Thu, 26 Aug 2004

Spanish triathlon disaster

This morning I met with a few of my team mates before going to work to watch the Athens triathlon on TV. Spain had a nice team, Iván Raña, Eneko Llanos and Xavi Llobet, and specially Raña was called to fight for the medals. There had been a bit of controversy in the Spanish triathlon world about Xavi's participation in the team, as many people thought Javi Gómez-Noya should have been selected instead of him, but Xavi's mission was exclusively to help Iván in the cycling segment so he could save his legs for the run.

The swimming segment went very well, and the three of them came out just a few seconds after the leader. Everything looked promising, until Xavi got to the steep ramp in the cycling circuit. The 22% slope made him lose contact with the group of his team mates, and he couldn't do his job at all. Iván didn't have his greatest day either, and the gap between his pack and the leading group started to get bigger and bigger, until they started the run with around two minutes lost. Even so, Iván should have gained a few positions, as he's one of the best triathletes in the running segment, but again he sunk and lost more time with the leaders, two Kiwis and a Swiss. Eneko ended a few positions in front of Iván. We know triathlons are many times a roulette and many things can happen, but this result was totally unexpected.

So, with this deception we went to our working places, and when I got back home I was able to see how the Spanish basket team was beaten by the Dream Team, which isn't close to a dream team anyway. Lovely Olympic Games...

Athens 2004

The week I was in Oxford I couldn't follow the Olympics at all, but since I've come back home, I've been tracking them quite closely. On Tuesday I saw one of the best handball games I remember. Spain vs. Germany, which ended with the latter winning on the penalty round, after two extra times and lots and lots of emotion during the last 25 minutes of play. That same day, El Guerruj finally won his gold medal in the 1.500 race, a result many people were hoping for, as he's a living legend and had deserved the medal two times already. And to end the day, Isinbayeva's great pole vault jumps winning the gold medal and breaking her previous world record. Olympic days like these are great.

Today was the women's triathlon in the Olympic Games. Spain had some chances of being on the podium, but the cycling segment was too tough for Pili Hidalgo, and Ana Burgos couldn't do much about the big gap the leading group made in the swim. With such hot temperatures and that very tough cycling (there's a ramp of 23% or so), the men's triathlon tomorrow promises to be very open and interesting. Let's hope Ivan Raña is a bit lucky and can be at the top positions.