Watch how elite athletes turn certain championships down in preparation for Beijing. Powell is running a 4x 100 m in the 50th Anniversary meet of his college in KIngston, Jamaica this weekend.
The week's news, with Kluft out of the heptathlon and Gebrselassis looking to get out of the marathon, and the terrible sand storms in Beijing have made this a prime week for news in athletics.
EME newshound Alfons Juck gives you more to consider on this Good Friday, March 21, 2008:
KIPLAGAT FOR ISTANBUL
ITEN (KEN): World road and terrain champion Lornah Kiplagat from Netherlands after two winter wins (10 km in San Juan and Half-marathon in Abu Dhabi) is in full preparation for her next race. That will be the 12th European Cup 10 000 m in Istanbul. She will try to achieve an Olympic qualifier as she was last time running 10k on track back in 2006 at European Championships (5th place) and needs that time (IAAF A-qualifier 31:45) to be entered. She already in advance announced that she will not participate at World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh next week (and will so not defending her title from Mombasa) and in summer wants to concentrate on track races and compete in Beijing at 10 000 m.
ASAFA NO LONGER IN THE 200m, DOING 4x1 FOR MVP
KINGSTON (JAM): World record holder Asafa Powell changed his plan and will run a 4x100 m relay on behalf of MVP team instead of 200 m at Saturday´s UTECH 50th anniversary meet. Sherone Simpson is scheduled to compete at 400 m. This will be an interesting race as also Olympic sprints finalist Aileen Bailey is entered (she ran in February 54.43 PB) and Osaka relay silver holder Kerron Stewart will run her first senior outdoor 400 m race. Interesting entry is also world class sprinter Darrell Brown of Trinidad at 200 m. His best is 20.41 way back from 2001.
STOKE (GBR): European Junior Champion 2007 at 200 m Alex Nelson (exactly today 20th birthday) is setting his sights on a big outdoor season with an eye on the Beijing Olympics and beyond, informs David Martin. „All my training is geared towards Beijing qualification, then hopefully to go out there and to do as well as possible," said Nelson. His current bests are 10.31 and 20.69.
EDINBURGH (GBR): Former world cross country champion Benita Johnson will face top Hungarian Aniko Kalovics in the BUPA Great Edinburgh 10 km Run on Sunday May 4. The East European distance star who was third in the Rome marathon on Sunday, finished runner-up two years ago and last May claimed third position. Johnson will be making a fairly quick return to the Scottish capital after last week being named in the Australian team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 30. Boniface Kiprop of Uganda the reigning Commonwealth 10 000 m champion has already committed himself to what will be his third appearance at the event.
ST. JOHN´S (ANT): Top sprinter Brendon Christian was named as Antigua and Barbuda's Sportsman-of-the-Year for the second time. Informs AIPS website. Christian won the country's first international gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil in the 200 meters as well as a bronze in the 100 meters. He also made the semi-final of both sprint events at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. He is now preparing for the upcoming Olympics Games in Beijing, China while completing his university studies. His bests and national records are 10.11 and 20.23.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): University of Louisville track and field head coach Ron Mann has been named the men's middle distance coach for Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, says USATF in a release. He will replace John McDonnell who wants coach individual athletes at the Games. Mann during his 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Mann has produced six NCAA champions, 118 NCAA All-Americans, 19 NCAA Top 10 team finishes, 60 conference titles and 59 conference coach of the year awards.
NIJMEGEN (NED): Due to lack of sponsors a reasonable budget has not been guaranteed for a possibility to organize the Veracruz Meeting in Mexico. Informs Dutch based Global Sports Communication company. They were organizing the event back in 2003-2006, already last year it was canceled due to not enough funds. There might be a possibility that at local level something will happen in Veracruz.
MONTE CARLO: IAAF confirmed the same prize money purse as at past World Cross Country Championships with total amount of 280 000 USD.
A 30 000 USD prize is available for each individual winner of the men's and women's senior races with money filtering down to 6th position where the reward is 3000 USD per athlete. In terms of the team contest in both senior events, there is another prize pool of 140 000 USD. This is distributed with 20 000 USD going to the first team home in each race, descending to 6th place where the pay out is 4000 USD. Junior races are not having prize money.
KAMPALA (UGA): Uganda Athletics Federation finalized its teams for Edinburgh after clearing financial difficulties which resulted to not sending the women and junior girls team. The main star is the Sports Personality of 2007 in the country Moses Kipsiro, who won medal in Osaka last year at 5000 m. Benjamin Kiplagat is the star of junior 8 km team. Other important names in men team are Boniface Kiprop, Martin Toroitich and Wilson Busienei.
EME News is used with permission of publisher, Alfons Juck by www.runblogrun.com.