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John McFall - latest diary from Beijing

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17 September 2008

 

 

Hi everyone,

 

Well, I made it to the Village, but didn't arrive in Beijing until 8 September, which was really late. Macau was super quiet after everyone else left. We were the last group to leave. Kind of nice to get to village and be reunited with everyone again. I've been sharing with Dave (Weir) and Danny (Crates), but then Danny obviously went home, which was such a shame. I was really gutted about that.

 

Arrived on Monday, before my race on Sunday. I was the last track athlete to race. It really felt like I was on the home straight to the Games, it was happening for real. I had a media engagement with Visa, the day after I arrived, which went well, met up with Tanni.

 

Life in the village is really monotonous, I trained at the training track out of the village a few times. Just eat, sleep and train. I went to the warm up track on Saturday to see everything and go through my routine for the race on Sunday morning.

 

Eating was a problem on the day before my race, when I’m nervous I can’t really eat. On Saturday morning, I couldn’t eat but was better later in the day.

 

On Saturday night, I went to bed before Dave came home after the 800m fiasco. Watched the race and I was so pleased for him to win and didn’t know anything about the protest. So, I was asleep when Dave came back quite late. I left him a little note on his bed to say congratulations, but had no idea about what went on that night.

 

On the morning, felt ok didn’t feel hungry or too nervous. Once I got to the track, I was fine. I felt really prepared; my starts in warm up were great. Racing here, I didn’t get as nervous as thought I would. I had prepared myself mentally for it and didn’t want to get too nervous.

 

When they took us out on to the track, it felt I was meant to be there. Everything I had been training for was about to materialise. I just wanted to do it, there was a medal ceremony before my race. Had a good look around the track, sat in the sun for a few minutes. I saw my folks in the crowd, they had big union jacks, they told me roughly where they would be in the stadium.

 

The race wasn’t actually what I hoped, quite frustrating not to run a better race. But I couldn’t pin point one part of the race that was wrong. Would have loved to get Silver but so happy to get a medal.

 

I crossed the line, knowing I got a medal. I was super happy! I couldn’t believe it was over, so quickly! The start was quite hard, because of a couple of false starts. It was a bit difficult to get an aggressive start.

 

I strolled off the track, walked through the mixed zone, talked to the media, then got ready for the ceremony.

 

The stadium was jam packed with people when I got ready to receive my medal. It was so busy, I couldn’t believe it! Just amazing.

 

When I came off the podium, there was no one to speak to and just walked off on my own with my medal. It was really surreal, really surreal!

 

I met up with my parents soon after, saw my Dad first. Then it kind of all kicked off. I had a few tears. That was it, job done!

 

Now, I've got a few days with the rest of the team, then I'm going to get ready to set off on my trip across China first, then next stop Mongolia. I should be back home in mid November.

 

Can't wait! 

 

John