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What it means to be world class runner

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  • What it means to be world class runner

    I have read some peoples coments, saying that Galen Rupp is not a world class runner.Being a world class runner is not just about how fast you run,but how well you do against other world class runners.Although he did not medal,Galen made it to the olympic finals,while beating out other runners to get there.Then someone said that German wasnt a world class runner,even though he ran a 3:55 indoors which equals a 3:51 outdoors.Also a note is when German ran that time,the second place time was 4:05

  • #2
    The 10,000 is a 'final only' race, so making the final is not definitive by itself. What makes the performance worthy is the race itself, which was quite fast for the conditions.

    The 3:55 indoors might be worth a 3:51 if it were done on some old, small indoor venue, but the differential is not nearly that large on the track he ran it on. Good but not great; on the other hand it was a world junior best.

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    • #3
      There are many definitions of "world class." A few possibilities:

      a. anyone much better than I [i.e., the speaker] ever was

      b. anyone who makes the world's top 50 for the year in their event

      c. any athlete that could conceivably make the Olympic (or World Championship) final in their event (which is very roughly equal to "b" above)

      By any of these definitions, Rupp is solid-gold, blue-chip, world class, no question.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kuha
        There are many definitions of "world class." A few possibilities:
        c. any athlete that could conceivably make the Olympic (or World Championship) final in their event (which is very roughly equal to "b" above)
        That's closest to what I think - if you make T&FN's top-50 world list, you may consider yourself world-class. If you make the US list, you are national-class. If you score at the NCAAs, you are 'All-American', at least to me (does the NCAA still have that appellation?). If you make it into the HS Annual, you are also crème de la crème to me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kuha
          There are many definitions of "world class." A few possibilities:

          ....

          b. anyone who makes the world's top 50 for the year in their event

          c. any athlete that could conceivably make the Olympic (or World Championship) final in their event (which is very roughly equal to "b" above)

          By any of these definitions, Rupp is solid-gold, blue-chip, world class, no question.

          absolutely right, Rupp is obviously world class. I propose any definition close to b above works though top 100 works better for me. I would suggest that c. is not a good standard, there are strata that are beyond "world class" and the finalists at the olympics are more accurately "world elite".

          so for the 10k the USA viewer would look at it like this:

          world elite == Kenyan national caliber
          world class
          national caliber
          ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by paulthefan
            I would suggest that c. is not a good standard, there are strata that are beyond "world class" and the finalists at the olympics are more accurately "world elite".
            Not disagreeing with your primary point, but my emphasis was on "could conceivably make..." not "has already made..." or "could be expected to make..." a championship final. There's no question that, on a perfect day, the 30th or 40th "best" has the potential to qualify for a championship final...

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