Commonwealth Games 2014 – So much AWESOME!

CWG 2014  - Men's 200m Round 1 Heats

CWG 2014 – Men’s 200m Round 1 Heats

This week I spent a few days up in Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.  I travelled up with my good friend Daz who is also a fellow martial artist and athletics coach.  Daz coaches various athletes in strength & conditioning, sprints and long jump and whenever we meet up we talk non-stop about training/sports and eat a lot!

Due to Glasgow accommodation being totally booked up we ended up staying in Edinburgh with the plan of jumping on the train to Glasgow each day.  As we checked into our hotel we were asked if we were competing in the Games as we were both in training kit.  That totally made my day. Our week at the Games consisted of:

Monday 28th Jul

Men’s prelim hammer throw

Men’s semi final 100m

Men’s final Para T37 100m, 100m, shot put, decathlon 400m & high jump

Women’s prelim triple jump

Women’s semi final 100m, 400m

Women’s final para 100m T12, hammer throw

The highlights of the day was seeing Adam Gemili take silver in the men’s 100 metres for England and the stadium went absolutely ballistic when Scotland’s Libby Clegg won the women’s Para 100 metres.

Tuesday 29th Jul

Men’s semi final 400m

Men’s final 110m hurdles, hammer throw, decathlon 1500m, javelin throw

Women’s final 400m, 1500m, 10,000m, triple jump, heptathlon 200m, shot put

Inspired by the previous evening’s athletics events I decided I wanted to get up early to do some sprint drills in the park.  What made it even better was Daz ended up coaching me and made me go through some sprint mobility drills that he gets his athletes doing which I have to say some of them were flippin’ hard at 8 in the morning!  Daz also filmed me running and sprinting through the park so he could give an assessment on my running technique and talk me through what I need to work on.  Thankfully it wasn’t too bad, if he had ripped into me and said I run like a spider with 6 broken legs I would have probably run behind a bush and cried!  Thanks to the tips that Daz gave me they made a huge difference and I did some hill sprints and flat tempo runs into sprints.  It was a lot of fun and I really loved it, what a great start to the day.

The athletes warm up in the track behind.  I was really excited to see I had been doing the same warm up drills as them!

The athletes warm up on the track behind. I was really excited to see I had been doing the same warm up drills as them!

Daz and I were chatting to the taxi driver on our way to Hampden Park Stadium and he casually slipped it into the conversation that he won silver at the Commonwealth Games in 1982 in flyweight boxing – how cool is that?!  We had a fantastic chat with him (Joseph Kelly) about his boxing career, he went on to go pro and won numerous belts.  Joe also showed us a couple of pics from his boxing days.

Highlights from Tuesday’s events was Laura Samuel of England win a silver medal in the triple jump with a PB, Kenya storm the women’s 10,000m with a gold (Joyce Chepkirui), silver (Florence Kiplagat) & bronze (Emily Chebet) finish.  Jamaica dominating the women’s 400m with gold (Stephanie McPherson), silver (Novlene Williams-Mills) and bronze (Christine Day), William Sharman of England get a silver in the men’s 110m hurdles, Ashley Bryant of England get silver in the men’s decathlon and Laura Weightman of England win a silver in the women’s 1500m.  The biggest cheers of the night were for Libby Clegg’s medal ceremony for winning the para 100m, the atmosphere was absolutely electric and you could feel the love and pride the crowd had for her.  I even shed a tear of joy because the energy in the stadium was crazy!

Wednesday 30th Jul

Morning session:

Men’s prelim 200m Round 1, discus throw

Men’s semi final 400m hurdles

Women’s prelim 400m hurdles Round 1, high jump, long jump

Women’s final heptathlon long jump

Evening session:

Men’s semi final 800m

Men’s final 400m, high jump, long jump

Women’s pre lim 200m Round 1

Women’s final 3000m steeplechase, shot put, javelin throw, heptathlon 800m, javelin throw

Wednesday got off to a flying start for the wrong reason.  I hadn’t set my alarm to wake us up early so we got up late and ended up having to get ready in record time (probably a world record for me) and run from our hotel to the train station, it’s a good thing we’re both fit!  We made it to Hampden stadium with about 1 minute to spare to watch the men’s prelim 200m Round 1 which was the first event of the morning.  We also had really amazing seats for the morning session and were only 5 rows from the front as Daz got the tickets through his athletics club – result!  Jessica Taylor of England got the bronze medal in the women’s heptathlon.

The evening session’s highlights was seeing Greg Rutherford win a gold for England in the long jump, Kenya storming the women’s 3000m steeplechase with a gold (Purity Cherotich Kirui), silver (Milcah Chemos Cheywa) and bronze (Joan Kipkemoi).  Australia’s Kim Mickle throw a Games record in the javelin at 65.96m, Kirani James of Grenada get the gold in the men’s 400m and Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria leave everyone for dust in the women’s pre lim women’s 200m, she went on to win gold later that week.

England went on to top the medals table with 174 medals won during the Games.  There were 58 golds, 59 silvers and 57 bronze medals won.  I would have liked to have seen some of the other events such as weightlifting, boxing, gymnastics and Judo but there wasn’t time and the schedules all clashed with athletics so it wasn’t to be.  It doesn’t matter though because I have found the Games really inspiring and it was fantastic to be part of such a great crowd not only cheering on England and the home nations but ALL the athletes.  Roll on 2018 and Australia!

With the Games mascot Clyde in Glasgow

With the Games mascot Clyde in Glasgow

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