Farrah v Bolt: The 600 metre Superstars race every sports day needs
IS Mo Farrah going to race Usain Bolt over 600 meters, a distance at which neither of them are champions? Will Joe Hart, the England goalkeeper go head to head with British Lions’s Leigh Halfpenny in a cricket ball catching contest? Is Andy Murray or Olympic squash champion Dan Lin better at table-tennis? Would sports fan tune in to see it?
Yes. Sports fans will watch pretty much anything. Create a school sports day Mums and Dads race channel and many would watch.
But Rick Broadbent is not in favour of the 600-metres cash dash:
I may be the only person who is not yearning to see Mo Farah line up against Usain Bolt. Far from being the greatest race in history, as some have claimed, it would be a Mickey Mouse money-maker.
The rush to transform this idea from throwaway sound-bite to reality shows the problems athletics has in being taken seriously as a mainstream sport. If a 600 metres novelty race can be deemed better than Bolt’s record-breaking feats or the Olympic finals of Coe v Ovett, or countless other moments of raw athletic competition then the sport must have run its course.
It is not just man v man duels that have attracted attention. Jesse Owens, arguably the greatest Olympian of all, was reduced to running against horses to earn a crust. “People say that it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do? I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals.”
Would we lap it up?
One word of cation: anyone recalls the June 1, 1997 race between 200m great Michael Johnson and 100 metres champion Donovan Bailey over 150 metres ion Toronto? Yes? Then you’ll know that Johnson never finished the race, pulling up injured. Still, that made Bailey the fastest man in the world, right?
All we say it: bring back Superstars:
Joe Frazier drowns?
Kevin Keegan bleeds: