The Fast and Injurious – Potentially the greatest year for sprinting ever was begun by Bolt and Powell this weekend….
It is no secret, to anyone that knows me or has read some of my previous blogs ,that I am a massive fan of athletics, in particular sprinting. I’m lucky enough to be able to say, hopefully without trying to sound too smug, that I was in the stadium for the men’s 100m final at last years Olympics and it was simply electric! The atmosphere was just incredible and as the 8 men took their marks, the tension filling the cool August air, would need more like a diamond cutter than simply a knife to be disturbed! Looking back I think there can be no denying that in 2012, we saw the best ever race over 100 metres by 8 incredible men. I was in Berlin for the 9.58 record in 2009 and in my mind, despite the slightly faster winning time, in terms of theatre, that race would come in a lowly second place comparatively.
2013 however could, arguably, provide an even greater stage for the worlds fastest to come together once again for battle, at this years world championships we could potentially see the most competitive field ever put on a startline. This weekend we saw the first outing of the injury prone, sub-10 king Asafa Powell on Aussie turf, the first sighting of Usain Bolt in a blisteringly hot 150m on the beaches of Brazil, and the third in the Jamican trio, the Beast, Yohan Blake, well…apparently he was playing cricket actually, but still he is surely going to be looking to hit his Caribbean counterparts for six, out on the track this year . And it was not only Jamaicans that were tearing it up over the weekend though, on a windy Texan track, American Darvis Patton became the fifth fastest man ever regardless of wind conditions, clearly confirming his intentions to mount a challenge to the worlds best this year.
As we take a look at the runners and riders for the 2013 track season, there are a number of hungry hungry athletes waiting to dethrone the big man, Usain. Despite a slight hamstring problem Asafa Powell is looking good for a solid campaign and is targeting the world crown after missing out on a medal last year. Then we have Yohan Blake, the reigning world champ, after getting so close to Bolt last year, the joint-second fastest man ever is going to be working incredibly hard to regain his world title and with the progress he’s been making over the last couple of years who’s to say that Bolt can stop him if he’s on top form. At the other end of the scale we have a certain Tyson Gay, the real nice guy of sprinting, after claiming he’s finally feeling healthy he’s going to be out looking to run PB’s over the 100,200 and 400m in 2013, a feat if which achieved could well see the 2007 World Champ finally back atop the podium . With the wealth of talent in the US, Gay will have to work hard just for his place on the plane to the Worlds, Justin Gatlin ran a new lifetime best to get a medal in London last year and looks to still be on the up since returning from his doping ban, Ryan Bailey was both huge and indeed hugely impressive last year lowering his PB to 9.88s and then we have Doc Patton running 9.75 this weekend well and truly throwing a wiley old cat amongst the pigeons.
Closer to home, two Brits will be looking to crack the elusive ten second barrier for the first time, Gemili and Dasaolu are a couple of fantastic prospects for British sprinting who have the potential to deliver something very special this year.
For me the 2013 Track and Field season really can’t start soon enough, with all the prospects of being the best year ever for 100m sprinting, we better watch out for some big performances coming our way! The question is: who do you think will dominate in 2013? Post your thoughts in the comments below or on the Facebook page.