Dakar - Fasuba wins

Thiam gives Dakar crowd of 50,000+ a happy ending - World Athletics Tour
Saturday 28 April 2007
Dakar, Senegal - Angelo Taylor (USA), Jamaica’s Sheri-Ann Brooks and Andreas Thorkildsen (Norway) emerged clear winners in their first international competition this year at the Meeting International d’Athletisme de la Ville de Dakar, the second meeting of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2007.

As expected the Senegalese fans filled the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in their tens of thousands. The future of track and field in Senegal looks secures as the bulk of the fans cheering athletes regardless of nationality where children.

tens of thousands of fans packed the national stadium in Dakar
(Mark Ouma)

Early-season world lead for Taylor

America’s Angelo Taylor upstaged the four South Africans who prior to the race were heavy favourites to dominate proceedings. Getting off to an aggressive start Taylor was a close second to Alwyn Myburgh (South Africa) coming into the home straight.

Myburgh’s early lead begun taking its toll when he began to fizzling over the last two hurdles. A fast finishing Taylor breezed past him in the last 40 metres to win the race in 48.68, the fastest performance for the 2000 Olympic champion since 2004. Myburgh (49.03) was second and was followed by Mali’s Ibrahim Maiga (49.13), Louis van Zyl (49.31), American Laron Bennet (49.46), Pieter Koekemoer (49.58), and Jamaican Ian Weakley 49.86.

Talkmore Nyongani cruises to victory in Dakar
(Mark Ouma)

“My strategy worked perfectly. I took the fight to the South Africans who were pre-race favourites. I went out hard to put them under pressure and relaxing on the second turn. On the home straight I felt strong and was confident of winning as my opponents had some hard work catching up,” said Taylor. “This is a good start to my season and I look forwards to some faster times this year especially at the World Championships in Osaka Japan in August.”

Sprint double for Brooks

Jamaica’s Sheri-Ann Brooks realised her dream of dominating the 100 and 200m on her maiden trip to Africa. After a weak start in the 100m Brooks accelerated mid-way through the race to recover lost ground, just in time to surge to victory in 11.24, past the American duo of Stephanie Durst (11.30) and Brianna Glenn (11.38).

Comfortable victory for Abraham Chepkirwok in Dakar
(Mark Ouma)

Brooks had a more smooth race in the 200m coming into the home straight ahead of Nigeria’s Gloria Kemasuoda. Brooks had the extra drive to prevail in 23.20 (wind-assisted). Kemasuoda (23.71) finished runner up with Mali’s Kadiatou Camara (24.00) placed third.

“I am happy that I have achieved my objective of qualifying for the World Championships at this meeting. Going forwards I would like to run faster in Doha (Qatar) and Osaka (Japan) in the coming week. This year my goal is to run under 11 seconds in the 100m and 22.2 in the 200m,” Brooks revealed.

Fasuba, Nyongani, Ceplak and Thorkildsen impress

[b]Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba (10.17) narrowly edged Jamaican Christopher Williams (10.18) to win the men’s 100m. Christopher went onto win the 200m in 20.72 (wind-assisted) and immediately jogged out of the stadium.

“All I wanted was to emerge victorious,” said Fasuba, the African record holder at 9.85. “It is not wise to aim for records early in the year as we have the All Africa Games and World Championships ahead of us. Although I am going to the Grand Prix in Doha (Qatar) where I set the Africa record last year, my aim is to maintain my current winning form.” [/b]
Also keen on maintaining their winning form are Zimbabwe’s Talkmore Nyongani and Slovenia’s Jolanda Ceplak. Nyongani (45.98) prevailed in the 400m. Ceplak won a keenly contested women’s 800m (2:03.30).

“The headwind on the back straight was too strong for me to run a fast time and possibly break the meet record of 44.89. Nonetheless, I am happy to regain the title I won at this meet in 2004,”says Nyongani.

Ceplak explained her motivation to win. “First I wanted to win this race, as I did in 2003. The other reason is the positive atmosphere and support the huge crowd gives us. You feel so uplifted that you want to do your best,” says Ceplak.

Olympic and European Javelin champion Andreas Thorkildsen stamped his authority with a winning throw of 81.10m. He was well ahead of his main rivals, the runner-up Erick Rags of Latvia and Marko Kantanen of Finland who threw 76.14 and 74.02 respectively.

“I believe we would have thrown further if it was not for the strong headwind,” said Thorkildsen. “Nonetheless, this is a decent start to the season and I look forward to more victories before the World championships.”

Gaining experience, Chepkirwok cruises to 800m win

Bronze medallists at the 2006 Beijing World Junior Championships, Uganda’s Abraham Chepkirwok (800m) and Kenyan Kipkorir Kiplagat (3000m steeplechase) proved that they are adjusting well to relatively slow but tactical races against senior athletes. Chepkirwok won the 800m in 1:46.85, while Kiplagat (7:47.37) was victorious in the 3000m.

“Clinching a medal in Bejing has changed my whole outlook on training and competing,” said Chepkirwok. “I am far more committed and I hope that this is the start of a great year that will see me win medal starting with the All Africa Games.”

Kiplagat is more modest about his plans. “All I am thinking of is making the 3000m steeplechase team for Osaka. After that I will plan a new strategy.”

Thiam ensures crowd’s satisfaction

The meet had a rapturous end when home girl Amy Mbacke Thiam stepped onto the track for the final event of the day, the women’s 400m. The nearly 50,000 fans that filled the stadium honoured their national heroine with a standing ovation.

In return Thiam did not disappoint her adoring fans as she went on to win the one lap race in 51.73. Nigeria’s Christy Ekpukhon (52.15) was second while Croatia’s Danijela Grgic (52.30), the World junior champion, was third.

The crowd broke into wild celebration. A Senegalese flag was thrust into her hand as she was cheered by her adoring fans as she went on a lap of honour. Ït took the intervention of the IAAF President Lamine Diack, before fans could let go of Thiam and allow journalists to interview the 2001 World 400m champion.

“This was a very important victory for our country,” said an emotional Thiam. “Coming into the race there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders as no Senegalese had won any event. I hope this good fortune will continue as I seek to bring glory to Senegal at the All Africa Games in (Algiers) Algeria in July and the World Championships in Osaka.”

Strong winds affected the jumps as well. South African record holder Godfrey Mokoena took the men’s title with an 8.32 (+2.6) leap, while Brazil’s Maurren Higa Maggi took the women’s (6.80m, w+3.8).

Click here for complete results

Mark Ouma for the IAAF

He’s a miracle man that PJ, bringing off a coaching triumph in Senegal while simultaneously translating the world’s longest L’Equipe story about . . . nothing really. What’s French for “good job(s)” :slight_smile:

Hi PJ,

Can you offer up anything about how Olu Fasuba is training these days. I’m sure there is plenty of interest and support for you and him on this forum. He’s running and winning over 100m, but if you work a short-to-long program, have you already progressed out to special speed endurance up to or beyond 100 metres?

Sorry to put you on the spot, but I know you’re not the kind to push information when it’s not requested.

Hi kk,

After indoors, the training has been almost perfect, except the gym attack drama and the Nigerian elections which caused a lot of trouble (dangerous to go out and limited access to weight room). People who recently saw him will notice that he is thiner than last year (do you have some pictures from Dakar?).

So far, he hasn’t done more than 60m for Speed Endurance workouts since October. As for Special Endurance, we have only used 200m, which is about 2 or 3 reps after lots of starts and tyre exercises, it was consistently in the 20.5-20.8 range with rests between 10 and 15min. Last year, we kept the rests as 5min and he was consistent in 21.5 range.

But these Special Endurance has no direct effect on the way he finishes the 100m races. Indeed, in Dakar, he had huge leading margin at 60m (probably circa 6.50 intermediate time), and clearly faded in the last 30m. The other reason is that we trained through that meet (which is actually Speed Endurance) and didn’t disrupt the training plan, so he competed with training soreness and i have to say a little fear in mind to be beaten, which is good for motivation at this early stage of the year.

We wanted to do longer distances than 60m for Speed Endurance but the elections made stadiums unavailable in the last couple of weeks. Last year at the same month, Olu already ran 120m and 150m but the season was upside down with major competition in March (Commonwealth Games).

As i said i an earlier post, we do both S to L (for Speed Endurance) and L to S (for Special Endurance, and these 2 ends join with 120-150m workouts in the critical period, which worked so well last year before Doha with 11.7 and 14.8 time trials.

Next stops will be Abuja on 5 May and Doha on 11 May.

Awesome post PJ (as usual!) I wish you and Fasuba the best of luck. You brought up a good point about attacking sprinting from both ends. I have been thinking about doing this myself, Short to long and long to short in the same period. Now the fun part, figuring out how to set it up!

Many thanks PJ for that post, very interesting. I coach a couple of Nigerians and they find it very difficult to train when they go back there to visit family.

Thanks PJ, your posts re Olu are always interesting and useful.
You mention doing tyre exercises is this in place of a sled? Over what distances?

With Olu, it is 10 kg tyre when he is in NGR, up to 30m. His 30m PB is 3.38 without tyre, with tyre it is 3.69.

PJ…good to hear things are going well…How is Ronald doing? Is he reaping the rewards to training with Fasuba? What should we expect from him this year?

ALWAYS interesting to learn what a great coach and athlete come up with. They are always creative - as we see here.

Question about “resistance sprinting” - do you take the sled/tyre out further than 30m? I had a friend, a very creative coach, who - rightly or wrongly - took his sled out to 80 and loaded also with only a small weight, maybe 10kg.

He argued the sled did not change mechanics too much, but helped the athlete maintain contact with the track longer enough to get more of a “feel” for force. Maybe that was nonsense, but it sounded good at the time.

And his guy won a national 100m title back in 1989, even though he was the skiniest guy in the entire field, maybe he weighed almost 65kg, probably less.

The athlete had eventually to give it away because, although young, he was developing arthritis in his knees.

The same coach argued that if you use so much energy to reach top speed at 60m, you may as well get some “special speed endurance” by maintaining through to 80m.
So his guys never stopped at 60, They always went until 80m.

Of course they did separate series of shorter distances to develop acceleration.

Same coach also played around with the starts and used both blocks side by side. Somehow it worked very well for that particular athlete. I remember sending a picture and some words about this unusual start setup to Athletics Weekly in around 1989 and Mel Watman published the photo and a few lines for curiosity.

Sadly, this very creative and ethical coach got so pissed off that his athlete was not selected for even the relay squad (6 guys) for 1990 Comm Games that he and the athlete retired on the spot and neither ever returned to the track again. Mindblowing really.

No kidding! I hope they didn’t go back for the elections! Hide their passports… :stuck_out_tongue:

sorry PJ, no pix of Olu this time. Cannot find.

KitKat Wrote: “Sadly, this very creative and ethical coach got so pissed off that his athlete was not selected for even the relay squad (6 guys) for 1990 Comm Games that he and the athlete retired on the spot and neither ever returned to the track again. Mindblowing really.”

Mindblowing - they could spit the dummy cos of it. Where’s the ANZAC/Aussie spirit?

Throughout our careers, we’re all faced with adversity in this sport and sometimes it can seem unfair and even brutal, but you should never give up. Seems a pretty weak effort to allow the issue of one non-selection to be the catalyst for leaving the sport altogether. If every athlete or coach cracked it and walked away because of a rough deal, the sport would die very quickly.

I remember the athlete and coach in question, in particular the peculiar starting method of both feet together. Novel, but clearly doesn’t work for the majority of athletes - if it did, we’d all be using it today.

Interesting about the tyre work. Thomas Springstein used that type of work with Krabbe and Breur in the good old days of the GDR. Would welcome thoughts on this, I have used it in the past but backed off when we had a spate of injuries in case we were developing poor mechanics. I used it over 30m most recently, but further back, I used 60m, 100m and even 150m. Maximum volume of 300m of tyre pulling for one session 1 or 2 sessions per week for a 3 week period prior to the competition phase. Sorry if I am hijacking this thread but it seemed a good opportunity to discuss, especially when PJ seems to be having some success with this type of work.

Maybe there was a lot more issues involved and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Good idea Nik. :slight_smile:

I really think this was the biggest part of their decision. I mean, the coach went on to become chairman of some international standards commission (to do with new inventions and patents etc) and the athlete became a barrister. They were not the kind of guys to hang around where they felt they weren’t appreciated (-ie, on the track). They were both pretty much bottom-line guys. Where’s the pay-off? No pay-off! OK, leave it to ya.

I always enjoying reading and learning about how to better implement special End workouts.
Can you explain/illustrate how you progress your Sp End workouts en route to the “critical period” and over the number of months?

Thanks and I hope I’m not taking away from the read…It’s just when opportunity knocks… :wink:

Please i don’t understand the side by side block concept? can you explain or illustrate?
I’m not too creative with tyre, i only use the poor material Olu can find in NGR. I’ve used hills and tyre in nov-dec 2005 with olu, he found it awsome for building accel, this year a little less due to environment conditions… Anyway with Olu he never used more than 10kg because that’s the only thing available, with Ronald i’ve studied various implement and to keep the work at 90% over 30m, it was necessary to use under 12kg… No more than 30m with Ronald because hamstrings were in danger with distances exceeding 25-30m.

Randy G, regarding Special Endurance : i use long distances for Tempo early in the training season, up to 800m which gradually decrease to 300m and 200m, by this time it is intensive tempo by our terminology, but it doesn’t last long, it actually depends on individual, health and indoor or outdoor facilities. But they are soon able to run reps at 21sec for 200m with short rests. By that time, tempo and Special Endurance are seperated in the training workout, even if they both use similar distances (100m to 300m) but of course intensity is kept under 70% for tempo, and above 90% for Special Endurance.

Anyhow, this work is highly individual, because some sprinters like Ronald can’t do more than 2 reps for distances longer than 200m no matter the pace and rest. Olu can do 4 or 5. Some others can do twice more, so you have to find out what works for individuals, what is needed to improve 100m personal best and respect the nature of the sprinters. We’ve seen there is a wide spectrum of abilities in SE among sprinters with similar results at 100m so there’s no rule except the individual needs, please tell me about your e’sperience.

[QUOTE=pierrejean]I’m not too creative with tyre, i only use the poor material Olu can find in NGR. I’ve used hills and tyre in nov-dec 2005 with olu, he found it awsome for building accel, this year a little less due to environment conditions… Anyway with Olu he never used more than 10kg because that’s the only thing available, with Ronald i’ve studied various implement and to keep the work at 90% over 30m, it was necessary to use under 12kg… No more than 30m with Ronald because hamstrings were in danger with distances exceeding 25-30m.

I only ever used tyres up to 7kg, and mostly 5kg. Though I have used a small tyre 3kg for a female athlete who is small in height and weight. GDR Coaches advocated 5kg tyres, which are average size.