9.79* – Review

A shocking look at one of sporting histories biggest scandals.

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Bafta nominated director, Daniel Gordon may have opened up another can of worms which could cause more scandal when this film/documentary, 9.79* is released. His other work included Victoria Pendelton: Cycling’s Golden girl, Match 64 and A State of Mind.

With the biggest scandal in sports history, Gordon investigates the controversial 100-metre race at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where the horrifying tale of illegal substance of drug abuse changed the world of athletics forever.

The documentary focuses on eight athletes. Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson, Ray Stewart, Linford Christie, Calvin Smith, Desai Williams, Dennis Mitchell and Robson da Silva, all linked to the match that till this very day is known as “the dirtiest race in history.” As well with highlighting these issues of drugs abuse, the release of this film also falls on the 25th anniversary of the race on the 24th September, focusing on one of the greatest sporting rivalries of the 20th century between Canadian Ben Johnson and U.S.A’s Carl Lewis. Johnson won the Gold medal in 1988 but hours later, in one of the most dramatic and shocking moments in Olympic history, Johnson himself was tested positive for taking banned substances which cost him his medal and was handed down to Carl Lewis. However, it didn’t stop there. After 1988, other competitors of the race were also caught out after testing positive for the same drug that Ben Johnson used in the 100-metre race which caused more outrage and mystery. Each runner had their own interview, including their old coaches and old friends to have their final say over the matter. Not only does this documentary give us an insight into the scandal, it also give us a fascinating insight into the world of steroid abuse which is still happening behind closed doors till this very day.

I was disgusted, yet amazed by this feature film/documentary. I also happened to witness other people’s expression at the premiere of this screening and one word to describe their expression is “shocked.” What people do to win these days disgusts me 100%. I have no sympathy for all these 8 athletes who took part in this scandal because in my eyes they are not sports men, they are cheats. Carl Lewis was the only one who ended up being “clean” in the end. Well I have to say, if he was clean, then I’m Brad Pitt! The man is way too cocky and way too vile for my liking. Would I be surprised if he was the main culprit in this scandal? Probably not! You would have thought the others would have learnt afterwards but they didn’t! Races in the future ended up having more scandals due to the athletes who took part in the 1988 100-metre race. And these idiots are supposed to be role models for the younger generation? I wouldn’t want my children looking up to sports men who take banned substances in order to win. I’d rather work hard and lose with my head held high than to take drugs and win with no dignity! As much as this film was very interesting, it also gives other athletes a bad name and I’m hoping that this teaches them a lesson. “You will never be able to run. The truth will always come out eventually!”

Daniel Gordon has joined forces with Kaleidoscope Entertainment and it will be released in the UK on 20th September 2013.