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greatest duels ever?


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  • greatest duels ever?

    On the "greatest meets" thread, rhymans mentioned this, which I figure deserves a separate thread:

    <<Best duels - Gebre-Tergat ('96 and 2000), Szewinska-Koch and Boit-Juantorena ('77 World Cup), Lewis-Powell ('91 Tokyo) and Sedykh-Litvinov ('86 Euros)>>

    For a start, let me toss in Lewis-Johnson in both '87 and '88. (Forget the doping aspect, I'm looking at them from the perspective of real time and what they meant then)

    Those were particularly great becuase they were each 4-round duels and it was fascinating to watch even the normally boring heats because the mind games and who-looks-how-good thinking started early. Not sure I've ever enjoyed sprinting more. (Even though on both occasions I was convinced that Lewis couldn't lose!)

  • #2
    How about Gunnell vs Farmer-Patrick in the 1993 WCh? That one deffo deserves to be near the top of the list.
    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...


    • #3
      Based on duels I've actually seen (I was 5 and 6 years old during Rome and Seoul, respectively), and as a jumper on the side, I'd have to put my vote in for Lewis-Powell '91. That said, after having spent plenty of time reading about the Lewis-Johnson clashes (both in their respective books, and in several back issues of T&FN), and having watched many of the races online, I am certain there was plenty of excitement there as well.


      • #4
        I don't know if a one day 2 lap race would qualify in anyone's book. If it does, great, I'll include the 2001 Brussels Golden League clash between Mr. Borzakovskiy and Mr. Bucher into the mix. If it doesn't, it still ranks with prestige in mine.

        Mr. Bucher won the IAAF final in Edmonton, a race which Mr. Borzakovskiy skipped in his early career. Mr. Bucher entered Brussels with an outdoor unbeaten streak and a share of the jack pot. Mr. Bucher, running with the command he had demonstrated all season, took the lead midway through the 2nd lap. Mr. Borzakovskiy, running his 9th lifetime race against Mr. Bucher, didn't make a move until the curve.

        Coming down the final straight, in view of screaming fans eyeing the clock and a fast-approaching Mr. Borzakovskiy, Mr. Bucher began tying up with 50m to go. Mr. Borzakovskiy snuck on by Mr. Bucher and won in a lifetime best 142 in what has become my most thrilling race as a fan.

        They'd conclude their rivalry 10-all in the 20 races they finished against each other.
        Fire Impossible.


        • #5
          Burr-Hamilton 1804


          • #6
            Just a few for consideration from my own fading memories...

            * Lewis/Powell in 1991 - Tokyo
            * Decker-Slaney vs. (fill in the name) Russians in 1983 - Helsinki
            * Lewis/Johnson in 1987 in Rome and 1988 in Seoul
            * The 3 man finish in the 400 m. hurdles in Rome
            * Bayi/Walker in the 1974 Commonwealth Games
            * Mills/Gammoudi/Clarke in 1964 in Tokyo
            * USA B Team in the 4 x 100 beating the USA team,
            both in the same time - Victoria, B.C., 1968.
            (Mays, Questad, Carlos, T. Smith) over
            (Greene, Pender, RR Smith, Hines)...
            * Canadian 4 x 100 Men's team vs. whoever in 1996 - Atlanta
            ( 1994, 1995, and 1997 weren't bad either)


            • #7
              Anticipation of a great match up is part of the mix and adds considerably to one's enjoyment of the actual clash. For my money, Bannister-Landy from 1954 in Vancouver has to be number one.


              • #8
                1995 WC - Kim Batten-Tonja Buford
                "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                by Thomas Henry Huxley


                • #9
                  Agree with catson52.


                  • #10
                    Powell-Lewis, 1991


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lonewolf
                      Powell-Lewis, 1991
                      Yeah, for a field event freak, that was the ultimate. There were also some great Powell- Wilkins duels, but I think that was a different Powell. Stuttgart 86 Dec, Thompson-Hingsen, also tres cool.


                      • #12
                        Doug Padilla Vs. Nyambui in the 1981 NCAA indoor 2-mile.

                        This race is rather obscure compared to the other duels being mentioned, but anyone who saw it will agree it was a beauty. And, of course, BYU fans like me will never forget it...'cause Padilla pulled off the impossible upset.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by catson52
                          Anticipation of a great match up is part of the mix and adds considerably to one's enjoyment of the actual clash. For my money, Bannister-Landy from 1954 in Vancouver has to be number one.
                          Yes, that should be way up on the list, agreed!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rasb
                            * Bayi/Walker in the 1974 Commonwealth Games
                            Although when this happened and I was just reading reports of it in T&FN I thought of this as a duel, but after watching the video of the whole race a couple of years ago I no longer think of this as a duel. It was more like Bayi against the field. Jipcho and Dixon had just as good a shot as Walker. Easily the best 1500 I have ever seen - I love the front runners!


                            • #15
                              1) Anticipated
                              2) Close
                              3) and not just at the end
                              4) big mark(s)

                              Judged by these standards, nothing tops the '91 Worlds long jump. Even after Powell set his WR, he didn't think he had it in the bag because Lewis had come back so many times over the years. Only the '60 Olympic decathlon comes close.

                              That London marathon (I forget what year) when Geb and Tergat were supposed to battle it out, and Khannouchi went by them both near the end to set a new WR, was also a great one.