USATF has treated us to plenty of splits times on its official Olympic trials results pages. No doubt this level of detail—probably more—is available for major international competitions, but we rarely see it. So, as a special treat, here’s the men’s 800m final 200m splits visualised.
Boris Berian’s bold and entertaining “catch me if you can” tactic came undone. He was beaten by the more conservative approach of Clayton Murphy. Murphy had the smallest difference between his two lap splits in the final, a 3.1% difference (51.4 v 53.16). Berian had a 6% difference (50.61 v 53.66). This wasn’t the biggest. This goes to Brandon Johnson who had an almost 9% difference (50.65 v 55.14)—and produced an almost perfect line of decline in his chart.
It was a similar picture through the rounds for the top-two finishers, adopting two different their respective approaches—the get out hard and hold v a more measured pace. Berian even clocked a 49.73 for his first lap in the semi. Last year it was Duane Solomon who went out hard and paid for it (200m: 24.01, last 200m: 1:52.40), losing out to Nick Symmonds (and the rest of the field). The speedsters keep coming, but they need to make sure they have enough to haul themselves over the line when it matters. It’s not a sprint, yet.