Olympics is the grandest stage to announce yourself as the crème de la crème amongst the pool of World-class Athletes in the Track & Field. It is the platform where vendettas get quenched and debates settled.
The Tokyo Olympics will be no different except for a few epic battles, which we will miss due to unfortunate circumstances. For reasons from doping to injuries, we will be denied these great battles.
Christian Coleman vs Trayvon Bromell
Christian Coleman announced himself as the successor to Usain Bolt's throne at the 2019 Doha World Championship with an emphatic 100m victory. Coleman left Worldclass sprinters like the veteran Justin Gatlin, Andre DeGrasse, and African champion Akani Simbine to dust with a lightning 9.76s.
Tokyo was supposed to be Coleman's second Olympics after his contribution to the US relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics to reach the finals, where the US got disqualified later. Coleman will miss the Tokyo Olympics after his ban in May 2020 for missing three drug tests in 12 months.
After appealing to the Court of Arbitrations (CAS), Coleman's ban got reduced to 18 months instead of the initial 24 months, which means he will still miss the Tokyo Olympics. An epic sprint-off between Coleman and the current gold favourite in Tokyo, Trayvon Bromell, is now out of scope.
Bromell won the 100m event at the US Olympic trials to book his spot, with Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley filling the rest of the podium. Bromell has the World lead for 2021 with a 9.77s and Usain Bolt's favourite to win the 100m gold in Tokyo.
Sha'Carri Richardson vs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce & Elaine Thompson Herah
Sha'Carri Richardson became the talk of the town after her effortless 100m victory at the US Olympic trials. She covered the 100m track with her Gazelle-like form in 10.86s, leaving the competition to fight for the other spots at the 60-metre mark. Richardson was the USA's hope to snatch 100m gold from the Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Fraser-Pryce and Thompson have the top two timings of 2021, with Pryce becoming the second-fastest woman ever after Florence Joyner Griffith with a 10.63 at the Jamaican Olympic trials. However, Richardson will miss the Tokyo Olympics after she got banned for the use of Cannabis following the US trials
Richardson accepted the one-month ban and said she only used weed to deal with her mother's recent death. Even though Richardson's ban will end before the 4x100m event in Tokyo, she is left out of the USA's relay team.
Salwa eid Nasar vs Shaune Miller-Uibo
Salwa Eid Nasar, with a spectacular run of 48.14s at the World Athletics Championship 2019, Doha beat rival Shaune Miller-Uibo. Naser set the third fastest 400m ever at the Championship, fending off Miller's late push across the final bend and into the main straight. Naser became the youngest world champion and also the first-ever Asian to win the 400m event.
Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be the rematch as epic as the one in Doha except on a bigger stage. But Nasar got charged with four alleged whereabouts failures in 12 months by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). Nasar briefly escaped the ban after an independent tribunal let her go on a technicality.
The World Anti-Doping Agency and World Athletics both filed appeals at the Court of Arbitrations (CAS) to challenge the tribunal ruling that cleared Naser on a technicality for doping tests she missed. The CAS ruled that the ban shall be upheld, which means Salwa Eid Nasar will miss the chance to add Olympic gold to her current World title.
With no Nasar in Tokyo, the path to gold looks even easier for the reigning Olympic champion Shaune Miller-Uibo.
Thomas Röhler vs Johannes Vetter
Thomas Röhler speared his javelin into the sky to 90.30 meters to snatch the gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Röhler shared the podium with Julius Yego and Keshorn Walcott, who won silver and bronze, respectively. While one man was celebrating his success, another was left distraught at how close he was to a medal that evening in Rio.
Johannes Vetter was the man left distraught after agonizingly finishing fourth with an 85.32, just 6 centimeters short of the bronze medal. Vetter in 2021 is a different man altogether with a personal best of 97.76m which put him second in the all-time list. Vetter is now a clear favourite to win the Javelin gold in Tokyo after Thomas Röhler pulled out due to a back injury.
Röhler, with a heavy heart, decided to skip the Tokyo Olympics so as to not worsen the back injury. "I have to listen to my body now because I want to compete at the top level for a few more years. By participating at the Olympic Games, I would be risking too much because of the back injury," he said in a statement to the press.
Vetter, with a 96.29 meter in 2021, is miles ahead of the competition. Barring an unfortunate incident, Vetter shall be crowned the Olympic champion with no competitor crossing the 90-meter mark in 2021.