Perhaps it has been the Olympic motto – citius, altius, fortius- that has been responsible. But in our time-conscious athletics’ world, we sometimes forget that a championship — hell, any race – is first and foremost a competition amongst athletes, not a trial against the tyranny of time – though on occasions the clock is a worthy opponent. Thus, with pacers removed from the agenda throughout this weekend’s IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, England, athletics fans will get to see a myriad of tactical races that produce champions who might not have been considered favorites going in. Continue reading
Last week’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon has been praised for its innovations in track & field presentation, things like NBA-style player introductions, music during competitions, and medal ceremonies in Portland’s Courthouse Square. And while there were many performances to laud and races that stretched emotions taut, it must also be noted that there was an uneven quality to a meet billed as a “World Championships”.
Though 148 nations sent at least one representative to Portland — up from the 135 in Sopot, Poland in 2014, but down from the 168 in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012 — there was a shortage of top-flight fields in many events. One reason may well be the specter of the Rio Games this summer. Continue reading