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Team GB and The Middle Distance..

Another good day at the games! High point Natasha D-S.. oh and the Oscar speech from the Windsurfing chick...

But in a mid afternoon lull in the medal tide I picked up maybe the first really negative whinge. It was Brendan Foster who was moaning (not an original but quite an apt word) about the demise of Britain's middle distance running. He was mean, harking back to a golden age, when we were good.

Now I don't wanna cause a fuss but I have to take issue on a number of levels. First- I was growing up during the alleged "golden age". Yes, those two Olympics in a row with missing superpowers. When Coe or Ovett would often drop out with a cold (I have a soft spot for Crammy so he gets off lightly here). Oh, and yes the golden age took place before the African resurgence (or certainly before the African athletics beast was awakened!)

Second. Look at the changing demographic of Britain. Then look at who is winning medals. Thats consistent.

Third. The "Golden Age" was about skinny white fellas (mainly posh in the mode of Roger Bannister!). Since the early eighties skinny white fellas have other things to take up their weekend hours: skinny white fellas have invented the internet and most of its follow up activities.. and thats got to be more fun than running round Richmond Park for hours!

Brendan- face it. Times change. We may never be the best at middle distance running again. Get over it and start shouting for the lass on the BMX!

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