Ekaterina Stefanidi, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Okay, for several years, I called Stuart Weir a Scotsman. I was wrong. Now, I call him an Englishman with a very peculiar sense of humor, but, he does keep me laughing. He speaks about Yogi Bear in this column, the American legend. At first I thought it was Yogi Berra, the baseball legend who was resplendent with malpropisms, and was from my hometown (Saint Louis). Stuart, this is one of your funnier, and finer columns, I might add.
Women’s field events
The great thing about indoor athletics is that the arena is only half the size of an outdoor stadium. The number of times I have been wanting to watch the triple jump, only to discover that it is 100 yards from my seat. In an indoor arena who will be unlucky not to have a perfect view of all events.
The women’s long was an absorbing contest but a bit of a curate’s egg. [I am sure that does not translate at all across the pond but a curate is an assistant church priest. The story is told of the new curate being entertained to tea and being offered a soft boiled egg. The curate only liked hard boiled eggs but being English, was too polite to say so! Thus he enjoyed the hard white but not the soft yolk. When asked by his host how it was, he had a dilemma. As a man of the church he had to tell the truth yet he did not want to offend. “Well,” he said, “the egg was good in parts”. And from that moment on, anything that was partly good and partly bad has been a curate’s egg!]
The shock winner of the women’s long jump was Khaddi Sagnia of Sweden with 6.92 from Sostene Moguenara (Germany) with 6.83. I think it would be fair to say that the Swede was quite pleased with her PR and victory, commenting: “I couldn’t believe it! I haven’t been jumping that good apart from last week where I jumped 6.85m but I didn’t think I’d jump so far today because I’ve been a little ill. It is an amazing feeling; I didn’t expect to win. It is such a strong field but I just concentrated on myself. I was really pleased to get the big jump in early and then I could relax for the rest of the competition”.
Just about a year ago in Belgrade, Serbia, I was watching the local hero Ivana Spanovic leaping over seven metres to win the European indoors. A year later she was finishing third with 6.81. One of my favourite athletes, Tianna Bartoletta, (Olympic and double world champion) was sixth with 6.62. Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers, who had a disappointing performance in the UK trials last week again finished well down the field with 6.17. A curate’s egg of a long jump competition indeed.
Asking if Mariya Lasitskene won the high jump, is a bit like asking if the pope is a Catholic. He is and Mariya won the high jump in Glasgow with 1.95. Britain’s Morgan Lake, who morphs back into a heptathlete this week, was second with 1.92, narrowly missing a new PR at 1.95. The veteran, Levern Spencer, was third with 1.88. I had breakfast on the morning of the meet with Levern and another high jumper, Liz Patterson – the lengths RunBlogRun writers go to get the story. Liz said that sometimes in the US, when she says what she does, people are confused between high jump and pole vault!. One is reminded of the immortal words of that great American legend, Yogi Bear, who on breaking the world record in the pole-vault, remarked that he could have jumped even higher if he had not had to carry the pole!
The Glasgow women’s pole vault was a classic – and I can assure Yogi that all the girls used the classic method – with a pole. In fact, the winner had 10 to choose from but that is another story which will be in the next post. In fact there must nearly as many poles in Stefanidi’d bag as the Polish delegation to the World Championships.
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