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Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

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  • Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

    It amazes me how many Olympic 1,500m finals have been disappointing for one reason or the other.
    1964 - Snell's main challenge should have come from Jazy but he ran the 5,000m, also, the U.S. runners ran badly - this was blaimed on the "experimental" trials system. 1968 - altitude!
    1972 - Ryun falls over. 1976 Bayi missing. 1980 - Most of the world missing! 1984 - Ovett ill, Scott loss of form, Aquita runs 5,000m .... and so on and so on. Indeed, the 2000 race was the first time, for a while, that the final contained all the main contenders!

  • #2
    Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

    What I don't like is how often it seems to turn into a "kickers" race; the runners sit for three quarters and then the real running starts in the last 400m.

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    • #3
      Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

      No Name, To prove that you can't please all of the people all of the time: The racing aspect, rather than a rabbited, glorified time trial, is the aspect of the event I look forward to. I enjoy watching the pack, seeing who looks antsy, relaxed, paniced, etc., only to see who performs the best plan on the right day.

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      • #4
        Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

        Since you brought up the topic, I'll mention that on ebay I just bought a dvd that had a number of running events, including the 1500 from Mexico City. I hadn't seen the entire race since 68 so I forgot what an incredible run Keino did. 57, 1:55, 2:53 and then he kicked with a 41 last 300! And all at 7400 feet. Obviously, the splits are well known, but seeing it on tape just brings out how brillant Keino looked that day. Ryun didn't have a chance and I doubt anyone else since would have done better.

        P.S. The tape is a BBC one with David Coleman doing the commentary. Ryun, he, of course knows well, but Liquori and Von Ruden are unidentified except as "another of the Americans" throughout the race which I thought was pretty funny, as if they were only spear-carriers in the Ryun-Keino drama.

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        • #5
          Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

          Keino's 1968 was fantastic BUT, at sea-level, even if he had run 3.30, Ryun would have beaten him! I'd stake my house on that!

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          • #6
            Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

            >Keino's 1968 was fantastic BUT, at sea-level, even if he had run 3.30, Ryun would have beaten him! I'd stake my house on that!<

            I'd gladly take that bet, but (a) I don't know how I'd go about proving I'm right and (b) what would I do with another house?

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            • #7
              Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

              Conor, Are more of the tapes available? I am not an e-bay user. Is there a search or easy way to find track related items such as tapes/dvds?

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              • #8
                Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                Of course, if 1968 would have been at sea level, or the Olympics had been in 1967 Ryun might have won, we'll never know. However, watching Keino run splits that would have been great even 15 years later at sea level and how awesome he looks reminded me that it was one of the two great 1500 performances, along with Elliot's in 1960, in Olympic history.

                As for the dvd I bought it from the fellow below, so you might email him. By the way, the dvd also has the 5000 from 1972 that has David Coleman again and I believe Norris McWirtter commentating. They are both very good, miles better than Jim MacKay and Erich Segal. Which of course for the latter would not have been very hard to improve on.


                [email protected]

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                • #9
                  Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                  I'd love to see that '68 race again--I saw it live, but probably not since then. The more one thinks about Keino's performance the more incredible it gets. Can we imagine any other great mile/1500 runner whose lifetime PR came at 7400 ft. altitude? The very idea seems insane. That race was a real classic--right up there with the '60 and '84 races.

                  It's true that many Olympic 1500s have been less than stellar: either the "right" athlete wins (easily, as in '64, or less easily, as in '96) or upsets happen that--historically speaking--are of little consequence ('88 as the classic case). All Olympic finals are definitely not "equal" in merit--some ultimately mean a whole lot more than others...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                    >It amazes me how many Olympic 1,500m finals have been disappointing for one
                    >reason or the other.
                    Indeed, the 2000
                    >race was the first time, for a while, that the final contained all the main
                    >contenders!

                    Nothing was worse than Barcelona '92 (first lap was a 60!)

                    2000. El Guerrouj overraced all summer before the September Olympics, hence the silver!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                      >Keino's 1968 was fantastic BUT, at sea-level, even if he had run 3.30, Ryun
                      >would have beaten him! I'd stake my house on that!

                      As much of a Jim Ryun fan that I am...I don't think so. Ryun ran as well as could be expected in '68...actually with all the problems he had that year (a case of mono, hamstring injury and more) and with the altitude thrown in, he did well to win the silver.If it was 1967, then I agree with you.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                        I don't see it. Look at it this way, would Elliott have beaten Keino in Mexico? No! Would the Elliott of Rome 1960 have beaten the Keino of 1968 at sea-level. Yes, because, if not, Keino must be considered a greater 1500m man than Elliott, and they're not many how would agree with that. Keino, what ever pace he set, would not dropped Ryun at sea-level in 1968, and he certainly wouldn't have out-kicked Jim at the end.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                          >Since you brought up the topic, I'll mention that on ebay I just bought a dvd
                          >that had a number of running events, including the 1500 from Mexico City.

                          Slightly off-topic, but does anyone out there have a good copy of the "SUPERMILERS" tape from the late eighties? I (stupidly) loaned mine to someone and they mistakenly taped over about 30 minutes of it, the part from Snell to Coe, which includes the footage of Keino/Ryun in Mexico City.

                          I'm interested in buying, buying copy, or borrowing (ha-ha!).

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                          • #14
                            Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                            PS=I know selling anything is against board rules, but I didn't see anything about trying to buy or rent...? If I screwed up, I apologize in advance.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Olympic 1,500m - disappointment!

                              What's against Board rules is trying to run a commercial enterprise. We have absolutely no problem with track nuts finding ways to acquire valuable materials from each other. Indeed, it has been our hope that this would be one of the more valuable benefits of the Board.

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