EUGENE, Ore. -- In the final strides of his race, Andrew Wheating had already begun to process the disappointment. It was the 1,500 meters at the USA Track and Field national championships Saturday afternoon at storied Hayward Field. (Where, as a University of Oregon sophomore in 2008, he had made the U.S. Olympic team -- and rocked the Hayward house -- with a stretch-running second-place finish in the 800 meters, the most emotional race of that year's Trials).
DES MOINES, Iowa -- At their best, Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards-Ross make the very difficult look very easy. Their job is to run once around a track -- 400 meters -- faster than seven opponents. It's painful work, a mix of speed and stamina and more technical execution than you might imagine.
BERLIN -- Allyson Felix and LaShawn Merritt ruled their events on Friday night at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, and there should be no doubting their supremacy in their respective races. Both U.S. runners came into this year's world championships in Berlin with something to prove. Felix entered as the two-time defending world champion at 200 meters, but she settled for silver behind Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown at last summer's Olympics in Beijing. Merritt entered as the Olympic 400-meter champion who was still getting second billing before the event here because his teammate, Jeremy Wariner, the Olympic silver medalist, had won the previous two world titles and the 2004 Olympics.
American Allyson Felix cruised to her third straight women's 200 meters gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin -- but compatriot Jeremy Wariner failed to secure his own hat-trick in the men's 400m.
It's the iconic image of modern American sprinting: Michael Johnson, golden shoes flashing past the clock reading 19.32 seconds at the end of the 1996 Olympic 200-meter dash. It was so much faster than anyone had ever run, that even Johnson looked stunned, throwing open his arms and screaming as he caught a glimpse of the time. He was alone, on top of the world.
He watched on Thursday night from a seat high in Section J in the old wooden grandstand on the Hayward Field backstretch, anonymously punching a stopwatch while surrounded by another sellout crowd at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Clyde Hart is 75 years old; he has been coaching track and field for more than five decades, and he is to 400-meter runners what Bill Walsh once was to quarterbacks.
Sprinter Tyson Gay was expected to chase three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing. A year ago at the World Track and Field Championships in Osaka, Japan, Gay rushed to the first page of history by winning the 100 meters, (humbling world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica) 200 meters and anchoring Team USA's gold medal-winning 4x100-meter relay.
Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius, who as a double amputee runs with carbon fiber blades, will take on Olympic and world 400 meters champion Jeremy Wariner at a Grand Prix meeting in Sheffield next month.