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  • Battle to break records becoming a finite business

    is the title of an article linked on the home-page. To my mind, it's another case of someone looking at the obvious and still coming up with the wrong conclusion.

    One of the things that hooked me on T&F in the late 60s and early 70s was the spate of WRs. They came with regularity, and then once the PEDs really got going in the mid-70s, it accelerated (pun!). It has slowed to a trickle this decade, especially in the field events, and yet this year had a healthy number, thanks, in part, to it being an Oly year. The year after the OG is always slow, but then the WCup year allows elites to forgo the full commitment to peaking, so they have more opportunities to go for a great mark, and then the year before the next OG is decent, because it is a WC year again, and the elites are looking to establish a high base.

    I'd like to see the stats on how many WRs (only in OG events) there have been every year since, say, 1960, but I think we have flattened the curve at a viable number per year, so that there's still that excitement every year. The fully Professional Era has created a steady influx of talent, and I believe that we will soon eclipse the 'Heavy (Systemic) PED' era (not that there aren't still plenty of PED-users out there) and we can regain a slow, but steady climb again. New PEDs will ensure that the WRs are always out there, but if we can accept the fact that the two greatest athletes (BIG WR-setters - Phelps and Bolt) in the Games this year were clean, ANYTHING is possible.

    That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

  • #2
    OK, but I don't see the need to bring up Phelps. He's setting "swimming records", the woods are full of them. Was it 80 last year?

    Bolt stands alone!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Per Andersen
      OK, but I don't see the need to bring up Phelps. He's setting "swimming records", the woods are full of them. Was it 80 last year?
      Bolt stands alone!
      My point was that Phelps is the greatest swimmer who ever lived and he did it in 2008 and he did it clean. Most people assume you MUST be on PEDs to be the GOAT nowadays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Marlow
        My point was that Phelps is the greatest swimmer who ever lived and he did it in 2008 and he did it clean.
        How can you come to this conclusion about anyone?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Marlow
          Originally posted by Per Andersen
          OK, but I don't see the need to bring up Phelps. He's setting "swimming records", the woods are full of them. Was it 80 last year?
          Bolt stands alone!
          My point was that Phelps is the greatest swimmer who ever lived and he did it in 2008 and he did it clean. Most people assume you MUST be on PEDs to be the GOAT nowadays.
          Per does have a point as well, because there have actually been more than 100 World Records in swimming in 2008 alone. There are even critics who call the revolutionary new Speedo swimsuits a kind of 'technical doping'. Here are two articles about it with passing references to track & field: Swimming's record farce (Chicago Tribune) and Swimming's credibility crisis.
          There are so many critics of the controversial swimsuits that pressured the Swimming federation that they have finally decided today to reconsider the rules and regulations concerning this. Although I don't doubt that Phelps is a great swimmer, there have been so many different & considerably less talented swimmers out there who have also been easily breaking WR's this year, that you do have to question their worth. So for now it's probably better not to compare World Records in swimming with World Records in track & field at all.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KevinM
            Originally posted by Marlow
            My point was that Phelps is the greatest swimmer who ever lived and he did it in 2008 and he did it clean.
            How can you come to this conclusion about anyone?
            at some stage, you have to take the evidence of 8y of -ve tests as indicating a clean athlete

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Figaro
              Although I don't doubt that Phelps is a great swimmer, there have been so many different & considerably less talented swimmers out there who have also been easily breaking WR's this year
              tell that to the dismal katie hoff, who appears to be the one swimmer on the planet who coud get virtually nothing out of the speedo !

              getting crushed in wrs to swimmers like addlington & rice who were no-hopers last year - bereft is not the word...

              Comment


              • #8
                The only wrong conclusion that I see is the author's opinion about swimming.
                The progress there is for a very large part pure cosmetic.
                Revolutionized swimming suits, strong enhanced floating ability.
                The same effects we saw in the past in speed skating (high altitude, indoor rinks, clap skate, ice-preparing). In athletics we once saw the introduction of the Fosbury Flop, fiberglass pole vault etc.

                If the Beijing men's performances (100m, 200m and 4x100m excluded) are compared with the actual WR, there's a staggering (setback) difference of 3,5%. Which in top sports is a truly huge margin.

                So it's obvious that breaking records is becoming a finite business.
                Not unless revolutionary new methods, new materials are invented.

                But with such a scenario in mind f.e. the 100m limit recently "set" on 9,48s
                can go under 9 or even 8 seconds. Just look at the glimpse of the (remote) future the human blade runner gave us as we saw him in action during the Beijing paralympics.

                But as long as we compare human beings as they are now living there can be only one conclusion, yes the obvious.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Battle to break records becoming a finite business

                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  is the title of an article linked on the home-page.

                  The fully Professional Era has created a steady influx of talent, and I believe that we will soon eclipse the 'Heavy (Systemic) PED' era (not that there aren't still plenty of PED-users out there) and we can regain a slow, but steady climb again. New PEDs will ensure that the WRs are always out there, but if we can accept the fact that the two greatest athletes (BIG WR-setters - Phelps and Bolt) in the Games this year were clean, ANYTHING is possible.

                  That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
                  Even, if we accept for the sake of argument, that Phelps and Bolt are clean for certain, it still doesn't mean that ANYTHING would be possible.
                  In historical perspectiv Phelps and Bolt are "random" figures, not being a part of a broader movement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eldrick
                    getting crushed in wrs to swimmers like addlington & rice who were no-hopers last year - bereft is not the word...
                    Such a great knowledge of swimming there - Adlington (at least get her name right!) was ranked 6th in the world last year, just 7 seconds slower than world number 1 Katie Ziegler and less than 3 seconds slower than your quoted Katie Hoff

                    Hardly what I'd call a no-hoper... :shock:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frans Rutten
                      The only wrong conclusion that I see is the author's opinion about swimming.
                      The progress there is for a very large part pure cosmetic.
                      Revolutionized swimming suits, strong enhanced floating ability.
                      The same effects we saw in the past in speed skating (high altitude, indoor rinks, clap skate, ice-preparing). In athletics we once saw the introduction of the Fosbury Flop, fiberglass pole vault etc.

                      If the Beijing men's performances (100m, 200m and 4x100m excluded) are compared with the actual WR, there's a staggering (setback) difference of 3,5%. Which in top sports is a truly huge margin.

                      So it's obvious that breaking records is becoming a finite business.
                      Not unless revolutionary new methods, new materials are invented.

                      But with such a scenario in mind f.e. the 100m limit recently "set" on 9,48s
                      can go under 9 or even 8 seconds. Just look at the glimpse of the (remote) future the human blade runner gave us as we saw him in action during the Beijing paralympics.

                      But as long as we compare human beings as they are now living there can be only one conclusion, yes the obvious.
                      I was enjoying this post until <But with such a scenario in mind f.e. the 100m limit recently "set" on 9,48s
                      can go under 9 or even 8 seconds. Just look at the glimpse of the (remote) future the human blade runner gave us as we saw him in action during the Beijing paralympics.>

                      Where in the world do you get these numbers? In the event, where 1/100th improvements are in general in short supply, there is a 1.7 sec jump all of a sudden. Amazing.
                      "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                      by Thomas Henry Huxley

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jjimbojames
                        Originally posted by eldrick
                        getting crushed in wrs to swimmers like addlington & rice who were no-hopers last year - bereft is not the word...
                        Such a great knowledge of swimming there - Adlington (at least get her name right!) was ranked 6th in the world last year, just 7 seconds slower than world number 1 Katie Ziegler and less than 3 seconds slower than your quoted Katie Hoff

                        Hardly what I'd call a no-hoper... :shock:
                        i see you know shit about swimming

                        6th in world & mid-8'20s is no-hoper - find me one cognescent swim fan who woud give an 8'25 gal a year before og a ghost of a chance of gold the next year in this day & age

                        put in athletics terms : who woud give a guy who finished 6th in osaka in say 10.05 a chance of gold in peking ?

                        knowledgeable fans expected ziegler to go 8'15 & hoff a 8'17 this year after melbourne ( no 1% improvement from speedo included ) with expected improvement in og year

                        with full get-out-of-the speedo hoff shouda gone 8'10 at worst & a 3'59, but it seems she coudn't adapt her breathing to the constricted nature of the suit over tail-end of a race

                        zeigler was just plain rubbish

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nice try, Eldy - but do some research first, mate. I'll be honest, mine is only from watching hours of swimming, but that seems to suffice for this purpose...

                          Adlington is the youngster, and as such, had much greater room for improvement year-on-year. In fact, people in the know were surprised she didn't do more last year - so coming from a (slightly) slower base than Hoff et al gave her a chance to improve -percentage-wise (seeing as you love a bit of numbers) - more than the others

                          Again, it's not just about numbers though, but dealing with pressure, surroundings etc. Adlington was too young/immature - take your pick - to deal with it last year, but is clearly a much better competitor this year, and had been quoted as saying she is much more confident this time round.

                          With that in mind, myself and plenty of other swimming fans had high hopes for Adlington - and she delivered

                          To bring this back to Athletics, as this is what this board is really all about - your argument sounds like the one when people were 'amazed' at Bolt's early-season 100ms - but all evidence suggested he was most definitely a better sprinter than his pre-08 PBs suggested

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Battle to break records becoming a finite business

                            Originally posted by Frans Rutten
                            In historical perspectiv Phelps and Bolt are "random" figures, not being a part of a broader movement.
                            Say what?! They are no more random figures than Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes, Carl Lewis, Mo Green, Michael Johnson, Seb Coe . . . OK, it's futile for me to even BEGIN this list, because there are literally 100s of outliers who are not part of a 'broader movement'. And yet we keep progressing and the erstwhile outliers are eventually absorbed into the 'movement'.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jjimbojames
                              Nice try, Eldy - but do some research first, mate. I'll be honest, mine is only from watching hours of swimming, but that seems to suffice for this purpose...
                              & mine's from watching it since montgomery went 49.99

                              addy appeared little more than follower in footsteps of hardcastle & cook - a sniff of bronze once in her career at best

                              Adlington is the youngster, and as such, had much greater room for improvement year-on-year. In fact, people in the know were surprised she didn't do more last year - so coming from a (slightly) slower base than Hoff et al gave her a chance to improve -percentage-wise (seeing as you love a bit of numbers) - more than the others
                              hoff was no chopped liver herself !

                              younger than addy & far better clockings coming into this year !

                              screw % age improvements !

                              faster & younger means better shot !

                              addy quoted as disappointed with last year's 800m, but a jack-up from 6th to 5th or even 4th then wouda been no great shakes - ziegler/hoff were miles ahead - it looked a battle between them & laure for gold in 800m peking after melbourne

                              as for 400m, addy at the time had a clocking that sherlock wouda struggled to find - a pathetic 4'09 which ranked her 17th - all the prayers in the world doesn't take you to gold 1y later off that crap

                              Again, it's not just about numbers though, but dealing with pressure, surroundings etc. Adlington was too young/immature - take your pick - to deal with it last year, but is clearly a much better competitor this year, and had been quoted as saying she is much more confident this time round.
                              err...

                              hoff is younger & won double individual gold in montreal at barely 16 !!!

                              & repeated it for good measure in melbourne !

                              she's never had to show no-one how she handled pressure !

                              With that in mind, myself and plenty of other swimming fans had high hopes for Adlington - and she delivered
                              few/none outside sceptered isle based on hard facts/numbers coming into '08

                              no one on usswimming forums gave her a hope last year & we had dozens+ of topics on it all of '07 post-melbourne

                              To bring this back to Athletics, as this is what this board is really all about - your argument sounds like the one when people were 'amazed' at Bolt's early-season 100ms - but all evidence suggested he was most definitely a better sprinter than his pre-08 PBs suggested
                              no

                              i've been saying for years, that the 1/2*200 time needs to be considered possible for 200 guys dropping down to 100 :

                              - when wally ran 19.65 - i said at the time that means he shoud be a <<10 guy when his best at time was 10.2++ - he somewhat delivered with a 9.96 at end of last year

                              - tyson running 19.96 into a hurricane in waf final of '05 - easily worth a low-19.8 then - get a good start & he shouda been low-9.9 then instead of poor 10.05pb

                              he delivered - he smashed that down to 9.88 in 1 go !!!

                              - bolt & 19.75 & 19.8s since ?'05 - a low-9.9 guy in wolf's clothing since '05 if he bothered running a few & by last year down to high-9.8

                              this year is mild surprise when he opened with 9.76 ( big legal wind ), but he apparently trained a helluva lot more dedicated this year

                              here is a non-nostradamus prediction for next year :

                              walt ran 19.69 in '07 but injury buggered him this year despite bronze - fit next year as he wasn't this year :

                              <9.85 easy

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