Saturday, September 01, 2007


The above photo is of Craig Mottram running in the heats of his event at Osaka last Thursday. Doesn't he look fit and ready for the next race!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening as Craig Mottram will be running the final of the 5000m. Such a time for Australian Athletics and having the race here, my adopted city, is all the more exciting. The Stadium where it will be held is less than 20 minutes from my house here in southern Osaka and I often go there for my speed-work sessions.

How is the hype in Australia about this race? I'm sure my fellow bloggers will be watching tomorrow. I would have gotten tickets and gone to see it had anyone of you wanted to come over and see this race but as I'm the only one here, at least among my family and friends, that really is interested in this particular event I will just watch it on TV like you guys. I did try to get a ticket to the stadium for this, this morning but they already stopped selling them and at $200 AUD a ticket my wife was happy they had.

Anyway, good luck Buster!!

Just a note it will be 36 degrees tomorrow here and probably around 30 degrees when Craig runs in the early evening. The Marathon girls start at 7:00am and by 9:00am it will be close to the max for the day, they will find it all the more difficult. Still they all must have trained with this in mind.


  1. Not a great deal of hype in Australia about Buster....but then again not a great deal of hype about the World Championships. Unless you were an athlete yourself or were involved in sport (like us runners) you wouldn't even know they were on!!!

    Can't wait to see Craig race. His heat was exciting and still only a heat. He seemed to be keeping himself in check so I am interested to see what he will do when the medals are up for contention.

    Good Luck Craig!!!

  2. Yes Scott I will be sitting on the edge of my seat watching Buster on Sunday night. It makes me really nervous when I see those little stumbles and trip-ups as there ws in the heat.

    I agree with Clairie, there is not much hype surrounding the whole championships here in Australia.

  3. Well, the big news is the Joey Johns' drug confession.

    However... any bastard who knows anything at all about sporting achievement will be glued to the tele tonight. SBS have promos saying "watch Craig Mottram bust a move"!

    Just watching the marathon. The girls are through 10k in 36:23. Does look warmish - 28+. Very exciting. I can see why marathons are so popular. Amazing crowds.

  4. Welcome Back, your holiday pics look great.

    Just finished watching the marathon, great race!. The 3rd placed runner from japan was very inspiring many others would have given up.

    Can't wait for tonights race with Mottram, however for some reason I have a feeling that he will be beaten. Lets hope I eat my words and he comes away with the gold.

  5. Just finished watching the 5000m race. Of course it was great to watch but seems like Craig wasn't able to show his true potential.

    If anyone hears watch he says about that race please let me know.

    And Shane sadly your prediction came to be! What was that "for some reason" was it a itchy left testicle? I get that too but I'm no Nostradamus!

  6. I found this comment myself about Buster's 5000m race in Osaka. He says:

    "There is obviously a problem there, I don't know what though,"

    "I haven't felt right for the last couple of weeks.

    "Physically there is something not quite right."

    The winning time was almost 15 seconds slower than at any previous world championships, which played right into the hands of the fast-finishing Lagat.

    Mottram and his coach Nic Bideau were grasping for answers to the sub-par performance immediately after the race.

    "I just couldn't go. I don't know what to say , that is the only thing that has happened," said Mottram, who claimed the bronze medal in the corresponding race in Helsinki two years ago.

    "I went to the front which doesn't bother me, I'm happy with that.

    "Usually I can wind it up and wind it up when I feel the pressure coming, but I just couldn't go.

    "I wasn't comfortable running 66 or 67 (second laps) and then you have to go to 60s and it's hard.

    "But I will come back - it will be alright."

  7. Must've been so exciting with the champs happening there. And it gave all of us back here a chance to check out a little bit of your city.

    PS Yes, Manly is very nice. The place that is, not the rugby league team.

  8. I was hyped, sitting alone in my loungeroom, until I was despairing sitting alone shouting come on, run faster you long legged big mizunga but to no avail! I felt terrible that he had to explain his run during the post race interview when he was obviously disappointed. Next time.

  9. I nearlly had to close my eyes because I couldn't stand to watch him fall behind! But, everyone has bad days, and it sounds like he is having a bad couple of weeks - sometimes it just doesn't fire.

    But, he will come back (and there's plenty of time for the Oly's).

    Doesn't Buster interview well - one of the good members of the team I reckon!

  10. the result was a damn shame!

  11. Thanks for your comment Scott.

    Most of Sydney has a public holiday today (Friday) due to (thanks) to the APEC meeting so it is a long weekend for those of us in Sydney. The rest of the State however has to work :-)

  12. Buster wrote a column in the Tele. I found it on CR Australia:

    "THIS column is not about excuses. I want to stress that from the beginning.

    I know your first instinct will be to think the exact opposite, that is human nature, and you're now expecting this is to be Craig Mottram's spin on what happened in the 5000m final at the world championships.

    What I am doing here is admitting to a lie and providing some facts which played a part in the Osaka disaster.

    I'm not hiding from the fact that I finished 13th. I have to live with that.

    I have to cop it on the chin and I know that is the beauty about sport, sometimes it doesn't go the way you want it to.

    I know everyone back home in Australia has been wanting to know what happened? Well, here it is.

    The training mishap which everyone saw thanks to an SBS camera crew being present in London on the eve of the world champs wasn't just a hamstring spasm as my coach Nic Bideau told everyone.

    I actually tore my right hamstring. Within 24 hours of doing it I had flown to Ireland for treatment with renowned physiotherapist Gerard Hartmann. He said it was a three-week injury, but with the world championships beginning the following week I needed a miracle.

    He worked on me for four days before I was allowed to go for a 20-minute jog. It felt sore after that and I stayed in Ireland for another three days before flying to Japan on the Wednesday. The semi-finals of the 5000m were on the following Thursday.

    We decided not to tell the truth about the injury because we knew it would snowball. I needed to try to focus on getting to the start line and not be answering questions about it every day.

    I knew I couldn't go into the championships saying my hamstring was no good and I don't think I can win because then you actually give yourself no chance.

    I still had to go in there believing I could win.

    Once at my Japanese base in Chiba we decided that D-day for the hamstring was on the Sunday when I would do my first track session since the incident in London.

    Nic reported to everyone afterwards that it had gone well, but in reality "well" meant that I had actually got through it. There was nothing mind-blowing about it, I just made it around without doing the hamstring again.

    It did give me some confidence because I didn't want to go to Osaka and start in the semi-final and have to pull up after four or five laps. All I wanted to do was race as best I could in what was a very sticky situation.

    We also thought that the hit-out in the semi-final might actually bring me forward for the final which was three days after on the Sunday, the final night of the meet.

    Unfortunately, I knew after the semi-final where I finished fourth that I was in trouble. I was forced to work very hard in that race when in normal circumstances I would have cruised through.

    But still I tried to stay positive. When I stood on the start line for the final I was mentally ready to run the best I could and I knew that if I could do anything near that I'd be in the mix.

    But that didn't happen. I was embarrassed running those last couple of laps but there was nothing I could do. I was trying but I just couldn't go. I didn't have the gears, the ammunition I would have liked to have had and it showed.

    The key sessions we missed had left me powerless and my race fitness had dropped dramatically.

    Plus my body hadn't been given the chance to adjust to the extreme heat and humidity of Osaka.

    Just a couple of weeks earlier I had been wearing beanies and gloves in Ireland - not exactly the ideal preparation, so in hindsight it is no real surprise my body didn't have time to adjust.

    I have always said that 99 per cent of the battle in winning these championship races is getting to the start line physically fit and mentally ready to race and I didn't do that.

    I can accept that because we did everything we could. I know I have copped some criticism for it because I was one of the favourites given how I'd beaten most of those guys during the year in Europe.

    That's fine, I understand that but the perception from some commentators that I am too confident, that I didn't deliver again and had been talking myself up is crazy.

    To be an elite athlete you have to have confidence in your ability. I have never stood up and said I am going to win this or do this against the Africans. I am not that stupid.

    I have always said I am going to try to win and try to do the best I can. That's not arrogance, that's just self-belief.

    I can't be sure it won't happen again but what I am going to be doing is trying my best to be in a position in Beijing next to year to live up to my ability and we'll see what that brings."

  13. Thanks for that Ewen.

    I didn't doubt he had a reason, glad to hear this from him though. He is a good spokesman for the sport and of course himself.

    Also I thought the heat had something to do with it, like I said to you it was hot as hell here that day and training in Europe didn't make sense before I knew about the injury.