Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympics Day 13: Running and jumping

Summer weather finally returned to London today with bright sunshine and some actual warmth. And lucky me, I spent the whole day outdoors in the Olympic Stadium watching the athletics. These were tickets I bought in the lottery more than 18 months ago, and they turned out to be great seats at the end of the field, just opposite the cauldron (a slash of light in the photo below right). I bid for them because it was a rare session with no finals in it, so I thought I'd have a better chance! The photo above is the view of the Olympic Park through the ribbons around the edge of the stadium - the velodrome is on the left and the blocks of flats on the right are the Olympic Village.

The main event in the stadium was the decathlon, and we watched the leaders Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee, and everyone else, in their 11-meter hurdles, discus throw and pole vaulting, as well as the women's high jump and the heats for the men's 4 by 100-metre relay, which had a strange wrinkle when two runners clashed, leaving Oscar Pistorius standing there unable to run his leg as part of the South African team, so they couldn't finish. In the end, the judges ruled they had been physically pushed, so they made it through to the final.

It was a long day in the sunshine (actually the seats were shaded all day), and even though the action sometimes faded a bit, it was great fun soaking up the atmosphere. The crowd was astounding - the cheers for the British competitors were a deafening roar.

I came home this evening for another news shift, and I have yet another early start tomorrow. Thankfully, the weekend will be a bit lighter work-wise. And then it's all over on Sunday. Until the Paralympics, that is.

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