| All eyes on Usain Bolt at the 200m final
Watching the 100m qualifications live at the magnificent Olympic stadium and looking at the final line-up, I thought Usain Bolt will have it very tough. I was wrong, so wrong!
He powered his way to an incredible finish, silencing his doubters, which, apart from me, included one Mr Michael Johnson, an expert on the BBC broadcasting team. The Sun’s headline said it all: ‘Thunderbolt!’
The whole of Great Britain was celebrating Team GB’s achievements on Super Saturday and Sizzling Sunday.
The pretty Jessica Ennis, who is the face of London 2012, has become the poster girl and the subject of national hysteria after her gold-winning effort in women’s heptathlon. Team GB notched up six golds on Saturday and a couple more on Sunday. Lord Sebastian Coe had looked for “great moments” during the London Olympics, more than medals. He got plenty of it in the last couple of days.
Like Mo Farah, who moved to England with his father from war-torn Somalia at the age of eight, winning the 10,000m gold for GB. Like Oscar Pistorius. It was incredible watching the blade runner in the 100m. Although he finished at the bottom in the final, the fact that he qualified after finishing second in the heats is an incredible story.
My friend Amit Sen and I were back at the Olympic stadium on Monday evening — the Olympic Park area looked even more awesome in the night. It gets dark here around 9.15pm these days and after 10pm, it’s a majestic sight. There are enough food counters, toilets, shops selling Olympic souvenirs etc. and boys and girls go around with boxes selling things like ice cream, water, soft drinks, beers, etc. There are counters and volunteers all over the place helping people with all their queries. Apart from the brilliant sports so far, it has been a fabulously arranged event.
We are off to Manchester to watch the Brazil vs South Korea football semi-final — at the Man U stadium! A Bengali couple we had met in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup have very kindly offered to put us up for the night as the match will finish quite late. We are back in London on the 8th and will be at the Olympic stadium on 9th evening to watch the 200m finalů and Usain Bolt!
I will then take the flight home happy thinking I was fortunate to witness some magic moments at the Games — the biggest show on earth.
| Brazil celebrate after scoring against South Korea during their semifinal men’s soccer match at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, England
Sometimes dreams do come true. That was the only thing I could think of, sitting amid 80,000 spectators in the Olympic Park on the first day of the athletics events. It was a sight to be cherished and loved and enjoyed. Even the British spectators sitting next to me were claiming that they had never seen an atmosphere like this before.
The Underground was jam-packed but with so many staffers and volunteers to help us, we reached Stratford station from Warren Street without any trouble. After crossing some very thorough airport-like security checks, we reached the stadium. This was it! This was what we had planned for, for the past two years. The atmosphere was absolutely electrifying — and there were beer mugs and fish and chips everywhere!
When the events started, the roar was like when Sourav Ganguly played at Eden Gardens, maybe even louder. This was possibly because British poster girl Jessica Ennis was participating in the women’s heptathlon. She won gold the next day. However, even that was not the high point of my day. That came when I saw an Indian athlete qualifying for the finals in the women’s discus throw and 80,000 people cheering for her. It was Krishna Poonia, who eventually finished seventh in the event. The day ended with the women’s 10,000m final.
The whole day was an unbelievable experience, one that I would never have enough words to describe adequately.
(The writer is a young rower)