BBC BLOGS - Tom Fordyce

Archives for September 2011

GB athletes on target?

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Tom Fordyce | 08:04 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

Charles van Commenee's talk of a "golden generation" to match that of Seb Coe, Steve Cram and Daley Thompson raised expectations that the team could leave the World Championships in Daegu with its best medal haul in a generation.

As the team flew back to London on Monday's early afternoon flight from Seoul, had the Dutchman's expectations been fulfilled? With less than 12 months to go until the London Olympics, just how good a display was this from the British team?

We'll dig deep in this analysis but first the simple stuff.

The final-day gold from Mo Farah and silver from Phillips Idowu meant there were seven medals nestled in the squad's hand luggage, in line with the "seven or eight" the straight-talking Van Commenee had set as his target.

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Mo's golden glow

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Tom Fordyce | 16:01 UK time, Sunday, 4 September 2011

Daegu, Korea

Blisters, what blisters?

Almost exactly a week - to the last few minutes - after being agonisingly pipped to the World 10,000m title in the final few strides, Mo Farah did as Usain Bolt had the night before and turned first weekend heartbreak into a golden finale.

Last Sunday the head-on cameras showed Farah frozen on the finish line, eyeballs out on stalks, mouth grimacing, turning to his right in horror as Ibrahim Jeilan fought past him for gold.

Seven days later the image had been flipped on its axis. This time it was his great friend and rival Bernard Lagat in slow-motion agony, teeth bared and eyes popping, twisting his head to his left as Farah dipped through the line to take a glorious 5,000m gold.

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Bolt blasts away opponents and doubters

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Tom Fordyce | 16:41 UK time, Saturday, 3 September 2011

Daegu, Korea

You never doubted him. Did you?

Usain Bolt's demolition of his 200m rivals on Saturday night meant he will leave Daegu with the world gasping at a gold medal won rather than a red card received.

Had any other man in the field triumphed in such dominant fashion we would now be eulogising and jaw-dropping until flabbers could be gasted no longer.

With Bolt, as with everything he does, it's slightly different.

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The perfect start

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Tom Fordyce | 16:08 UK time, Friday, 2 September 2011

With Usain Bolt sensationally disqualified from the 100m final and Britain's Dwain Chambers and Christine Ohuruogu among several other high-profile names to be red-carded after jumping the gun, these Worlds have been dubbed 'the false-start championships' by some here in South Korea.

While hardly the catchiest of monikers, it reflects the fact that all the talk around the sprint events has been of the action on the blocks, rather than at the finish line.

So how to produce the perfect sprint start? How to handle the tension of a world final, the clanging nerves, the chest-thumping rivals looking to mess with your mind?

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How Greene turned gold

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Tom Fordyce | 18:11 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

Daegu, South Korea

For most people, scoring a goal against Real Madrid would be hard to top as the highlight of their sporting career.

Dai Greene isn't most people. In storming to World gold on a warm, windy evening here in South Korea the former Swansea City youth footballer produced one of the great performances in British athletics history, transforming Daegu into Dai-gu with 48.26 seconds of flawless one-lap hurdling.

If that sounds a little giddy-eyed and knock-kneed, you should consider both the manner of his win and just how the 25-year-old has gone from the playing fields of Llanelli to the very top of the world.

Greene was the outsider of Britain's four gold medal hopefuls coming into these championships, the expectations lower than those on Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu, as much because of the quality of athletes he would have to beat as any perceived deficiency in ability compared with the other three.

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