I admit – this wasn’t my original intention. For my next Hall Of Fame induction I was planning to introduce an athlete in a sport which is not track & field – because despite the evidence for the contrary, this is not a track & field Hall Of Fame. It embraces all sports without considering their race, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc. But Borzakovskiy just recently announced his retirement from the world of sports, and I decided to make a change of plans. Yuriy was one of my all-time favorite track & field athletes, and his place in the Hall Of Fame was guaranteed, but I used this opportunity to honor him and induct him now instead of sometime later.
So… Yuriy Borzakovskiy! One of the greatest 800m runners of the past 15 years. Never a world record holder or a world champion, but he has been an Olympic champion, a four time medalist in the Athletics World Championships, a European champion, a mainstay in the discipline’s elite for the past 15 years, but perhaps more than anything – like Kajsa Bergqvist, he possessed a style which probably made him a favorite of the neutral sports fans. Continue reading
It’s been a while since our first induction to the Blog’s Hall of Fame, so it is time we introduce our second inductee. And this time it’s Israel’s greatest track & field athlete of all-time, one of the greatest pole vaulters of the last 15 years, Aleksandr (or Alex) Averbukh.
My first encounter with Alex occurred at the 1999 World Championships. He immigrated from Russia only a month before that, and in the Championship’s program he was still listed as Russian. Alex was previously a decathlete, with a PB of 8084 points, a whole THOUSAND points better than the Israeli embarrassing record of 7096 (WTF?!). However, by then he already shifted his career to the Pole Vault. I must admit, I never heard of him before the championship, but in Seville he shocked everyone by winning the bronze medal. I still remember the excitement of when it happened – Israel won a medal at the World Athletics Championship! Wow! Averbukh competed with vaulters who were way more celebrated and more experienced than him, but it was he who managed to win the bronze medal with a result of 5.80m, which was also a new NR. Interestingly, he shared the podium with two more Soviet-born vaulters, but only one of them actually represented an ex-Soviet country – Maksim Tarasov (Russia), who won the gold vaulting an unbelievable height of 6.02m, and grabbing his head in amazement afterwards. The silver medalist was Dmitri Markov, who represented Australia. Continue reading
Our first inductee to the Blog’s Hall Of Fame is… drum roll please… Kajsa Bergqvist!
Well, this was a bit redundant… I mean, her name IS in the post’s title…
For all the blog readers who are not track & field fans – Kajsa was a Swedish high jumper, a really damn good high jumper. Continue reading