See this guy here? That is Gary Morgan. Gary was an Olympian, in 1988, at the 20,000m
race walk. He now travels around the world, supporting the Olympic movement and
covering events for the Running Network TV.
Gary wrote a diary from Barcelona this past week, on the European Championships. Gary
loves our sport and races marathons like some run 5ks. He ran the Comrades Marathon, one of the most important Ultra marathons in the world, this past spring.
Remember to watch Gary on Running Network TV and Michigan Runner TV. We hope you enjoy Gary’s thoughts on Barcelona!
European Championships Days 2,3 & 4
Wednesday morning the Russian women step up and sweep the podium in the 20k walk. They are master technicians of the sport. Olga Kaniskina has the triple crown of Olympic, World, and European titles. The walks and marathon are being held in Downtown Barcelona on a road course.
Libor Charfreitag, Slovakia, Euro Champs 2010, gold, hammer throw, by PhotoRun.net.
Womens discus was won by a Croatian Sandra Perkovic. First European medal for that country. Christopher Lemaitre won the mens 100. He looked great. Libor Charfreitag from Slovakia was the Mens Hammer throw winner.
Yesterday was an off day for road races so I went to the morning track sessions and saw some heats to set up for finals and some Decathlon events.
The evening session saw Alexander Shustov from Russia win the Gold in the high jump. Phillip Idowu from Britain won the Gold in the mens triple jump.
Romain Barras from France won the Decathlon. Verena Sailer om from Germany was a surprise winner in the womens 100.
Yohann Diniz, winning in Gothenburg, Euro 2006, won again in 2010!
photo by PhotoRun.net.
Day four was packed with excitement as there were seven final events. The day started with Yohann Diniz from France winning the 50k walk. HeÂ´s a repeat winner as he won this event four years ago in Gottenberg, Sweden.
Tatyana Firova from Russia won the womens 400 with a sub 50 second time. One of the fastest times this year. Mariya Savinova from Russia won the gold in the womens 800. Andy Turner from Great Britain won the mens 110 high hurdles. Arturo Casado from Spain won the mens 1500. It was a big victory for Spain as this was there first gold medal of this Championship.
Kevin Borlee from Belgium won the Men’s 400. Another surprise winner in these Championships. Christopher Lemaitre from France won the Men’s 200. A double Gold Medalist and a person to watch for the London Olympics. (Editors Note: Lemaitre, by
his second leg on 4 x 100m, would take a third Gold medal).
IÂ´vie been sight seeing all over Barcelona when I have free time. I went to the Mountie Castle, Sagada Familia Church, walked on the beach and through the Arc de Triom. Plus numerous other places throughout the city. This is a great place to visit and do a sporting event like a marathon, bike race or Triathlon. Come visit Barcelona. Plus two more days of the European Championships.
European Championships, Day 5, 6
Zivile Balciunaite, Lithuania, Euro Champs 2010, marathon gold,
photo by PhotoRun.net.
Another early start for me as I got up early and headed for the womens marathon. The women started out slow because of the heat and did a negative split. Zivile Balciunaite from Lithuania was the winner with a time of 2:31:14. Great race considering the heat.
In the afternoon I participated in the Media race of 800 meters. there was about 50 runners and we had 6 heats of 8 people in each heat. It was like a real race. Numbers and announced our names on the loud speaker. The men and women’s winner got gifts from Omega. It was a lot of fun.
The evening session provide lots of excitement as there was seven final events. Womens 200 meters was won by Myriam Soumare from France. She won a bronze in the 100. Nevin Yanit won the Gold in the womens 100 meter hurdles. A first time medal winner for Turkey in the hurdles. There was a lot of excitement in the air after she won. Olha Saladuha from Ukraine won the womens triple jump. Mo Farah from Great Britain won the Gold in the mens 5000. HeÂ´s a double gold medal winner winning the 10,000 earlier in the week. Great double victory here in this heat in Barcelona. David Greene from Great Britain won the gold in the mens 400 hurdles with a PR and European leading time of 48.12. Andreas Thorkildsen from Norway won the gold medal in the Javelin. To round out the evening performances Jessica Ennis From Great Britain won the gold in the Heptathlon.
Viktor Rothlin, Switzerland, Euro Champs 2010, marathon
gold, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Up and at them again this morning as I headed off to the mens Marathon. Victor Rothlin from Switzerland won gold in a time of 2:15:32 on a hot sticky day here in Barcelona. Jose Manuel from Spain took silver to the delight of the hometown crowd. Dmitrity Safronov from Russia picked up the Bronze. There was a huge crowd watching this race all along the 10k course. The runners repeated it four times plus the one kilometer walk course twice. Got to see from a few different view points. Marathon Sunday in any city is always a festive occasion and Barcelona delivered.
In the afternoon I went to the International Press association(AIPS)-Helsinki 2012 Championship Conference. This was to promote Helsinki, which is hosting the 2012 European Championships Plus AIPS which is associated with Laureus. A charity driven sports organization to help promote sports with children around the globe. Olympic and professional athletes are the driving force behind it. Sabastian Coe Olympic 800 meter gold medalist was one of the guest speakers. It was a great experience being there.
IÂ´m getting ready to come back to the USA. IÂ´ll miss the last evening session. This was an incredible event. Well beyond my expectations and Barcelona is a dream city. Good bye to the European Championships.