Stazjia’s Commentary

The British have two reasons to be happy today

Posted on: November 3, 2008

Lewis Hamilton at brands.
Originally uploaded by Patrick Mayon

Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One racing driver, is immensely popular here in Britain. Even people who have no interest at all in F1 have heard of him and want him to continue to be successful. Yesterday he delighted his many fans by finally winning the Formula One Championship.

It was a close run thing. He needed to finish in the top five yesterday in the last race of the season – Interlagos, Brazil. Conditions were difficult with periods of heavy rain. Hamilton was driving carefully, he just couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Coming into the final lap he was sixth. At this point Brazilian Felipe Massa had finished first and looked a sure thing to win the championship. In fact, he and his team started celebrating but their triumph was short lived as Hamilton overtook Timo Glock. Hamilton won the Championship by only one point but one point was all he needed.

Paula Radcliffe NYC Marathon 2007
Originally uploaded by Loren Kahle

Paula Radcliffemeanwhile, was back to winning ways in the New York City Marathon after her disappointment in this year’s Olympics. She’s always been a firm favourite with the British public and won Sports Personality of the Year in 2002. This was the year she moved up from running 5000 and 10,000 metres to the maraton. Her first was the London Marathon where she finished just outside the world record time. Six months later, in October 2002, she ran the Chicago Marathon and broke the World Record by one and a half minutes. She was awarded an honour by the Queen, the MBE (Member of the British Empire – OK, we don’t have an empire anymore but it still sounds good!) followed by Sports Personality of the Year.

Her marathon running career has been very successful except when it comes to the Olympics – maybe the event she would most like to win. In spite of these disappointments, she has bounced back and yesterday she won the New York City Marathon. She led the race from the start and finished 1 minute and 47 seconds ahead of Russian Ludmila Petrova.


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