Kudos to Istanbul for a successful meet, and in an Olympic year, the indoor championships gave a glimpse of what to expect over the next few months.
Meserat Defar can be beaten, as she was at this meet-a shocking defeat to Hellen Onsando Obiri who timed her final kick perfectly and won going away in the 3000 meters. Defar, who is one of the greatest female distance runners ever, will certainly change her strategy in preparing for the Olympics, but Obiri will be a major obstacle to the gold in London.
Sanya Richards Ross ran an inspired but unsuccessful final leg for the US 4 x 400 relay team. This Great Britain team is going to be a problem in the Olympics; they have an Olympic gold medalist (Oghuru) and some good young talent (Shana Cox and Nicola Sanders) to challenge the American women.
Speaking of an all time great, Bernard Lagat (R) is the turning back the clock and looking to cap off a brilliant career with an Olympic gold medal in London. He won the Men’s 3000 meters with a vintage Lagat kick on the last lap. After losing in the 5000 at last year’s World Championship, Lagat seems to have sharpened his focus this year and is ready to challenge the Kenyans.
Veronica Campbell Brown, the most successful female (and quite possibly the greatest female or male) runner ever from Jamaica, won the60 meter title. Congrats to her on her 21st international competitive medal. I look forward to seeing her battle Carmelita Jeter in the Olympics.
I may be in the minority, but I’m glad to see Justin Gatlin (below, R) running well and competing again. I believe in second chances; Redemption is a beautiful thing.
NCAA Tournament time. I’m filling out my brackets….this years tournament is by far one of the hardest to select. A lot of mediocre teams, no real great ones and probably very few upset potential.
London Olympics is right around the corner…