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Backley: Bronze a great result for Grabarz

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Wednesday's athletics started in difficult circumstances for Team GB but the night ended on a high as Robbie Grabarz won bronze in the high jump.

Robbie is a good character. He is a bit of a showman and he clearly enjoys the attention from the crowd. I think this achievement puts him in a really good place for at least one more cycle of Olympics. He will have learned a lot this year, and I have been very impressed with him indeed.

I don't think Robbie will be that happy with how he jumped because he looked capable of more than 2.29m. But to get a bronze medal in the Olympic Games is fantastic. A couple of years ago he wasn't close to this level and now he is competing at the pinnacle of the sport. To be European champion and a bronze medal-winner at the Olympics represents a great year's work.

It all looked to be falling into his lap when we lost world champion Jesse Williams and reigning champion Andrey Silnov at 2.25m, and Robbie looked so good at 2.29m, but it just wasn't meant to be.

All that matters is that he won a bronze medal at the Olympics - it is a great achievement for him.

While Robbie had a great night, in the morning session Phillips Idowu suffered huge disappointment when failing to qualify for the triple jump final. I think if he had reached the final we would have seen a very different person because he was just getting himself into a position where he wanted to let rip. He was trying to control it, to glide through qualifying, and that caught him out. That's tough.

I know he has had problems with a trapped nerve and he gave it a shot. One thing is for sure: he gave it everything he could to make it happen and I would never question that. I know there was a lot of controversy about his preparations for the Games but personally I don't think he did a lot wrong. I don't really understand why it was turned into what it was. He was just getting ready for the Olympics.

Okay, he chose to do it his way, but champions can sometimes be mavericks and he has been a world champion and has won a silver medal in the Olympics. My personal opinion is that you should always allow talent to explore its potential, rather than be prescriptive. As an athlete you need to have the freedom to try.

Goldie Sayers was also eliminated in the morning as an elbow injury ensured she produced three no-throws in the javelin. I was so, so gutted for her. It was like watching a horror movie. A month ago she was on a high and it could not have turned out worse for her. It just shows you how fragile the whole thing is. She will be very disappointed - I know she will be - because she wanted it so badly.

Lawrence Okoye also failed to match his performance in qualifying in the discus final but, aside from Robbie's bronze, there was another bright spot for the Team GB athletes when Andrew Osagie made it into the final of the 800m. That was a lovely run and I liked the way he embraced the crowd as well.

To be beaten by David Rudisha - the greatest distance runner in the world at the moment and a man who looks like he might break the world record every time he runs - is no shame. He ran down everyone else on the home straight. A medal might be a long shot, but if it is a slowish pace he has shown he can kick away from people. If it is quick then he might be left wanting.

One final mention for Robert Harting, who celebrated his win for Germany in the discus final by ripping his shirt off and then sneaking across to the running track and taking on the 100m hurdles course laid out for Sally Pearson and the rest.

It was an absolutely brilliant moment. I was always tempted to do something like that myself, but only inside my head. I thought I would do an Alan Pascoe and fall on the hurdles. I was always a bit more reserved in my celebrations and a jog down the centre of the field was about as elaborate as it got for me. He is a good character though and it is good for the sport.

Former javelin world record holder and twice Olympic silver medallist Steve Backley will be an expert consultant for Eurosport-Yahoo! during the London 2012 Games.

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