Sunday, 4 September 2011

World Championships 2011

The thirteenth IAAF Athletics World Championships took place in Daegu over nine days from 27 August to 4 September. The event failed to disappoint with its high drama and nail biting performances. The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Island Team had a target of seven medals including one gold and managed to surpass this by getting two golds.

The top podium step performances came from Dai Green in the men’s 400m hurdles and Mo Farah over 5000m. Mo also clinched a silver medal over 10000m, which could have so easily been gold, but a gutsy run nonetheless. Another athlete with guts was Hannah England who sprinted for her life at the end of a competitive 1500m to grab an unexpected, but well deserved silver. 110m hurdler Andy Turner controversially picked up the bronze after winner Dayron Robles was disqualified for impeding another athlete. Our final medal was picked up by Phillips Idowu in the men’s triple jump who despite leaping to a season’s best performance only came away with silver.

Whilst Great Britain achieved their target set, there were so many missed opportunities. 800m runner Jenny Meadows who medalled at the last games failed to make the final despite being in good form. Perry Shakes Drayton agonisingly missed the 400m hurdles final by 0.01secs. The most shocking had to be Christina Ohuruogu who false started in the 400m and got disqualified. Another false starter was the experienced Dwain Chambers in the 100m semi final. Tiffany Porter was unlucky to finish fourth in the 100m hurdles after clattering one towards the finish. On the infield, both of our top long jumpers went out injured and ever improving Holly Bleasdale no heighted in the pole vault qualification.

Elsewhere, the biggest shock of the games came from the most famous athlete in the sport, Usain Bolt who unbelievably false started in the men’s 100m final and was effectively disqualified. Oscar Pistorius made history by being the first amputee athlete to compete at a major athletics championship. The South African did well to make it to the 400m semi final and won a 4x400m silver medal despite being left out of the squad for the final even though he was the quickest of their athletes. Sally Pearson and Alyson Felix were the stand out athletes for me, Sally was just 0.07secs away from the 100m hurdles world record, whilst Alyson collected two golds, a silver and bronze from the relays, 200m and 400m. As a country Kenya were outstanding dominating the women’s distance events, as well as doing exceptional in the men’s. Perhaps I’m slightly bias there, as my dad was born in Kenya! One thing that niggled me in the championships that no world records were being broken, but thankfully and surprisingly, as Asafa Powell was injured, the Jamaican 4x100m relay team with the lightning bolt on the anchor leg smashed the world record powering to 37.04secs.

Channel 4’s coverage of the games had its ups and downs. The amount of athletics shown was immense, yet at times the commentating was below par. In my opinion the ex athletes, such as Michael Johnson and Iwan Thomas did the better jobs. Overall, an inspiring, fascinating and drama filled games, I can’t wait for next year’s European Championships and Olympic Games!

Daegu Delivered!

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