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Who do you enjoy watching most?

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Who do you enjoy watching most?

Postby Ursus » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:17 pm

Not who's the best or the greatest, quite simply who would you travel that extra mile to see? Who floats your athletics boat?

Starters from me:


Michael Johnson. Amazing performances with a unique style.

Katrin Krabbe. Bit self indulgent this, and very little to do with her ability! Was a great runner, but should really be D/Q'd from my list for drugs.


Steve Cram. Just floated around the track at his best, which was very very good. For contrasting reasons Peter Elliot was another great watch; if only his mental strength could be bottled.


Haile. Record speaks for itself, and always with a smile on his face. I'm not the biggest distance nut but his battle with Mottram at the Palace a few years ago was something else.


Ed Moses was probably my favourite track runner of all. He made the man killer look easy. Fluid is an understatement, and his unbeaten run was astonishing.

Honourable mention to Colin Jackson, but I used to love watching Sally Gunnell; great attitude, somehow she never looked like she should have been quite as good as she was.

Horizontal jumps

Jonathon Edwards. Just made it all look ridiculously easy. Always seemed to accept that jumping into a sandpit was a bizarre way to earn a living.

Carl Lewis. Unbelievable that he was never outdoor world record holder. 1991 battle with Powell was epic.

Vertical Jumps

Jessica Ennis. I love watching her high jump. She's really spring heeled without a tall physique to rely on. Dalton Grant was another fave; he always went for it and you were never quite sure what he was going to come up with.

Heavy throws

Adam Nelson. Always some theatre and real aggression. A dwarf compared to most his rivals, but what a record.

Virgilijus Alekna. A real monster. Shame he couldn't quite break the WR, and remove any doubts about that mark.


Zelezny. Obviously! In my book the very best of the lot and brought an athleticism to the spear that no-one else has come close to. Whenever he stepped on the runway there was always the sense that something special might happen, and it often did.

Tessa Sanderson was a fabulous stylist while Mick Hill really used to give the spear some welly. If you could have crossed his raw power and aggression with Backley's control you wouldn't be far from the ultimate thrower.


Daley is right up there with Zelezny. Huge charisma and ego, only matched by his talent. Loved the challenge, hated the 1500! I always enjoyed his 3.75 lap lumberings, which in truth were usually little more than glorified laps of honour.

Carolina Kluft. Dominant, gracious, emotional, smiling. Always something to see when she was competing. Ennis is brilliant, but she'd have always have played second fiddle to the Swede.

Those are my views - all fairly recent. Over to you....
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Postby SteveK26 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:42 pm

Too many International athletes to name here, it would take too long.
Off the top of my head, current and past Brits would include:

Ennis and Thompson (D)
Ovett and Coe
Wells (just because he dragged British sprinting out of the doldrums)
Gunnell (but not her interviews!!)
Edwards (Jonathon)
Kathy Cook.

There are loads more.........
Last edited by SteveK26 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SteveK26 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:47 pm

Oh, mustn't forget to include....

The fab four (Black,Regis,Redmond and Akabusi)...1991

I could watch that race over and over again....and listen to the boys talk about it!
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Postby trevorp » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:01 am

Would be happy to see any of the athletes already mentioned - with the exception of Krabbe (sorry, Ursus)

My personal sentimental picks would be Lillian Board, Mary Peters, Sonia Lannaman.

Nostalgia aside, I do think we're privileged to be living in the era of Bolt, Gay and Powell: not just remarkable performers, but admirable men, each in his own different way a refreshing change from the deeply unattractive aggression and egotism we've had to endure for so long.
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Postby SteveK26 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:22 am


I assume you are referring to Mo Greene and co?
If so , I agree. I hated all his swaggering around, muscle-flexing and ,especially,the constant poking out of the tongue!!
Greene and co were a big switch off; actually that would make an interesting thread of its own: who WOULDN'T you want to watch?
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Postby speedyg2012 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:37 am

Probably Nicola Sanders and Jessica Ennis on the womens side and Chris Clarke and Phillips Idowu on the mens (now).
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Postby paul » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:23 am

One day in Birmingham I saw a woman fly.

(On paper this choice probably doesn't make much sense. But there you go.)
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Postby SteveK26 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:52 am

On the contrary, Paul, it makes perfect sense..... witnessed a performance that made you realise why you love track and field.....
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Postby d pickup » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:08 am

SteveK26, Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:42 pm

Your list includes some who're not OLY Champs!

Jesse Owens velvetness
Usain Bolt another league up
Tommy 'black fist' Smith
Roger Black in full flowing flight
Steve Ovett totally invincible when all 5 gears to hand
Herb Elliott unbeatable and unbeaten
Emil Zátopek symbol for E EUR satellite countrys' independence
Vladimir Kuts relentless ruthlessness
Kenenisa Bekele so easy and that devastating finish
Abebe Bikila what deep, deep, focus
Haile Gebrselassie an emperor among athletes
David Hemery who so loved Mexico City
Bob Beamon for the jump of the century
Mike Powell who thank goodness record-won in Tokyo '91
Jonathan Edwards: in harmony with God or something for 18.29m
Yuriy Sedykh the mightiest one of the mightiest of events
Jan Zelezny field-event exponent supremissimo
Don Thompson for shear audacity and determination
Ann Packer WR cutting thro' 800 field Tokyo '64 - & then easy to the arms of her fiancee
Diane Leather-Charles 4.59.6, 29may54, Birmingham's Alexander Stadium
Derartu Tulu poetry in motion
Liz McColgan 31:14.31 of World '91 Tokyo-heat grit
Paula Radcliffe the intensity, from some other planet
Sally Gunnell it all came together for OLY & again for WR
d pickup
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Postby SteveK26 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:30 am

One should be now, and will be(?), one would have been had not tragedy intervened, and one had to contend with the decidedly dodgy.
As for the fab 4, who cares it wasn't the OG; beating the Yanks in the worlds is good enough for me!! :lol:
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Re: Who do you enjoy watching most?

Postby Bonnie » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:17 pm

Usain Bolt. There's something about him, he's an amazing athlete, he isn't only the fastest man on earth (and the WR holder but he is also a good influence for youth. Someone who young people could easily look up to.
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Postby speedyg2012 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:39 pm

speedyg2012 wrote:Probably Nicola Sanders and Jessica Ennis on the womens side and Chris Clarke and Phillips Idowu on the mens (now).

Foreign athletes I'd go for (Past and Present}
Michael Johnson
Ed Moses
Allyson Felix
Carolina Kluft.
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Re: Who do you enjoy watching most?

Postby trickstat » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:04 pm

In addition to many of the above:

Alberto Juantorena eating up the ground with his great stride.
Renaldo Nehemiah at his silky smooth best.
Paul Ereng's last lap in the 1989 World Indoor 800 (along with Michael Johnson's 19.32 the most stunned I've ever been watching athletics on TV).
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Re: Who do you enjoy watching most?

Postby larkim » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:12 pm

Possibly too contemporary, but I love watching Mo Farah flowing around the track.

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Re: Who do you enjoy watching most?

Postby usedtoit33 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:30 pm

I have to say, if she makes it to the startline, I'll go out of my way to make a trip to London to watch Paula Radcliffe in the Olympic marathon.

Athletes of ye olden days - Seb Coe, Heike Drechsler. Those were my two heroes growing up.
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