Glorious sunshine, streaming in through the gap in my curtains woke me this morning. Brilliant, I thought! A day of athletics at the BT Paralympic World Cup, and a big portion of my annual vitamin D was on the cards. The drive into Manchester with windows down and Prodigy’s “Out of space” playing on XFM was all too good. Something had to go wrong somewhere, didn’t it?
Upon arriving at the Regional Athletics Centre, Sport City, I suddenly realised that I’d be spending the day shooting into the sun. Focussing on harsh shadows moving towards me rather quickly, debating whether to expose for the highlights or the faces, and squinting until it hurt for the entire day. The sun at this time of year is indeed, more or less directly overhead alas not quite as much as I needed. Still, I thrive on challenge.
Personal records tumbled throughout the day, and British runner Graeme Ballard set a new world record of 25.12 seconds in the T36 Men’s 200m event. A tremendous achievement for a cerebral palsy athlete. The penultimate event of the day saw South African, Oscar Pistorius, leave his competition in the heat haze and romped home to victory unchallenged in the T42/43/44 Men’s 200m.
I spent the weekend at Manchester’s Sport City athletics track, with Action Replay Photography to cover the UK Youth Athletics League Finals. Teams from throughout the UK were involved over the two days, with many future hopeful medal winning athletes participating.
Photographs may be purchased directly from Action Replay Photography
The highlight of interest in the schedule on day four, was of course the goalball exhibition match between GBR and Sweden. I’d never even heard of the sport, before doing this event, let alone shot it. So a learning experience for myself was on the cards. What an experience it was! The sport is very difficult to get meaningful photographs from, as the distance between the two teams is great, and the visual action not all that exhilarating. Credit where it is due though, the athletes (whom are blind and blindfolded) have fantastic hearing and co-ordination skills.
Today, was purely basketball. I thought there was a goalball exhibition match on.. but was getting ahead of myself, as it is tomorrow.. so keep an eye out for that one! Four games shot today, which covers every team in the tournament, both men’s and women’s. I have a growing admiration for the talents of these athletes!
Day two of the BT Paralympic World Cup saw the start of the football competition. The first game up was Team GB v USA. The game is slightly modified to be 7 a-side, and a little shorter at 30 minutes per half. The athletes entered suffer with cerebral palsy.
Today marked the beginning of an important weeks sporting events in the paralympic calendar. To start off the BT Paralympic World Cup, was the athletics, taking place at the Sport City athletics track in Manchester. Many famous names were lined up to take part, in particular, one Oscar Pistorius (South Africa). He is of course, known for his controversial legs, which have proved a head scratcher for scientists and sporting bodies alike.