Darts for the Big Guys
I mean, of course, the Shot-Put. The highlights made this event look exciting. No doubt in real time it lasted hours, but the BBC shoe-horned it into ten minutes.

It had everything that defines the modern Olympics; Grunting, a bad loser and a minute winning margin.

The USA ‘athlete’ Adam Nelson chucked first. 21 metres 16cm. Big cheers. “USA, USA”. Smug grin.

Yuri Bilonog from the Ukraine went second. If you wanted to defy the myth that all Eastern European athletes were big and pasty-faced, this wasn’t good evidence. 21.15. Doh. He threw again. 21.15. Doh again. Last throw 21.16. Get in. Oh hang on, that’s the same distance as the other guy.

Inbetween the US bloke had somehow committed a foul on every other attempt. The highlights didn’t show them all, but what they did replay was comical; lots of twisting in the ring then silence as the put rolled down his arm. One time he forgot to let go at all.

The Ukrainian won because, despite the tie, he remembered to throw the thing more often. The American looked crestfallen and sweaty, complaining to the line judge, ungracious with silver. A little joy for the Ukraine to offset their tanking at St James Park.