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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Infinite Tucker leaps to glory ... Dhoni too is run out !!

At the beginning of the take-off, the knee must be driven toward the hurdle and the foot then extended. The leg position when extended must be stretched out, in a position of a split. The knee should be slightly bent when crossing the hurdle. Unless an athlete's body has great flexibility, the knee must be slightly bent to allow a forward body lean.. .. ..  some definition of ‘how to run a hurdle race !’ - It is also important that the hurdler doesn't reach out on the last stride before the hurdle as this will result in a longer bound being made to clear the hurdle. This will also result in a loss of momentum if the foot lands well in front of the center of gravity.  .. .. none of the manuals would have wrote on what Infinite Tucker did !!   The 400 metres hurdles is a track and field hurdling event. The event has been on the Olympic athletics programme since 1900 for men and since 1984 for women.

We are used to seeing lightning stumpings, casual collections and smart runouts effected by mercurial MS Dhoni ~ not many times, he is run out .. ..  Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by a solitary run to clinch a record fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title on Sunday night.  The  final was not short of some controversial moments -- the biggest being MS Dhoni's game-changing run out. The CSK skipper came into bat with Shane Watson going great guns at the other end but steadily running out of partners. MS Dhoni made his usual  start to the innings but after scoring just 2 runs, his stay at the crease was brought to a premature end courtesy a rocket throw from Mumbai Indians' Ishan Kishan.  However, what followed next was the nerviest few minutes for both sets of fans. As the on-field umpire signalled for the third umpire, replays started playing on TV screens. Nigel Llong, the third umpire, must have immediately known he had a task on his hands and further viewing of replays from different angles only served to increase the confusion.

While commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, based on one angle (a prejudiced one at that !!), vehemently called for MS Dhoni to be given out, other commentators were not so sure and thought the benefit of the doubt and the inconclusive nature of the replays would see the third umpire rule in the batsman's favour.  Twitter erupted as fans gave vent to their anger at the third umpire's decision.

On a standard outdoor track, 400 metres is the length of the inside lane, once around the stadium. Runners stay in their lanes the entire way after starting out of the blocks and must clear ten hurdles that are evenly spaced around the track. The hurdles are positioned and weighted so that they fall forward if bumped into with sufficient force, to prevent injury to the runners. Although there is no longer any penalty for knocking hurdles over, runners prefer to clear them cleanly, as touching them during the race slows runners down. The best male athletes can run the 400 m hurdles in a time of around 47 seconds, while the best female athletes achieve a time of around 53 seconds. The current men's and women's world record holders are Kevin Young with 46.78 seconds and Yuliya Pechonkinawith 52.34 seconds.

With a name like Infinite Tucker, diving over the finish line to win the 400m hurdles is entirely apt. The race took place at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Track & Field Championships in America where Tucker became Texas A&M’s newest champion, The Sun reports. Tucker was neck and neck with his own college teammate Robert Grant in a race to win the SEC title. And the youngster pipped his pal to the line by making a Superman-like leap that propelled him to victory — avenging his second-place finish in the same event two years ago.

Tucker revealed his inspiration came from seeing his mother at the finish line. He told ESPN: “I closed my eyes over hurdle 10. I opened it, saw my ma at the finish, and I jumped to give her a hug. “I just gave it my all and I felt like diving to the finish was me using my whole body. I just gave it my all that race.” Teammate Grant was clearly not impressed, though. Smiling, he told ESPN: “If I say what I thought on this camera, microphone right now, Coach (Pat) Henry would kick me off the team.” But fans on social media went wild for the audacious dive as Tucker went viral across America. Barstool Sports tweeted a video of the finish that was viewed more than 1.8 million times. Tucker also earned the prestigious honour of coming in at No. 1 on iconic ESPN show SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of the day.

Kevin C. a former American athlete, winner of 1992 Olympics holds the world record and Olympic record of 46.78 seconds in 400 metres hurdles.  In 2016 Rio Olympics,  there were several major absences from the competition: the 2012 Olympic champion Félix Sánchez did not return to defend his title as he had retired, Johnny Dutch (the world-leading athlete that season) had faltered at the American Olympic Trials, and the 2015 World Championships runner-up Denis Kudryavtsev was ineligible due to the Russian team ban for doping.   Kerron Clement of USA  won the hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2007 World Championships in Athletics and took the silver behind Angelo Taylor at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th May 2019.

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