Saturday, August 28

First time since '24 Paavo Nurmi

Hicham El G, became the first runner to double in the 1500 meters and 5000 meter races in the Olympics since Paavo Nurmi in 1924. This time I had the pleasure of watching, what must be old news by now. He ran the final mile in 4:01 and the final 400 meters just north of 52 seconds. Wow.

The picture on the left is his 5000 meter victory, the one on the right is the aforementioned display of respect shown by his competitors after finally winning the 1500 meter title which had eluded him in Atlanta and again in Sydney. And this scene was apparently repeated a couple more times as emotion forced another collapse on the track. The men helping him are not countrymen, but likely guys that lost to him but grew up with the man as an idol, as I did with Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. As I said previously, this made me proud to be a member of the Human Race.

Damn went looking for a photo and may have spilled the beans for myself on baton passing fuckup-related program activities in one of the relays I was looking forward to watching. we'll see if it is the 4x100. Yep though not a repeat of the disaster of the magnitude that lead the womens team to a dnf. These malfunctions resulted in a silver for the american team losing by .01 second, what we in the old days would call a photo-finish. The brits won 38.07 the US followed in 38.08. It is times like these when I would like to see the times broken down to thousanths, cause it may have been closer to 38.078 to 38.081. Thats just the stat geek speaking, the Brits ran a great race. Now back to the El Guerrouj picture search.

There is another athlete (distance of course) that I hoped would win the gold in his specialty, and like El Guerrouj the longtime world record holder in his event the 800 meters. Wilson Kipketer has numerous World championship titles, the world record and no gold. Citizenship issues kept him out of Atlanta, and what happened in Sydney escapes memory. Tonight he was passed by two guys less than 10 meters from the line. I