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  • #16
    Originally posted by user4 View Post
    We had Billy Mills, Jim Ryun and Pre all within 10 years..your generation was spoiled !!!
    Don't forget Frank Shorter!

    I was born in 1954, and Pre was definitely one of my heroes. I remember coming back from my Youngster Cruise (between frosh & sophomore year at the Naval Academy), and finding out Pre had been to Annapolis and run a workout with our top runner. I was so envious! Of course, no way I could have kept up with them in the workout.
    Last edited by bobguild76; 01-28-2021, 07:31 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by DoubleRBar View Post
      Good analysis, user4. I was in Munich for the 1972 Olympics and I agree with your thoughts. Pre did run too wide for too long and wasted a lot of energy doing that. In the final 800, he made two major sprint moves, I believe, too far from the finish line (one about 600 to go). I also believe he could have taken that bronze medal had he run a smarter race. As it was, he "died" with about 150 to go and did not have his usual strong finish. He left that strong finish on the opposite side of the track with about 600 meters to the finish line.
      He really did, but he also took quite a bit out of that finish on the previous 5 laps. Its really is just awful to watch, even to this day. I watch it and it is just painful to see such a rookie mistake. I am now of the opinion that he could have won that race. Yes he would have had to execute perfectly, but Viren had to execute perfectly to win as well.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by bobguild76 View Post

        Don't forget Frank Shorter!

        I was born in 1954, and Pre was definitely one of my heroes. I remember coming back from my Youngster Cruise (between frosh & sophomore year at the Naval Academy), and finding out Pre had been to Annapolis and run a workout with our top runner. I was so envious! Of course, no way I could have kept up with them ion the workout.
        If I recall correctly, there was an advertisement in Track & Field News around 1974 for a cassette tape of a talk that Steve gave at the Naval Academy. Must have been from the same visit.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by user4 View Post

          He really did, but he also took quite a bit out of that finish on the previous 5 laps. Its really is just awful to watch, even to this day. I watch it and it is just painful to see such a rookie mistake. I am now of the opinion that he could have won that race. Yes he would have had to execute perfectly, but Viren had to execute perfectly to win as well.
          Viren was a master at controlling a race. He beat guys at both distances in both years (5000 72 and 76 and 10,000 in 72) who would be considered better kickers than he. I don't think Pre had a chance to win no matter what he did in '72 but he could have medaled.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by user4 View Post

            He really did, but he also took quite a bit out of that finish on the previous 5 laps. Its really is just awful to watch, even to this day. I watch it and it is just painful to see such a rookie mistake. I am now of the opinion that he could have won that race. Yes he would have had to execute perfectly, but Viren had to execute perfectly to win as well.
            I have just watched the race again. There was no way Pre was ever going to beat Gammoudi or Viren. At all times those two easily and comfortably covered every attempted breakout by Pre and anyone else.

            Stewart, maybe could have done better. And looking at the speed of Stewart's finish I believe it was Stewart who messed up by not going with them when Pre tried to take it out with 300m to go.

            Viren had to execute perfectly. Disagree. Viren falking in the 10,000, losing 50 metres and getting back to win easily confirmed he was operating at a different level than the others. He never looked like losing in thr 5,000.

            Disappointingly, Pre got the placing he deserved in terms of his fitness and ability. He had the guts to try to win by starting a drive at 600m to go but Viren and Gammoudi covered that very easily.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Tuariki View Post
              I have just watched the race again. There was no way Pre was ever going to beat Gammoudi or Viren. At all times those two easily and comfortably covered every attempted breakout by Pre and anyone else.
              ...
              Disappointingly, Pre got the placing he deserved in terms of his fitness and ability. He had the guts to try to win by starting a drive at 600m to go but Viren and Gammoudi covered that very easily.
              Just to be clear, I try to take account of the costs that Pre incurred by running wide almost the entire race while Viren was relaxing on the rail. As I take account of that my eyes come up with more than a few yards extra. Perhaps Viren was a bridge too far for Pre, as we will never know how much more oxygen Viren had in the tank, he only had to use what he needed to win. But there can be no doubt that had Pre simply relaxed on the rail for the first 4400m he would have had much more to give in that final 600m. I think hubris did him in, we was running like a riverboat gambler. What he did for the 90% of the race defies reason.
              Last edited by user4; 01-28-2021, 01:25 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Tuariki View Post

                I have just watched the race again. There was no way Pre was ever going to beat Gammoudi or Viren. At all times those two easily and comfortably covered every attempted breakout by Pre and anyone else.

                Stewart, maybe could have done better. And looking at the speed of Stewart's finish I believe it was Stewart who messed up by not going with them when Pre tried to take it out with 300m to go.
                Stewart has said something along the lines that it was the worst race he ever ran and I've always assumed he meant tactically.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by user4 View Post

                  Just to be clear, I try to take account of the costs that Pre incurred by running wide almost the entire race while Viren was relaxing on the rail. As I take account of that my eyes come up with more than a few yards extra. Perhaps Viren was a bridge too far for Pre, as we will never know how much more oxygen Viren had in the tank, he only had to use what he needed to win. But there can be no doubt that had Pre simply relaxed on the rail for the first 4400m he would have had much more to give in that final 600m. I think hubris did him in, we was running like a riverboat gambler. What he did for the 90% of the race defies reason.
                  Nothing Prefontaine had done up to that point or did after for that matter would indicate he could beat Viren or, likely, Gammoudi.

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                  • #24
                    Good points. I don't think Prefontaine was considered a favorite outside the USA. I think his record was 13.22 and he improved it only to 13.21. Viren, on the other hand, ran 13.16 WR after the Olympics and Puttemans 13.13 after Viren. Perhaps Stewart and Puttemans were the two that made the greatest tactical errors.

                    Incidentally, there were several more under 13.20 runners in Montreal: Quax, Dixon, Hildebrand, Foster. It seems improbable that Prefontaine could have improved his 4th-place finish there. He seems to be considered a running legend in the USA, but I wonder how he would be remembered if he had not died but had finished, say, 7th in Montreal.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                      Nothing Prefontaine had done up to that point or did after for that matter would indicate he could beat Viren or, likely, Gammoudi.
                      Indeed. Pre's rep was built on his 'attitude' and his American dominance (in the midst of a national running boom). We all 'hoped' he could compete against the global best.
                      In the T&FN Oly Preview issue (great issue!!), the line was that he "has yet to demonstrate how good he is against the 'big boys'.
                      He was listed with Bedford, McCafferty, Stewart, Viren, and Young as contenders. Gammoudi was not mentioned at all.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Olli View Post
                        Good points. I don't think Prefontaine was considered a favorite outside the USA. I think his record was 13.22 and he improved it only to 13.21. Viren, on the other hand, ran 13.16 WR after the Olympics and Puttemans 13.13 after Viren. Perhaps Stewart and Puttemans were the two that made the greatest tactical errors.

                        Incidentally, there were several more under 13.20 runners in Montreal: Quax, Dixon, Hildebrand, Foster. It seems improbable that Prefontaine could have improved his 4th-place finish there. He seems to be considered a running legend in the USA, but I wonder how he would be remembered if he had not died but had finished, say, 7th in Montreal.
                        I have never figured out why Pre has been accorded this all suffocating legendary status. While he was a fantastic athlete he was never, at any stage, dominant on the world stage.

                        I knew him, not particulary well, as his time at Oregon, crossed my time at WSU and we competed many times in the same meets. Occasionally had beers with him with other Oregon and WSU athletes. I think Pre would be amused and a bit shocked at his legendary status 46 years after his sad and untimely death.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                          Indeed. Pre's rep was built on his 'attitude' and his American dominance (in the midst of a national running boom). We all 'hoped' he could compete against the global best.
                          In the T&FN Oly Preview issue (great issue!!), the line was that he "has yet to demonstrate how good he is against the 'big boys'.
                          He was listed with Bedford, McCafferty, Stewart, Viren, and Young as contenders. Gammoudi was not mentioned at all.
                          Seems to me that Gammoudi basically disappeared after 68 or 69 and didn't re-surface until the OG in '72 began.

                          Pre made his rep beating up on Americans he was simply better than. So he could afford to attempt to run away from them. That was unlikely to work against the top guys around the world. I never got where he earned the reputation of being brash as he didn't speak, to my knowledge, as a trash talker. I think he had one of those personalities that developed a following in a town in the US where that was popular. I was a fan but never got the idolization by so many of him. He wouldn't have medaled at 5000m in '76 barring a pretty big improvement which would have come after a fairly long plateau. He probably wins silver or bronze in the 10,000m if he chose to go in that direction.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                            Nothing Prefontaine had done up to that point or did after for that matter would indicate he could beat Viren or, likely, Gammoudi.
                            Friends, Billy Mills stomped on Gammoudi like he was a throw away rag doll.. Im not going to wave the American flag here and say that Steve Prefontaine was wearing the red white and blue with USA blazoned across his chest !!.. Im not a shameless jingoistic American !!!.. really Im not !!

                            Seriously, Im too young to remember Steve Prefontaine and I was never a fan of the longer distances..so Im kind of a recent convert. I have only that Munich video to go on. But I do think he was in fantastic condition in Munich to be able to reach 4th place after handicapping himself so badly.

                            That Munich 5000m, for me, .. well it is like watching Braveheart, I cant ever watch that thing more than once a decade. It is just too painful.
                            Last edited by user4; 01-28-2021, 07:43 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                              I never got where he earned the reputation of being brash as he didn't speak, to my knowledge, as a trash talker.
                              Brash ≠ Trash.

                              He spoke his mind (lots of great quotes), said he was gonna do something in a race and then did it. It wasn't about specific opponents; it was about the price someone would have to pay to beat him.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                                Brash ≠ Trash.

                                He spoke his mind (lots of great quotes), said he was gonna do something in a race and then did it. It wasn't about specific opponents; it was about the price someone would have to pay to beat him.
                                I've found a lot of that not etched in reality.

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