Moscow 2013

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On Sunday night the (not iron) curtain came down in Luzhniki Stadium as Moscow bid farewell to the IAAF World Championships it had hosted for the last week.  In this post Olympics year Team GB finished a respectable 7th with 3 golds and 3 bronzes to their name, a target the performance team had aimed for as this year, with the exception of one or two titans out to settle some scores, seemed to be more about harbouring and developing new talent.  As the BBC presenting team reminded us approximately every 30 seconds, this was the start of the road to Rio 2016 so here’s a quick run down of Team GB’s performance:

Bright stars:

Christine Ohuruogu

Cometh the finish line, cometh the woman.  Winning by 0.004 of a second Christine stormed to the line to claim gold from the grip of Botswana’s Amantle Montsho.  Captain of the Team GB squad at the World Championships Ohuruogu used the final to give the world a masterclass in 400m running, never loosing her rhythm and keeping her calm despite still being in silver position about 10m from the line.  She showed strength and guts to reclaim the title she lost to a false start last time and pretty much the whole of Britain cried a little bit when she crossed the line/did her interview with Steve Jones/got her medal. If you haven’t watched the race yet do so now.

Tiffany Porter

A PB and bronze medal are heading back to the UK with Porter after her fantastic final in the 100m hurdles, picking up the first ever Team GB medal in that event.  With a powerful start Porter gave a confident run, holding off lane neighbour and Olympic silver medalist Dawn Harper to come in behind USA’s young upstart Brianna Rollins and Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson.  A brilliant result after the disappointment of London 2012.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Correct me if i’m wrong, but I felt before Moscow 2013 KJT was pretty much thought of by the ever loving general public as ‘mini Jess Ennis-Hill’.  She did what Jess did, but as she was younger, she didn’t do it quite so well. 15th at the Olympics was respectable for someone so young, but JEnnis got gold, gold we tells ya.  Going into these World Champs however there was no JEnnis-Hill and KJT showed the world she was anything but the mini version of someone else  For starters, she’s quite tall.  Secondly at only 20 years old she racked up PBs in 4 of the 7 disciplines as well as reaching a new lifetime best overall with a total of 6449, sitting her nicely in 5th place overall.  Not bad for her first senior competition and with more to come in the future will we one day be remembering JEnnis as ‘the other KJT?

Also huge congrats to Hannah England for a 4th place in the final of the 1500m after an injury ridden few seasons, Susan Partridge for her 10th place in the marathon on what must be the most uninspiring route in history and Eilish McColgan for coming home a very respectable 10th in the 3000m steeplechase.

Not quite their championships:

Perri Shakes-Drayton

My heart goes out to Shakes-Drayton.  After the disappointment of London 2012 and her failure to make the final in the 400m hurdles she was back at Moscow 2013 and in the shape of her life.  She was going to show the world that she could compete on their stage and win.  And then her knee gave out, in the middle of the final race.  Not only did this put her out of contention for a medal in this race, it put her out of action altogether, leaving Moscow for Heathrow on Friday morning for medical treatment and missing a chance to medal in the 4 x 400m relay too.

Jess Judd

At only 18 years old Jess has been having the season of her life, winning her first senior title at the European Team games in June and smashing the 2 minute barrier for the first time in her 800m running career a week later.  Going into the World Championships Judd is the youngest person ever to have been selected to compete in the 800m for Team GB, however this fact did not console her on the line as she came in a disappointing 5th in her heat and failed to make the final. She admitted her legs just wouldn’t go, but maybe the epic season and the stress of A-levels had taken its toll.

Team GB Field team

Shara Proctor put up a good display in the long jump to come in an inoffensive 6th and Sophie Hitchon at least got to the heats of the hammer throw but apart from that Team GB is looking very depleted in the field disciplines in both genders at the moment.   Not sure how you go about a recruitment drive for female field stars, but GB athletics should start looking into it.

Should have kept their mouth shut:

Oh Isinbaeva, you poor brainwashed fool.  The queen of pole vault’s comments about homosexuality caused an uproar throughout the world with athletes calling for the three time world champion to be sacked from her role as an Olympic Ambassador.  It was so very saddening to hear someone so well respected and such a huge role model to young people throughout Russia and beyond spout such absolute archaic crap about something that isn’t really any of her business.  But mostly I just feel sad for those young people in Russia who are struggling against the laws of their own country to be who they really are.  Thanks for perpetuating that further Isinbaeva, thanks a lot.

FQ.

Image from BBC – thank yooooou

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