26 August 2008
A retrospective last word from our Armchair blogger Nathan Price
Well I’m predicting that my days are going to be a lot shorter and far more productive over the next few weeks, (at least until the Paralympics opening ceremony).
It has been a great fortnight for Team GB, far surpassing all expectations and we saw some great performances on the track.
The highlight for me has to be Tasha Danvers. As a former 400 hurdler myself, it was great to see her fight back from a succession of injuries and keep it together to claim a bronze medal, exhausted and dicing with disaster as she used every ounce of strength to clear those final few barriers.
Watching the relays took me back to when I used to have to pull myself together following a long day of lazing around (as 400hurdles was usually first event and 4x400 relay last) to take part in the circus that concluded every league meet.
I always think they are a great way to end the athletics because of the surprises it can throw up and the randomness of results. Look at this year: Belgium and Japan finished with medals in the men and women’s 4x100. Not normally two hot beds of sprinting but in the end they got the batons round and handshakes and pats on the back go to all.
I thought Phillips Idowu produced the best performance of any silver medal athlete at the games and he was massively unlucky not to bring home the gold. What must be most disappointing to him is too lose by only five centimetres. I had to get a ruler out to have a check; it’s a minute distance, smaller than my little finger. No wonder he was so despondent.
But I’m sure the screams of a London crowd will lift him to first in four years time.
I was most impressed with the number of Team GB athletes to make the finals of their events. Like they say “you’ve got to be in it, to win it.” (I bet that’s what the Japanese and Belgian relay teams are thinking to themselves.)
Athletes like Sarah Claxton and Jeanette Kwayke may not have bought home medals but they broke long-standing records for Team GB by reaching their finals.
Christine Ohuruogu's performance still leaves me with a sore throat to this day, as I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in screaming her across the line.
On the international front the main man of the games was of course Usain Bolt and what a star he is; both his running and dancing was astonishing, for very different reasons.
Liu Xiang’s withdraw was a great disappointment for the Chinese nation but Dayron Robles was a worthy 110mh Olympic Champion.
But of greatest disappointment to me, was my failure to win the office sweepstake, but I will benefit from this experience and come back stronger and wiser in 2012.