The Muller Anniversary Games is two days of great athletics in the athletic city of the world, London. No city has put 80,000 fans at night and 50,000 fans in the morning for track and field during London 2012 and near that in London 2017 World Championships. Here’s Stuart Weir’s comments on day two.
London Day 2
The Muller Anniversary Games provided a program of high quality athletics for the spectators. Yet somehow compared to the stellar performances of Monaco – Chepkeoch, Semanya and Miller-Uibo to name but three – it seemed a bit low key. While London had a bigger crowd than Monaco, that they were scattered around a large stadium made for an atmosphere short of Monaco.
Emmanuel Korir set a PR, a world lead and a Meeting Record of 1:42.05 in the men’s 800m. In fact 5 of the top 8 ran PRs. Korir said afterwards: “I am happy because that is a huge performance for me. I set my personal best last year and I wanted to break that maybe next year but I managed it earlier than planned. It’s important to beat those guys because they’re all really strong”.
In the long jump, Luvo Manyonga continued his excellent form with a winning jump of 8.58m. He said of his performance: “I don’t need to close the gap to Juan Miguel [Echevarria]. I just need to do my job and focus on me. We have to meet at work, that’s the only thing I can do. I feel like I am the main man at this stadium. Coming back into a great atmosphere with these fans means so much. I’m heading home tomorrow to prepare for the African Championships but South Africa will have an exciting team for that”.
It was a sad farewell to the London Stadium for Greg Rutherford, who had won Olympic gold in the stadium in 2012.His final season has been hampered by injury and illness and today he could only manage two fouls and a 7.55m. However, he has had a great career winning Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European gold in his time.
He said after the event: “I’m incredibly emotional and I was fighting my emotions the whole way through and this is the problem. If you haven’t had the training to go off the runway it’s so difficult and today I went from three different marks just to make sure I got on the board and it wasn’t really happening.
“When I went to plant on the third jump my ankle was giving me so much grief that I couldn’t push it. It was incredible that everyone got behind me. The reaction of the other jumpers has been amazing because to talk and hug it out today was a lovely way to work. I’ll have one final chance to do that in Birmingham and that will be equally as emotional.
“If you’d have said 10 years ago I’d have had the career I have I wouldn’t have believed you and to have won the medals I have is something I’m really proud of”.
Even Luvo got caught up in it, saying: “Sending Greg off was special and made it an exciting competition”.
Finally, last week I bemoaned the fact that the GB men’s sprint relay team in the World Cup included none of the World Championship 4. Today the “first team” was out and they won with a world leading time of 37.61.