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  • Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
    wHT, Vaasa:
    1. Silja Kosonen 73.43 (NR, WU20R)
    Lopen, that's kinda big news. Next time please put in large bolded red font, so we can properly appreciate it. I few 'wowzers' or 'kablams' would be appropriate as well.
    Sheesh, good PR reps are hard to get . . .

    Anyway . . . I am super-impressed.


    • A last-minute assessment of team Finland. The team is considerably more likely to bring home COVID than glory, accordingly I'm rating most athletes' chances on the usual scale of slim to none:

      Elmo Lakka (PB 13.31/'21) - chances: none

      Lakka caught lightning in a bottle on June 2 to break Arto Bryggare's old NR from '84; but apart from that his best time has been 13.49. Even if he were to have another perfect race in Tokyo, it wouldn't get him much.

      Topi Raitanen (PB 8:16.57/'20 - SB 8:19.57) - chances: slim

      I felt more optimistic about him last year than now; somehow he hasn't seemed quite as good, despite a few small PBs on flat distances. Still, he has a good kick and most of the field's pretty closely packed; if he gets a suitably slow heat he might make the final at least.

      Veli-Matti "Aku" Partanen (PB 3:44:43/'18) - chances: none
      Aleksi Ojala (PB 3:46:25/'16 - SB 3:48:25) - chances: none
      Jarkko Kinnunen (PB 3:46:25/'12 - SB 4:01:49) - chances: none

      I've been cautiously hopeful about some of them in the past but they never really delivered at a big meet; and all signs are that they're in worse shape now. Partanen is the most talented of them, but hasn't finished a championship 50K since 2015, and the expected hot weather won't do him any favours.

      Kristian Pulli (PB 827/'20 - SB 824i/798w/788) - chances: slim

      Pulli looked good last year and at the Euro indoors, but hasn't shown much this summer yet. Need to hope he has peaked right and will be at his best in Tokyo.

      Toni Kuusela (PB 85.03/'21) - chances: slim
      Lassi Etelätalo (PB 84.98/'14 - SB 82.84) - chances: slim
      Oliver Helander (PB 88.02/'18 - SB 80.82) - chances: slim

      I debated assessing this trio as having no chances whatsoever; but compared to how hopeless most of this team is, that would be pushing it. Kuusela has been the best of them this year, Etelätalo has a solid past record at big meets, and Helander is far from his pre-injury levels but has the talent to be a contender. Still, I'm expecting all three to go out in the qualifying.

      Lotta Kemppinen (PB 11.33/'21) - chances: none

      Kemppinen was on a nice upswing indoors and had a couple of good races early this summer; but her most recent races have been quite sluggish. Even if she's timed her peak right for Tokyo she'll still go out in the early rounds.

      Sara Kuivisto (PBs 2:00.75/'21 and 4:05.39/'21) - chances: none

      Kuivisto has dropped her times nicely this year; which might be just the super-shoe effect, but is still more than can be said of some others. She lacks the speed to make any impact in the 800. A suitably fast 1500 heat might allow her to break the NR there again; but compared to the rest of the field her only strength is her kick, so a slow pace would be much better for her chances of advancing from the heats.

      Annimari Korte (PB 12.72/'19 - SB 12.82w/12.91) - chances: none
      Nooralotta Neziri (PB 12.81/'16 - SB 13.11) - chances: none
      Reetta Hurske (PB 12.78/'19 - SB 12.88w/12.96) - chances: none

      None of them would be contenders even if they were in their best shape, which they're not. Neziri looked good indoors, but has suffered from back problems since and been limited to only one outdoor race; so her current form is largely unknown.

      Viivi Lehikoinen (PB 55.42/'21) - chances: none

      A former age-group star who's dropped her PB by a second this summer after several years of regression. While the unexpected improvement has been very nice to see, it still only got her a 4th place at the Euro U23s, and will be even less useful in Tokyo.

      Camilla Richardsson (PB 9:35.27/'19 - SB 10:14.30) - chances: none

      Nuff said.

      Ella Junnila (PB 196i/'21 - SB 196i/190) - chances: slim

      Junnila won bronze with a new NR at the Euro Indoors but hasn't been quite as good outdoors yet, and changed her coach about a month ago. If she's at her best in Tokyo she might make some dent, but that's a pretty big if.

      Wilma Murto (PB 471i/'16 - SB 462) - chances: slim
      Elina Lampela (PB 453/'21) - chances: none

      Lampela has been in career-best form this year; and arguably Murto too, at least as far as the outdoors go. Murto could be a finalist if she's at her best in Tokyo.

      Senni Salminen (PB 14.62/'21) - chances: some
      Kristiina Mäkelä (PB 14.41/'21) - chances: slim

      Our best event this year! Salminen has improved a lot in the last twelve months; and Mäkelä has long been a solid performer in big-meet qualifying rounds. Would be nice to see them both in the final, and it seems like an entirely realistic prospect.

      Silja Kosonen (PB 73.43/'21) - chances: slim
      Krista Tervo (PB 72.92/'21) - chances: slim

      Kosonen, who broke the WJR a month ago, is obviously a huge talent, even if her improvement this year hasn't been as rapid as in the past. She's unlikely to make much of an impact at this level yet, though; and the same goes for previous NR holder Tervo. Either of them could sneak into the final if they're at their best in the qualifying, but I don't think it's particularly likely.

      Maria Huntington (PB 6339/'19 - SB 6318) - chances: slim

      Huntington seems to be in okay form, and could fight for a reasonable placing; her track record in championship meets has been on the bad side, but isn't so long as to make me think she cannot amend that. The NR (6404 by Satu Ruotsalainen) is within reach but would require a spotless two days.
      Last edited by LopenUupunut; 07-29-2021, 12:28 PM. Reason: wrong time


      • Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
        A last-minute assessment of team Finland.

        men's Javelin Throw:
        Toni Kuusela - chances: slim
        Lassi Etelätalo - chances: slim
        Oliver Helander - chances: slim.
        That ain't right!!


        • Although Finland scored no medals, compared to expectations this was a pretty good Olympics. Wilma Murto's =5th in the wPV was the best placing for a Finnish woman in the 2000s; and Lassi Etelätalo and Topi Raitanen both also finished in the points. Raitanen benefited from a slow early pace in both the heats and the final.

          Aku Partanen, Kristian Pulli and Kristiina Mäkelä all also finished in the top 12; but Sara Kuivisto's four NRs were the biggest overperformance. She broke the NR in the 800 heats, 800 semis, 1500 heats and 1500 semis, and came close to making the final in both events! In the process, she became the first Finn under 2 minutes in the w800. Amazingly, she still wasn't the top Finn in the 1500; that was Kristiina Mäki (unfortunately competing for the Czechs internationally), who took five seconds off her PB to break the Czech NR and grab a spot in the final.

          Apart from Krista Tervo's NM in the hammer qualifying, no one really underperformed.


          • Finland somehow placed 2nd (!) on the medal table at the World U20s in Nairobi, with gold for Silja Kosonen in the wHT, Saga Vanninen in the wHep, Janne Läspä in the mJT and Heidi Salminen in the w400H, and silver for Juho Alasaari in the mPV. I think this is the first time we've finished 2nd in the medal table at any meet this size since the 1930s, though obviously the absence of the United States helped there.

            Kosonen and Vanninen were the U20 world leaders and would have been the favorites in any field. The other medals weren't as expected, but had more to do with performing well at the right time than with depleted fields; Läspä (only 6th at the Euro U20s in Tallinn earlier this year!) and Alasaari (4th at the Euro U20s) both finished ahead of the Tallinn champions here. Salminen did benefit from the absence of some dangerous rivals, but also took a huge chunk off her PB for the most unexpected Finnish gold in a long time.

            I hope they'll keep this up...


            • Highlights from the NCs (Kalevan kisat) at Tampere:

              1. Wilma Murto 472 NR
              2. Elina Lampela 451

              Great jumping by both. Not a surprise at this point, Murto looked really good at her last couple meets; but still nice to see the big jump actually happen. Respectable attempts at 480 too.

              1. Oliver Helander 86.13 SB
              2. Lassi Etelätalo 83.05
              3. Toni Kuusela 82.15

              There was a huge upset in the men's LJ, with 16-year-old Kasperi Vehmaa taking the gold with a 749 PB ahead of struggling favorites Kalle Salminen and Kristian Bäck. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 46-year-old Frantz Kruger won the men's discus by more than five meters...

              Full results here.