I enjoyed this reply and all your expert knowledge on Aths. Have always appreciated your thoughtful AFL football posts for that matter too. But getting back to Stewie. Yes, to win a medal, let alone a gold in a key Olympic track event, is incredibly difficult, especially in this era of drug 'temptation'. (And the Kenyans certainly aren't exempt from that. When you can make a fortune in terms of a poor country. Interesting to hear Cheruiyot not qualifying at home due to a hamstring issue recently but headed to Europe and made a remarkable recovery then selected!}The only way you seem to beat those guys is if you are a specialist sit and kick runner with a blistering change of pace, like the American Centrowitz, who was in Stewie's heat and was the defending champion from Rio. If the Kenyans aren't willing to make it fast earlier, blokes like Centrowitz seem to be able to out kick them in the right race.
But the downside to that is if you get in a heat with someone like Stewie who is willing to make everyone hurt from a long way out, you are vulnerable. And as a result, Centrowitz and a couple of other similar types were run out of that semi. They just couldn't mount a challenge off that pace.
Having said this. Like I was talking about earlier regarding the 800m. The only time in these middle distance races that you see someone being able to run from the front and win at championships, is if they are a dominating athlete at the peak of their powers. A world record holder who is several seconds faster than anyone else. Whereas there is no one in that category at the moment. There is a thin margin between the top dozen or so. Stewie is currently ranked 4th on time among that blanket.
So you are right, you likely see him set up a race in Olympic record time. Everyone hurts like hell, a few drop off the back and just cannot kick off that pace., but 3-5 of the absolute cream manage to come over the top at the end. Perhaps even the top 6 (including Stewie) finish under or close to the Olympic record, with less than a second separating them all. That is the scenario you can see playing out.
And I think Stewie's coach, Bideau is realistic in that thinking too. When asked if Stewie can win a medal at the Olympics in this event group, his response (to laymen) is normally along the lines of, "Possibly....but people don't grasp how incredibly hard it is to win or get medals in these events." I think what he is getting at there is the average broadcaster (or punter on the street) watches the gold rush in the swimming, then watches athletics and goes, "We're *smile* at athletics, if our swimmers can do it, why can't our runners?" But what they are looking at is apples and oranges in terms of the overall difficulty level to place at the pointy end. No disrespect intended to athletes from other sports, because we know how incredibly hard they work. But it cannot be compared in a neat way where a gold medal in skateboarding or BMX is of the same value as a gold medal in the 100m or the 1500m on the track. Which is the kind of erudite undertone that is fed by the broadcasters to average fat Wayno, sitting on the couch at home watching the broadcast with a VB in one hand and a packet of twisties in the other.
The Madison. It’s pretty crazy stuff. They haven’t had it at the last couple of Olympics.What’s that event that just finished at the velodrome. Where they had 1000 riders on the track at the same time. I missed the start so not sure what it’s called. Went for about 200 laps. Was pretty full on.
They are playing well. Patty just needs to pick his shots a fraction better. Playing well, they deserve the bronze. I think they’ll get it.Boomers please an historic medal tonight. last chance for the veterans. Might need Doncic to have an off night, two time best 5 in NBA. In only his third season.