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Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

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  • #16
    Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

    Considering the Montreal 1500 final, you have to factor in the
    >rounds. That could explain Walker outstrengthing the field (same for Viren in
    >the 5k).

    Good point. Rounds (can) change everything...especially for some converted 800m. folks!

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    • #17
      Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

      I'm not at home (where the Archives are, see below) but recall that the Montreal 1500 heats were especially fast, including Walker's, I believe, thus favoring the stronger guys.

      Re: the Archives. I was thinking how great it would be to have a set of TAFNEWS here at work, like gh etc. obviously has (hardbound copies, I'm sure.) Lately there's been a push to place automated cardiac defibrillators in various public buildings all over the country...airports, stadiums, theme parks, malls. Do you think we could get Congress to appropriate money to do the same with hardbound collections of TAFNEWS? You know, you're at the mall and have this sudden need to find out who was the US leader in the 800 in 1981?

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      • #18
        Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

        Track Nuts of the world unite ! We have nothing to lose but our chains !

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        • #19
          Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

          I used to have that big poster of Walker which TFN sold. I think that was the Olympic race.

          Anyway, I remember from watching the race on televsion that he almost lost. Van Damme was closing fast, as was pointed out earlier. I also remember the televison announcers making a big deal out of his 800m elimination. At the time, one didn't really think of him as an 800 guy but I guess they felt that it did not bode well at the time for him.

          But Van Damme had a great 800/1500 double that year didn't he?

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          • #20
            Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

            I bet of all the finalists, the one who would most like to have that race back again is Eamonn Coghlan. He made so many tactical errors, yet still finished a close fourth, and had a far-from-empty tank at the end. He also showed later on that he had the beating of Walker on many occasions indoors.

            And what of Van Damme. What a loss his death was. And ironically, we would have no Van Damme memorial now if he hadn't passed on.

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            • #21
              Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

              >And what of
              >Van Damme. What a loss his death was. And >ironically, we would have no Van
              >Damme memorial now if he hadn't passed on.

              I'm sure they didn't decide to organize a huge meet with multi-million dollar budget just because a middle distance runner died. There would still be a Brussels GP, only with a different name, had Van Damme not died.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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              • #22
                Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

                >Anyway, I remember from watching the race on televsion that he
                >almost lost. Van Damme was closing fast, as was pointed out earlier

                Van Damme made his best run at the lead on that all-Hell-breaking-loose backstretch and last curve. He (and the rest of the field) got closer to Walker in the stretch because Walker--in his own words--eased up, thinking he had it won by ten meters or so. He said only in the last five meters did he see athletes creeping up in the corner of his eye. Candidly, Walker admitted that with his mistake, he wasn't totally certain he had won until he saw it on the screen. Then, total relief.

                Van Damme closed in 1:51, I believe, and Paul Heinz-Wellmann had the fastest last 200m. (25-something?). Hauling! [Makes you REALLY appreciate Geb doing the same in the 1995 Worlds 10,000m.!]

                Sadly, Coglan made pretty much the same tactical mistakes four years later in Moscow in the 5,000m.

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                • #23
                  Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

                  If Van Damme didn't tragically pass away shortly after those games (12/76), I'm sure that the Coe and Ovett story would have been a lot different. This guy was awesome. What a talent. 46+ 400m and 3:36+ 1500 strength (an event that he didn’t run that much, but still managed a silver medal in). He ran 1:43.86 NR in 76 at 22 and I’m sure by 79-80 he would have been down in the 1:42’s pushing Coe. He probably would have run 1:42 in the 78 European Champs in Praha, when Coe took it out in low 49’s and died in the last 100, with Olaf Beyer taking a surprised victory in 1:43.84 NR (let’s see someone break that National record!). But I guess all this is just speculation, isn’t it.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Walker's OG 800 loss/1500 win

                    >If Van Damme didn't tragically pass away shortly after those games (12/76), I'm
                    >sure that the Coe and Ovett story would have been a lot different. This guy was
                    >awesome. What a talent. 46+ 400m and 3:36+ 1500 strength (an event that he
                    >didn’t run that much, but still managed a silver medal in). He ran 1:43.86 NR
                    >in 76 at 22 and I’m sure by 79-80 he would have been down in the 1:42’s pushing
                    >Coe. He probably would have run 1:42 in the 78 European Champs in Praha, when
                    >Coe took it out in low 49’s and died in the last 100, with Olaf Beyer taking a
                    >surprised victory in 1:43.84 NR (let’s see someone break that National
                    >record!). But I guess all this is just speculation, isn’t it.<


                    if he had 46 flat speed at same time as 3'32 - 3'33 endurance, then i get

                    ~ 1'43.0 - 1'43.3 ability

                    it probably depended on how well he developed that 1.5k strength

                    1'42 looks a bit of a push, but if you believe he was capable ultimately of 3'30 - 3'31, then yes, that would get him into low-mid 1'42 territory

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                    • #25
                      The Ritz/Webb to Dixon/beer thread had a link to a nice interview with John Walker in which ol' John himself answered a part of my question here, what happened to him in the Montreal 800m heats?:

                      http://www.citysportstx.com/story.cfm?s ... ageID=2460

                      "BB: At the 1976 Olympics, you ran the first round of the 800 meters, but it seemed like the goal was not to go too far in the heats.
                      JW: It was 15 days from the time I arrived in the Olympic Village until the 1500. Arch wanted me to run a heat or two of the 800 to get me through the tunnel and get me on the track in front of 85,000 spectators. For the final of the 1500, I was ready to break the world record and run 3:31 that day. If it was a flat out race, I would have won by 30-40 meters"

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SQUACKEE View Post
                        yeah jack ryan who won 1500 at 72 olympic trials
                        Didn't he later become US President?

                        (referred back to this thread by Dr Jsy)
                        (John Walker and I were in the Auckland junior team 1969, 1970)

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                        • #27
                          Dude, you are like the Forrest Gump of Athletics. You keep popping up in all sorts of interesting places with interesting people.

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                          • #28
                            I don't have sources handy, but my recollection is that Ryun simply moved too soon in the OT 800m. I've always felt that if he had started his kick just 30 meters later, he would have held on for 3rd. Then, that experience would have affected how he ran the OG 800m final, which I think he would have won.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Alan Sigmon View Post
                              I don't have sources handy, but my recollection is that Ryun simply moved too soon in the OT 800m. I've always felt that if he had started his kick just 30 meters later, he would have held on for 3rd. Then, that experience would have affected how he ran the OG 800m final, which I think he would have won.
                              According to the Track and Field News History of the Olympic Trials, Ryun ran the backstretch of the second lap in 11.5 as part of the 3rd 200 in 24.8, too quick for anyone at that time and maybe ever.

                              By the way, I have never found a complete video of the race. There have been bits and pieces (some black and white and some slow motion) but would love to see the whole thing, in color or not. Does anyone have access to a complete video of the 1972 Olympic Trials Men's 800m final?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by KevinR View Post
                                Dude, you are like the Forrest Gump of Athletics. You keep popping up in all sorts of interesting places with interesting people.
                                Now, let me tell you about me and Tom Hanks.......

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