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Justin Gatlin second leg?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by JumboElliott View Post
    I would argue that Bolt is best on the third leg because he's the best curve runner in the world.
    But he's also the best straight runner in the world.

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    • #32
      Gatlin is the best second leg in history, imo. His reading skills and baton acumen in receiving AND passing are unmatched, when weighing the body of work.
      He doesn't miss reads. He doesn't miss passes, even when his outgoing partner fails to move deeply into the pass zone.
      Because of his highly evolved baton skills, gatlin can run anywhere, including 4th. however, if you take Gatlin out of 2, you lose two exchanges for one, and leave the middle exposed (NOT a good trade-off).
      Tactically, never underestimate the distracting stress that early "pressure" applies on other teams (requiring just a bit more poise on the part of rival teams) . The way to distract other teams is to apply pressure from the front. Often, the competition fails to execute as well when pressure is applied early, continuously and often. Aggression, aggression, aggression.

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      • #33
        nice analysis of the realities of relay racing!

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        • #34
          I agree with houstonian. Perhaps Gatlin's best job was done in the 2004 Olympic final when Coby Miller ran on the outside of the lane instead of the inside, forcing Gatlin to make an awkward pass across his body. With lesser runners, Miller's screw-up might have lead to a DQ or a DNF, but because Gatlin kept his cool, the U.S. was able to salvage a silver medal out of it.

          On the other hand, there is Usain Bolt's 2007 World Championship performance which was an absolute mess. There's no doubt in my mind that he cost Jamaica the gold medal in that race.

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          • #35
            oops, i forgot to add, Gatlin is ALSO left handed! (As if he needed any more advantages to the necessary execution of running the 2 spot on a relay).

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            • #36
              I didn't know that about Gatlin but it's not surprising. I agree with you 100% about putting left-handers on the 2nd leg.

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