Monday, 29 August 2011

A sprint of farce!

I can't say that I'm a huge fan of athletics. In no way can i imagine anything more boring than simply running in a straight line, or jumping (high or long) or throwing a stick or a plate as far as I can! However it has to be said that the 100m finals at major events do have a certain appeal. The athletes in this event are a little more flamboyant, you have in the back of your mind that they may well be goosed up on steroids, and to top it all off they can run like the clappers! All this makes for a semi-exciting spectacle.

Of course just at the minute one man in particular draws the attention of the masses like no other, Usain Bolt. On Sunday I was sat at work when I remembered that the great Jamaican would be about to feature in the World Championship's 100m final. So I stopped working and tuned in. Before the race had even begun I was aware that any false start made by an athlete would result in immediate disqualification and I even joked with a colleague about the possibility of Bolt having to take a back seat having been too eager at the first attempt. Then, as we now all know, he did just that. The whole stadium in Daegu fell silent in shock and I just sat there dumbstruck as a Korean official who took his job far too seriously attempted to usher the fastest man on earth off the track.

When my jaw finally picked itself up off the desk, I got to thinking: Why was athletics single handedly destroying itself. I can guarantee that as soon as Bolt was disqualified a large proportion of the watching audience either turned off their TV or began a Mexican wave in the stadium out of sheer boredom. The man everyone had come to see was denied his 10 seconds in the sun and everyone apart from athletics aficionados all of a sudden couldn't have cared less who won the race. I can't even remember the other Jamaican's name but I do know he only ran 9.94 which Bolt would have obliterated.

Is this a rule that will be enforced at the Olympics? Can you imagine the world being denied a proper 100m final? I would rather they were all on drugs than see the best men ousted due to a technicality. Part of the drama of the 100m in previous years are the false starts; will they get away this time, who can leap out the blocks at the perfect moment, which men can keep their composure.
The two strikes and you’re out rule seemed to work a lot better and was fairer on the racers and the spectators. Whoever is in charge of making these decisions needs to revert back to how the race used to be run before London 2012 is mired with controversy!

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