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  • Greatest Talent Ever

    Whenever that old name of Daniel Komen comes up, I shake my head. When you look at his very brief body of work and a full list of his PR's, it's absolutely astonishing.

    It was my belief that Geb was the greatest all around distance runner in history. Now I believe that title goes to Bekele.

    However, as a fan of the sport, I'm slightly sad at the brevity of Komen's career. I actually feel he was even more gifted than Geb or Bekele, which is hard to imagine!

    I just feel his talent was off the charts and wish we could have beheld the things he could have achieved if he stuck around for many years. In my opinion, he's not the greatest runner ever.

    But I believe he is the greatest distance running specimen ever born.

    My hyperbole aside, who is your favorite talent to have underachieved in your opinion?

    Open to all events! Just want to read your thoughts.

  • #2
    Delano Meriwether

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    • #3
      Russ Hodge

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Karl View Post
        Whenever that old name of Daniel Komen comes up, I shake my head. When you look at his very brief body of work and a full list of his PR's, it's absolutely astonishing.

        It was my belief that Geb was the greatest all around distance runner in history. Now I believe that title goes to Bekele.

        However, as a fan of the sport, I'm slightly sad at the brevity of Komen's career. I actually feel he was even more gifted than Geb or Bekele, which is hard to imagine!

        I just feel his talent was off the charts and wish we could have beheld the things he could have achieved if he stuck around for many years. In my opinion, he's not the greatest runner ever.

        But I believe he is the greatest distance running specimen ever born.

        My hyperbole aside, who is your favorite talent to have underachieved in your opinion?

        Open to all events! Just want to read your thoughts.
        His 7:20.67 at 3000m is mind blowing!!!

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        • #5
          Although Bob Hayes and Henry Carr achieved all there was for them to achieve, their opting for pro football leaves me to believe that we never knew their fullest potential, particularly for Carr in the 400. Tommie Smith never achieved his fullest potential, particularly in the 400 because of Olympic politics. Skeets Nehemiah left for pro football as did Jerry Tarr. I believe that all of the above could have pushed their own envelopes further.

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          • #6
            My "favorite talent to have underachieved" is easy... MYSELF !

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            • #7
              It doesn't matter how carefully you try to choose your words. There's always that one guy....

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              • #8
                It's a question that varies by era. Before professionalism there are all kinds of choices like Herb Elliott, who was out of worlds to conquer at age.... 22! and retired. All kinds of Olympic champions retired in those years.

                From a more modern point of view, Henry Rono.

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                • #9
                  Kenny Hall (TJ) and Obea Moore

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gh View Post
                    It's a question that varies by era. Before professionalism there are all kinds of choices like Herb Elliott, who was out of worlds to conquer at age.... 22! and retired. All kinds of Olympic champions retired in those years.

                    From a more modern point of view, Henry Rono.
                    Yes Rono was rather unworldly.

                    As for Elliott he was just afraid to lose.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT2ANRbiiH8

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                    • #11
                      Career cut short - Yashchenko
                      Never won the titles he should have - Asafa
                      The great thing about the distance GOAT debate is that for Bekele, it ain't over. If he can get together with Kipchoge in the right conditions, we'll surely see a record, and if it's Bekele, I think that would make him the first to hold the 5, 10 and marathon records at the same time.

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                      • #12
                        Rafer Johnson, Ivo Van Damme

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by berkeley View Post
                          Career cut short - Yashchenko
                          Never won the titles he should have - Asafa
                          The great thing about the distance GOAT debate is that for Bekele, it ain't over. If he can get together with Kipchoge in the right conditions, we'll surely see a record, and if it's Bekele, I think that would make him the first to hold the 5, 10 and marathon records at the same time.
                          Agreed. But I've already given the nod to Bekele. Geb set over 20 WR's and pioneered a new era of distance running in my opinion. But Bekele came along and to be fair could lower a 12:39 or 26:22 only so many times! Throw in his unparalleled and often forgotten cross-country feats, and he's the man.

                          Even if he does not set the WR in the marathon, the fact that he earned the stat of #2 ever at this stage of his career is still icing on the cake.

                          Little confession: I never thought he could run a marathon this well. Not sure why - maybe his form or injury history. But he still impresses me.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Per Andersen View Post
                            Rafer Johnson, Ivo Van Damme
                            Rafer is a great choice. Not so high on Van Damme. I think he maxed out in Montreal.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peter Michaelson View Post
                              Kenny Hall (TJ) and Obea Moore
                              I have trouble assigning such status to age-group stars such as these, given the possibility that they simply matured far ahead of the normal curve and may actually have reached (at least close) to their full potential.

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