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Bring back the personalities in athletics

One of the big questions people asked after this year’s world championships is how track and field would move on without Usain Bolt. The legendary sprinter, who has been the headline name in the sport for the last nine year, is now officially retired. It is not just his performances that the sport needs, but the void created by his entertainment skills will be even harder to fill. Directly after the World Championships IAAF President Sebastian Coe told the Daily Mail that personalities have slowly become a rarity in track and field and we need more characters in our sport. I couldn’t agree more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 84: Icarus

The recent documentary Icarus took an in-depth look at the recent Russian doping scandal through the lens of a relationship with the mastermind of the doping plan Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. As controversy enveloped his Rodchenkov’s life, director Bryan Fogel was drawn to the center of the storm and we get an inside look at how far athletes go to beat the system. On this week’s episode we take a break from talking about training to discuss the film and the current state of doping and anti-doping. Read more

Bow Down to Poland

The best throwers in the world faced off at the World Championships this month for a chance at individual glory. At the same time, London also gave countries a chance to prove they were the best. Achieving the top team ranking is about more than producing one champion; it can only be achieved by having depth across multiple throwing events. As we have for the past two years, we ranked the top throwing countries by giving the top eight finishers in each event 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively. The results this year were a bit surprising and showed a changing of the guard. Read more

Which Countries Performed the Best in London?

Everyone knows that athletics is a global sport, but this year’s World Championships showed that once again. The IAAF has 215 member federations and 66 countries produced a top 8 finish in London. That includes multiple countries from each continent. But among those countries there were some clear winners and losers. Read more

Why Did Usain Bolt Lose?

Athletics fans love statistics, and I’m no different, which is why it was so exciting to hear that the IAAF and Leeds Becket University were to collaborate on a biomechanics project at the recent World Championships, giving us some insight into what makes up a world class performance in athletics. As the Championships finished last weekend, the first initial reports were released for the men’s 100m and 10,000m, men’s discus final, and women’s pole vault final, which you can find here. The extended analysis will come in time, but the initial analysis does contain plenty of interesting bits of information. As my athletics knowledge is primarily limited to the sprints, that is where I’ll focus. The initial report itself does a great job of presenting the pertinent points, but I hope to add a little extra context where possible. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 115: World Championships Review

For the past 10 days athletes fans have had their eyes on London, where the world’s best have competed at the world championships. It has been an action-packed meet where stars have fallen, new heroes have emerged, and anew controversy seems to be around every corner. On this week’s podcast we look back at our favorite moments from the championship, break down which countries had the best performances, and also analyze results in each throwing event. Read more

2017 World Championships Preview: Men’s Hammer Throw

Anita Wlodarcyk captured gave us more drama than expected as a finger injury required her to come from behind for the win in yesterday’s women’s hammer final. Now all eyes turn to the men, who begin qualification tomorrow. If you thought the women’s hammer podium was wide open, the men’s will be even more so. There is a long list of contenders, and even more who could rise to the occasion. As Andrisu Gudzius and Mason Finley showed us in the discus on Saturday, all it takes is a personal best to bring someone out of the shadows and onto the podium. Read more

2017 World Championships Preview: Women’s Hammer Throw

The 2017 World Championships kick off today in London. For hammer throwers the action starts tomorrow with the women’s qualification round. While the favorite is the surest bet of the entire meet, the women’s hammer will feature a wide open competition for the podium. Poland, China, and America bring the strongest teams of throwers with multiple medal hopefuls each. After a surprise Olympic bronze last summer, Sophie Hitchon will try to make another podium in front of a home crowd. And many other top throwers will join the battle too. Read more

Gene Doping: A Primer

The standard story in life is that we have to play the hand we’re dealt. We can’t choose our genes, and so we have to make the most of what we have, optimizing our training techniques and lifestyle in order to reach our potential, whatever that might be. But this standard story is slowly changing and this might have a major impact on sport. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 103: It’s Rant Time Again

A few times a year we have to let off some steam and it’s that time again. On this week’s episode we discuss a few rants such as why we keep worshipping doped athletes, marathon weight room session, and why equipment companies need focus on selling old stereotypes rather than innovative ideas. Read more