>My thoughts on the Reebok Boston meet and its TV coverage…
Race of the day: women’s 3000 meters. Although it was not close at the finish, Shalane Flanagan was right on Meseret Defar until the bell. That took some big brass ones. After crossing the finish, Defar looked literally ready to puke. While I think ballsy racing is much prefereable to fast times, Flanagan was able to do both. She took six seconds off Regina “BALCO” Jacobs‘ AR; the “real” record was set a full 16 years ago. Kim Smith was well back in third and beat Anne Audain’s 1982 outdoor national record.
Trend: USA men’s milers. Webb ran well. Nick Symmonds ran the 800 in an OK time but in an impressive manner. Across the pond, Bernard Lagat ran well too. I know Webb and Lagat will be in the Wanamaker Mile on Friday night and I certainly hope Symmonds is there too. How long has it been since we’ve wondered which American might win the Wanamaker?
This Week’s TV Complaint (and yes, I have enough for a whole season): Use of graphics. The people doing these broadcasts have done at least a few things right; we got WR pace updates on the bottom of the screen during Dibaba’s successful record attempt. We got a “Coming Up” timetable twice. But they’re still ignoring the fact that this sport is called track and field. Before every attempt in a field event, we should get a leader board on the screen. Small and unobtrusive, maybe highlighting the name of the competitor about to make a throw/jump. Unless we know the distance needed to move up in the competition, it’s just a bunch of guys throwing or running around with a big pole. It should be ridiculously easy to do this on a live broadcast, and with 20+ hours to edit the videotape there’s absolutely no excuse for this level of amateurism. A preteen could do it on YouTube.