Catching up with the best reads in athletics (Christel Saneh) © Copyright

Weekend reads: the best athletics stories from the past seven days

Start your weekend here, with a round-up of some of the best athletics, running and fitness-related stories from the past seven days.


Full speed ahead

Bob Hayes stormed through the 1964 Tokyo Games; Mel Pender’s Olympic moment came later. And then they lived very different lives.

Bob Hayes

The two Americans ran seven lanes apart in the 1964 Olympic 100 meters. They ran on a track made of dirt and cinders, rust in color and solid underfoot, yet loose in texture, like a well-traveled country road. It would be the last Olympic track meet on a surface that wasn’t as hard as a countertop; before the race, sprinters secured their starting blocks by using a wood mallet to pound spikes into metal tongues at the front and back of the blocks.

Full article (NBC Sports)


For DeAnna Price, hammer time starts with a head-butt and a Sharpie

Deanna Price

J.C. Lambert dropped off his wife and pupil, hammer thrower DeAnna Price, on Sept. 28 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha and sent her off with a message.

Go get ’em. It only takes 76 meters to medal.

Price completed their pre-competition routine like she always does. She grabbed the sides of Lambert’s head and crashed craniums.

Full article (Yahoo)


An unremembered icon: the story of 1900 Olympic steeplechase champion George Orton

George Orton

Clasping the rectangular bronze medal with his left hand — his good hand — as the blistering Paris sun beat down on his skin, George Orton felt sick to his stomach. Literally.

The Penn grad had just finished third in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1900 Olympics. A good finish by any standard, but he didn’t travel across the Atlantic Ocean by boat to settle for anything less than first place.

While he would later have a tremendous impact on Philadelphia and Penn Athletics, he was currently focused on a single goal.

Full article (The Daily Pennsylvanian)


Obiri says farming keeps her on track

Hellen Obiri

Things don’t just happen. They are made to happen. And that clearly demonstrates world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri’s bid to venture into livestock farming.

Despite challenges occasioned by Covid-19 crisis, Obiri is upbeat that her ambitions – in the farm and on the track – will be realised.

Full article (The Standard)


The Olympic track and field MVPs

Irena Szewinska

To mark what would have been the start of the athletics programme at the 2020 Olympic Games, have compiled a list of the MVPs (most valuable players) for the past 28 Summer Olympics.

"Yes, comparing across events is always going to produce imperfect results, but that’s part of the fun!," says Jon Gault. "If everyone agreed, it wouldn’t be an argument. Some are obvious. Some are not. I’m sure plenty of you will disagree with me. That’s kind of the point."

Part one (1896-1960) | Part two (1964-2016) (


Chepngetich eyes world record and Olympic title

Ruth Chepngetich

World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich believes she has what it takes to break the world record in the near future.

The record held by Brigid Kosgei stands at 2:14:04 set during last year's Chicago Marathon.

Chepngetich, who currently trains by herself in Ngong, reckons that with proper preparations and focus, she will dethrone Kosgei.

Full article (The Star)


The training of Steve Ovett

Steve Ovett

Forty years since Steve Ovett's 800m victory at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, Colin Lancaster gives an insight into the training of his former training partner.

Full article (


The running life of Shane Healy, Ireland’s most daring Olympian

Shane Healy

“Are you the Shane Healy?”

We were outside some bar on Leeson Street, on the way to some nightclub, on a night somewhere late in the summer of 1997. I knew who he was and just wanted to make sure because even then there was something exuberant and wild and utterly different about the running life of Shane Healy.

He’d a couple more years on me and that’s all. I wasn’t long home from America after a couple of years bumming around after college, still trying to make it as a distance runner, and he wasn’t long home from running the 1,500m at the World Championships in Athens, having also made the semi-finals at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta the summer before.

Full article (Irish Times)