2013 Anniversary Games: Golden summer memories come crowding back at the Olympic Stadium
Friday 26 July 2013
They started filing happily into their seats not long after four o'clock, having made it past the clowns cavorting at the entrance gates – positioned perhaps in case anyone should be seen daring not to smile – and were still there six hours later, possibly wearied by the endless Britpop pumped around the stadium but still revelling in what was.
There were differences. Some easy to spot: London 2013 spelt out the scoreboards in the middle of the arena. Others required Olympic train-spotting badges to pick out – the red, white and blue remote controlled minis deployed to collect javelins and shots were gone. Instead mini-Sainsbury’s delivery vans tore across the in-field.
Three hours after the first of the 65,000 spectators (only actually 5,000 down on the Olympic attendance once media and various other unusable seats are totted up) sat down, the first Briton to receive a roar of approval was the Birchfield Harrier Sally Peake, who juggles a job as a physio for the Football Association of Wales with an athletic career as a pole vaulter. The first event featured Jennifer Suhr , the first of 11 reigning Olympic champions who will compete over the two days of this Diamond League meeting – there is serious business among the reminiscing. Also here was the woman she beat to gold only on countback, the Cuban Yarisley Silva, who is the world leader at the event this year. The Olympic champion and the past two world champions gave the first field a suitably high-class look.
Another 65,000 will return on Saturday when the British interest will be at its peak, although Usain Bolt, after tonight’s 100m, will be back for the final event, the 4x100m relay. Home hopes will centre once again on Mo Farah, with fingers crossed that Jess Ennis comes through her 100m hurdles unscathed before next month’s world championships in Moscow.
“I have great memories of the stadium,” said Farah. “It will be amazing just walking in there and getting the reception. There will be a lot of memories coming back at that point.” He will not be alone in that experience.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Latest in Sport
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Paul Scholes column: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is too good for Arsene Wenger to waste on the left wing
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£27000 - £31000 Per Annum Excellent Benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...