Search

MB’s Games: The London 2012 tears that are hard to brush off

14:34 08 August 2012

Newmarket javelin thrower Goldie Sayers shows the pain as she gives everything to compete through injury at her home Olympics.

Newmarket javelin thrower Goldie Sayers shows the pain as she gives everything to compete through injury at her home Olympics.

Sometimes sport wears you down into a big softie – and the Olympics has certainly done that on regular occasions over the last two weeks.

I would have put it down to the lack of sleep – but then there was something special in the air when Norfolk’s Colin Oates lit up Excel Arena on only the second day of competition, so that’s probably just an excuse.

It’s not just the journalists (I’m assuming it’s not just me) – the intense reaction of Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez on taking top step of the 400m hurdles podium on Monday night said everything you need to know about the release of emotion when it all goes the way you dreamt it would the night before.

But of course, it’s not just the highs of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, Oates and Ogogo that make everyone leap out of their seats, bite their quivering lips and rub away the trickling tears.

Hardest of all are the tears that signal devastation.

Personally I’ve seen them twice over the course of these Games.

The first belonged to Emma Pooley. Far from shame or falling short – more based on giving everything against every obstacle, and not quite being done the favour by London’s anti-elevation she could have been.

When you are here getting the merest of insight into appreciating their every drop of pressure, focus and adrenaline, you don’t avoid sharing a fraction of their pain.

It is only the slightest but still ultimately overwhelming shard of pain you get – one fractured directly from the athlete’s shattered dream.

Having had a few days out, Pooley will no doubt feel a bit better about her London experience – but I expect it will take Goldie Sayers a little longer to recover from her heartbreak on Tuesday.

The Newmarket javelin thrower has plenty of connections to Norfolk – including Norwich throwing coach Tim Newenham and running a host of coaching sessions for youngsters at the University of East Anglia’s Sportspark.

In the form of her life at the UK Trials in June, breaking her own British record, she also tore an elbow ligament.

The fact she made it out into the Olympic Stadium to compete was an achievement in itself – but I’ve lost faith in there being such a thing as a consolation at the Olympic Games.

“I’m absolutely devastated…” said Sayers in the mixed zone, before the tears got the better of her – and not for the first time as she took on interview after interview, a matter of minutes after the most crushing disappointment of her life.

Those moments are a window into every insecurity, doubt and emotional trauma these athletes have had to deal with. It’s affecting to be so close to it.

I just hope Goldie gets to sample the other side of the tears in Rio.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 16:46
Hashen Ramanyake scored 96 and took four wickets for Highgate in their win over Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hashen Ramanayake and Ed Foster bowled Highgate to victory as the Division Three table-toppers stretched their lead to a commanding 22 points in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 05:45
Jack Wilshere of Arsenal during the 1st team photocall at Emirates Stadium on July 28. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere will be missing for ‘a matter of days’ and could face West Ham on Sunday after suffering an ankle injury in training.

Sunday, August 2, 2015
Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on during the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Arsenal. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has shrugged off Jose Mourinho’s claims that only one side set out to attack in the Community Shield.

Most read sport

Competitions

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder