14 August 2012
The duo of Lee Merrien and Scott Overall finally got their moment to compete on the last day of the Olympic Games. I bet they felt like they had been waiting forever! The streets of London were packed out with spectators along most of the route and no doubt this willed the boys on. Lee was hoping for a top 20 finish and wasn’t too far off target, finishing in 30th position. Scott will be disappointed with his 61st place finish but really did go out at a fast tempo at the beginning of the race, no doubt due to the large partisan crowd all willing the Brits on. These marathon boys have put some serious work in to be ready for these Games and I hope they enjoyed the experience. I can only imagine the mental battles they have to face during many of their long duration runs and in the marathon competition itself. Your mind plays tricks on you sometimes and you really have to stay focused on the miles that lie ahead of you. I hear it’s quite often an emotional affair when you cross the finish line and when you are reunited with family and friends after your efforts. I bet Lee and Scott had some of the most tired legs during the closing ceremony. When the marathon was taking place, my thoughts were also with Dave Webb, as he had to drop out of the marathon team due to injury. I was so thrilled when Dave finished top 20 last year in Daegu in order to qualify for the team so it was upsetting not to see him fulfill his Olympic ambitions here.
And so that’s it! The 30th Olympic Games is over! The closing ceremony was a fantastic celebration of British music and again had the whole nation feeling proud of our traditions and heritage. I think London really showcased everything that we have brought to the World and the World really enjoyed it! I was so sad to see the Olympic flame go out. I wanted it to burn forever in London.
An end of an Olympic cycle always brings about change and this will mark the end of an Athletics career for some. To those people I hope that you all feel fulfilled in your efforts. For many it will be the beginning of a new goal as Rio will now be the focus on many athletes’ minds. Our most successful athletes will be planning the defense of their medal winning habits, whilst other members of the team will be looking for ways to improve upon their London performances. Then of course there will be those younger athletes or athletes who were unsuccessful in earning a place in the London games who will be working out a strategy to see them on the team next time round. That is the nature of our sport; it’s a constant cycle and we have to ensure that we all make the most of our talent when it is our time. For now we celebrate our heroes and heroines of the team and they must enjoy their moment. Before long the next generation will be here inspired by the legacy the London Games and with the ambition to replicate their achievements.
Goodbye London – thanks for the memories!