Well I do hope that you all enjoyed the IAAF World Championships. It was full of controversy, incredible sights and some superb performances. There has been a lot of debate around the position of UK Athletics within the world and if we are getting value for money from our (copious) investment into the sport.
Following the BBC coverage you may have felt at times that only the British team (plus Bolt and Makwala) actually competed there, and also that only Justin Gatlin had ever fallen foul of testing positive for performance enhancing substances. Indeed, the general reaction on social media in the wider world was generally critical of the coverage of the Beeb.
I just want to make a couple of quick points on the athletics, before I actually move on to the main news of my challenge. The championships proved to me that people will always have an interest in the sport because it is the sport that tells us the answer t the simple questions of: Who is the fastest person in the world? Who is the longest/highest jumper? and so on. It is the simplest of premises and something about it appeals to almost our base nature.
Having said that, for a global sport, the sport is marketed globally exceptionally poorly and seems a little old-fashioned and cumbersome. There is nothing of the modern zap or T20 style thinking within the sport. Without more dynamism in the organisation of the sport athletics will continue to lose global audience, money and eventually any prestige that it currently carries. This is without even mentioning the troubles faced in the sport by the doping scandals, both past and almost certainly future.
There is almost too much to discuss from the championships, and this is not the main purpose of northeastolympics so I will park this topic by simply linking you to some thoughts I came across on Twitter and some accounts you may wish to follow if you are at all interested in athletics:
The man to follow for scientific debate on all things athletics:
The list. Advisable to look into the individual circumstances of each of the athletes befoe condemning them though, just the same as for Justin Gatlin:
I’m certainly glad that it isn’t my job to run the sport at any level, but I would love to get involved in some way. I have a challenge to perform in athletics at some stage and I would like your input into what I should do.
This my be a reckless and fool-hardy move to put this out there and leave my fate in the hands of the general public, but I trust you lot.
The options for my athletics challenge will be:
- A marathon to be run in 2018
- A cross country/fell running event for the winter of 2017/18
- To represent one of my local clubs in the 2018 athletics season at a meet
I’ll run a poll on Twitter/Facebook and/or feel free to comment in the comments section with your vote and I promise I’ll do whatever wins!
P.S. I hope at least one person backed Hellen Obiri to win the 5000m at 6/4! Her finishing kick was devastating on the final lap.