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A late finish to catch another medal… and then up the stairs quicker than Bolt

I am closer to becoming an Olympic athlete than I thought.

My dreams of winning a medal (gold would be lovely, but I’d be happy with silver or bronze) have been resurrected by news that you’ve more chance of becoming an athletic success if you are born on March 23.

Cyclists Jason Kenny (born in 1988) and Sir Chris Hoy (1976), long-distance runner Mo Farah (1983) and rower Sir Steve Redgrave (1962) were all born on that date. That’s 20 gold medals across eight Olympics, and a lot of cake to tuck into on one day.

London 2012 medals
London 2012 medals

And just to throw another one into the mix, step forward the first ever man to run a sub-four minute mile, Sir Roger Bannister, who was also born on March 23 (1929).

With my own birthday on March 25, that means I’m two days away from greatness, which must give me a much better chance than most, and certainly an advantage over hubby, who was born in December.

Sadly, this news comes just a bit too late for a 45-year-old who can run about a netball court for an hour but is still struggling to spell the word omnium let alone take part in one (although at least during this Olympics I’ve got to grips with how most of the cycling competitions work. I think).

The fact these super-human medallists share a birthday is probably a coincidence, although research by Queensland University of Technology has indicated your date of birth could affect your chances on the sports field.

They looked at the birthdays of professional Australian Football League (AFL) players, and discovered many were born in the first few months of the year. The Australian school year starts in January and they concluded that the eldest – and therefore probably the tallest – children would do better in several different sports than their peers.

Again, it could be a massive coincidence, but what if it isn’t?

Jason Kenny and his fiancee Laura Trott’s future offspring will already benefit from their incredible genes, but if they want to increase their sporting chances even further, June might be a good time to think about family planning.

Dunking a biscuit in a cup of tea
Dunking a biscuit in a cup of tea

As for me, unless biscuit-dunking-in-a-cuppa is added to the ever-growing list of competitions, I’m not likely to end up on a podium any time soon.

On another Olympic note, is there anyone else suffering from competition hangover?

It’s that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning, knowing that you’ve stayed up maybe an hour longer than you should have done simply to fit in “just one more medal”.

The night of Jason Kenny’s gold in the keirin, I was trying to battle off a cold and was already pushing my luck attempting to stay up past 10pm.

Two Night Nurse and two false starts later, once the gold was in the bag, I was up those stairs quicker than Bolt.

My dedication hasn’t stretched to the early hours though (sorry Adam Gemili), unlike one friend, who admitted she’d watched so much sport, she thought she was suffering with jet lag.

But what’s a few hours’ lost kip? It’s certainly been worth it.

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