Belfast Telegraph

Silver and gold for GB and a final farewell to Team Beeb's finest

By Billy Weir

The final weekend of the World Athletics Championships provided more drama, beauty and tragedy than a week's worth of Hollyoaks.

It is now a legal requirement that any sporting event held in London on a Saturday must be pre-fixed with another word beginning with 'S' but the way things had been going it wasn't going to be a very nice word.

Things got off to a bad start. The countdown to #Motime over, it was time for Sir Mohamed Farah, as he will now be known, to take to the track for the 5,000m final with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders and the BBC team hanging out of him.

"Cameras trained on one man, a moment of history they hope, oh to be here on this day. We're all watching, we're all hoping he'll deliver," wailed Steve Cram.

And he did. A silver. He would have got away with gold if it hadn't been for those pesky Ethiopians ganging up on him and one of them not only having the audacity to beat him but to then also celebrate by doing the Mobot.

The BBC were in bits, the last hopes for gold gone, but at least #Boltdown would surely give us the happy ending we all wanted in the 4x100m?

"Surely the Championship won't deliver another upset?" asked Gabby Logan as suddenly the likelihood of another upset being delivered went through the roof.

And then it happened. Team GB and NI (in fairness, we didn't contribute a lot unless Adam Gemili is one of the Ahoghill Gemilis) won the race, the third fastest time in history and a pained shriek of 'golddddddd' not heard since Tony Hadley caught himself on the microphone stand in Spandau Ballet's farewell gig.

As for Bolt's farewell gig? That didn't go so well, those not wearing red, white, blue and NI green spectacles noticing that the greatest man ever to pull on a pair of gutties was hopping down the track on one leg in agony.

"I'm sorry in that moment of excitement I missed the greatest ever athlete faltering in his last moments," said a crestfallen Cram.

At least Michael Johnson, as good a pundit as he was a runner, retained some perspective.

"It isn't a super Saturday, but it is special," he said and I wouldn't argue.

As for the next day, well, it was so long Sunday, the end of the Championships and more importantly, goodbye to one of the Beeb's finest in the Geordie tones of Brendan Foster who is retiring and has no knowledge of hashtags.

Fittingly he bowed out with the 1500metres final, and fittingly it was won by a Kenyan. Like Farah and Bolt his will be big shoes to fill, it could be a while before Saturdays are super again.

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