GAW S2 EP 7: 2017 IAAF Diamond League winners emerge in Zurich and Brussels finals

September 20, 2017

Listen as we discuss the 2017 Diamond League Finals in Zurich and Brussels where 32 winners emerged in the series. We also talk about the recent historic decision by the IOC, simultaneously awarding the hosting rights of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to Paris and Los Angeles respectively.


GAW S2 EP5 - Review of Rabat, Lausanne and London Diamond Leagues. World U18 Championships analyzed

July 21, 2017

A few shocking and disappointing performances were recorded. Blessing Okagbare seems to have been picking up at the right time. Elaine Thompson put up a fierce performance against Marie Talou. Shaunae Miller put up a winning performance, while Caster Semenya really trailed. Nigel Amos also bouncing back at the right time.


What are the potentials of Andre DeGrasse at the World Champs in the 200m. Conseslus Kipruto did not win his Steeplechase event. A new champion emerged.


We also go back to the Lausanne and London Diamond Leagues that happened close to each other.


We also go back to the World U18 in Kenya. Some impressive times were posted. South Africa is rising to dominance in track and field events, as this was evident in them topping the medal table.


GAW S2 EP4: The 2017 Paris Diamond League, US and Jamaican National Trials reviewed.

July 6, 2017

At the Paris Diamond League, Nijel Amos bounced back to winning ways. Are things shaping up for him before the World Champs? Some upsets happened in the Men's Javelin, 110m Hurdles, 3000m Steeplechase and women's 1500m. Do we think they happened by a stroke of luck, or does it signify that things could change ahead of the World Championships? Can the likes of Elaine Thompson, Sam Kendricks, Mutaz Barshim and Chris Taylor extend their unbeaten run to the World Championships? What about a Will Claye vs Taylor rivalry in the Triple Jump? And with Pichardo back, will things be any different? What is happening to Renaud Lavillenie who seems to have lost his confidence? We also saw Ramil Guliyev's surprise emergence in the 200m?


We also review the US and Jamaican National Trials. Highlights from the US Trials include the fastest ever women's 400m Hurdles race which was won with 52.64s; Gatlin and Tori Bowie winning the 100m titles, Christian Coleman's emergence as the only male sprinter doing the 100m/200m in London, Noah Lyles pulling out of the 200m; the emergence of young sprinters on the US team like Deajah Stevens who won the women's 200m ahead of Tori Bowie, and Fred Kerly, World Leader in the 400m with 43.70s, winning the US title; With LaShawn Merritt and Allyson Felix pulling out of the 200m, youth seems to be upstaging experience in the US team. We will also talk about Ryan's Crouser's best Shot Put throw in the world in 14 years;


From the Jamaican Trials, Elaine Thompson won the 100m with a new WL and has opted out of the 200m. What does this portend? Who is the likely women's 200m Champion in London? Yohan Blake won the sprint double. Can he make the podium twice in London? Seems Veronica Campbell-Brown's best days are over as she didn't compete due to injury. What can we say about her career?


GAW S2 EP3 - Adidas Boost Boston Games, Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague reviewed and Rome DL previewed

June 8, 2017

We review the Adidas Boost Boston Games.

-  Wayde Van Niekerk won the 200m straight, while Shaunae Miller-Uibo raced to fastest time ever over the distance, a time of 21.76s, smashing Allyson Felix’s former mark of 22.55s. Both Felix and Van Niekerk are going for the 200/400 double in London. Can Miller pull off both successfully? 

-  Tori Bowie won the 150m in 16.30s, also erasing Felix’s former mark of 16.33s. Where do we place Bowie in the scheme of things? Will Felix go for the double, since that was her target for Rio, and even if she does, can she stand the onslaught from the likes of Thompson, Bowie and Dafne Schippers in the 200m? Is it safe to say her best days are over?

-  Alonso Edward won the 150m in 15.09s, beating Nickel Ashmeade and Yohan Blake. Can Blake successfully combine the sprint double, or should he just stick with the 100m in London?

-  Keston Bledman won the 100m in 10.21s, same time as Akani Simbine who was 2nd. Is the law of diminishing returns setting in for the South African?


We review the Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague, Czech on Monday.

-          Antonio Alkana set an African and Meeting Record to win the 110 Hurdles, fifth fastest time in the world this year.  Listen to find out his time.

-          Mosito Lehata won the 100m in a PB and NR, same time as Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu who was 2nd, while South African Thando Roto was 3rd.

-          Wenda Nel won the 400m Hurdles in an SB of 54.66s, 9th on the 2017 World list. South Africa seems to be producing a lot of stars in various events. What can other African nations learn from them?

-          Isaac Makwala placed 5th in the 400m. The race was won by Luka Janezic in an MR. Are the younger Botswanans sending Makwala into retirement?


We preview the Rome Diamond League on Thursday.

-          Women’s 100m: Dafne Schippers vs Ta Lou, Michelle-Lee Ahye & Tianna Bartoletta

-          Men’s 200m: Andre De Grasse vs Ameer Webb, Aaron Brown & Brendon Rodney

-          Men’s Javelin: Thomas Rohler vs Johannes Vetter, Julius Yego, Andreas Hofmann

-          Women’s Triple Jump: World Leader Yulimar Rojas vs Caterine Ibarguen & Olga Rypakova

-          Men’s 3000m Steeplechase: Conseslus Kipruto vs Ezekiel Kemboi

-          Women’s 5000m: Genzebe Dibaba vs Hellen Obiri

-          110 Hurdles: Orlando Ortega vs Aries Merritt, David Oliver and Andrew Pozzi

-          Women’s 400m: Novlene Williams-Mills (50.54s) vs Botswana’s Lydia Jele who is the fastest in the field (50.32s), & Natasha Hastings (50.74s)


NAW S2 EP2 - New MoC sponsors announced, Okagbare in 2017, Lagos School Relays and the AFN elections

May 26, 2017

We announce three new sponsors for the Making Of Champions project. Listen to find out who they are.

Blessing Okagbare competed at the Doha Diamond League and finished 6th in the women's 200m.  What do we think about Okagbare, and how do we see her season panning out? 

In the absence of A-grade Nigerian athletes competing at the highest level, do we stand a chance at the World Championships in London?

We come back home to talk about the Lagos State Secondary school relays held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Is this a good means to relaunch Nigeria's lost glory in the relays?

We also talk about the AFN elections. It is a pity that these elections seem to have halted all Athletics programmes in the country. With the people who have come forward, what are our views with regards to who becomes the next president of the federation?


S2 EP2: 2017 Jamaican Invitational, Kawasaki World Challenge and Shanghai Diamond League reviewed.

May 24, 2017

Highlights in this episode include: 

At the Jamaican Invitational

-Elaine Thompson ran a WL of 22.09s. Is it possible for Thompson to get beaten this year? 

- 20-year old Kyron McMaster won the 400m Hurdles with a scorching WL of 47.80s; Is a new order emerging in the 400m Hurdles? 

- Yohan Blake won the 100m in an SB of 9.93s; is he back for real? 

- Morolake Akinosun won the women's event  

- Andre De Grasse won the 200m in 20.14s, Merritt was 2nd. Can he successfully pull off the 200m//400m double this year?

- 35-year old Novlene Williams-Mills won the 400m in 50.54s. It was an emotional victory for her because she'll be retiring at the end of the season. Having overcome cancer, can we say she has courage?


Review of the Kawasaki World Challenge

- Justin Gatlin won the 100m in 10.28s.

- Aaron Brown won the 200m in 20.62s

- China's Shiying Liu won the women's Javelin with an Asian Record of 66.47m

- Tianna Bartoletta won the Long Jump with 6.79m, Shara proctor 2nd with 6.65m 

- Ivet Lalova-Collio won the sprint double in 11.40s and 22.98s 

- Thomas Rohler won the Javelin in 86.55m

- Queen Harrison won the 100m Hurdles in 12.65s


Review of the Shanghai Diamond League

- Luvo Manyonga setting a DLR of 8.61m in the Long Jump. He said he was aiming for 8.80m. Is the World Record under threat?

- Several WLs set:Elaine Thompson's 10.78s in the 100m, Bowie 2nd in 11.04s and Ta Lou 3rd in 11.07s. Murielle Ahoure was 6th in the race. Is it safe to say that Ta Lou has overtaken her mentor?

- Shaunae Miller-Uibo's WL of 49.77s. What do we expect to see in the women's 400m this year?

- Noah Lyles 19.90s in the 200m. Is he a factor in the scheme of things?

- Bershawn Jackson's MR of 48.63s in the 400m Hurdles, Kipyegon's WL of 3:59.22 in the 1500m, Hellen Obiri's WL of 14.22.47 in the 5000m, Ruth Jebet's revenge in the 3000m Steeplechase, winning with an MR of 9:04.78


#GAW S2 EP1 - Highlights from 2017 IAAF World Relays, Africa’s National Champs, Penn Relays and the return of the Diamond League

May 4, 2017

The IAAF World Relays held in the Bahamas from April 22-23. We recap USA's amazing winnings, Jamaica's Championship Record and the shocking baton display, Germany's unexpected GOLD, Canada and Botswana. What does the future hold for them in London's World Champs?

We also touch on Highlights from South Africa’s National Championships where Wayde Van Niekerk ran a World Lead, Luvo Manyonga and her record with Caster Semenya qualifying for both events in London: will both she and Van Niekerk go for the double? What are their prospects? Top 5 fastest times in the world in the 200m are from 4 South Africans: can they defeat the Jamaicans and Americans?

We also go back in time to the Penn Relays where the battle for supremacy between the USA and Jamaica continued. Listen to see how that played out. And remember, the power man Usain Bolt retires this year. How would this affect Jamaica?

Also, fast forwarding into the immediate future, the IAAF Diamond League kicks off on May 5th in Doha! Which key events should you watch out for? 


GAW Ep 20 - Brussels Diamond League & Great North Run reviewed extensively, WU20 Shot Put Champ Konrad Bukowiecki tests positive for Higenamine.

September 15, 2016

Elaine Thompson continues her winning streak against Dafne Schippers in the 100m. Almaz Ayana did a Meet Record in the women's 5000m. Listen to the debate on who is the queen of the 200m. Sandi Morris setting an MR, DLR and American Record in the women's Pole vault, Conseslus Kipruto in the 3000m Steeplechase, Caster Semenya winning the 400m with a Personal Best (will she be aiming for the 400m/800m double next season? Erik Kynard winning the High Jump (men) and Nafi Thiam (women), etc


Other stories from recent happenings: Mo Farah and Vivian Cheruiyot win the Great North Run, ending their seasons with victories. It was also Vivian Cheruiyot's debut in the road races and she beat the likes of Tirunesh Dibaba and Jeptoo.


Meanwhile World Junior Shot put Champion Konrad Bukowiecki tested positive for Higenamine during the World Juniors. It's not exactly a banned substance but it's not meant to be taken during competition. He has requested for his B sample to be tested.


GAW Ep 19 - Zurich Diamond League recapped with winners of Diamond Trophies unveiled.

September 6, 2016

Diamond Race winnersannounced at Zurich.  Who were the standout athletes? The rivalry has moved up between Dafne Schippers and ElaineThompson. Ruth Jebet's continuous Steeplechase domination. Asafa Powell runs98th legal sub-10s in the 100m.  LashawnMerritt


The Long Jump wasthe play ground for Ivana Spanovic. Listen to find out the other outstandingvictories in Javelin, hurdles,etc. 


GAW Ep 18 - Ruth Jebet sets new World Record in Paris, Genzebe Dibaba’s MR at Lausanne, other new records set at both Diamond Leagues.

August 30, 2016

Review of the Paris Diamond League, especially the amazing performance of Ruth Jebet doing a World Record of 8:52.83 in the women's 3000m Steeplechase, Yomif Keljecha who set a World Lead (WL) in the men's 3000m, Ben Meite who has been quite consistent this season and equaled the Ivoirian 100m record of 9.96s in the men's 100m, Laura Muir running a Meeting Record and WL of 3:55.22 in the 1500m to finish ahead of Faith Kipyegon. Victories for Tom Walsh in the Shot put, Perkovic in the Discus, Ivana Spanovic in the Long Jump, Nicholas Bett, in the 400mH, Kendra Harrison (100mH) and Dafne Schippers (200m).


Review of the Lausanne Diamond League with special focus on Genzebe Dibaba who did a Meeting Record (MR) in the 3000m, Ayanleh Souleiman doing a World Lead and Diamond League record in the 1000m, beating Kiprop to 1st place and even inspiring the Kenyan to do a Personal Best. Sam Kendricks setting an MR in the Pole vault ahead of Renaud Lavillenie and others. 


GAW Ep13 - Kendra Harrison breaks 28 Year Old World Record at London Anniversary Games, IAAF World U20 Champs Bydgoszcz best shows

July 27, 2016

Starting with the review of the London Diamond League because of Kendra Harrison's WR breaking feat, setting a new WR of 12.20s. How did she conjure up this feat? Was missing the Olympics team a blessing in disguise? Should she be given a bye because of her recent feat? What kind of special considerations should be made in cases like this? We can then focus on Bolt's return, plus his comments about feeling disrespected by the Americans. How will this new rivalry play out in Rio? Is Bolt trying to stir up unnecessary sentiments? Other outstanding performances like Sandra Perkovic, Mo Farah, Christian Taylor, Shelly-Ann's loss: can she defend her title?


Review of the World Juniors: Who were the outstanding performances for each of us? Focus on the likes of Neeraj Chopra (Javelin), Buckowiecki (Shot put), Candace Hill (100m), Noah Lyles (100m), Tiffany James (400m), Luis Zayas (High Jump), and so on. Botswana's performance, US dominance in all four relays, etc


Egyptian Javelin thrower Ihab Abdelrahman has failed a dope test. Results from a test taken in April show that he tested positive for testosterone, and is provisionally suspended and may be missing the Olympics. The B sample will come out on Monday. What would the Javelin field and Africa miss by his absence?


GAW Ep12 - Caster Semenya sets amazing World Lead and more, leading others to their PBs/NRs, while Almaz Ayana goes for a double in Rio

July 20, 2016

Review of the Monaco Diamond League with special focus on Caster Semenya's PB, NR, MR, DLR, WL of 1:55.33. The race was so fast that the next five finishers set PBs/NRs. Is Jarmila Kratochvílová's World Record of 1:53.28 on? Mind you it was set in 1983. Does she have any contenders? Other impressive performances in Monaco include Wayde Van Niekerk, Valerie Adams, Dafne Schippers. Eilidh Doyle, Katerina Stefanidi, Conseslus Kipruto. And then upsets in the men's 1500m with Ronald Kwemoi winning and Kiprop finishing 6th, Omar McLeod tripping in the 110 Hurdles, Gianmarco Tamberi winning the High Jump with a National Record of 2.39m and then being ruled out of the Olympics after a severe injury at his second attempt at 2.41m.


Almaz Ayana going for the 5000m/10,000m in Rio, and Tirunesh Dibaba going for the 10,000m. Can she win both, or will Dibaba have an edge since she's going for only one event? Are Genzebe Dibaba's days in the long distance events over? Muktar Eedris is one to watch out for in the men's 5000m. Why is Meseret Defar not included in the list?


Preview of the World Juniors which takes off on Tuesday. Who are the athletes to watch out for? Abdullah Akbar Mohammed of Saudi Arabia is the World No.1 in the boys'100m with 10.04, South Africa's Gift Leotlela is No.5 in the 100m/200m (10.20s, 20.47s), Botswana's Baboloki Thebe is No.2 in the 200m with 20.21s, and 1st in the 400m with 44.27s. Candace Hill in the girls'100m is the world leader with 11.09s, Khalifa St. Fort (No.2 with 11.16s), Tobi Amusan tops the 100m Hurdles list with 12.83s, etc 


GAW Ep8 - IAAF maintains ban on Russia ahead of the Olympics, Bolt may lose one Gold medal and German National Champs

June 22, 2016

Our thoughts on the IAAF's ban on Russia ahead of the Olympics. Do we think the ban is unfair and a human rights violation as expressed by Yelena Isinbayeva? Are we likely see more stringent doping measures in Rio considering that a lot of the doping issues that were brought to the fore were unearthed from London 2012 and even Beijing 2008?  Usain Bolt also stands to lose one of his Gold medals in the 4x100m due to Nesta Carter failing a dope test from Beijing.


The weekend was a big one for the throws. World Record holder in the women's Hammer throw Anita Wlodarczyk set a World Lead and third farthest distance ever of 79.61m in Poland on Saturday. 2014 World Indoor champion Kamila Licwinko also set a WL 1.99m in the women's High Jump.


The German National Championships also held this weekend and one of the standout athletes was Thomas Rohler who won his event with an impressive 86.81m. He remains the World Leader with his mark of 89.30m and has the three best marks in the world this season. Rohler is the favourite ahead of the Olympics, which begets the question: what's happening to Julius Yego who currently occupies No.10 spot with 84.68m. Can he bounce back?


Review of Stockholm Diamond League where Ruth was the only athlete to set a Meeting Record.  The Diamond League is on break to allow countries hold their national trials and will return on July 15 in Monaco.


GAW Ep7 - Bolt runs SB of 9.88s, Shelly-Ann wins at Racers Grand Prix, Ahoure sets African Record, Schippers runs MR in Oslo

June 14, 2016

Starting with the Racers Grand Prix, Bolt and Shelly-Ann both won their races, with Bolt clocking a Season's Best of 9.88s. Can we expect to see Shelly-Ann do a sub-11 soon? Shaunae Miller ran an NR of 22.05s; is she considering going for the double in Rio and how would she fare if she does? Wayde Van Niekerk winning the 300m ahead of Merritt and Makwala, etc.


Ahoure's African Record and World Lead of 10.78s set on Saturday in Florida, taking over from Blessing Okagbare. Is Okagbare likely to reclaim the record any time soon? Who will emerge victorious in the battle of supremacy at the African Championships?.


Oslo Diamond League where Dafne Schippers was the only athlete to have done an MR in Oslo, racing to victory in 21.93s. How much faster can Schippers go running against the likes of Bowie and Miller? Does Elaine Thompson stand a chance seeing as she looked so ordinary, following a distant 2nd in 22.6. Should she only concentrate on the 100m?


Barshim's return after winning in Birmingham with a WL of 2.37m, and following it with another WL of 2.40m set in Poland on Saturday. Are we likely to see a Barshim - Bondarenko rivalry again?


GAW Ep6 - Almaz Ayana narrowly misses WR at Rome Diamond League as Semenya dominates the 800m

June 7, 2016

The Rome Diamond League held last week. Almaz Ayana is gradually getting closer to Dibaba's WR of 14:11.15 after setting a Meeting Record and World Lead of 14:12.59, which is almost four seconds faster than the time she set in Rabat. Janieve Russell is the new face of the women's 400m Hurdles: what does this mean for the likes of Zuzana Hejnova and Kaliese Spencer? Can they catch up?

Has Ezekiel Kemboi found a worthy successor in Conseslus Kipruto? 
Caster Semeya's dominance of the women's 800m; what sort of controversy is this likely to trigger? 
The World Leaguer in the men's Discus throw Malachowski fell victim to the new IAAF controversial rule that states that only the best four throwers after three rounds get three additional throws. After the three rounds, Piotr Malachowski was in the 6th position with 63.23m and had no chance of fighting for additional points.