Kenya’s Michael Saruni will be the star to watch at the Millrose Games, the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting that will be held on January 29, 2020 in New York City.
Saruni is the African indoor record holder with a time of 1:43.98 that places him as the fastest indoor 800m ever achieved in the US. This time also made him the second-fastest indoor performer at that time.
“It will be really great to come back to The Armory and the Millrose Games where I had such a great winning race,” Saruni said.
The 26 years-old will face off with the seventh fastest world indoor all-time list for 800m, Bryce Hoppel who holds a personal best of 1:44.37. The 24 year-old finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships.
Five other Olympians will take part in this race, including NCAA champion, Isaiah Jewett, Charlie Hunter of Australia, Mexican record-holder Jesus Lopez of Mexico, Spanish record-holder Saul Ordonez and Irish record-holder Mark English. Isaiah Harris, who represented the USA at the 2017 World Championships.
Other top notch athletes to race at the Millrose Games include Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser, Donavan Brazier, world 800m champion, world shot put champion Joe Kovacs, Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu, Olympic pole vault champion Katie Nageotte, world indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris, world 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison, 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell, Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas, and Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Josh Kerr.
Tokyo Olympic Games 800m champion, Athing Mu has dominated the 2021 Wing Awards and Athlete of the Year Awards that will be held at the 2021 Night of Legends on Saturday, December 4 in Orlando, Florida.
The voting has now been opened for fans to choose their favorite athlete of the year and the best performer with the Jesse Owens, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Wing Awards.
USATF will present all awards as part of the Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida The event will also include the USATF National Track and Field Hall of Fame class of 2021 induction ceremony.
The awards have been presented annually since 1981; the Jesse Owens Award and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award are USA Track & Field highest accolades. This is United States highest award for the sport, it bears Jesse Owens’s name in recognition of his significant career, which included four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games.
The winners will be selected by the fans and media by voting to choose their most outstanding male and female athletes, winners are selected by a combination of fan and media votes.
The Wing Awards honor a variety of top performances, including Best Olympics Performance for Track as well as Field, and Breakout Performer.
World Athletics devised a new global ranking system where athletes score points on a combination of result and place depending on the level of the competition in which the result is achieved. The ranking is based on an average score over a number of competitions over a period of time.
The African continent has managed to get two athletes who have been included in the overall ranking with two times Olympics gold medallist Faith Kipyegon ranked number four in women overall with
Timothy Cheruiyot who is the Olympic silver medallist ranked number nine.
Norways Karsten Warholm and Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands have been ranked as the top athletes in the world.
The rankings pre-Olympics actually help determined what athletes made up the final spots in Japan and were no doubt a reason why the qualifying standards were harder than normal to put a greater importance on the rankings system.
World Athletics has now updated the rankings taking into account the Olympic results on the rankings published on August 18 and then again a few days after the Eugene meeting a week later and they make interesting reading but to some still need a tinkering with.
Ironically the rankings are a better reflection of athletes abilities after Oregon than they were after the Olympics which suggests the organisation hasn’t quite got their priorities right.
When athletes win Olympic golds in the fastest time of the year such as Elaine Thompson-Herah at 100m, Athing Mu at 800m and Sydney McLaughlin and 400m hurdles they should be the world no.1 rather than a very consistent athlete with a better set of marks?
while most attention has been on the ranking in individual events, there is an overall ranking and it’s no surprise that Karsten Warholm is now regarded as the top overall athlete from fellow Scandinavian Armand Duplantis. World shot record-breaker Ryan Crouser moved from fifth to third after Eugene moving ahead of Canadians Damian Warner and Andre de Grasse.
1 Karsten Warholm (NOR) 1539
2 Armand Duplantis (SWE) 1535
3 Ryan Crouser (USA) 1500
4 Andre de Grasse (CAN) 1491
5 Damian Warner (CAN) 1473
6 Alison Dos Santos (BRA) 1466
7 Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 1465
8 Rai Benjamin (USA) 1463
9 Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) 1444
10 Kenny Bednarek (USA) 1443
Thanks to her versatility from 1500m to 10,000m, Sifan Hassan is comfortably top woman from fellow double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah who has closed the gap significantly after her Eugene run. A recent world record-breaker Yulimar Rojas is not surprisingly third but it does not quite seem right and Femke Bol was fourth overall after the Olympics even though she was clearly only third best at her best event but she lost two places to Faith Kipyegon and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after their Eugene efforts with the Jamaican likely to move up further after her Lausanne win in next week’s rankings.
Caster Semenya was a divisive gold medallist at London 2012. As the city prepares to host the Anniversary Games this weekend, new rules for hyperandrogenic athletes are pushing her out of the sport.
Caster Semenya should be celebrated for her gifts, not punished, one of Britain’s most respected athletes has said on the eve of the London leg of the Diamond League season.
The woman who monopolises the middle distances won her first Olympic gold medal in Stratford six years ago. She has become a far more popular and accepted athlete since then. Semenya is missing the London Anniversary Games to compete in Monaco and her teammates – and many of her rivals – fear controversial new rules will see her exit the sport after next month’s Diamond League finals.
Ignorance over the non-binary nature of gender saw Semenya widely held up as an unsympathetic cheat back in 2012. The IAAF governing body is this year resurrecting efforts to legislate against intersex athletes receiving a perceived advantage. Their roadmap threatens to disproportionately impact the 27-year-old and a bubbling victimisation backlash is coming to a head.
From 1 November, female track athletes with elevated levels of testosterone participating in events Semenya typically features in will be required to take medication to reduce levels of the hormone. Athletes who refuse will be shut out of competing in a thin band of events ranging from 400 metres to the mile in international meets under the new IAAF rules.
Semenya’s condition is called hyperandrogenism. “It’s tough for a lot of women in the 800m, 400m and 1500m at the moment to compare ourselves,” Australian rival Brittany McGowan said earlier this year. McGowan lost on home soil to Semenya at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Team England was captained Down Under by Anyika Onuora, who has experienced more than once what it feels like to trail in Semenya’s wake. However, she has come out calling for Semenya’s attributes to be acknowledged rather than sanctioned by the IAAF, who bring the Diamond League to London this weekend.
“I speak to her on a regular basis on the circuit,” Onuora told The Independent. “The first thing I always say is, ‘you better be on the start list for the 400 metres’. If you’re her rival, you could say, ‘she’s gaining an advantage’, but that’s probably coming from your selfish needs, as opposed to looking at someone who’s just phenomenal and it’s not her fault.”
Semenya is most famous for exploits across 800 and 1,500 metres but she runs a handful of races across 400m, Onuora’s event, most seasons. “I think it’s great that there’s someone like her who can kick a lot of ass in the 400 but also kill the 800 and kill the 1500 too. There’s no denying that she has an immense amount of talent and I personally don’t think she should be punished for it. If it happens in the near future it would be a shame and I personally wouldn’t agree with it.”
Eyebrows have been raised at the study the IAAF are citing to support the introduction of new regulations. Testosterone was said to make a significant difference in five events, the research found. Bigger differences were recorded in the hammer throw (4.53 per cent) and pole vault (2.94 per cent) than the 400m (2.73 per cent) and 800m (1.78 per cent). Neither hammer throwers nor vaulters are going to be subject to the new regulations. Meanwhile the 1500m, for which there was no effect, will require hyperandrogenic athletes to self-medicate along with those who want to compete in the mile, which wasn’t even assessed as part of the study.
The study has been scrutinised by the athletics community since the new rules were proposed in April. Raised eyebrows extended to disillusionment in South Africa, where there are fears Semenya will quit if her appeal fails. The Court of Arbitration in Sport will deliver their verdict in the autumn. “We are all waiting to see how it turns out at the end of the season,” teammate Wenda Nel told The Independent. “I’m curious to see what will happen in that regard, if she will continue or stop the sport. She has shown anyone who might be in the same situation that no matter what, until they lock you in jail and you physically can’t get out, do what you love and do it to the full. I think that’s a great example. The support in the country is right behind her.”
Another teammate, Margo Chene Pretorius, feels Semenya has been victimised and that the alleged advantages intersex athletes enjoy has not been proven. “Having done [scientific] research myself, I know it’s not valid if it’s based on one study only. They [hyperandrogenic athletes] work just as hard as we do. It’s not that they’re doing less. You cannot just depend on your genetic deviations. You have to work for what you want. It feels biased. If they did more studies, then [the IAAF] would have a foot to stand on.”
The African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party, has accused authorities of displaying “blatant racism” through their plans to regulate middle distance athletes exhibiting high testosterone while ignoring the issue in the events that their referenced study has shown it to confer the most advantage.
US national hammer throw champion Deanna Price says she would be happy for the rules to be extended to her event to give them credibility. “They can test me for anything,” she said. “And if the tests found my testosterone level was giving me an advantage, I’d be happy to take the medication to lower it.”
Pole vaulter Katie Nageotte, who also represents America, disagrees. “The pole vault is a very fair playing field at the moment, very clean, and I don’t know what bringing [new rules] in would do to that dynamic.”
The IAAF says it is not passing judgment on people’s sex or gender, but says it reserves the right to organise events in men’s and women’s disciplines only. “Having levels of circulating testosterone in the normal male range and being androgen-sensitive gives a performance advantage of at least five or six per cent,” it argues.
Semenya – who endured an eleven month exile from the sport to undergo gender tests as a teenager – has recently remarked: “As a middle-distance runner, I have done enough for my collection.” You can read that as a statement of triumph or a statement of defeat. But you can only go round in circles for so long, on or off the track.