by Ann Gaffigan for Pretty Tough
If you watched the live airing of the Penn Relays this afternoon, you might have since come down with a case of Track & Field fever. The USA vs. Jamaica relays took center stage, and the packed stadium (attendance was reported at 47,900) spent much of their time on their feet, craning their necks to see if the US teams could redeem themselves from what some considered to be an embarrassing performance at Beijing, where they dropped batons and in general could not keep up with the Jamaicans in relays Team USA usually dominated.
The US teams swept the men’s and women’s 4 x 100m relays, perhaps the greatest redemption from the Games, as well as the 4 x 400m relays. Jamaica did take home the women’s Sprint Medley title however, as Kenia Sinclair anchored her team with a very impressive 1:57 800m split.
If you’re hungry for more, then you’re in luck. The Flora London Marathon, one of the most competitive marathons in the world, will be airing live online at http://www.universalsports.com starting at 4am EST. If you’re not quite that big of a fan, it will also be on TV on Universal Sports at 9am EST and again at 6pm EST.
Letsrun.com has an excellent detailed preview of the women’s race here. The overwhelming favorite seems to be returning champion Irina Mikitenko of Germany, but there are several other elite women in the field that are thinking otherwise. The winner will get $55,000 for her victory, and additional bonuses are offered for fast times and records.
In the afternoon, the 100th Drake Relays will be televised on ESPN2, beginning at 2pm EST. The Drake Relays (along with the Penn Relays) are part of the VISA Championships Series, in which athletes earn points based on their performances in their respective events and at the end of the season could potentially win the overall title, which pays $25,000. The most notable star is hurdler Lolo Jones, world leader in the 100m hurdles last year who experienced an agonizing Olympic Final, hitting the 7th hurdle and losing her lead in the final steps as a result.