Can Haile Make the Ethiopian 10k team? Commmentary by Larry Eder, EME News by Alfons Jock


How is that for confidence? The Ethiopian coach, Woldemeskei Kostre wonders outloud if Haile Gebrselassie can make the Ethiopian team at 10,000 meters. Kostre is correct that the team will be difficult to make: Kenenisa Bekele is already selected, so Sileshi Sihine and Abebe Dinkessa and Haile will be on the line in Hengelo, May 24 to provide the selectors with the information that they need to make their decisions.

This brouhaha is all about Haile's concern about the conditions in Beijing in the marathon, making it near impossible for him, with his allergies to run competitively over the 26.2 miles of the Olympic marathon.

Last year, besides a world record and a near world record at the marathon, Haile ran a superb 26:52.1 and was sixth in Hengelo. He is focused on the 10,000 m now, and his
training has shown a strong distance fitness level ( recent half marathon in 59:15), so we shall have to wait the 8 weeks to see how his resolve and his legs do over 10,000 meters. Hengelo should be quite a series of races!

EME NEWS (APR 2, 2004)


ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Respected Ethiopian veteran coach Woldemeskel Kostre questioned the possibility of Haile Gebrselassie being able to qualify at 10 000 for Olympic Games. „It's very tough for him because he can't compete with the younger men over the 10,000. We have got five others who have run 10 000 in 26 minutes," he was quoted. The Ethiopian selection procedure is not very clear, but title defender Kenenisa Bekele is having the spot. The other two places will be given most probably based on times. Mainly Sileshi Sihine (always silver holder) and Abebe Dinkessa are the most important rivals for Gebrselassie. All are scheduled to race together at FBK Games, the IAAF Grand Prix meeting in Hengelo on May 24. Bekele will compete at the same meeting in shorter 5000 m race. If not qualified the option for Haile Gebrselassie concerning Olympic Games is to wait until 2012 in London, at that time he will be 39.


AUSTIN (USA): The 81st Texas Relays will see this weekend both NCAA indoor champions from Trinidad Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Richard Thompson competing at 100 m. Baptiste has a best of 11.08 (also national record) and Thompson 10.09 from last year. In favorable weather they most probably would be attack this marks. Recent World Indoors fourth placer Lacena Golding Clarke of Jamaica will open her spring season at 100 m Hurdles. Very interesting entries are in men´s decathlon. South American Indoor Record holder Gonzalo Barroilhet from Chile should compete against US starter in Valencia Donovan Kilmartin and former NCAA champion Trey Hardee who scored his best at Texas Relays 2006 with 8465 points. USA will have three teams in 4x100 and 4x400 m relays, part of them should be also the IAAF Athlete of the Year 2007 Tyson Gay who will for sure run the shorter one and possibly also the longer as said by Track Newsletter.


LONDON (GBR): Athletics International published by Peter Matthews and Mel Watman compiled world indoor rankings. In all events except of five Valencia World Indoor Champions are the leaders. In the mentioned five cases Kenenisa Bekele leads the 3000 m (champion Tariku Bekele is second), Dayron Robles the 60 m Hurdles (Liu Xiang is second), Irving Saladino in Long Jump (Khotso Mokoena is second), Yelena Soboleva the 800 m (Tamsyn Lewis is number four) and Susanna Kallur the 60 m Hurdles (Lolo Jones is second).


MOSCOW (RUS): Russian hammer world record holder Tatyana Lysenko is counting with two years ban, but is unhappy with the long waiting and final decision. As All-Sport informs she is now thinking about Berlin 2009 World Championships and mainly Olympic Games 2012 in London. "I want to come back even more stronger than ever before,"she was quoted. As already reported, IAAF recommended a two years ban in her case (and other hammer thrower Yekaterina Khorosikh) and it is expected that end of this week and final word will come from the Russian Athletics Federation which initially wanted only a one year ban for both athletes. It is unlikely that Russian federation will not follow the IAAF position and Lysenko is thinking the same way. "I think our federation will not go against the IAAF, the problem is that I was waiting eighth months to know. I could have other plans with having a child, but now there is not enough time because of World Championships 2009. I continued with training and will do so also during the rest of my ban," she said.


MONTE CARLO: IAAF published the list of registered Athletes Representatives (agents) for the 2008 years. In total the licence was given to 143 persons from 36 countries. The leading nation is USA with 35 agents. But only 9 overseas countries are having agents, the rest is coming from 27 European nations. Interestingly 21 men and 22 women from top five of 2007 World List are officially not having a representative (excluding walking and half-marathon). Every registered person (agent) must have at least one athlete in the 2007 Top 30 World Lists. The only agents organization AAM is having about 30 members, but with the most of top athletes.


LONDON (GBR): Agencies reported that Greek sprinter Katerini Thanou will receive 100 m silver medal from Edmonton World Championships 2001. After IAAF ban on Marion Jones results since 2000 was imposed that is just a logical consequence after the announcement in November last year. So nothing new. In the same way Chandra Sturrup from Bahamas will get the bronze and in the 200 m Debbie Ferguson also from Bahamas the gold, LaTasha Jenkins of USA the silver and Cydonie Mothersill the bronze for Cayman Islands. It will be the first ever world championships medal for the Caribbean country of about 50 000 population. In the 4x100 m in Edmonton (USA winning on the track with 41.71 with Marion Jones) already after Kellie White (also part of the squad) case in 2004 the team was disqualified.


LONDON (GBR): The creme of long distance running continues with a galaxy of the sport's brightest stars back in action this month as the World Marathon Majors series resumes at the Flora London Marathon and the 112th running of the Boston Marathon, is written in a release. More than $850,000 in prize money, prestige and all important points in the race to crown the 2007-2008 WMM champions will be on the line in the British capital on Sunday, April 13 followed eight days later at the celebrated Hopkinton to Boston course on Monday, April 21. Reigning women's WMM champion Gete Wami of Ethopia leads the field in London while the WMM men's champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya tops the field in Boston. In London, United States sensation Ryan Hall makes his first start since winning the US Olympic Team Trials – Men's Marathon race last fall in New York. Also in the field are defending champion Martin Lel of Kenya, Olympic gold medalist Stefano Baldini of Italy, South African veteran Hendrick Ramaala, Moroccans Abderrahim Goumri and Jaouad Gharib, World champion Luke Kibet of Kenya and his countryman, the World half marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru. In addition to Wami, the women's field in London features her Ethiopian compatriot Berhane Adere, Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania and Russian Svetlana Zakharova. Cheruiyot will be chasing history as the 2003, 2006 and 2007 champion seeks to become the first Kenyan man to claim four Boston Marathon crowns. Leading challengers are Kenyans Patrick Ivuti, Stephen Kiogora and former champion Timothy Cherigat. The women's field is lead by defending champion Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia who will be chased by last year's runner-up Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia and past champions Margaret Okayo and Rita Jeptoo both of Kenya.


DAR ES SALAAM (TAN): The Tanzanian Daily News published a critical article concerning the non-participation of Tanzanian runners at recent IAAF World Cross Country Championships. As the paper writes, the British High Commission rejected visa applications for the Tanzanian group, after being suspicious of a big number of officials accompanying the athletes. The AT had applied for visas for 14 runners and 12 officials. From top names for example Fabian Joseph or Dickson Marwa were unable to travel. The athletics body has often been criticized for sending a horde of officials to international competitions instead of athletes. About 15 officials accompanied 23 athletes to the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

HELSINKI (FIN): The National Coalition Party has decided to name Alexander Stubb, a Member of the European Parliament, as Finland's new Minister for Foreign Affairs, informs Helsingin Sanomat. The party's chairman, Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen, said on Tuesday morning that Ilkka Kanerva who is IAAF Council Member and former EAA Council member and former President of Finish Athletics Federation cannot stay on as Foreign Minister after the gossip magazine Hymy published text messages that he had sent to dancer Johanna Tukiainen. Katainen said that he came to his decision „with a heavy heart"; breaking the news to journalists in Parliament caused his eyes to well up. „This has been difficult for Ilkka. It is also the most difficult decision of my career as chairman. Ike is my friend, and he has done a wonderful job as Foreign Minister", Katainen says.

STUTTGART (GER): In four years the current Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium with athletics track in Stuttgart will be a new Mercedes-Benz Arena devoted solely for football. The works will begin after this years IAAF World Athletics Final in September and end in 2011 when the rebuilding will be completed. It will cost 73 mill. EUR, 60 for rebuilding and 13 for new Sports Hall under one of the curves.

LAGOS (NGR): The postponement of the 2008 Nigerian National Track and Field Championship and Olympic Trials from April to early July has started positive reactions. Fresh world indoor champion Olusoji Fasuba has described postponement of the national athletics trials as a welcome development. He noted that the new date would see the nation streamline with the American trials and afford all athletes a fair opportunity of preparing well before the 2008.

LONDON (GBR): The IAAF announced the launch of an exciting new athletics magazine and website in conjunction with UK Athletics. The magazine named 'SPIKES' will be launched in July and will appeal to athletics fans old and new. The concept signals a unique collaboration between the IAAF and an IAAF member federation, writes IAAF in its release.


EUGENE (USA, Mar 30): The top five finishers in each of the 20 km races on Sunday in Eugen qualified for US Team for IAAF World Race Walking Cup in May in Russia. Winners were experienced Teresa Vail (1:36:18) and newcomer Patrick Stroupe (1:30:29) who will travel to his first international competition.


This week in athletics the most important issues on the table are of course the decisions of IAAF Council Meeting in London. On the road the most important events are on Sunday Paris Marathon and Half-marathons in Berlin and Milano (Stramilano). France hosts also University World Championships in cross country. IAAF Race Walking Challenge continues on Saturday in Rio Maior, Portugal. On the track US Spring season continues in full swing, the main events are Texas Relays and Florida Relays. Africa Athletics Tour 2008 is having its first meeting in Mauritius on Sunday.

Used with permission of publisher, Alfons Juck.

EME NEWS is news service relating to the sport of athletics. It is published on daily basis with additional updates, as required. Copyright is held by Alfons Juck, Perinvest SK, a.s., Krikova 10, 82107 Bratislava, Slovakia. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The redistribution and/or direct reproduction of material from EME NEWS is prohibited unless permission is given by c Perinvest SK (such as being included in a subscription agreement).Email to respond: [email protected]

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