Helsinki, Finland
Monday 2nd July 2012
So there you have it...the 2012 European Championships are over & I am currently sat in a rather spaced out state, in the team hotel overlooking the port of Helsinki.  It has been a whirlwind of a week, that started with a mixed bag of athletes, hopping on a plane over to Finland after many had endured a rather pressurised National Trials weekend, that was effectively the key component of Olympic selection.

Seven days ago, I flew out from Heathrow, with 86 names on a provisional squad list, that evolved over the course of the flight & even as the week progressed.  Of those 86 athletes some were in buoyant mood having secured their Olympic selection barely 24 hours earlier; others were in the doldrums having seen the efforts of the previous four years crumble to dust as they missed out on achieving a result over the course of a few hundred metres & the rest were walking a selection tightrope, needing to achieve an A standard time to back up a trials performance, or trying to give their body a few extra days to prove to the selection committee that they were deserving of a tube ticket to Stratford, despite having missed the starter's pistol in Birmingham.

Given that the normal Championship selection criteria had been thrown out of the proverbial glazed panel, it has certainly been an emotionally demanding week for all concerned & given that more athletes than normal arrived in a state of disrepair, it has also been a week that has asked a lot in terms of time & effort from the medical team in attendance.  Myself & Dr Noel Pollock, respectively the therapy & medical team leaders, have averaged about 4 or 5 hours sleep a night, trying to co-ordinate a sizeable support team, treat athletes, manage the fall-outs of failed fitness races, counsel coaches & feedback to support teams back in the Brtish Isles.

It has certainly been exhausting, however, the efforts of the team prevailed & the feedback was positive from athletes & coaches alike...but more importantly, we all enjoyed the experience.  & whilst the Championships themselves were not deemed a priority in light of the Main Event taking place in just 4 weeks time, the team still managed to put the hardware on the table.  

Mo (Farah), Robbie (Grabarz) & Rhys (Williams) won gold in the 5,000m, high jump & 400m hurdles respectively, whilst silver medals were won by Jo (Pavey) in the 10,000m, Lynsey (Sharp) in the 800m & the 4x400m men's team in the relay.  Danny (Talbot) completed the set by securing a bronze medal in the 200m.

Now all attentions turn to tomorrow & the announcement of the Team GB Athletics squad for the Olympics & there are some decisions for the selectors to make that are going to be debated no matter what the outcome.  There's no doubt that Lynsey's amazing performances in winning the Olympic trials & medalling here in Helsinki have given the panel somewhat of a headache, given that she still has yet to run the A standard time...but would you vote against the form girl at such a critical time in favour of tried & tested establishment, given the mitigating factors?  It really is a tough call.

All I can say is "Good Luck" to all those awaiting the phone call that could change their lives tomorrow afternoon!

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