The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

Can Steve Hooker overcome the yips on Day 6 of the Athletics?

Steve Hooker with 'Aussie Katya' Yekaterina Kostetskaya (Image: leichtathletik.de)
Roar Rookie
8th August, 2012
22
2088 Reads

Four gold medals are awarded on Day 6 of the Athletics with the American and Jamaican sprinters going head to head in the Women’s 200m.

Meanwhile at 7:00pm AEST reigning Olympic Gold medallist Steven Hooker will try to overcome his demons in the Men’s Pole Vault qualifying.

The Gold Medal Events

Men’s Decathlon

World Records in track and field do not come along very often. In Olympic events there were two set in 2011 and there was only one event in which the World Record was broken in 2010.

However six weeks ago Ashton Eaton from the USA broke the World Record in the Decathlon and became only the second man to ever score over 9000 points.

The main interest in the decathlon at these games is not who will win, but whether Eaton can reproduce that performance and break the record again. To put things in perspective, when setting that World Record the performance that Eaton did would have been good enough for him to win four individual Australian titles out of the ten events. There is a 500 point gap between him and his closest competitor.

Whilst the medals wont be awarded until after two days my tips are Eaton for gold but to just miss the World Record, Behrenbruch for silver and to take out the title of the most handsome man at the Olympics, and Hardee for bronze.

Women’s Long Jump

Advertisement

One women stands out from the field this year, the 2009 and 2011 World Champion Brittney Reece from USA. She won the World Indoor Championships this year with the longest jump in the world since 2004 and has jumped over 7m four times this year.

It is a tight pack after that with the next nine girls in the rankings covered by 16cm. The girls had to deal with fluctuating headwinds in qualifying and if the continue in the final there could be a few surprises. My tips are Reece for gold, Proctor for silver and DeLoach for bronze.

Women’s 400m Hurdles

Former flat 400m runner Natalya Antyukh from Russia has been the form athlete of the year and set a season’s best in the semi finals. With her superior speed and her hurdling technique now not looking too bad, she seems to have the gold wrapped up.

Davydova showed the next best form through the rounds but it is anyone’s guess as to who else might step up in the final. My tips are Antyukh for gold, Davydova for silver and Demus for bronze.

Women’s 200m

It is round three for the battle USA verses Jamaica to decide who will win the battle of the sprinting nations. Jamaica is leading 2-0 after the 100m races but this is the USA’s chance to get one back. Allyson Felix (who somebody told me looks like Jar Jar Binks) ran the 6th fastest 200m of all time at her national trials with her 21.69. This time is nearly half a second ahead of the second best girl this year.

That is a Usain Bolt type of winning margin! Behind Felix her fellow Americans also look to have the wood on the Jamaican girls with Sanya Richards-Ross running well after coming off the high of her 400m gold medal. My tips are Felix for gold, Richards-Ross for silver and Campbell-Brown for bronze.

Advertisement

Men’s 110m Hurdles
Liu Xiang doing his achilles in the heat, as well as breaking the hearts of one billion Chinese, has made Aries Merritt the clear favourite and opened the door for the USA to sweep the medals in this event.

My tips are Merritt for gold, Richardson for silver and Robles to make up for being in my opinion very harshly disqualified after winning the 2011 World Championships for bronze.

Australians

Steven Hooker lines up in the Men’s Pole Vault Qualifying. There has been much publicity about the difficulties he has been facing in the lead up to this meet and his form in Europe has not been great.

The reigning Olympic gold medallist comes into this competition ranked 11th in 2012 and if it hadn’t been for his most recent competition where he cleared an equal seasons best, I would be writing him off. The unknown factor is the weather. The jumps have been plagued by tricky winds in the Olympic Stadium and Steve needs everything possible going his way.

As it stands, if he can take off, he will qualify for the final.

Collis Birmingham, Craig Mottram and David McNeill go up against a wealth of Africans in the 5000m heats.

Mottram’s victory at the trials in the rain was inspirational stuff, but in his last race he was soundly beaten by Birmingham. There just seems to be too many other good runners in form for our Aussie men to make much of an impact in this event.

Advertisement

Jarrod Bannister has his qualifying for the Men’s Javelin. He came 7th at the last World Championships and what might surprise some is that he has the 4th best PB in the field. If he can pull out a good one, he will progress.

close