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Live events, London for the trials and Elaine Thompson's shoegate (flats or spikes?)
NiWe made a last minute decision to go to the Diamond League at the Olympic Stadium. The venue is certainly impressive.
Our seats were in a good location - situated at a medium level virtually above and just beyond the finish line. Unfortunately following the long jump closely was not really possible. And it was a shame as there was both a male and female competition, featuring the likes of Jeff Henderson and Ivana Spanovic and Tianna Bartletta - so two Rio Olympic gold medallists. Two big screens in the stadium did afford reasonable intermittent viewing but with all the other field (and track) action going on, not many jumps were shown. Mind you apparently fewer efforts were shown on the TV. I wish they would just put field events in a box in the corner of the screen from time to time, rather that let track action dominate all the time and then go back. Still that's a topic for another day.
The experience of viewing top class athletics live is an interesting one. The atmosphere was much better than the Team GB Birmingham World Trials - could the Olympic Stadium be used to host these? Yep, it wouldn't get the same numbers as the Diamond League turning up, but there seemed to be a knowledgable crowd and a hunger for top sport in London. Birmingham has hosted the trials for years and years so why not make a change? Another option could be to use a smaller venue (than both Birmingham & The Olympic Stadium), that could be filled... a return to the Crystal Palace perhaps??? I'm digressing yet again.
The women's 100m at the DL was a great race with Daphne Schippers being overhauled by Elaine Thompson. Turned into a bit of "shoegate" after with a frenzy on social media on whether Elaine ran 10.94sec in nike trainers and still beat some of the best in the world? And this was into a -1.4 headwind. I'd guess the others in the field would be feeling a bit miffed if this was the case. Hopefully Elaine won't turn up next time, wearing heels and run 10.60!!
Apparently her shoes did have spikes....
According to the Week Thompson said:
The spikes I have I'm not confident with and hurt my Achilles so I am running in my flats" But then she's quoted in the same article as saying: "They have spikes but they are very petitie....
Social media has pictures of the spikeless-spiked shoes!
Okay, to sum up. It was a good experience to watch a Diamond League (and we all enjoyed it, Paul, Alex, Patrick)...
I will give it 7/10. If I had been by the long jump I'm sure my scoring would have been higher. I'm glad I went!
Take a look at the video below and see whether you can spot the type of shoes Elaine was running in. I don't think sneakers is right - but she did sneak up on the others...