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  • Who kicked the hardest?

    I would be interested to know who people think has had the greatest kick. I recently saw a documentary on Snell at modesto when he put 20metres on the field in what looked like 21 metres he had phenomnal acceleration. When he won his olympic gold in Tokyo he was 15 meteres up on the feild he could just destroy people with his kick. As you can see I vote snell.

  • #2
    Re: Who kicked the hardest?

    Ryun ran a 36.4 at the end of a 3:38 race (that's 48 second pace). So did Aouita. Morceli was a blazing fast finisher. Snell also, with his 24 and 25 second last 200's. Hard to say. Ryun seemed to be able to do it without anyone close over the last 200.

    Looks like this could turn into another very long thread. I'll vote for Morceli - just ahead of Ryun.

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    • #3
      Re: Who kicked the hardest?

      This is trivial, and an exercise in semantics, but I'll go for it anyway.

      Who kicked the HARDEST? Snell. According to one of his competitors in a Bud Greenspan film, his feet dug out pits in the cinders and threw the filling over the other runners' heads when he started his kick in the '64 OG 1500m.

      Who kicked the FASTEST? That's another question altogether.

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      • #4
        Re: Who kicked the hardest?

        The best sprint kick that I can recall is Butch Reynolds during his 43.29 WR in '88. He literally took off the last 50 or so and blew by Everett, Lewis & Hernandez

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        • #5
          Re: Who kicked the hardest?

          >This is trivial, and an exercise in semantics,
          >but I'll go for it anyway.

          Who kicked the
          >HARDEST? Snell. According to one of his
          >competitors in a Bud Greenspan film, his feet dug
          >out pits in the cinders and threw the filling
          >over the other runners' heads when he started his
          >kick in the '64 OG 1500m.>>

          Maybe you never ran on cinders; having crap thrown at/over/under/all around you was SOP no matter who was in front of you.

          The "hardest" tale I can tell is that they used to say that one of Snell's biggest rivals, George Kerr of Jamaica, pulled back with such excessive force, that he frequently pulled the backs out of his shoes (i.e., his heel would ripo right out the back) and adidas had to make him specially over-sewn shoes. No idea if any truth to that though.

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          • #6
            Re: Who kicked the hardest?

            Miruts Yifter was no slouch in the kick department.

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            • #7
              Re: Who kicked the hardest?

              Juha Vaahtainen at the '71 ECs in the 5K and 10K.

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              • #8
                Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                How about some numbers, like last-lap splits (or last 100, 200, or 300)? I don't know any without looking them up, so I'm curious.

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                • #9
                  Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                  Dangerous to rely on memory, but I recall that Vaahtainen dropped a final 400m of 53-something in the 10K. It was a shocker.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                    There is absolutely no way anyone can be getting faster in the last 50 meters of a 400 race (unless they were jogging the first 350), so it wasn't a kick per se - Reynolds just slowed down a lot less than the others...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                      There's a story about Vaatainen that Arthur Lydiard tells (which may or may not be true). When he came to Finland, Vaatainen had too big an ego to be seen taking advice from Lydiard, and downplayed the Kiwi's expertise. But he sat behind a screen during a public lecture Lydiard gave, took notes, and used the knowledge for his stunning 1971 season. Vaatainen admitted this to Lydiard only a few years ago.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                        >Dangerous to rely on memory, but I recall that
                        >Vaahtainen dropped a final 400m of 53-something
                        >in the 10K. It was a shocker.>>

                        Yes, Väätäinen ran 53.8 for the last lap of the 1971 European Champs 10K. But that's only part of the story. Bear with me. First, here's the all-time world list when that race began:

                        27:39.4 Clarke
                        27:47.0 Bedford
                        28:04.4 Haase
                        28:06.4 Keino
                        28:06.6 Taylor
                        28:06.6 Sviridov
                        28:10.6 Roelants
                        28:11.8 Stewart
                        28:12.4 Mikitenko
                        28:13.8 Baidyuk

                        So Bedford had almost a 20-second PR bulge on the second-best guy in the field (Haase). And he ends up, coincidentally, matching Haase's PR of 28:04.4. And finishes an out-of-it 6th!

                        1. Väätäinen 27:52.8 PR; 2. Haase 27:53.4 PR; 3. Sharafetdinov 27:56.4 PR; 4. Korica 27:58.4 PR; 5. Haro 27:59.4 PR; 6. Bedford, not a PR.

                        But here's the spooky part (and, perhaps, a caution as to what might happen to Paula Radcliffe this summer). Bedford forged the early pace (a tough one) and was still in the lead at the bell. Five guys ran him down. Don't know his split, but if he were equal w/ V at the bell and V ran 53.8, then he ran 65.4.

                        But here's the angle I like. There are those who were familiar enough w/ Bedford's running (I never saw him in person that I can think of), or what some would charactreize more as "plodding" that if he had skipped the first 24 laps of the race, then jumped in with the first 5 right at the bell, and had produced a PR 400, he still would have finished 6th!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                          That's right. Bedford listed his 400 PR as 55 seconds.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                            OK, then, who was the SLOWEST finisher, Bedford or Clarke? Both men enabled a lot of others to run very fast races.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Who kicked the hardest?

                              This is a fun thread.With no hard numbers to support it, I think Bedford was the slower finisher (compared to Clarke who I recall sometimes had some fairly decent last laps--certainly faster than 65.4) Other "slow" finishers who have run fast 5K or 10K's that come to mind are Prefontaine,Terry Williams,Bob Kennedy,Ed Eyestone, Alberto Salazar et al. But the thing I love about these "slow" finishers is that they are the gutty, pace pushers that make for exciting, fast splits and record breaking preformances!

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