This is Stuart Weir’s first column on Monday for Day two of the Athletics World Cup (Sunday, July 15, 2018). In this column, he praises the fast women who ran in London.
We think this interview by Athletics Weekly with Beth Dobbins, new GBR and Scottish NR holder at 200 meters, on her medal at Athletics World Cup, puts this all into perspective:
“I’ll be wearing it all night!” @BethDobbin was delighted to have claimed a medal at the @AthWorldCup – her GB debut and the first time she had ever been inside the London Stadium #AthWorldCup #200m @scotathletics pic.twitter.com/VWmJXSfG7A
— Athletics Weekly (@AthleticsWeekly) July 16, 2018
There were some brilliant women’s races tonight. In the 200m, Jenna Prandini took a commanding lead as the runners came off the bend but gradually Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, reeled her in to win 22.35 to 22.45.
In third place was Beth Dobbin. Now I have to confess that until I met her at the Bauhaus in Stockholm, I had never heard of her. She has broken the Scottish record at least twice this year. She won the GB title – OK Dina Asher-Smith was not in the field – neither was Usain Bolt for that matter – but you can only beat those who are in the race.
— helenjerome (@helenjerome) July 16, 2018
She is such a down to earth girl that she has impressed a lot of people this year with her attitude as well as her running. Not a funded athlete, she has at times had 3 or 4 jumps to fund her athletics. “I’m just a receptionist” she said in one well-reported interview. Her after race quote at the World Cup was refreshingly honest: The atmosphere was great. The crowd was amazing, almost overwhelming.
The race was a blur but I am happy to finish third. I didn’t step foot inside the stadium before the race but when I did, it was just a normal track and I was not as nervous as I thought I was going to be.
It was the first time this year I felt in reach of first and second but it’s great because that’s where I want to be in the future, so I need to start mixing it with those girls”. A great athlete and a lovely person.
Dawn Harper-Nelson once said: “The winner of the 100m hurdles is the person who gets over the 10 hurdles and finishes first”. Obvious isn’t it? Well of course Queen Harrison, the USA captain, was the stand-out favorite in tonight’s 100 hurdles – after all she had a PR of 12.43 in her locker. Then there was Nadine Hilderbrand (PR 12.64). But remember the Harper-Nelson rule. Harrison after hitting the first hurdle never recovered and finished in 12.99 for third place. Hilderbrand struggled too – 13.25 for sixth. Rikenette Steenkamp (South Africa) was no one’s favorite. On paper she was only the 5th fastest – but the race was not run on paper and Steenkamp ran 12.88, close to her PR, to win.
She said: “I came into this not as a favorite, but still not counting myself out. I really need this type of competition to push me. Queen Harrison and the Jamaican [Jeanine Williams] are really strong but that is the nature of this competition. It is a great atmosphere you can’t not run good. This is the first time I have come here and it has been a dream come true for me.
Queen Harrison, was honest in her reaction and fascinating to see how the nature of the event changed her mindset: “I was confident, wanting to win but with the hurdles you need to be fast and you need to clear a hurdle efficiently. I was generating so much speed that I clipped a hurdle with the bottom of my leading leg. However in the back of my mind I remembered that this is a team event and every point counts. I was pretty much in last place going into hurdle two, so I needed to finish strong and put as many points on the board for USA”
Raevyn Rogers (USA) won the 800 from Britain’s Adelle Tracey. The race was built on a slow first lap with Rogers having the strength and speed to hold off her rivals in 2:00.20. But tonight was about winning, not times.