21 September 2017

Olympic News

Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu narrowly failed to defend her Olympic 400 metres title, having to settle for a silver medal. Starting cautiously Christine found herself in seventh place as she came off the final bend before producing a characteristic surge past five girls to take second place, only 0.15 seconds behind  the winner, Sanya Richards-Ross. Christine’s time of 49.70 was her best for 4 years.

Afterwards Christine said: “I was stunned, I was heartbroken actually. To lose your title like that was tough. Sanya is a worthy competitor though. I felt my shoulders lifting but I thought I still had some time but the line came too soon. I always came here for one thing and one thing only and that was continuing my reign as Olympic champion so I am disappointed. It’s great that everyone has got behind the Games and it’s them who have made this so special. It means so much to us. We really can’t believe it, having so many people getting behind us.”

On the podium was bronze medallist Deedee Trotter as well as Christine and Sanya, all followers of Jesus Christ. Afterwards Sanya, who had finished third in 2008, spoke of “so much emotion. First a sigh of relief – you believe for so long that you can do it and then you actually accomplish it, then a moment of disbelief “Did this really happen, did I do it?” then tremendous joy that I was able to live in the moment and all the hard work paid off.”

Earlier this year Sanya told me about “that peace that you have when you know Jesus. I feel that everything is going to work out for my greater good. I feel it is that peace and understanding and being able to hold my head high when I don’t have the best performances because I know that God loves me regardless of those things and all of my shortcomings.”

Christine was part of the GB 4 by 400 relay team that finished fifth. Sanya and Deedee helped USA take gold in the relay.

Chambers Brothers

ra Coleraine brothers, Richard and Pete Chambers also had to settle for silver when the GB’s men’s rowing Lightweight four claimed second place in an exhilarating race which was lost by just a quarter of a second.

With 500 metres to go they were lying in fourth, but they finished strongly and looked like they might’ve snatched gold with 100 metres left. But the South Africans came powering through to win by a tiny margin.

Despite their disappointment, the crew remained gracious: “Fair play to the South Africans, they won it fair and square,” said Pete Chambers. “We’re gutted – we were unlucky to get silver with those conditions. We’re delighted with silver but we wanted gold.” Richard Chambers added, “We were just fighting, fighting through the whole thing to get ourselves back in contention.”

When I met Pete in the Olympic village a couple of days later, he said that they were initially very disappointed but soon realised that Olympic silver was a massive achievement with which they should be delighted.

The Chambers brothers were interveiwed at the “New Horizon” conference in their home town, Coleraine. Richard says, “We are followers of Christ and rowing is our sport. It is a God given gift and we work at it really hard – we row every day! It is difficult being a Christian on the team but we try to present the gospel through the life we live.” When asked how we can support them he replies, “We were always taught to work hard and we try to do that. We did train for the gold medal but we had to realise that there is something more to life – something greater! Many people are praying for us – keep praying!”

Chaunté Lowe

2012 World Indoor champion, Chaunté Lowe, finished out of the medals in the women’s high jump, only managing 1.97 for sixth place – the same as she achieved in 2008. Chaunté looked comfortable in the early stages of the competition but then failed in her three attempts to clear 2.00. The event was won by Anna Chicherova of Russia with 2:05. Afterwards Chaunté tweeted: “My heart was broke, but I am okay, because God is still God!”