The Day in Athletics, April 5, EME News by Alfons Juck, Commentary by Larry Eder


Some great racing around the world this weekend. I spent a few nice hours at the Stanford Cardinal Invitational, watching to see which athletes would start coming out of the woodwork. A superb American collegiate record at 10,000 meters for women-more on that tomorrow highlighted the distance carnival along some great battles in the men's 10,000 meters.

Note that the next Stanford meeting, the Payton Jordan, will feature Bernard Lagat at 5,000 meters, and some very fast, 10,000 meter races! Come on, May!

Notable competing this weekend was Mike Stember, training in Southern California, who ran a 1:50.34 for sixth place in the 800 meters. Stember, former Stanford stud and school record holder at 800 and 1,500 meters, is making a gallant run for Beijing....


Norwegian wins: brother and sister Tysse

RIO MAIOR (POR, Apr 5): Saturday´s 17th International walking meeting in Rio Maior, Portugal ended with double Norwegian success. Erik Tysse with 1:19:51 and his sister Kjersti Tysse-Plätzer clocking 1:29:29 won both 20 km events which were part of IAAF Race Walking Challenge. This were first Norwegian wins at the event ever.

The Osaka 8th placer Tysse won his second IAAF challenge race after last year Sesto San Giovanni in Italy. Spanish Helsinki medalist Juan Manuel Molina was second (1:20:06) with German Andre Hohne third clocking 1:20:19 just 19 seconds behind his best 1:20 but achieving the olympic qualifier. Reigning world champion Jefferson Perez of Ecuador was surprisingly beaten by his countrymate Rolando Saquipay (1:20:52-1:21:31) as both finished fourth and fifth. Tysse and Molina have the same 18 points to lead the series after second round.

Sydney medalist Tysse-Plätzer won after Chihuahua her second race of current IAAF Challenge and clearly leads in the series (20 points). On Saturday her time was 1:29:29 as she in close battle beat home favorite and national record holder Susana Feitor (1:29:31). Former European Junior medalist (2003) another Portuguese walker Ana Cabecinha sensationally improved first time in her career to sub 1:30 (1:29:56) and was as third on the podium. Only fourth reigning Olympic winner Athanasia Tsoumeleka from Greece, but she achieved 1:30:00, her fourth fastest ever and fastest since 2004. That means in right time (Olympic year) she is coming back to shape. German Osaka eighth placer Sabine Zimmer was fifth (1:30:41) and fulfilled the German Olympic norm. Sixth by 10 seconds Ireland´s Olive Loughnane (1:30:51). Not a good day for Italian walkers as top contenders Alex Schwazer (muscular problem) and Elisa Rigaudo (delay in preparation) did not finish their races. Event records from 2005 when Spain´s Francisco Fernandez achieved 1:19:02 and Rita Turava of Belarus 1:27:19 remained untouched.


NESVIZH (BLR, Apr 5): European Championships 2002 fifth placer Ivan Trotskiy won the Belarus 20 km walking title in 1:20:42. Osaka participant Andrey Stepanchuk got the 35 km title in new PB 2:37:14. World University Games 2007 medalist Snezhana Yurchenko was the best woman at 20 km (1:33:52). European Champion 2006 Ryta Turava did not compete, but is in full Olympic preparation.

RICHMOND (USA, Apr 5): Abdi Abdirahman with a winning time of 28:34 successfully defended his USA Men's 10 kilometres road running championship title in Richmond on Saturday. Abdirahman was at the head of a 20 strong pack as it went through the first mile in 4:40, after that he, Dan Browne and Fasil Bizuneh pulled clear. Bizuneh fell away before the three mile marker and Abdirahman after opening a small lead, pulled away narrowly from Browne before getting clear to win by four seconds (28:38). Keeping his form despite running in a vacuum, Bizuneh finished third in 29:04.

NAIROBI (KEN, Apr 4): Monica Otwori won on her home turf the 10 000 m (35:09.07) in the first day of the New KCC Athletics Tour meeting at the Gusii stadium. The series is the third this season while the fourth will be held in Nakuru next weekend. Next top event for Kenyan athletes is the Africa athletics championships scheduled for April 30 to May 5 in Addis Ababa while the national trials will be held on April 19 in Nairobi.

BREZNO (SVK, Apr 5): Olympic marathon runner Marcel Matanin won his 9th Slovak Cross Country title today in Brezno at 9 km with 27:48. Another old-timer Miroslav Vanko was the best at 4.5 km (12:45) and took his sixth national title. Katarina Beresova was the best woman at 4.5 km (15:04) beating clearly veteran and still holder of Slovak marathon best Ludmila Melicherova (44 years, 15:51).

JABLONNE (CZE, Apr 5): Young Milan Kocourek won for first time Czech senior cross country title on Saturday achieving 33:10 at 10 km. Miler Tomas Bednar won the 4 km (12:56). Monika Preibischova was the best female at 6 km (23:14). The winners have now good chances to be pre-selected for December European CC Championships in Oostende, Belgium.

DOMZALE (SLO, Apr 5): Last Sunday Treviso marathon winner Helena Javornik (42) of Slovenia is not tired. She won on Saturday the Slovenian national 10 000 m track title in 34:58.09. After that she plans to compete at European Cup 10 000 m next weekend in Istanbul and the aim is to run sub 33 minutes. Roman Kejzar was the best man with 30:38.37.


RATINGEN (GER): German Club TV Ratingen, the organiser of international combined events meeting, split with former 800 m world champion Willi Wulbeck as coach. It was due to break of relationship and trust agreement of both sides.

DAKAR (SEN): Top African athletes will also have a Hall of Fame. During the coming African Championships the hall will be opened and in total 72 names are chosen for the inaugural induction. Including of course such stars like Haile Gebrselassie, Hicham El Guerrouj or Frankie Fredericks. Also legendary two time Olympic marathon winner Abebe Bikila will be honoured in memoriam.

RIGA (LAT): European Athletics informs about tragic death of the General Secretary of the Latvian Athletics Federation Aleksandrs Stavro. Former decathloner was promoted to the role of General Secretary of the federation in January 2008 and even in this short time he was active initiating talks with sponsors among a host of other activities. He was involved in a horrific car accident in March and died shortly afterwards. He will be greatly missed and was replaced shortly afterwards by Voldemars Lusis (33 and still over 80 metres last year) who is a former javelin thrower and son of legendary Janis Lusis.

COPENHAGEN (DEN): Another news from European federations is that Søren B. Henriksen (60) has been elected as the new President of the Danish Athletics Federation. 60-year-old Henriksen comes to the position with a very impressive CV having recently retired from his position as CEO of the Danish Chamber of Commerce. Newly appointed is also General Director of the federation Jakob Larsen.

LISBON (POR): Portugal announced a strong team for 12th European Cup 10 000 m in Istanbul next weekend. Former Olympic winner at the distance Fernanda Ribeiro leads the women selection together with Monica Rosa and Jessica Augusto. Six men are headed by Paulo Gomes, Rui Pedro Silva and Ricardo Ribas and added by Licinio Pimentel, Manuel Damiao and Hermano Ferreira.

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]

EME News is always used on with permission of the publisher, Alfons Juck.

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