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Best moments of Berlin

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Tom Fordyce | 20:07 UK time, Sunday, 23 August 2009

So, after nine sunny, splendid and spectacular days, the world championships - or should I say Leichtathletik Weltmeisterschaften - have come to an end. And a rather good edition they've been, too.

As the Olympiastadion empties all around me, and random punters try to sneak past security to have a quick dash down the distinctive blue track (I'll be having a crack as soon as I spot an opening), thoughts turn to the various deeds of derring-do we've witnessed over the last week and a half.

What made Berlin so special? Which performances stood out from the rest, and which characters will forever be associated with the class of '09?

Having lined up well over a hundred contenders, I've asked the old brain to sift through them in a series of mental heats and semi-finals and produce a personal line-up for the final eight - and, once the finalists are established, the order in which they should finish.

It's not an easy process. Some remarkable moments/athletes/aspects have missed out on the medals. There may even be cases for disqualification and reinstatement. Then again, it is a Worlds. Competition for places is intense.

Have a read, do a little mulling over and stroking of chin, and then post your own line-ups down below. The BBC blogger's decision is far from final.

Olympic stadium

8. The crowds
More than half a million people packed out the stadium over the nine days, with three times that number lining the streets for the two marathons. Those who came were as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as any world championships has ever had. Wunderbar.

7. Steve Hooker
Struck down by injury, fearful he wouldn't be able to manage a single jump, the Aussie Olympic champ pulled one enormous effort from nowhere to snatch a stunning pole vault gold. Did it make up for what was going on simultaneously at The Oval? Let's not be silly.

Berlino gets a piggyback from Britain's Tyrone Edgar

6. The Olympiastadion
Forget the identikit steel-and-glass stadiums that are going up all over the world - the stone-columned pensioner has twice the ambience and a hundred times the heritage of any other track and field venue.

5. Kenenisa Bekele
Wasn't his training supposed to be ruined by injury? The 10,000m win was sweet and stylish enough, but the late, late kick in the 5,000m to see off Bernard Lagat and win the only global title that has previously eluded him was the stuff of legend.

4. Berlino the Bear
I've just realised I've got an eight-foot tall bear higher in the rankings than Kenenisa Bekele. That seems like madness, but then again, so did pretty much everything the best mascot in memory served up. Anyone need an excuse to watch the Melaine Walker hurdle disaster again?

3. Germany's throwing successes
A world champs needs a whole heap of gold medals for the host nation to truly come to life, and Steffi Nerius and Robert Harting delivered in rabble-rousing fashion. Almost every final in the throws, men's or women's, was an old-fashioned ding-dong delight.

2. Jess Ennis and the rebirth of the Brits
As the GB team left for Germany, some of its biggest names back home injured, Charles van Commenee's target of five medals seemed ambitious and unrealistic. That it'll return with six, two of the them gold, made this Britain's best Worlds since the legendary deeds of Christie, Jackson and Gunnell in Stuttgart 16 years ago.

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1. Jesse Owens' granddaughter presents the long jump medals

Owens' shadow fell across these championships from start to finish, and everyone from Usain Bolt to the USA kit manufacturer paid tribute to him. When Marlene Dortch handed the gold medal to Dwight Phillips, there were lumps in throats all around the famous old arena.

Dwight Phillips receives his gold medal from Marlene Dortch 

Now, I know what you're thinking - there's someone missing. Here's the reasoning:
(a) if he'd been allowed in the main list there wouldn't have been room for anyone else, and
(b) he's clearly in a class of his own anyway

Bolt's Best Bits

8. Trying to do a breakdancing wave with Daniel Bailey moments before a World 100m final, and then laughing when it broke on the unresponsive shoulders of Richard Thompson

7. Warming up for the 200m in a t-shirt which had the words "Ich bin ein Berlino" scrawled on it in pen. Berlino later returned the favour by donning a t-shirt that read "Ich bin ein Bolt".

Bolt wears his Berlino teeshirt

6. Racing Berlino down the back straight after his 200m world record, and letting the bear do what no human could do and beat him

5. Looking straight down the television camera's lens on the line for the 100m and uttering the immortal phrase, "I'm ready. Are you ready? Let's go!"

4. Not breaking the world record in the 4x100m relay final, and therefore putting his earlier deeds in the individual sprints into even sharper context. It doesn't happen automatically, you know.

3. Having 65,000 fans sing 'Happy Birthday' to him as he stood on the podium to receive his 200m gold medal. A stadium unites in adoration.

2. Running the greatest 200m race in history.

1. Running the greatest 100m race in history. Can I decide which one was better? No. But I'll remember both for as long as I live.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Can't really argue with much there, Ben. I'd have liked to have seen Idowu's triple jump have a special shoutout. He finally handled the pressure and fulfilled his potential.

    But yeah, Bolt has changed sprinting forever. Awesome.

  • Comment number 2.

    The best moment was Ariana Friedrich silencing the entire crowd.

  • Comment number 3.

    Good list. Have to say I've been glued all week. Thought the crowds were fantastic and who would have thought that a bear could make such an impact. Power to the bear !!! Delighted for Lisa Dobrisky and Jenny Meadows. Lets hope the brits can continue on the road to success.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    The best moments for me was seeing Asafa Powell playing up to the cameras before the start of the 100m. Finally, Asafa was ready to compete. He had shaken the monkey off his back and in true style, went hand on heart into battle against Bolt, Gay and the five other men lining up against him on the start line. Though he earned a bronze for his efforts, it had gold trappings all over it for me and many other Jamaicans. At last Asafa Powell had arrived. He came, he saw and he conquered. His was more than a 100m race. It was for the glory of Jamaica, his families, his fans, his critics and his reputation, and for the many folks who are afflicted by their own demons, a potent reminder that there are no challenge too difficult to achieving greatness. I have no doubt that a fit Powell can run 9.6s so I expect him to do great things in the future.

    Also noteworthy was the energy brought to the championships by Usain Bolt. At every turn, the athletes seemed in high spirits and enjoying themselves. In Jamaica we call that being 'irie'. I hope that London will be just as 'irie' when 2012 comes around.

  • Comment number 6.

    Cannot really add alot to the above - this was a great edition of the World Championships just as it was in Stuttgart 93.

  • Comment number 7.

    One of my highlights was seeing Brigitte Foster-Hylton winning the 100 meters Hurdles. Her reaction was just so much fun to watch!

  • Comment number 8.

    More than anything this championships has been about athletics becoming a globally watchable event again. Athletics owes Usain Bolt everything now. Yes, he is IMO the greatest sprinter who's ever graced a track. But even more importantly his humour, antics, and affable behaviour around a race track and in interviews has infected a vast, vast majority of his fellow sports men and women for the better.

    For far too long we've had the serious side of athletics. Fantastic athletes to watch undoubtedly, but their super-humanness has I felt driven a wedge between them and the watching public, much as professional football is almost totally divorced from the common man now. Massively factor in the drugs rows that have devestated the sport and it almost seemed that any kind of major athletics championships was tainted before it started.

    Enter Usain Bolt. Enter larking around on the start line. Enter banter between athletes. Enter a sense of humour to a sport that has been tainted since 1988 (at the very least).

    The world of sport has changed over the last 12 months. It is only for the better...

  • Comment number 9.

    Like many others who might have read your best moments of Berlin you certainly had me thinking, even though I knew the great man would have to be mentioned. Good on you Tom Fordyce, it epitomises good journalism with regards to suspense.

    However, I wish there were actually nine sunny days as you stated but I guess the brief rainfall which caused some delay was rather insignificant.

    I agree, it is difficult to say whether Bolt's 100m race is better than the 200m. Personally, I find it spurious to distinguish which is better simply because both races were so different in a unique way. The 100m was so blistering and vicious, I almost forgot that Bolt was human. Then came the 200m of which the last 50m reminded me that he is indeed a human being.

    He had run the first 150m almost similarly to his 100m race and only a machine, I think, could have maintained that pace owing to the fact that Bolt was considered to be tired prior to the start of the 200m.

    I too enjoyed some of the best moments you have highlighted, but I would like to include three of own: (1) Bekele, after winning his first gold, doing his own version of the Bolt's signature...and beating his chest, sticking one finger in the air and saying number one, after winning his second gold. Before Bolt, Bekele was one of the few athletes I would stop whatever I was doing, just to see him perform. Now even the great Bekele is being inspired by Bolt...that's how great Bolt is;

    (2)...Usain Bolt, while doing his warm up off the track and seeing the camera had just turned on him, he made a few steps forward and backward. it was so funny seeing the camera moving likewise. Bolt then ran off behind a wall and slowly stuck his head out to see if the camera was still there...oh yes, he was caught peeping;

    (3)... Maybe I was the only one who saw the funny side when Tyson Gay expressed his disappointment after finishing second in the 100m race. He clenched his fist and shrugged his shoulders in disgust. What makes it even funnier, he was never seen or heard of for the rest of the championship.

    After all the Tyson hype, he was embarrassed. As far as I am concerned Tyson did shy away from the 200m (like a puppy with its tail between its hind legs). He had run faster than he had ever run before and was still beaten in the 100m.

    Food for thought: Tyson claimed he was nursing a groin injury prior to the 100m race, yet he had run the fastest time, 9.71s, by any human that had ever live (if you take Bolt out of the picture). Frankly, I find this an insult to previous greats including, Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, and Maurice Green. Be serious please, are you telling me that an unfit Tyson Gay is better than a fit Carl Lewis or a fit Maurice Green?

    For those who maybe suspicious of Bolt (a gifted, talented, and fully fit giant of a man), it is only fair for you to start looking at Tyson Gay. You may just be playing the Bush game where Bush wrongly suspected Iraq of WMD, while ignoring Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 10.

    Bolt and the Bear have made this the most enjoyable athletics event to date in my eyes. They have brought the fun back into the sport and let's hope it continues.

    I hope you've been taking notes London...

  • Comment number 11.

    Berlin was certainly the greatest World Championships I've seen. Full of great moments. Team GB, had a successful meet, there were some great races and performances and of course the magic that a certain Mr Bolt brought to the table.

    Usually post Olympic World Championships are a dull affair but these games will be remembered for years to come not least of which for the significance of Jesse Owens' achievements which surely inspired the athletes. My stars of the show: Team GB's medallists, Berlino and of course the main man: Usain Bolt

  • Comment number 12.

    Re FortyEightK and bangramonkey. Fully agree. Athletics (a sport I've loved all my life) had become quite drab, an almost 'win at all costs' mentality and among the british male sprinters in particular an arrogance that unfortunately did not match their ability. I was delighted to see the celebrations of the 4x100 men, particularly with berlino. Just goes to show that you dont need to get plastered to have a good time. Maybe with this birth of humour and fun in the sport the brits can run without the weight of an arrogant world on their shoulders and finally fulfill their dreams. The crowds have certainly responded to it, lets hope our athletes can too.

    Slight disappoinment as someone whos tv reception is so bad we cant access the red button and who doesnt have sky - that we didnt get to see Lisa Dobrisks or relay teams medal ceremony on terrestrial. If this had been football then other programmes would have been delayed. Anyway just one small gripe that didnt detract from the overall excellent coverage.

  • Comment number 13.

    Thanks Tom, you called it just about perfect, and the choice of numero uno. Two additions? After years of endeavour, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi finally winning an outdoor global title. And the unrestrained joy of Linda Zueblin's celebration after setting a Swiss national record in the javelin part of the heptathlon. Great Worlds, great venue, great hosts .... and a great new bar (I mean star).

  • Comment number 14.

    I think for me, one of the most magic moments, was during all the Bolt madness, Ariana Friedrich trying to concentrate, asked the crowd to be quiet and in a moment it was quiet - spine tingling quiet, then with her knowing that so many people were watching, with her knowing that she was not jumping great, with all that pressure, she ran, she jumped, she cleared and the crowd went bonkers again. Fantastic from her, fantastic from the crowd.

  • Comment number 15.

    To me I found this edition of the World championship far more better than the athletics during the Olympics.
    Well organised but above all a tremedous atmosphere:
    -The German crowd was really good giving support to all the athletes(the silencing of the crowd during the high jump was just unheard of!!)
    -The craziest mascot ever. Berlino you are a class of your own too!
    -But above all the athletes who for once connected with the crowd before their races (finish visualising the "tunnel")and when celebrating.

    To me this made the Championships supersede the Olympics.

  • Comment number 16.

    Was all about the bear, not only did He/She give the global audience some laughs at a normally staid event but dragged every single athlete into the euphoria (except Tyson Gay of course)of what was a splendid week. I'm not a huge athletics fan but it was worth watching, not just the bear, but some of the incredible performances. Bolt has changed sprinting forever.

    Berlino and Bolt, the worlds great new double act!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Fully agreeing with these points above, one moment that no-one else has mentioned is the celebration of Anita Wlodarczyk after she set a new world record in the women's hammer throw. She was ecstatic and ran towards her coach and positively bubbling, problem was, she decided to jump high. Bad landing and significant body mass meant a twisted ankle! The world-record was sufficient to win without another throw though.

  • Comment number 18.

    Blanca Vlasic and Emma Green. It's all about the womens high jump.

  • Comment number 19.

    God...I don't know where to start. Definetely these World Championships were better than the Olympics. This time the slogan "Have a good time!" was surely shown by the bubbly athletes (except Gay of course) and the crowd.

    Since I'm not British I can't say any of the wins were highlights, but I do congratulate GB for getting 6 medals.

    My highlights were:

    * The crowd. They were the so knowledgable. Especially in the women's high jump, where they even cheered for Blanka although she was competing against Friedrich, and of course that silence while the latter was jumping (I saw that in the Golden League meet in Berlin, so it wasn't new to me). Also booing poor Rodriguez, (or the whole situation!) after that ugly end to the 1500 m final...PURE show of sportsmanship overall (Roland Garros crowd, take note.)

    * The performance of the host athletes, especially Steffi Nerius who won her first major title at her final attempt, and best of all was Harting in the discus, when he needed to throw a PB in his final throw to get the gold. The whole celebration afterwards was legendary, lifting Berlino and entering into the crowd.

    * Bolt of course! My dad doesn't like his antics, but in the end he had to sigh, "I guess I just have to get used to him..."

    * Shelly-Ann Fraser (what a race), Bekele, Linet Masai, Blanka Vlasic (my favourite female athlete)

    * And...Berlino! Best mascot of all time, can't say more.

    Shame there had to be some forgettable moments, like Isinbayeva's stunning failure to clear a single height, Semanya's gender controversy, the women's 1500m final, USA getting DQed in the relay AGAIN...

    I hope Daegu 2011 & London 2012 were taking notes!

  • Comment number 20.

    so you have a chance to choose eight things to metnion and you inlcude three who have nothign to do with the sport (crowd, stadium, bear).

    What a pile of jumped up crowd-playing nonsense.

  • Comment number 21.

    Some great memories there, Tom. A well-written article that basically sums up the BBC coverage of these championships across all platforms - top class.

    Two I would like to add to the party though from a truly -GB-cnentric perspective:

    1. Will Sharman in the high hurdles. Where did he come from?! To come into the team late in the day, pretty much as an 'after-thought', then to finish fourth, was truly magnificent. His rise from nowhere reminds me of the days Jackson and Ridgeon broke through in Rome 87. Hugley promising.
    2. Williams and Bingham in the relay yesterday. Williams was not expected to do anything more than make up the numnbers; Bingham looked spent. The former then ran beautifully to keep with the Americans, putting us right in the mix. The last 150 metres from Bingham was one of the best relay sections I have seen from a GB team in recent memory.

    I think we have reason to get all giddy and excited about our prospects for 2012 at this rate. Now, when do tickets go on sale?

  • Comment number 22.

    SO Hackerjack, you would rather the event take place in a dilapidated old stadium with a staid and boring crowd, no atmosphere and functional athletes. Just how would that be memorable.....

  • Comment number 23.

    Agree with what you have said Tom, have to say that Berlino in the studio yesterday was one of the funniest bits of telly I have seen in quite a while, fair play to the BBC for going along with it

  • Comment number 24.

    A great championships in a great venue. The idea of taking the walks and marathons to the city centre was brilliant as well, wish I had gone out to watch it live instead of on TV.

    Well done to the British team, especially to Kelly Holmes "daughters" Meadows and Dobriskey. The 2010s for British female middle distance runners could be like the 1980s for British male middle distance runners.

    Korea has a hard act to follow. Berlin had a great stadium, a knowledgeable and supportive crowd and a successful host team. Korea didn't have any finishers in the top 8 in any events and apart from some excellent marathon runners Korea doesn't really have a great athletics tradition. It is good that the world championships take place all around the world but will Daegu be the right choice? We will see in 2011.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hackerjacker, nothing to do with the sport?! So without the stadium, where would they have played in? Not only do the crowd faciliatate the event by buying tickets, but also they provided immense support. And if you don't recognize Berlino's efforts, that shows you weren't watching the Championships. Or if you were watching, then you are quite ignorant.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why the BBC did not show the 110m Hurdles Medal Ceremony of Barbados first Gold medal (Ryan Brathwaite)?
    And decided to have an interview with William Sharman and show Colin Jackson hurdles race that take place 16 years ago this whole section last about 10/15 min sorely they could have show the Medal Ceremony.

  • Comment number 27.

    Good list and not much to argue against. Idowu's triple jump could have got a mention but other than that, pretty good.

    Now...where can I watch this monkey tennis you speak of?

  • Comment number 28.

    Berlno deserves his own top 5 (in no particular order).

    Harting (after ripping his shirt off) picking up Berlino and holding him upside down.

    Berlino giving Melaine Walker a piggyback ride which ended up with her on the track.

    Berlino running 50m in an attempt to draw bolt into a race

    Tyrone Edgar giving Berlino a piggyback ride.

    Berlino and Bolt posing together - This will be one of the images of the games.

    We need to find out who was in that costume. He deserves his own medal!!


  • Comment number 29.

    One of my favourites was Shot Putter Savannah Sanitoa running in the women's 100m heats after not qualifying for her own event, and amazingly not coming last.

  • Comment number 30.

    I watched loads of Athletics as a kid, Linford, Colin, Sally e.t.c. loved it, but lost interest as I grew up.

    Usain Bolt reignited a bit of interest for me in Beijing and last week I actually planned my evenings around particular events. Usain Bolt really is rescuing Atheltics in my eyes, he is already a sporting legend with the sort of irressitable justifiable arrogance that you just can't help enjoying.

    6 medals too for GB, lets keep the upward curve going in time for 2012.

    Finally, Tom I've really enjoyed your blog. Historical events are as good as the coverage and you have done a grand job. Cheers.

  • Comment number 31.

    2of3, you are so right. Would love to see a fuller clips show of Berlinos best. Not too sure about finding out whos inside though - might detract from the magic though I agree they should be given a bonus of some description. fatdeano youre right too. About time the bbc entered the 'fun spirit'. Pity about Steve Cram and Brendan Foster being devoid of humour (at least earlier in the week)- too serious by far. Berlino became an intergral part of this families viewing and enjoyment of the championships.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with most of the other comments. I'd just add one more highlight: Abdosh's 5000m semi-final chase for the leading pack after his shoes came off was the most exciting 5000m qualifier I've ever seen! And I was so glad that the officials made the right decision to award his valiant attempt by allowing him into the final. Superb!

    Berlino made it for me too. That bear was hilarious! Michael Johnson watching Berlino drinking a bottle of water was TV gold!

  • Comment number 33.

    Fantastic championships. Memorable for so many reasons, which are very well covered by your list Tom.

    I agree with #31 that someone needs to give the BBC commentary team a poke with the 'happy stick' though. It wasn't just sniffiness about Berlino either, there was moaning about the course for the walk and marathon, criticising the local director when he dared to lack the telepathy needed to show the shots they wanted to talk about etc etc. The studio is the place to discuss the wider issues of the championships, I'd rather the event commentators focused on describing the action instead of continual unsolicited (and predominantly negative) opinions.

    To finish on a positive note though, Michael Johnson is the best pundit on any sport for my money. A real coup for the BBC, and great to hear he is signed up for 2012.

  • Comment number 34.

    Great coverage of the Games Tom

    everything was top class for me and will certainly go down as the best World Championships for me.

    My only one disappointment was the way Caster Semenya was handled and how disgraceful people behaved regarding the whole situation.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am interested in only the sprints. There were some magic moments and these were well brought in by Tom who had the good fortune to do it in consultation with the great track athlete Michael Johnson. Iam still trying to assimilate and absorb into my consciousness the superhuman feats of Usain Bolt. Olympic Stadion must have been a dream venue to all who had honour to be in the company of this legend. Thank you Tom.

  • Comment number 36.

    Tom, you made me like Bolt. He let Berlino beat him. Awwww. I'm a sap. So thats the sort of stuff that gets into my soul. Plus I just ADORE Berlino. I think Masai winning the 10,000m and Cheruyiot winning the 5,000m shoulda made your cut though.

  • Comment number 37.

    My favourite memory was Michael Johnson looking like a landed fish as he watched the 100m.

  • Comment number 38.

    Unfortunately you can only have eight items in a top eight! Obvious really, and I agree with all of them. I thought this was one of the best, if not the best, athletics meetings of all time - for so many reasons. The venue, the atmosphere, the competitors' performances and camaraderie, the reactions of the spectators, Berlino obviously. It was the joy of it all I think that made the event what it was, and it was bout so much more than the athletics.
    I watched each day's events on Italian tv (because that's where I live) and, with the exception of the woman who interviewed the competitors and translated their comments who was humourless, characterless and uninformative, the commentaries were good and in keeping with the general atmosphere. But whenever I got to see some of the British commentary it did come across as a bit po faced and tedious at times - especially Steve Cram and Colin Jackson (those two definitely need to lighten up a bit).
    Can I also single out for humourlessness and self-obsession one Mr Tyson, Gay and the Jamaican women's relay team who snubbed high fives with Berlino.
    But these things don't detract at all from the best athletics meeting ever and only serve to highlight all that was good about it. Credit must go to the planners and organisers for making it all possible.
    One mustn't forget to mention this blog too. It has been a joy to read - always interesting and informative, and sensitive. A big thankyou to Tom Fordyce!

  • Comment number 39.

    can't really add any more. One thing that has stood out for me at this championships was the sense of sportsmanship that has returned to the sport. With the exception of a few, the athletes showed a lot more respect towards each other and it was great to see the banter between some of the athletes between events. The most stand out moment for me was the entire field of the womens heptathlon taking part in a lap of the track after completing the 800m. Every athlete seemed to be pleased for the others when they performed well. Maybe all of this has come from Usain Bolt who has injected a well needed breath of fresh air into the sport.

  • Comment number 40.

    Really going to miss watching these championships in the evenings. It was a carnival atmosphere and i was glad for Idowu to claim gold it cant be easy competing with the shadow of Edwards brilliance in the event. Agree with most of the above a great championships a superb silver for the brit 400 relay team as well. A mention for the commentary by Cram and Edwards who attract some criticism personally i find their commentary spot on.
    Regrettable the fiasco involving Semenya badly handled, berlino of cours brought some light relief whoever it was did a great job. But i suppose the star was Bolt who has raised the bar for sprinting and human capability.

  • Comment number 41.

    The gender test row will live in the memory for all the wrong reasons

  • Comment number 42.

    Tom, I think I'm totally with you. While as a Jamaican, I'm hugely satisfied with the performance of the team, I agree with you about the other moments. I also think Dwight Philips' return to world-beating form and Sanya Richards' first major world title, while battling health challenges, were also hugely memorable moments. Even if a Jamaican (running in a Jamaica uniform, unlike finished second to her. Asafa's embrace of Boltish fun is, hopefully, a sign of things to come, and may have had much to do with his improved performance on the big stage. Usain is Usain...a complete, lovable twit. There was a point in time when I was so exasperated with him...saw him sitting out meets in Jamaica while jiving in the crowd at the stadium instead of participating, hyping it up at Sabina Park watching West Indies cricket instead of training etc...and looking, to me, like another young athlete in love with the myth of his greatness while failing to live up to the promise of his junior Worlds performance in 2002. It is therefore now especially heartening to see his success matching up to his personality at last, both at Beijing and now in Berlin. May he long reign, and continue to make the world of athletics memorable.

  • Comment number 43.

    No contest, the star of the show was Berlino!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Back home now from Germany. Fantastic nine days. Gutted it's all over. Sigh...

    Will post a blog on how the one-hour decathlon goes in a few days time - before then, big thanks to everyone for all the comments posted on the Berlin blogs - been some first-class chat, banter and debate. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  • Comment number 45.

    There is so much about Semenya that could be lauded, but with the latest results of high testosterone I can only see tons of gutter jokes about her name doing the rounds. I mean look at the name for the crying out loud, it anagram paradise, in more than one accent too. However I have a serious question, if her testosterone is natural, why are we still separating the boys and girls? Yes blokes can get big very big. But so too can girls. Of the half a million men in the stadium crowd during the meet, not one of them could have beaten any of the women athlethes I will wager. There is something to be said for pulling down these archaic rules and gender barriers, It's a man yeah? I don't care really if she is a he or he is a she, as long as this person wasn't cheating knowledgeably then whats the matter?

  • Comment number 46.

    My personal favourite was William Sharmer being introduced as William Shatner by the in stadium announcer for the heats.

    I suppose he did "boldly go"!

  • Comment number 47.

    As far as I´ve seen, it´s not been mentioned that the cheerful atmosphere of the memorable World Cup Germany 2006 swept over to the World Athletics 2009.
    An important aspect has been that there has been a sustainable change in Germany´s image all over the world since the "summer´s fairy tale", as the World Cup has been paraphrased, took place. Many media stated that the spectators experienced the "modern" Germany and a BBC poll from 2008 showed that Germany is the world´s most popular country.
    In contrast to this, it´s remarkable that there is plenty of space for the coverage of the political backgrounds of the Berlin 1936 Games at the BBC sports site that deliver an incorrect scale for measuring the sports events in the Federal Republic of Germany (that is always wrongly called "West Germany" at the BBC, even when you mean the period between 1949 and 1990!). Berlin 1936 undoubtedly left a diffult legacy, but a dictatorship should not be treated as an equivalent to a 60 years old democracy.
    The fact that Germany separated from this tradition is worth to be considered in an out-balanced coverage, is´nt it?

  • Comment number 48.

    i think he is greatest man in atheletics and is gonna dominate till he retires. 9.58 sec thts a shock quick time for 100 metres
    well done usain bolt

  • Comment number 49.

    Tom, did you see the women's 110m hurdle? I think Brigitte Foster Hylton's reaction to her Gold medal is priceless, and Delorreen's joy at medalling as well (Brigitte, me get bronze!!) That has to be in here somewhere...a woman that has waited that long for Gold, the first of Jamaica's home-trained talents some ten years back, retired after last year's Olympics after not medalling, and to, one year later, finally win her elusive Gold...and not realising that she was all too much, i'm fightng back tears now retyping this...maybe it's because i'm Jamaican, but that's definitely the best moment of the whole WC for me...


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