The World Championships in Athletics are a huge celebration for track & field fans. I’ve been watching them regularly since Athens 1997, when my dad first encouraged me to join him. I was 10 years old, and for some reason, the athletes I remember best from that championship are Moses Kiptanui, Michael Johnson, Wilson Kipketer and Noureddine Morceli, despite the fact that Kiptanui didn’t win gold and Morceli didn’t win any medal at all. Well, mind, mysterious ways and all that, you know.
Anyway, since then I’ve committed myself to watching it every two years. And we’re very lucky that the championships are being held every two years, because the first three were held every 4 years – 1983, 1987, 1991. And why didn’t they think of starting this thing earlier?! Continue reading →
After Stockholm, it’s Birmingham time! And so, without freddy adu… let’s start.
This is Harting’s territory, and Malachowski knows that. He handed the victory to King Harting on a plate of gold, and settled for second place, over 2.5 meters behind him. Harting’s result – 67.57, not bad. He still chases Malachowski in the diamond race, but if he’ll take this thing seriously, I don’t think Piotr will manage to stay on top much longer. The difference is 6 points. Stay tuned! Continue reading →
I first started watching the Diamond League back in 2001. Oh sorry, the Golden League. That’s how it was called back then. I loved track & field competitions before then, but my enthusiasm was confined to world championships and the Olympics. But after Sydney I decided to turn it up a notch. Or maybe we (in Israel) were simply treated to broadcasts of Golden League events for the first time in 2001. Who knows.
Anyhow, I’ve been following the Golden League, and then the Diamond league, ever since. I love how everything is crammed to one evening and we are treated to many events, which are usually high-level. And I love how they added more meetings with the transition to the Diamond League. After all, more meetings means more competitions for us to watch!
My dad, whom I own my initial fascination with track & field which started back at the world championships in Athens (1997. I watched some stuff at the Atlanta Olympics, but I was only 9 years old back then and I don’t remember much), joined me in watching the meetings these last three years, and this is why my take on the meetings will come a few days after they take place – it usually takes a couple of days for us to find a time to watch them together. Continue reading →
Well, it’s over now. A very good championship it was, certainly better than the 2012 edition. But no time for summaries yet, there are still the events of the last day that we need to cover!
Shot Put Women Final
It’s strange to watch a shot put competition without the greatest female athlete of the last decade – Valerie Adams. Maybe we can make an exception and let her compete just for kicks? No? Okay L…
Anyway, without her majesty Valerie, Christina Schwanitz was the clear favorite. I was actually a bit surprised when I checked and saw that she never was even a medalist in the European championships yet! This has got to be her competition, I thought to myself. And it turned out it was. Continue reading →
Oh no, only one day left! The good thing is that the last day was as great as it can probably be, and hopefully today will be the same.
Hammer Throw Men Final
The evening session started with a great Hammer competition. The favorites were probably Pars and Fajdek, who surprised everyone last year at the world championships, when he won the gold ahead of Pars.
Pars had a great series, which peaked first at his first attempt – a 82.18. Fajdek, who changed his dorky glasses from last year to a cool pair, and who looks like an XL version of Harry Potter, came close with a fifth throw of 82.05. But it wasn’t enough and he couldn’t get any further. Pars, on the other hand, came into his last throw as a champion, and unleashed a PB of 82.69! That’s a true champion! Fajdek is great, though, and he’s only 25. He can rule the field for a long time after Pars. Continue reading →
So, the fourth day of the European championship is behind us. The third day proved to be a successful one for the Poles, but also for the Ukrainians.
BTW, I usually don’t write about the morning session, but yesterday the women high jump qualifiers took place, and I was very saddened by Vlasic recording a DNS. I finally thought she was over with her injuries this year, and she looked good at the diamond league meets, but there you go…
Well, eventually I got excited with this event. All thanks to the javelin, where we were treated to many throws of the major candidates. Thiam, who lacks the massive build of Broersen and Nana-Djimou, wasn’t as successful as in the previous events, and she managed to throw only 49.69, for 854 points.
A new discovery in the heptathlon was the second Dutch girl – Anouk Vetter. She threw the javelin very nicely, and had the second best throw with 52.49, but even more than that – I was surprised to see how much she looks like Kluft! Continue reading →
The third day of the championships was probably the most exciting one yet. It was destined to be the day of the French, and it was in many ways, but it took several unexpected turns.
Javelin Men Qualification
Andreas Thorkildsen, the greatest javelin thrower since Jelezny, didn’t enter the competition. He was in a really bad form this whole year, so it makes sense. But still one feels sad for his career in the last couple of years. Did we see the end of this great throwers, probably one of the top 3 of all-time? He’s still young for the javelin, a mere 32 years old, the same age as Pitkamaki who still throws at the highest levels.
There was a very big difference between the 2 qualification groups. While not a single thrower met the automatic qualification mark in the first group, 4 throwers did it in the second. Continue reading →
Well, the second day of the European Athletics Championships was better than the first day, and was particularly successful for the British team. As I wrote in the previous post, I will only cover the evening events.
There was a large delay in the schedule due to some very strong winds and bad weather, which interrupted the Decathlon pole vault competition while several jumpers were still jumping. But nevertheless the organizers managed to run all the scheduled competitions, even though they ended way later than planned.
The second day of the competition proved to be a tough one due to the interrupted pole vault. This caused the group of decathletes to split, and the decathletes that haven’t finished their vaulting performed the remaining vaults first, while the other guys were already throwing the javelin. Then they completed the javelin event, before running the 1500m with the rest. Continue reading →
As an avid athletics fan, the European Athletics Championship is a must. And this year it is promising to be a more exciting event than the last one, which suffered from the London Olympics being held less than a month after it ended.
But this year we have no Summer Olympics, which kind of sucks of course, but on the other hand we can enjoy an all-out-war of European athletes.
So, this year the championship is being held in Zurich, Switzerland. I will try and post daily updates of the events that took place the day before, and today we begin with the events of the first day – August 12th.
Due to my first half of the day being regularly occupied by work, I don’t really have the opportunity to watch the morning events. So I will confine myself to commenting on the evening session, which is more interesting anyway.
Discus Men Qualification
Well, no surprises here. Well, if you don’t count Alekna’s appearance. Jesus, I thought he retired already! But no, this living legend is still with us, and was attempting to reach the final on his 43rd year… I actually thought he has a chance, due to his SB being over 65m, but he performed badly and didn’t throw over 60m. 😦 Continue reading →