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Daegu Diary 5: That walk-run obstacle course

Published:Monday | August 29, 2011 | 12:00 AM


André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

DAEGU, South Korea:

The organisers of this year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics are maybe some of the wickedest people I know.

OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but 'chus mi' (Cliff-Twang voice) there couldn't have been much consideration for us media folk when the layout for the media tribunes (workstations inside the stadium) and the Mixed Zone (section underneath the stadium where athletes mix with the media for interview opportunities immediately after their events) was formulated.

Now, this part is no exaggeration. It takes no less than 10 minutes at a power-walk pace to get from the tribunes, which are situated high on the second tier (or third, depending on how you look at it), down to the Mixed Zone. The route takes you up a steep staircase, across a concourse, down some steps, more open space, more steps, corridors, sharp turns, ramps ... I get tired just thinking about it.

Unwanted exercise

Imagine doing that walk/run obstacle course back and forth about six or seven times each day. I reckon that by the time the media 800m rolls around on the weekend, I'll be in pretty good shape from all this unwanted exercise.

Now, if you think the walk/run is bad, imagine making that walk/run and not getting the interview you wanted.

On a more pleasant note, I had a visit from a few friends from the United Kingdom's Channel 4 network, who decided to bore their viewers by spending the better part of the evening filming my activities, particularly around the men's 100m final.

And with all the excitement that took place there and the emotions and reactions that filled that area, I hope they figure out what is Patois and what is something else.

Also had a chat with some cool folks from Brazilian television network SporTV, who have also been following The Gleaner's coverage.

Anyway, what a 100m final that was, huh? So it turns out that the 100m final at the World Champs didn't feature any of the event's 'Big Three' after all. Maybe Bolt just didn't want to run - with his pals and Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay not around. That was a joke ... anyway, BIG congratulations to Yohan Blake, his agent, coaches and entire support base ... it was deserved.

Disappointing dq

It would have been interesting to see how things would have turned out with Bolt in the race because the youngster was looking rather ominous in the rounds. In fact, I believe it's the knowledge of Blake's good form that led to Usain's DQ - with the superstar sprinter probably knowing that if his protégé gets out too far ahead of him, he may not see his face again until they cross the finish line.

We all would have loved three medals, we got one and it's the big one, so let's be grateful and applaud the efforts of our athletes. They do what they do under severe pressure (like us journalists, and maybe we deserve some applause as well, lol) and on that note, I must say big up Nesta Carter, who seemed to suffer an injury in that final as well. Keep your heads up, gentlemen.