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The Armchair blog - Young athletics fan Nathan Price on the Olympic weeks ahead

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6 August 2008
What am I most looking forward to?
Everything! I'm still at an age (21), where the Olympics are still fresh and exciting. Beijing will be only the fourth that I can remember.
I have fleeting memories going all the way back to Atlanta, but as a Briton I'm trying to repress the few that I have.
I always enjoy the Olympics, mainly because it's the only time when athletics really is top dog, (even with a the start of the football season just around the corner).
Turning on the BBC at 8am and finding that the heats for the women's 1,500 are on, sitting down gripped by the performance of the young girl from the Federated States of Micronesia, watching all 25 heats and being late for school and in more recent years 'work.'
I really need to find a more sympathetic employer; one who will give me all major sporting events off and still pay me for the privilege.


Home Advantage
As a former mediocre athlete I always keep a eager eye my 'events', so both hurdles events are always a must watch for me. I'm keen to see if home favourite Liu Xang can withstand the pressure of 1 billion people and emulate Cathy Freeman by winning in front of his home crowd.


British Interests
On the British front, Martyn Rooney's (Croydon Harriers) recent 400m form has really caught my eye, breaking the 45-second mark twice in a week in the lead up to the games means he now looks like a genuine medal contender. If only it weren't for those pesky Americans he could be going for gold.
In the women's 400m Britain's Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) Christine Ohuruogu (Newham and Essex Beagles) look likely to medal and both are expected to line up with Heptathlon favourite Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) in one of the strongest women's 4x400m relay teams Britain have had in a long time.
I'm really keen to see how Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers) does in the 100 metres after impressing massively in the trials. Williamson will need to break the 10 second barrier if he's to progress to the later stages but I wouldn't put it past him.
I always enjoy seeing Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) compete, even if it's just to see a worse hair cut than mine. But he'll be dieing it red in Beijing, as it's the Chinese power colour. I wonder if it'll be gold for the medal ceremony. I hope so.
Acclimatising to Games Time


One decision to be made before 8:08pm, 08/08/08, is how to watch all the games. I've trawled the Internet and narrowed it down to three ideas. Turn nocturnal, burn the candle at both ends or just adapt to the navy sleeping pattern of 6 hours on, 6 hours off to catch the morning and evening races.
Hopefully it'll be so much simpler in 2012.
Anyway the athletics all kick off with Kelly Sotherton a week on Saturday at 3am so I'm off to stock up on a well-known energy drink to get me through it all.