After another month of negative drug stories leading up to the championships new IAAF chief Seb Coe has promised to tackle the negatives of drugs in athletics. But it’s the ‘positives’ he has to worry about as we hear the IAAF cut the number of drug test for the Worlds with only one-in-three tested last week. They intend to target ‘certain athletes’, which means other athletes can take advantage of that, becoming the next load of positives. The IAAF can only enforce a feeble two year ban because the lawyers use restraint of trade rules to overturn longer bans. Federations have gone bust over challenging that. The Big events and Diamond League meets want WR’s and you can’t do that with the fastest athletes out for 4 years or more.
This has all come about by the cheaper to administer Blood Passport system where tests are measured against an original sample taken in the athlete’s teenage years. Any differences in the blood cell make up and the sample could be deemed a fail. The IAAF, through WADA, have been testing old samples from the last four major championships with the latest science to detect the newer drugs in those samples and it proved rather worrying, as high as one-in-three athletes appearing to be doping through retrospective testing. It quite literally took a leak to expose just how many had failed, 27 athletes supposedly set to be asked to retire from athletics or be named in the press in the next month. It’s believed some 60 gold medal winners had abnormal blood signs in the last 3 Olympic cycles. No British athletes were to be named and no massive names so far. One big British name now retired is believed to have failed tests. The IAAF simply doesn’t want us to know who have failed as they fear it will wreck the sports integrity. It’s too late guys.
I can’t see Seb Coe outing all the cheats as not that many people will pay 100 Euros to see the hundred meters run in 10.2 on a blustery night in Oslo.
A Germany TV company also did some great work around the NIKE camp in Oregon that kick started all the drugs scandal this year. The suggestion is top athletes from all sports are allowed to go there in privacy and no one really knows what they get up to. Things are further complicated for Seb as not only has he to deal with Oregon but has to decide whether to no longer be a NIKE Ambassador, a significant wage on top of many of his significant wages. NIKE continues to sponsor Gatling to the tune of $500,000 per year. Nike have never been a moral brand and all about attitude and cheating and hustling to make a buck, a company that made its name in America in the 1980s buy making sneakers with gang colors on them.
Team GB athletics golden stars Mo Farah and Jessica kicked it all off. Farah, the defending 10,000m champion, fended of a team challenge from Kenya to win his second World Championship 10,000m to go with his two 5000m titles and this now his eighth major gold medal in a row. He is truly the greatest racer this country has ever seen. The purist will say he was born in Somalia and so not British, team mate Andy Vernon vehemently so. But for me if they run at a young age in this country and beat their piers in their age groups then they are British. Mo arrived as a ten-year-old and didn’t run seriously until he was 16. In fact Mo was slower than Andy Vernon at most corresponding age groups when they both ran schools and club races. Mo simply trained on. I think that somewhat irks Vernon and so his accusation is really about is Mo clean or not. The right wing press revel in trying to bring down Mo.
Gorgeous Jessica Ennis returned from injury and having a baby to regain her World Title after missing the 2013 and 2014 seasons. I thought she would give it all up to have more kids and be a pundit and go down the Phill Tuffnell route but not so. She is the face of any remaining purity in the sport and we love her for it. She is certainly cute enough to get TV work, especially in this HD era that cruelly ages female presenters (Gaby Logan). Her record of seven major gold’s and three silver and bronze demand it, taking the grand slam of all six outside and indoor titles. I don’t think having a child a year ago is any hindrance and so overplayed.
For her successor in Katrina Johnson-Thompson it was disaster, fouling the long jump three times in a row and out of the medals. It was her strongest event and her only chance of beating Ennis. Pressure and inexperience told and she left in tears. It was nice to see the BBC’s man trackside give her a cuddle to hide those tears. Athletics, for all its drug wars, is a family sport at its heart in the U.K.
National Usain Bolt day and the always exciting 100m Final! The showdown with unbeaten drug cheat Justin Gatlin, who had won 26 races in a row over the last two years and made a mint of the Grand Prix circuit whilst Bolt was injured, meant Bolts cape of invincibility could fall. The world only wanted Bolt to win and he did. These days you can only judge a drug cheat by their demeanor and body language as we know the federations and administrations hide their failed tests. In my mind Bolt is clean. In this year’s final I couldn’t say that of many of the eight other runners. Fortunately the race was Bolts finest and he muscled out Gatlin on the line by a tight margin for his 9th straight World Championship gold against the form book. The enjoyable antics had gone and the tension clearly there but the sport was saved and Gatling beaten.
11 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GOLDS
8 OLYMPIC GOLDS
6 WORLD RECORDS
The brilliant and likable Shelly-Anne Fraser-Price won the women’s 100m final in 10:79, beating the ever improving and striking looking Dafne Schippers from Holland, whilst America Tori Bowie, an ex long jumper, got bronze. Schippers has changed event from heptathlon and conceded that event to team GB for the remaining of her career and looks good for a possible Olympic double in Rio now in 100m and 200m.She is the definition of Amazonian.
Olympic champion Greg Rutherford become only the fifth Briton to hold the World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles simultaneously with a convincing gold. He was mouthing off about various things and clearly a guy who wants recognition and love for his achievements as he joins Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell, Daley Thompson and Jonathan Edwards in the golden quintet. But being a ginger he isn’t getting any. His jump of 6.41 was too good for the field and his longest winning jump for the big four medals. He is often accused of being lucky to win the big medals but I’m afraid this is what a non cheating Gold medal winner looks like. White, winning with average performances and extremely emotional and proud. He is winning with average jumps because the big cheating nations are being forced out of the sport by the success of the blood passport deterrent, and that means America.
The men’s 200m heats saw the big names coast through, Bolt looking clear favorite and Gatlin not the threat this time. Britain’s most exciting plastic Brit is the young man from the Caribbean, Zharnel Hughes not having an athletics federation on his island of Anguilla. I would rather we have him than America get him.
The gorgeous Genzebe Dibaba won a cracking 1500m with a great front run. She is the current WR holder. Her sister is even more talented and going for her 8th major gold in the 5000 and 10,000 meters. Sis holds three Worlds and three Olympic gold’s. She is the current WR holder for the 5000 meters. She is not as cute as her sister though. David Rudesha defended his World Championship title to add to his Olympic title and prestigious 800m WR.
Two female Kenyan ‘sprinters’ Joyce Zakary, 29, and Koki Manunga, 21, were the first to test positive this championships, taking the number to 13 from that country who are currently banned. It’s long believed a lot of blood doping goes on there in the long distance runners and equally surprising they are now winning sprint and field events. It’s no coincidence they top the medal table at half-way of the championships. I have always said cheating is linked to poverty and ethnicity and done by those who don’t feel they will be given a fair chance in life in other careers and so use sport and music to make money. It simply becomes a job to them and so feel no guilt in winning medals. To quote the suspiciously absent Yohan Blake of Jamaica:
"l wanted a better life to help my family,''
"I wasn't born with a golden spoon in my mouth; it was a really tough life’.
Most white athletes are middle-class and have other careers available to them if they don’t make it in athletics and sports and so less need to cheat. It remains my opinion that I don’t think people cheat to win so much but for sustaining cash and careers.
The most surprising Kenyan medal was the gold for Julius Jego in the javelin, firing it out to 92.34, a huge throw for a major final, breaking a few championship records in the process. 5ft 9 inch Jego got into throwing as he couldn’t keep up with the sprinters at his athletics club and saw Steve Backley on YouTube and decided he might try that instead. It’s the first ever Kenyan field medal, Egypt getting a surprise silver. You would think Kenyans would be good at spear chucking to be honest.
A thrilling men’s 400m saw South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk produce a sensational run of 43.48 seconds to snatch world gold and upset a star-studded field. It’s the fastest time that’s not Michael Johnsons and that WR now under threat. World and ex Olympic champion drug ban cheat LaShawn Merritt's 43.65secs for silver was a new personal best age 33 while James's 43.78 was a season's best in bronze. Merritt tested positive THREE TIMES for dehydroepiandrosterone, which he says he inadvertently consumed in a product he used for ‘penis enlargement’. It was the first time three guys went under 44 in the 400m. Britain's latest plastic Brit Rabah Yousif finished a fine sixth in his first world final with 44.68, being part in one of the great one-lap races. The South African was stretchered off exhausted.
A superb Triple Jump contest saw Jonathan Edwards WR finally threatened as 18 meter jumpers Christian Taylor (USA) and Pablo Pichardo (Cuba) battled it out jump by jump. Teddy Tango of France is the only other one jumping who has gone over the 18m mark but inured this year. It took the second longest jump in history to win gold as Taylor flew out to 18:21, just 8 cm down on Edwards WR mark of 18:29. Nelson Evora of Portugal came third.
Britain’s Christine Ohurougu bombed out in the 400m final finishing bang last. Alison Felix, who has moved up to 400m, took her tenth World Championship gold and Christine’s title. She is the female Usain Bolt and rather cute. Felix raw short sprint power from her 100m & 200m gold’s was too much for the Brit and she fell away on the final straight. Sophie Hitchon was the best Brit of the day with a brilliant fourth in the Women’s Hammer, breaking the British record twice in the process with 73:86m the new record.
Usain Bolt did it again with a superb 200M gold medal and blew away Gatling yet again. This is Bolts best event and the American never in it as Bolt claimed ‘La Decima’ of 10 World Champions golds. Remember, Bolt printed his blood tests online and passed everyone. For some reason WADA felt it was a good idea for athletes to log into a website to check their recent tests.
Tiffany Porter and her sister Cindy Ofila are two more plastic Brits and the type I don’t like. They went in the 100m hurdles and are very American in voice and appearance and born there and went through their system but not good enough for funding and selection and so came here to run. Porter was leading the final on the same night but fell on her face at the last for 5th after over striding at the end.
Tiffany Porter –‘describes herself as "proud to be American, British and Nigerian’.
Bolt was nearly retired by the Chinese cameraman on one of those segways when they guy accidentally backed into a barrier near the track and sent the machine into Bolts calf’s, sweeping the champ off his feet like Norman Hunter used to. Bolt wasn’t wearing spikes to grip the track and so no real damage but the camera hit the poor embarrassed techy on the head.
Dafne Schippers won the 200m final for Holland with a powerful run. She accelerates in 100 and 200 m races like a 400 runner and won the race in the last ten meters, a new European record 21:63, and that includes all the Eastern European cheats she beat. This is sum athlete. Dina Asher - Smith is a mega talented girl and finished 5th, breaking Cathy Cook’s 31-year-old 200 meter British record, and, also an Oxbridge student that speaks three languages.
Plastic Brit Shara Proctor won silver in an exciting long jump final with her penultimate jump of 7:07 took the lead, breaking her British record. But the American favorite Bartoletta responded and clinched it on her penultimate jump with 7:14m. Shara is another one from Anguilla with no athletics federation and so no real beef from me jumping for us. GB was now two medals away from matching the 6 from 2013.
Mo Farah completed the treble –double with 5000m gold, now six straight major championships. He is now Britain’s finest athlete, Somali born or not, and well deserved. The right wing press hates him for succeeding and desperate for him to be a drugs cheat. He has survived the coach Salazar controversy and finished the year of fine style. The thing is with Mo he is not a WR style runner and wins the gold’s in average times. He is quite simply a brilliant technician.
Ashton Easton defended his Decathlon World Championship title with a new WR, beating his old mark, 9045 points in total. Sexy Vlasic of Serbia in the women’s high jump returned from a long lay off to take silver in the behind new talent Mari Kuchina. Vlasic did enough posing to make sure she dominated the photos of the event. 4 gold’s is Britain’s best ever in the Worlds.
Bolt and Jamaica finished the evening off with both gold’s for the women and men’s 100m teams, Bolts 11th gold. The USA were DSQ, as were the Brits, China taking a shock silver, the stadium making a real din
The highlight is always of the last night is the one lap relays and it was a bronze for team GBs women behind gold medal winners USA and the men took the 4x400. The tally of seven medals for Britain beat 2013 tally. It was Gold for America in the men’s 4x400m relay, the Yanks sixth straight win in the event in the Worlds. Jamaica taking 3 of the 4 relays was not expected and put the small Caribbean Island above the US in the medals table. Kenya clinched an even bigger surprise by claiming top spot in the table for the first time with their seventh gold with Kiprot in the men’s 1500m.
Kenya -7 Golds – 6 Silver – 3 Bronze
Jamiaca - 7 Golds – 2 Silver – 2 Bronze
USA - 6 Golds – 6 Silver – 6 Bronze
GB - 4 Golds 1 – Silver –2 Bronze
Ehtiopa - 3 Golds 3 – Silver – 2 Bronze
There is no doubt that the blood passport system is working to catch and deter cheats. Half the Russian team didn’t turn up here fearing positive tests and they managed just 4 medals, extremely poor considering they were top 2 years ago in Moscow with 17 medals and second in 2011 in Korea with 19 medals. It’s also no coincidence two of the least tested nations over the last few years top the 2015 table, Kenya and Jamaica, usurping Russia and America. America nearly always tops the medal table and the firs time for 32 years they weren’t in the top 2. The States had a shocker and their athletes are either running scared or had someone whispering in their ear not to go to avoid embarrassing positives or underperform to avoid those tests, 6 medals down on 2013. A third of their medals went to athletes who had previously failed test. Team GB finished best European team for the first time ever after Russia’s demise.
I took up athletics competitively in 2004. My first impression of 'behind the scenes' athletics was that it was predominantly run by volunteers; there was very little money available; and that certain processes were seriously outdated.
In 2009, despite big improvements in certain areas this still continues to be the case. The area in which athletics has improved are its online networks. I have listed the main sites in which I use along with a short summary on of them:
Power Of 10 (http://www.thepowerof10.info)
A recent merger between two of the UK's best athletics websites (Power Of 10 and AthleticsData). The merger was only confirmed in March/April '09, and is now almost complete. The PowerOf10 name has been kept with just a slight alteration to the domain name.
This site features domestic rankings, results, fixtures, athlete profiles and in my opinion is the hub of British athletics online. It's funded by UK Athletics so the quality and depth is excellent. I don't think there are many countries around the world with this type of online infrastructure for athletics. The site is not really of any interest to anyone but competitive athletes.
Eightlane is a British online athletics forum. Its visitors are mainly competitive endurance runners, and most of the best athletes in the country have at some point posted on there. Amatuer athletes and just general fans of athletics also post on there. Discussions range from detailed training methods to race predictions. Its a great way of finding out whats going on deep down in British athletics.
UK Athletics (http://www.uka.org.uk)
This is basically the home page of the governing body of athletics in the UK. It features daily news articles, but is mainly focussed on the best competitions and athletes in the UK. You won't find any news on your local fun run here! Its probably the best place to go if you don't compete in athletics but want to get involved.
There are loads of running websites out there, and heres a few. Asimba.net - A site that picks a training regime to suit you, by studing your fitness level now, and how you want to be Runnersweb.com - A global community of runners, with hundreds of links, and a page for buying items Runnersworld.com - This is the site of the magazine, very useful and informative.Its geared towarards experienced runners but it has a number of tips for those wishing to start. other sites nuff-respect.co.uk www.tre.com london-marathon.co.uk
For all you athletic fans, have you missed out on some of the result from being at work or from being out during the day. Try looking at www.athleticsnet.com/ this site is really easy to navigate, with all the latest news, results, features, events, you can go into specific athletes profiles, you will find comprehensive background information on over fifty UK athletes, including personal details and performance statistics. There is live chat and discussion, when you can have a reply to all your questions. There is also a search engine so you can find your favorite athlete. Although I enjoy athletics, and I support our teams, I am not bothered if I watch it or not, but for somebody who really enjoys watching athletics, this is a really good site, to find out all the information you could possible want to know. This site is updated regularly, so you can always find out, about the results you have missed.