Thank goodness the sun is shining now - I woke to an enormous clap of thunder and was selfishly worried about my journey to the athletics. Aussies aren't too strong in track and field so I'm thrilled to hear that a number have qualified for tonight's rounds. Marion Jones ran a good heat in the 200m this morning (so did my distant cousin Melinda) so I'll also see her this evenng. I feel so sorry for Marion as her husband/coach has been embroiled in a drug scandal (4 recent positive tests) and had his Olympic accreditation withdrawn - Marion is acting with dignity and supporting her husband but the poor girl does not need this pressure now.
In the stadium we witnessed 200m semi-finals, decathlon events, men's pole vault qualifying rounds, hurdles finals and women's long jump qualifiers. Melinda (the distant cousin who doesn't know me) qualified for the 200m finals but was totally outclassed by Marion Jones and others in the final. The pole vaulters were the ones who amused me that evening - especially the poor guys who couldn't make it over the bar, but because their efforts were so short, didn't dislodge it. I thought one poor fellow would be up there all night - he did a great run up, planated his pole, leapt and I don't know if he had stage fright or what but he didn't let go of his pole and seemed to be swinging in the air for soooo long before he finally had the courage to let go. The Aussie crowd were very boisterous as we had three vaulters in this round - two made the finals.