Dean's Olympic Diary: Keep going Kelly, you'll win one day

Echo: Kelly Sotherton - has a lot more to offer Kelly Sotherton - has a lot more to offer

KELLY Sotherton finished outside of the medals in the heptathlon, but she wasn’t far short of personal best.

No-one could have foreseen the Ukranian (Nataliia Dobrynska) performing like she did to win it. In the end Kelly, who I did tip to win a medal, was let down by her two most solid events: the shot and the long jump.

She’s very hard on herself but did appear lethargic on the second day of the competition.

But one of these days Kelly is going to win one of these global titles because she certainly has the talent to do it.

She’s better than the Ukranian who won in Beijing and I urge her to stick to doing the heptathlon, because she’s world class.

I know she’s made noises suggesting she may concentrate on a single event, but unless she suddenly runs 48 seconds in the 400m or jumps seven metres in the long jump she shouldn’t change.

Carolina Kluft did that by swapping the heptathlon for the triple jump and I think that’s disgusting.

She always spoke about her love for the multi event competition, but this time she couldn’t even be bothered to take part, it’s barmy.

She didn’t even qualify for the final of the triple jump, but maybe it’s down to an arm injury or something like that which she hasn’t made public.

> MY heart went out to Paula Radcliffe in the marathon.

After suffering a stress fracture of the femur only a little while ago she was always going to be struggling.

But she went out there and deserves a medal for her bravery.

Many other athletes wouldn’t even have got to start-line when faced with similar difficulties and she’s proved again just how gutsy she is.

She can be proud of what she’s done.

I DON'T KNOW WHO'S THE BEST OLYMPIAN

AWAY from the British side of things, the two most talked about athletes have been sprinter Usain Bolt and swimmer Michael Phelps.

Bolt’s display when winning the 100m was phenomenal. He broke the world record in 9.69 seconds and virtually stopped running with about 20m to go.

It will be a tragedy if he never gets in that shape again though because we will never know how fast he could actually run.

I think 9.59secs is possible for him and that’s just remarkable. For a start there was no wind behind him in Beijing and that straight away means he can go even faster.

Phelps has enjoyed a great games in the pool, winning eight golds.

But is he the greatest Olympian of all time because he’s won more golds than anyone else? I’m not sure, it’s a tough question to answer.

I don’t want to be disrespectful towards swimming because it’s a great sport, but they do have numerous chances and distances to win.

You don’t get that in track and field, and it’s hard to say who is the best.

Obviously Mark Spitz, Steve Redgrave and Carl Lewis immediately spring to mind, but I guess it’s just a case of who each individual likes the most.

> I’m not too sure about the strange things American sprinter Walter Dix has been wearing on his arms!

A couple of other athletes have been using them too and apparently they help your muscles work better. But if that’s the case, why aren’t they wearing them on their legs?

Things like this come and go all the time.

It wasn’t that long ago that runners, like Cathy Freeman, were running in hoods, and also at the Sydney games back in 2000 heptathlon champion Denise Lewis wore a lycra suit in the javelin which covered just one shoulder.

Now the funny thing was that I was also given one of these to wear. I tried it on in front of the bathroom mirror in my hotel room and was too embarrassed to even keep it on in there!

I looked like Spiderman and how you would ever go to the toilet wearing one of them I haven’t a clue!

I actually gave mine away to a former teacher of mine!

At the end of season a few of us get together over on Waterside and have what we call a Jolly Boys Multi Events challenge.

Two years ago he actually turned up for it wearing this kit. He has a big belly plus man boobs and I think it’s probably the funniest thing I've ever seen!

CLAY IS MADE OF RIGHT STUFF FOR GOLD

THE decathlon gets underway on Thursday and my money is on American Brian Clay to get the gold.

I think he could actually break the Olympic record and maybe even the world because it seems to be a fast track out there and that's going to suit his style.

But there's never been a worse time to be a decathlete at this level as the standard is now so high.

At my best I would score 8,600 points which is well into world class but that might not even get you a medal now.

Brit Daniel Awde will be taking part in his first senior championships and I hope he does well.

It's important people don't compare him to myself or Daley Thompson because doing a decathlon is like puberty – you all develop at different rates.

People will tell him to go there and enjoy the experience and that is partly true but he also needs to take it by the scruff of the neck.

He needs to show the likes of Clay and Roman Sebrle that he means business and that he's certainly going to be around in another four years time.

THE BEST OF BRITISH

WATCHING the Olympics over the weekend as a Great Britain supporter was just absolutely fantastic.

I’ve loved tuning into the rowing and was very impressed by the coxless fours winning their race. They would have been under pressure because of the legacy left by the likes of Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent but responded superbly.

Along with the swimming, another reason I love watching is the enthusiasm of the commentators.

They really are awesome and make the events so exciting to watch. There have been times when they have lost their voices from shouting so much and it’s just brilliant.

The sailing and the cycling has been great as well and this is without doubt our most successful Olympics in recent history.

Such achievements have a knock-on effect and will inspire athletes yet to compete because they will think they have a chance of following in their footsteps.

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