BBC BLOGS - Katharine Merry

Archives for June 2009

Adopted Mason highlights question of allegiance

Katharine Merry | 13:30 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009

"I have to keep working on my British accent," laughed Germaine Mason when I met up with him recently. His best Queen's English was heavily disguised in a thick Jamaican accent!

On 19 August last year, 25-year-old high-jumper Mason made a first time clearance of 2.34m to equal his personal best and grab an Olympic silver medal.

He stood proudly on the podium as the simulated wind in the flagpoles fluttered the red, white and blue of the union jack. Team GB cheered and Jamaica cheered too.

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Tracktown USA leaves inspirational impression

Katharine Merry | 06:16 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

It's late on Sunday night on the West Coast of the USA and I am still digesting the time I have spent here at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

Even though I was a Nike-sponsored athlete for 12 years of my career, and the company is a major part of this event, I never made the start line here, normally because of injury.

Since touching down here on Thursday I have felt like I have been living in a little world that sits on its own, detached from the rest of the USA.

Everyone has said with amazement, "You have never been to Pre before? I can't explain why, but you will love it".

If I am honest, I wondered what the fuss was all about as athletics isn't very big in much of the USA.

In Eugene, Oregon, though, it is huge. It is called Tracktown USA because the town knows it track and field and the athletes love competing here.

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