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2019 IAAFF World Championships (Doha, QAT) Post match analysis

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  • 2019 IAAFF World Championships (Doha, QAT) Post match analysis

    Dear All

    the actual athletics at Doha was terrific. Thanks in part to the prediction contest I do not think I have ever enjoyed, as much, such events as Men's shot put (which was astonishing) and women's javelin (since the days of Ms. Whitbread and Sanderson) .

    However I want to limit my contribution at this stage to what might be regarded as sweeping generalisations and a couple of specific points.

    First, as I stated early in the competition, GB men's athletics is in crisis. One can make as many excuses as one likes, and I am sure the current regime at UKA will have a great deal of corporate speak to justify the performance, but for all the funding that goes into the sport that was a pitiful return.

    Second GB throwing is withering. Yes, we had a female shot putter in the final for the first time in decades, and she deserves a great deal of credit, but we had numerous unfilled spaces on the plane to Doha, and UKA have to act. If that hot bed of javelin throwing, Grenada, without 'podium potential' funding, can find a world champion, how will a nation of Backley, Hill et al respond.

    Third, a detailed analysis of injury rates must be made by some eager intern in the back room staff of UKA. We had a noticeable number of male athletes pull out/up while here in Doha. Is this no different to other nations' attrition rate or is there something endemically wrong in our system?

    Finally, some specific points...

    I do not know what succession planning UKA have in place for when a 'superstar' retires, but I demand by rite of my lottery funding to see a report on this very topic.

    I want UKA to explain why men's 400m running is at an all time low. We could easily have had three 30 plus runners in the relay so large is the void between them and the ability of the next generation, and that debacle of a 4x400 should signal we have hit rock bottom.

    Too many of our young athletes fail to delver, this is not a new insight, but someone like Morgan Lake, talented though she is, clearly isn't enjoying the sport, and was well below her SB in the final. Yes, she is inexperienced at world level, but so too was the Ukrainian silver medallist.

    The achievement of DASHER and KJT must not be allowed to distract from the above.

    We have less than 12 months to Tokyo, I am a fan of a number of Olympic sports (cycling, swimming et al) but I fear the heights of London will never be achieved again as highly paid executives spend more effort on diversity training and social media than developing winners.

    Thats got that off my chest...

    cheers


    Last edited by carterhatch; 07-10-19, 10:01.

  • #2
    Overall the women did a lot better than the men- 4 medals v 1, and it also felt like the women produced a lot more pbs and those who produced their best performances do deserve credit. If you produce a pb and that still isn't enough to make a final/ win a medal I can accept that. What is less acceptable in my eyes are those who are significantly below their best in spite of championships experience (e.g. Sharp, Lake). Sharp is a former European Champion so knows how to succeed at championships.

    I think ensuring that athletes actually peak at a major championships would be a start.

    Comment


    • #3
      Some of our men did perform above expectations, eg I didn’t expect Adam or Callum to finish as high as fourth, and our 1500 men did well. But you can’t dictate what other athletes are going to do.

      Certainly overall their results are disappointing, but not really surprising.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would just like to point out that Grenada have not produced a world champion javelin thrower. He is based and coached in the USA, won the NCAA title this year. His fellow team mate is also one of the worlds top U20 throwers having thrown 78m.

        Comment


        • carterhatch
          carterhatch commented
          Editing a comment
          thanks for the clarification... we might as well send all our talented athletes to the USA on scholarships... though it hasn't worked its magic on my 'one for the future', in recent years, Ada'ora Chigbo ...

      • #5
        Whilst the results men vs women do paint a picture, given that we don't segregate men's and women's coaching / training surely its simply not logical to say that the sport is in crisis for one gender.

        Men's short sprints look in decent health, though perhaps they didn't meet the high standards expected. Men's 800-1500m look no worse than most of recent history. No Mo exposes the distances a bit but Hawkins and Butchart equipped themselves OK, and Seddon in the 'chase did well to qualify. 400m was poor, and field events had patches of green shoots (e.g. TJ, PV), we even had a heavy throws finalist.

        Underpefformance by men won't be solved by a gender specific approach, will it?

        Comment


        • carterhatch
          carterhatch commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know about 'logical', and I don't suggest the solution is 'gender specific' but an awful lot of funding for the return of one relay medal, demands questions to be asked. if your patient has a broken right arm, but the left arm still functions, does one not bother to fix the right?

      • #6
        Just seen a stat that says that GB has 3 men sub-3:33 for the first time *ever*. Not even Coe/Cram/Ovett managed this. So I think this backs up my earlier comments that men's MD is in pretty rude health (9 men under 1:46 and a further 5, including 3 juniors, under 1:47 at 800m) even if other areas are struggling.

        Comment


        • #7
          Some interesting points, Carterhatch.

          Taking each point in turn:
          1. I think you are showing foresight – a crisis is coming but not just yet! I don’t agree current performance standards represent a crisis – I’ve been watching us since 1971 (when Dave Bedford only came 6th in Helsinki) and can remember far worse times – 1976 and 2005 spring to mind. 1996 wasn’t much fun either (I was in Atlanta) and that was described as a crisis. I actually think we are about to hit a bit of a purple patch. Because of my 15 year old daughter, I watch a lot of junior athletics in London and the South of England and there is a real peak in participation rates, with a few stars emerging. The current U15s have had far bigger fields than previous years at the Middx Champs for example. However – and here is where I think you are onto something - this has nothing to do with UKA (who are not focussed enough on grass roots athletics or coaching). It’s happening simply because a bunch of 6 – 10 year olds watched London 2012 and subsequently joined clubs.
          2. Agreed!
          3. I’m not sure that our team is any less injury prone than in the past. We used to moan about it all the time in the 80s and 90s. Taking 400m as an example, MHS is no more injury prone than Black, Thomas, Richardson or Grindley. I don’t think it will get any better any time soon. Even talented teenagers nowadays lack conditioning and core strength because they grow up less active. I think vastly improved medical care compared to the 80s and 90s helps but it will continue to be a problem for younger athletes.
          4. I believe Morgan Lake left her coach and dealt with family issues this year.

          Just as a general point, my view of the current team is that we have a very committed bunch of athletes who in most cases get the best out of their talent. For example, Kerr and Wightman are great athletes doing everything right and giving their all. It’s not their fault they don’t have Steve Ovett’s talent. I suspect the British kids who do are playing football or rugby.


          Comment


          • carterhatch
            carterhatch commented
            Editing a comment
            Ran the 200m myself in the (schools) Middx Champs circa 1980 as U15 representing Enfield so good to know grassroots at junior level is doing well. I had forgotten about the family issues Morgan Lake has had to face, so forgive my rather insensitive tone, but she has never looked as though she is enjoying herself, a la middle period KJT, so hopefully she can discover form and love of the sport (maybe training for an indoor Pen early next year might reinvigorate.) You are of course right about the injury toll on the other 400m runners you mention ( Grindley, oh what could have been ... ) I just hope, given well documented issues regarding MHS, that someone is taking care of his mental well being too.

          • trickstat
            trickstat commented
            Editing a comment
            I'd add Redmond to the list of great British 400 runners who were injury prone.

          • drobbie
            drobbie commented
            Editing a comment
            steve ovetts pb at the same age as kerr was 2 seconds slower

        • #8
          Originally posted by Sovietvest View Post
          Just as a general point, my view of the current team is that we have a very committed bunch of athletes who in most cases get the best out of their talent. For example, Kerr and Wightman are great athletes doing everything right and giving their all. It’s not their fault they don’t have Steve Ovett’s talent. I suspect the British kids who do are playing football or rugby.
          I mean, Kerr has twice beaten Steve Cram's GB U23 record this year, so let's see how things go!

          Comment


          • drobbie
            drobbie commented
            Editing a comment
            josh kerr is 21, a european u-20 champion and ncaa champion and record holder with a pb of 332.52, steve ovetts pb at eh same age was 3.34.45

        • #9
          Originally posted by MysteryBrick View Post
          Just seen a stat that says that GB has 3 men sub-3:33 for the first time *ever*. Not even Coe/Cram/Ovett managed this. So I think this backs up my earlier comments that men's MD is in pretty rude health (9 men under 1:46 and a further 5, including 3 juniors, under 1:47 at 800m) even if other areas are struggling.
          Fully agreed and if you look at how many good juniors are coming through there is a lot of reason to be optimistic. So, we might get another Coe or another Cram. But there will never be another Steve Ovett.. .. .. .. .

          Comment


          • MysteryBrick
            MysteryBrick commented
            Editing a comment
            'And one man's blazing speed has torn this field asunder...'

          • Sovietvest
            Sovietvest commented
            Editing a comment
            MysteryBrick - that's the greatest piece of commentary ever, just edging "Hit him, Frank, hit him".

          • philipo
            philipo commented
            Editing a comment
            Its not the times, its the place that matters i have met many Brit athletes over the last decades and they always said the times and distances are nice but the medals are the thing that really counts, and that motivates them. When our sub 3.33 guys win European, WC or OG medals that will be satisfying; take Charlie Grice with his fairly useless DL 3.30... so what . Times these days in the 1500m don't mean much to me .

        • #10
          Originally posted by MysteryBrick View Post
          Just seen a stat that says that GB has 3 men sub-3:33 for the first time *ever*. Not even Coe/Cram/Ovett managed this. So I think this backs up my earlier comments that men's MD is in pretty rude health (9 men under 1:46 and a further 5, including 3 juniors, under 1:47 at 800m) even if other areas are struggling.
          One of those has no racing nous. Others have done well.

          But Coe, Cram and Soviet’s hero were racing 35 / 40 years ago. Just in the natural way of things we should be expecting that their times would have become reasonably commonplace over the years.

          But an undeniable and pleasing, if overdue, uptick.

          Did Rudisha in London reset the rules about running middle distance champs?

          Comment


          • philipo
            philipo commented
            Editing a comment
            We had Coe, Cram and Ovett being mentioned in the same breath as our current lot which is risible; Olympic Champions and world champion and multi World Record breakers at a time when we did not have DL races with hot pacemakers who
            have produced 3.30 to 3.32s as commonplace Dont joke, please; our present guys run 3.31 and every one has Middle distance hysteria on this Forum. When the current guys start actually winning or medalling a main Regional or Global , give me a call.!!!
            Last edited by philipo; 08-10-19, 22:08.

          • philipo
            philipo commented
            Editing a comment
            i am amazed that anybody can "guarantee" that our great triumvirate would have beaten Cheryuiot, one of the great performances of these WC. In my view if he had been threatened in that final TC would very possibly have beaten 3.29; a great performance in a WC.

          • Laps
            Laps commented
            Editing a comment
            Philipo I think you are confusing pleasure for hysteria.
            As you were so desperately wrong about Whiteman and 3.31-3.32 perhaps middle distances are not your thing?.

        • #11
          FYI

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/49955556

          Colin Jackon is quoted
          "We have gold medallists here, we have finalists here, and that means that we're punching with the rest of the world," ... much like his awful commentary it is instantly forgettable.

          Comment


          • philipo
            philipo commented
            Editing a comment
            cj is an idiot so who cares what he says

        • #12
          If we use the placings table is as a predictor of future performance, we were a bit below par this edition. Though I'm not sure who could reasonably have been expected to go from top 8 last time, to top 3 this time.

          I don't think it's realistic to expect the UKA, or anyone, to adequately prepare for the succession of a generational talent. We're lucky to have DAS and KJT confirming themselves as just such.

          The real question, for me, is who will be the next Greg Rutherford? Kerr/Wightman and Nick Miller look promising candidates for individuals who can squeeze out their best performances when it matters.

          There's evidently a systemic problem with throwing in the UK, whether that's coaching, a lack of perceived glamour or competition with other sports. On that last point, whatever happened to pitch2podium? I'd love to see a big fast bowler swap the chestnut for a spear, and see how it flies.

          Comment


          • #13
            I’m not overly surprised that the women have overtaken the men in the medal stakes, it’s been coming for a while. Athletics is seen by many young women as something they can excel at and find fame and fortune, the difference for young males is that they can still receive recognition and earn a living at a much lower level. How many young wingers on the books of premier league clubs could have been decent sprinters? The numbers being lost to football and rugby are only going up, it’s a difficult trend to reverse

            The medal table doesn’t make great reading but the fact that we have two new gold medalists is encouraging and in my opinion in both cases their best years are yet to come. I’ve only followed the sport closely for the last 6 years or so and over that period I’d say the injury problems have been slightly more noticeable this year. I think Prescod, Duckworth and Emerson would all have registered top 8s. The battle for bronze wasn’t what it could have been when you consider who was injured, Preiner only scored 6560, Emerson would have been ideally suited to that level of competition and will do well at future championships. Sophie Hitchon and Lake should have overcome their issues by next season too

            Comment


            • #14
              Not sure where else to put this, but just had the realisation that Dina has run 10 100m races this year, each one faster than the second best Brit of all time...!

              She now has the top 10 performances and 19 of the top 21, with Montell Douglas and Desiree Henry both sneaking in with 1.

              Comment


              • #15
                Originally posted by MysteryBrick View Post
                Not sure where else to put this, but just had the realisation that Dina has run 10 100m races this year, each one faster than the second best Brit of all time...!

                She now has the top 10 performances and 19 of the top 21, with Montell Douglas and Desiree Henry both sneaking in with 1.
                I still refuse to accept that performance from Douglas that took Kathy Cook's 100m record, just because she was so awful that same season and never got close to reproducing it there afterwards.

                That 11.05 (and the "windy" 10.95 in the heats) at Loughborough were the dictionary definition of a complete "one-off" performance.
                Last edited by RunUnlimited; 08-10-19, 13:58.

                Comment

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