Looking ahead to the Big One in Budapest
A few stars may have dropped out, a few questions may linger, but I'm still buzzing for the upcoming World Athletics Championships
With my own training ticking along rather uneventfully, I thought I’d glance ahead this week to the upcoming Athletics World Championships, which begin in Budapest on Saturday.
As a kid, the World Champs was my absolute favourite thing to watch on TV ever. Better even than the Olympics, because here it was just athletics - none of that switching over to catch up with the rowing or the badminton. Just pure track and field, at its absolute best.
One problem with athletics generally is that most of the events throughout the year, all those Diamond League races etc, are essentially meaningless. They’re really just try-outs, or time-trials, with athletes testing themselves or priming themselves ahead of the Big One.
In most of those races, it’s not a huge deal who wins - unless someone runs a crazy fast time. The athletes all canter around in their identikit Nike or Adidas singlets, barely getting excited whether they win or lose. In the interviews after the races, they talk about what it all means for the Big One later in the year.
“I’m happy with that [third place],” they’ll say. “It shows I’m beginning to hit form with the Big One coming up,” etc etc.
The Big One is the Olympics or World Champs, the event where they get to don their national vests, line up against the best in the world, and everyone is suddenly racing all guns blazing for the glory of their country. Finally, the show is in town. Let the fireworks begin!