The Finishing Line (credit: Philip Gristwood)
Today was the second day of the World Champs Middle Distance, a colossal step up for drama, crowd size, and sheer noise compared to Tuesday's qualification races. Wednesday's long distance finals were noticeably big and noisy: today's Middle Distance Finals even bigger and noisier. There must be every chance that tomorrow's relays will be even more intense. If Norway are in a close race for a medal expect that, as the phrase goes, "it will be so loud you can't hear yourself think".
The women's race was first, and Norway didn't win a medal, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg being two seconds off making it a three-way tie for the bronze. But in the men's race Olav Lundanes got his second gold of the championships, and Magne Daehli won the bronze.
It was an arena start, there was a long "dead-running" arena passthrough, and a long run-in so the crowd saw plenty of the athletes. And the athletes could see and hear plenty of the crowd and commentary. The latter gave little away about the course but did loudly update the leading runners on how many seconds ahead or behind they were.
Perhaps it is a really difficult environment in which to deliver a best performance?
Gustav Bergman. Credit: Rob Lines.
Peter Hodkinson at the start. Credit: Philip Gristwood.
Ralph Street. Credit: Rob Lines.