All Around the World with..EME News, by Alfons Juck and Commentary by Larry Eder

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Our sport is about one thing, really-competition. That itching great athletes get when they know that they are ready and they need to run, jump or throw. It is that simple. It is the beauty of our sport and purity of our sport. It is also why our sport is so hard to sell.

When the top stars avoid competing, or parallel play-where one runs the 800 meters and the other is in heat B, I start pulling a) out my chest hair, b) nose hairs because it is so detrimental to the sport.

Look, no worries about a million dollar, six races, four continents, highlight before a) soccer matches, b) NASCAR, c) track meets. Try new things, however, remember that the fans come to see people race, and give it their all.

So, without further delay, here is some good info on the past weekend of the worlds' oldest sport, athletics. There is also some info on the upcoming Trevor Graham court case.

EME NEWS (MAY 5, 2008)


US AND OCEANIA RECORDS AT 10 000 m

STANFORD (USA, May 4): Great distance running at 13th Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational during nice Californian late evening (around 10 degrees, windless). Shalane Flanagan won the 10 000 m in her debut at the distance in new US record 30:34.49 (her splits 15:17.4 and 15:13). It is also a world lead and number 23 performer in all-time list. Second Kim Smith of New Zealand clocked new Oceanian record 30:35.54 and third Sally Kipyego of Kenya and Texas Tech new collegiate record 31:25.45. German Sabrina Mockenhaupt finished fourth (31:27.05) and PB´s also for US Molly Huddle (31:27.12) and Mexican marathon record holder Madai Perez (31:30.23). British Katy Reed as ninth clocked Olympic qualifier and PB 31:35.77. Ten runners finished inside the Olympic A-qualifier 31:45. In men´s Kim McDonald 10 000 m race Australian Craig Mottram improved his PB to 27:34.48 and just missed the Area record (27:31.91 by Shaun Creighton in 1996). Austrian Gunther Weidlinger as second improved hugely to new national record 27:36.46. British European medalist Mo Farah was fifth in his debut at the distance on the track in excellent 27:44.54. Ahead of him Kenyan Josphat Boit (27:40.64) and Japanese Takayuki Matsumiya (27:41.75). US Scott Bauhs had barely run sub 29 before and now as seventh improved to 27:48.06. European Champion 2006 German Jan Fitschen achieved new PB as 10th (28:02.55).

World Champion Bernard Lagat won the 5000 m and achieved the olympic qualifier 13:16.29 as he wanted. 23 years old US runner Brent Vaughn sensationally improved to 13:18.46 as second with Kenyan Boaz Cheboiywo third (13:19.21). Shannon Rowbury clocked world leading 4:07.59 in women´s 1500 m. Another sensational PB for 23 years old US Emily Brown to 15:19.57 in winning the 5000 m as she did not had sub 16 before. Young Ariana Lambie as second 15:22.51 (PB). Osaka participant Ann Willard won the women steeple (9:37.73). Canada´s Kevin Sullivan clocked 3:39.75 at 1500 m. In technical events Amy Acuff jumped 190 cm, Grace Upshaw windy 668 (+4.4) and Suzy Powell tossed the discus into 60.40 m.


ISINBAYEVA TO OPEN IN ROME

ROME (ITA): Pole Vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva will start her summer season at 3rd AF Golden League meeting Golden Gala of Rome on July 11. After long indoor season she needed break and more time for training and will not compete earlier. „This year is very important for me and I hope it will be unforgetable. I'll make my debut in competition on July 11 in Rome but I won't compete in too many meets. I want to be in top form in Beijing," the Russian was quoted by IAAF. As her event is this year not part of Golden Jackpot programme there are not too many meetings at highest level staging women Pole Vault. The other confirmed fixture for Isinbayeva is at the moment the Weltklasse of Zurich held as first important meeting after Olympic Games.


VLASIC IS WITHOUT BORDERS, TWO DUELS FELIX-RICHARDS

ZURICH (SUI): Croatian High Jump Star Blanka Vlasic who is to open her outdoor season on Friday in Doha at Qatar Grand Prix meeting was today in Zurich to promote her appearance at Weltklasse Meeting right after Olympic Games. "Since last year in Brussels I know I can jump the world record height. Maybe this or next year. And after this happens I can go even higher, when you jump 210 then also 211 should be possible," she was quoted. The sales for tickets for Weltklasse (August 29) are starting on May 6 in the morning. Very special is the planned double duel of female sprinters. World champion Allyson Felix will run against Sanya Richards in Zurich twice. The small jackpot for the better one will be one kg of gold. Golden League jackpot contenders will of course compete too, this will be the fifth meet of the series, so more will be known who is still in the race. But Jeremy Wariner at 400 m, Tero Pitkamäki with Andreas Thorkildsen in javelin, Irving Saladino in Long jump will compete anyhow. Special also the last 800 m in Zurich for 12th time winner here Maria Mutola of Mozambique against world champion Janeth Jepkosgei and 1500 m world champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain. In the hurdles Susanna Kallur with Dayron Robles are the top names along with last year steeple world leader Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya.


BOLT RUNS 200 m IN OSTRAVA

OSTRAVA (CZE): Jamaican sprint sensation of the weekend Usain Bolt plans only one race at his special distance 200 m at Czech IAAF Grand Prix Meeting Golden Spike in Ostrava on June 12. He competed here back in 2006 and in cold weather clocked meet record 20.28. „I won the 200m in Ostrava 2006 and although the weather was cold that year I thoroughly enjoyed the meet. I would like to run the first sub 20 secs 200m in the Czech Republic and win another Golden Spike trophy," he said. The men´s 200 m will be third Istvan Gyulai Memorial race here in honour of IAAF General Secretary who died in March 2006. The Czech All-comers record is still the 20.16 by Pietro Mennea of Italy from European Championships 1978 in Prahe. That will be Bolt´s last race before Jamaican Championships (June 27-29). Before Ostrava he will compete at two more 100 m races. First Hampton Games in Trinidad and Tobago, on May 17, and then he is considering from options in USA (New York) or Europe (Berlin, Oslo). If running in New York he could face World Champion Tyson Gay who was not officially confirmed yet for that event, but is expected there.

BELGIAN 400 m SENSATION: BORLEE TWINS 45.35 AND 45.47

BRUSSELS (BEL, May 4): The Belgian twin brothers Kevin and Jonathan Borlée (born 1988) clocked fantastic times on Sunday in King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, with excellent weather conditions (no wind, 22 degrees). Kevin won 400m in 45.35, Jonathan was second in 45.47. Only Belgian record holder Cedric Van Branteghem (45.02) and Fons Brydenbach (45.04) did ever better in the country. At World Junior Championships in Bejing in 2006, Jonathan was 4th over 400m. Last year, the twins suffered from injuries and hardly ran competitions. Interesting detail is that their coach is their father, Jacques Borlée, who once was silver medalist over 200 m in European Indoor Championships in Budapest in 1983. Their sister Olivia is a member of the Belgian 4x100m-team, that took bronze at World Championships in Osaka.


OHURUOUGU GETS SPRINTS BESTS

IRVINE (USA, May 4): World champion at 400 m British Christine Ohuruogu sprinted to new personal bests at Steve Scott Invitational in California. She clocked 11.35 (+1.8) at 100 m and 23.28 (+2.0) at 200 m. Her first known 400 m race is at Ostrava Golden Spike on June 12. Also other british athletes tested their shape here. 800 m specialist Marilyn Okoro won the 400 m in 53.73, 400 m Hurdler Tasha Smith dominated the 800 m in 2:06.46 and Sarah Claxton clocked 13.16 (+0.7) at 100 m Hurdles. On the men side Simeon Williamson won the 100 m (10.41, +1.2) and Carl Myerscough achieved 20.19 m in Shot Put.


MEETINGS

PONCE (PUR): The Hurdles will be hot in the men's race at this Puerto-Rican fixture in Ponce on May 17. There will be a rematch between Olympic Silver Medalist Danny McFarlane (JAM) and the hometown hero National record holder Javier Culson (PUR). Also in the field will be Olympic finalist Bayano Kamani of Panama. On the Women's side Lashinda Demus (USA) will headline the event but she will not have to look hard for a challenege, also in the field are Shauna Smith (USA), Markita James (USA) and Dominique Darden (USA). The 110 m hurdles will be headlined by David Payne (USA) who will make his debut for 2008 after picking up the Bronze in Osaka with a mark of 13.02. Also in the Field will be Robbie Hughes and Aubrey Herring of the USA and Olympic Finalist Charles Allen of Canada. The women's side will be headlined by Kellie Wells the second fastest in the World in 2008 with a mark of 12.71 and Danielle Carruthers who has a best of 12.56. They will be joined by Aurelia Trywianska of Poland a one time World Championships finalist.

GOTZIS (AUT): Despite withdrawals from Bryan Clay and Roman Sebrle the IAAF Combined Events Challenge Meet in Gotzis, Austria (34th annual) will offer excellent competitions. In total 22 athletes for decathlon with bests over 8000 points and 30 women registering personal records over 6000 points. The biggest teams are coming from Russia as it will be also Olympic qualification for them. Top names are Aleksey Drozdov, Aleksandr Pogorelov and Aleksey Sysoyev for decathlon with Yelena Prokhorova, Anna Bogdanova and Olga Levenkova for heptathlon. Also Germany sends top athletes like former world indoor champion Andre Niklaus or fifth from Osaka Lilly Schwarzkopf. Decathlon favorites are Andrey Kravchenko of Belarus, Maurice Smith of Jamaica and Kazakhstan´s Dmitriy Karpov. Heptathlon top contenders are numbers 2-4 from Osaka Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine and British duo Kelly Sotherton with Jessica Ennis.

MODESTO (USA): 2008 World Indoor 400 meters champion, Tyler Christopher of Canada will face former World Junior 400 meters Champion Darold Williamson in the California Relays 200 meters in Modesto next weekend. The Canadian will so open his season and his next three 400 m races will be in Carson, Eugene and Ostrava.

CARSON (USA): World champion Kerron Clement, Olympic winner Joanna Hayes and sprint sensation Xavier Carter are scheduled to compete in the adidas Track Classic on May 18, organizers announced. Also entered is Veronica Campbell-Brown, of Jamaica the reigning 100 m world champion. They join already announced stars Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Bernard Lagat and Jana Rawlinson.

SAO PAULO (BRA): Strong Cuban team, headed by Javelin's 2004 Olympic

champion and World record holder Osleidis Menéndez, has been announced for

the May Brazilian tour. The most important of those 5 events to take place

in the South American nation will be the IAAF's World Athletics Tour event

"Grande Pre^mio Brasil/Caixa de Atletismo" in Belem on 25 May. The list of fifteen Cuban athletes will include former two current world leaders hammer throw former world gold winner Yipsi Moreno and discus thrower Yania Ferrales. Also in the team Olympic shot put champion Yumileidi Cumba, discus Osaka medalist Yarelis Barrios and triple jumpers David Giralt and Osniel Tosca.


OTHER NEWS

LONDON (GBR): World indoor Championships medalist Dwain Chambers who claims he still wants to compete in the 2012 Olympics, has said he also wants to represent England in this year's Rugby League World Cup. The World Cup is due to open in Australia on October 25 when England play Papua New Guinea. Chambers will discover tomorrow morning if he has a future in rugby league.

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Ethiopian distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie has received a honorary doctorate degree from Leeds Metropolitan University for his outstanding contribution to the sport. At an awards ceremony held at the Addis Ababa stadium in front of a packed capacity crowd of 35,000, Gebrselassie received the honorary doctorate degree from Professor Simon Lee, Vice Chancellor of the University. Gebrselassie and student ambassadors of the University then did a lap of honour around the track to rapturous cheers of the crowd who chanted 'Haile! Haile!' to honour arguably the best long distance runner in the history of athletics. Informs African Championships website.

SAN FRANCISCO (USA): Agencies are reporting that Antonio Pettigrew, a four-time world champion at 400 m and 4x400 m was named as a user of performance-enhancing drugs in a witness list for the trial of noted coach Trevor Graham. The New York Times reported on Saturday that Pettigrew was identified on a government list of witnesses against Graham, whose trial on charges of lying to federal agents is scheduled to begin May 19. Pettigrew,a 40 years, is now assistant athletics coach at the University of North Carolina.


RESULTS

BELFAST (GBR, May 5): Title defenders succeeded at 27th Belfast Marathon. Kenyan John Mutai achieved 2:16:31 to win and Ethiopian Marashet Jumma new course record 2:39:22. In total 15 000 participants in all races.

SPOKANE (USA, May 4): Kenyan Micah Kogo won the 32nd edition of Lilac Bloomsday Run in new course record at 12 km 33:51. Previous CR 33:55 was held jointly by former 10 000 m world record holders Yobes Ondieki of Kenya (1992) and Mexican Arturo Barrios (1993). Morrocan Ridouane Harroufi beat Kenyan John Korir for second (34:14-34:17). Lineth Chepkurui beat clearly in women category the reigning marathon world champion Catherine Ndereba, both Kenya (39:47-40:12). Poland´s Dorota Gruca as best European achieved 40:36 at fourth place. In total 47 505 entrants, reports Race Results Weekly.

PARIS (FRA, May 3-4): More interesting results from 1st round of French Clubs Championships (Interclubs). Osaka medalist Romain Mesnil started in Confians with clearing 520 in Pole Vault, Jerome Clavier was better in Tours with 560. French hammer record holder Manuela Montebrun achieved in Laval 70.46 and best Polish walker Sylvia Korzeniowska clocked in Tourcoing 12:56.36 at 3000 m on track. Hurdles world champion Ladji Doucoure competed in Creteil in Shot Put (12.96). That is nothing special with his decathlon past.

VALLENSBAEK (DEN, May 3): International walking meet in Denmark winner was US Philip Dunn who clocked 1:35:44 at 20 km. Sweden´s Monica Svensson won women´s 10 km (46:31).

PANAMA CITY (PAN, May 3-4): Panama has new Irving Saladino, the young Jamal Bowen (17) improved at National Championships to new continental U17 best 784 (+1.2).


CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS

KINGSTON: Wind speed during men´s 200 m race (Tyson Gay, 20.00) was +1.2.

The 400 m hurdles time by Danny McFarlane was of course 48.74 (not 47.74).

JOHANNESBURG: The marathon winner here Ntlaloe is from Lesotho, not South Africa.


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EME NEWS is a 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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