Faster, Higher, Stronger
It’s not everyday you watch someone break the Icelandic National Record for the Women’s Javelin, however yesterday we saw Asdis Hjalmsdottir do just that. But then I suppose it’s not every day you get to spend a day at the Olympics either.
Mrs Weir and I had applied for a number of tickets back in March last year and were lucky enough to get two for a morning session in the Olympic Stadium – specifically seats 699 and 698, in row 66 block 255. So at 4:30am we awoke to make our way to that London for those Olympics, after having briefly considered going back to sleep and watching it all on TV.
We arrived a little later than the time suggested by the official spectator guide – Top Tip #3 “aim to arrive at the Olympic Park 2.5 hours before your session starts”, although we had adhered to Tip #10 “wear comfortable shoes” and also refrained from attempting to enter the Park with any of the prohibited items, so no roller-skates, pets or hoax explosive devices.
And then there it was – the Olympic Park.
Given the number of people in attendance entering the site getting to our seats was alarmingly straightforward and before we knew it we were sat looking out over the track waiting for some running, some jumping, some running combining jumping and some throwing for good measure too.
We learnt that the Javelin is not a sport that British women are particularly adept at, although to be fair Goldie Sayers came fourth in Bejing which is a better result than I have ever achieved at an Olympics, (so far). It also became clear fairly early on that jumping over the hurdles in the 110m Hurdles was probably a better bet than crashing through them at speed. I think the competitors understood this however there was at least one athlete who failed to clear a single one and still finished, which when you consider what happened to Liu Xiang was fairly impressive, (as was Xiang’s ability to hop 100m to the exit). Phillips Idowu left us almost as soon as he’d arrived confirming later that “I’ve competed for 12 years and I can’t remember a time I’ve performed that badly”, and 5000m looked an awfully long way to run, especially for those tail enders who were quick to confirm the concept of the loneliness of the long distance runner, (upon returning home I find that one of the British athletes, Barbara Parker, running in the first 5000m heat comes from my home town, sadly she didn’t make the final but did run a personal best).
Which just left the 200m and the appearance of a certain Mr Usain Bolt. Appearing in Heat #1 of #7 he arrived to one of the biggest cheers of the day and ran with absolutely no sense of urgency straight into the semi-finals – quite how someone runs so quickly with such an apparent lack of effort is beyond me, and I think more than likely it will be beyond the other qualifiers too.
So the session finished we made our way through even bigger crowds back home having had a good day but sadly having come away without a medal. Still there’s always Rio in four years time eh ?
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Tags: 110m Hurdles, 200m, 2012, 5000m, Asdis Hjalmsdottir, Barbara Parker, Goldie Sayers, Icelandic National Record for the Women's Javelin, Javelin, Liu Xiang, London 2012, Mr Usain Bolt, Olympic Park, Olympic Stadium, Olympics, Phillips Idowu, Rio, Triple Jump