Sports enthusiast off to Saransk
Posted by Nicki | March 27, 2012
World Athletic Championships
South Korea, Deagu
Sports enthusiast Hannah Palmer from Norwich is off to Saransk, Russia in May for The World Race Walking Cup, and to Barcelona in Spain two months later for the World Junior Championships.
Here she shares her experiences in Deagu, South Korea, during last year’s World Athletic Championships.
“For two weeks over the summer I was chosen to go to Deagu to help with the timing of the World Athletic Championships with Seiko.
We had a team of around 30 people from England and Japan. The team was split up into two to work inside and outside of the stadium. I was inside the stadium! That’s were everybody wants to be because it’s the most exciting of the two.
Heptathlon and Decathlon
You get to see all the major events throughout the day. Men’s and women’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10000m, 4x 100m, 4x 400m, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, women’s heptathlon and the men’s decathlon.
My job for the two weeks was with the transponders’ team, which involved chipping the bibs for certain races throughout the day.
I was in a team of four; before the races start, there is a lot of checking to do with the chips and to upload the data base to two laptops, which needs to be done for each race.
My colleague Sarah and I got to meet the athletes before all the races to hand out their bibs in the call room area and see them going through their paces in the warm-up area.
We then had to double check that they had the bibs on the front, and send them out to their event. It’s crucial to have the bibs on the front, because chip timing is used in the longer events to get split times at the 200m and the finish point. This also tells officials what lap they are on.
After the race is finished all athletes have to go through the media area, and then into the mixed zone where Sarah and I waited to collect their chips off them. Then it’s off for a team meeting to check if the chips have picked up everybody throughout the race at both points, and also to go though the good and bad points of the race.
Bidding for Gold
Throughout the two weeks I got to meet some of our main GB athletes bidding for gold at the London 2012 Olympics, including Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Hannah England, Christine Ohuruogu and Lee Mcconnell. It was amazing to see these athletes throughout the day.
We got to chip the men’s and women’s 800m final, 800m heptathlon, 800m decathlon, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m rounds and finals.
I got to take the chips off Ennis and Farah, and also some high-profile athletes from Kenya, USA, Russia and Jamaica.
It was amazing to watch the 200m men’s final in the stands and the men’s 4x 100m final trackside. I got to see Bolt win both races and to smash a world record!
Even If I didn’t chip some races, I was in the mixed zone to collect my chips, and loads of athletes finishing their events had to walk past me! It was the best place to be…shame we were not allowed to ask for autographs or a photo!
I even got on TV at one point because I was helping out the track team on the finish line - what a moment! I got to watch Bolt sprint past me in the semi final of the men’s 200m, too.
I saw the opening ceremony, which was amazing. Hopefully London 2012 can do better! Sadly I missed the closing ceremony because I was working.
Seeing the Sights
Throughout the two weeks I got to try some amazing food and to see some stunning sights in and around Deagu, and I have made some friends for life, from England, Japan and Korea.
Overall I had the most amazing time, and am so looking forward to my next event!!!
I'm off to Saransk, Russia in May for The World Race Walking Cup, and then Barcelona in July for the World Junior Championships.
Both events are going to be amazing. I can’t wait!”
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