Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the 100m hurdles at the Arcadis CityGames in Manchester. Belarusian Alina Talay won the hurdles and she was quite effusive over her victory, the fans and the meet!
Women’s sprint hurdles
The GreatCityGames in Manchester, sponsored this year by Arcadis, has seen some great 100h races over the years with athletes like Dawn Harper-Nelson gracing the track. This year’s race was as an all-European race, won by Alina Talay (Belarus), a 2015 World Championship medallist who ran 12.74. Isabelle Pedersen from Norway was second in 13.03 with two British athletes Alicia Barrett (aged 20) and Yasmin Miller (22) in third and fourth places.
Talay was bubbling over after the race – about the event, the spectators, the occasion, her form and everything else.
She said: “The race was actually amazing. I can also tell you about the atmosphere, the spectators and the track. It was brilliant. I really enjoyed it. My race ? – there were a lot of mistakes I hit hurdles, I think, three times so my knee is hurting. But I see the potential for this year as I opened up 12.74 which I have not done for three years. As I mainly training on my own at the moment it’s important to get a good result to show that I’m doing the right things and going in the right direction.
“This is my first street event and I now regret that I have not done it before. Because I feel today that is my favourite type of competition. It’s very different because the spectators are so close and you can almost touch them so the atmosphere is great. I hope that the IAAF was someone else will organize more of these events in the next years”.
While some of the male hurdlers were critical of the track, Talay just shrugged when asked if the track was too bouncy, she replied: “Is it? I don’t know. I really like running indoor so I’m used to a bouncy track. For me it’s more, ‘That’s cool’. You can hear all your steps and feel the surface. I really like that”.
There may be better hurdlers than Talay but if there is a nicer and more positibe athlete, I have not met her.