Finally created my account on the new forum as today I was reminiscing on YouTube by watching W800 Championship races from the 90s… I then watched the 1988 Olympic Final and saw a young Diane Modahl competing.
I first followed athletics properly in 1994 and as a result fell in love with Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe. However, this was of course also the year that Diane failed a drug test and seemed to never quite recover from it on the track.
At the time, I was a bit shocked and as a youngster couldn’t understand why someone so ‘nice and dignified’ would ever cheat – my father took this opportunity to explain that sometimes ‘nice and dignified’ people can still do bad things.
We all know what subsequently happened but what I want to know is – for those people who followed athletics in the late 80s, how much of a talent was Diane? On paper, Olympic finalist and 4th place at the Worlds show huge promise, though the times weren’t great.
Then I see that her Bronze at the Commonwealths in 1998, towards the end of her career, saw her dip under 1:59 (I watched this race, though cannot remember it – my only memory of Diane post-1994 is her nightmare at Atlanta) – do people feel that if she hadn’t been hampered by the ongoing personal stress following 1994, she would have been up there with Quirot, Mutola and Holmes during the 90s? Or did there seem to be a ceiling to her abilities?
I’ve seen her described on these boards as a great tactician – was she also a natural talent?
Finally, in the YouTube comments (I know, I know!) of an interview she gave about her experience (in light of the 2012 decision to allow athletes with a pervious ban to compete), someone posted “she’s a cheat, she just spent all of her money on a legal team to get her off on a technicality” – is this as outrageous as it seems, or was there still a level of suspicion even after she was cleared? I’ve personally never doubted she was telling the truth (though my opinion is of course clouded by my childhood experience!)
Also, if anyone has a link to the 1998 Commonwealth W800 final, I’d be very appreciative!
This topic was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by ktfrog.