IAAF World Championships Day 5- Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head


A Correction from Yesterday:
The tunnel to the stairs the athletes walk out of is not very long, just from call room in the stadium. However there is a 1500 meter tunnel, lined with three lanes of Mondo and sand pits and all, that goes from the warm up track to the stadium.

Quote of the Day:
“I was hoping to have a bottle of vodka to warm me up” from runner up Kotovaregarding the weather during the long jump.

The Weather:
The weather is becoming the story here, the night of the men’s 100 final was by far the best weather to date. It continues to be cold, rainy, and windy. The wind blows straight down the homestretch. Tonight it rained and rained very hard with winds up to 5.5 mps. Long jump, 100h, both 400’s and first half of the javelin all got it.

Clay runs away with the Decathlon

So tonight I get a phone call about 2 hours before the meet. A friend hadacquired several tickets and was kind enough to let me have one, free ofcharge. Face value, over $600.

Our seats were on the homestretch, third row, and under the roof, amongst the higher ups. The press, IAAF people, and sponsors live much differently than the bleacher bums who are the true fans. There is a very, very large tower that is part of the Olympic Stadium, and I was told it is as tall as the world record in the javelin at the time it was built (held by a Finn of course). That should tell you the importance of the javelin here.

It rained once we sat down and even under the roof, we were gettingpretty wet. It finally let up heading into the finals of the javelin. It reallywas pounding for about 30 minutes during the hurdles, 400 women’s final, men’squarters, and for all of the women’s long jump, Windy also.

The Wave Update:
Only one set today, three times.

Great Moments:
The decathletes taking the victory lap together after their event. They took bows. They then had their bow returned six times quickly from all the fans in the bleacher bum section.

Former Greats:
Past champions continue to hand out medals- Alberto Juanterno did for the 10,000 one night, Seb Coe tonight for the women’s 800 and Edwin Moses handed out the 400h medals and received a cheer almost as loud as that of Tero the javelin thrower.

The Meet:
The stadium was as full as I’ve seen it out of all of the days. Horrible weather conditions. The women’s vault final and men’s high jump qualifying were moved to another night because of the terrible weather.

The Events:
You’ve seen results, so I’ll briefly run through and get to the main event ofthe night. Look for Foster to give a run at gold in the 100h, the Canadian 400runner will give Wariner all he can handle, he is the real deal. 200 could be a1-2-3-4 U.S. sweep. 1500, Webb made a gutsy and very quick move that was quickly covered,faded, but went for it. Clay had some nice pr’s in the javelin and dogged the1500. Tianna Madison pr’ing in those conditions was an accomplishment withinitself. The youngsters of the U.S.really are dominating, consider that several medal winners here for U.S.would still have another year of college left.

THE Event:

Varnik winning the javelin

Men’s Javelin: The event of the evening. Half the field contained athletes from countries within a stones throw of here. Norway,Finland, Russia, and Estonia. The crowds for those respective countries were out in force also. The event started in a downpour with a headwind. The Finns were there to cheer on local hero- Tero Pitkamaki. Several signs draped the stands with ‘Tero is Hero’. One huge sign directly behind the throwing area about half way up in the stands read- ‘Seppo Raty’, javelin great from the 80’s- 90’s.

Each time Tero stepped up the crowd was whipped into a frenzy, but it was not his night as his throws continually came up short of the leaders. The crowd coming to silence after each of his throws landed short of what was needed. He settled for fourth and was quite dejected competing under what had to be an immense amount of pressure.

Olympic champ Thorkildsen of Norway held an early lead near 85 meters, but in thefourth round, Andrus Varnki of Estoniaunloaded an 87 meter throw. Directly to my left sat five Estonians, with their blue, white and black wigs and blue, white, and black flag of Estonia.That throw brought jubilation from them and I even joined them in chantingAndrus’ name. He held on to win and I celebrated with them as we sang over andover Andrus Varnik, Andrus Varnik,, Andrus Varnik. The spoke no English, I didnot speak their language, other than Andrus Varnik, my new favorite javelin thrower. The remote control car that brings the javelin back to the throwing area from the sector, had a small Estonian flag on it after the competition and did doughnuts in front of us as we cheered for Andrus.

Next Session:
Looking forward to watching Walter and Kenta in the triple, a 100h showdown between U.S. and Jamaica and the 200, who actually wins it and how fast (or slow).

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.