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Who was hot in 2009?

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Katharine Merry | 23:34 UK time, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The curtain has just about fallen on the 2009 athletics season.

Usain Bolt is relaxing in his Jamaican home, with the same smug, content feeling that the Roadrunner must have had after never being caught by Wile E. Coyote. No doubt Usain is proudly rewinding and watching his world records on video.

That means it is time to reflect on what has been a great track and field season.

Jessica Ennis became World heptathlon champion in BerlinJess Ennis show off the golden reward for her efforts in Berlin

As an athlete I would sit down and evaluate at this time of year before starting back winter training: what worked, what didn't work and how I could make things better.

I would eat all the foods I was not allowed for the previous 48 weeks and enjoy 'real life' for a bit before the routine starts again.

So what will certain athletes have on their report card for 2009? Mission accomplished, or could have done better?

Missions were definitely accomplished for several athletes including Bolt, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and those that stepped up in Berlin after Olympic disappointment and delivered like high jumper Blanka Vlašić and triple jumper Phillips Idowu.

In a previous blog I asked whether Bolt and Ennis would dominate their respective events in 2009 and they did so in great style.

Bolt continues to be the tonic the sport craves and Ennis has become the new 2012 pin-up.

Those that need to go back to the drawing board are any of Bolt's competitors and, as 2012 approaches faster than the man himself, several British athletes need to come back strong from either injuries or disappointing performances.

The British team, though, with their six medals in Berlin, did well, when you consider our medal hopefuls were dropping like flies before the Championships. Head coach Charles Van Commenee will be another man with a little smile on his face.

In his first season at UKA I think Charles can be pleased at what has been achieved. A lot has been said and written about his arrival and that of other overseas coaches.

I personally do not have an issue where our expertise and coaches come from, as long as the British coaches have a chance to shadow them, develop and learn from them.
Surely combining the experience and knowledge of others with our own is the way forward?

So what should we expect next season?

A fully fit Tyson Gay going eyeballs out, stride for stride with the big man, will be superb. I am not saying the 27-year-old from Kentucky can beat Bolt, but he will race Bolt, and that will be interesting.

Gay clocked 9.69 seconds over 100m this season, effecively on one leg because of groin trouble and with really bad starts. I can't wait until he comes out of the surgery room with a fixed groin to give us all the 'real' battle we have been wanting to see for two years.

Will Kenenisa Bekele. continue to match Bolt with his dominance and not get the same level of attention? Probably.

It has been a great season and of course pats on the back have to go to all those who made it so, including the great performances of our athletes who now head into 2010 with a super busy season including the European Championships at the end of July and the Commonwealth Games in October.

I remember in the Autumn of 1999 sitting down with my coaches and setting out the plan to peak at an Olympic Games that was towards the end of September. Not easy.

As many, including the Americans, concentrate on grand prix races and big times, distances and heights, our athletes will have to peak several times and very late in New Delhi.

The Commonwealth Games is fourth on the list of priorities to athletes, after the Olympics, Worlds and Europeans and again next year, with it being so late we may see many athletes either under-performing or not even bothering to do it.

Is there an argument for the home countries to send a developmental team to these Championships?

It was a great season so feel free to share your highlights. Roll on 2010.

Katharine will be discussing the big issues in Olympic sport on BBC Radio 5 live's London Calling programme on Thursday at 2000 BST.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Bolt is a star. I can't see him being caught by anyone - not even Gay. Could he go in the 4 x 400m?

  • Comment number 2.

    Tyson Gay would never compete with Bolt even if he reaches his WR 9.58. We can safely presume Bolt is yet to peak and that prospect is a sad reality for all the other sprinters, playing second-fiddle to a one-man show, but unlike Bolt, rather to an empty audience.
    The only other possibilty is another bolt out of the blue; another atypical super-athlete capable of doing what has been for many, inapprehensible by Usain. Some will say that's impossible, but I would say, Usain Bolt proves everything in athletics and sports (and life in general I should add) is possible, so who's not to say he might just be the first bus after a fair long wait..

    Kenenisa Bekele is thoroughly exceptional and is debatably a long-distance 'bus' (or perhaps he is a coach!). The sad reason he isn't given much credit is due to the fact that the events he dominates and hold world records for, are a bit like a (even pulsating) World Cup Qualifier match in comparison to extra time in a world cup final ending 10-10, all loaded with a Zinedine Zidane with the acquired speed of Theo Walcott and also Theo Walcott himself (No prizes for correctly relating this to Bolt and Gay!). I enjoy and appreciate both sports but get much more excited about the latter.

    Well done to Jess Ennis, cracking performances and lived up to the hype she created for herself through her dispalys last year. I've seen her a few times in Nottingham and she looks gorgeous in person. Are you reading this Miss Enis? Perhaps you're curious? Sign up to 606 and message me! I'm serious!

    Can't wait for the next season of athletics, Bolt to smash the WR(s) again and maybe even twice! The optimist wishes all farewell on that tantalising note.

  • Comment number 3.

    Got to agree with comment above, Bekele is exceptional but Bolt is the man in the showpiece event (who is the fastest man in the world!!!)

    Obviously without question that is clearly Bolt and it is an absolute privilege to be watching him race in my lifetime.

    A genuine superstar.

  • Comment number 4.

    Whilst I agree with most of what you've said, I cannot agree that the Commonwealth Games is low on the list of athlete's priorities and we should be sending development squads.
    I would do almost anything to represent my country in a "Major Championship" and I consider the Commonwealth Games to be just that. How many other British Athletes think the same as you, and would accept not competing? Why? Surely the stark reality that most of our athletes are "just not good enought" could and should be disproven at Championships and the valuable experience gained can only stand them in good stead for the so called bigger games. Don't forget that Jamaica, Kenya etc are in the Commonwealth and is it not Asafa Powell who won the 100m 3 years ago?
    We need to be competing on a regular basis, and if it means slightly weaker opposition in certain events then the confidence gained in doing well can be gained.
    Yes I agree that priorities need to be given to certain events, but lets not belittle an event that has given so many valuable experience and oppotunities in the past.

  • Comment number 5.

    what is the point of the Commonwealth games in the first place, the name itself is redundant?

  • Comment number 6.

    Just because Gay says he's "running on one leg" don't make it so. He's lowered his PB twice in a matter of weeks, both runs making him the second fastest man ever, so the injury (if he has one) clearly cannot be affecting his training or his performances - it's a non-issue. Bolt's gonna go sub 9.5 anyway and Gay will not break the existing WR, never mind what's to come.

  • Comment number 7.

    I would like to see Bolt have a season experimenting with the 400m next season, he has proved he has the speed to win 100m and 200m at a canter so I would liek to see him do something different. Perhaps for 2012 he'll be a Phelps beater doing 100/200/400 the two relays and probably the long jump for fun! 6 events sounds ridiculous, but no more so than 9.5secs for 100m surely!

  • Comment number 8.

    If Tyson Gay can consistently run in the 9.7's and occasionally below, if he races Bolt on a number of occasions next season he will win at least one race, Bolt is a freak, but Gay is also an amazing athlete and unless Bolt runs low 9.7's or 9.6's in every race which he doesn’t at the moment Gay has a chance if they race regularly enough.
    With Gay though I would be interested how quickly he can go in the 200m, he seems as though he might be better at that event and fully fit I wonder how fast he can go. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go as low as 19.40 or even a bit quicker and if that was in the same race as Bolt it would be fantastic to watch.

  • Comment number 9.

    The trouble with this Gay vs Bolt issue is that they are like boxers avoiding each other. You do the 100 and I'll do the 200 and we can both win seems to be the attitude. We need the Diamond League to make sure they are forced to race each other several times in a season and not just once like this season.

    Over 100m Bolt will win 4 out of 5 times I expect but once Gay gets that one victory then he's going to put some doubt into Bolt's mind and then we can see some real cometitive action. Over 200m I can't see Bolt being beaten by Gay.

    I also agree with point 6 Gay is not running on one leg or even close to running on one leg. But it may be impedeing his start. I'd be interested to know whether Gay could stay with Bolt if they were level at 30m. I don't think Bolt will go under 9.5. 9.58 was eyeballs out this time so I think he's going to be content with taking 100ths off from now on.

  • Comment number 10.

    For me the highlight of this year it the fact the during the World Champioship, the athlets has some fun. It gave the sport some attraction with people's results and celebrations.
    From the Kenyans to the Jamaicans, the athlets competed without any complex and it made the sport so much watch-able and attractive to the masses.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi all.

    Taffyj35:
    If I ask all the athletes I know too put in order the Championship medals they would like to win they would say: Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth. This is not being disrespectable to the Commonwealth Games or belittling it, it is just the way the priority order falls to athletes. No athlete I know would swap an Olympic bronze for a Commonwealth Gold for instance.
    Of course the event is important for many reasons, experience and developmental. Also it may be the height of what some athletes talent can reach and I know the athletes love wearing 'their' countries colours rather than GB. Jess Ennis broke onto the scene with her bronze in Melbourne in 2006, but I have always heard athletes say it would be the first Championship they would miss IF they had too or choose too. Especially next season with it being so late in October.

    stoptalkinggarbage:
    From this post you clearly do not think Tyson Gay is injured. Are you suggesting he is using his groin as an excuse for getting whipped by Usain Bolt?
    I hear Gay is reconsidering having surgery.
    Does any sprinter though consistently go through a season starting that badly on purpose? Not any that I know.
    I believe he can race and challenge Bolt. Not necessarily beat him but race him. Then we will see how Bolt handles a real challenge! Maybe no differently, but Tyson Gay's pick up and acceleration at 30m, as we saw in China, is awesome.

    BTW. Bolt's coach has said again that there is still more to come. He believes he can get 20% stronger and run the 200m in sub 19 seconds and in the 100m? Sub 9.50 seconds, all in the next 2 years! GULP!

  • Comment number 12.

    Jessica Ennis is a true star ... one of the reasons why UKA may be making a bit of a resurgence. I hope that everyone (including the press) will get behind the crop of new atheletes and support them through good times and bad - as we need to nuture this talent and not destroy it with the tall poppy syndrome.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think before you start being so blase about the Comonwealth games, you should come out to Delhi and see the sort of impact it is having on a sport mad City. I think it is a disgrace that someone of your standing and on a BBC website should be suggesting we send a "development squad"! Who do you think you are?

    This City (Delhi) is being re built beyond recognition and will have facilities for the next generation the envy of anywhere in the world. London won the Olympics on the back of "legacy" and what will that be exactly? Oh yes the re development of a rough area of London that will just drive up house prices even more and a white elephant stadium that nobody even wants at the end!

    Every country has a duty to bring their biggest stars out here to inspire a sport mad country to get involved. If you were still running I am sure you would love to see the Indians running around in Merry masks and probably more importantly for you, marketing opportunities that will spin off it. I belive the Indian 100mtr sprint record is still a second slower than Usain Bolt! This from a population of 1 billion people. Imagine what a competetive 100m final at the games, with big names would do for that disparity?

    The games here will inspire more and more kids to try their hand at these events, rather than cricket and soccer which is growing beyond belief. Think about the legacy please before making such flippant,inconsiderate and frankly arrogant statements. Better stil, get out of your comfort zone and come and see whats happening here so you can educate yourself before apologising for such tosh in your next blog.

  • Comment number 14.

    Katharine Merry is very correct: it is a somewhat unfortunate reality that the Commonwealth Games are looked at as a fifth tier event. They are definitely not seen to be equal to the Olympics, World Championships or European Championships. In fact, under the previous system used by the IAAF to rank athletes at the end of the year, the Commonwealth Games were inferior to even a Super Grand Prix event.

    Here is a portion of the system I refer to:

    Highest: Olympic Games, IAAF World Championships

    Second: IAAF World Athletics Final, IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Cross Country Championships

    Third: IAAF Golden League Meetings, IAAF World Cup, African Championships, Asian Championships, European Championships, Pan-American Games

    Fourth: IAAF Super Grand Prix Meetings, Continental Indoor Championships

    Fifth: IAAF Grand Prix I Meetings, Asian Games, All-African Games, CAC Championships, South-American Championships, Commonwealth Games, Francophone Games, Ibero-American Championships, Universiade, CISM World Military Games, IAAF Indoor Permit Meetings, European Cup Super League, European 10,000m Challenge

    Now, if the IAAF themselves deem the Commonwealth Games to be of lesser importance than a one-day Super Grand Prix event, can any athlete be blamed for thinking that they are not very important in the greater scheme of things?

  • Comment number 15.

    Hello Katherine,

    I just wanted to remind of a car you purchased from in 1995 or 1996 from me. You were a very young, humble and up and coming athlete, down the road at Birchfield Harriers. I had seen you on T.V. a couple of times. I told you to remember me when you were famous.

    I think you bought a Ford, possibly an Escort .... an XR3i ?????? To jog your memory, there was a parrot in the office on the Kingstanding Road at some time. I am not sure if she was there when you visited. She didn`t like females and would screech to drown out thier voices.

    I live in Florida now. I was very proud to follow you at the Olympics in Sydney. Success does not seem to have changed you.

    If you do not post this, please forward to Katherine.

    Tony Power.

  • Comment number 16.

    Condelad.
    You must work for the New Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games committee!
    I think you have taken what Katherine has said all wrong, she is pointing out the way some athletes see the C Games and is not saying it is rubbish or now worth having. You have to respect what she says and what toyracer has said and realise the Games are just not a major priority to athletes like the other Champs. I am sure all the athletes like to and plan to do it, but the profile isn't the same.
    To call her and her insightful opinion 'flippant, inconsiderate and arrogant' is not right.
    She is just pointing out what we know that the Games isn't a priority but still has it's place.
    BTW...the point of a blog is to raise discussion, not have a pop at someone when not really understanding their points!

  • Comment number 17.

    Further to the point, the feelings as expressed by Katherine are not limited to the examples she has cited.

    For example: the entire contingent of top tier athletes from the MVP camp in Jamaica may miss the 2010 Commonwealth Games. This included the defending 100m champion, and current Olympic and World champions in other disciplines. More info on this can be found at: http://www.trackalerts.com/?p=3502 and here is a short exert from the article:

    " Late season timing of the 2010 Commonwealth Games is the main issue for the MVP Track & Field Club top athletes who may be passing on the event taking place in New Delhi (India) from October 3-14, this according to club president Bruce James.

    “We participated very actively in 2006 and we would love to support all the Commonwealth Games, but for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India it is not so good. The MVP track & field club has a very conservative position with respect to any of our athletes participating at the Commonwealth Games,” emphasised James. "

    Condelad, it is not just the overall status of the Games that is an issue; the time of year is also an important factor. With the introduction of the Diamond League in 2010 athletes will be concentrating on the new bigger circuit, and my not opt to peak for the Games in October.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't want to sound too cynical, but I am little bit skeptic of the times that Tyson Gay is doing at the end of a long season.There were reports that this guy was injured and needed surgery so badly that He couldn't take his place in the 200M at the World Championship- only to be posting the second fastest time in history a few weeks later. The human body never ceases to amaze me- That one's body can recover so quickly from a groin injury to run at that pace. Tyson Gay may be better than we give him credit for and probably Bolt really need to take note of this.

  • Comment number 19.

    Tyson Gay is looking incredible-without Bolt, Gay's mega-fast times would be wowing us all. And lets not forget Jeter with her world-record runs(this is me deciding Miss Joyner was on drugs whilst setting her incredible world records!) Gay and Jeter are either the Americans to watch next year, or they have a coach that encourages drugs.
    In terms of the commonwealth games(and the europeans,) I think they are vitally important for athletes such as: Ohurugo, Ennis, Dobriskey, Meadows, Idowu and the relay teams to get some winning experience before the olympics and world champs 2011.
    And finally, watch out for Will Sharman! We could see some medals next year from our new hurdles phenomenon.

  • Comment number 20.

    Do you want to try and be a little bit more patronising Idsupa?

    Katherine has asked the question "Is there an argument for home countries taking a developmental squad to the games"? I say no, for the reasons I stated earlier. The sport is bigger than a few egocentric athletes who have the Commonwealth games 5th on their list. If it is so insignificant then why send a team at all? In fact lets just not bother with the games alltogether!

    If you came out here and saw the excitement being generated by the games you may see it differently.world athletics is now being written about in the Indian press and the people are getting on board. They want to see Usain Bolt and Phillips Idowu not some spotty teenagers out for "experience".

    Can you imagine the response if an England football player deemed a tournament not worthy and decided to pull out so he could save himself for the world cup? There would be uproar - see David Bently - and they would be a national disgrace. If you are a professional athlete representing your country I feel you need a better excuse not to compete than "it's a fifth tier event"!

    If I was you Katherine I would come out here and do a blog on it. I will take you for a curry and a Kingfisher then you can head down to Goa for a bit of sun on the beeb!

  • Comment number 21.

    "A fully fit Tyson Gay going eyeballs out, stride for stride with the big man, will be superb."

    --------------------

    LOL!

    If Tyson Gay goes stride-for-stride with Bolt he'll finish up about 20 metres back!

    Have you seen the length of Bolt's stride???

  • Comment number 22.


    The CWG in New Delhi are going to be the next big thing on the agenda of some of the greatest athletes from around the world. Let's wish them a fine time in India. Suswagatham !





    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 23.


    "MVP not sending athletes to Commomwealth
    2009-09-17 17:56:04 | (0 Comments)
    President of MVP Track Club Bruce James said his club would not support the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi, India.
    It means that athletes such as Olympic and World Champion 100-metre gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser, Olympic and World Champion 400-metre hurdles gold medallist Melaine Walker and former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell will not compete.
    The Commonwealth Games are set for October 3 to 14 of next year and James said the scheduling is too close to the 2011 World Championship.
    There are uncertainties surrounding the participation of the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt.
    Coach Glen Mills also has a problem with the October staging of the Commonwealth Games."
    http://go-jamaica.com/news/read_article.php?id=12659


    Glen Mills, coach of World and Olympics triple gold medallist Usain Bolt, also believes the timing of the Games poses a serious challenge.
    --------
    Fraser, winner of the Olympic and World Championships 100m, on her arrival home on Wednesday also hinted that she may not attend the Games.
    "I am not sure if I am going to the Commonwealth Games ... mainly because of school. That's why I might not be going," she said.
    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090918/sports/sports2.html


    It may be an important event from the point of view of some, but if people step back a bit and try and be a bit rational/less emotional/dispassionate, they can see that some major stars (with an eye on 2011) would not be keen on it.
    It may be difficult for some to grasp but that's that.

    Whether the prospect of the Commonwealth Games is having an impact in Delhi, or whether world athletics is written about in the Indian press is one thing.
    Whether the top athletes turn up is another.
    We shouldn't confuse the two.
    There are other viewpoints.

    It's not hard to see that the Olympics and the Worlds are the big events. And 2011 takes priority. Logistics, and other fears may contribute to some no-shows.



    On an aside, amazing that Gay couldn't do the 200 in Berlin so bad was his condition, yet seems to have recovered to the point he may? not need surgery? And his times "on one leg"? wow! And Jeter? Hope I'm not being too sceptical.

    The more mellow, happy less macho stance of many athletes (funnily enough, Jeter aside) was refreshing in Berlin.

  • Comment number 24.


    RE: You ask about 2010. There will be new stars coming out of Jamaica.

    http://www.pumarunning.com/bolts-physical-profile

    His effort in St Lucia shattered the previous Games mark of 21.09 set by St Jago High's Nickel Ashmeade two years ago. The 20.97 run by Murphy, who turns 16 next year, also loomed into the ballpark of another sprint prodigy - Usain Bolt - who at 15 years and 333 days ran a stunning 20.61 to win the World Junior Championships in 2002.
    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090502/sports/sports7.html
    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sports/html/20090307T230000-0500_147252_OBS_MURPHY_CLOCKS_BREATHTAKING_______AT_TRIALS.asp


    The coach of Usain Bolt has predicted the Jamaican will post sub-9.5 for the 100m and sub-19 for the 200m before London 2012, reports spikesmag.com.
    “In the next two years he's going to peak,” said Glen Mills, who has guided the world’s fastest man for the past five years. “And I think when that happens, he'll probably be in the 9.40s or low 9.50s [for the 100m].”
    http://www.spikesmag.com/news/usainboltscoachtheworldandolympicchampionisyettopeak473.aspx


    “When he (Bolt) ran 9.69 and now 9.58, everybody say ‘bwoy something is wrong … and when Tyson ran 9.69, it showed that these times are not impossible,” commended Mills.
    ---------
    “I am sure that Tyson will run faster,” Mills added while saying “we have some youngsters who are going to run some times, and they too are going to come under the microscope”.
    http://www.trackalerts.com/?p=3643




    “As a child walking four miles to grandmother’s farm … I know hard work”. - Kerron Stewart
    http://www.trackalerts.com/?p=3666
    -----------


    The supplement in question is Musclespeed and according to Mills, it was clearly written on the product that it was WADA and NCAA compliant.
    “The literature on the supplement at the time of purchase was crystal clear in bold writing that it was WADA and NCAA compliant. Since the news came out, the manufacturer changed the wording to read differently and when the results came out they removed it entirely from their literature,” said Mills.
    It was because of this, Mills said that they are considering legal action against the manufacturer, Accelerated Neutraceutical.
    “We are in the process of securing the services of a prominent law firm in the United States to process the matter… we will hear further on that aspect.”
    Mills said it has been a ‘teachable moment for Racers Track Club’.
    As a result he said, they have appointed a medical panel, “This panel will advise, vet and approve supplement programs for each of our athletes and all our athletes must comply with the recommendations of this medical panel.”
    In regards to the supplement taken by the athletes, club doctor Peter Ruddock is still not convinced it was a breach of WADA rules.
    The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), who carried out the test and later appealed the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel not-guilty findings said, 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine, which was found in the samples has a similar chemical struture to tuaminoheptane and according to WADA, should be considered a breach.
    Dr. Ruddock explained: “Tuaminoheptane if you look at it, is a straight compound with one branch. 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine is not a straight compound, it’s a little shorter and has two branches… they are made up of the same amount of carbons, the same amount of hydrogen and the same amount of nitrogen atoms but in chemistry that does not mean anything in terms of how the compound will behave.”
    “Structure in similarity has nothing to do with biological similarity.”
    Mills promised Racers Track Club will live on.
    http://www.trackalerts.com/?p=3646
    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090925/sports/sports1.html


    http://www.spikesmag.com/features/aleenbaileysayshemebredda.aspx
    http://www.spikesmag.com/features/myheromauricesmithonherbmckenley.aspx
    http://www.spikesmag.com/news/priscillalopesschliephastrainingjournalstolenattheworldathleticsfinal476.aspx

  • Comment number 25.

    Condelad:

    Lol...patronising, that wasn't my intention, but you do seem a bit aggressive in your posts mate!
    Looks like from a few other posts that many athletes will be thinking long and hard about their participation in the Commonwealth Games due to the fact that it is on October.
    If the organisers want the best athletes there then maybe they could have looked and thought more about the timings of the Games themselves and made them more athlete season friendly?
    Just a thought?!

  • Comment number 26.

    Usain is a fantastic athlete even though yet i dont think he has run to his full potential because there is no-one out fast enough to compete with him. But when Tyson Gay ran 9.69 with a sore groin, when he reaches his form, then we will see who is faster!

  • Comment number 27.

    Maybe our athlete's should be thinking about winning an Olympic gold rather than swapping CWG gold for a bronze!

  • Comment number 28.

    Is Usain Bolt good for sprinting? Will there be athletes out there who say-"I just can't run that fast!"-will those guy's move up to 400? After the initial "lets look at the freak" curio's,will people become bored,knowing the obvious outcome? Personally,I take no pleasure in watching one man so far ahead from the competition- I like races,more so than times-5 or 6 guy's dipping at the line(remember Kim Kollins winning World Champs'!).
    My only hope for sprinting is that Tyson Gay can indeed challenge Usain Bolt next season,otherwise I really do fear for sprinting for the next 10 years or so. Worse still,might some athletes pay a visit to the chemist to try and make up the deficit?? Sorry Usain- but can't you go and play basketball or something!!
    Before you think I'm being defeatist- look at the top 10 times in the 100m when Ben Johnson was running his crazy times- they went backward for quite a while. Thank god for drug tests!!
    I hope I'm wrong in all I say and that the current crop of sprinters take up the challenge(I know I would!) but I genuinely fear for men's sprinting. Save us all Gay and give everyone hope!

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi all.
    To follow on from my point in this blog about athletes prioritising Championships and the Commonwealth Games being at the bottom of that list, we are already seeing many high profile athletes casting doubt about their Commonwealth Games participation next year.
    Asafa Powell and his high profile training group are in doubt. Usain Bolt has come out this week and not confirmed his attendance either. Also our own golden girl Jessica Ennis has said that she may concentrate on the European Championships.
    It is not only athletics where athletes may decide to skip the Games. Chatting to Louis Smith last week at the World Gymnastics Championships, he says defending his title maybe unlikely due to their World Championships starting in Rotterdam 3 days after the Commonwealth Games. This thought was echoed by new all round World silver medallist Daniel Keatings.
    When asked all athletes seem to be citing the World and Olympics as their priority in a very busy schedule and therefore should we be questioning whether, in this day in age, the Commonwealth Games are even relevant?

  • Comment number 30.

    In this day in age we should be questioning why we have the Commonwealth Games. Isn't it just a celebration of the English taking all that wasn't theirs in the first place?
    It is clear the athletes don't even care about it and that is being shown already a year ahead of the event with athletes from all sports already not committing to it.
    Just read online from a highly regarded journalist in New Delhi that the Games are dated and a waste of time, although to balance that I am sure you can find articles and people here saying London 2012 is a waste of time. But he did question the ethics of the Games and what it stands for.
    Well I am sure Condelad will disagree, but it isn't looking good for Delhi on many fronts including the stars they may not even get to compete!
    When a big sponsor has to be found to possibly persuade Usain Bolt to compete, you know you are in trouble!
    As Katherine said in the blog. Poor timing of the event and it not being a priority to the athletes could well be it's downfall.

 

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