Hubert Lawrence | Athlete of the Year: Thompson vs Wlodarczyk – Take you pick

first_imgIt seemed pretty clear to me that Poland’s undefeated, double world record setting hammer throw Olympic gold medallist Anita Wlodarczyk was a sure bet for this year’s Athlete of the Year Award. That was until a bright-minded friend stopped me in my tracks. His message was simple – world records aren’t created equal. That devalued the huge world record throw of 82.29 metres Wlodarczyk used to win her second Olympic gold medal in Rio di Janeiro and even bigger heave – 82.98, which she produced later in her supreme 13 meet season. He reasoned that the hammer throw, which made its Olympic debut as recently as 2000, is so young that records are easy to come by. By contrast, the records in the 100 and 200 metres are out in never-never land at 10.49 and 21.34 seconds, respectively. He applies the same reasoning to the women’s 3000-metre steeplechase where Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, another contender for the big award, has dismantled the world record. Given that Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson won two Olympic gold medals and not just one like the big Pole and the tiny Bahrani, he reckons that Thompson has as good a chance as they do to be named female Athlete of the Year. The one medal-two medals argument has pros and cons. Sprinters like Thompson can apply the same skills to more than one event because they are similar. Often, field event skills, like throwing the hammer, are so specific that the athlete can’t even conceive of doing another discipline. That aside, the patriot inside me had to look more closely to see if he was right. The big question is whether Thompson’s 7-win 100-metre season and her 3-2 200-metre campaign is superior in quality to Wlodarczyk’s 2016 compilation of gold, no losses and eight 80-metre throws. The slim lady from Banana Ground sped to the three fastest 100-metre times of the year – 10.70 to win the National Senior Championships, matching the Jamaican record held by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 10.71 to win in Rio and 10.72 seconds to win at the Brussels Diamond League meet. Her gold-winning 200-metre time was the fastest by anyone in 2016 at 21.78 seconds. The search for comparisons between Thompson, Wlodarczyk and the other main contender for the award leads to the IAAF Scoring Tables. Designed by the sport’s governing body to quiet vexing questions like this one, the tables produced a stunning conclusion. The Jamaican scores 1255 points from her 10.70 100-metre clocking and a similar amount – 1250 – for her fast Rio 200. The same tables give the blond Pole a slam dunk score of 1303 points for her second world record and 1292 for the one that took her to the top of the podium in Rio. If those tables are any guide, Thompson would have to run 10.45 or 21.20 to match Wlodarcyzk’s second world record! It’s staggering to think that an 80-metre hammer throw equates to sprint times of 10.70 and 21.72 seconds respectively. When you consider that Wlodarczyk had seven 80-metre plus throws, it’s a big deal. Almaz Ayanna’s gold medal-winning 10,000 metre world record of 29 minutes 17.45 seconds was pretty tasty too. It gathered 1288 points for the tireless Ethiopian. While you digest that, note that Jebet gets 1263 points for her world record of 8 minutes 52.78 seconds in a discipline that was added to the Olympic track and field programme as recently as 2008. Single-handedly, she bumped the all-time total of sub-9 minute steeplechase times up from one – the old world record of 8 minutes 58.81 seconds – to four. Her Olympic year hat-trick of sub-9 clockings included her winning time in Rio, 8.59.75. While Thompson, Ayanna and Jebet all lost races in the season, South African Caster Semenya was undefeated in her prime event. However, the IAAF tables give Semenya’s fastest 800-metre time of 1 minute 55.28 seconds a mere 1239 points. The sole 2016 loss for US 100-metre hurdler Kendra Harrison came at the wrong time. Sadly, she was an uncharacteristic sixth at her nation’s Olympic Trials. Harrison was otherwise spotless and peaked with a world record of 12.20 seconds, worth 1255 points. There are only two possible conclusions. Either the IAAF Scoring Tables have led this discussion down the garden path or Wlodarczyk is the Athlete of the Year by virtue of a season better in quality to the efforts of every other female athlete on Earth. That would include Ayanna, Jebet and Thompson. Take your pick. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. VEXING QUESTIONSlast_img read more

Fajardo vows to do his best for Gilas

first_imgJake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netHe may be decorated fixture in the pro league, but June Mar Fajardo is well aware that he has yet to prove himself in the international game.That’s why the soft-spoken four-time PBA Most Valuable Player is challenging himself to perform at his best in the first leg of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World Cup, Ete he will pair up with naturalized center Andray Blatche to provide Gilas Pilipinas a vaunted twin tower combo.ADVERTISEMENT Barnes’ 30-footer at the horn lifts Mavs over Grizzlies Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Whether he plays heavy minutes or not, Fajardo vows to do what Reyes asks of him.“Whatever coach tells me to do, what my role is when I’m on the court, I’ll do my best to contribute to the team,” he said.Gilas faces off against Japan at Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Gymnasium in Tokyo on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson View comments “This is our chance to help the team and the country in our own little way,” he said.Fajardo has had a rather lackluster run with the Philippine team with his last stint in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup ended up getting derailed with a calf injury.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throneThough the 28-year-old big man did see action in the team’s last three games, he only averaged 6.0 points, 3.0 rebounds in 12.7 minutes in that run.Luckily, he gets another crack af showcasing his abilities for the country after being named to coach Chot Reyes’ 12-man roster for the game against Japan on Friday.last_img read more

Herbalist who Escaped Ebola Quarantine Identified, Is on the Run

first_imgA herbalist who treated the 17-year-old boy, who sparked Liberia’s third wave of Ebola infections, has escaped quarantine and fled to Nimba County in the north of the country near Guinea. Officials said on Thursday that he has been identified.He was one of 120 people placed under quarantine for coming into contact with the deceased.“The herbalist evaded quarantine and is on the run, this is the reason why we are putting everybody on alert,” Paul Karnue, a spokesman for the Nimba local government said.“Nimba County authorities are not taking Ebola’s recurrence lightly because the county suffered severely during the first outbreak,” he added.More than 11,200 people have died from the worst outbreak on record of the viral Ebola fever since the epidemic broke out in December 2013 in neighboring Guinea.Liberia was declared Ebola-free on May 9, but reported a new case nearly two months later. The outbreak is also still active in Sierra Leone and Guinea.“It is worth mentioning that the first Ebola case in Nimba County in 2014, started with a similar story. One herbalist went to Monrovia to treat an Ebola patient. Thereafter he contracted the virus and returned with the disease to Nimba. This is how Ebola spread and took away the lives of hundreds of citizens,” Karnue said.A Liberian woman died of Ebola on Tuesday in a hospital in Monrovia shortly after being admitted, becoming the sixth confirmed case and second death since the virus resurfaced last month.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more