Nine out of ten hurdles is not good enough

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Image: Rex Features

Guru always tells his staff that he will accept nothing less than 100% from them. Sadly, Guru’s approach is not replicated across Britain, as was in evidence at the Manchester GreatCity Games where British athlete Jessica Ennis thought she was competing in the 100m hurdles.

The managing director of hurdles has obviously created a culture where it is acceptable for employees to give less than 100%, as it was discovered after Jessica Ennis had won the race (with what she thought was a new personal best) that only nine of an expected ten hurdles had been laid out. Guru would not stand for this – he doesn’t doubt that it’s very boring setting out hurdles, but he would have insisted that his hurdles logistics team put out the tenth one even if they didn’t really want to. If they really, really didn’t want to do it, then a compromise might have been that they put out the last one for Jessica Ennis, but not bother with the last hurdle for the Americans she was running against.

As it is, Guru cannot help but worry about the forthcoming London Olympics. If the hurdles executive team at the London Olympics takes a similar approach, who knows how many hurdles we’ll be getting – eight, seven, six, five… Guru has a disturbing image in his mind’s eye of a 100m hurdles final with no hurdles. When it happens, nobody can say Guru didn’t see it coming.