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Published: August 5th 2017
Statue on the path from West India Quay to Canary Wharf
On Thursday, Fletcher left for the Congress at 8-30am. I had a quiet day. I ventured out and walked across the footbridge and down to the Thames at Canary Wharf. It was overcast and extremely windy but I strolled along the banks, watching the various boats and ships travelling the water. I stopped for lunch at Zizzi's, an Italian restaurant with a view of the river activities. Very nice pasta and gelati.
Then it was back to the hotel. Fletcher returned about 6-20pm after a long day of meetings and we went down to the bar for a pre dinner drink. We met up with John Coates who stopped for a chat and then Gunther and Marco De Rosa who works for Dartfish which has developed video performance analysis software. He is Swiss and was very interesting to talk to. Then Fletcher and I went to The Bothy on the Quay for dinner. We had a great meal there.
Friday morning was our chance to go into central London in order to visit the bookshops. We have been given Oyster cards with 45 pounds on them so we used them on the trains. We made our way to Leicester
Fountain in Canary Wharf
Square and then walked along Charing Cross road. We first stopped at Foyles and bought a couple of books there, and then walked to Oxford Street. The rebuilding that is going on there is unbelievable. They are still trying to finish Tottenham Court Underground station which they were working on in October, 2015 when we were here. The Waterstones book shop that used to be in Oxford Street is not there anymore and we walked the whole length without seeing one bookstore! We then turned along Park Lane and eventually stopped for lunch at the Rose and Crown in Old Park Lane. Here the food wasn't all that good. Fletcher's steak and ale pie was mostly gravy and while the filling in my chicken and mushroom pie was tasty the pastry was very stodgy. We should have just had fish and chips. From there we walked down Picadilly to Hatchards, a great bookshop in the traditional style. Here we bought about a dozen books and enjoyed browsing. Then it was on to the huge Waterstones near Picadilly Circus where three more books were discovered. Loaded with plenty of reading we returned the way we had come. At Tower Hill, as
West India Quay
we were changing trains we ran into Kim Symons from Adelaide. We had a quick chat and sent our best wishes to Kurtis Marschal for his Pole Vault competition. Then it was back to the hotel
The bus to the stadium for the opening night of competition left the hotel at 6 pm. Everyone was in a jovial mood looking forward to the championships starting at last.The first event was the preliminary round of the men's 100m and several islanders were running. We saw many people we know and had some good food before it all started. Unlike the last two championships I have been to, there was no fancy Opening Ceremony or performances apart from a small choir. Instead there were several medal presentations to individuals and relay teams who have been now awarded medals from past championships due to athletes being retrospectively disqualified due to drug abuse. This was important for those athletes as they got to experience the atmosphere in the stadium. The men's Long Jump qualifying was on and Fabrice La Pierre just snuck through to the final in 12th place. Unfortunately, Henry Frayne did not make it.In the women's Pole Vault qualifying Liz Parnov
Pretty park near the Thames
went out at 4-35m and only Zoe Buckman got through to the semis in the 1500m. The highlights of the night were Usain Bolt's win in his heat and then the 10,000 metres was sensational. It had everyone on the edge of their seats with the late move by Mo Farrer coming past the Ugandans and Kenyans to win in a very fast time. Wow, what a race!!
If the championships continue as they have begun this will be a great event. The people of London have supported this and it is a sellout, even the morning sessions. The noise and atmosphere in the stadium is unbelievable. We are in for a great 9 days!!!
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