Tag: Ato Boldon

LONDON DIAMOND LEAGUE COVERAGE

Though it has always seemed to be something of a cottage industry in this sport, personally I am always loath to criticize how others may cover the sport of track and field. Having covered the sport myself for many years, I am fully aware that mistakes are part of the game. But I jump to give a nod of approval when it’s deserved.

Today’s NBC coverage of the London Diamond League meet was notable for several reasons.  First, the commentary by Paul Swangard, Ato Boldon , and Josh Cox was concise and drew attention to the athletes rather than themselves.  But more than that, there was finally a technical level of proficiency that merited attention (though, as pointed out in a response below, the video feed was provided to NBC by the Diamond League organizers, to which they added the commentary of Paul, Ato, and Josh).

I have long said you could make a 44-second 400 look unusually pedestrian by shooting it with the stationary camera positioned high in the stands looking down at the track. But today there was temendous gator-mounted tracking camera footage utilized to bring the power and speed of the sport into America’s living rooms (or wherever one may have watched). (more…)

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BREAKING DOWN THE EVENTS – SHOWCASING THE SPORT

As the NCAA  Indoor Track & Field Championships get under way in College Station, Texas (watch ESPN3  6:30-10pm Eastern Friday) and the New Balance National Indoors are contested at the New York Armory through Sunday, I thought I’d extend the conversation I began earlier this week.

On Tuesday I suggested that track & field build on the marketing momentum generated by the NFL’s Scouting Combine by challenging track and field athletes in the same Combine events – 40 yard dash, vertical jump, and standing broad jump – to show how our sport’s talent stacks up against America’s most popular sport – PIGGY BACKING ON THE NFL COMBINE.

In 2015 UConn corner-back Byron Jones set a broad jump world record at NFL combine at 12′ 3″

Today, I want to amplify on that suggestion by encouraging track to include mimicking the way America’s pro sports break down their games for their fans.  In that sense, let’s begin by deconstructing our events into their component parts by taking splits in the 100 meter dash and other shorter speed races, as well.

Consider, we split the bejezus out of the marathon to make it palatable, every mile, every 5K.  We give the 400m split on the 800, all four 400s in the mile, etc.  If the sport is going to be about clocking speed, then break it down into its component parts with some secondary and even tertiary level granulars to identify the basic elements that lead to these remarkable performances. (more…)

SOUTH AFRICA STAGES GLOBAL ATHLETICS CONFERENCE

Along the Indian Ocean
Along the Indian Ocean

Durban, South Africa – In this year of 2014 South Africa has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of its transition from apartheid state to non-racial democracy.  On December 5th it will mark an especially moving moment in that celebration with the commemoration of the one year’s passing of its beloved father figure Nelson Mandela.  With the great divide of apartheid receding, the people of this proud land now look to the future for opportunities to showcase their country to the world, opportunities which were denied it during the long, painful road to freedom.

This weekend I am half a world away deep in the southern hemisphere in lovely Durban, South Africa, a warm, Miami-like seaside city which is playing host to what is being billed as Africa’s first Global Athletics Conference. The two-day GAC 2014 is the offspring of conference director, Lee-Roy Newton, a retired South African sprinter who was a member of his country’s 4 X 100m World Championship gold medal squad in 2001.

KwaZulu-Natal Athletics President Sello Mokoena welcomes media to GAC 2014
KwaZulu-Natal Athletics President Sello Mokoena welcomes media to GAC 2014

Today, Newton is owner of the Newton Agency, and vice-president of Kwazulu-Natal Athletics. Newton, along with KZN Athletics president Sello Mokoena have brought together a collection of the sports’ business, athletic and media leaders to help the sport’s South African stakeholders better understand the elements necessary to launch serious bids for future world athletic championships. The 2022 Commonwealth Games is among the international meetings on its immediate radar. (more…)