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Sports Then and Now



Tyson Gay is the Last Man Standing in 2010 13

Posted on August 24, 2010 by Rojo Grande

Tyson Gay stands alone as Bolt and Powell throw in the towel.

It was supposed to have been the climactic finale – the mouth-watering replay of 2009’s World Championship 100-meter dash in Berlin.

Yes, that race.

The one where Usain Bolt obliterated his own amazing 9.69 world record from Beijing, 2008.

The one where Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, the world’s next fastest sprinters ever, were sucked along in Bolt’s draft to post incredible yet inadequate times of their own (9.71 and 9.84).

The one which catapulted Bolt into stratospheric realms, beyond the reach of mere humanity.

But that was 2009 and this is 2010 – and since that race, a few million gallons of water has flowed under the bridge:

  • Later in 2009, Gay established a new American record (9.69) in Shanghai in a race he described as “not technically good”.
  • The 2010 season has been the quadrennial “down year” with no global championships, thus many athletes have used 2010 as a year to retreat from intensive training regimens to rest and heal.
  • The new Diamond League series of 14 international meets was launched, promising track and field fans multiple head-to-head showdowns. While there were several extremely talent-laden meets and exceptional performances, many of the elite match-ups failed to materialize because of the down year or debilitating injuries.
  • Gay beat Powell in Gateshead, beat Bolt in Stockholm, and established the season’s best time (9.78) in London.
  • Bolt and Powell have since shut down their seasons, citing lower back (some say spine) problems.

So now, instead of the Big Three getting together in Brussels this Friday in the final Diamond League meet (and that sumptuous re-match of 2009), only Gay remains to give fans a glimpse of the brilliance which might have been. Read the rest of this entry →

Caster Semenya: Has she met her Kryptonite? 4

Posted on July 19, 2010 by Rojo Grande

The damage had been done.

Whether through insensitivity, ignorance, or just plain incompetence, an athlete was victimized in one of sport’s most embarrassing atrocities.

South African 800-meter world champion Caster Semenya was publicly stripped (of her dignity), raped (of her privacy), and disemboweled (of her physiology) by medical experts, governing sports entities, and news media.

Semenya was effectively banned from competition after her stunning 2009 victory in Berlin’s World Championships. Her rapid week-to-week improvement and her impressive world-leading time in the finals (1:55.45) prompted an intrusive gender verification process which left no piece of the champion’s persona hidden.

During the eleven-month ordeal, the black cloud of suspicion and controversy which fell first on Semenya, suddenly moved to cast its shadow on the various governing powers whose charge it was to protect the athlete.

Still, the damage had been done.

But as it is said, “…every dark cloud has its silver lining.”

Yes, after an excruciating delay, Semenya was finally cleared by Track and Field’s governing body (IAAF) to compete as a woman. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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