Friday, August 01, 2014

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

1 August 2014

We had a brilliant time at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the beginning of this week. It was very well organised and there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the city. It was great to see the Clydesider volunteers making such an important contribution – and being properly recognised for it. On Monday we attended an extended morning session of athletics at Hampden Park and were lucky to see our local hero, Greg Rutherford (from Woburn Sands), in the long jump, Kenyan world-record holder David Rudisha in the 800m, the amazing David Weir in the T54 1500m, and Scotland's Eilidh Child in the 400m hurdles. The stadium was packed and, even though we were mostly watching heats rather than finals, it was a thrilling experience which finished with a fascinating decathlon pole vault competition won by Ben Gregory from Wales. Watching events like the pole vault or high jump you find yourself genuinely delighted when any competitor manages to clear the bar – regardless of which country they are representing. In the latter stages of the competition, when there are more failures than clearances, any success is truly exciting. On Monday afternoon and evening we were at a long session of badminton at the Emirates Arena. I have never watched badminton before and I really enjoyed it. We could see matches going on simultaneously across four courts and there was plenty to hold your attention, even in some fairly one-sided first round matches. The rallies in badminton tend to be lengthy and dramatic and there is a balletic athleticism to many of the shots. It was great to see some of the smallest competing nations and territories taking part in the mixed doubles – including teams from the Norfolk Islands and St Helena. On Wednesday morning we were back at Hampden Park for a second session of athletics which included the women's high jump and long jump qualifying and the heats of the men's 200m. It was great to be in Glasgow and to see the excitement generated by the games. Waiting in Glasgow Airport for our flight home we saw two young members of the Australian swimming team, being persuaded to pose for photos with their medals by fellow passengers who were thrilled to meet them. You can see a selection of my photos from Glasgow 2014 at:



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