Rob's Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Track & Field'

Norman Black Power

October 9th, 2006 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Track & Field

Australian sprinter Peter Norman recently passed away. His silver medal in the 200m at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 is still the best performance by an Australian male sprinter. Norman ran 20.06 seconds, which is still an Australian record. Despite his great performances, he is not a well known sportsman in Australia. However, many people have seen a photo of him receiving his Olympic medal, as he was part of one of the classic Olympic Games controversies. Norman came second behind American Tommie Smith, and in front of John Carlos also from the USA. Smith and Carlos were African Americans, and made their black power salute, raising their fists with black gloves on. All three athletes wore human rights badges, with Norman showing his support for their cause.

Related Pages: Mexico 1968, Summer Olympic Games, Australia at the Olympics

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More Dopes

August 23rd, 2006 · No Comments · Sports Medicine, Track & Field

Does the drug nightmare for sports ever end? Track and field are having their turn at the moment. World and Olympic 100 meters champion Justin Gatlin admitted failing a drugs test in April, and has just been given an eight-year ban, though this may change over time. The world record for the 100 meters of 9.77 seconds that he shared with Asafa Powell has been taken off him. The harsh penalty follows his previous positive for an amphetamine at the 2001 US Junior Championships.

Also in the news is five-time Olympic medallist Marion Jones, who has been linked to doping in the past, and recently gave a positive result for EPO. Her second sample has yet to be tested, but her reputation must now surely be tainted.


All this in the wake of the other high profile USA athlete found to be doping, cyclist Floyd Landis, who tested positive for elevated testosterone during the Tour de France. As talked about previously, the answer to this problem of drugs in sport does not seem apparent.

Hopefully, as more high profile athletes are found to be cheating, this will deter others from doing so. What happened to the old adage of just playing fair? Maybe one day that will return. In the meantime, I hope the scientists continue to fight and catch the cheats so I can again truly enjoy watching sport.

Related Pages: Doping in Sports, Track & Field, Marion Jones profile, Floyd Landis profile


Stawell Gift

April 17th, 2006 · No Comments · Track & Field

It is the Easter long weekend in Victoria, which for the sports lover means the Stawell Gift is on. I am back living here in Vic after living elsewhere around Australia for the last 20 years. I had forgotten how passionate the Vics are about sport, an the Stawell Gift is one of those passions. I would be lucky to hear boo about it anywhere else in Oz. The Stawell Gift is held in country Victoria every Easter. It is a handicap race, run over 120m for the back markers running off scratch. It is the oldest professional footrace in the world, first run in 1878 and won by a farmer W. Millard. A little about pro running – professional running is popular in Australia, I’m not sure if there is much of it going on elsewhere. It developed over 100 years ago as an alternative to amateur running, which was a requirement of participation at the Olympic Games. Professional runners race for prize money, and betting on the runners is also popular. The runners are handicapped by giving the slower runners a start – the distance determined by previous running form. The most famous professional running race in Australia is the Stawell Gift, and is called by some the ‘Melbourne Cup of running’.

Related Pages: professional running races


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