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UK 800m - state of play

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  • UK 800m - state of play

    I have had an idea for a series of discussions through the winter months - a look at different events from a UK perspective and the current state of play. We have had a lot of new-ish contributors lately and it would be a very positive thing to keep this momentum going as I am sure with all your knowledge some gaps can be filled and healthy debate ensure...

    In 2015 there were just two UK male runners who recorded 1.45.XX with the next best a 1:46.43 PB by Theo Blundell and only one other !:46.XX by a certain Mr. Learmonth... this season, 2019, there have been, so far, 9 athletes at !.45 or better, with a further 5 at 1.46 ... to my mind that is a serious turnaround in an event where it felt we had hit rock bottom, sure there has been no stella !.42/3 but with the likes of Daniel Rowden missing this year with injury it could have been even better...

    Has the event become sexy again, to attract runners, could we see a breakout stella run in Olympic year, what has happened to said Theo Blundell, who I seem to recall as a big unit or James Bowness who carried our hopes for while ...

    comments welcome ....




  • #2
    first of all, who is going to the worlds - webb is the only obvious one, giles probably has secured a place as well by finishing fourth and being third based on times this year, langford has run the second fastest time but had a poor race in the champs, i would take him too, those are the first three in the champs placings with the qualifying times

    Comment


    • carterhatch
      carterhatch commented
      Editing a comment
      some have suggested taking one of the 1500 lads, ie the one out of Wightman/Grice who doesn't get selected for the longer event... i like that idea.

  • #3
    I’d pick Wightman if he doesn’t get the 1500spot.

    Comment


    • #4
      We have a reasonable idea of what Giles, Langford, Learmonth and Wightman are capable of over 800, if they get it right they can compete with the best in the world, with the caveat that they are not able to beat the best in the world. Langford remains the best of the bunch, his run at last years Commies proved that London 2017 was no fluke. I would like to see him get the third slot behind Webb and Giles. Is he 100% fit? Who knows, but I see he has been selected for the Europe vs USA fixture and a month is a good amount of time to tune up for Doha.

      Where the debate gets going is at the lower end of the rankings with the young talent emerging- Burgin at 17, Thomas an u23 has had a good season, Pattison, Dustin, Mclear and Botterill are all u20s. If one true world class athlete is to come from the current rankings I feel it is more likely to be from this group

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      • #5
        Whats the chat from Matt Yates RE: Langford which is riling up the MD lot today? I can't find it!

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        • #6
          Originally posted by camerajuan View Post
          Whats the chat from Matt Yates RE: Langford which is riling up the MD lot today? I can't find it!
          A lot of people seem to feel Yates is pulling strings trying to ruin Langford for not wanting to join his training group... Didnt think I'd ever see Radcliffe using language like "vindictive has been" 👀
          Last edited by Christy93; 02-09-19, 14:27.

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        • #7
          what actually went on in that race

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          • #8
            Anybody who has a subscription to the Times could shed more light on what was being said here?

            https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...doha-c2drhm73p

            Jamie Webb might not be a very popular man on the team once they all get to Doha? Would be said if behind the scenes squabbling upset people's preparations and performance in Doha.

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            • #9
              Yates does not come out of this looking well. Pretty much every high profile British MD athlete has either tweeted or liked a tweet which rips his character to shreds. Even Sally Gunnell in agreement. Don't know much of the guy in person myself, but seems to be near univeral agreement that he is a nasty bully. Hopefully this doesnt hit Doha preparations.

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              • #10
                Interesting, he's an active member of a Facebook group I read a lot. He doesn't like my middle of the road opinions, but I can live with that.

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                • #11
                  Late to this: what does the Times article say? (I'm not crossing the paywall.) How is Webb involved - apart form the bizarre pacemaking in that final? Wasn't Langford coached by Yates before he joined John Bigg's group?

                  Comment


                  • Ladyloz
                    Ladyloz commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I thought it was Elliot Giles whom he coached

                  • drobbie
                    drobbie commented
                    Editing a comment
                    where did i read thasyt it was webbs team causing trouble? was it on here?

                  • jjimbojames
                    jjimbojames commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Steve Cram said it in the BBC Forum, post the Champs

                • #12
                  OK - so....Kyle is coached by Jon Bigg (husband of Sally Gunnell) and managed by Gary Lough (husband of Paula Radcliffe) - so you can think they are either pushing their husband’s respective agendas or have the inside scoop (or both!). Apparently, Matt Yates wanted to coach Kyle Langford but he turned him down for Bigg and since then Yates has apparently been behind some of the reinforcing of Langford’s poor choices - eg despite the official admitting he had grabbed Kyle twice before Kyle responded, and that the matter was closed, it was Matt Yates behind the scenes pushing it to the press. At the British Champs, it was Matt Yates’ athlete who got carried into the final flaming obstruction, and trying to get Kyle DQd along the way. James McCarthy then acted as a virtual pacemaker for Jamie Webb, to take the kick out of Kyle and Kyle then had a go at McCarthy and it’s now hit the press. The Times report is suggesting it shows continued poor conduct and that will cost Kyle his place at Doha. Many MD athletes believe Yates has a vendetta towards Kyle for choosing Bigg over him and have tweeted support, most notably Butchart, who has gone in quite hard! (Bigg also coaches Grice, Giles, Oskan-Clarke, so a good group. Not sure who else of note Yates has).

                  All of the above gleaned from Twitter/hearsay, I hastened to add

                  Comment


                  • larkim
                    larkim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Intriguing stuff! Matt is a fairly dominating figure on the I Was Or Am A Runner facebook group, and whilst here there is a lot of tolerance for the likes of Lough, Radcliffe, Coe etc, that group is fairly bitter about some of them - stoked to a degree by Matt, but not exclusively so. I must admit i took that sort of attitude to be the “real” grassroots opinions about those high profile individuals, but this post adds a different complexion to that.

                • #13
                  Langford was extremely fortunate not to be disqualified from his heat at the British championships, there is a clip doing the rounds, but it was a blatant push on McCarthy. Cram and Paula Radcliffe must know this. They were being slightly disingenuous with their talk last weekend of an athlete being reinstated at the behest of Yates, the decision would have been made by the race officials, who were very generous in letting Langford run. That said the way the whole thing has played out in the media is unsavoury, the piece in the telegraph today was written by the Daily Mail hack Lawton and timed to have maximum effect on the selectors meeting today. Langford has done himself no favours but remains a huge talent

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                  • #14
                    Jjimbojames, thanks for the info. I obviously wasn't looking at the right bit of Twitter...

                    Ladyloz, you're right, it was Giles whom Yates used to coach.

                    What I don't understand about the thing with the pacemaker is that surely Langford should have been able to cope with that pace anyway?

                    Even if Webb, Giles and Langford all go to Doha I can't see any of them making a real impact.

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                    • #15
                      We would have all said the same about Langford before London 2017 and then he finished 4th and probably should be the bronze medalist after the Kenyan ahead of him doped...

                      The 800m can be really unpredictable, I think they are all in with a shout of making the final, it all depends how the hearts and semis play out.

                      Regarding the 800m race at the trials I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Such a non entity like McCarthy shouldn't really have any bearing on the medals and selection to Doha so it's a shame he has become such a factor. That being said, such a pace he set could and should be expected at any race for the quality and calibre of the likes of Webb, Langford, Giles etc.
                      On the day I don't think our best 800m runners got in the top 2, but I would have been more than ok with it if they had hit the standard and got the places to Doha. Looks like that is not going to happen now so we will have to wait and see what the selectors do...

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