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I’m back at it again. This was my third straight day at the Daegu stadium in Daegu, South Korea and it had just as much drama as the previous night.
I’m still without tickets (or media accreditation) so I’ve been scalping every night. I’ve realized that nobody really cares where you sit in the stadium so I just try to buy the cheapest ticket. I spent $30 on Saturday and Sunday. Tonight…$10 for a GREAT night of track and field.
Instead of booking it to the athlete section (because I love the energy of the athletes rooting for their teammates) I actually went to my assigned section and sat amongst some nice much more low-key Koreans. I couldn’t resist watching the Pole Vault competition, which I found is EXTREMELY exciting.
The Korean men who sat behind me even offered me some tasty Korean snacks that got me through the 4 hr meet without starving. It also allowed me to get a little work done on my iPad. I was tweeting from the stadium because there was free wifi in the stadium (only in South Korea).
So let’s get to the races….
Pole Vault – Why Have I Been Sleeping on this Event?
After watching pole vaulting for three straight hours, I realized that I had missed out one of tracks most exciting events for years. Now for you to vault up almost 20 feet over a pole, you have to be a little off. Unlike the other events, it seems like Pole Vaulters are awarded the right to SHOW emotion, to throw things, to break things, to BE THEMSELVES. I loved it when the vaulters started celebrating as they were still falling onto the mat. I loved it when they looked visibly pissed when they missed a vault. The replays were also spectacular as the stadium screen would show their fall in really slow motion so you could see everything on the athlete’s face.
Women’s 400 Metre Final – When will Allyson Felix be the Bride?
I absolutely love watching Allyson Felix run ANYTIME. But I always feel like she has been the bridesmaid and NEVER the bride. Now don’t get me wrong, she has won 6 World Championship titles, but never an Olympic Gold Medal and in this final she finished a CLOSE second place to Amantle Montsho of Botswana. But you can’t go wrong with a personal best of 49.59.
Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles – A $440 race in 2008 and a $10 race in 2011
In 2008 I bought a ticket to the Olympic Games to see Liu Xiang race Dayron Robles and David Oliver on his home soil in Beijing. We all know what happened… Liu Xiang got injured and didn’t show up. It was definitely the biggest waste of money during my entire Olympics.
Well I got the same race and same people today for $10. Add to that some extra flavor with cute American Jason Richardson and we were in business.
Coming into the race, I really didn’t have a preferred winner. I had grown out of my obsession with David Oliver (that’s what time will do) and since Liu Xiang already had a Olympic and World Championship Gold Medal, it really didn’t matter who won to me. I do have a soft spot in my heart for Xiang because he seems like such a nice person. But I was also hearing stuff about this new guy on the world scene Jason Richardson. I’ve been following him on twitter (@jairich) and he has A LOT of personality—something track & field needs a lot of right now.
Dayron Robles of Cuba won—at least we thought. When they first announced the results, Jason Richardson finished 2nd in 13.16 and Liu Xiang finished third.
David Oliver was just left behind. What happened? WHAT HAPPENED? Did his career peak at the wrong time? Two years BEFORE the Olympic Games? By the way how can this man be a world class athlete and NOT have a proper website. Come on man!!!
Dayron Robles got disqualified by the end of the night of track for interference. Therefore Jason Richardson became the winner!!! NBC commentator and Olympic Sprint Medalist Ato Boldon pointed out on twitter that every person who has been featured on the cover of the event magazine has been straight JINXED. Day 1. Hooker AUS (Pole Vault Olympic Champion who failed to make it out of the qualifying round), Day 2: Bolt (duh…), Day 3: Robles (Disqualified from winning the gold medal).
Women 100 meters final – Carmelita Jeter is #1!
I always wonder why the Women 100 metres race is never as hyped as the men’s 100 meters race. Is it because the women just aren’t that interesting? Don’t we care about the fastest women in the world? As expected, Carmelita Jeter of the U.S. took the title.
Men’s 400 Metres Semifinal – Dream Fulfilled… for me.
Tonight I fulfilled my dream to see South African Oscar Pistorious race. As you all know, he is the double amputee who can run really fast. I’ve been following his story for the last four years so it was great to see him come around the corner on prosthetics. I hope he keeps on improving and makes it to a final of a major championship one day.
Men’s Hammer Throw – I wish my name was as cool as Koji Murofushi’s
Oh yeah! They had the men’s hammer throw and women’s shot put final. I can’t say much about the women’s shot put final (but them are some big ole women!) but the last round of the men’s hammer throw was amazing! In the last round Krisztián Pars of Hungary threw the throw of his life to put him in first place. But then came Koji Murofushi of Japan. As the last man with the very last throw, he basically said, “I can do better… ” and destroyed Pars’ run for the gold medal. It was nice…
That’s it for me for tonight! Today I’m headed to the Athletes village to tape some footage for a documentary on two athletes Bianca Knight and Alexandria Anderson. Wish me luck!!!