First and foremost – the coverage. Early coverage was hideous, especially when shots of fans and coaches took precedence over real live action in the distance events. I cannot believe how little of the Woman’s marathon and both 10,000 meter races was shown. Somewhere north of 60 million people in this country run or jog. Millions race distances from 5K to the marathon and distance races get little more than a slight nod from the networks. Problem: they don’t know how to cover them. So, hey network….. ASK runners and fans! The only thing NBC/Universal did right was to enlist Toni Reavis and Josh Cox for the commentary (even then they had them in some hole in the wall studio FAR away from the actual action). And while I’m on that topic, with the number of commercials being carried every 6-10 minutes, couldn’t you afford to have all of your commentators in Korea?
|Toni and Josh (uppers amidst the biggest downer)|
|Trey Hardee & Ashton Eaton|
Uppers. There are plenty. Loved watching the Kenyans sweep the Woman’s marathon and 10K. Made me want to hoist my Kenyan flag (didn’t want to scare the neighbors, though)! The advancing to the finals of Lauren Fleshman, Amy Hastings, Emma Coburn, Jenny Barringer-Simpson, and Morgan Uceny shows the building strength of female American distance runners. The competitiveness of the Kirani James/LaShawn Merritt 400 meter dual was great. The coverage of both the Men’s Decathlon (shout outs to Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton for going 1-2) and woman’s Heptathlon (Wow, is Tatyana Chernova some kind of an athlete or what?) were excellent. An impressive win for Carmelita Jeter in the 100 illustrated close to the perfectly executed race. David Rudisha showed unmatched power in the 800 and Mo Farah came, oh so close, in the Men’s 10K.
I’m sure I am missing some of my other Uppers, but I reserve the right to add them later.
On the whole, the biggest Upper is the meet itself. The greatest track and field athletes in the world meeting in one of the greatest sports events held every two years is enough for me. I’ll live through the bad coverage and the occasional disappointment by one of my favorites. But, compared to the dark ages when I competed, the breadth of coverage is awesome. Television (even poor television) and websites like Flotrack, Track and Field News and the iaaf site have been a Godsend.
I’m looking forward to an exciting final half of the meet. How about you? Enjoy!