Big news on the world front is Walter Dix with strep throat. The Florida superstar may not make the NCAA Indoor Champs this weekend.
Second, in my mind is Justin Gatlin, trying out for the pro football in U.S. I do think his younger drug conviction over a drug taken for ADD was a bit much, but I am mixed over letting him run in Beijing.
Swedish hurdle goddess Sussana Kallur should be able to begin training in two weeks. Her recent issue with her hamstring has been now called a rupture.
Nice phone call from Bank of America Chicago Marathon stalwart Mike Nishi, excited about the new sponsors and renewed excitement B of A is bringing to this most important event! Watch for some upcoming interviews!
MOKOENA MAKES THE STANDARD 824 cm
STELLENBOSCH (RSA, Mar 14): Fresh World Indoor Champion Khotso Mokoena already in his first jump at South African Championships during afternoon session of opening day achieved the Olympic standard with 824 cm leap by 4 cm. In the morning Rene Kalmer won in unexpected hot temperatures the 5000 m at Coetzenburg Stadium in 15:55.00 what is her 22nd national title but far away from aimed Olympic standard (15:09). She wants to try for the norm later in the year, possibly in spring in USA. Chris Harmse again won the hammer title (75.62) but will not travel to Beijing anyway, because he is not competing on Sundays and hammer final is on Sunday Aug 17 in China.
FAYETTEVILLE (USA): Top sprint name and 200 m favorite Walter Dix could miss the NCAA Championships. As reported on Thursday in US media, the seven-time NCAA champion remained in Tallahassee diagnosed with strep throat. Bob Braman, Florida State University track coach, said on Thursday night that there's still a chance Dix could be on a plane Friday in time for the 200-meter prelims that begin at 7:20 pm local time.
KALLUR TO TRAIN IN TWO WEEKS
FALUN (SWE): Hurdles World indoor record holder and European Champion Susanna Kallur plans to be back in full training in about two weeks time. That was said by Swedish media. She was not able to run her semifinal race at World Indoor Championships in Valencia due to a rupture in the back of her thigh. Currently she undergoes rehabilitation. She committed already to AF Golden League Series in summer which starts on June 1 in Berlin Olympic Stadium.
NOT IN THE SAME TIME WITH JAVELIN
MONTE CARLO: IAAF Technical committee proposed after its last session early this week in Valencia to IAAF Council for its next meeting on April 2-3 in London to approve a recommendation concerning the javelin competitions. Technical experts are proposing that in stadiums where also other events are being staged inside the track there will be no other events than javelin at the same time. The move is logical step after last year accident in Rome when French Long Jumper Salim Sdiri was speared and suffered injuries.
NO SURPRISES: BEKELA AND TIRUNESH LEADING THE TEAM
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): No major surprises in Ethiopian Team announcement for IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Multitple world champion Kenenisa Bekele leads the men team after giving this event the priority over indoor championships and 10 000 m world champion Tirunesh Dibaba the women´s. Bekele can chase the record sixth win in classic race in Edinburgh end of the month. Ethiopia wants to forget last year nearly disastrous performance with only two individual medals in Mombasa at home of their main rivals from Kenya. Double world silver holder Sileshi Sihine, trials winner Abebe Dinkessa and experienced Gebregziabher Gebremariam are other names to note. Dibaba will have it easier without Lornah Kiplagat after she lost to her in Mombasa. Even stronger is women team with Meselech Melkamu and Gelete Burka two medallists from recent World Indoor Championships. Also to note is that there are no latest infos about health situation of Dibaba who was not totally fit since last year. Both junior teams are also very strong headed by Emebet Etea, other sister Genzebe Dibaba and Ibrahim Jeylan on boys side. Information from IAAF.
NAIROBI (KEN): Important awards for Kenyan track athletes at Kenyan Sportsman and women awards ceremony. 800 m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei was voted sportswoman of the year. Most promising sports personalities titles went to world junior CC champion Asbel Kiprop and steeple world junior record holder Ruth Bosibori (other runner Mercy Kosgei was second). Interestingly Kenya Motorsports Foundation was declared the best run Federation and former world record holder in marathon Tegla Loroupe was named the winner of the newly introduced Community Hero category. In the top three also marathon runners Martin Lel and Samuel Wanjiru (second and third in best sportsman category), Vivian Cheruyiot was third in sportswoman section, World junior Cross Country team was the Sports Team of the Year in women section.
MEDULIN (CRO): Unfortunately without hammer Osaka bronze medalist Primoz Kozmus will the Slovenian team compete at weekend´s European Cup Winter Throwing. He had problems at the beginning of the year with hamstring and was not able to train for three weeks. Now he is back in preparation in Medulin, Croatia but the level of fitness was not enough to compete at high quality event. "I will be able to do something between 75-77 meters but that would not satisfy me in expected strong fields. I want to be in top shape in summer," he was quoted.
KNOXVILLE (USA): AP reported that olympic and world sprint champion Justin Gatlin showed off his skills to NFL scouts this week during Tennessee's pro timing day. He is appealing his ban in hopes of voiding the first of his two doping violations to be allowed to compete this summer and try to qualify for Beijing Games. Gatlin was among 14 former Tennessee players to participate in the pro timing event which was closed to the public.
PARIS (FRA): European 400 m champion Marc Raquil of France is considering the switch to 400 m Hurdles. He wants to try the event anyway in summer and if it will be going well, he might run the hurdles at Olympic Games. "I want to achieve the standard in both events. In training I did enough hurdles, but something different will be the competition. I see bigger chance at world level in the hurdles as at the flat distance the quality is very high," he was quoted. The French Federation Beijing standards are 45.22 and 49.11.
DUBLIN (IRL): Commonwealth 5000 m silver medallist Jo Pavey will open her competitive season at the Great Ireland Run at 10 km in Dublin on April 6. That means she will not compete in Lisbon Half-Marathon this Sunday as some informations were noting. Pavey will return from a training camp in Dullstroom, South Africa and could be the first English winner here. It won't be an wasy task, organizers having attracted two outstanding cross country stars Benita Johnson of Australia and Aniko Kalovics from Hungary to the event in Phoenix Park.
DUSSELDORF (GER): Fight for German Olympic tickets at Dusseldorf Marathon on May 4. Winner of last three editions Luminita Zaituc (course record holder 2:26:44) will clash with Sonja Oberem. The 35 years old runner has best of 2:26:13 but from 2001 and last time completed a marathon in 2006.
UTRECHT (NED): Great plans for traditional Utrecht women 10 000 m track race in 2009. The event foreseen for June next year will offer 100 000 EURO for breaking the current world record 29:31.78 by Chinese Wang Junxia in 1993. There is an insurance behind this offer.
DEN HAAG (NED): Samuel Wanjiru and Martin Lel are the latest withdrawals for Sunday 34th City-Pier-City Half Marathon in Netherlands. In other issue there was a possibility that the event would be canceled after Dutch police was not in position to support the event (seeking higher salaries). The main favorites are so Kenyans Patrick Makau Musyoki with 58:56 (won silver last year at World Championships in Udine) and Francis Kibiwott (59:26). Not to underestimate the holder of fastest time of the year at 20 km Denis Ndiso who achieved 57:15 last weekend in Alphen. Main female favorite is Kenyan Pauline Wangui (71:20). The best Europeans entries are home Nadja Wijenberg and German Melanie Kraus.
SANTA EULARIA (ESP): European Athletics walking permit meetings series is having second part of this year schedule on Saturday at Ibiza, one of Spanish Balear Islands. Santa Eularia del Rio will host the 5th Trofeo de Marcha and will be also Balear Islands Championships race. Men will compete at 20 km and women at 10 km with different junior and youth races to be held too. For the winners 1000 E are waiting and for breaking the course records another 500 E at 1 km lap course of Sant Jaume. The fastest 20 km was registered here in first year by Alejandro Cambil who achieved 1:22:39 in 2003, Lithuanian Sonata Milusauskaite clocked the fastest 10 km here in 2006 (44:16). Former World champion Ilya Markov of Russia with home course record holder Alejandro Cambil, Poland duo Benjamin Kucinski and Grzegorz Sudol are the top names with Mexican winner of first leg of IAAF Race Walking Challenge last weekend Eder Sanchez. On the women side Spanish champion Beatriz Pascual will walk against Osaka bronze holder Maria Vasco and strong group of foreign athletes headed by course record holder Sonata Milusauskaite, sister of former hero Silvia Korzeniowska and Slovak record holder Zuzana Malikova. (extended version)
ITEN (KEN): Kenya's elite runners, past and present, will be in Iten on Saturday not to run, but to support a unique peace race. Information by Kenyan media. They will run at the Shoe4Africa Peace race, a unique five-kilometer competition for junior athletes organized by US-based Shoe4Africa, a not-for-profit organization that promotes empowerment, health, and Aids awareness in Africa. Shoe4Africa established the Run for Peace event in response to Kenya's unbridled violence that started on December 27 last year. Names like Moses Kiptanui, Matthew Birir, Douglas Wakiihuri and even Lornah Kiplagat should be in attendance.
KINGSTON (JAM, Mar 13): During second day of Jamaican Schools Championships in the 100 m heats in Class 2 Earl Lee was the fastest (10.77, +0.2) and in Class 1 Dexter Lee with hand timed 10.4 (+0.6) with national junior record holder Yohan Blake achieving 10.5 (-0.5).
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