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What's going on in all the relays?

Olympics
by Elpenor (U3101245) 22 August 2008
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Not just the British teams... Everyone seems to be allergic to the baton. Does anyone remember a competition with so many teams messing up and so few quality teams actually finishing?

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Hang on - the women's 4x100 was a tragedy - they were not expected to make the final and they did. Then all the media coverage was about not dropping the baton. So all they've now get going through their heads is - the men are out it's up to us, and don't drop the baton - talk about pressure. And before you start down talking the coaches of the relay - its hard to coach a team, when the individual runner's coaches refuse to release them for team training, then expect them to be selected for an event they haven't trained for because they didn't do well enough in their individual event.
I think today happened because the runners took yesterday's events onto their shoulders and forgot the race plan. There's only so much a coach can do - the ultimate responsibility lies with the athletes - they can either perform or not.
They simple tried too hard and crashed out - just like the bmx girl - and as someone who's enjoyed every minute of the games - I'd much rather an athlete does try too hard and gives their heart and soul and then crash, than watch someone who is afraid to try.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Michael Johnson had a good point that would apply to many teams and that's because they don't have the basic speed of other teams, they have to take greater risks with the changeovers.

However, this is only one factor and cannot be used as an excuse.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Obviously a lot can go wrong when the baton needs to be passed on, but it's also down to training and knowing each other well. Big countries such as the USA and Jamaica seem to find it very difficult to get all their sprinters together to work on the little details. For a country such as Belgium that is a lot easier. I don't know why the Britons considered themselves such big medal candidates and conveniently ignored Belgium. The Belgians came third in Osaka and were faster than the Britons in the heats. Only Kwakye is world class, all the others wouldn't have stood a chance against a champion of Kim Gevaert's level. I know there isn't much to boast about Belgian sport at the time of writing but the 4x100 is something we do at world level. Thanks to a lot of hard grafting. Just thought I'd point that out.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

>Michael Johnson had a good point that would apply to many teams and that's because they don't have the basic speed of other teams, they have to take greater risks with the changeovers.<

A tiny country called Belgium would probably challenge Mr. Johnson on that one <biggrin>
(yes, I'm Belgian. And proud to be so right now!)

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comment by Gary (U12693287)

posted Aug 22, 2008

You only need to practice the changeover for a short period as long as its the same two athletes in the change. You ahve the 10 metre tick box for change over. The out going athlete stands just inside this zone. You practice how quick the incoming athlete arrives and place a mark roughly on the track before the tick box so when the incoming athlete hits that mark you start running full pelt, with practice and adjusting your marker you hit the change in the middle of the tick zone. One other thing is to know how the change takes place. Is it a motion upwards into the hand or downwards? once each change pair has this its easy. Takes maybe 30 minutes, but if you change who is on each leg it causes problems. A settled order is the best. Every athlete knows which is his or her best leg.

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comment by Gary (U12693287)

posted Aug 22, 2008

If you are right handed it is suicide to receive or hand over any other way than with the right hand.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Hi Geordiedevil.Unfortunately I think you'll find that the GB team do neither up or down change but a "push" pass. Probably not something they've ever done until they get into a GB vest. Apparently it provides for more relaible baton changes.<doh>

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Most sprinters can change right or left handed, just something you get used to. Bend runners carry in their right hand, theory being that the bend runner runs close to the inside of the lane (not on it Mr Spearmon) and the outgoing runner on legs 2 and 4 stand to the outside of the lane and use the left hand. That way if you get too close (see trinidad's final change in the heats) you can both stay in the same lane rather than crashing into each other while you mess around with the baton. Hopefully i've explained that ok as it looks more complex than i meant it to be.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

I notice Stuart Storey abysmal commentary was re-recorded after the fact. What happened to:

"Ooooh they've dropped it they havent got it round" As Britain drop baton
then as Russia and Belgium storm off "Britain doing very nicely indeed"
"What a run this is from Britain"
"Russia and then Britian...Russia and then...(pauses)...Belgium!!!"
"Belgium come through to take the title...what a shock" to pictures of Russian athletes hugging each other and cheering as the Belgians commiserate...

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posted Aug 22, 2008

>If you are right handed it is suicide to receive or hand over any other way than with the right hand.<

The Belgians do it.
We're proving you all wrong here!

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