Track & Field – Olympic Reflections

Emily DIAMOND was wonderful in that 4×400 metre Relay Leg where she blasted the GB Team into a strong medal position – just great.  Believe you me this has inspired many Club members toward greater achievement in the future.  After all of the injury scares it showed guts and perseverance to hang in there until her time came and then when it did she really grasped that golden opportunity.  We must realise that in the long history of the Club we have to go back to the 1948 Olympic Games to find the last Bristol & West Olympic Medal winner when the great Jack GREGORY ran in the 4×100 metre Relay Team.  What a performance.   The Olympics started on a lower note for Emily after her stomach upset scare but thank goodness for perseverance.  She got through to the Semi-Finals where that form began coming back.  In the Relay Heats the opening leg was solid setting the base for the team to qualify for that momentous final.  Shifted up to a freer position of third leg in that final she was released to demonstrate her true talent running a truly dominating leg.  Wonderful.

Club Member James and mother, Nicola, an International Long Jumper herself, were also prominent with a constant flow of Facebook messages and photographs to make us all feel that we were there in Rio along with everyone else.  Then Nicola was so up front in the stadium showing her family joy at Emily’s achievement and again at Heathrow where she enjoyed the prime Television position whilst waiting for Emily to come through Customs.  Did all that time in Nike Hospitality spoil you Nicola?

We also of course claim as our own that other great achiever Lily OWSLEY who took Gold in that exciting Hockey final.  Lily scored the first goal to set the team on its way in a tight and tense final.  Mother Jennifer and brother Freddie are current Club Members and of course Lily was a sub 2:10 Under-20 800 metre runner before turning her hand to Hockey as a full time commitment.  Sister Emily was also no mean Sprinter for the Club in her time.

Talking of Club involvement it was great to see past member Scott SIMPSON (Pole Vaulter) in Rio as coach to Holly BLEASDALE.  Watch out for spying television cameras in future Scott – don’t show such disappointment when Holly fails to get over a height.  She did well and you both should be congratulated.

So on to the Paralympics where we have T44 athlete and second ranked in the World Sophie KAMLISH competing.  Spare some time and give her a cheer B&W Members.  Hers is a great achievement as well particularly considering her disabilities.  Congratulations also to her great Coach Rob ELCHUCK for getting her there.  Unsung Coach Rob is also responsible for Coaching a good number of B&W Athletes to a very high standard so thanks Rob and well done.  Sophie joins our other past prominent Paralympians Darren WESTLAKE and Steve BRUNT into the annuls of Club History.       

Mike Strange – 24 August 2016