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You couldn’t write that script

Sun 5th August 2012

Photo of Steve Cram speaking to Brendan FosterI just heard Brendan Foster say that “you couldn’t write that script” referring to last night’s British Olympic athletic haul of three golds within an hour. But that’s nonsense. You literally could write that script. There were three British athletes at the peak of their abilities, competing within the same session of the Olympics. Writing a story where all of them win is pretty straightforward.

Jessica Ennis had already built up such a lead in the heptathlon that she would have had to have lost the 800m by at least 13 seconds to not take gold. Only a dramatic fall or injury could have made that happen. Greg Rutherford was the slight unknown. He won the long jump with a distance he himself admitted wasn’t as far as he’d hoped, but was clear of second place. This story built to a crescendo when Mo Farah launched into an emphatic last lap, stretching the pack and even then sprinting away from the contenders in the last 100 metres.

It all seems too easy. Where is the drama? Hollywood would never pick that up. Farah didn’t trip over on the first lap, lose both of his shoes and make up a 4 minute deficit. Rutherford didn’t ruin things with his loved one, run through an airport to stop her leaving, before returning to jump 8.31m. Ennis wasn’t late turning up to the 800m race because she was saving the world by fighting evil supervillains.

Maybe Brendan Foster was closer than I gave him credit for: you could write that script, but you wouldn’t be allowed to write that script!

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