Friday, October 4, 2019

Doping, dehydration and determination.

Dire in Doha: world championships ‘catastrophe’ leaves athletics reeling
Empty seats and ghostly silence have been the sad feature of this PR disaster for the sport, the IAAF, Lord Coe and Qatar”

"IAAF World Championships: Annu Rani Breaks National Record; Athletes Wilt in Doha Heat"

Unless you are living on the other side of the moon, you will have noticed that the world athletic championships are on at the moment in Doha.
Controversial doesn't really cover it.
Like many others, I suspect that a bunch of accountants in nice suits who go to the gym three times a week looked at what Doha could offer and said, 'Yes that sounds great, we shall have the world championships the 35 degree heat, and terrible humidity.'  The authorities said the stadium would be  air conditioned ( open topped and air conditioned, I can just see Greta Thunberg rolling her eyes...). And the stadium is, there is even a  sense of a breeze down the home straight.
The warm up area is outside and 32 degrees when it's cooling down.
And it's not really possible to run a marathon round a 400 m track, so the compramise was to run it at midnight local time when the temperature had dropped to around 30 degrees.
The ladies race was on Friday night, 28 of the 68 runners either pulled out or were carried away by medics.  It might be fun to watch the floodlight runners, deviate to the right of the road to pick up water, a sponge, a handful of ice cubes and try to utilise them all - while still running at 2 hour 30 minutes pace. Is that 5 minute miling all the way? It's faster than I can run for ten yards. 
The victor, Chepngetich, is a lady who had run the third fastest female marathons of all time. She won it in 2 hrs, 32 minutes, 43 seconds. The slowest ever to win a world championship.
The authorities were extra vigilant because of the collapse of Callum Hawkins ( who lives two miles from me ) in the Commonwealth games in Sydney last year. He was winning, about 2 miles from the  finish line and passed out through dehydration and heat exhaustion, he was so confused he asked the paramedics 'Did I win?'
There was much criticism of the medical response time to get to him, and the amount of folk who filmed it  rather than offered assistance.
Anyway, it has been known in running circles that it has taken Callum a year to recover from that so with Tokyo Olympics  looming large, both athletes and organisers erred on the side of caution.
So that's the dehydration.
As to the doping, I have a bet on that within two years one of the gold medal winners in particular will test positive. 
And determination?

Well, can you look at this picture for a moment?
What do you think was going on here?
A gold medal performance? 
I have blogged about the Ingebritsons before. I wish them to take over the world. They should have the adoration  and social influence of the Kardashians. They are magnificent!
This was them celebrating their failure in the 5000 metres to  be ahead of the Kenyans/Ethiopians/ and those born in those countries now representing Canada!
Older brother Henrik ( a champion cross country skier who started running for something to do in the summer) got burned off the back as the pace picked up. Filip ( middle brother, the vain one) stayed with wee brother Jakob  until 600 metres to go. Then stepped aside as he's really a 1500 meter runner.
The  front runners had been running as a team ( naughty!! ) to keep the Norwegians at bay. And that's all there was for most of the race at the front end. Very small and fast Africans. Very tall and fast Norwegians. And that was it.
Jakob, who is 19, was left in the mix  with 500m to go, was left to his own devices and decided the only way to try and beat them was to run as fast as he could. So he took off and went to the front, too early for his sprinting legs but it was all he could do, the only hope he had.
They caught him of course and Jakob finished 5th, collapsing over the line where he stayed on the ground where his brothers came, got an official to pour water on Jakob's face and the picture you see is them having picked him up. The picture of the brothers made all the papers.

After writing that part of the blog Filip was seen to punch another runner, Teddese Lemi,  in the back. So he's a bit naughty  as well. We watched it live and Lemi had impeded Ingebritson  three times, having a tussle which is part and parcel of middle distance running. Filip cut in behind him as Lemi  cut out in front, legs clashed and instead of another flat hand in his back, Lemi got a small punch with a clenched fist, he fell and  nearly brought down about three others including Ingebritson himself.  They both should have been disqualified. We waited for the Ethiopian team to appeal, but I don't think they did and as I write this no appeal was lodged within 30 minutes. Maybe it was a case that they both gave as good as they got.

Here's a link or googling Filip Ingebritson punch Lemi  and it comes up- many times!
 I confess I had to look up who won the gold in the 5000 metres, it was the Canadian Mohammed Ahmed!
Caro Ramsay
04 10 2019

1 comment:

  1. I've been watching quite a lot of the Championship and really feel for all the athletes trying to enjoy their successes in front of empty stands. I have to say the camera people have been pretty good at zooming in on the isolated groups of people, trying to make them look like crowds. Sad. Very sad.