Tag Archives: Nick Zaccardi

Episode 171: World Championship Grades with Nick Zaccardi of NBC Olympic Talk

Kevin is joined by Nick Zaccardi of NBC Olympic Talk to give out grades for the IAAF World Championships.  The guys discuss the performances by the American sprinters, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s dominance, Alysia Montano’s front running and the future of Mary Cain.  Also, Nick shares his opinion on Olympic mascots and the chances that Lolo Jones makes the Olympic bobsled team.

The Morning Run- April 21

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Plenty of action this weekend on and off the track.  The London Marathon is on Sunday and, as Nick Zaccardi of Sports Illustrated points out, many of the world’s top track runners will also be in action.

First to the marathon.  The full elite men’s and women’s fields courtesy of Athletics Weekly.

Predictions from this week’s podcast.

Kevin:

Men: Vincent Kipruto, Emmanuel Mutai, Tsegay Kebede

Women: Mary Keitany, Florence Kiplagat, Ejegayehu Dibaba

Jason:

Men: Emmanuel Mutai, Tsegay Kebede, Patrick Makau

Women: Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, Aberu Kebede

I stuck with the chaos theory theme of this year’s marathon season and chose Vincent Kipruto to upset all four of the Kenyans still in Olympic consideration.  Even with a win, Athletics Kenyan is still likely to choose from the original six of Geoffrey Mutai, Emmaneul Mutai, Moses Mosop, Wilson Kipsang, Abel Kirui and Patrick Makau.   Here is what needs to happen for each to qualify:

Geoffrey Mutai: Since his DNF in Boston, all Mutai can do is wait and watch on Sunday.  His phenomenal 2011 should count for something, so he is probably safe unless 3 or more Kenyans dip under the 2:04:30 mark in London.

Moses Mosop: Like Geoffrey Mutai, Mosop has already raced his spring marathon (3rd place in Rotterdam) so his Olympic hopes rest on the performances in London.  However, Mosop needs much more help than G. Mutai.  Some modest times combined with upsets (Lel or Kipruto being the top Kenyan for example) are his only path to the top three.

Emmanuel Mutai: The defending London Marathon champion benefitted from Geoffrey Mutai’s and Moses Mosop’s losses, but most likely he still needs to finish in the top three and beat at least two of the three top Kenyans racing (Makau, Kirui, Kipsang).  He may also be able to squeak in with a lower place, if the times are very fast (under 2:04) and he finishes well amongst his countrymen.

Patrick Makau:  Like Mutai, I think he can only lose to one Kenyan on Sunday and still be in a good position for selection.  Despite holding the world record, his Berlin performance came in a paced race against a weaker than expected field.  He has wins over Geoffrey Mutai from 2010, but I doubt those carry much weight now.  As it stands, he is ahead of Kipsang and Kirui, so a loss on Sunday to either of those two, would probably mean he is off the team.

Abel Kirui:  Based on time, Kirui is least credentialed of the six.  He has won two world championship titles, which is the only reason he is still in consideration for a berth.  I think he needs a top 3 overall performance as well as the second Kenyan to have any hope of jumping over the others.

Wilson Kipsang:  No major marathon wins and no wins against the other five in consideration make Kipsang a darkhorse  to make the team.  He was just seconds off the world record in Frankfurt, but, like Makau, it was done in a paced race.  It is hard to envision him getting the nod over Makau, or either of the Mutais unless he has a decisive victory and runs under 2:04 again.

The rest of the Morning Run:

Caster Semenya qualified for the Olympics, surprising nobody except for the editors at Fox.

Cam Levins beat Lawi Lalang in the 5,000 at Mt. SAC last night and earned the Olympic “A” standard in the process.

Kenyan 800 meter stars David Rudisha and Pamela Jelimo recorded wins in the 400.

Friday’s Oregon Relays action featured a fast 1500 by Sally Kipyego.

Ken Goe’s Saturday links.

LA Times feature on Brittney Reese titled “Brittney Reese hopes to be leaps and bounds above the rest.”  Because she is a long jumper.

Headline writers, yearbook editors and any others in charge of “punny” titles to articles.  Please avoid the following:

-“___________ raises the bar” (high jump/pole vault)

-“___________ clears hurdles/obstacles on/off the track” (hurdles)

-“____________ is on the fast track” (sprints)

-“_____________ goes the distance” (distance)

Enjoy your London Marathon, Mt. SAC Relays, Kansas Relays, Oregon Relays, Tom Jones Meet weekend!

-Kevin

The Morning Run- April 12th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Our most recent podcast is here.  In it, Jason and I discuss the Stanford InvitationalFlorida Relays, the upcoming Boston and Rotterdam marathons and the trailer to the movie “Fast Girls.”

David Epstein of Sports Illustrated wrote a fantastic article on the late Sammy Wanjiru.  Epstein also appeared on the Sports Illustrated podcast.  I highly recommend both.

Philip Hersh reports that sprinter Marshevet Hooker is pregnant and will not compete at the Olympics.  Hooker was on the 2008 team and was 8th at last year’s World Championships.  Nick Zaccardi of Sports Illustrated points out that Hooker’s absence potentially makes room for collegians English Gardner and Octavious Freeman.  However, Hooker’s experience, and speed, will be missed on the 4 x 100 relay where the US is trying to beat the Jamaican squad for a second year in a row.  It was Hooker’s leg last year (3rd leg) that blew the race open and carried them to victory.

Australian pole vaulter Steve Hooker now trains in a “Bat Cave” and appears to be on the comeback after suffering from the “yips” in 2011.

A North Korean marathon exists…….and had a great finish……. and an interesting press release.  The winning time of 2:12:54 was well off King Jong Il’s 1:59:59 course record.

David Rudisha plans only three races before London.  Not sure if this includes the Kenyan Trials.

Lashawn Merritt wants to race NFL stars after his season is over.  I am sure there is a long line of NFL players just waiting to get exposed by Merritt in a 100.

The Kenyan 10,000 meter team, which will ultimately be decided in Eugene at the Prefontaine Classic, has cut the field down to 30.  Another 15 will be cut after a race in Kenya next week.

Guardian retrospective on the life and death of Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell are not racing this weekend, but will be at the same meet.  Who could have seen this coming?

Blake is planning to double in the 100 and 200 in London.  I will have more on this decision, and other key Olympic track and field decisions, on tomorrow’s Morning Run.

Science of Sport’s “Around the Rings” column features 3 topics on running.

Pat Price reviews the documentary, “Town of Runners.”

After saying that she would be satisfied with a bronze, Paula Radcliffe now sees gold in marathon at London as “realistic.”  The British press have already begun salivating and frantically searching the internet for synonyms for “failure.”

The top American marks of the outdoor season thus far.

-Kevin