Tonight from 10.20pm we could just see something incredibly special from the Athletics. Tom Walsh recently stated he’d like to expunge from the record books the drug-tainted 23.12m Men’s Shot Put mark of Randy Barnes from 1990.
It looked like he just picked up a pineapple from the beach and had a casual throw to a friend the way he got the shot out to 22.45m in the qualifying yesterday- on his first throw and with a couple of digits taped up to boot. If he somehow did it, it would likely rank among the greatest of all feats in Track and Field history. (As an encore, pity we can’t get him to chuck that low-rent cheat, David Warner).
This Comm Games has gone off. Sure, we have whined about all the ads on free-to-air, but the upside with free-to-air has been more people with access to enjoy it all. More power to that.
It’s a pity Edward Dawkins couldn’t quite nail the gold in the Cycling Kilo time trail last night. Then we could have claimed a gold medallist with a name more akin to someone out of a Harry Potter book (or a Charles Dickens novel). But still a magnificent effort for a sub- one minute ride and silver medal from the Southland torpedo.
There was enough drama for several competitions within the Women’s 90kg plus weightlifting. Laurel Hubbard sadly and rather painfully messed up her elbow in the Snatch part of the competition. You would think (a little sadly, but unsurprisingly) that the press conference may have been quite acrimonious if she had won the event. The victor was the Samoan, Feagaiga Stowers; only seventeen years old. What a future she has got.
The conclusion to the Women’s 20km race walk was just as dramatic. And there existed oodles of genuine camaraderie and smiles at the post-race on the spot interview and after the medal ceremony between the three medallists, including our own Alana Barber. For good reason the Commonwealth Games are called the Friendly Games.
For that no small matter alone, let’s keep them going for as long as possible. (They do always seem just a bit better when we get to view them in an agreeable time zone, and when the weather isn’t grey and drizzly. Glasgow looked pretty damn dingy in 2014, it has to be said. Sorry Scots).
Finally, for the best-ever back story to just about any international Games event full-stop, I bring you the tale of ‘Matilda’, the Godzilla-sized kitschy Kangaroo with the eyebrow extensions and suggestive wink who graced (disgraced?) the opening ceremony to the 1982 Brisbane Comm Games. (I tend to think that the part about the operator being high on cannabis was just added for effect- if that were in fact true, then it just couldn’t be more perfect).