Category Archives: Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова

Ivet Lalova’s Comeback

Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова was one of the favorites to win a medal coming into the 2004 Athens Olympics. She had just set a new personal time of 10.77s, drawing level with Irina Privalova as the sixth fastest sprinter of all-time. Ivet, however, fell short of the podium in Athens. She finished in fourth place behind Yulia Nestsiarenka (Юлія Несцярэнка Юлия Нестеренко – 10.93s), Lauryn Williams (10.96s), and Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.97s).

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London Olympics Preview: The 100m Dash

The Blue Riband event is the centerpiece of the Olympics. The athlete who wins the gold is dubbed as the world’s fastest man or woman.

Photo from Nigel Chadwick

Women’s 100m Dash

Until the Jamaican Olympic trials last June, Carmelita Jeter has been comfortably perched as the 2012 world leader. Jeter ran 10.81s at the same blue track in Kingston where the Jamaican trials were held.

A month later, the defending Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce demolished the American’s erstwhile 2012 standard. Fraser-Pryce ran a personal best, as she stopped the clock at 10.70s. Veronica Campbell-Brown came second at 10.82s.

 

Fraser-Pryce (L) and Jeter (R). Photos from Erik van Leeuwen and André Zehetbauer

Trinidadian Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.86s) and Allyson Felix (10.92s) trails Campbell-Brown. Kerron Stewart (10.94s), Tianna Madison (10.96s), Murielle Ahoure (11.00s), and Blessing Okagbare (11.01s) occupy prominent positions in the top list.

The European challenge will be top billed by the comebacking Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова (11.06s SB) and the mercurial Olesya Povh Олеся Повх (11.08s), who finished 1-2 at the European Championships in Helsinki.

   

Felix (L), Baptiste (C), and Stewart (R). Photos from Erik van Leeuwen

With the London Games barely two weeks away, the Jamaicans and the Americans are sure to figure in tough battle for gold.

The 25-year old Fraser-Pryce, fresh from setting lifetime bests in the 100m and the 200m, is at her prime. Jeter is six years older than the Jamaican Olympic Champion, but is coming into the Games as the reigning World Champion. the powerful American has a personal best of 10.64s from 2009. the second fastest behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49s world record.

Stewart (10.75s, 2009), Campbell-Brown (10.76s, 2011), and Lalova (10.77s, 2004) are all sub-10.80s sprinters at their respective bests. Felix (10.92s, 2012) could figure in the fight for the podium as well, as long as she does not get left behind at the blocks.

My pick for gold is the defending champion, Fraser-Pryce. She has the momentum and she seems to be peaking just in time for London.

Top Three Predictions:

Gold: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Silver: Carmelita Jeter

Bronze: Allyson Felix

Men’s 100m Dash

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay are the only ones capable of beating an in-form Usain Bolt. Former World record holder Asafa Powell has the necessary speed and breakneck start, but he just does not possess the mental toughness to live up to his potential in major championships.

   

Bolt (L), Gay (C), and Blake (R). Photos from Erik van Leeuwen [Bolt and Blake] and Eckhard Pecher [Gay])

True enough, Blake has inflicted back-to-back defeats in the 100m and 200m to his training partner, both at the Jamaican Olympic Trials. Gay triumphed over Bolt at the DN Galan in Stockholm back in 2010.

The fight for gold will be three-pronged between Bolt, Blake, and Gay, should the latter be able to find the spring in his legs again. Justin Gatlin is the dark horse. Coming from his two-year doping ban, he has a lot to prove and is intent on making his comeback complete by winning Olympic gold.

Gatlin wins the 2012 World Indoor 60m Dash title. (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)

Blake (9.75s) and Bolt (9.76s) are the two fastest this year. The 2004 Athens Olympic Champion, Justin Gatlin, is in top form as he set a personal best of 9.80s en route to topping the tough U.S. Olympic Trials. Powell (9.85s), Keston Bledman (9.86s), and Gay (9.86s) round up the next three.

Watch out for the tall and powerful Ryan Bailey. Bailey finished third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, setting a personal best of 9.93s.

 

Collins (L) and Lemaitre (R). Photos from André Zehetbauer and Erik van Leeuwen)

I’d love to see Kim Collins (10.05s SB) replicate his podium finish in Daegu, but the 2003 World Champion has not gone below the 10-second barrier this season. The French duo of Christophe Lemaitre (10.04s SB) and Jimmy Vicaut (10.07s SB) could once again barge into the final. Britain’s new sprinting talent, Adam Gemili (10.05s PB/SB), looks poised to make a mark as well.

I’m rooting for an injury-free Gay to finally wrest the Olympic 100m dash title. As the second fastest of all-time over the distance (9.69s), he has what it takes to come out on top. The youthfully exuberant Blake has the psychological edge, in the wake of his emphatic wins over Bolt.

If the world’s greatest sprinter gets his act together in London, the rest of the field – Gay and Blake included – will be competing only for the lesser medals.

Top Three Predictions:

Gold: Usain Bolt

Silver: Tyson Gay/Yohan Blake

Bronze: Justin Gatlin

Sources:

IAAF

Wikipedia

Lalova clocks 11.01s at the Bislett Games

It’s good to see Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова back in sterling form. The Bulgarian, slowed by a broken femur the past few years, ran her fastest time in the 100m dash since 2005. Lalova came out on top of a quality field at the rain-soaked Bislett Games in Oslo, stopping the clock at a highly competitive 11.01s, almost three-tenths of a second away from her 2004 best of 10.77s.

Read: “Track Beauty of the Week: Ivet Lalova Ивет Лаловa”

The reigning European Indoor 60m champion, Ukraine’s Olesya Povh Олеся Повх, came second (11.14s). Nigerian-born Norwegian Ezinne Okparaebo clocked 11.17s for third place. Povh and Okparaebo had a blistering start, with the former leading the pack until Lalova turned on her afterburners at the 65 meter mark. Verena Sailer, apparently still hampered by a back injury sustained at the early part of the year, lagged behind with an unremarkable 11.46s. In the absence of the Jamaicans and the Americans, the top five positions were occupied by Europeans.

Read: “Track Beauty of the Week: Verena Sailer”

Lalova’s performance at the Oslo leg of the Diamond League is the 13th fastest in 2011. With big names like Carmelita Jeter and Veronica Campbell-Brown churning out 10.70s and 10.76s, respectively, the 10m dash in Daegu will be highly interesting. An in-form Lalova could give the traditional sprinting powers a run for their money come August.

Track Beauty of the Week: Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова

Ivet Lalova Ивет Лалова is this week’s track beauty!

The Bulgarian sprinter is the ninth fastest woman of all-time in the 100m dash. She had her best ever season in 2004. Barely out of her teens, Lalova ran to lifetime best of 10.77s.

Read: “Ivet Lalova’s Comeback”

   

Photos from Wikipedia and visittobulgaria.com

At the Athens Olympics, the youngster placed a competitive 4th place behind the troika of Yuliya Nesterenko (Юлія Несцярэнка Юлия Нестеренко) (10.93s), Lauryn Williams (10.96s) and Veronica Campbell (10.97s).

She came out of the blocks with guns blazing, leading the pack for the first 60m, before being overtaken in the final 40m by the fast finishing trio.

The Bulgarian also qualified for the 200m dash final, finishing 5th overall with a time of 22.57s.

    

Photos from women-track.webcindario.com, olympicgirls.net and gosko-prominent.szm.com

Tragedy struck the promising sprinter in 2005. While warming up, Lalova unexpectedly collided with another athlete, breaking her right femur in the process. Lalova was never the same after the incident. Since 2005, she has never gone below the magical 10-second barrier again.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Lalova  could only muster a semifinals appearance in the century dash (11.51s) and the quarterfinals in the half-lap (23.15s).

Seven years after the tragic accident, Ivet completed her remarkable comeback by winning the 100m dash title at the European Championships in Helsinki. She clocked a European-leading 11.06s in the preliminary rounds, sending a strong signal that the vintage Lalova is back. In the final, the Bulgarian edged out the fast-starting Olesya Povh of Ukraine, stopping the clock in 11.28s.

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