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Bobby Smith - the Forgotten Champion

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  • Bobby Smith - the Forgotten Champion

    Good article about him linked on the home page. As I sat in the stands last month, I saw the story developing and tried to explain to those around me that here was a Champion who would not go to the Games, but other athletes behind him, including a guy who didn't even make the finals, would. I still think that's a little messed up.

  • #2
    Sorry, he had two years in which to get an A-level qualifier and didn't.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by gh
      Sorry, he had two years in which to get an A-level qualifier and didn't.
      Yeah, I totally get that and I, as the Marks Snob, should be able to accept that, but . . . when the chips were down, and everyone had to play on a level playing field (and yes, winds DO affect the Jav's flight), HE was the guy that proved he was the best. Now, maybe he's just the best at throwing INTO the wind, and on a primo day, five guys woulda thrown past him, but if the Trials are billed as a '3-past-the-post' life-and-death competition, part of me says, if the winner has a B, he goes. I know what USATF's goal is and support the 'send-the-most-you-can' theory, but still . . . obviously I'm conflicted here, and before the Trials I would have thought one way, but seeing him win, and seeing the joy of victory turn to ashes in his mouth as it dawned on him that three other guys, that he beat, are going, contradicts the spirit of the Trials themselves. Maybe I'm out here in right field all by myself, but it just struck me as . . . 'wrong'.

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      • #4
        It seems to me that, many years ago, the javelin throwers WANTED a headwind, because it held the javelin up longer. Was it the change in the javelin, the center of gravity moving forward, that changed that?

        In any case, it hardly seems likely that the wind cost him 19 feet, preventing him from getting an A mark on the last day.

        As Garry says, he had two $&&E$&^*^% years to get a Q.
        Cheers,
        Alan Shank

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        • #5
          The wind paradigm reversed with the new javelin, yes.

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          • #6
            Seems fair to clarify here that Smith didn't really bemoan the situation and took pride in his achievement of being National Champion, despite not going to the Games.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alan Shank
              he had two $&&E$&^*^% years to get a Q.
              What about the guy (which I presume Smith is) who finally just gets his conditioning and technique together at the right time and 'proves' his merit at the OT, but conditions are such that all performances are down? It's called peaking and Smith did it at exactly the right time. Does anyone really think his throws would not have gone 20' further that day with a good or neutral wind? (Sincere question - I don't know enough about the JT aerodynamics to answer it.) I was there and it sure looked like ALL throws were being knocked down substantially. To be fair to all, Smith, more than anyone one else, threw 'under' the wind more, with a lower trajectory (but couldn't they all figure that out?).

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              • #8
                It's "unfair" however you do it.

                Was it better to leave just Bobby Smith home, or instead to leave the trio of Mike Hazle, Leigh Smith and Breaux Greer home? (ok, ignore the Greer jokes)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gh
                  It's "unfair" however you do it.
                  Was it better to leave just Bobby Smith home, or instead to leave the trio of Mike Hazle, Leigh Smith and Breaux Greer home? (ok, ignore the Greer jokes)
                  Leaving Hazle, Smith and Greer home is 'fair' because ALL of the OT athletes are subject to the 'brutality' of our system. Did we not have a B-only winner goes, just a few years ago?

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