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...
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.
In the first part of an exclusive interview for the BASC website, Jenny Meadows talks about her achievements over a glittering career and her plans as that career approaches the end.
How did you get started in athletics?
I always used to win every race at my local school sports day so knew I was quick. One day a voluntary coach came into my school to tell us about the new 'primary schools' section of my local running club, Wigan Harriers. I went along that very first Friday evening in January 1989... and almost 28 years I'm still there!
Katarina J-T had a good first day here in Gotzis; three pbs compensated for a weak shot put. Her day 2 was good enough to give her a score of 6308 well over the 6200 required for Rio so I am sure her mum Tracey will have booked her tickets for August along with her sponsor Barrie who are both out here in Austria. Target met but she will need to lift her game to medal in Rio as she was in sixth place.
Jess Ennis's coach Toni was out here with John Lake one of his other multi-eventers. Unlike last year he only had one athlete to look after. Both John and Ashley Bryant had respectable first days and could have been in with a chance of a Rio qualifier. However on day 2 the weather turned from sunshine to showers and the discus (not a strong event for either) didn't produce a pb for Ashley and John was well below par. Perhaps it was the thought of the next event, the pole vault, which unsettled them.