Athletics News

The Sydney and Femke Show, and the Battle of Two Coaches

The Sydney and Femke Show, and the Battle of Two Coaches

The Sydney and Femke show and the Battle of Two Coaches 

Sydney McLaughlin Levrone is among the finest athletes in American track and field history. An athletic prodigy, Sydney has worked long and hard to perfect her specialty, the 400-meter hurdles, putting the WR into the unimaginable realm of 50.68.

Over the last few years, Sydney has worked with Bobby Kersee, one of our finest, if not most eccentric, athletic coaches in the entire sport. Eccentricity is not a bad thing, and his athletes love him.

Sydney McLaughlin sets new WR of 50.68 in 400m hurdles, World Athletics Championships
Eugene, Oregon, USA
July 15-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

Bobby Kersee has coached great multi-eventers, like his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and great sprinters, like Allyson Felix. He has a fine group of athletes from Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Athing Mu, Taylor McLaughlin (Sydney’s brother), Brandon Miller, Jenna Prandini, and Keni Harrison. Bobby develops sprinters, hurdlers, multi-eventers, you name it, Bobby has coached the event.

I first met the guy in 1994, sitting in the stands in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he knew me. He sat beside me and began discussing Ben Johnson, the disgraced Canadian sprinter. Bobby hoped the guy would break a WR again, and as he was being tested repeatedly, it would show that just because someone adds drugs to a regimen does not make the athlete superior. “You can not make a racehorse out of a workhorse,” Bobby said. He was incensed that fans could think there was an easy road to greatness in our sport.

Bobby Kersee is speaking about Athing Mu, which was designed by Deji Ogeyingbo.

With all due candor and respect, I think Bobby Kersee is out of his mind, but in a good way. I recall a conversation with Bobby about being nearly arrested wearing a hoodie and ordering a pizza in California until the police officer noticed it was Bobby. The man is painfully honest, and he is a superior coach. His strangeness is not an act but an example of how unique characters are in whatever their specialty.

Last year, Bobby was being given a lot of bad media because neither Sydney nor Athing Mu was racing much. Truth is, two different situations. I am not sure he was responsible, but he protects his athletes.

Athing Mu is another child prodigy, and she needed a break. When she lost in Budapest, she was mad and returned to Nike Pre Classic with fire in her eyes. Bobby encouraged her to take a break and supported her build to Pre. She will be ready in 2024 for…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at runblogrun…