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Westfale

The Road To Berlin 2009

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Although I would prefer Athletics over Football, I am not half as much excited as before the World Cup in 2006.

Well, it's a smaller event which is hosted by one city alone compared to a tournament which takes place in all parts of the country. Furthermore, here in Germany, there's a lot less media coverage in advance to these WCHs than in advance to the 2006 World Cup. So I think it's only natural that the excitement is much smaller this time around.

Nevertheless, I look very much forward to these WCHs.

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After the very poor performance of the German athletes in Beijing (only one single bronze medal), there was a huge disappointment. But with the the good results at the Indoor championships the interest is rising again.

So, does anybody here like to chat about athletics?

I am curious!

Berlin

Yes, I love athletics. It is my favourite sport and I am really looking forward to Berlin 2009.

I used to be an athlete myself and was actually pretty successful - I was a national champion and junior record holder in Scotland. So I love to talk about it.

I think Germany has a few good athletes right now - Friedrich in the high jump, Bayer in the mens long jump, Obergfoll and Nerius in the womens javelin. The womens 4x100 and mens 4x400m are decent aswell. Also, Germany always has strong field eventers.

The Berlin Olympic stadium is probably my favourite stadium in the world and a truly fitting venues for the world championships.

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How do you see the British team going, Oakydoky? I'm struggling to see many genuine medal chances, although I must admit I don't follow the sport as closely as I used to.

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How do you see the British team going, Oakydoky? I'm struggling to see many genuine medal chances, although I must admit I don't follow the sport as closely as I used to.

Hey arwebb,

I think Britain has a few genuine medal hopes.

Jessica Ennis has the ability to win gold in the heptathlon. However, the Ukrainian Olympic champion Dobrynska is the dark horse.

Phillips Oduwu can get a medal - if he jumps to his potential it will be gold but he has never fully exploited his potential.

Christine Ohurougu & Nicola Sanders could medal in the 400m if they are in form however I have not been convinced they are their 2007 shape when the went first and secong in Osaka.

The mens and womens 4x400m could both medal.

The mens 4x100m, if they include Dwain Chambers can get a bronze. But Chambers is banned from the relay so that puts a bid problem in the way.

Paula Radcliffe can win gold if she is fit and healthy - no one can beat when she is fully fit. However, she has been injured and not raced at all this year. Mikitenko from Germany and Goucher from the U.S are my picks for medals.

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Mikitenko is out!!! Her father died two weeks ago and she said, that she is not able to concentrate anymore. Skipping the Olympics Games last year and now the W-Ch at home! I cant write, what I am thinking now... <_<

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Mikitenko is out!!! Her father died two weeks ago and she said, that she is not able to concentrate anymore. Skipping the Olympics Games last year and now the W-Ch at home! I cant write, what I am thinking now... <_<

That's sad news but understandable. Germany still has other chances.

Goethe, how are Germans feeling about their chances or the championships? Are they excited?

For some reason it feels like the championships are coming home - the Berlin Olympic stadium has that aura about it of. A stadium of real prestige.

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I think Britain has a few genuine medal hopes.

Jessica Ennis has the ability to win gold in the heptathlon. However, the Ukrainian Olympic champion Dobrynska is the dark horse.

Phillips Oduwu can get a medal - if he jumps to his potential it will be gold but he has never fully exploited his potential.

Christine Ohurougu & Nicola Sanders could medal in the 400m if they are in form however I have not been convinced they are their 2007 shape when the went first and secong in Osaka.

The mens and womens 4x400m could both medal.

The mens 4x100m, if they include Dwain Chambers can get a bronze. But Chambers is banned from the relay so that puts a bid problem in the way.

Paula Radcliffe can win gold if she is fit and healthy - no one can beat when she is fully fit. However, she has been injured and not raced at all this year. Mikitenko from Germany and Goucher from the U.S are my picks for medals.

While these championships are important, they aren't crucial in my mind. I'm going to be looking far more at what happens in the next two years as better guides in the run-up to London. The first Worlds after an Olympics always seem a bit low-key, I guess.

Anyway, to take each of your picks in turn, I'd have thought the heptathlon is pretty wide open given the absence of Kluft and any medal would be good for Ennis.

I still think Odowu should have won the gold in Beijing (one of the few real disappointments at the Olympics for me), but I'm not sure he'll turn the tables this time.

Christine Ohuruogu is a proven championship performer. She came into both the last Worlds and the Olympics with not much form and still won them. If Sanya Richards has learnt from her Olympic mistakes then she will be tough to beat, but I would still expect to see Ohuruogu on the rostrum. Sanders is a different matter. Reaching the final would be a great achievement for her.

Never easy to pick a relay medal, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the women's 4x400. And I haven't heard much of Radcliffe so far this year, so it's hard for me to judge where she is.

I'm not expecting much. Four medals would be a decent return, I think.

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While these championships are important, they aren't crucial in my mind. I'm going to be looking far more at what happens in the next two years as better guides in the run-up to London. The first Worlds after an Olympics always seem a bit low-key, I guess.

Anyway, to take each of your picks in turn, I'd have thought the heptathlon is pretty wide open given the absence of Kluft and any medal would be good for Ennis.

I still think Odowu should have won the gold in Beijing (one of the few real disappointments at the Olympics for me), but I'm not sure he'll turn the tables this time.

Christine Ohuruogu is a proven championship performer. She came into both the last Worlds and the Olympics with not much form and still won them. If Sanya Richards has learnt from her Olympic mistakes then she will be tough to beat, but I would still expect to see Ohuruogu on the rostrum. Sanders is a different matter. Reaching the final would be a great achievement for her.

Never easy to pick a relay medal, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the women's 4x400. And I haven't heard much of Radcliffe so far this year, so it's hard for me to judge where she is.

I'm not expecting much. Four medals would be a decent return, I think.

A medal would be good for Ennis - but she can win gold if everything goes well.

Ohuruogu is a tough call - if she gets form like last year she can get a medal. However, Sanya Richards and Russian athlete Krivoshapka, if on form will beat Christine. Nicola Sanders is a huge talent and is a European indoor champ aswell as individual world silver medalist. If she gets into top form (not this year) she can can run really fast - probably potentially better than Ohuruogu. I think a final place would be a real achievement too.

Radcliffe, if fit will win. However, she has not raced at all this year and so is untested. I think Goucher from the USA or Zhou from China may be the picks here. I hope Radcliffe is secretly in great form as she is outstanding.

My picks:

Ennis - gold

Radcliffe - gold (only if properly fit)

Oduwu - silver

Ohuruogu - bronze

w4x400m - bronze

m4x400m - bronze

The mens 4x100m can medal too but without Chambers it will be difficult.

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That's sad news but understandable. Germany still has other chances.

Goethe, how are Germans feeling about their chances or the championships? Are they excited?

For some reason it feels like the championships are coming home - the Berlin Olympic stadium has that aura about it of. A stadium of real prestige.

So far i guess, there is not so much interest. Only one evening session is sold out (Aug 22nd). I still remember the WCh 1993 in Stuttgart. That was simply great. We had many good athletes. The audience was very fair. It got the IOC-Fair-Play Award afterwards and like many others, I think that was the best WCh ever, because the atmosphere was really overwhelming.

So, now this time it is not Stuttgart. It´s Berlin! May be Berlin is a cool and unique city, but the Berliners are (forgive me) a bit lazy and not very euphoric about Athletics. Only 3 oder 4 athletes are from Berlin.

Generally German Athletics is declining. There wont be any German meeting part of the new Diamond League. But nevertheless, the DLV is aiming for five (!) gold medals in London after only one Bronze medal in Beijing!

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So far i guess, there is not so much interest. Only one evening session is sold out (Aug 22nd). I still remember the WCh 1993 in Stuttgart. That was simply great. We had many good athletes. The audience was very fair. It got the IOC-Fair-Play Award afterwards and like many others, I think that was the best WCh ever, because the atmosphere was really overwhelming.

So, now this time it is not Stuttgart. It´s Berlin! May be Berlin is a cool and unique city, but the Berliners are (forgive me) a bit lazy and not very euphoric about Athletics. Only 3 oder 4 athletes are from Berlin.

Generally German Athletics is declining. There wont be any German meeting part of the new Diamond League. But nevertheless, the DLV is aiming for five (!) gold medals in London after only one Bronze medal in Beijing!

The thing with Stuttgart is that it was a smaller venue. Berlins stadium is like 75,000 seats so is rather large and hard to fill out. Osaka 2007 only a had a 50,000 capacity.

Germany is in a rebuilding process with athletics but still has many good athletes - Obergfoll & Nerius, Friedrich, Bayer, m4x400m, etc.

It's hard to compare Germany's success to the golden days when Heike Drechsler, Marita Koch, Marlie Gohr would dominate.

Germany should aim high.

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The thing with Stuttgart is that it was a smaller venue. Berlins stadium is like 75,000 seats so is rather large and hard to fill out. Osaka 2007 only a had a 50,000 capacity.

Germany is in a rebuilding process with athletics but still has many good athletes - Obergfoll & Nerius, Friedrich, Bayer, m4x400m, etc.

It's hard to compare Germany's success to the golden days when Heike Drechsler, Marita Koch, Marlie Gohr would dominate.

Germany should aim high.

Yes, but five gold medals are certainly too high-aimed. One of the two gold medallists from 2007, Franka Dietzsch, is completely out of shape currently. And I have certain doubts whether Betty Heidler is able to defend her title.

Maybe Christina Obergföll and Robert Harting (in front of his home audience) win gold, for Sebastian Bayer it's too early or simply too-high aimed and I have a certain feeling that there's too much pressure on Ariane Friedrich. In the relays, we'll win a bronze medal at best -- and only with quite a bit of luck (i.e. another team dropping the baton).

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Yes, but five gold medals are certainly too high-aimed. One of the two gold medallists from 2007, Franka Dietzsch, is completely out of shape currently. And I have certain doubts whether Betty Heidler is able to defend her title.

Maybe Christina Obergföll and Robert Harting (in front of his home audience) win gold, for Sebastian Bayer it's too early or simply too-high aimed and I have a certain feeling that there's too much pressure on Ariane Friedrich. In the relays, we'll win a bronze medal at best -- and only with quite a bit of luck (i.e. another team dropping the baton).

The 5 gold medal target is for London 2012. Not Berlin.

Obergfoll could win gold however her main rival is the Olympic champ Spotakova. Heidler could win gold but is up against a few athletes ranked ahead of her. Franka Dietzsch is like 40 or something so fair play to her for her career record.

I agree that Friedrich is not the favourite - Vlasic is the favourite ahead of her but Friedrich is a tough cookie. Bayer would do well to win bronze as the USA's Dwight phillips and Saladino are favoured ahead of him. He is a bit inconsistent but can jump big. Harting will not beat Hooker of Australia.

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I hope, that Harting DOES NOT medal. He recently said in an interview, that the Anti-Doping-Fight is senseless, as long as every nation has a different approach to it. His coach is Werner Goldmann, like so many is a fmr. GDR-coach. But he has knowingly lied in front of an independent commission before the Olympics last year. The DLV didnt renew his working deal at the end of the year and now they meet in the courtroom. There is much fuss about it.

So the medal chances are not so huge, but many European nations are struggling. Like you said, GB hasnt so many chances neither. Also France, Italy and Spain have problems. Only Poland can really hope for a good number of medals.

The USA, Jamaica and Russia are simply too dominant.

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I hope, that Harting DOES NOT medal. He recently said in an interview, that the Anti-Doping-Fight is senseless, as long as every nation has a different approach to it. His coach is Werner Goldmann, like so many is a fmr. GDR-coach. But he has knowingly lied in front of an independent commission before the Olympics last year. The DLV didnt renew his working deal at the end of the year and now they meet in the courtroom. There is much fuss about it.

So the medal chances are not so huge, but many European nations are struggling. Like you said, GB hasnt so many chances neither. Also France, Italy and Spain have problems. Only Poland can really hope for a good number of medals.

The USA, Jamaica and Russia are simply too dominant.

Harting should be applauded for stating that. Europe has the tightest drug testing measures in the world - in other words, it is harder to take drugs in Europe than anywhere else in the world. China, USA, Jamaica etc all systematically cheat their way to success. Harting is merely stating that taking drugs in some countries is encouraged and actually covered up by the national bodies.

In Jamaica, there is no drug testing authority. Athletes in Europe can be tested over 6 times as much as other parts of the world. That is unfair. Victor Conte of the Balco scandal predicted a few years ago, before Usain Bolt started running super human times, that Jamaica would start doing well in the sprints again - not due to their training etc but rather that he had information that certain performance aids were finding there way to the Caribbean. He was in a position to know. His prediction turned out to be true. In Berlin Goethe, look at how many Jamaican athletes were teeth braces and how many of their female athletes have pronounced jaw lines - clear evidence of foul play.

Europe's standards have slipped on the track due to the systematic state sponsored doping being dropped. However, other countries still do this as evidenced by how they are able to achieve success under suspicious circumstances.

Germany has to be more aggressive again and open back up it's sports schools like in the GDR, however minus the doping. It would reap huge rewards.

Ah well, I'm still looking forward to Berlin. In Britain, we are in the same position as Germany - we are better on the track than Germany but you guys are better on the field.

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I think there is a truth in Harting remark - when not all athletes are controled in the same quantity/quality the fight is very unfair...

I agree Citius. Some countries blatantly cheat.The USA, China, Russia, Jamaica etc are particularly noteworthy in this department.

In 2007/2008 Usain Bolt wasn't even a noted 100m runner yet in the space of a few months went from running outside of 10 seconds to running 9.69 jogging the last 20m of the 100m. Ben Johnson ran 9.79 for the 100m and he was proven to be doped - but yet we are to believe that a man from a country (Jamaica), which has no drug testing, improves by nearly half a second. The same could be said for the womens 100m winner - Sally Ann Fraser from Jamaica. She went from running 11.4 to 10.7 in the space of a few months. Oh, and her teeth braces and pronounced jaw line are hardly 'womanly'.

Harting is pointing out a fact. Germany is constantly berated for it's dealings in the 80's but the USA, China etc are even worse when it comes to doping. It is unfair for European athletes or , who still dominate the field events but are struggling on the track where doping is rife.

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I fully agree with Russia, more then a dozen of their athletes have tested positive in the last 5 years, I believe 7 just before Beijing. China has some suspicious results in aquatics at the last world championships.

And Jamaica going from 0 to 100 in a year is again very suspicious but it happens.

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I fully agree with Russia, more then a dozen of their athletes have tested positive in the last 5 years, I believe 7 just before Beijing. China has some suspicious results in aquatics at the last world championships.

And Jamaica going from 0 to 100 in a year is again very suspicious but it happens.

Jamaica is even more suspicious given that in the last 2 weeks 5 athletes have been mixed up with a doping scandal - 2 of the athletes were members of Jamaica's 4x100m relay. The Balco scientist, Victor Conte predicted Jamaica would become a force in athletics. He said this a few years ago and was privy to the info given that he was providing a lot of the top athletes with drugs i.e Marion Jones. I find Jamaica's results suspicious given that athletes who were proven cheaters like Ben Johnson could not run nearly as fast as the Jamaican's who seem to improve half a second in a few months. Highly questionable.

Carl Lewis has questioned Jamaica also due to it's lack of drug testing. He of course would know about doping given that in 1988 the US doping authorities covered up tests which showed he tested positive for stimulants.

China is notorious - they operate a state sponsored system where only success is tolerated. 40 Chinese athletes were dispelled before the Sydney games for example for doping so we know they are serial cheaters.

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Does anybody else take part in the IAAF Fantasy Game? Or does Ennis not compete in Berlin? I cant find her! Only Southerton is there, but she is too weak for my team. :P

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Well I think that Canada's performance is going to be traditional, do better the next year at the world championships then at the Olympics. One bronze in Beijing, I am guessing 2 bronze and a silver.

Our best hopes

Women's 100m hurdles (Perdita Felicien, Angela Whyte and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep)

Men's Shot Put (Dylan Armstrong)

Hammer Throw (Sultana Frizeli and Jennifer Joyce)

Men's 800m (Gary Reed)

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Well I think that Canada's performance is going to be traditional, do better the next year at the world championships then at the Olympics. One bronze in Beijing, I am guessing 2 bronze and a silver.

Our best hopes

Women's 100m hurdles (Perdita Felicien, Angela Whyte and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep)

Men's Shot Put (Dylan Armstrong)

Hammer Throw (Sultana Frizeli and Jennifer Joyce)

Men's 800m (Gary Reed)

Felicien and Schliep could very well medal. I think Schliep could win the 100mh - there isn't an overwhelming favourite. Gary Reed could do well in the 800m too.

Tyler Christopher, under normal circumstances would be a potential medalist in the 400m but I haven't really seen much of him this year.

Bring back Ben Johnson........

Just kiddin'. :lol:

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