I have been a bit slack with this blog lately which I apologize for. I wasn’t particularly inspired after a failed Saturday last weekend. I went to a Museum that I travelled for ages to get to and it was extremely disappointing. I can see stuffed animals and African art at home.
This Saturday more than made up for it. An email was sent around work on Wednesday that two tickets were available for the Diamond League athletics at Crystal Palace, so I replied saying I was keen and the tickets were mine. Muhahahahahahahahahahahaha.
I was pretty excited when I woke up because I had never been to a professional athletics meet before and thought that it would be pretty cool. Crystal palace is in South London so it was a bit of a mission to get there. I met a work colleague at Victoria station and we took the over ground train down to Crystal Palace. We made it just in time for the start of the athletics. On Friday Tyson Gay had run the season’s fastest time of 9.78 seconds for the 100 metres so I think the crowd was pretty excited which made for a great atmosphere. It was also a full house so it meant that the athletes were inspired to perform at their best. That might just be wishful thinking though.
The day started off with an invitational relay with a mixture of radio personalities, journalists and ex-athletes, just a bit of fun to get the crowd going. The first thing you notice about the meet is that it is all really organized, the announcer keeps you informed, the helpers come out in a line to help with togs and the officials get the next event started straight away. There is also up beat music playing all the time which adds to the excitement. Overall I was impressed with the event and had a great time.
Oscar ran in the T44 400m event and broke the world record. I had never seen him before. He runs as if nothing is wrong with his legs. He has a great running style and he broke his own record by 0.45 seconds.
It is pretty weird watching javelin live, it is almost peaceful watching the javelin fly through the air and plant itself nicely in the turf. You are in the stands so you can’t hear the grunt of the thrower. The guy that won the event threw one that seemed much further than anyone else but it seems he only won by 50cm.
I don’t know what it is about the 100m but it is really fun to watch just seeing someone going over the finish line as fast as they can go. The athletes seem to fade at the end of longer races. This event was cool because the heats were earlier in the day so you got to see who was running well before the event.
Men’s & Women’s 400m and Women’s 800m
These events just seems like the hardest events of any athletics meet. By the end of the race all the athletes look dead and because it is basically a sprint for one or two laps and there is no time to rest for a little bit. The 800m was pretty good because it is tactically a good race with athletes being boxed in and when do you kick?
This race was dominated by Wallace Spearman who is the fifth fastest 200m runner of all time and was one of the athletes that was disqualified at the Olympics for stepping out of his lane. It was good to watch him destroy the field.
It is pretty amazing how fast these guys can run after jumping over a hurdle. You would think that after landing you would be all out of whack and slow down but it seems that they just get faster. The European champion Andy Turner was running in this final after winning his heat earlier in the day but ended up coming last in the final. The home crowd weren’t too happy with this.
The mile was the last race of the day and is a tradition at the london atlectics meet. The winner signs a leather bound book which has all the winners signatures in it. Not sure if they get to keep it or a year or they get a copy of it or something but it seems like a pretty good race to win and add your name to the likes of Roger Bannister.
Overall it was a great day and I had fun. I would recommend that if you have any interest in athletics you go and see these athletes perform at their best. You might have wondered why I haven’t put any photos in the text. The reason is that I took so many that I thought I would put all the best ones at the bottom so you can go through them.