August 21 & 22: Track & Field and Track Cycling

The secret to getting a good night's sleep during the day is to just keep going. In the spirit of supporting the Olympic effort, what better way to refuel than to have a cold one (Heineken--Official Grand Sponsor of the Olympic Games) first thing in the morning (7:54 to be precise)?
Heineken has a nice patio bar setup atop the Main Press Centre (MPC) next door to the IBC. It opens at 7 AM (perfect!) and offers these views of the IBC and the Olympic stadium beyond.

Here's your ticket for this morning's Athletics Track & Field events at the stadium. Cost: 15 Euros.

Inside the stadium here's the view (below) from your seat. Unfortunately, the seat is in the sun (and you thought they had completed the roof over this stadium) so we're going to sneak over to some seats in the shade. Try not too look too conspicuous.

Now in the shady section, this is a look from the stands at the starters in round 1 heat 3 of the womens' 400 meter hurdles. Brenda Taylor is in lane 4 for the U.S., and will run counterclockwise once around the track, jumping over 10 hurdles along the way, in just under 55 seconds.

At the finish line, it's Ionela Tirlea-Marolache of Romania finishing first. Taylor comes in a close second. She will continue on to the semifinals the next day (where she'll finish 4th, and go on to the finals)

There are a total of 5 heats in this event this morning, with 7 starters scheduled in each. At the end of the last heat, the carts, at right, come out and remove the hurdles from the track; they'd be in the way for the next track event, the womens' 400 meter sprint.
In the center of the picture, there's another event going on; the mens' discus throw qualifying round. There's someone winding up inside the net right now, quite literally.

Below, the finish of round 1 heat 2 of womens' 400 meter sprint. Monique Hennagan, in lane 4 wins (go USA!) with a time of 51.02 seconds. (She came in first again in her semifinal matchup the next night, and moved on to the finals)

In lane 2 below, American Sanya Richards prepares for her heat in the 400 meter sprint.

She won, below at right, moved on to semifinals, and did well enough there to run in the finals on Tuesday August 24th.

time now for us to get some Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Later that night, at work, we had a taste of home when popcorn, candy bars, M&Ms,

along with cold cuts and bagels arrived. The quality of the catering here has been uneven, so little treats like this go a long way.

In addition, the bosses seem pleased with the ratings for our Olympic coverage so far, and we got a nice rah-rah letter from the President.....of NBC Sports.

More fun stuff on the next page as the 2004 Caffeine Olympics continue!

Click to go back to Jeff's Athens Homepage