Belfast Telegraph

Not so happy anniversary in rain for games in London

By Billy Weir

And talking of the weather, it was to dominate proceedings in Blighty too, with all roads, or lanes, leading to London's Olympic Stadium on Friday night for the Anniversary Games on the BBC.

"Can it really be three years since Usain Bolt bagged his golden treble, three years since Super Saturday when Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis brought home gold for Great Britain," mused Gabby Logan.

Yes was the answer and 'the big ginger lad who won the jumpy thing' was the answer to 'who is Greg Rutherford?'

Of course, athletics has had a bumpy ride in recent times, Farah not coming under such strain since Bernard Manning tried to squeeze into a pair in 1975, while Bolt was definitely cheating as he turned onto the finishing straight in a car.

Thankfully no such questions to be asked as things kicked off with the faultless Christine Ohuruogu, setting the tone for British achievement by romping home in fourth, with the men's sprinting hopes dashed with fifth, sixth and seventh in a heat but they were hampered by the rain. Legacy is great, isn't it?

Athletics is in the doldrums at present, mainly because Bolt hasn't been in action, and the man with the 62nd quickest time in the world this year is clearly a spent force.

"Usain Bolt crosses the line," commentator Steve Cram informed us. "You're kidding me, really? 9.87 into a headwind and he was jogging for most of it." Clearly his lane was unaffected by the weather.

More British superstars were to come, Jessica coming fifth in the 110m hurdles, which she was to follow up with similar average displays in the long jump and 200m the following day.

"I think Jess' performance was phenomenal," swooned Colin Jackson, and it was for a heptathlete, and the organisers were taking no chances with Farah either, putting on a 3000m race to ensure we all went home damp, but happy.

It was much the same on Saturday, the best home performances coming from sprinter Dina Asher-Smith and Shara Proctor in the long jump while the big ginger lad in the men's jumpy thing came third. He must have hurt his legacy.

But the big star of the day was a woman who only appeared once on screen but you couldn't miss her, larger than life American Michelle Carter (pictured) in the shotput, giving hope to all of us more accustomed to a leg of lamb than a legacy.

"There might be a new world order in the women's shot," concluded Logan, and if there was an order I imagine it came with fries, but who cares, the best thing on the menu is back and I don't mean a heptathlete.

Belfast Telegraph


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