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  • UK 400m - State of play

    There isn't a dedicated topic - of the 'state of play' kind - for this event - so to kick it off, a rather telling exchange on twitter.

    Laviai Nielsen - very generously after Ms. Pipi's PB - noted in a tweet l- 'British 400m running πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯'
    Martyn Rooney replies - 'Before anyone else says it… *women'

    Rather made me smile at the honesty.

    I am really looking forward to the w400 . It might not have the sub 50 times, but it is a very hight quality field, and with the added dimension of our own Stew-coach involved, we might get some additonal insight.

    The men ... the standard is as poor as i can recall in all my decades of watching athletics. There is a small cohort of U23s who could make the race competitive, although I noted that Charlie Dobson is not on the start list. I hope that there is some sort of MHS breakout moment, from someone, but not holding my breath.

    Last edited by carterhatch; 16-06-21, 14:00.

  • #2
    So this is one of those situations where stats don't tell the whole truth. I'm a big fan of the 'UK 10th performance' as a metric of top level quality, and actually for 2021 10th place is 46.37, which compares favourably to the halcyon days of the mid-90s:
    1992: 46.42
    1993: 46.35
    1994: 46.39
    1995: 46.42
    1996: 46.06

    However, it doesn't matter if your 10th guy is running 46.3 if your 3rd guy is only running 45.8...

    And that is the bit that I find odd. We seem to have a load of guys able to run 46-low to mid but no-one is jumping to the next level beyond MHS, who is utterly mercurial, and Charlie Dobson, who has only won one race. It's very frustrating.

    Comment


    • #3
      Another interesting way of looking at it is the vintages of our top 30 all times which takes us to 45.34.

      Born in the.....

      00s.........0

      90s.........2

      80s........10

      70s.........8 (inc 3 of top 5)

      60s.........8

      50s.........2

      Comment


      • MysteryBrick
        MysteryBrick commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow, the only 2 '90s athletes are MHS and Jarryd Dunn, who appears to be retired (having not raced since 2019).

    • #4
      I believe young Charlie is injured with a stress fracture. And rather randomly had MHS down the track on Sunday (was not doing my session, was purely assisting with the stop watch and guiding his session).

      I don't think any of the Men will get the QT next weekend and the BA policy then pretty much states that no one would fit any of the next levels of criteria (which is a shame) I personally hope they take a fresh men's relay for experience (if you're not in then you definitely cant win it!).



      As for the women... No Sub 50!!!! YET!! lol I personally do so it happening in the UK either this year or next.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Stew-Coach View Post
        I believe young Charlie is injured with a stress fracture. And rather randomly had MHS down the track on Sunday (was not doing my session, was purely assisting with the stop watch and guiding his session).

        I don't think any of the Men will get the QT next weekend and the BA policy then pretty much states that no one would fit any of the next levels of criteria (which is a shame) I personally hope they take a fresh men's relay for experience (if you're not in then you definitely cant win it!).



        As for the women... No Sub 50!!!! YET!! lol I personally do so it happening in the UK either this year or next.
        at least there seems to have been a decent level of improvement in the womens this year for 3 or 4 athletes

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Ursus View Post
          Another interesting way of looking at it is the vintages of our top 30 all times which takes us to 45.34.

          Born in the.....

          00s.........0

          90s.........2

          80s........10

          70s.........8 (inc 3 of top 5)

          60s.........8

          50s.........2
          Nothing like phony stats to throw doubts in peoples minds.
          Saying the decade 2000 or any other is even remotely like the 90s or not much better than the 2000s is lala land .
          Have a butchers at the top all- time Brit 400m guys from British Athletics.

          Thomas 44.36; 97 Black 44.37 ; 96; Richardson 44.38; 98 ;Grindley 44.47 ; 92; Baulch 44.57; 96;Ladejo 44.66 ; 96 Wariso 44.68; 98; Akabusi 44.93; 88; Hylton 45.24; 98. Mafe, Sanders.Regis and others at low 45s and a bunch of 1980s guys who put our lot to shame.
          The unvarnished truth is that we currently have untalented and badly coached athletes and lord know s when that will change for the better; i would not spend a penny of our current lot and just wait for a long time till it alters. Sadly i will be pushing up the daises i suspect by then
          Remember our fab 4 in th WC in the mid 90s and,of course, the 96 OG in Atlanta.

          Comment


          • MysteryBrick
            MysteryBrick commented
            Editing a comment
            Philipo, even for you that first paragraph was remarkably incoherent πŸ™‚

        • #7
          Mystery the facts are not incoherent,. In the the facts set out in the all time fastest 400m male british runners list in British Athletics the most sub 45 runners were in the 1990s; read the book in question and you must accept the obvious.

          Comment


          • MysteryBrick
            MysteryBrick commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm not disputing the facts at all - just querying what you meant by saying 'the decade 2000s or any other... is not much better than the 2000s'.

        • #8
          I see that poster talks of" born in the.... decade"

          It's when the performances were achieved that interests me not the birth day

          Comment


          • #9
            The issue is not complicated. Our 400m guys are very poor. End of the matter for me.

            Comment


            • #10
              To change the subject, I must say the womens competitions, in events in the British trials are at least as interesting than their male counterparts, if not more so.

              Comment


              • #11
                Interview with Nicole Yeargin: Nicole Yeargin: US-based Scot bids to crown startling rise with Olympic spot - BBC Sport

                Comment


                • #12
                  The women's 400m final at the 2021 championships was very competitive. Jodie Williams should be given huge credit, as it must take immense character to ride the ups and downs of her career, the pressure of expectations from such a young prodigous age and find the belief to change events. Not to mention being an inspiration to her younger sister, Hannah, who was the only runner to meet my key metric, get a PB . Yeargin has had an amazing trajectory this past 12 months, and I hope she has something left after the NCAA, as young Anning seemed to show in the final, it can catch up with an athlete any time. Laviai Nielsen was always under pressure in the outside lane, and hasn't really looked at her very best all season. I wonder if it would be better for her,.long term, to focus on the relays at Tokyo (women's and mixed). Ama Pipi doesnt get the plaudits of others but has earnt that third berth. The only small disappointment is that in very good conditions and wiith great competition, no one run sub 51, I am hoping that it is only a matter of time before 3/4 or do. Women's 400 in this country is in a very good place.

                  Men's.... I despair. I ask Stew-coach, seriously, to give us a 5 point plan to improve the situation by Paris, I wouldn't take a men's 4x400 relay just 'for experience' but with the 'mixed' relay being introduced at this Olympics, is there any one on the team, who is likely to go, who could do a shift ?




                  Comment


                  • trickstat
                    trickstat commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you take the women's 400 finalists from yesterday plus our 4 400 hurdlers with the Qualifying Time, you could make 3 relay teams and I think even the C team would be stronger in world terms than our best men's team would be at the moment.

                    We have had a number of male 400 runners down the years whose careers have been truncated by injuries but they usually had at least one season of truly world-class running before that (e.g. Redmond, Grindley, Benjamin (and to some extent) Thomas). More recently, we seem to have had athletes falling by the wayside well before exhibiting competitively the performances you feel they might do. Not necessarily, mid 44s like those I've mentioned because only the US ever produces those in great numbers but, at least high 44s and low 45s.

                    I do wonder if there isn't the odd 200 runner out there who ought to consider moving up or is it better to try and work on the speed of the existing specialists? No reason not to try both of course!

                  • RunUnlimited
                    RunUnlimited commented
                    Editing a comment
                    MysteryBrick Yep, I can agree with that. When Sally Gunnell had her years of dominance ('91 - '94) in the 400 m hurdles, there was only (the much over-looked) Gowry Retchakan-Hodge really who was running at an international level with Sally. (A late starter to athletics - according to her Po10 page, Gowry's first recorded performances came in 1990, when she was already 29! -) the Thurrock athlete was remarkably consistent and always seemed to give her best effort on the big stage - she reached the semi-finals of the 1991 and 1993 World Championships, and the semi-finals of the 1992 Olympics, setting personal bests in each one.
                    In the 400 m, after Kathy Cook's all too brief (but brilliant) time running that distance in the 1980s, there was a dearth of talented 400 m runners (and in general women's sprinting overall). There was the occasional blip, with Phyllis Smith in the 92 Olympics and Lorraine Hanson in the 91 Worlds, but it wasn't until Merry discovered the long sprint was her event in 1999, and Donna Frasier had the season of her life in the year 2000, that we had two Brits capable of running sub 50 seconds. And that was only a brief period of time before Donna dropped off and Merry's career was hobbled by injuries when poised to be a world champion.
                    Last edited by RunUnlimited; 01-07-21, 12:12.

                  • trickstat
                    trickstat commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If my memory is correct when Sally Gunnell ran her 52.74 WR at the 1993 World Champs, I estimated that there were only about 6 other Brits that year who would have cleared the final hurdle when she finished if they ran their SB.

                • #13
                  Originally posted by SprintRelayFan View Post
                  What do we do?
                  I've noticed Miguel Francis has a PB of 46.48 - which for an event he's run 4 times doesn't seem ridiculous? Given how often he gets injured would it be worth him changing up so he was having to be less explosive?
                  That's a good question... and one I was asking myself this morning. I was pondering. for example, how fast might Kyle Lanford could do a 400, he has a SB of 47 and very small bits ... I would ask stew-coach to reply with a five point plan lol

                  Short of finding 4 fast, young americans with Jackie Charlton style British ancestory, I am not sure how it can be turned around quickly...

                  Although I would urge the 5 lads in the 4x400 squad to find some warm weather track, and along with their respective coaches, train together for the next 4 weeks and find a way of cutting 1 sec off their times....
                  Last edited by carterhatch; 30-06-21, 16:34.

                  Comment


                  • Stew-Coach
                    Stew-Coach commented
                    Editing a comment
                    CH I fear you flatter me too much, even more so given my recent inability to help Yasmin secure a Tokyo position

                    Though, IMO it does come down to coaches education/ nurturing, I fear the world of the internet has left a large number of UK coaches somewhat confused in their platform form what would be seen as a "traditional" approach to 400 in the UK, and that being popularised by the USA (where the weather of course is more conducive to that type of programme). I have seen many programme seem to be hybrid but not perhaps in a way I personally would do, although I admit this for myself has perhaps only really been the case the last few years. And education of the event is very few and far between in reality.

                    That and we seem to place good athletes with people purely because, A) Where that coach is (and they are lucky enough to have the footfall to make them look good!) and or B) they were once an international athlete (which of course make's them a good coach for the event, right?)

                • #14
                  Oops sorry! I hadn't noticed this one.
                  Bizarrely there is an American running over here. I can't remember the details though

                  Comment


                  • carterhatch
                    carterhatch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No Problem As your new thread was a first posting it wouldn't let me just 'comment' .... great question though - and enjoying all your input. There are are series of 'State of Play' to ponder!

                  • SprintRelayFan
                    SprintRelayFan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Oh thank you!
                    Dan Rowden, as a 19 year old 5 years ago was running 48...But I don't really think we want him mucking around. Langford and Francis don't seem to be doing amazingly in their events though....

                • #15
                  Stew-Coach - thanks for the candid response up thread ...

                  The theme of quality coaching (importance of, lack of, need for) is repeated by many knowledgeable people, over many years, and if I were running UK Athletics, it would be an integral part of any 'special measures' applied to men's 400 running (and Javelin, and, long jump ...)

                  What do you think of the fact that nine, 9, yes nine?!, women have been selected for the 4x400 'squad' for Tokyo?

                  Comment


                  • MysteryBrick
                    MysteryBrick commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Completely agree, Carterhatch. I would not have selected Diamond. Nielsen and Clark are very solid relay runners, and Hannah Williams is on the up. If I were selecting, I would go:

                    Nielsen, H Williams in the Mixed 4x400m heats, and then bring in J Williams and Pipi for the final if things look good for a good position.
                    Nielsen and the best available other 3 in the W4x400m heats (depending upon how people have raced), unless someone has made a final, in which case bring them in for the W4x400m final.

                  • carterhatch
                    carterhatch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think Nielsen's loss (not making the individual slection), is the relay's gain, as she will have a point to prove - to herself if no one else - and I agree, being fresh, will be first name down on the list for both the mixed and women's heat. Honestly though, with the standard of our men, I wouldn't be looking to medal, no matter what women were brought in, and so I would go all in for the womens, but you are right Mysterybrick to assess at the time. ideally Pipi-Yeargin-Williams-Nielsen makes podium.

                  • Stew-Coach
                    Stew-Coach commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Will be interesting to see the form of all the ladies at the diamond league (some in the main and remaining in the domestic event) as I think this will indicate our main 4 and possible mixed candidates.

                    I'll be honest I am perplexed as to why the 9 were named (unless those in the 4h were wanting to be named which i can actually imagine they did and requested it) as of course you can draft any "Team" member in the relays once you are on site and so there was no need to add the 4h crew.

                    However, what it does do though is allow the element of a reserve to be used if for any reason someone got injured (If you named 7, one gets injured you can draft another from the 4h, if one of the 4h ladies gets injured, well you never named them so no need to replace. By having them named you could technically now draft in a none travelling reserve (take into account quarantine etc.) )



                    I don't think we have yet to fully conceptualise what 400m training is in this country and what that then means for its training intervention ( I mean this as a general term across the coaching population as of course there are pockets of very good coaches and a some living of what they did in the past)
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