Days Out · Sports Thoughts

Para Athletics 2017

On Sunday we travelled down to London to go to the Olympic Stadium to go to the evening session of the World Para Athletics Championships. I bought the tickets ages ago, during last year’s Paralympics, so our anticipation levels were really high. Buying the tickets was really easy – the website highlighted which of the Team GB stars were competing in which session, I chose the Sunday evening session so that we could see Jonnie Peacock compete in the men’s T44 100m.

We got to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in plenty of time, after a quick trip through the gift shop we went and found the Hero Village. This had some stalls running activities, but more importantly was home to the Medal Plaza. No medals are actually being presented in the stadium during the session they’re won in, instead they’re presented later at the Medal Plaza. Just as we arrived they were presenting the medals from the previous evening’s men’s T42 200m final, for GB a gold to Richard Whitehead and a bronze for David Henson. It was very cool to get to see it, but at the same time felt like a shame as we realised that we wouldn’t get to see the medals from our session actually presented to the athletes who won them.

Getting into the stadium itself was so easy, the security was efficient and the entry system had clear instructions to make sure you entered the stadium in the right place. We were in our seats very early when there was hardly anyone else in the stadium.

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It soon filled up though, there were over 30,000 people there – the biggest crowd so far in the tournament. It was brilliant to see the crowds including loads of families with children, lots of them clutching their cuddly toy version of the competition mascot Whizbee.

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The sport was brilliant. We saw such a variety, from our seats we had a fantastic view of the long jump as well as all of the track events. Most of the throwing events were a little further away so I found myself paying a little less attention to them, but there’s so much going on that you can’t possibly watch all of it.

There was so much good sport to watch and enjoy but the highlight was of course seeing Jonnie Peacock race. His heat and his race were both highly tense, even if they did both only last just over 10 seconds! Seeing him set a new record, and win the gold medal was absolutely brilliant.

We had such a great evening. I came away definitely wanting to go and watch more live sport. I’d gladly go back to watch more at the Olympic Park, but also plan to investigate some other venues – locally we have the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham which hosts major athletics competitions, and also other sports – after both London 2012 and Rio 2016 we said we’d love to go and watch some cycling at a velodrome and I don’t want to get to Tokyo 2020 and still not have done it.

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