Dateline Daegu: Part IV
Through the closing ceremonies on September 4, Armory Track will be giving you the news and notes at the IAAF World Championships — the premier track event until the 2012 London Olympics.
The Armory's Jack Pfeifer tests your knowledge of the IAAF World Championships from the eyes of The Armory. (Answers at the end of this page)
1. A graduate of St. John's University, Phobay Kutu-Akoi, won her Round 1 race in the women's 100, in 11.62. She is representing her home country of Liberia. What high school did she attend?
2. One of the three Kenyan women to sweep the medals in the 10,000 meters lives and trains in the United States and graduated from an American college. Name the runner, her current hometown and her alma mater.
3. Eight of the competitors in the men's 100 preliminary round have run at the Armory. Name the eight and their affiliation at the time.
4. Four of the competitors in the men's decathlon, including all three Americans, have attended American colleges. Name them, their schools, and identify which two have competed at the Armory.
5. All four of the Americans in the women's 400 have run at the Armory. Name their affiliation at the time they did so.
Eight-time Millrose Games' Wanamaker Mile champion Bernard Lagat has gotten to the point where he can just laugh about his age. "I'm tired of people asking me which high school I go to," he told Peter Rutherford of Reuters Africa. But the 36-year-old thinks his inclusion at the Worlds speaks for itself. "This proves that Bernard Lagat has been there a long time," he added. "I'm an old man but I'm still running fast."
Glenn Graham of the Baltimore Sun caught up with Matt Centrowitz, who is preparing, as the U.S. champion, to compete in the 1,500-meter run at the Worlds. This summer he didn't just break the Oregon school record, he broke the mark owned by his dad. Said the younger Centrowitz, "It's awesome to have the same name as my dad, so when you look down the all-time list, you kind of do a double take because one shows the mark in the '70s and the second one is 2011. So it's been great to share that with my dad, and it's great to be mentioned with the other guys like Joaquim Cruz and Alberto Salazar. It's an honor, and I'm taking it all in."
Brianna Glenn has long been a successful U.S. long jumper, but she finds herself on the outside looking in at the Worlds this year. She posted on her refreshingly honest and insightful blog — My So-Called Fabulous Life — that "my event at World Champs starts tomorrow and here I am sitting on the couch eating bon bons for breakfast. Of course, that's not true ... but only because I forgot to buy some when I was at the store."
While no U.S. city is making a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, the Qatar Olympic Committee has thrown its hat in the ring. Andy Sambidge of Arabian Business reports that QOC president Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani felt that the bid would both inspire peace and become a priority for the "youthful region."
Hampton graduate Francena McCorory tore up the NCAAs a few years ago and now is looking to help the U.S. with a show of force in the 400-meter dash. All four entrants qualified for the semifinals today. Her college coach, Maurice Pierce, wrote to Melinda Waldrop of the Daily Press: "What is working well for Francena right now is one: she understands what it means to train and compete as a world-class runner; and two: she hasn't been afraid to make mistakes in her races, knowing, with this being her first full season as a professional athlete, that she will make mistakes. Just as long as we get better every track meet."
Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain apparently sees no obstacles in her path to a third 1,500-meter World Championship. In an interview with Sabrina Yohannes of Runners World, she dismissed American standout (and Cornell grad) Morgan Uceny by offering "I don't think (Uceny's) something I need to worry about too much for the World Championships." Ouch. Uceny has beaten Jamal twice this summer on the European circuit.
It is looking like the men's 110-meter hurdles could be among the best events in Daegu as Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba will face David Oliver and Liu Xiang. The three fastest hurdlers in history all expect to be in Monday's final, but Robles had a warning, "One mistake and you're dead. You need a good start and you can't make any mistakes.''
LSU — long a favorite of The Armory and Penn Relays — has nine athletes competing at the World Championships. Only one — triple jumper Walter Davis — is an American. Jamaica edges out Trinidad & Tobago, 4-3, in the count. The Jamaicans are Damar Forbes (long jump), Riker Hylton (400m), Isa Phillips (400m hurdles) and Nickiesha Wilson (400m hurdles). The Trinidadians are Kelly Baptiste (100m), Semoy Hackett (100m, 200m) and Richard Thompson (100m). The remaining Tiger, Gabriel Mvumvure, will run the 100m and 200m dashes for Zimbabwe.
Jon Drummond, a member of world-record-setting 4x100m relays in his day, is now coaching the U.S. relay squads, long plagued by missed handoffs. "I think what we have to do is bring back the team camaraderie and patriotism and confidence in getting the stick around," Drummond told Amy Shipley of the Washington Post. "It's not rocket science."
1. JF Kennedy HS, Silver Spring, Md
2. Sally Kipyego, silver medalist, lives and trains in Eugene, Ore., and is a graduate of Texas Tech University
3. Richard Thompson (LSU), Walter Dix (Florida State), Justin Gatlin (Tennessee), Ngoni Makusha (Florida State), Gabriel Mvumvure (LSU), Marek Niit (Arkansas), Gerald Phiri (Texas A&M) and Nesta Carter (Manchester HS, Jamaica)
4. Ashton Eaton (Oregon), Trey Hardee (Mississippi State, Texas), Ryan Harlan (Rice), Maurice Smith (Jamaica/Auburn). Eaton and Hardee (while at Texas) have competed at the Armory.
5. Francena McCorory (Hampton University and while a student at Bethel HS in Hampton, Va), Sanya Richards (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla), Allyson Felix (Los Angeles Baptist School, North Hills, Calif) and Jessica Beard (Texas A&M)