Since the Beijing Olympics, Oliver has changed his start phase, running seven steps to the first hurdle instead of eight. He said he’s beginning to master that technique, and that’s why he’s faster than he was two years ago.
I was always trailing at hurdle three, four, five, and the competition may not even have been that stiff, said Oliver, 28. Now I’m running these times from a front-runner position. I’m first over the first hurdle, and I’m running the entire race in first place. There’s no coming from behind like I was in ’08.
Two years ago I felt that the we would see seven steps to the first hurdle being the future of hurdling because Dayron Robles seemed to have a clear advantage doing so. The tricky part is going from a 7 step rhythm to a 3 step rhythm abruptly. I don’t know if I have enough risk taking abilities to convert guys into 7 steps now, but I will not rule out future experimentation and will still work on global speed qualities so that option exists without converting to one option. Coach McGill raised this issue on his website and I think this may be a turning point. If David Oliver breaks the WR and dips into 12.85 zone we may see 13.0 being less of a barrier like sub ten is now. Innovation without results isn’t truly innovation but just experimentation. Anyone that takes risks with a lot on the line has to be given their dues. Brooks Johnson took a risk that paid off and I am excited to see what becomes of the rest of 2010 and beyond. Oliver’s blog can be found here. I would suggest watching the video of a young Brooks Johnson still coaching at age 76.