Supporters' Blog

One of our members interviews Svein Arne Hansen, President of European Athletics, covering a range of topics from European Champtionships in the UK, field events in the Diamond League, engaging with young people, and what improvements he would like to see in the sport. The full interview will appear in the next edition of Backtrack.

Which of the current crop of British athletes excite you?

British athletes have always excited me with their honesty and the fact that they bring such passionate and knowledgeable fans and media with them.

Of the current crop of course Jessica Ennis-Hill and the pretender to her crown Katarina Johnson-Thompson are very exciting to watch.

Mo Farah always brings a buzz when he runs. Martyn Rooney excites me over 400m. The sprint hurdlers Lawrence Clarke and Andrew Pozzi have potential to tackle the Americans. Greg Rutherford in the long jump, Dina Asher-Smith has unlimited potential in the sprints and Lynsey Sharp shows great grit and determination over 800m.

And who couldn’t love the drama which always follows your relay teams?!

I vividly remember watching the infamous clash between Zola Budd and Mary Decker-Slaney at the 1984 Olympics, not least because I was fascinated by Budd running barefoot on the track. So I was intrigued when I discovered that Sky was showing a new documentary about the athletes and the race.

Back in 1984 as I was still in primary school the political aspect of the story bypassed me so all I really knew about was “the fall” as a result when this film was announced I was immediately interested to know more.

I settled down to watch SKY Atlantic’s “The Fall” and found it to be one of the best sporting documentary films I’ve ever seen. The Fall isn’t simply about the 3000m final in Los Angeles, it tells the story of how both protagonists grew up and their career journey to LA 1984.

Rembrandt's 'The Night Watchman' is perhaps the best known painting in the refurbished (cost €135m) Rijksmuseum here in Amsterdam; frankly I was unimpressed and preferred the Vermeer's and some of the modern art.  Along with other BASC members we have done our share of museum bashing, walking the streets and canal trips. 

On Tuesday evening there was the opening ceremony in the grassy square by the main museums.  A glitzy event of little relevance to athletics except that compressing the European Championships into 9 sessions across 5 days means no room for the javelin and discus qualifiers in the Stadium so they take place in the same square over the first 2 days.

This year I decided to travel to Birmingham to watch the British Championships at Alexander Stadium instead of my usual annual trip to London to watch the Anniversary Games. My reason for doing this was this years championships had that dash of tension as they also acted as the Olympic Trials for athletes hoping to book their seat on the flight to Rio to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games.

There were many highlights over the weekend, these included...

  • Matt Hudson-Smith winning the men's 400m title
  • Dina Asher-Smith taking the women's 200m title
  • Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan putting recent injury troubles behind them to secure their places in the women's 5000m in Rio
  • Jade Lally booking her place in the Team GB after winning the women's discus title

In the second part of her exclusive interview for the BASC website, Jenny Meadows talks about her training regime and what she would do if she were in Seb Coe's shoes.

What is a typical training day for Jenny Meadows?

I'm an early riser so out for my morning run around 8am. This is followed by stretches and some core work . I then spend a few hours doing admin work, household chores, and some university related work (I'm currently studying a MSc in Sports Marketing & Business Management). I then try to relax and unwind a little before my evening session. Dependant upon what day it is the evening session will be around 2 hours in duration including warm up and cool-down. I then get home round 8.30pm and eat and again try to unwind a little before bed.

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