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Learning English - Words in the News
03 September, 2007 - Published 10:43 GMT
Athletics championships draw to a close
Mo Farah, in action for Britain in the men's 5,000m final, finished a creditable sixth

The world athletics championships have drawn to a close in the Japanese city, Osaka. Nine days of competition have produced a series of memorable performances and it's been largely free of scandal. This report from Alex Capstick:

Listen to the story

These championships could not have been more different than the cold, wet and windy experience that was the last edition two years ago in Helsinki. For athletes and spectators, track and field is at its best when the weather is fine, but with the mercury soaring above the thirty degrees mark and soaking humidity, Osaka has taken it to the extreme.

But there were few complaints and although no world records have been set, the running, throwing and jumping has been of the highest quality. The most successful athlete has been the American sprinter, Tyson Gaye, who will leave Japan with three gold medals.

There was much to enjoy here in Osaka but the overall attendance has been disappointing. The sports governing body is under pressure to attract a new audience. One idea under consideration is to make the schedule more compact, by reducing the length of the championships.

But at least there have been no scandals - yet. At least one drug sample is suspicious, but the organisers say it will take at least a week to determine whether there's been a doping violation.

Alex Capstick, BBC, Osaka

Listen to the words

the last edition
here, the previous athletics championships

track and field
American term for athletics, i.e. sports that use the track (for running) and the field (e.g. for the high jump)

the mercury soaring
the temperatures rising

soaking humidity
when the air contains too much water and the weather is very hot

taken it to the extreme
if something is taken to the extreme, it is very bad, undesirable or even unacceptable

of the highest quality
very good

the overall attendance
the number of people who came to see the competition

to make the schedule more compact
to make the event take up less time

something (e.g. events or actions) that causes a public feeling of shock and strong disapproval

a doping violation
illegal use of chemical substances

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