TrackTown, USA: Another exciting day of athletics at Historic Hayward Field. The weather forecast has changed - in a good way. Cooler and a bit of cloud cover in the morning. Perfect for the women's 10000m (6-ish miles) race on the track. There were morning and evening sessions today, and we attended both, as we love the 10000m, Duck-alum/Philadelphia Eagle receiver Devon Allen was racing in the 110m hurdles, and the men were throwing the hammer in the middle of the field!
Our seats for the morning session were our "usual" seats, which afford great views of the entire track.
Lance Deal designed the hammer cage. It can be folded and moved to any location (well, probably not your living room). This cage is usually situated in a field behind the stadium. There is enough room back there for collegiate athletes to throw, but the professionals throw too far - so for the second time, the hammer was thrown inside the arena. As you can imagine, it is a very dangerous sport. After the balls fly and are measured, the sphere is returned to the cage via a remote-control van!
We returned to our motorcoach after the morning session, for a meal and some rest... and to watch last-night's Tour de France! This is a big week for sports. World Championships, British Open and the continuing Tour de France.
The evening session was very exciting! However, our seats in the second row became a blessing and a curse. Tonight was the men's long jump final and the pit was directly across from our seats... which meant this was our view during the long jump:
Athletes are allowed to confer with their coaches during the event! Jumpers were constantly crossing the track - sometimes during races - to get advice from their coaches (several athletes had more than one coach). Why? After every jump? Buddy, if you haven't figured out to long jump by the time you are in the World Championship final, it's too late.
The Greek jumper, Miltiadis Tentoglou led the entire evening, having the top four jumps. On his last jump, Jianan Wang of China absolutely flew into the pit, jumping 8.36 meters to pass into the lead. So exciting! The crowd went crazy.
Having our view blocked for a few hours, everything changed after another fighter jet fly-over getting everyone's attention. It was time for the men's 100m final and was it a good one! The USA took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Gold, Silver, and Bronze! Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy, and Trayvon Bromell! So then our seats afforded us better views:
Speaking of medals... notice Kerley is holding his medal? They are handed out to the racers immediately after the official results are posted. But then there was a medal ceremony (on a podium made to look like slabs cut from trees?)... so are the medals given to the racers just "stunt" medals and they get their real medals during a ceremony? I will try to figure this one out.
Until my next update, where we do it all again, I remain, your USA correspondent.
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