Dolgoprudny, Russian Federation
After the hectic weekend schedules, today was more relaxed by far. The heptathlon started early, but otherwise there were some hurdle and steeplechase heats, discus qualifying and everything but the heptathlon high jump was done by a little after 12, with the evening session not starting till 18:45. Time to wander, to snooze, to raid the meeting room fridge for supplies.
Today is much cooler than the previous few, after storms overnight. It started overcast, even, though it was sunny from midday or so. I watched the morning session with a fellow ware jogger who was sadly off back home later in the day, then went to say hello to dad upstairs while the heptathlon high jump finished. He had learned that the IAAF lounge offered much better food-thought there must be some somewhere, the portions in the press box are small and, though cheap, nothing to write home about. So in that spirit I’ll say no more. We were, only at 1:45, too late for food there and I followed dad and Katherine back to the meeting room, where they prepared for the evening session. Katherine also worried about how unpopular she’d be after breaking the pot for the coffee machine, and I just lounged about, enjoying listening to experts talking about sport, athletes and working in the media.
For the evening session I asked editor Fred if there was anything he needed me for, but unless they have an idea already it really is a case of “what do you think might be good”. Um. fastest women in the world? We filmed some mixed zone ‘ambience’ shots after the 100m semis and then I was free to watch.
Adams won the shot, though the joy on the face of the German, Schwanitz, who threw a pb in the final round to take silver was something to see. The 400m was the race of the championships so far. Hastings inside her went off fast, with a reaction time of .163 as against .247, and passed Ohuruogu, but the latter always paces her races well and by 200m she was back in front of Hastings and beginning to reel others in. By now Montsho was well clear but with 80m to go I was sure Ohuruogo would take her. With 10m to go it was on a knife edge and as Ohuruogu dipped, almost bending double it seemed, it looked like the erect Montsho had taken it. The athletes paced, smiling, as they waited for the adjudication… Gold! Montsho, with hindsight, may not have quite driven for the line, perhaps sensing no one around her for some time, but Ohuruogo took a national record of 49.41 and first place. Sensational to watch – the way she races is always exciting, but that was something else.
Outside that, La villenie did not win, David Oliver did, emotionally, whilst Richardson hit the final hurdle to lose bronze. The pole produced a pb to take hammer gold while Johnson-Thompson pbed in the 200.
Plus, at 5 dad and I wandered back to the IAAF lounge to find, after a wait, the food just as good as I’d been promised, plus there’s a bar there. I must not rinse the lounge. Now I’m introduced to the team and feel no shame in raising the meeting room fridge and know where there’s good food for the price of a wave of my badge, I’m set. Dad engaged a delegate from Nevis and st kitts, and made me once again envious of that depth of knowledge; world, cricket, athletics, it does make conversation go with a flow.
Summary: Rob said I couldn’t count on a British winner, but two nights out of three will do. Reading: don Quixote, though slowly.