My first day as Video FQR included the men's 100m semi-final and final events, the most popular of them all. The big surprise of the semi-final was Tyson Gay not qualifying. I knew he'd be a tough grab. I saw him come down the steps of the broadcast mixed zone, defeat in his eyes. I tried to get his attention but he didn't immediately respond. After he took a couple of steps past me, I offered my condolences and again asked the Razorback (he went to Arkansas) for a word in a polite manner. The college reference and calming tone got him to turn around and stop for me. I asked him about his rough start from the blocks and how he feels about the upcoming 4 x 100m relay. Pretty much he said there were no good excuses for the race and he still felt confident in his team for the relay.
The men's final was later that night. We all know what happened there. Usain Bolt destroyed the field with ease while setting a new world record. He was the last guy through the mixed zone with a long time passing between him and the others. The largest group of journalists I've ever seen was crowded about 15 feet from me, while I had just one reporter to each side of me. Still we had to share the interview with Usain as he passed. I was able to get one question in and held out the microphone for the other questions. My neighboring reporters and I helped each other out and it worked fine. The excitement of preserving the words of such an historic triumph made working with the others an easy decision.
Here are the other athletes I interviewed this evening...
Men's 100m: Richard Thompson (silver) and Walter Dix (bronze). By the way the college reference worked on Dix too.
Women's Shot Put: Valerie Vili (gold)
Women's 800m: Maria Mutola, Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei
Men's Long Jump: Andrew Howe
Women's 100m: Muna Lee, Debbie Ferguson, Lauryn Williams and Torri Edwards
Men's 400m Hurdles: Angelo Taylor, Bershawn Jackson and Kerron Clement