Beijing Flash! August 19, 2008-Christine Ohurugogu Wins Women's 400 meters! by Larry Eder


When Christine Ohuruogu won the gold in Osaka last year, with Nicole Sanders in attendance, the cynical observers said,well of course, the world's best is is not in the, a year later, Ms. Ohuruogu is the Olympic gold medalist. This is how she did it and made Great Britain proud ( I had to say that, British Olympic committee is sitting right next to me)...

So, Sanya Richards goes out in a hand timed 22.30 for 200 hundred meters, makes up the stagger on the entire field before the halfway point and comes off the turn screaming down the track.

Then, reality hit and in the last fifty meters, as Christine Ohuruogo of Great Britain, the World champion from Osaka, running her own race, made up about three meters on Richards as Richards faded badly. Ohuruogo went by about thirty meters to go, and then Shericka Williams went by, as Sanya Richards had all she could do to save the bronze.

After the race, Richards commented, " I am not well. I just worked so hard for this. This is so devastating for me, the gold medal would have been mine if it were not for a hamstring grab."

Actually, Sanya Richards, from my veiwpoint, executed a very poor race. For 320 meters she controlled the race. Problem was Christine Ohuruogo controlled the last thirty and she won the gold in 49.62, a seasonal best.

" It is not luck, I worked damn hard for this. It is over, so I can go to sleep! I just know I had to fight her ( Sanya Richards) from behind. I may not be fast, but I fight. The 400 meters race is very hard, it is not about the fastest, it is about keeping it together." was how Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain, the gold medalist summed up the race.

Shericka Williams took second in 49.69, a personal best, continuing the dominance of Jamaica in the sprints. Yulia Gushchina of Russia ran a personal best of 50.01 in fourth, Anastasia Kapachinskaya of Russia ran a personal best for fifth in 50.03 and Tatiana Firova of Russia ran 50.11 for a seasonal best in sixth. Say, who do you think will win the women's 4 x 400 meters?

Rosemarie Whyte of Jamaica ran 50.68 in seventh and in eighth, Amantie Montsho of Botswana ran 51.18 for eighth.

Shericka Wiliams of Jamaica, the silver medalist noted, " I tried my best and this is my best. I am so fond of this medal. "

In any case, our sport is about dreams made reality and dreams lost. For Sanya Richards, there will be another day. For Christine Ohuruogu, the gold medal is vindication for all of the difficult times she has had over the past few years. For Shericka Williams and her country, Jamaica, the green and yellow just keeps on rolling.

Our sport is unforgiving. Someone wins the gold, someone wins the silver, and yes someone wins the bronze. No Olympic medals are given away and any advertising campaign that says anything different just does not get it. This is the global stage baby, and no one will give an inch without you digging down to your core and putting everything on the line. Reputations in Beijng mean nothing...

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