Each championship, and any other time that Stuart Weir feels like it, he entertains us with “The Good, the Bad, and the Other…” I love this column.
Oregon 22 – the good, the bad, and the rest
The athletics – so much high-quality competition. Duplantis, McLaughlin, SAFP, Crouser, Mihambo, etc
Allyson Felix – what a gracious superstar and role model she has been. How fitting that she got to run for the last time, twice!
Ospreys – the baby osprey learning to fly. I believe that it must be a requirement that all World Championship hosts have an osprey nest in the stadium.
The unflappable Geoff Wightman – well, nearly unflappable except when he told the crowd, “Jake Wightman wins. He is my son. I coach him, and he is world champion”.
Everyone is welcome – Naomi Akakpo, the only athlete from the country of Togo. Ranked 368 in the world, she was in the same race as world champion Nia Ali and finished ahead of Nia.
Accessibility of athletes – I loved seeing athletes talking to spectators, having selfies, etc., on the stadium perimeter. In how many sports can you go to an event and mingle with the stars?
Stars from the past – how lovely to see Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sanya Richards-Ross, Bob Beamon, etc.
Green Card – Geoff Wightman managed to resist the urge to repeat his favorite joke that officials showing athletes a green card means that they are allowed to work in the USA
Hair – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s hair deserved a medal in its own right. Shaunae Miller-Uibo took silver.
Nia Ali – Nia behaved like a proper champion when she had the misfortune to hit a hurdle and end her title defense with her comment: “Today was a tough break, to say the least. A part of my story nonetheless. It’s important to embrace the good, ugly, and in between. Incredibly grateful for the opportunity to still be competing at this level and looking forward to moving on from here”.
Atmosphere – Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris both told me that the atmosphere was awesome and surpassed their expectations.
Bad luck – I am told the Ashton Eaton turned up to have lunch in the stadium at “Ashton’s Eatins.” It was closed.
Caster Semanya – Sad more than bad. I hated seeing such a great athlete forced to run a 5K and being so far off the pace.
Fairness – Athletes were accommodated in university dorms, sharing bathrooms and sleeping in bunk beds. That is except for the USA team, which was in a luxury hotel. Of course, we all understand home advantage, but this did not seem right.
Eugene – great stadium, great track, great atmosphere, but Eugene was a difficult place for visitors to operate. Media accommodation was either on site but very basic or miles away with transport issues. I knew people driving an hour each way.
You know it is not your day when… Anne Zagre was impeded by Nia Ali’s fall in the 100m hurdles. She was given a chance to earn a place in the next round, running against the clock. She was winning when a hurdle jumped up and bit her.
Duck – When the stadium interviewer described Jenna Prandini as a duck, I wondered how the foreign language commentators translated that!
Distance – It seems that you have to be a distance runner to be a good announcer – Geoff Wightman (marathon), Hannah England (1500), Tim Hutchings (5000), and Jenny Meadows (800). OK, I know Kathy Merry was 400 meters.
Maicel Uibo – I wonder if Maicel gets irritated when announcers keep telling everyone that he is not as good as his wife (Shaunae).
Grace – The American women’s 4 by 100 relay team was amazing, beating a Jamaican team containing three 100 medalists. But I would have loved their post-race interviews to have acknowledged the teams they beat and the tiny margin of the victory rather than banging on about getting the job done.
Legend – I am not the greatest fan of mascots, but Legend was the best since Hero (2017)
Security – there were police, sheriffs, and troopers, whatever the difference between them is.