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APNewsBreak: Logan 'validated' by US success

Friday - 8/10/2012, 8:33pm  ET

By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

LONDON (AP) - He told them so.

Doug Logan got fired as the CEO of the U.S. track team in 2010, about 18 months after setting the audacious goal of collecting 30 medals at the London Olympics.

Heading into the final two days, the Americans have 26, with up to five more possible. Logan says he's not surprised.

"I feel a certain sense of validation that the direction I took and the way I did it was correct," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday.

The Americans won 23 medals in Beijing, a performance that prompted Logan to call for a top-to-bottom review of the track program that resulted in a report called "Project 30."

Logan's in-your-face management style eventually led to his ouster in September 2010 after little more than two years on the job. He's watching the games from his home in Florida this year with mixed emotions.

"When I challenged the federation to perform up to its potential, I knew it had an Olympics like this in it," he said. "But a lot of people, including my own board members, thought I was arrogant and ill-informed."

But neither the man who ultimately replaced Logan, Max Siegel, nor chairwoman Stephanie Hightower shied away from the goal of 30 medals. If the U.S. can reach the podium in the two remaining relays and two of three other events where it has a chance _ women's high jump (Chaunte Lowe), men's 5,000 meters (Bernard Lagat) and men's marathon (Meb Keflezighi) _ it would hit the number.

USA Track and Field spokeswoman Jill Geer declined to comment.

Though this year's track meet has, once again, been dominated by Usain Bolt and his back-to-back Olympic victories in the 100 and 200, the Americans are at the top of the medals table with more than double the next-best countries, Jamaica and Russia, which have 10.

That's no big surprise; the United States fields contenders in almost every event _ something no other country can do.

The real surprise is that the U.S. is approaching a number it hasn't hit since 1992 despite winning only one medal in the men's 100, 200 or 400 _ events in which it captured 16 medals in the previous three Olympics.

They've made up for it with eight medals in field events, five more than in 2008, and also have two silvers in long-distance events: Leonel Manzano in the 1,500 and Galen Rupp in the 10,000, the first American medal at that distance since 1968.

Among those on the "Project 30" panel were 10-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis, 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor and Steve Roush, the former chief of sport performance for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Roush told the AP that putting a specific number out there was "counter to the culture that had been established within" USATF.

"There's no doubt it frightened some people, now that there was actually a stated target they were shooting at," Roush said. "Coming up short would mean they somehow failed."

Logan, who says he'd someday love to find another underperforming national governing body to go fix, insists the ultimate credit goes to the athletes and coaches.

"But them improving like this is not an accident," he said. "It's not that we're lucky today and we were unlucky before."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)