IAAF World Championships Day 1- WOW!


What a day in itself at Day 1 of World Champs. I took in the evening session and look forward to the next nine days even more. My bags arrived a date late, about 5:30. I quickly changed clothes, threw several jackets into my pack and walked the 15 minutes to the stadium.

The Stadium:
Intimate setting. It seats around 40,000, so notoverwhelming large. Unlike some stadiums (including Atlanta in 1996),the stands are right on the track. The bleachers are wooden. It’s anold stadium as you walk underneath it, it’s kind of a throw back tosomething from the 60’s.

Nelson finally wins gold!

The Fans:
I’m moving to Finland after this meet! They make themeet. Loud, flag waving, appreciative, fun loving. Today was fieldevent central with discus qualifying, shot final, and high jumpqualifying. Anytime a Finnish athlete came up, loud, loud rhythmicclapping and artificial noisemakes, to a feverish pitch and loud roarson made or good attemps. Finnish flags everywhere. Unfortunately, theFinnish athletes didn’t fare well. They understand and appreciate thefield events. There was loud applause for an interview with formerFinish javelin thrower Seppo Ratte that was on the board. I am sorrythat I could not find a ticket for Wednesday, which has been sold outfor a year. The javelin final is that night and that event is the eventof the Finns.

They appreciate track and field though. All good races and performerswere greeted with the same rhythmic clapping and cheering. I can’t tellyou how loud it gets at times- LOUD! Music is played during all deadtime. We did five minutes of the wave during the 10,000.

After the final event, there was 45 minutes or so before they did theparade of athletes. It was cold, around 55 degrees and raining. No oneleft, they just waited without batting an eye.

The Events:
Shot Put: Adam Nelson put it away early and won the crowd overwith his usual walk of pysch that he does. I was sitting near several60 year old Finnish gentlemen, who just got the biggest kick out of hiswhole deal. The fans really got behind Nelson and again wereappreciative of a great competition.

Ethiopians dominate the 10k

10,000: WOW, with a lap to go 8 are still in it and the nextthing you know, you see three Ethiopian women shoot out like they arecoming out of a cannon. Looked like the Ethiopian men last year in theOlympic 10k. Just incredible, looked like they hadn’t run 24 lapsprevious. Katie and Jen Rhines both pr’ed.

Race Walk: Not a big walk fan, but impressed by how fast those guys can move.

High Jump: Berquist looks really good, clearing bars with great distance. Two Americans in- Howard and Acuff.

Discus: The usual characters made it through the qualifying rounds, Waltz and Rome made it too.

100m quarterfinal: Windy, very windy.

1500m: Webb was in first heat, led the first three laps in ahard, hard pace. His heat was by far, the fastest group of the day. Allthree Americans made it through. Lukezic has some serious wheels.

Heptathlon: Only saw the 200m, but watched most of it onEurosport. A nice little battle between Kluft and Barber. Kluft had apr in the shot today. Fun to watch her, she has so much energy andexcitement. She went crazy after her pr throw, just jumping around andscreaming before it was even measured.

Tomorrow the heptathlon finishes up, discus final, 100 meter final and women’s triple jump final.

Todd Lane

Todd Lane

Assistant Track Coach at LSU
Lane joined the LSU coaching staff after spending one season at the University of Miami, where he was voted the top women's jumps and combined events assistant in the East Region by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2007.