and what I have found is that until the late 80s, Kenyan runners never really pushed themselves as hard as the Europeans did.

    At that point, the problem was no longer just morale. The Kenyans, in their malaise, had failed to move with the times. The casual training that had long been common practice in Kenya clearly wasn't enough anymore. In the '60s and early '70s, Keino & Co. had been able to put in a month or two of 40-mile weeks at altitude and then crank out 13:30s or 3:38s in Europe. By 1984 it was obvious that that kind of training, those kinds of times, wouldn't do. But few Kenyans seemed ready to make the necessary adjustments.

    Then, at just about this time, several circumstances came together to reverse the common practice and start Kenya's second "cycle" of success -- the one that seems yet to have peaked. I'll list a few.

    1. The IAAF started subsidizing the participation of poor countries in the World Cross Country Championships, and Kenya began to take the event seriously. The Kenya AAA started to make a big deal out of the national cross country championship and set up a three-week training camp for the team before the Worlds -- something like Kenya's long-established pre-Olympic camps, only more rigorous.

    2. The camp paid off in 1986 with the first of Kenya's string of 12 straight men's team championships. Perhaps more important, John Ngugi won the first of his five individual titles that year, and Ngugi was known to his teammates, and very soon to all Kenyan runners, as an insatiable trainer.
    John Ngugi was the only exception. It may explain whey he was the only successful athlete Kenya had in the mid 80s. But he changed their mentality.

    Ethiopia were probably spurred by Kenya's success in 1988 and went to work on their own program in the late 80s.

    Now Sudan and Uganda are waking up as well. Many of these are nations where talented runners had no outlet for their talent.

    Eventually nations that have the potential to produce sprinters like Zimbabwe & Nigeria will wake up and leave people scratching their heads at their sudden rise much like some of the Carribean nations now.

    Western Europes downfall has much to do with the fact that their lifestyle has changed whereas other regions of the globe have started to wake up. Now European kids are interested in their X-box and their lap tops. Kids from poor countries now have more opportunities and are working harder and training the right way.

    The exact opposite was true in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. the Finns, Germans, Brits etc were working hard and smart incorporating scientific methods into their training.. Whereas Africans hardly participated in T&F and where they did, they trained half heartedly. Participation numbers are increasing but are still much lower than in the west. Organized T&F in Latin America, Asia and Africa exists only in a few pockets. I asked an Indian recently as we discussed the OG and he mentioned that India is often too hot for any streneous outdoor activities.

    Still the west has a huge advantage in terms of funding and the OG is becoming increasingly about which nation can pour money into their development programs.

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  • eldrick
    replied
    Originally posted by Madd Marine
    Do you think Viren might be just a bit faster on a Mondo track running against these guys?
    possibly not as much as we think

    iaaf have limits on how energy-efficient tracks are ( no more than 65% efficiency ) & these rules have been in place for a long time ( certainly before '91 when tokyo was found to be illegal track )

    we've seen some surprising performances on perceived "slow" tracks in past few years

    - mj running 19.85 on a wet, cold day in edinburgh

    - safa running 9.77wr in gateshead

    - kennster running 7'26 off far from ideal pacing in sheffield

    it's possible pacing & environmental conditions at the time are more important than any track conditions

    for distance runners these new tracks may provide more benefit after the race than during it - geb's feet were smashed up after '96 10k & coudn't run 5k - it's possible these tracks now woud have offered protection for his feet & allowed him to run the 5k after, rather than any huge speed improvement

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  • Madd Marine
    replied
    Originally posted by kamikaze7
    Madd Marine wrote
    Many people also point out the sudden surge in fast times by the Africans with certain individuals with apparently shady pasts and shadier character getting involved coincided with the arrival of EPO etc but that's for another thread or board.
    MM
    I am curious about this. If this is one of the reasons holding western European runners back, it ought to be discussed. Who are these shady runners using EPO ?
    I was remarking on the shady people behind some of the runners, but that's for another thread or PM's. I do think that their doping of some of their stable of runners back in the day helped hasten the European indifference toward distance running (the records were 'out there' quickly) and it's spiraled somewhat into a situation that now presents Africans running relatively unchallenged by others, so it isn't drugs per se today. As good as some of the runners you see today are, how do you think the finalists in the 800/1500 would have done against some of the greats from 20 - 25 years ago? Do you think Viren might be just a bit faster on a Mondo track running against these guys? Mottram is the only Euro type capable of sub 13? There isn't at least one guy in the US with the inborn talent to run as fast as Bob Kennedy? Alan Webb has talent, but is either a head case or his coach has absolutely no ability to prepare him for big races - or maybe it's both. But is he really the only guy in the US with the genetic make-up to run 1:43 in the 800 and 3:46 in the mile?

    I have to wonder how much is mental. I brought up boxing previously. For a few decades it was dominated by inner city blacks from the US, but in ten years it's changed so completely that the US media chooses to ignore it or present it in such a way as to make people think nothing has changed. But the fact is that from 150 lbs on down Hispanic fighters have completely taken over, and from 150 lbs on up the sport is dominated by Europeans, with E. Europeans dominating the heavyweight division. The whole point is that it was a very fast change. So despite the arrogance of some thinking that no area of sport can or will change from what you see today, I just shrug my shoulders and wait to see what will happen. Boxing may swing back to where it was before, distance running may become popular in Europe again, and you'll see runners out there giving the Africans a run for their money, who knows? Personally I agree with others I have spoken with who think that if the interest in the 800/1500 in the US and Europe rivaled that seen in Morocco etc. those distances would be dominated by Europeans. I think the Africans would still have a high percentage of the top runners in the 5/10 but they wouldn't be holding near 100% of the slots like they do now, maybe more like 70%.

    It's more of a lack of interest and low numbers of participants than drugs that have caused distance running in Europe to tail off, but I personally feel that drugs helped get the lack of interest going. The lack of interest in the sport is of course affecting other events. I hope this trend eventually reverses itself.

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  • lalala
    replied
    Don't stress TOO much about Mary Onyali...it was an ephedrine "3 month" positive in the days before the public warning system

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  • kamikaze7
    replied
    Madd Marine wrote
    Many people also point out the sudden surge in fast times by the Africans with certain individuals with apparently shady pasts and shadier character getting involved coincided with the arrival of EPO etc but that's for another thread or board.
    MM
    I am curious about this. If this is one of the reasons holding western European runners back, it ought to be discussed. Who are these shady runners using EPO ?

    Leave a comment:

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