Went to the Athletics event last night at the Bird’s Nest. Where did the name Athletics come from? I thought it was called Track and Field? How is Athletics a better name? To me it sounds like high school P.E., physical education. What was I being physically educated about? We were just playing sports.
Anyway, I got tickets for this event to see Liu Xiang show the world that he wasn’t an anomaly, and that Chinese can succeed at sports dominated by westerners. Unfortunately as we all know, Liu Xiang wasn’t around to show the world that. I wonder where he was and what he was doing? Here’s his rival and current 110M hurdles champ Dayron Robles doing his victory lap. Couldn’t help but cheer him on even though he didn’t break Liu Xiang’s Olympic record.
We had awesome seats, right down in front of the sand pit for the triple jump. As I watched the triple jump finals, I couldn’t help but think, “this is the least cool event for athletics”. I mean getting a medal in the 100M dash means your fast, the high jump shows you got hops, the 10,000M means you’ve got endurance. But the triple jump? All you do all year round is do three hops and land in a pile of sand. I’m not saying it’s easy but visually, it’s an awkward looking sport and it would probably bore my brains out if that’s all I did. Look at the photos below and you’ll see what I mean.
British triple jump contender.
China’s triple jumper. He came in last.
cWinner of the triple jump, Nelson Evora
The other big surprise of the night was the men’s and women’s 100X4 relay qualifiers. The US was favored to win both, actually all they needed was to make it into the top four and they’d be in the finals. But I guess it wasn’t in the US’s favor this year because both teams dropped their batons and came in last. What’s even weirder is that they both dropped it at the third pass off. Crazy. I felt sorry for them.
The Women’s javelin finals were last night as well. Russia took home the Gold and Silver. But the coolest thing about javelin was this little remote controlled car that carries back the javelin after it’s been thrown.
Jamaica’s 200M champ Veronica Cambell-Brown
The Jamaicans are making a strong presence this year in all of the raw speed sports. My favorite athlete of the games is this guy Usin Bolt, The Lightning Bolt. This kid is fast. If you saw the 100M and 200M finals you’ll know what I’m talking about. He was way ahead of everyone else, broke the record and did it all without the slightest grimace. Easy. Plus his little dances are funny. I wish I could have seen him up close. Last night was his 21st birthday and the whole stadium sang to him.
My best photo of the night. Again Cuba’s Dayron Robles celebrating his win.