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US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

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  • US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

    I don't want to get into a political discussuion, this is only hypothetical.
    But could any of you imagine a 68' 4X100 meter relay team of Charles Green lead-off, (He ran a good curve to be considered an exclusive 100 meter man), Ronnie Ray Smith second leg (A 9.9 sprinter running second leg is always nice to have) John Carlos third (If anyone saw the curve he ran in the 200 final in 68' Olympic final they would understand why, and Jim Ray Hines anchor, he had a very strong close.
    Side note: No offense to Mel Pender, he was a dynamite 100 man, with arguably the best start in the world at that time, but Greens curve
    coupled with R. Smith's finish would take precedent over Pender's strength's.

    Secondly, if Tommie Smith would have been allowed to run in the 4X400 meter relay. L. Evans lead-off, R. Freeman 2nd, L . James 3rd and T. Smith anchor. I may stir up an argument ot two hear, but IMO, that team would still own the world record in this year of 2003. Because if anyone witnessed that race. Evans was so far ahead, that he didn't run as hard as he could have, and if he would have led-off he would have been challenged a little more (Asati, Kenya 44.8 lead-off split), couple that with the facttha Smith would have tore it up all the way around the track. Smith ran a 43.8 split in the 67' Pan Am Games without being pushed. I venture to say that team would have flirted with a 2:54:00 or better.
    Peace
    JP

  • #2
    Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

    I agree with your views on both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays for Men in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.
    But if Smith and Carlos had been allowed to stay at the 1968 OG, despite their protest, I would of loved to see Smith and Carlos on the 4x100m together.
    Carlos nearly always led coming out of the turn in a 200m race, so I'd stick him on the 1st leg
    and everybody knows about Tommie's 'Tommie-Jets' in the home straight of a 200m and a 400m race.
    Where he'd just explode ooff of the turn, and eat up the track beneath him.
    However it would cause a headache deciding whether to put him or 2nd or Anchor leg(4th).
    He could hold top speed for quite some time, and would be suited for the 2nd leg, as it's the longest leg,and as the other guys were tire-ing, he would reach top speed and cruise past everyone. And if you put Tommie on the Anchor he run a steady bend, and about 40-50m down the home staright he would just explode and carry the baton home in front.
    Which leg to choose???

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

      2 issues here:

      1. Smith and Carlos being sent home is a moot point. Neither one was slated to run on either relay team.

      2. It is a long way from 2:56.16 to 2:54.20, 1.96 seconds to be precise. I do not have the 4 splits in front of me that Evans, Freeman, James, and Matthews ran, but the argument that Tommie Smith running instead of presumably Freeman or Matthews, plus Lee Evans trying harder and running faster if was not alone on the anchor, would have been a 1.96 second difference, just does not hold up, IMHO. Smith on the anchor would have the same disincentive that Evans had, and do you realize how much track gets eaten up in 1.96 seconds in a 2:56 1600m relay ? At a 44 second pace, that's 17.8 meters, almost 20 yards ! No way.

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      • #4
        Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

        >2 issues here:

        1. Smith and Carlos being sent
        >home is a moot point. Neither one was slated to
        >run on either relay team.>>


        That was my first reaction too, but being cautious I looked at the T&FN Oly Preview. Carlos was first alternate in the 4x1 (Questad the second), Smith the first in the 4x4. I find no clue as to whether or not they were actually in line to take one of the spots at the Games, but they were definitely at least in the queue.

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        • #5
          Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

          thanks, Gary, I did not know/remember that either of them were alternates. But what I do remember is that when the whole fracas of their ouster took place, there never was any mention whatsoever about any impact upon either relay team.

          And I still want someone to convince me that Tommie Smith would have benn 19 1/2 yards faster than Ron Freeman or Vince Matthews.

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          • #6
            Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

            and 2 more quickies:

            Garry, I left an r out, sorry.

            Back then I do not believe, actually I am almost positive, that you could not substitute runners in the relay heats. The 4 you run the first heat with, that's it going onward. So the selected 4 in each relay, I think, were very solid.

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            • #7
              Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

              Youre right however, it would have taken until 1993 to break their record. Matthews led-of with a 45:0/ Freeman 43:2/ James 43:7 and Evans 44.1.
              I believe Evans may have been capable of at least a 44.2 lead-off leg with Robrert Asati of Kenya giving him a little push. Then if Freeman and James stay consistent Tommie Smith at anchor, its around 2:54:80! In the Mexico City altitude, Smith may have ran at least a 43.5 split.
              44.2
              43.2
              43.9
              43.5 = 2.54.8!
              More food for thought, if Danny Everett doesn't pull up lame or MJ doesnt get food poisoning in Barcelona in 92 then how fast?
              Peace
              JP

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                There's always one issue in these things: after the first leg, any record-setting relay is engaged in a time trial as there is no one near them. Running 43.5 is difficult under any circumstances, but if it's not "necessary" it could be even harder.

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                • #9
                  Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                  well, we are all having fun with all this conjecturing, and that's good enough for me !

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                  • #10
                    Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                    Please put an astericks next to all those splits...they were at altitude!

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                    • #11
                      Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                      Tommy Smith actually was on a world record 1600 relay team in 1966. Looking at the T&FN rankings for that year, I believe it was Bob Frey, Theron Lewis, Lee Evans, and Smith. I think Smith ran maybe a 44.5. This must have been at the USA British Commonwealth Meet. I'm trying to find the time...might have been the first under 3:00.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                        Yes, the first-ever sub-3:00, 2:59.6. Smith ran 43.8 on the third leg. It was the fastest split ever, and maybe the first sub-44.

                        Will have to research that, as well as the first sub-45, which I believe was also a third-leg carry, a 44.6 by Herb McKenley in the '52 Olympics.

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                        • #13
                          Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                          If Smith had run in the 4*400 it's likely he would have replaced Matthews. Smith (on his 19.83WR form earlier in the week would have run 43.6 on the opening leg - altitude aids by 0.6 or 0.7, and he ran 44.5 in 1967 and was in peak form in October 68 allowing another 0.3, thus 43.6), with Freeman and James running 43.2 and 43.9, with Evans running 43.4 on the anchor at full tilt - not 2:54.0....but 2:54.1

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                          • #14
                            Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                            >There's always one issue in these things: after
                            >the first leg, any record-setting relay is
                            >engaged in a time trial as there is no one near
                            >them. Running 43.5 is difficult under any
                            >circumstances, but if it's not "necessary" it
                            >could be even harder.>>

                            Always remember not to use the word always. In the '52 Olympic race alluded to above, the WR was 3:08.2 when the race began. Germany ran 3:06.6 and got 3rd.

                            In what still rates as perhaps the greatest 4x4 ever, Jamaica beats U.S. for gold, 3:03.9 to 3:04.0 with the the 400 gold medalist (Rhoden) holding off the 800 gold medalist (Whitfield).

                            Jamaica was down by 0.1 after the first leg and by a monstrous 1.6 after two legs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: US Olympic Relay Teams in 68

                              Thanks for the info on the 1952 OLY FInals. Jamaica has always had the horses.

                              Comment

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