Week in Review, by Bob Ramsak

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Bob Ramsak provides us with an update on all significant changes in track & field from this past week....


TRACK PROFILE Report #742
16-Apr-2008

WEEKLY REVIEW FOR APRIL 16

By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

SPRINTS – Martina’s Flying Start

The latest man to throw his hat into the proverbial sprinter’s ring was Churandy Martina, the 23-year-old from the Dutch Antilles who surprised even himself with his notable 100/200 outing at the Texas-El Paso Invitational last Saturday. Aided by El Paso’s thin air (1130m/3707 ft above sea level) the UTEP grad cruised to 10.00 and 20.17 PBs, the latter a world leader and the former equaling the world lead.

As a follow-up to last year’s Pan-American 100m title, Martina was the only man besides double winner Tyson Gay to reach the finals of both the 100 and 200 at the world championships in Osaka last summer, where he finished a respectable fifth in both (10.07/20.28).

- Kerron Stewart, who turned 24 today, celebrated a few days early with her 22.35 win at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday. The Jamaican, last year’s NCAA champion, improved upon her 22.41 from a year ago.

- University of Washington junior Jordan Boase became the season’s third sub-45 runner on the season after his 44.82 opener at the Sun Angel Classic. Particularly noteworthy about the 22-year-old, third at the NCAA indoors last month, is that he took last year off to decide whether the sport was right for him. Apparently it is.

- 2004 200m Olympic finalist Muna Lee opened her outdoor season with a solid 11.12 victory at the Johnson/Kersee Invitational in Westwood.

- Prepping for his announced double dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, Xavier ‘X-Man’ Carter took a sprint double within a one hour and 15 minute time frame at the Spec Towns meet in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, winning the 100m in 10.16 and the 200m in 20.25. The latter was his first half-lap effort of the season while his 100m performance was just shy 0.01 seconds of his season’s best from one week ago.

- Soon after being named the IAAF Athlete of the Year for 2007, Tyson Gay included Florida State senior Walter Dix among those to watch for the 2008 season. It turns out that Gay, the world 100/200m champion, may be able to cross Dix off of that list. The 22-year-old, who has thus far pieced together a low-key NCAA campaign with his focus on the US trials, suffered a hamstring injury at the Seminole Invite last weekend, leaving the rest of his spring schedule up in the air.

Current world leads:
MEN –
100m: 10.00, Richard Thompsan (TRI), Austin, Tex., 05-Apr, and Churandy Martina, AHO, El Paso, 12-Apr
200m: 20.17A, Churandy Martina, AHO, El Paso, 12-Apr
400m: 44.72, LaShawn Merritt (USA), Raleigh, N.C., 28-Mar

WOMEN –
100m: 11.06, Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI), Austin, 5 Apr
200m: 22.35, Kerron Stewart (JAM), Tempe, 12-Apr
400m: 51.22, Mary Wineberg (USA), Cincinnati, 5-Apr


MID & LONG DISTANCES – World leads in Istanbul as Turks sweep European 10,000m Cup

Reigning World 10,000m silver medallist Elvan Abeylegesse cruised to her third consecutive European Cup 10,000m victory in Istanbul on Saturday, capping a Turkish sweep along with men’s winner, Selim Bayrak. Both produced early-season world leads, Abeylegesse 31:36.33 and Beyrak, the former Ethiopian Girma Legese, 27:47.75.

Dutchwoman Lornah Kiplagat the two-time defending World Road Running champion, was a distant second in 31:53.72, shy of the 31:22 Olympic qualifying standard set by Dutch selectors and the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 31:45.00. Before the race, Kiplagat's coach and husband Pieter Langerhorst indicated that next up for Kiplagat could be the 10,000m at the Golden Spike Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 12, where the women's race will be contested for the first time. In the meantime, another 10,000m race has been scheduled for Utrecht, where Kiplagat, along with her cousin Hilda Kibet, could again chase the standard. In Istanbul, Kibet was third (32:05.49).

Initially organized by the European federation as a quality early-season competition in which athletes can chase qualifying marks for major competitions, the races again illustrated the relatively low standard among distance runners in Europe today. In all, only the winners nailed the Beijing 'A' qualifier.

A relatively low-key calendar last weekend produced little else of note. TPR’s Weekly Review focuses primarily on action on the track, but I’d remiss not to mention Sunday’s Flora London Marathon, which stole the international spotlight over the weekend. Arguably the richest marathon in the world, the top-notch field didn’t disappoint, particularly on the men’s side where the top-three all dipped under 2:06, and the top-seven under 2:07. Kenyan Martin Lel defended his title with a course record 2:05:15, ahead of fellow-Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru (2:05:24). Much-hyped American Ryan Hall hardly disappointed with his fifth place finish in 2:06:17 to move up to the No. 3 performance spot all-time among Americans. (Edit note: Hall was already number two US performer after last years' 2:08.24).

Current world leads:
MEN –
800m: 1:45.0h, Yeiman Lopez, (CUB), Havana, 13-Mar
1500m: 3:37.63, Brad Woods (AUS), Sydney, 16-Feb
3000m: 7:48.26, Craig Mottram (AUS), Brisbane, 28-Feb
5000m: 13:11.99, Craig Mottram (AUS), Melbourne, 21-Feb
10,000m: 27:47.75, Selim Bayrak (TUR), Istanbul, 12-Apr
3000m Steeplechase: 8:21.47, Ruben Ramolefi (RSA), Durban, 8 Feb

WOMEN -
800m: 1:59.59, Tamsyn Lewis (AUS), Sydney, 16-Feb
1500m: 4:09.83, Rene Kalmer (RSA), Melbourne, 21-Feb
3000m: 9:04.51, Donna MacFarlane (AUS), Hobart, 18-Jan
5000m: 15:07.37, Yuriko Kobayashi (JPN), Kumamoto, JPN, 5-Apr
10,000m: 31:36.33, Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR), Istanbul, 12-Apr
3000m Steeplechase: 9:29.93, Donna MacFarlane (AUS), Melbourne, 21 Feb


HURDLES – Williams World Leading 54.97

Little action of note over the weekend. Leading results included a 54.97 world leader by Tiffany Williams, the reigning U.S. champion, in the 400m hurdles at the Elite Invite in Coral Gables. At the same meet, Damu Cherry became the fifth woman under 13 seconds in the 100m hurdles this season with her 12.97 victory.

Current world leads:
MEN –
110m Hurdles: 13.33, David Oliver (USA), Lake Buena Vista, Fla, 22-Mar
400m Hurdles: 48.71A, Pieter de Villiers (RSA), Germiston, 22-Feb

WOMEN –
100m Hurdles: 12.72, Sally McLellan (AUS), Canberra, 26-Jan
400m Hurdles: 54.97, Tiffany Williams (USA), Coral Gables, 12-Apr


JUMPS – Another Late Hour Coaching Change: Idowu’s Pre-Beijing Switch

Briton Phillips Idowu, who last month jumped to the world indoor triple jump title, announced today that he’s leaving long-time coach John Herbert to work with UK Athletics Senior Performance Manager Aston Moore. ““I am at the point where I want try new things as I dedicate everything to winning Olympic gold in Beijing.”

In Valencia last month, the 29-year-old jumped a national record 17.75m/58-3 to move up to the No. 6 position indoors all-time.

Notable -
- April Steiner upped her career best to 4.63m/15-2 1/4 at the Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla., a world-leader for the 27-year-old American.

- Reigning Olympic long jump champion – and 2003/2005 world champ – Dwight Phillips opened his 2008 season with a 8.00m/26-3 effort a the Sun Angel Classic. Phillips, who was third at last year’s world championships, also won the 100m at the meet in 10.35.

Current world leads:
MEN –
HJ: 2.33m/7-7 ¾ , Andra Manson (USA), Austin, 5-Apr
PV: 6.00m/19-8 ¼ , Steve Hooker (AUS), Perth, 27-Jan
LJ: 8.25m/27- ¾ , Godfrey Mokoena (RSA), Stellenbosch,14-Mar
TJ: 17.50/57-5, David Giralt (CUB), Havana, 15-Feb

WOMEN –
HJ: 1.95m/6-4 ¾, Chaunte Howard (USA), Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 22-Mar
PV: 4.63m/15-2 ¼ , April Steiner (USA), Norman, Okla., 12-Apr
LJ: 6.91m/22-8, Jimoh Funmi (USA), Houston, 29-Mar
TJ: 14.03m/46- ½ , Mabel Gay (CUB), Havana, 7-Mar


THROWS – Hoffa, Adams Debut with Easy Victories

Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson, two strong contenders for Olympic shot put gold, opened their respective outdoor season with near identical efforts. Hoffa, the reigning world outdoor champion, won at the Spec Towns Invitational in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday with a 21.27m/ while Nelson, the 2005 world champion and Olympic silver medalist, reached 21.38m/70-1 ¾ at the Onesty Invite in Charlottesville, Va.

Elsewhere, Michael Robertson, the reigning U.S. champion in the discus, nailed a near-PB 64.66 at the Jacobs Invite, just shy of his 64.89 career best from 2004.

Current world leads:
MEN –
SP: 21.45m/70-4 ½, Dorian Scott (JAM), Tallahassee, 28-Mar
DT: 65.25m/214-1, Gerd Kanter (EST), Split, CRO, 15-Mar
HT: 78.84m/258-8, Libor Charfreitag (SVK), Dallas, 28-Mar
JT: 89.02m/292-1, Jarrod Bannister (AUS), Brisbane, 29-Feb

WOMEN –
SP: 20.13m/66- ½, Valerie Vili (NZL), Waitakere, NZL, 19-Feb
DT: 65.02m/213-4, Yania Ferrales (CUB), Havana, 15-Feb
HT: 75.00m/246-1, Yipsi Moreno (CUB), Las Tunas, CUB, 6-Mar
JT: 63.65m/208-10, Goldie Sayers (GBR), Split, CRO, 15-Mar


MULTIS – No Change.

Nothing of significance to report.

Current world leads:
Men – Decathlon: 8371, Trey Hardee (USA), Austin, 2-3-Apr
Women – Heptathlon: 6143, Jackie Johnson (USA), Tucson, 3-4-Apr


ENDS

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END – TPR #742 - 16-Apr-2008

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