The Doha Diamond League is the first Diamond League meeting of 2017. Stuart Weir has been on a bit of a travel junket covering events for RunBlogRun. Stuart is a fine writer, with a wry sense of humor. Note his ‘happy as Larry’ comment in the following story on Brits in Doha.
Brits in Doha
There were six and a half British athletes competing in the Diamond League opener in Doha. Their results were mixed. Then again, I recall what my old friend, Kriss Akabusi, used to say: “why would I be wanting to run fast in May?”
Pole Vaulter, Holly Bradshaw, was fourth with 4.55 and declared herself satisfied: “I had a lot of fun out there. I am happy with 4.55. I have been training really well and that doesn’t really reflect how well I’m training but I’m still off only 12 steps but I am looking to move to 16 for the rest of my competitions. So overall I’m pretty happy with that”.
High jumper, Robbie Grabarz, was second with 2:31 which he pronounced as the minimum height he was looking for: “I wanted to jump that at least today so that was the target to chase. It’s just nice to be here to compete and try to win. They are the best guys in the world – that is why they are here”. Chris Baker was seventh in the high jump, saying that he had felt flat but playing the Akabusi early season card.
Desiree Henry was seventh in the 200 metres in 23.22, albeit with the negative wind of 2.3 on the home straight. She said: “Looking at the time I am not too impressed with that I know it is early in the season but I want to be consistent running under 22 seconds. I guess I learn from my mistakes and move on from there. I am a little surprised to be honest after running 11.09 and 22.69 in America, you obviously think you have got it in your legs to run under 22 seconds. Not really too sure what I’ve done there but I will talk it over with my coach and move on”.
Cindy Ofili, seventh in the 100m hurdles in 13.42 blamed her poor race on a terrible start. She said she was “absolutely gutted” because she “was feeling great and I wanted to come out and be competitive. I am upset but you know what, I am going to come back from this and do better soon”.
Andrew Butchard was seventh in the 3000m. His assessment of his race was: “I thought I did OK. 7:45.36 I am happy with that”. The other Briton was Jenny Meadows, who, in the twilight of her career, was pacemaker for the 800m. She did her job well taking the field through in 57.61.
The weather is our favourite topic of conversation in the UK. And I was delighted when I spoke to the six athletes that being in Doha had not blunted their eagerness to debate the topic. Holly Bradshaw found the conditions in Doha “a bit windy”. To make matters worse the wind was always in the wrong direction “a headwind or a side wind – never a favourable wind”. Holly also thought that it could be windy in London for the world championship so was glad of the chance to practice in the wind. Sprinter, Desiree Henry, on the other hand found the wind quite refreshing.
Robbie Grabarz contrasted the heat at 4.30 when he was warming up with some more pleasant evening conditions. He still managed to find positives noting: “at least it makes it easier to warm up and you don’t have to worry about getting cold between jumps”.
As long as the Brits have a bit of weather to talk about they are as “happy as Larry” as the saying goes.