Most athletic fans will have heard of Gotzis, the famous multi-events competition, but Gotzis is part of a series of events – another of which takes place in Talence, a suburb of Bordeaux. So we thought we would venture for a weekend in Bordeaux – and see what Talence is all about. There were 13 women and 12 men taking part, unfortunately no Britons, but plenty of talent on show, including Nafi Thiam from Belgium, and Kevin Mayer, the world record holder (set at this event last year).
It was a lovely event – the sun shone which always helps. For those who have been to Gotzis it is very similar – you can wander wherever you like, following the athletes around the track to cheer them on in whichever event they are taking part in. For the men’s pole vault, they even set up the jump right next to the stand, so that the maximum fans could watch, as well as also letting fans sit on the track right next to where the athletes were running up and landing!
It was a well attended event – but not too crowded. We managed to get a seat in the main stand when we wanted to – even if it was just a concrete plinth (next time remember a cushion!). The demographic of the crowd was interesting – approx a third ‘young people’ (under twenties), a third families with children, and then a few older people! The kids were really engaged with the competition, cheering everyone on – not just the French athletes. The programme contained a page of athlete photos for the children to get autographs from the athletes – and the athletes were very obliging in making the kids happy!
A ticket for the weekend was 24 Euros – so 12 euros a day (about £10!), and inside the stadium a coffee was 1.20, an ice cream 1.20 and a beer 2.40 – so everything seemed reasonably priced.
Kevin Mayer did some great individual performances, which kept the crowd happy – but he hadn’t planned on doing a whole decathlon, so missed a few events out. The overall winner was Pierce LePage of Canada, and in the Heptathlon the winner was Nafi Thiam, who had looked to be on for a big score, but seemed to damage her elbow in the first throw of the javelin and therefore lost a few points – but she still ran the 800m, to run out the winner. It will be interesting to see if she can recover in time to compete at Doha.
Overall a great weekend – and well worth a visit to ‘tick-off’ another great event!
Blogger: Jackie S