At this point the only solution that I can see is for Doug Logan to step in, exert his authority and appoint a relay coach for the men and another for the women. At Nationals this person would select whoever he or she wants, dictate when camps and competitions would be and use whatever technique he or she wants. If the team drops the baton at the next competition he/she would be fired and replaced. If the team ran poorly he/she would have one more year to put it together or be fired.
While Jamaica’s men would be very tough to beat, there would be no shame in running fast and finishing behind them. A well coached USA women’s team could have run away from Jamaica who exchanged poorly.
The agents can be damned on this issue. A group of 10.10 guys passing well can run mid-37’s. It takes athletes who care.
Anyway guys, the USA shouldn’t even need a relay coach to medal. Track is these guys’ entire lives. If they can’t get a baton even around the track in prelims that is freaking sad. I can take a bunch of 18 year olds from a summer track meet, throw them together and they can get the stick around.
Completely oblivious that something might have gone wrong. Trying to be cute with the announcer regarding whether Tyson Gay’s participation in the finals. Rather than being serious and professional, they’re all trying to one up the Jamaicans at being goofy. Don’t get drawn into the other guy’s game! Gay never fails to give a considered and professional interview. If we had made the finals I would had him lead-off and run Rogers 2nd who would respond to better leadership. Patton and maybe Crawford would be done. There are 12 other sub-10.10 guys to choose from in 09 and bet at least 3-4 would be honored to run for the US and take their jobs seriously.
As an aside I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and admire Tyson Gay.
Without a group commitment a relay team is nothing and the US just showed it once again. At least this year they didn’t look like they were sponsored by Sharpie. Let a coach select athletes who are committed to the team concept. If he fails, get a new coach. There are more than enough sprinters in the US to run 37.50 with proper exchanges.
Agreed, I understand that a coach is necessary, but this isn’t that serious an issue. This isn’t the a team where that should need a perfect baton exchanges…Average baton management should still net them a sub 38 time. Looking at the rounds and then the finals there were a number of shaky exchanges, but yet the baton got around.
The USA, Jamaica, and possibly a few other countries, are NOT the models for relay prep in any way.
Complain all you want but the athletes need to make a living first and formost and they are not paid by the federation, but rather by their individual events.
If they were sponsored then it might be possible to make more demands but they aren’t and relay obligations cost them money.
For example, if the USA commits a top relay team by name to Zurich, Brussels, etc, do you really imagine that the relay members would have much negotiating power left for their individual events? Who would agree to that unless individual negotiations were concluded first?
Those of you who’ve never made a mistake (cause you’ve never been there to make one) might consider what happened to the well rehearsed German team.
When confronted by the best teams moving off their marks while the 3rd man waited, he was drawn off early, which is death to any relay team, whether you pass over-hand, underhand, or up your ass!!
Yes, the bottomline is that its on the athlete. They’re the ones who lack the commitment to come to practice. The federation needs to put the plan into place though and then hire the people that can make it happen. So there is some blame to go around.
Under those circumstances I would be perfectly happy sending a team of collegians then. The best of that group would be able to get the baton around in under 38.00 and it would send a message.
Realistically 3x2day camps could be organized after Nationals. If for example, Gay was nursing some injuries but still wanted to be on the team, he could placed first, as long as he was willing to attend, observe and be a par of the team and this wouldn’t effect anyone ability to make a living.
The crap that agents/coaches/athletes pull is more often a pissing contest more than anything else. Reference the Joe Douglas/Carl Lewis powerplay in 1996. They knew the relay rules and then challenged them.
As a group the US team has been together since prior to the Dresden warm-up meet, yet they supposedly haven’t done much (any) relay work. To me it sounds like no one took this seriously or was willing to be accountable.
Under the current construct of our sport and in the manner in which athletes earn a living (prize money and appearance money) what are we to do with relays at championships meets? Do we just do away with them all together should we leave them to those smaller countries that handpick their athletes or whose athletes aren’t so significant by themselves so they use the relay to build their athletic resume’?
And why did it seem to work to for the Americans, until recently, and now the Jamaicans?