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MAY 2012

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A very stimulating promo video of top American 800m Alysia Montano in the sounds of Apocalyptica’s remake of “One”, a legendary track by Metallica back in the 80s…

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Tyson Gay (Twitter):”20 40 60 x 3set 5min rest (dedicated acceleration workout)”, “Speed 3×120 6min rest 3×60 (Typical base workout)”

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Harradine heads up Aussie spring in discus

Benn Harradine has ridden the latest discus wave witnessed Down Under on to new grounds as he flung a big new Oceanian record of 67.53m at a low-key meeting in Townsville on a field day of May 4 in the these quarters of the land.

The 29-year-old thrower from Newcastle added over a metre to his own previous milestone of 66.45m, set in Split in 2010, to become the first ‘Oz’ to range beyond the 67m line in history and would have occupied the top of the global rankings but for Hungarian Zoltan Kovago‘s 68.21m in Budapest hours later on the same day.

For good measure, there was further delight for the Aussies as Scott Martin landed a big PB and Olympic A qualifier of 65.63m in winning in Wailuku, Hawaii, and there is substantial hope of a third in Julian Wruck, a 64.84m performer this term, so that they can field a full complement in the Olympic arena of London come August.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/london-olympics/discus-thrower-benn-harradine-breaks-australian-record/story-fn9dirj0-1226348153522

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APRIL 2012

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Menkova pulls startling 78.19 out of the woodwork

As suddenly as she vanished into obscurity back in 2009, so staggering has been the comeback of Olympic champion Aksana Menkova who hurled the hammer way beyond at a mighty 78.19m during the Yevgeniy Shukevich Memorial meet in Brest, third farthest mark in history.

All the more so taking into account that it was the first time she bettered the 70m line since that very year to improve her own national record by a sound 87cm and send rumbles of thunder echoing around the globe.

The lean, explosive, powerful Belarusian staged a stunning last-gasp comeback to snatch gold at an Olympic record of 76.34m in Beijing but surprisingly bombed out of qualification at the World Championships in Berlin a year on despite a season’s best of 76.32m.

http://www.european-athletics.org/news/latest-news/496-general/10994-belarusian-menkova-throws-sensational-national-hammer-record-78-19m.html

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Suhr returns with a stir

Olympic silver medallist Jenn Suhr has marked an arresting comeback to form as she scaled a fabulous 4.75m in Des Moines, Iowa, on her very first outing since injury forced her to withdraw from the World Indoors in Istanbul.

The special “Pole vault in the Mall” event, incorporated into the Drake Relays, was traditionally laid on at the Jordan Creek Town Center and Suhr hardly showed any signs of rustiness as she soared over a meeting record at the first time of asking, relishing an electrifying atmosphere created by the fans lining the runway.

After that, she went on to raise the bar at a daunting early 4.90m but it wasn’t meant to be as she could not convert any of her attempts on the day. Nevertheless, that hardly affected her mood as she was elated to have come through her first competition on a high.

Brad Walker cleared a first time 5.72m, the same as at a low-profile meet at La Jolla a few days earlier, to conquer the men’s competition with ease, claiming that he was pleased to pull such a height without using his longer poles.

http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=205419664

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This is the Usain Bolt-highlighted promotion clip for this summer’s edition of Hercoulis Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

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Hoffa and Cantwell unleash powerful heaves in Kansas

Hoffa catapults a last-ditch 21.73 to steal the win out of Cantwell’s tight grasp

Reese Hoffa staged a superb rally to pip Christian Cantwell at the death in a mighty battle royal held in a specially set up street throwing sector lined with fans in Lawrence, Kansas, applying a rousing prelude to the Kansas Relays over the weekend.

Cantwell bombarded the 21m region in the range to line up puts of 21.71 and 21.70m in his last two efforts and looked set to clinch a fabulous win before his rival stepped into the ring moments later, shaking to the rhythm of the background music, to release a marginally better 21.73m and snatch both the spoils and the global lead in astonishing fashion.

To offer a glimpse into the quality of the competition, boasting four former or reigning global champions, eventual winner Hoffa’s series was 20.84, 21.12, 21.25, x, 21.65, 21.73 while Cantwell arrayed 21.30, x, 21.19, x, 21.70 and 21.71.

American-turned-Canadian Justin Rodhe came third at a second-attempt PB of 21.11 ahead of Adam Nelson, fourth with 20.79 and five fouls (!!), and Istanbul astounding conqueror Ryan Whiting, fifth on 20.64m (SB), whereas Daegu bronze medallist Dylan Armstrong (CAN) failed to register a single mark to his credit with six no-puts.

Results

http://www.deltatiming.com/results/htresult.aspx?yf=2012&mf=2012-kansas-relays&ev=120418F117

Incidentally, Nelson narrowly got the better of Hoffa through a short-lived global leading 21.54m to a temporary latter’s SB of 21.49m only four days earlier in Athens, Georgia, to purely stress how tight and knife-edged is going to be the battle for the three places available on the US team in the shot all along the run-up to the Olympic Trials in Eugene.

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Andreas Thorkildsen (Twitter):”Benchpress 20x60kg 20x80kg 15x100kg 8x120kg 5x140kg 5x150kg 3x160kg 3x170kg 3x160kg 2x5x150kg 5x140kg”

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Push-Up Thursday

Or “No-Push Up Thursday” as would be the respective version of Darvis Patton, always in flat denial of this particular drill, in the latest issue of the training video series by him and Wallace Spearmon that also contains many standing start sprints on a very windy track on the day, with Britain’s Tyrone Edgar and Rae Edwards also on show.

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Haile Gebrselassie (Twitter):”In the media it is mentioned it will be my last 10k, but for sure I am not stopping my career and.. never say never!”

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David Oliver‘s CEA Advertisment

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Reese takes off to flying opener

Brittney Reese has picked up where she left off winning a second global indoor crown on the trot with a mighty 7.23m in Turkey as she landed at a staggering 7.04m (-0.1m/sec) in the long jump on her low-key season opener in Oxford, Mississippi, storming the top of the outdoor world rankings this season with ease.

The 25-year-old American has dominated the international scene since claiming gold in Berlin 2009, boasting two world titles outdoors and indoors apiece, and looks as though gearing up to take her game to regions unseen since the time of Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Heike Drechsler, 7.40s and 7.50s namely.

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Kenyans sweep the board in Berlin

The Kenyan raids in the streets of European capitals have kept as devastating as Denis Koech fought it out with Wilson Kiprop to the very end in the Berlin Half Marathon, grinding out a crucial mere second over the last 300m in a thrilling battle.

The pair recorded highly impressive times of 59:14 and 59:15 respectively to move fifth and sixth in the global lists, PBs for both, followed closely by Ezekiel Chebii in 59:22 for third as Kenyans occupied the entire top ten sheet of the race.

Philes Ongori fended off Helah Kiprop in a similar tight finish in the women’s race to win in 68:25 (SB) to 68:26 (PB) and debutant Caroline Chepkwony closed out a second clean sweep for her country.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=64501.html

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Gay stakes all hopes on sole 100m in summer

As fortune would have it, Tyson Gay is once again drawn in a tight race against time to make a crucial summer peaking in the Olympics in London fully fit and on top of his game following a latest streak of niggling injuries.

In so far as he has been forced to make up his mind on turning all his energy and efforts solely on the 100m scratching the longer sprint from his agenda this season.

The American record holder feels that he hasn’t put in the quality training required to mount a serious challenge over the latter as he is still executing workouts on grass, anticipated to step back on the track this coming week.

Strength and power-wise, he is as a beast as ever, doing sets of 300-pound death-lifts in the gym, while he remains on a rather philsophical tack, taking one thing at a time without rushing anything, faced with a likelier prospect of going straight into the fierce and relentless US Olympic Trials in Eugene.

Nevertheless, Gay might still line up a warm-up race in the run-up but it is going to be a late call since he wouldn’t like to risk any irreversible setback, maintaining that staying healthy is a priority to fulfil his bid.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/trackandfield/story/_/id/7756772/tyson-gay-full-recovery-eyes-spot-us-team

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Jacko won’t be going to London…

‘Kiwi wonder’ Jacko Gill has finally taken a hard decision out of the Olympics and on defending his world U20 title in Barcelona instead after missing out on the initial wave of selections by the federation of his country.

The world record holder through all age groups under 18 felt that he was going to struggle to strike the right balance and mix into his training regime leading up to London with doubts lingering in his mind over his final selection for the ultimate showpiece.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Jacko-Gill-by-passes-London-2012-Olympics/tabid/415/articleID/249003/Default.aspx

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“It’s our year”…

…say Wallace ‘Prince’ Spearmon and Darvis ‘Doc’ Patton after clocking sizzling 19.95 and 10.04 secs over 200 and 100m respectively at the Bobby Lane Invitational on Saturday.

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Thornblad bows out of career

Linus Thornblad, once regarded as successor to great Stefan Holm, has called time on his competitive days as he felt he was going through the motions over the last two years and could not regain his hunger for the sport.

Thornblad sails over 2.38m in Gothenborg way back in 2007

The Swede cleared a world class 2.38m indoors in Gothenborg back in 2007 but never quite gained a firm foothold in the top tier of the event despite a world indoor bronze in Moscow 2006 and a silver at the European Indoors in Birmingham the following winter.

Dogged with injuries in recent seasons, the final straw might have been missing out on bronze to Martyn Bernard at the outdoor Europeans in Barcelona on countback, second fourth place on the trot, which proved his virtual swansong from the scene.

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Leitao passes away

Antonio Leitao, top distance runner of the 80s, sadly departed this life at the age of 51 midway through last month as has been reported by IAAF.

The Portoguese will be mostly remembered for a fabulous bronze medal in his lifetime best of 13:09.20 over 5000m at the Olympics in Los Angeles 1984 behind a comprehensive great Said Aouita (MAR).

Tim Hutchings was fourth in that final in a massive PB of 13:11.50 as the top quartet turned in the four fastest time in the world that season. Memorable times…

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MARCH 2012

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Zhang and Frizell make early marks

The women’s hammer has got off to a lively start at the dawn of the outdoor season and, quite interestingly, the main action looks to come from beyond the European borders so far.

Wenxiou Zhang, the bronze medallist in Daegu, opened up with a straight new national record of 75.72m in Chengdu on March 12 to edge her previous mark of 75.65m from last June in Hesse, Germany, and underline vigorously her medal prospects ahead of London.

The Chinese has been a regular figure on major podiums over the years as she won further bronzes on home soil in the Beijing Olympics (2008) and at the World Championships in Osaka a year earlier.

The early find of the season seems to be Sultana Frizell who unleashed a startling 75.04m in Tuszon, Arizona, four days later to shatter her own previous Canadian milestone of 71.46m from last year and raise her profile as a potential contender for silverware as well.

And Cuban Yipsi Moreno, the Beijing silver medallist, responded to the early fire as she lined up a 72.93m on the same date in Havana to follow up with a well-improved 73.50m at the same venue eight days later (March 24) as a reminder of her own calibre.

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Loyanae storms into new territories in Seoul

The Kenyans started the Olympic year at a rather moderate pace but now they’re starting slipping through the gears to overrun fields and courses landmarks in trademark manner on the road, with ‘rookie’ Wilson Loyanae leading an early sweeping foray in the streets of Seoul.

The 26-year-old made the most of the favourable weather conditions to pull out all the stops from his pre-race PB of 2h09:23 through to real world class territory in 2h05:37 and run over the course record by a huge 1:12, announcing his arrival in the top layers of the international marathon scene.

In doing so, he drew fellow countrymen James Kipsang Kwambai and Eliud Kiptanui also inside the former mark in a big PB of 2h06:03 and 2h06.44 respectively, the latter posting 2h05:39 in Praha in 2010, while Philip Kimutai Sanga rounded out a strong top four inside 2h07 in 2h06:51, making for an impressive strength to the race.

For good measure, the Kenyans exerted such dominance over the field that filled nine out of the top ten slots on the results sheet with seven markers having run 2h07:43 or faster.

Ethiopian Tadesse Feyse stamped her authority on the women’s field to streak away to a thorough victory in a big PB of 2h23:26 in the late stages carving out over two minutes on runner-up Askale Tafa Magarsa (ETH), who set 2h25:29, with American Serena Burla breaking huge ground of roughly seven minutes into a new best of 2h28:27.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=64396

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Longosiwa and Cherono on the double in Italy

In-form Thomas Longosiwa and Prisca Jepleting Cherono decked the Italian course of Cinque Mulini, San Vitore Olona, in the Kenyan colours as they came away with convincing victories in the anchor leg of the IAAF XC Permit series.

Having run the sixth fastest time indoors of 12:58.67 over 5000m in Dusseldorf, Longosiwa always kept a tight hold on proceedings to clinch the men’s race by a dozen seconds from countryman Bernard Rotich in 30:04 to 30:16 over the roughly 10km distance as Kenyans paraded through the entire top four spots for another striking display of power.

Cherono was never in trouble as she broke away from the rest of the field round the last circuit to win by an even larger margin of 16 secs on surprise home runner-up Elena Romagnolo in 21:32 to 21:48 respectively, with Moroccan sub 4 minutes miler Btissam Lakhouad showing a sound endurance base over 6km in third in 22:03.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/CROS12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=64404

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FEBRUARY 2012

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Pearson thunders to 12.49 secs in Melbourne

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Kiplagat rampant in Roma-Ostria half-marathon

Florence Kiplagat, the Berlin Marathon victor last autumn, delivered a sensational performance as she blazed through the fast Italian course to the third fastest time in history in 66:38, slashing over a minute off her previous best from 2010 (67:40).

Only compatriots Mary Keitany and Lorna Kiplagat have performed faster than that in 65:50 and 66:25 respectively.

Runner-up Agnes Kiprop (KEN) shattered her own best by way over a minute as well into 67:22 while Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye made up the podium places in 67:43 (PB).

Italians had plenty to cheer about themselves as Valeria Straneo set a big new national best of 67:46, slightly outside the top three positions, and Anna Incerti also ducked under the old mark in 68:18 a place behind.

Philemon Kimeli Limo (KEN) emerged a convincing winner in the men’s affair in a fast 59:30 (PB) as he carved out a solid gap of 20 secs on Ethiopian Shumi Dechasa Leche (PB), with fellow Kenyan Kiprop Limo edging inside an hour in 59:55.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63701

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The dream looks over for great Haile…

Great Haile Gebrselassie‘s dream to line up in a fifth Olympics in a row may have faded along with him in the late stages of the marathon in Tokyo as he faltered outside the top three markers as well as any sort of time that would have given him a fighting chance.

The ‘Emperor’ of distance running desperately needed a clocking in the range of 2h05-2h06 at least to make an impression on his younger countrymen that went rampant in the streets of Dubai last month to deliver a frightening array of times.

But even when he found himself at the top of the race in the final fourth he didn’t look convincing, due to a back problem that cropped up, and Kenyan Michael Kipyego, having slightly taken his foot of the gas for a while, saw his chance and seized it for all he was worth to notch the greatest victory of his career in 2h07.23.

Japan’s Arata Fujiwara felt inspired to break away for a distant second pack around the 25km and grew in confidence as the distance wore on to pick off one after another all but one the tiring leading runners, outkicking Stephen Kiprotich down the home stretch for a brilliant runner-up in 2h07:48 to 2h07:50.

Furthermore, he raised his own stakes of making London substantially, comfortably topping the domestic marathon lists to the good. But for distance legend Gebre the way looks shut now…

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63689

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Tapering without tapering (hammer throw)

Swiss-based American thrower Martin Bingisser continues his fabulous series of articles over hammer throwing on his blog as he is dealing with the ever-essential point of tapering towards a main season target indoors.

http://www.mbingisser.com/2012/02/tapering-without-tapering/

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Boyd raises the bar high in Oz

Alana Boyd steers clear of a new Oceanian record of 4.76m in Perth, sparing plenty of dayling on the bar

Alana Boyd has not only kept on a sharp upturn but even gathered pace charging up the global ranks as she soared high over a massive PB as well as a new total Oceanian record of 4.76m in Perth on Friday, raising her fortnight-old previous figure by a full 10cm on the same ground.

The 27-year-old was already the outdoor record holder on that 4.66 prior to the meeting but went further to blow away compatriot Kim Howe‘s total landmark of 4.72m (Donetsk, 2007) and gain a full rein on the event Down Under, setting an intermediate PB of 4.71m on the way up.

Moreover, that new marker takes her well into world class territory and she could turn a handful for the big names in Istanbul if the manner of her clearance is anything to go by, placing plenty of daylight on the bar to suggest she is capable of considerably greater heights.

Women’s pole vault enjoys a revival in Australia and apart from new-rising star Boyd there is also 17-year-old Liz Parnov who set a superb 4.50m earlier this month to look for too.

Staying Down Under, Jared and Claire pooled their Tallent to plough patiently their way through the searing heat of Hobart, reaching up to even 38C during the race, and both clinch their places on the Australian team for London, their presence to span over all three race-walking events of the schedule.

The former, winner of two medals in Beijing, picked up in the second part of the race after a cautious start to work up a healthy lead that saw him eventually win by well over a minute in 1h23:01, with Chris Eriksson second in 1h24:12 and Canada’s Inaki Gomez third in 1h24:46.

His wife made it a double (joy) by taking the women’s race in an Olympic A qualifier of 1h32:58 and young sister Rachael completed a fabulous family showing by notching the U20 women’s title in 49:28 over 10km.

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Barshim startles over 2.37m in Hangzhou

Mutaz Barshim turned the star of the Asian Indoor Championships as he soared over a superb world-leading 2.37m (PB) in the high jump on the second and final day of the affair held in Hangzhou, China.

Barshim builds up to a fabulous outdoor PB of 2.35m at the Asian Games last July

In doing so, the surging youngster also erased the long-standing Asian record of 2.36m by legendary Zhu Jianhua (CHN), Olympic bronze medallist in Los Angeles, which traced way back to 1986.

The outright Asian record still stands to Jianhua, however, at a former global record of 2.39m outdoors but Barshim, the world U20 champion, looks as though he could soon lay his hands on that landmark too at this rate, emerging as a major gold medal hopeful for Istanbul.

In other events, Sugi Bilisuma (BRN) won the men’s 3000m in a fast 7:43.88 (iPB), Mohammad Al-Azimi (Kuwait) took the 800m in 1:47.37 (CR) and also Burundian Shitae Eshete Habtegebrel the women’s 3000m in 8:49.27 (PB).

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WIC12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63646

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Evergreen Sanchez sets world best at Val de Reuil

Former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez demonstrated that there is still plenty of vigour and speed left in his legs as he stormed to a huge world best of 48.78 secs over the rare 400m hurdles indoors, the first man ever to drive inside 49 secs in history.

Of course, the event has become pretty much of a personal business for the Dominican since none among the current crop of top hurdlers is involved in hurdle racing on the boards but the time definitely bodes well for a potential return in the sub 48 region outdoors.

By the way, the previous best also belonged to him with 49.25 secs from last winter.

At the same meeting, Christophe Lemaitre just managed to overtake an embarrassing home defeat at the hands of Peter Emelieze (NGR) by the narrowest of margins after a modest start, a familiar issue for the Frenchman, in 6.59 to 6.60 secs (ePB).

The double European champion wasn’t pleased with his showing and let slip that he will be calling it an indoor season at the national championships this weekend. His much-awaited home showdown with new star Jimmy Vicaut will not materialize, though, as the youngster sustained a hamstring injury that will sideline him for the rest of the winter.

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Lansford Spence, the Commonwealth 200m silver medallist, could be the next big thing out of the Jamaican endless sprint production line as he opened his competitive account in style, even if deep into pre-season.

At a warm up meet in Jamaica, the G.C. Foster’s Annual Sports Day, he set a handtimed 9.89 secs over 100m to hold off Adolphus Nevers, who set 10 secs dead, to display some sharp speed assuming he should be still in heavy strength/endurance training at the moment.

But time will tell how far he can go in the face of daunting competition from superstar compatriots like Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

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Blake sends strong message in PB over 400m opener

Yohan Blake singalled his intentions of adding the Olympic crown to his global title as he tore to a big PB of 46.49 over 400m from the dawn of his season in Kingston, Jamaica, on Saturday.

The world champion ran an aggressive race and was leading down the home straight only to be denied by distance speciallist Allodin Fothergill over the last few strides, the latter coming through late in 46.29 secs.

Training partner and sprint superstar Usain Bolt was also due to compete over the same distance but eventually opted to skip the meet.

Rosemarie Whyte edged away to win the women’s version in 52.38 secs from Davita Prendergast (52.68).

Meanwhile, ‘forgotten’ former sprint star Sherone Simpson mounted a sound comeback to form  by way of a sound 51.42 secs over the same distance, hinting that she could emerge as a major contender for an Olympic berth on the Jamaican team.

Nonetheless, that wasn’t a PB as she holds a faster figure of 51.25 secs.

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Ukraine line up new rising vault star

Hannah Shelekh has emerged as a new hot prospect in the women’s pole vault as she cleared a superb 4.60m in Donetsk, Ukraine, last weekend to move second in the U20 all-time lists behind only sensational Swede Angelica Bengtsson‘s world record of 4.63m.

The 18-year-old pulled off a stunning improvement of no less than 30cm on her best at the end of last season and could well set her sights on claiming the world record itself in the remainder of the winter.

Come to that, she comes to stage a mouth-watering clash in the skies at the World U20 Championships this summer while both ought to make the Olympic arena in London as well.

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Craddock and Vicaut deliver shockers in Dusseldorff

French sensation Jimmy Vicaut storms to a world-leading 6.53 secs in the 60m, with Kim Collins pulling up

Results

http://www.psd-bank-meeting.de/fileadmin/results/re2850040.html

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Chicherova extends 2m streak in Bystrika

Once you’re into the groove nothing can go wrong and Anna Chicherova looks to be sailing over such a demanding barrier as 2m in the women’s high jump at will these days, tying it for a third time this term on top of a massive 2.06m marker in Arnstadt last weekend.

The Russian world champion did so in winning the Europa Shopping Centre High Jump in Banska Bystrika, Slovakia, ahead of a steadily improving Tia Hellebaut (BEL), the returning reigning Olympic champion, who cleared a solid 1.96m for second.

It will be intriguing to see whether she can see out the whole indoor season over a clean slate of 2m or over clearances, making it four out of four at the moment.

American record holder Chaunte Howard-Lowe, also on a comeback trail, nosed ahead of Italy’s Antonieta Di Martino for third on countback at 1.93m.

Ivan Ukhov (RUS) snatched a very tight men’s affair over a SB of a third-time 2.33m ahead of world champion Jesse Williams (USA), who is edging nicely into his stride by way of a SB of 2.31m notwithstanding.

The American was narrowly leading the competition coming out of that heigh but had to eventually settle for runner-up on countback from local man Mikal Kabelka (total PB) and Greek Kostas Baniotis (SB), the latter two sharing third place.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WIC12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63521

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Carmelita Jeter’s speed profile

Slideshow

Watch this very interesting slideshow over how world 100m champion Carmelita Jeter (USA) employed top notch technology along with coach John Smith to polish up her technique and running efficiency, effecting substantial improvements on her performance as a consequence.

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Makau suffers shock defeat in Spain

Marathon world record holder Patrick Makau (KEN) lacked his familiar bite in the bitter cold (around 4C) prevailing in Catalonia, Spain, to come at the receiving end of a shock defeat at the hands of home favourite Carlos Castillejo, who made the most of his chance to take the ‘Mitja Maraton (half marathon) de Granollers’ by three seconds in 62:37 to 62:40.

Great result for the Spaniard, as well as a huge mental boost, but nothing ought to be read into the result as concerns the Kenyan who was clearly out of his element in these conditions.

Beatrice Chepchumba edged out countrywoman Antonina Rutto by a mere second in 72:42 for a Kenyan one-two in the women’s race.

Meanwhile, Ayad Lamdassem (ESP) outkicked Andrea Lalli (ITA) to win the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country in Castellon, Spain, as they both shared an identical time of 28:36 over the 10km course.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63504.html

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Njoroge reaches new grounds in Japan

Kenyan Harun Njoroge made good steps up the international marathon ladder as he earned a comfortable win in a big PB of 2h09:38, first time under 2h10 ever, at the Beppu-Oita Marathon in Japan.

Ser-od Bat Ochir was second in a Mongolian record of 2h11:05, a rare sight to see a quality athlete from this corner of the world, and Ethiopian Yakub Yarso was third in a debut 2h11:13.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63495

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Chicherova soars over massive 2.06 in Arnstadt

World champion Anna Chicherova keeps running wild and unchallenged in the regions of the high jump domain as she has build on a sound early platform of two 2m clearances to lay siege on the world indoor record.

The Russian turned in an imperious display as she sailed clear of a new national indoor record of 2.06m at the well-known high jump meet in Arnstadt, Germany, to move equal third all-time with major rival Blanca Vlasic (CRO) and all-time great Stefka Konstadinova (BUL).

The only two standing before her now is world indoor record holder Cajsa Bergqvist (SWE) herself at 2.08m, laid down in the very same arena six years ago, and long-retired German Heike Henkel at 2.07m while the quality of her effort strongly recommended a potential new marker in the following weeks.

Fellow Russian Irina Gordeyeva sneaked second place on countback from reigning Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut (BEL), steadily improving since her return to action, as they tied at a shared SB of 1.97m, with Antonieta Di Martino (ITA) and Chaunte Howard-Lowe (USA) further behind over 1.94m (SB apiece).

Former European indoor champion Ariane Friedrich, a PB of 2.05m indoors, is still struggling for form to wind up last down the results list at just 1.85m.

The men’s version was nowhere near as arresting in terms of heights but it turned out a hard-fought contest as the top three were decided on countback tied at 2.30m, Daegu silver medallist Aleksey Dmitrik, European Indoor champion Ivan Ukhov and Greek Kostas Baniotis (SB).

World champion Jesse Williams had very little spring left in his legs after a gruelling long-haul across the Altantic and had to do with only 2.24m for sixth on the day.

Results

http://www.arnstadt.net/hmm/index2.php

A few days earlier, at the Moscow Cup Jumps in the Russian capital, Olympic champion Andrei Silnov cleared an equal world-leading 2.35m, doubling as a SB, for an impressive rise to form ahead of up-and-coming compatriot Andrei Patrakov, who bettered Aleksandr Shustov on countback at a big PB of 2.30m.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WIC12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63473

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‘Prince’ Wallace Spearmon and Darvis ‘Doc’ Patton in a speed workout in their latest video installment of their training.

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JANUARY 2012

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Pearson looks menacing in Adelaide

Sally Pearson has sent out a gale warning over her intentions in view of the Olympics with a couple of sound early marks in the flat sprints even if she had to battle her way into the gusts down the home straight in Adelaide on Saturday.

The world 100m hurdles champion opened her outing by way of a 11.31 in the short dash into a strong adverse wind of -1.4m/sec to effectively improve on her season opener of 11.25 in still conditions. But what may have really struck fear into her rivals was her follow-up of 23.14 secs over the longer sprint into a fiercesome -3.6m/sec headwind, equating to something even in the 22.5 region with a good legal tailwind on her back.

The gales sweeping across the arena did wreck the mini, operating off just 8 strides, premiere of reigning Olympic champion Steve Hooker who managed to register only 5m in the men’s pole vault, probably his worst outcome in a decade but for his non-heighting show in the final in Daegu.

By contrast, Alana Boyd climbed over a PB of 4.61m to leave plenty of promise in the women’s equivalent, bettering her previous best by a single cm, while former world champion Danni Samuels clinched the discus with 61.23m.

Briton Julia Bleasdale started off her season on a promising note as she fell just shy of her PB in a solid 15:45.90 for runner-up behind once wondergirl Georgie Clarke in the women’s 5000m, the winner clocking 15:44.50 slighty ahead.

Results

http://www.athletics.com.au/home/competition/events/adelaide_track_classic/results

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Chicherova ties 2m again in Belgium

Anna Chicherova is riding high on the buzz and the momentum of a world champion to sweep everything before her and roam the high jump skies nonchallantly, with hardly anyone around capable of containing her at the moment.

The Russian rose over an equal world-leading and SB of 2m to comfortably clinch her second win in as many outings this winter at the High Jump Gala in Antwerp, which also staged the eagerly awaited return of Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut to action.

The home favourite did not disappoint and fared well to clear a solid 1.95m on the back of a long absence and looks as though she could make up enough ground to vigorously defend her title in London this summer.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WIC12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=63446

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Walker flies high on season opener

Brad Walker, the US record holder at 6.04m (2007), has come out eager to show that he remains a major force in the men’s pole vault as he scaled a sound season opener of 5.80m at the Reno Livestock Event Centre in Nevada, the highest mark set in 2012 worldwide since Dmitry Starodubtsev both 5.90m vaults came last month.

The American hardly suggested anything of what was to come early on as he only ran through in his opening effort at 5.52m but rebounded quickly to pull together a fine couple of first-time clearances at 5.62 and straight up over his winning height before bowing out at a would-be global leader of 5.91m.

http://paulmerca.blogspot.com/2012/01/brad-walker-opens-up-2012-campaign-by.html

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Evora suffers cruel blow out of Olympics

Olympic champion Nelson Evora has suffered a latest  setback in the form of a recurring shinbone injury that has wrecked his ambitions to defend his crown in London, a major opponent to Phillips Idowu‘s own plans for a grand slam of major titles.

The Portoguese sustained the injury while warming up for a local competition in Lisbon to be rushed immediately to a hospital, where he underwent medical tests on Thursday that revealed a stress fracture.

A similar twist of fate, coupled with surgery, in 2010 saw him miss the entire last but one season and struggle to regain a foothold on the international stage despite a return to displays over 17m in the second half of last summer.

The timing and nature of the injury rule out any hopes of a recovery in time to compete in the Olympics as admitted by Evora himself who maintained that his condition is not career threatening nevertheless.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/16640125.stm

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Oliver and Gatlin start strong in Gainsville

David Oliver, the US high hurdles indoor co-record holder, got off his indoor racing spell to winning ways as he dominated the men’s 55m hurdles in 7.14 secs, having set an even faster 7.13 secs in the heats, at the Jimmy Carnes College Invitational in Gainsville, Florida, to show that he is drawing back to his top form.

Incidentally, Joel Brown flowed over the sticks to also 7.13 secs in the other final heat suggesting that he could turn a serious contender this season.

Kelly Wells, who never got to fulfil her challenge in Daegu, won the women’s equivalent in 7.47 secs while former Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin sounded bouyant and very confident as he put away the 55m flat in 6.15 secs, warming up nicely for his clash with top Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter at the Madison Square Garden over the same distance on the 28th.

Tiffany Ross-Williams got the women’s 400m in 53.54 ses and Aileen Bailey the 55m dash in 6.79 secs.

Results

http://tfrrs.org/r/22712

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Pearson quick out of her blocks in Brisbane

World hurdles champion Sally Pearson showed over a minor complaint last month as she was swift out of her marks to tear to a strong season opener of 11.25 secs in breathless conditions (0.1m/sec) at the Brisbane Track Classic in Brisbane, which was well up on her respective marker last year (11.35).

Later, she also contributed a leg to the Australian outfit that came well outside their target in a 44.01 secs clocking in the 4x100m relay looking to earn a footing in the top 16 teams to qualify for the Olympics in London.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63336.html

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Spiegelburg takes off over stunning national indoor record

Having fallen behind Martina Struntz in the home pecking order last summer, Silke Spiegelburg has returned with a vengeance to rocket over a new German record of 4.77m in the pole vault at the very dawn of her winter run in Leverkousen, Germany, signalling her intentions in view of the Olympic season.

Spiegelburg clears 4.77

That also goes down as a total PB since her top figure outdoors lies at 4.75m from Stockholm last summer. Nevertheless, the overall national record still belongs to Struntz through her 4.80m silver medal display in Daegu, the response of whom will be now eagerly awaited.

In the men’s competition, up-and-coming compatriot Karsten Dilla vaulted over a huge PB of 5.72m in his first outing of the season to beat Greek Kostas Filippidis into second at 5.60m (SB), with also German Hendrik Gruber at 5.50m in third.

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Olympic History – Paris 1900

Eurosport looks back on the 1900 Olympia in Paris in this very interesting review.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/world-of-sport/olympic-history-paris-1900-134428739.html

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Chicherova flies high on opener

Anna Chicherova (RUS) has got off the ground in style as she cleared an impressive 2m in the high jump in her inaugural season outing at the Lukashevitch Memorial in Chelyabinsk, which has set the scene of the main action in these early competitive days in Russia.

The world champion thus equalled her best ever opener from 2003 and went on to take three good attempts at what would have been a new indoor best of 2.05 in the process.

Alexandr Shustov also opened up well over a winning 2.30m in the men’s equivalent before calling it a day at a classy 2.36 but Dmitry Starodubtsev suffered a low flight in the pole vault staying down at only 5.50m this time round, having climbed over 5.90m in both his previous showings.

Meanwhile, Yekaterina Bolshova burst to the front to set the early pace in the global pentathlon rankings as she totalled a huge PB of 4746pts up in St Petersburgh, putting together a card of 8.47 secs (60mh), 1.88m (HJ, PB), 13.40 (SP, PB), 6.32 (LJ, PB) and 2:11.74 (800m, PB).

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Throwing hammer indoors

Swiss-based American thrower Martin Bingisser continues his excellent series of articles on his blog by treating the subject of throwing indoors during the tough days of winter as it is essential to keep one’s touch the year round.

http://www.mbingisser.com/2012/01/throwing-hammer-indoors/

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Surprise Daegu 1500m bronze medallist Matthew Centrowitz sets out his early plans for the indoor season as well as looking back on a breakthrough 2011… A name definitely to watch out for this summer and his searing turn of pace down the home straight could stretch even the very best.

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Jacko Gill at full stretch as he strives to reach further and further in the shot. This lad can really stretch the imagination!

By the way, the young Kiwi has hit a new training best with the overweight 8kgr standard at 18.80m.

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DECEMBER 2011

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Bolt could break 400m world record, says Johnson

Legendary Michael Johnson reckons that Usain Bolt could topple his world record of 43.18 secs if he stepped up to the 400m some time in the future, having shown promising potential in his early junior days. The Jamaican has voiced his interest to come in on the country’s 4x400m relay in an attempt to emulate Carl Lewis‘s four golds in a single Olympia although his coach Glen Mills retains a guarded  approach in this matter.

Johnson still holds, however, that Bolt should focus entirely on the sprints where he could replicate his golden treble of Beijing in 2008 and evade any sort of distractions like running 400m or 4x400m as widespread rumours have.

http://www.mbingisser.com/2011/12/looking-back-on-2011-best-moments/

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Top hammer moments in 2011

Swiss-based American thrower Martin Bingisser lays out the highlights of the year to bow out shortly in both the men and women’s hammer on his excellent blog, a must-look for all – at least hammer – throwers and coaches.

http://www.mbingisser.com/2011/12/looking-back-on-2011-best-moments/

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Bolt can take his liquor!

Sprint superstar Usain Bolt demonstrated a wide different aspect of his talents when he rolled up to crack some ‘respectable’ amounts of alchohol at a beach party in Kingston, Jamaica, during his vacations. Images speak louder than words in this case.

http://www.tmz.com/2011/12/30/usain-bolt-drunk-jamaica-party/#.Tv5Eh9RsKMp

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IAAF season reviews are out

As it is customary into the last ten days of a year, IAAF have been looking back over what happened on the track and the infield during the last twelve months, with the World Championships in Daegu as expected taking central stage.

Trey Hardee (USA), seen on his lap of honour in Berlin, defied the odds to make two decathlon world titles on the trot

The season reviews are as follows, added to as they are released by the sport’s global governing body’s website:

Sprints http://www.iaaf.org//news/newsid=63239.html

Middle Distances http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63236.html

Long Distances http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63233.html

Road Racing & Race Walking http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63232.html

Hurdles http://www.iaaf.org//news/newsid=63231.html

Jumps http://www.iaaf.org//news/newsid=63230.html

Multi-events http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63214.html

Throws http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=63215.html

Series Reviews

Race Walking Challenge http://www.iaaf.org//news/newsid=63241.html

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Pearson taking no chances over quad injury

Sally Pearson, IAAF’s female athlete of 2011, says that she will take no unnecessary risks and allow her rehabiliation over a thigh strain to take its course before she resumes full training, with an eye to return to racing at the start of the Australian Athletics tour next month.

The Aussie suffered the injury contesting a 120m handicap race last weekend in Victoria, a tricky issue as located in a place that affects either the lead or trail leg in hurdling.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/no-risks-will-be-taken-in-sally-pearsons-rehabilitation-from-a-quadricep-tear/story-e6frep5o-1226226986784

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Isinbayeva and Chicherova to open season in January

World record holder Yelena Isinbayeva and world champion Anna Chicherova will be entering the indoor action next month as they are aiming for promising starts to their Olympic seasons.

‘Isi’, who has seen her reign tumble in recent years, begins her run-up at the Governor Cup in Volgograd on 21 January hoping to pave the way for an assault back to the summit of global pole vault while Chicherova will be looking to resume where she left off last summer at the Lukashevich Memorial in Chelyabinsk on 9 January.

She will be following up in an outing at the Golden High Jump Gala in Belgium  set to face reigning Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut, who stages a comeback out of retirement for a second time.

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Top American half-miler Alysia Montano in a lenghty workout in the weights.

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Tamgho survives ban to keep Olympic dream alive

World indoor record holder Teddy Tamgho has made a narrow escape to retain his hopes of claiming the Olympic triple jump title alive as he had a twelve month ban effectively reduced to six, with the rest of his penalty suspended.

The Frenchman was found guilty of an altercation with a female athlete, whose name hasn’t been revealed, and was also fined with 1500 Euros and charged with 50 hours of community service.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/20122011/58/london-2012-tamgho-banned-eligible-olympics.html

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Lemaitre to defend European 100m title

Triple European sprint champion Christophe Lemaitre (FRA) has revealed that he intends to defend his 100m title at the European Championships in Helsinki next summer, where he will very likely clash again with Dwain Chambers.

All the same, he ruled out defending the 200m summit which he put down to the very tight curvers of the track at the Olympic stadium of the Finnish capital. Meantime, he will be deploying only a short indoor racing stint that comprises just three outings, all on home soil, leading up to summer.

Incidentally, Lemaitre has been named athlete of the year in France by the readers of the French Athletics Federation’s Athletism Magazine, ahead of pole vaulter Renaud Lavellenie and fellow rising U20 sprinter Jimmy Vicaut. Interestingly, Teddy Tamgho languished back in only fifth place in the voting while top woman was sprinter Myriam Soumare just scraped in the top ten back in ninth.

http://www.european-athletics.org/european-athletics-championships-2012/10639-christophe-lemaitre-to-defend-his-european-100m-and-4x100m-titles-in-helsinki.html

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Jeter the Bombshell

World dash champion Carmelita Jeter as you may have never seen her in a fashion shoot for Tight Rope:

http://www.tightropemagazine.com/Site/TR_HOME/Entries/2011/12/15_TRACK_STAR_BOMBSHELL…_CARMELITA_JETER.html

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Powell is coming to town

Asafa Powell explains taking the indoor route this season

Former dash world record holder Asafa Powell has named the inaugural stop of his first indoor tour since 2004 as he signed up for the Birmingham Grand Prix on February 18. Interestingly enough, that is going to be the first time the Jamaican sprint star has ever raced indoors in Britain as he is veering into a different route than his familiar build-up towards the Olympics in London in summer, apparently looking for a short winter speed sharpener.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/16161424.stm

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European Athletics have announced that they will be streaming LIVE the European Cross-Country Championships, in English commentary at that, in Velenje (Slovenia) this coming Sunday (December 11), the first race getting underway at 09:45 GMT.

Post-race athletes interviews, as usual, will be uploaded on http://www.youtube.com/EuropeanAthletics through the day.

Meanwhile, the final entries for the races on Sunday are:

http://velenje2011.si/images/stories/pdf_datoteke/EXCH_2011_Final_Entries.pdf

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Olympic Games opening ceremonies as presented in a slide-show in the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/picturegalleries/8940755/Olympics-Games-opening-ceremonies-over-the-years-in-pictures.html

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Hellebaut poised for return to arenas in January

Olympic champion Tia Hellebaut will be staging her comeback out of retirement at the Golden High Jump Gala in Antwerp, Belgium, on 28 January as she attempts to defend the crown she claimed in a memorable battle against Blanca Vlasic (CRO) on countback at the “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing 2008, she has announced.

The Belgian has been sort of in and out of the sport since her greatest feat and called time on her career for a second time after the European Championships in Barcelona to give birth to a second daughter, Saartje, but now looks to have regained her hunger for action and actually intends to take in all three major stops en route next year; the World Indoors in Istanbul, the Europeans in Helsinki and, of course, the Olympics in London.

http://www.european-athletics.org/news/latest-news/496-general/10591-olympic-champion-hellebaut-names-her-date-for-high-jump-comeback.html

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New logo rule likely to attract athletes more sponsors

IAAF have introduced new legislation that will allow athletes to wear two logos, rather than a mere one as has been long laid down, on their vest in future so that they can engage more sponsorship and bolster up their financial armoury.

As runner Lauren Fleshman has argued, this has been welcome news since a sole sponsor places a great deal of pressure on athletes in a time of wavering global economy as they can so many times stand a mere bad race or season away from having a substantial part of their income taken away.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-rule-may-see-more-athletics-sponsorships-2011-12-05?link=kiosk

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Lolo Jones (twitter):”hardest workout in 8 years. Drinking a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in some water before practice to prevent the lactic acid buildup…”

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NOVEMBER 2011

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‘Hooking up’ his new vaulting gear

Healthy again Steve Hooker, the reigning Olympic champion, says that he is working secret ground-breaking changes in an attempt to charge back to the top of global pole vaulting. At the same time, he warns that expectations of defending his Olympic crown are ‘unwarranted’ at the moment as he has fallen back on square one in some departments and the new technical model he is putting together may take time to gel.

http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-sport/pole-vault-champ-hookers-secret-changes-20111130-1o66i.html

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Powell to engage in rare indoor campaign

Former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell has revealed through his management team that he intends to race indoors this season for the first time since 2004, incidentally also an Olympic year. He didn’t specify whether he will be contesting the World Indoor championships or which races he targets to run.

His PB lies at 6.56 secs dating from that last indoor season of his.

http://trackalerts.com/news/lead-stories/6133-asafa-powell-for-2012-indoor-season

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Mullings receives marching orders from athletics

As universally expected, Jamaican sprinter Steve Mullings has received a lifetime ban on a unonimous verdict by the Jamaican anti-doping panel after being found quilty of a second doping offence last week. The athlete had already served time on wrongdoing back in 2004 and therefore stood little chance of evading this end. His second ‘stumble’ was tied to the masking agent furosemide traced in a sample of his during the Jamaican World Trials.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/15833998.stm

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Gebre rules in Nijmegen

A resurgent lately Haile Gebrselassie keeps showing that he has lost none of his racing potency as he dominated the 15km course to win by over half a minute in 42:44 in Nijmegen, Holland.

After a relative slow early stages into the race (14:38 5km), the ‘Emperor’ picked it up to open up a 10-second lead on eventual runner-up Vincent Kipruo (KEN) by the 10km mark (28:35) and was never in trouble to nonchalantly build on his ascendancy all along.

Kipruo came home in 43:15 followed on by Eritrean Samson Gezaihai in third in 43:56 while U20 Waganesh Makasha cruised to a double of victories on account of the Ethiopians on the women’s end in 48:33.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62970.html

Gebre has fixed his sights on the Tokyo marathon in Japan in February in a stand-or-fall attempt to gain that elusive qualifying standard and make the Ethiopian marathon team for the Olympics in London.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62958.html

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Kenyan double on the country in Soria

Vincent Chepkok and Piscah Jeptoo confirmed their favourite status to make it a double for the Kenyan colours over the course of the 18th edition of ‘Cross Internacional de Soria” under warm conditions.

Chepkok came away from the duo of Spaniard Ayad Landassem and U20 Ugandan Abdanom Abraha, who may have paid dearly for a furious early pace, into the eighth km to grab a solid win by four seconds in 29:49, having opened a gap of even as many as 10 seconds at a point.

The Spaniard, a tragic figure in the 10000m in Barcelona where he foundered over the last lap and was swept out of the medals, came second in 29:53 with the young African a relatively remote third in 30:01.

Jeptoo, on the other hand, had very little of a fight in her hands as she cruised round the course to an easiest of victories in 27:28 to fashion a huge 44 secs advantage on runner-up Rebecca Cheptegei (Uganda) in the end.

http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/CROS12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=62967

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Pistorius shouldn’t be allowed to compete in both Olympics, adds Grey-Thompson

Dame Tani Grey-Thompson has taken up the scepticism surrounding South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius to maintain that he must choose either the able-bodied Olympics or the Paralympics, but not both, next summer in London. Her main argument is that the latter shouldn’t be treated as a sort of ‘B’ final in the 400m and get degraded.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/pistorius-must-choose-one-games-or-the-other-6263908.html

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‘Bladerunner’ shouldn’t compete in the Olympics says Johnson

Great Michael Johnson reckons that friend and double-amputee Oscar Pistorius shouldn’t take part in the Olympics next summer in London, or any able-bodied event by implication, as it could set a tricky precedent that could compromise the normal state of affairs in racing in the future.

http://www.athleticsweekly.com/news/pistorius-is-a-friend-but-he-shouldnt-run-at-the-olympics-says-johnson/

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Mullings facing life ban from athletics

Steve Mullings has been found guiltyof a second doping offence, the first occuring back in 2004, and is now faced with a most likely lifetime ban under the IAAF and WADA rules. The Jamaican sprinter returned a positive sample of a masking agent during the Jamaican World Trials, where he came on top in the 200m and also made the grade as third in the shorter dash, and was subsequently pulled out of the country’s team for Daegu and suspended.

http://www.athleticsweekly.com/news/mullings-found-guilty-could-face-lifetime-ban/

Interestingly, the sprinter twitted last night complaining why his second sample has not been released by CAS to be available as evidence in his defence during his hearing.

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‘Carro’ could hold athletics course beyond London

Karolina Kluft, the former heptathlon queen, has implied that she could shift her mind and keep up her athletics career beyond the London Olympics next summer despite contrasting earlier statements this season. As she says, nothing is writen in stone and could go on although in her heart it feels most likely like her final campaign.

The Swede added that she is rather discovering a “new her” as she looks to polish up certain technical aspects and timing in her long-jumping heading into the new season. As regards the future, she feels that she would like to continue studying and might end up finally in the political field which looks like growing on her.

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/article/newsid=566959.html

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Dr Warren Blake has got the better of former Olympic 200m silver medallist Grace Jackson in a vote-off to succeed suddenly departed Howard Aris to the presidency of JAAA, according to the constitution that specifies that a successor be elected within 10 days.

http://www.trackalerts.com/news/lead-stories/6108-dr-blake-beat-grace-jackson-12-3-in-jaaa-presidency-vote-off

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Eugene lands 2014 World U20 Championships and Sopot the respective World Indoors

On the fringe of the selection showdown for the host to the 2017 World Championships, eventually won by London, IAAF also awarded other very significant international championships with the 2014 World U20 Championships heading to the home of American distance running, NIKE and late Steve Prefontaine; Eugene in majestic Oregon, which is going to offer a magnificent competition environment and background to the junior class of three years from now.

Hayward Field in Eugene

Sopot, Polland, won the right to stage the 2014 World Indoor Championships, taking over from Istanbul this March, while other decisions involved the assignment of the 2014 Continental Cup to Marakesh, Marocco, and Copenhagen, Denmark, winning the World Half-Marathon Championships the same season.

http://www.iaaf.org/aboutiaaf/news/newsid=62904.html

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Gold Coast, Queensland, to host 2018 Commonwealth Games

Gold Coast, Queensland, have convincingly gained the right to host the Commonwealths in 2018, following up on Glasgow 2014, as they got 43 votes against 27 among the 70 nations and territories attending at the CFG general assembly in St Kitts and Nevis, the homeland of Kim Collins.

That makes the fifth time that the Games go Down Under and Australians promise to deliver an excellent show in seven years time.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/commonwealth-games/2018/14847-x-awarded-2018-commonwealth-games

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Howard Aris has passed away

There was sad news for the entire Jamaican athletics fraternity late last night as Howard Aris, the president of JAAA, collapsed and died in his car while attending a political PNP meeting in Portland, Jamaica. He was 75 years old.

Many Jamaican stars of present and past have been moved deeply by the news and come swiftly forth to express their sorrow for the loss of their inspirational leader, such as Veronica Campbell-Brown, Grace Jackson and Kenia Sinclair.

http://www.trackalerts.com/news/lead-stories/6069-worldwide-taf-community-expresses-shock-at-howard-aris-passing

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Campbell-Brown holds no regrets over missing out on IAAF’s last three

Double Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) does not lament falling short of the final cut to contest the prestigious IAAF Athlete Of The Year award, comprising Valerie Adams (NZL), Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and Sally Pearson (AUS).

Campbell-Brown wins the global 200m title from Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix in Daegu

Instead, she reckons that there are athletes that enjoyed an arguably better season that her and merited a place over her while she appreciates even being included in the initial top ten named. The Jamaican admitted, looking back on her season, that she would have liked to make the sprint double in Daegu but overall feels pleased with how she fared – winning gold in the 200m, plus silver in the short dash.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20111110/sports/sports91.html

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Diamond League winners to gain wild card for the World Championships

IAAF are to extend wild card entries beyond defending global champions, as it has been the case in recent years, and over the athletes topping the final standings of events on the Diamond League circuit for the following World Championships, presumably in an attempt to entice wider participation in the glamorous series.

However, the available quota per event for each country remains down to four and in case both the defending champion and the overall Diamond League winner of the previous season in an event come from the same country, the federation concerned will have to select only one of the two entirely at their own discretion.

On top of that, the top 15 markers in either the senior men or women races at the cross-country championships will be considered as holding the ‘A’ qualifying standard for the 10000m, as will be the top three in the final standings of either the Combined Event Challenge or the Race Walking Challenge  – the latter for the 20km.

Nevertheless, whether the new resolutions will take any essential effect in the overall state of affairs in the annual series referred to is highly questionable and remains to be seen.

http://www.athleticsweekly.com/news/diamond-league-winners-to-get-wild-card-entry-for-world-championships/

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Campbell-Brown breaks up with coach Claude Grant

Double Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) is reported to have broken ties with coach Claude Grant and moved over to Atlanta from Montego Bay, where she was based under him over the last year. It appears that negotiations to extend their coach-athlete partnership came to nothing, leading to this turn, while neither herself nor her manager Claude Bryan have been available for any comments so far.

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Lebedeva on the comeback track

Tatyana Lebedeva, former Olympic and World champion in both horizontal jumps, is well en route to returning to the arenas following the birth of her second daughter, Aleksandra, and is planning to resume competitive action during the indoor season.

Also in the veteran ranks now, she is going to have turned her 36 by the time London Olympics get off and it will be interesting to see whether she can banish her demons and land her first triple jump title, at the fourth attempt at that. So far, she has two silvers and a bronze to her credit and, as fate so many times would have, has claimed her only Olympic title in the long jump in Sydney 2000, arguably her ‘weaker’ event.

http://www.european-athletics.org/general-news/tatyana-lebedeva-set-to-return-to-action-in-january.html

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2016 European Championships going Dutch

The European Athletics Council have opted to assign the 2016 European Championships, biennual since Barcelona last summer, to the ‘land of the tulips’ in the Netherlands, and more precisely its capital Amsterdam, getting the better of bids from Istanbul (Turkey) and Split (Croatia).

En route to the ‘Dutchland’, the championships move up north to be hosted in Helsinki, Finland, next summer before swinging down to Zurich in Switzerland in 2014.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/15600488.stm

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OCTOBER 2011

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Course records tumble down in Marseille

Atsede Tsegay (ETH) and Lydia Cheromei (KEN) shared the honours and the limelight in Marseille as they both shattered the respective course records for men and women in winning their affairs convinvincly.

The former covered the approximate 20.3km course in 58:11, followed by Azmeru Bekele in second place in 58:37 for a rare Ethiopian one-two this season, while the latter returned 68:17 to place 22 seconds between herself and runner-up Atsede Baysa (ETH).

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62809.html

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Semenya announces ‘match’ with Maria Mutola

Semenya Caster has become real fast and wastes no time in what she does these days. Hardly days after relative rumours surfaced, she came out to confirm that she is indeed to be coached by legendary Maria Mutola from now on in an attempt to establish herself back to the global summit of the women’s 800m.

A former Olympic and three times global champion, Mutola admitted that she will have to instill a deeper sense of professionalism in her hew charge and there is still a long way to go to the top in London next summer.

Meanwhile, Caster’s agent Jukka Harkonen denied any involvement in the coaching swap but whether he is going to turn convincing of that is another story…

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=62773.html

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Hastings on the “Body Issue”

American thoroughbred and women’s 4x400m regular Natasha Hastings, a fitness trainer to boot, talks about her step into ESPN’s “Body Issue” and how it all came about.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natasha-hastings/natasha-hastings-espn-the-body-issue_b_1068279.html

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Gay taking cautious steps back into training

US dash record holder Tyson Gay has been given the green light to take up light training nearly three months after a hip surgery that sealed a premature end to his season, getting off to some casual pace jogging as he put it.

The charismatic but injury-dogged sprint heavyweight is feeling his hip better than ever and planning to get back into full training around December, hoping to engage in a short indoor racing stint in February.

Needless to say, he is already turning his attention towards summer and gearing up to some massive sprint showdowns with Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt over both sprint distances.

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/article/newsid=563795.html

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Semenya to be coached by Mutola?

With the noise of her break-up with coach Michael Seme hardly settled down, controversial Semenya Caster (RSA) is highly linked with a move under the wing of middle distance legend Maria Mutola (MOZ), an Olympic and multi-World champion in the 800m from the mid 90s through well into last decade.

The latter, retired four years now and reviving a football career, has not denied rumours in the least and went on to comment that herself and Caster are working on “something special.”

If the link-up assumes shape, the South African former global champion will be the first athlete ever guided by Mutola and it will be intruiging to see how the two blend together and the former’s fortunes are going to shape up.

http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/sport/2011/10/24/mutola-tipped-to-coach-semenya

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Harting making smooth recovery on knee surgery

Double discus world champion Robert Harting, turning 27 last week, is on a smooth recovery trail following surgery on his left knee and feels confident he could be striking even better form than he displayed last summer. The German went unbeaten for the whole season to claim 11 victories out of as many contests, a very impressive record.

http://www.european-athletics.org/general-news/discus-world-champion-harting-recovering-well-after-knee-surgery.html

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Ramzi could compete in London next summer

Rashid Ramzi, who won the 1500m in Bejing but was later stripped of the Olympic title on doping offences, could be lining up in London provided he is cleared to do so by IOC and has displayed sufficient form according to the secretary general of Bahrain’s Olympic committee Sheik Ahmed.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OLY_BAHRAIN_RAMZI?SECTION=HOME&SITE=AP&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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Dominquez returns to action after pregnancy

‘chase global champion Marta Dominguez, embroiled in a widespread doping scandal that broke out last winter in Spain, is poised to mark her return to competition for the first time since giving birth to son Javier last May. The 35-year-old Spaniard is competing over 10km on the road at the Carrera Divina Pastora event on Sunday, the official launch to a campaign that she hopes will wind up into the medal positions in London come summer.

http://www.european-athletics.org/general-news/dominguez-returns-to-action-with-an-olympic-medal-in-mind.html

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Biwott makes mark in Chuncheon

Stanley Biwott (KEN) has laid down his own marker as a rising force in the marathon as he came away from Yared Asmerom (ERI) in the late stages to deliver a PB and a new course record of 2h07.03 in Chuncheon. The latter also dipped inside the previous mark in a PB of 2h07.27 as the top two placed plenty of distance on the rest of a quality field.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62764.html

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Kirop prevails in course record in Venice

Even if the Kenyans suffer a rare defeat in a men’s marathon in the streets of Europe, the women will step forth and make up the loss – such is the strength of their distance running these days. At the same time that Tadese Aredo grabbed a second minor win for the Ethiopians edging out Simon Mukun (KEN) by five seconds, 2h09:13 to 2h09:18 (PB), there came along Helena Kirop to shatter her PB in a fast 2h23:37, a new course landmark, and restore the Kenyan pride in style. Her winning margin was nearly four minutes, by the way, on the Ethiopian duo of  Hakum Magda Haji and Jimma Fantu Eticha.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62765.html

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Semenya splits with coach Michael Seme

Raging rumours over the last few months that Semenya Caster was on a troublesome footing with coach Michael “Sponge” Seme have finally surfaced into shape as the latter admitted to having been released from his coaching duties by the former world 800m champion in a short casual recent meeting.

Seme went on saying that he hadn’t seen Caster since her return from Daegu, where she was overtaken by Mariya Savinova (RUS) to gold down the home straight, and that he is unaware of her training environment, speculating that her agent Jukka Harkonen could be providing her with a training schedule. So has Semenya lost her way as it seems?

http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/sport/2011/10/21/semenya-and-coach-split

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‘Hooking up’ back home in Perth

Following a shocking exit without a single height to his name in Daegu, Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker has settled back into his familiar regime and routine in his home city of Perth and feels that things are falling into place quickly and smooth building up towards London.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=62740.html

Steve Hooker pulls off an astonishing victory out of a mere two attempts, forced by an on-going injury, in Berlin 2009

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Breaking news: A Kenyan did NOT win in Reims!

Such has been the dominance of Kenyan runners in the marathons around the globe this season that Ethiopian Demessew Tsega‘s victory in 2h09:44 over the course of Reims, France, may have required a double and cross-check before announced. Not only that, for that matter, as following Haile Adebe Dogaga made it a rare one-two for the Ethiopians in 2h:09:52 holding off former world 5000m champion and fastest on paper Richard Limo (KEN), third just outside 2h10 by a single second.

The Kenyans did claim a win, though, as Julia Mombi edged out Amderash Mesada (ETH) in 2h29:35 to 2h29:46 respectively.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62735.html

Meanwhile, Vincent Kiplagat (KEN) convincingly pulled a second straight victory in 2h10:58 in Istanbul, Turkey, as Alemitu Abera (ETH) edged a close women’s encounter in 2h27:56.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62736.html

In Beijing, China, Francis Kiprop led a Kenyan clean sweep in a SB of 2h09:00, comprising runner-up Samuel Muturi in 2h09:43 (SB) and third-placed Benson Barus in 2h10:45. Local favourite Wei Xiaojie was a comfortable victor in 2h28:05 in the women’s race for a change.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62722.html

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Diamond League 2012 timeline

IAAF have announced the dates of the third Diamond League series that will unfold during the Olympic season setting out from Doha, Qatar, on May 11 and winding up in Brussels as has become a tradition on 7 September. The full series has as follows:

Doha 11th May – Shanghai 19th May – Rome 31st May – Eugene 2nd June – Oslo 7th June – New York 9th June – Paris 6th July – London 13th-14th July – Monaco 20th July – Stockholm 17th August – Lausanne 23rd August – Birmingham 26th August – Zurich 30th August – Brussels 7th September

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Who was the greatest, Coe, Ovett or Cram?

An at-length and very interesting breakdown of the racing prowess, talent and achievements of the three British middle distance greats of the late 70s to late 80s on this blog, definitely worth a look.

I’ve got to differ on two points though. First, that Steve Ovett was the greatest tactician because through his career he displayed a single A plan without a B to his bow, which eventually counted a great deal against him when the others started catching up and even edge past. He simply couldn’t follow the changes in the middle distances that took place from the middle 80′s on.

Second, the dubbing of Sebastian Coe as “ruthless, punishing front runner” doesn’t stand. Coe was never a front runner but simply wouldn’t hesitate to take things from the front if he felt the shape of the race dictated likewise.

http://runnerstribe.com/blog/post/show/id/489-Ovett-Coe-and-Cram.-Whos-the-greatest-

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US Olympic Trials 2012 Schedule

Without a doubt, the most prestigious and glowing national championships and trials season in season out around the globe are the US showpiece, reserving great battles, performances and drama through around a week and on all corners of the arena.

Even more so, when it comes to the Olympic version every four years. For it so many times turns a mini Olympics itself given the high level of competition and wealth of athletics stars, let alone so many athletes around the world are watching and waiting anxious for the results thereof to find out who their main rivals for top honours are going to be.

Carl Lewis responds to a stunning seeming-winner of 8.74m by Larry Myrics (PB) a little earlier in astonishing fashion as he musters a mighty last-ditch 8.76m (0.8) to snatch victory at the very death. A long jump contest second only to Lewis’s epic battle with Mike Powell in Tokyo three years later where he eventually lost his amazing unbeaten record.

Furthermore, the Olympics themselves hold a special lure and charm for the Americans. Some may decide to skip even a certain world championships on occassion but none dare miss the chance to contend for a berth on the Olympic side. Therefore, very much everyone who is someone should be expected to turn up in the battle for those much coveted berths on the Olympic US squad, with some astonishing comebacks as likely as not.

As an early appetizer, here is an outline and the schedule of the US Olympic Trias next summer, spreading over 10 days (!) of action from 23 June through to 1 July – coincidentally, the birthday of great Carl Lewis.

http://www.usatf.org/News/Competition-schedule-released-for-2012-U-S–Olympi.aspx

US Trials Schedule

http://www.usatf.org/events/2012/OlympicTrials-TF/scheduleOfEvents.asp

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Kipchumba makes big mark in Eidhoven

Jafred Chirchir Kipchumba (KEN) seized the Dutch spotlight as he took the fast lane of the flat course of Eidhovan, Holland, to storm to a massive winning PB of 2h:05:48, as Kenyans continued to rule marathons around Europe.

Notwithstanding his time, blowing a big chunk off his previous best of 2h08:10, he had to battle at close quarters most of the way to earn his spurs and it came only in the late stages that he managed to pull away from a pacemaker-turned-competitor countryman Nathaniel Kipkosgei, who held on nicely to perform one of the fastest ever debuts over the distance in 2h06:28.

For good measure, those times slotted into the seventh and tenth place respectively in the global rankings this season while Kipchumba’s mark doubled as a new course record, with Mike Kipyego rounding out a clean sweep in also a PB of 2h06:48 to add impressive depth to the race. Pre-race favourite Tadesse Tola (ETH) came outside the top three in 2h07:13 (SB) by a place.

On the women’s side, Georgina Rono competed a Kenyan double of victories as well as course milestones in 2h24:33 followed by the Ethiopian duo of Shitaye Betaso and Fase Tadesse Boru in 2h25:09 and 2h25:20 respectively.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=62690.html

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Kenyans reign in Capri Marathon

Debutant Nicolas Kurgat illuminated the affair in historical Capri, Italy, as he lead home a quality field to a new course landmark of 2h08:36, holding off Martin Lel‘s younger brother Betram Keter Kimutai who drew a big PB of 2h09:27 in second. The Ethiopians did manage to break a Kenyan full podium in this instance, though, through Geze Belete Mekkonen‘s PB of 2h10:34.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=62697.html

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Mosop, Hall and Shobukova highlight quality start-lists in Chicago

Moses Cheruiyot Mosop (KEN) and American sensation Ryan Hall, runner-up and fourth respectively in that ‘insane’ race in Boston last April, will be starting as the two main favourites, with Bazu Worku (ETH, 2h05:25) a dark horse going into the race, to claim the spoils among a ‘loaded’ field that features nine runners with PBs inside 2h08 promising fireworks in the streets of Chicago, Illinois, on Sunday.

Mosop and Hall, the latter miraculously shrugging off a lengthy spell blighted with illness, clocked stunning times of 2h03:06 and 2h04:58 behind a rampant Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) in 2h03:02 in a nearly surreal marathon race, although unfortunately they don’t count for record purposes due to an above acceptable level of inclination (roughly 136m) and a point-to-point course.

On the other hand, Liliya Shobukova (RUS) returns as red hot favourite to defend her title (2h20:25 last year) and pick up where she left off in London last April, setting a PB of 2h20:15 for second, to hopefully join an elite club of female runners under the landmark of the very great, that 2h20. Ethiopian Askale Tafa, with a PB of 2h21:31 back in 2008 but ‘only’ 2h25:24 also in London, looks like her closest rival while Briton Claire Hallissey will be attempting to draw under the B Olympic standard of 2h35, a PB of 2h36:13.

Start-lists

http://www.chicagomarathon.com/cms400min/chicago_marathon/press_center/index.aspx?id=590

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Kiplagat pulls out of New York

Edna Kiplagat clinches a commanding victory in the women’s marathon in Daegu despite suffering a heavy fall in the late stages of the race

New world champion Edna Kiplagat has been forced to withdraw from the New York Marathon next month as she has failed to recover timely from a knee injury. Funnily enough, she sustained that left-knee complaint during a bizarre fall at a water station in the late stages in Daegu when inadvertedly tripped from behind by a fellow Kenyan girl Sharon Cherop, the eventual silver medalist.

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/article/newsid=559747.html

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Bolt makes U-turn on false-start rule

Usain Bolt howlers into an uncharacteristic false-start in the 100m final in Daegu

Multi-sprint champion Usain Bolt has backtracked on his original backing statements when the new false-start rule came in effect to say that he would like reverting to the one false-start situation.He admits that it initially didn’t look like a problem to him until he suffered one – and at the most awkward of moments!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/09/27/usain.bolt.ap/index.html

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SEPTEMBER 2011

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Keitany storms to record run in Lisbon

Paula Radcliffe‘s likely toughest rival to the Olympic title next London, Mary Keitany (KEN) swept over the half marathon route leading from gun to tape to a new event record of 67:54 in Lisbon (Portugal) to nonchalantly dispense with the opposition led by compatriot Helena Kiprop, who followed on over a minute behind in 68:57. Her own previous course figure stood at 68:50 from last year. On the strength of her latest outing, the Kenyan is gearing up nicely towards the New York marathon next month.

On the men’s side, Silas Sang eased off fellow countryman Lucas Rotich to the men’s spoils in 61:13 to the latter’s 61:38 as the Kenyans swept the board on the roads around Europe on Sunday.

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62628.html

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Kenyans on top in Utrecht

Phillip Lagat (KEN) comfortably earned his spurs as he swung away to a 15-second winning gap on countryman runner-up Timothy Kiptoo over 10km in Utrecht, clocking 27:28 to 27:43 respectively, while Winnie Jepkemoi set a new course record of 31:31 to rule in the women’s race over second-placed Elbiza Cherono (32:11) and third-slotted Moroccan Rkia El Boukim (32:12).

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62631.html

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Kigen dominates in Eldoret

Moses Kigen (KEN) demolished a quality field to conquer the Eldoret 15km with aplomb sparing a full half a minute on runner-up and training partner John Mutai, who posted 44:40, and 42 secs on third-placed Joseph Aberumoi. The winner said after the race that he was using the event as a gauge of his speed in sight of the New York marathon, where he is hoping to improve on his third place last year.

By stark contrast, Frida Chelanga snatched victory in a tense and tight finish by a mere second in the women’s affair in 48:16 from runner-up Agnes Chebet, 48:17, and third-placed Sally Chebet, 48:18, as the top five came within six seconds of each other.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201109262006.html

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Canada defy new IAAF road-racing record rule

Athletics Canada have said that they will keep recognising national records by women in mixed road races to shape the first opposing move to IAAF’s new ruling that only marks set in all-female races will be acknowledged as world, area or national records henceforth. Spokesman Mathieu Gentes stressed that Canadian Rules remain as were and Silvia Ruegger‘s time of 2h28:36 set in Houston in 1985 stands still as a national record.

(read way down below in the story)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/marathoner-coolsaet-primed-for-toronto-race/article2178569/

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Berlin a point of no return for both Radcliffe and Gebrselassie

Living marathon legends Paula Racliffe and Haile Gebrselassie will be running on plenty of common territory when they set out in the Berlin marathon tomorrow, very much of a point-of-no-return for both. They need to ensure of an Olympic qualifying time early, and quite fast to make a solid case as medal contenders at that, as well as showing highly competitive and still able to fend off the younger and fresher legs coming through over the distance. The challenge faced with rises even more daunting when both have shown very liable to injuries and haven’t enjoyed the best of build-ups to the race. Can they make it? It remains to be seen whether tomorrow’s race is going to turn a virtual swansong or earn one or both of them a new lease of life and hope.

Men’s race build-up

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62600.html

Women’s race build-up

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR11/news/newsid=62596.html

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O’Lionaird about to join Salazar’s squad

Ciaran O’Lionaird, the US-based Irish mile revalation of the season, looks set to move under the wing of Alberto Salazar and the NIKE-powered Oregon Project in Oregon, training alongside Mo Farah and Gallen Rupp, from the new winter training season as he let slip during a TV interview and later confirmed via the Twitter.

New Alberto Salazar’s charge Ciaran O’Lionaird was a finalist in Daegu

The 23-year-old improved massively from a previous best of 3:50.41 at just 17 to the fringes of world class in 3:34.66 in a single summer, having apparently left the sport for a several seasons, and capped a superb breakthrough season with making a place in the final of the men’s 1500m in Daegu.

On the evidence of the vast progress of either Farah or Rupp, it is going to be intriguing to see how far the young Irishman can go under the guidance of the renowned American coach, a world record holder himself in the marathon in his running days, and whether he could challenge the top forces in the 1500m in the Olympic season.

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What goes on with Mulling’s second sample?

Mystifyingly enough, Steve Mulling‘s B sample is yet to be obtained through JADCo and re-tested at an independent laboratory on a sustained request by the Jamaican’s legal team nearly a month ago. No reason for the delay has been offered so far while the executive director of JADCo, Dr Patrice Charles-Freeman, is nowhere to be reached and the body’s director of communication and education Garfield Ellis declared himself unaware of the situation.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Mullings-stalled—Lawyers-still-await-re-testing-of-B-sample_9751220

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Why Lashawn Merritt stands a good chance of overturning his Olympic ban

Olympic champion Lashawn Merritt, who has recently returned to action after serving a 21-month-long ban, could well overturn the lately laid down IOC’s controversial Rule 45 and gain the right to defend his crown in London next summer, which in turn would pave the way for Dwain Chambers and Carl Myerscough to overthrow the equivalent restraint of BOA and turn eligible to compete for the British team.

As a matter of fact, there is already a precedent in the case of swimmer Jessica Hardy, world record holder over 50 and 100m breaststroke, who has been cleared to compete in the Olympic next summer having been acknowledged as unknowingly taking in a tainted supplement.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/story/_/id/6992270/a-look-lashawn-merritt-case-rule-45

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van Haeren first ever ‘reverse’ winner in 400m history

U20 Stef van Haeren has carved out his name into history as the winner of the first ever ‘reverse’ 400m held at the Ivo van Damme Memorial in Brussels last Friday in a time of 47.28 secs, which wasn’t actually that far from his ‘normal’ PB of 46.91 secs set at Oordegem in early June. The results of that race have as follows:

http://www.diamondleague-brussels.com/en/Live-StartlistsResults/Overview/400m-Men-reversed/

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Uceny adds weight to 5th Avenue Mile

Morgan Uceny, the Diamond League series winner over 1500m, will be lining up against world champion Jenny Simpson and runner-up Hannah England in the prestigious 5th Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday to open wider an anticipated stirring road version replay of the final in Daegu. The American was actually more fancied pre-race to lift the world title than her compatriot but suffered a heavy fall coming to the bell in the final that put paid to her aspirations. Nevertheless, she bounced back quickly to claim the 1500m in a PB of 4:00.06 and a priceless diamond in style in the final race of the Diamond League series in Brussels last Friday.

http://www.nyrrmedia.org/Professional-Athletes/morgan-uceny-fastest-in-world-for-2011-joins-fifth-avenue-mile-field.html

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Clockwise 400m race in Brussels

The world renowned Ivo van Damme meeting in Brussels, the traditional curtain drawer of the Diamond League series, is to mark a first ever 400m race run clockwise on an idea suggested by doctor Dirk Huylebrouk. That’s some quite astonishing news and it’s going to be most intriguing to see what sort of times the first ‘reverse’ one-lappers are going to return and how they’re going to compare to traditional anti-clockwise races.

Line-up

http://www.diamondleague-brussels.com/en/Live-StartlistsResults/Overview/400m-Men-reversed/

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Sally Pearson a shade away from wrapping up perfect season

Aussie hurdles sensation Sally Pearson, the girl who captured the hearts of so many in Daegu, will be out to apply a last diamond touch to a superb campaign that saw her claim her first global title as well as running the fourth fastest time in history in 12.28 secs when she steps up on the track at the famous Ivo van Damme meeting in Brussels. Apart from that, she will also intend to retain her unbeaten run over the women’s sprint hurdles that stretches to a sound 19 outings now.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/london-olympics/hurdles-champion-sally-pearson-is-one-win-away-from-an-undefeated-season-over-the-100m-hurdles/story-fn9dirj0-1226137004786

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England to wrap up racing season on Fifth Avenue

Hannah England, a surprise global silver medalist a couple of weeks ago, will be looking to end her racing season on a high note when she lines up against the woman that crossed the line before her in Daegu, local favourite Jenny Simpson, in the renowned Fifth Avenue Mile in the centre of New York, an event graced by legends like Steve Cram and Steve Ovett in the past.

World 5000m runner-up Sally Kipyego (KEN) is also involved along with Shannon Rowbury and 800m specialists Alysia Montano and Maggie Vessey (USA) on the back of very strong track seasons, with States-based Deagu ‘chase finalist Barbara Parker a second Briton in the field.

Legendary Bernard Lagat (USA) is leading the men’s entries facing off mainly with Morocco’s new middle distance star Amine Laalu and Kenyan Boaz Lalang, while Aussie Jeff Riseley and Nick Symmonds are other notable names to watch out for.

Report & Starting-lists

http://www.nyrrmedia.org/Professional-Athletes/lagat-simpson-lead-deep-fields-for-fifth-avenue-mile.html

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Legend Jelezni to co-coach Pitkamaki

Great Jan Zelezni (CZE), javelin world record holder and three times Olympic champion, will be joining forces with Hannu Kangas to guide Tero Pitkamaki together from this winter training season onwards. The Finn suffered with a back injury, as well as a mid-summer infection, to endure his poorest run of form in years as he even struggled to beat 80m occasionally, a most unfamiliar sight with him, in a season that culminated in a premature departure in qualification at the World Championships in Daegu. In the immediate wake, he approached and enquired the Czech legend, already steering the fortunes of the likes of Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova and Viteslav Vesely, about the availability of his services to assist with his  training henceforth and the latter replied affirmitively shortly after consulting his own group. That is very good news and it is going to be most intriguing to see how far Zelezni can take his new charge and whether he could draw him on a level footing with the Nordic king of the spear Andre Thorkildsen (Norway) on the global stage.

http://www.iaaf.org//news/newsid=62502.html

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AUGUST 2011

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Quinon commits suicide

Pierre Quinon, the Olympic 1984 champion and former world record holder in the pole vault, is no longer among us as he is reported to have committed suicide at the age of 49 earlier today. As I understand, nothing is known or established behind his tragic end at the moment as drawn on the sparing words in the statement of Bermard Amsalem, the president of the French Athletics Federation.

Quinon reached the climax of his career when he rose over 5.75m to upset favourites Mike Tulley, Earl Bell (USA) and Thierry Vigneron (FRA) to a priceless gold in a rollercoaster final at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, having set a world record of 5.81m a year earlier in Koln (Germany). That, however, was to last a mere four days as his compatriot Thierry Vigneron sailed over 5.83m in Rome.

He never recovered the all-time top ranking thereon although he did improve to 5.90m in 1985, third highest ever at the time.

RIP Pierre Quinon

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Wojciechowski soars into Pole position

Pawel Wojciechowski, 22, has rocketed high to the top of the global rankings and the driving seat in the highly anticipated ‘battle of the skies’ in the pole vault in Daegu as he set a new national record and big lifetime best of 5.91m at Szczecin yesterday, improving his previous mark by a sound 10cm.

Nevertheless, the unquestionable class and experience of Olympic and World champion Steve Hooker (AUS), as well as European champion Renaud Lavillenie, may prove a level too far when the battle hits dizzy heights and tension scales up in the final of the global championships.

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/NewsListDetail.aspx?id=61132

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Ibargüen rises as a new force in the triple jump

Caterine Ibargüen (COL), 27, has set an equal world-leading an new national record of 14.99m (1.7m/sec) in her last competition in Bokota, Colombia, to get an ideal send-off to the World Championships in Daegu, aiming to break into a rare track and field podium placing for her country – come to that, why not even gold!

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=61111.html

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Semenya Caster ‘overweight’, late for training and at odds with coach

Rumours on the street have it that controversial World 800m champion Semenya Caster has gone overweight, is regularly late for training and not on the best of terms with coach Michael Seme. The same rumours also have that she didn’t pull out of the World Student Games through injury but on the advice of manager Jukka Harkonen, thought to have a hand in the situation, that there is not enough prize money on offer.

http://www.sport24.co.za/OtherSport/Athletics/Fat-Caster-fights-with-coach-20110817

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Thorkildsen strikes 90m again

Double Olympic champion Andre Thorkildsen has showed that he has recovered his very best as he pierced the Norwegian skyline with his spear to reach a world-leading 90.61m at the national championships at Byrkjelo, his eighth time over that javelin landmark of the very great and the furthest globally for two years. Needless to say that he is heading to Daegu as overwhelming favourite to clinch yet another major title especially when none else has shown anything that could recommend even a remote challenge.

http://www.european-athletics.org/13th-iaaf-world-championships/norways-thorkildsen-rides-the-wind-for-longest-javelin-throw-of-the-year.html

Talking of javelin throwers, Finn Sampo Lehtola turned the surprise package at the Vattenfall Elit Games in Lappeeranta, Finland, as he landed his spear at a PB of 83.77m to earn a last-gasp place on the Daegu-bound national team.

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Eaton and Hardee tune up for Daegu

Decathlon sensation Ashton Eaton and defending global champion Trey Hardee turned at the 2011 Jim Thorpe Cup to place the last finishing touches to their preparations ahead of their anticipated relentless battle on the track and field of Daegu contesting four events each but while the former upped the ante through big PBs of 10.26 (1.5m/sec) and 47.36m in the 100m and discus the latter looked rather sort of stuttered across disciplines. Nevertheless, all that could as well change by the time both settle in their blocks for the opening event of the decathlon in Korea.

Olympic champion Bryan Clay made a cameo of 10.83 secs (1.1m/sec) in the dash.

Results

http://flashwest.com/11Meets/11ThorpeCup/

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Thompson ‘torpedos’ Boldon’s mark

Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson, Beijing’s silver medalist, astounded everyone and even himself as he blazed over the dash to a sublime 9.85 secs at Trinidad’s national championships and sneak inside legend Ato Boldon‘s national landmark through a mere hundredth of a second, standing since 1998. He wasn’t a stranger to that region, far from that, holding a previous best of 9.89 secs from the Olympic final in 2008 but his form leading up to the race had hardly suggested anything of the like. On the evidence of this display, he is rising now as a serious medal prospect in a rather strange season in the event so far.

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org//newslistdetail.aspx?id=61109

On the second day, Rondel Sorillo picked up the baton to deliver a swift PB of 20.16 secs over the longer sprint while World U20 champion Jehue Gordon won the 400m hurdles in a SB of 48.75 secs.

http://www.trackalerts.com/news/lead-stories/5343–sorillo-blazes-to-2016-gordon-hurdles-to-4875

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Mikhnevich inches one better

Andrey Mikhnevich (BLR) has flung a powerful 22.10m in the shot in Minsk to send a clear warning to the likes of reigning world champion Christian Cantwell (USA) and Dylan Armstrong (CAN) that he is going to be a major medal contender, nicking a sole hold of the national record that he had shared with Sergey Kasnauskas – the latter laying down that mark first way back in 1984.

Pavel Krivitskiy reached a SB of 80.67m to move second in the global rankings but effectively leading hammer throwers into Daegu as top marker Aleksey Zagorniy (RUS) has pulled out with injury.

http://www.european-athletics.org/13th-iaaf-world-championships/national-record-and-european-lead-for-belarus-shot-putter-mikhnevich.html

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Copenhagen Athletics Games, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 11

Marco Fortes‘s national record of 20.89m served as the highlight of the international meeting in the rainy and cold conditions of Copenhagen. Samson Oni cleared 2.16m, not that bad under the circumstances, but I’m not aware of the rest of British performances yet.

IAAF Report http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=61104.html

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Lolo Jones on Tweeter: “dont know if im more nervous for surgery or bc i gotta take my padded bra off for surgery. doc might get confused on which back to work on” (ahead of her surgery)

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Lolo Jones to undergo spinal surgery

Double World indoor hurdle champion Lolo Jones is to undergo microsurgery on her spinal cord today to sort out the source of certain injury problems that have been dogging her, having aborted any competition plans over the remainder of the season. I’ve got to admit that I had to give it to her once more when she tweeted “Weird, My running career now depends upon if my surgeon cheated his way thru college”! Good luck to her!

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110809/SPORTS/308090075/-1/SPORTS13/Iowa-Olympian-Lolo-Jones-set-surgery

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Caster Semenya withdraws from World Student Games with back injury

http://www.iol.co.za/sport/athletics/caster-withdraws-from-student-games-1.1115993

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Rybakov won’t defend global title in Daegu

World high jump champion Yaroslav Rybakov will form another major casualty on the big stage of Daegu as a persisting foot injury has forced him to opt out of the defence of his crown.

http://www.european-athletics.org/13th-iaaf-world-championships/russias-rybakov-will-not-defend-his-high-jump-title-in-daegu.html

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JULY 2011

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Samsung Diamong League, DN Galan, Stockholm, Sweden, July 29

The men’s 400m that saw a startling instant return to form from Lashawn Merritt, narrowly missing out to Jermaine Gonzales (JAM) with Angelo Taylor also coming through strong

Carmelita Jeter runs a superb 11.15 secs into a -2.4m/sec headwind with an ominous Merchevet Myers following closely in 11.21 secs

Jason Richardson (doesn’t he look like Snoop Doggy Dog a little?) stages the greatest upset of the meeting as he overhauls mighty David Oliver in the 110m hurdles in a massive display in every sense of 13.17 secs into a -2.4m/sec headwind

IAAF report:

http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/dlm/news/newsid=61012.html

Results:

http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/dlm/eventcode=4731/

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Terra Sarda , Sardinya, Italy, July 30

Steve Mullings (JAM) served up a reminder to all his more hyped rivals around that he is not to be taken lightly as he stormed to a scorching 9.93 secs in the men’s 100m (1.4m/sec) to provide the highlight of the meeting in Sardinya, coming back later to complete a sprint double in a quick 20.22 secs over the longer sprint (0.2m/sec)

Results http://www.tilastopaja.org/staticresults/eaa12813584.htm

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Istvan Gyulai Memorial, Budapest, July 30

Former Olympic silver medalist Zoltan Kovago mounted a powerful return to the top flight of discus throwing as he unleashed a global-leading 69.50m to comprehensively defeat great Virgilijus Alekna (LIT), who was second well behind at 66.02m.

Bearing a strong home tradition, throws held a prominent place during the meet and Krisztian Pars dominated the field in the hammer with a best of 79.37m to win by over two and a half metres on German Marcus Esser (76.85).

Perfect tailwinds down the home straight set up a fabulous setting for the sprints and former world record holder Asafa Powell (JAM) made the most of it to sweep to a smooth 9.86 secs (2.0m/sec) in the 100m for an all-comers record, his second fastest this season having run an also impressive 9.90 secs (1.8m/sec) in the heats.

Double Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown followed suit to tear round to a SB of 22.26 secs over 200m (1.2m/sec) to come home well ahead of World 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross who also gained a SB of 22.63 secs.

Results

http://www.gyulaimemorial.hu/page.php?aid=eredmenyek&path=verseny&LangID=2

IAAF report:

http://www.iaaf.org/news/newsid=61028.html

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Greek National Championships, Athens, July 29-30

European indoor finalist Nikol Kyriakopoulou blazed over a big national record of 4.70m, second on the day as she cleared an intermediate 4.62m en route, to hog the spotlight at the national championships on Friday in Athens. That vault saw her rise to equal fourth in the global rankings this summer.

Nikol Kyriakopoulou en route to a big national record of 4.70m

Kostas Filipidis rose over a SB of 5.73m in the men’s equivalent the following day while European U23 champion Voula Papahristou just sneaked victory by the skin of her teeth over Niki Paneta at 14.56m to 14.55m respectively, the latter obtaining the qualifying standard for Daegu in the process.

Louis Tsatoumas, finally, took the long jump with 8.18m and Alexandra Papageorgiou flung the hammer over to 70.54m to virtually clinch her place on the team to Daegu.

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French National Championships, Albi, July 28-29

Double European champion Christophe Lemaitre has set a new national record of 9.92 secs riding on a perfect tailwind of 2.0m/sec in the final of the men’s 100m during the French Championships at Albi, followed by new European U20 champion Jimmy Vicaut in an equal PB of 10.07 secs andMartial Mbandjock in 10.17 secs. Here is the video of the race:

First & Second Day Report:

http://www.iaaf.org/WCH11/news/newsid=61021.html

Third Day Report:

http://www.iaaf.org/WCH11/news/newsid=61029.html

Full Results

http://bases.athle.com/asp.net/liste.aspx?frmbase=resultats&frmmode=1&frmespace=0&frmcompetition=065528

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Ethiopia have named a provisional team for the forthcoming World Championships in Daegu which comprises, hardly a surprise, entirely middle and long distance runners. Great Kenenisa Bekele has been included, holding a wild card as defending World 10000m champion, but is subject to fitness.

http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/blogs/blog=blockheadblog/postid=545492.html