Backstraight Boys (& Girl) Athletics Chat

Backstraight Boys (& Girl) Athletics Chat

Join Jody, Bayo, and Claire each fortnight as they discuss athletics' hot topics, cover live events, and host stars of the sport in longer interview specials. Hit 'subscribe', give us a rating, and join in the conversation on Twitter: @BackstraightB and @Claire_GThomas.... Show More

Episodes

June 25, 2020 62 min

Sprint queens, step aside (for one week only, please; we still adore you): the jump queens are in town, and it's been a total hoot.

When we say 'in town', we mean on a Zoom call with us, for a lockdown special featuring two of our favourite Team GB athletes - the wonderful Morgan Lake and Jazmin Sawyers. Not only are these two international medallists, articulate podcast guests, and major fans of the sport itself, but th...

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It would be remiss to talk about anything else right now, so - here it is - a Backstraight episode with neither bells nor whistles: just a discussion of this essential global movement away from racism and towards equality. 

To help us sift through this weighty, complex topic, we're joined by two incredibly knowledgeable former athletes: Chris Lambert - whose impassioned, articulate writing has inspired and educated thousands of ...

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WHAT a cliff-hanger that was. Aren't we wicked?

But - great news - Bayo is back, and so is Denise, and we're ready to pick up where we left off: approaching the 2000 Olympic Games.

Just in case you don't know how Denise got on in Sydney (although the episode title does contain a slight spoiler in that regard), we won't ruin the surprise here, but her recounting of the competition makes for a cracking listen. That said...

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From Wolverhampton to the top of the podium in Sydney - via a handful of Commonwealth titles and records, a pair of World silvers, a couple of take-off leg changes, and the opportunity to compete against some of the greatest multi-eventers to have ever donned a pair of spikes - Denise Lewis has some cracking stories to tell.

So many, in fact, that she spoke with Bayo for two hours for this interview special, and we made the decision...

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We say this with love - enormous amounts of it - but Christian Taylor is a serious over-achiever. 

Double and reigning Olympic Champion, four-time and reigning World Champion, seven-time and reigning Diamond League Champion, and the second best triple jumper of all time. He's also a 45.07 quarter miler, has a gold medal from the World Relay Championships, and is using his platform and influence to benefit his fellow athletes, th...

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Adam Gemili likes to break records. When he produced a dazzling 9.97 in 2015, he became the first British athlete to dip below the two hallowed barriers of men's sprinting. When he scorched past several of his competitors down the back straight of the Olympic Stadium in the 2017 4x100 final, he helped Great Britain to their first ever global title, and a whopping national record. When his funding was reduced to that of a relay ...

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Does Caster Semenya have the raw speed to challenge the world's best over 200 metres? Does Britney Spears..? As the Olympic Games are postponed for the first time in their history, and Mark Dry receives the same length of ban as Ruth Jebet, the world - it seems - has truly gone mad.

The only constant right now is that Mo Farah is embroiled in drama, as a new Panorama documentary airs, and his name makes headlines once more. At l...

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We'll level with you: this might be a middle distance special, but it's the length of a marathon. It's an hour and forty-eight minutes of athletics chat, including four substantial interviews with a quartet of Great Britain's finest current 800 and 1500 metre racers. You could get half way through the responsibly-spaced queue at your local Tesco's in that time.

'The optimal length for a podcast episode is bet...

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Mondo Duplantis is making history at whim, Jemma Reekie has stepped out of Laura Muir's shadow and is eating national records for breakfast, and Jessie Knight is laughing in the face of her own previous bests. Oh, and Joshua Cheptegei just dropped a 12:51 5km on the roads in Monaco. 2020 looks set to be epic.

Claire's back with the boys this week, with all of the above covered, plus plenty of shout-outs to other Backstraight...

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It's an Olympic year. Mondo has already broken a World Record. Jemma Reekie has broken three British ones. Jeanette Kwakye and Jon Mulkeen are on the pod. Goodness gracious, 2020 really is off to a fabulous start at Backstraight HQ.

We've had a wonderful couple of months off, but are back with an absolute bang, and thought this would be the perfect appetite-whetter ahead of what ought to be a sensational year of running, jum...

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Radzi's back. He's an expert and a professional, who covered - with great warmth and nous, we might add - many of this year's major events. This recording should be plain-sailing... right?

Of course not. Radzi thinks Kipchoge's sub-two was a phenomenal athletic performance. Jody and Bayo think it's a gimmick. Chaos ensues. He also thinks Christian Taylor might be his Male Athlete of the Year. Claire 'Keep it ...

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Was Eliud Kipchoge's sub-two marathon an extraordinary athletic achievement? Or was it a technology-doped gimmick? Could it be viewed as both? A little late to the party, perhaps, but full of opinion as ever - we took a look at his history-making run through the streets of Vienna.

Within 24 hours of that, Brigid Kosgei was smashing Paula's time in Chicago, and so fell one of the greatest statistical outliers in the sport: th...

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We've had a lovely, restful month off. Unfortunately, the IAAF haven't. They've been busy chopping the triple jump, steeplechase, discus throw, and 200 metres from the 2020 Diamond League. Honestly. You couldn't make it up. Taylor v Claye? Meh. Noah Lyles? We've had enough charismatic sprinters. World records? Completed it, mate. Some of the best discuss-throwers in history? Throws leave people cold... right?

The...

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Where do we begin..? With the empty seats? The fainting marathon runners? Alberto Salazar's ban? With the DQs that were and weren't? Or the fact that we missed experiencing Mihambo's 7.30m live because it was necessary to watch (another) Mo Farah montage?

OR - how about we talk about the world records? The African fans roaring on their athletes in the distance events without stopping dancing for even a second? The women ...

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We’ll level with you. We completely and utterly lost control of this one. Like Eilish McColgan in the British Championships 5000m this year, it set off like a train, and we never stood a chance. We invited Radzi Chinyanganya along to help us preview the 2019 World Championships, figuring that his professionalism would lend polish and structure to our usual ramblings. To our absolute delight, he completely failed in this respect; Ra...

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The 2019 Diamond League has finished, British Athletics have named their team for the World Championships, and the gang's back together! Oh - hang on - Bayo's running late. Close, but no coconut. Regardless: what an exciting time of year, and how bloody amazing does it feel knowing we've a British women's 100m Diamond League Champion? 

With Doha just around the corner, it's time to ponder how revealing those Zuri...

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Newly-crowned British 100m Champion, Ojie Edoburun said something very wise to us this weekend: ‘you can be a circuit guy, or you can be a championship guy.’ 

Now, in an ideal world, you’d be both, but that’s no easy feat, and it’s a rare old athlete who’d pick Diamond League consistency over the chance to etch their names into the history books, and clinch silverware when big performances matter the most. 

The British Champs aren’t ...

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Claire's away 'doing rugby in France' (close enough, lads; she's been in both Portugal and West London, and is now - terrified - hitting 'publish' on an episode the boys promise needs only a cursory tidy up in edit...), leaving Jody and Bayo to look ahead to this weekend's British Championships. 
 
Last year, we all agreed that the trials were one of our favourite events of the season: brimming with fierce...

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We've two guests this week, and they're on for very different reasons. Double European U23 Champion and enormous talent Jemma Reekie is back (we've had her on before. We adore her), to discuss her history-making exploits in Gavle. Rabah Yousif? Well, he's on because he... Oh - hang on. Scrap that. We mean Youcef Zatat. Or do we..? Basically, British Athletics had an administrative shocker in Bydgoszcz, naming the wr...

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We've recorded 50 episodes! How on earth has that come about? Thank you *so* much to those of you joining us on our error-strewn, star-sprinkled athletics' romp to date. We've loved every minute of it (especially when Jody made the pacemaker his Fantasy Diamond League captain...).

Claire's been away covering the Netball World Cup, but these major international meets don't journalise themselves, so Jody and Bayo h...

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