EME News had some good stories this weekend. Haile Gebrselassie won his last road race of the spring, running and winning in Lisbon over the half marathon in 59:15. After that, Mr. G will be training for the track. After his statement that he may not run the marathon in Beijing, the Ethiopian federation made it know that they will decide where Haile runs.
Jorge Torres and Shalane Flanagan won 8 kilometer races in Central Park this past weekend. Both Torres and Flanagan will be dangerous over 10,000 meters this coming spring and at the US Olympic Trials.
EME NEWS (MAR 15, 2008) UPDATE
Osaka podium repeated: Kanter, Harting, Smith, Italian wins for Lingua and Legnante
SPLIT (CRO, Mar 15): Osaka podium situation was repeated in discus competition during first day of 8th European Cup Winter Throwing in Split before around 500 spectators. In sunny, but windy conditions (not favorable for discus) Gerd Kanter won for the fifth time this competition, on Saturday his best throw was 65.25 m. German Robert Harting was second as last year in August in Japan (64.34) and Dutch Rutger Smith third (63.80). Fourth place for Turkish record holder Ercumet Olgundeniz (62.04) and former olympic medalist Frants Kruger now representing Finland was fifth (61.71). Interestingly young talent Mykyta Nesterenko of Ukraine had six fouls. Italian Marco Lingua was the surprise hammer winner with new PB of 77.87 m. Hungarian Osaka fifth placer Krisztian Pars was second (77.06) and Belarus winter throws champion Dmitry Shako third (76.86). Only behind him former olympic medalist Nicola Vizzoni of Italy (75.88) and Turkish World Championships finalist Esref Apak (75.81). Osaka 8th placer Markus Esser of Germany had a poor outing with 70.51 and five fouls (11th overall). Bergur Petursson of Iceland won the B-group with new national record 73.00 m and was overall 9th.
Italian success continued after hammer also in women Shot Put. European Indoor Champion 2007 Assunta Legnante made ground after beeing knocked out in Valencia in qualification last weekend and won with 18.98 m. It is her second best ever outdoors after 19.04 in 2006. Russian champion Anna Omarova who was 9th in Osaka and 8th in Valencia was second (18.38) with Valencia fifth placer Chiara Rosa of Italy third (18.05). German indoor sensation Christina Schwanitz was out of podium as fourth (17.65, far away from her indoor best 19.68). Interesting results also in U23 competitions with three titles going to Russians. Mariya Abakumova achieved excellent 62.07 in Javelin (meet record and would be enough for bronze in senior competition). Last year European junior champion Nikolay Sedyuk won the discus and greatly improved to meet record 63.20 m. Irina Tarasova won the third russian U23 gold in Shot Put (16.73).
Earlier in the day British javelin record holder Goldie Sayers achieved in fourth round winning throw and Olympic qualifier 63.65 m, her second best ever after last year national record 65.05. Interestingly already in the weaker B-group a great mark was registered, a huge new Slovenian record for Martina Ratej who improved to 63.16 and was overall second. Her best before was 58.49 m, so she was better by nearly five metres (4.67 m). The former Slovenian record was 61.14 by Eufemija Storga in 2000. Italian World Championships 2005 fifth placer Zahra Bani was third (59.42) and experienced Romanian and Osaka finalist Felicia Tilea Moldovan fourth (59.33). Belarussian hammer thrower and last year U23 European Champion Yury Sayunov won his event in U23 category achieving new meet record 73.32 m.
Kenyan wins in Switzerland
KERZERS (SUI, Mar 15): Kenyan triumphs at first race of Swiss running series Post Cup. The 30th Kerzerslauf winners at road 15 km were Wilson Kipkogei (44:23.9) and Anita Kiptum (52:53.2). Also second places for Kenyans Elijah Mbogo (44:28.5) and Regina Nguria (54:47.7). Best European placing was the Swiss third woman Angelina Fluckiger-Joly (55:17.2) who wants to attack the olympic standard at Zurich Marathon later in Spring. Best male European runners was Russian Dmitriy Semyonov as 6th (45:56.5) with best Swiss runner Jerome Schaffner ninth (46:36.9). There were 8600 entries registered, but top home runners did not compete due to marathon preparation (Rothlin, Bandi, Jenni) or injury (Belz).
Makau wins PCP
DEN HAAG (NED, Mar 15): Kenyan world half-marathon silver medalist Patrick Makau won his third this years HM race as he was the best at the 34th City-Pier-City Loop in Den Haag. He clocked second fastest in race history 1:00:08. Faster was only Samuel Wanjiru with his still valid last years world record 58:33. Lille HM winner 2007 Joseph Maregu was close second (1:00:12) and last weekend Alphen winner at 20 km Dennis Ndiso third (1:00:33, PB). Sub 1:01 also for fourth Wilson Kiprotich (1:00:43) and fifth Francis Kibiwott (1:00:52). Dutch title for ninth Michel Butter (1:03:17, PB), next best European as 10th Briton Peter Riley (1:03:18). It his third title after 10 km road and cross country. Kenyan Pauline Wangui improved first time in her career to sub 1:10 (1:09:49) and won the women race. German Susanne Hahn was second (1:11:29) and third Nadja Wijenberg achieved for 1:16:32 the Dutch HM title.
Wind blows fast times
STELLENBOSCH (RSA, Mar 15): During second day of South African Championships wind was blowing all hopes away for fast times. Commonwealth Champion LJ Van Zyl got his title at 400 m Hurdles but 49.86 was not the time he was expecting. Afterwards he said the wind was costing all competitors at least one second. Ter De Villiers was second (50.14) and Ockert Cilliers third (50.89). African discus record holder Elizna Naude won her competition with 56.24 m.
Torres and Flanagan in Central Park
NEW YORK (USA, Mar 15): At the inaugural Central Park Challenge here today, which incorporated the U.S. Men's 8-K Championship, Jorge Torres and Shalane Flanagan won their respective races convincingly. But the paths taken to their titles were completely different. In the men's race, all eyes were on U.S. mile record holder, Alan Webb, running in only his fourth professional road race and his first race of 2008 was leading at 5 km, but later struggled, and appeared to stop. He actually paused, resumed running and would later finish 16th, forfeiting his $1500 5-K prime because he did not finish in the top-10. Torres clocked 22:41.2 to beat Andrew Carlson 22:41.9 (both received 22:42 official times).
Flanagan, the recent U.S. Cross Country Champion, surged to the front immediately from the gun, and was the race's only leader, from start to finish. She hit the tape in a personal best 25:40 (25:39.7). Katie McGregor also broke 26 minutes in 25:56, with Molly Huddle taking third (26:07). Amy Rudolph moved up from seventh place at the 5-K to take fourth in 26:25. Canadian Carmen Douma-Hussar just outkicked Erin Donohue for fifth; both were timed in 26:28. Both Torres and Flanagan earned $10,000 as race winners, but Flanagan earned an additional $1500 for being first through 5-K.
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