, the city at the seashore, has a grand new sports ground
. Two months ago there were Finnish championships
for athletes under 22 years. I wasn't watching the games although I visited Uusikaupunki at the time. Now, my dream took me there..
I was walking casually with a small group of friends around the field. There were lot of athletes warming up and few tv-cameras interviewing top athletes. Women's 800m was just about to start but two top class runners gave still interviews. They were really confident they will take the trophies home. And finally, the interview stole their whole attention so that they missed the start. Partly it was up to organizers of the event because there was hardly any warning. The girls were 50 and 100 meters behind in the start but they were so much better than the rest of the crew it was piece of cake to top the race.
Next, there was men's 800m. The start was in the wrong place but, weird enough, no one noticed. Eventually they run 900 meters. The start was very fast. Couple of runners gave everything out in first 300 meters. Not very clever, because there were three runners coached by Kari Sinkkonen, the man behind the very top runners in Finland. These three started up slow but caught everyone up one by one without difficulties. When the first lap was run they were already in the lead and many runners had stepped out of the track, including my former colleaque Antti, who is not actually a runner. There was something strange going on because 50 meters before the first full lap all these three athletes of Sinkkonen-crew said "sixty six". It looked like some sort of protest but I didn't know what was the idea behind that number. The same act was repeated in the last lap. This time, it was really shocking because the boys who were giving their all out forgot to say it. Therefore Sinkkonen stood up and barked at them: "BACK! What was that you just forgot!?" The guys turned around, jogged to a line 50 meters prior to finishing line and said "sixty six" again. Then they turned again and took a triple victory still by a great margin and more than half of the runners did not finish due to extremely fast start. Very impressive.