Lots of things going on in the world of athletes. In North America, the Nike Prefontaine is getting alot of ink, and many are still talking about Usain Bolt's 9.72 world record! MJ's decision to return his relay gold from Sydney is sure to strike some as strange. But, in Johnson's own words, he praises and cautions WADA and USADA to protect the sport and help it regain credibility.
One of the potential candidates for USATF CEO said to me that, if he were CEO, he would require the top dozen or so stars of US track to all volunteer for the special USADA and WADA testing that Tyson Gay has done. In order to clean up our sport, we need to show that the top stars, especially, are clean, or our sport becomes the poorer cousin of bicycling..
EME NEWS (JUNE 3, 2008)
KNIGHT TO DEBUT IN EUROPE
OSLO (NOR): Very interesting late addition to Oslo Golden League 200 m women race is talented US junior Bianca Knight. The World Youth Champion 2005 will debut in Europe on Friday in Oslo. On Saturday in New York she improved her outdoor best to 22.43 what is fifth fastest by a junior ever. After running indoors this year world junior best 22.40 she turned pro and aims to qualify for Olympic Games in Beijing. As Berlin winner Sherone Simpson is not running, could Knight be a star of this event.
JOHNSON DOES NOT WANT THE RELAY GOLD
NEW YORK (USA): The 200 m and 400 m world record holder Michael Johnson wants to give back his 4x400 m gold from Sydney Olympics. He was quoted as saying: „I now realize that there have been a significant number of athletes and coaches in this sport who have cheated and taken the short cut, and many of them knew who else was cheating. But I will not give up on this sport and the current group of young athletes like Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Tyson Gay, Christine Ohuruogu, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell. I will continue to support them but the difference is that now I can certainly understand why some fans may be hesitant to do so themselves. And I can't blame them for that. And that is a huge problem for the International Olympic Committee, the IAAF, and the whole track and field community. It is also a huge responsibility for the World Anti-Doping Agency, because many of the athletes who have now had to admit to using banned substances never tested positive."
GREAT WOMEN STEEPLE
OSLO (NOR): Great field is assembled for first this year top women steeple race at Bislett Games, the 2nd leg of AF Golden League with all medallists from world championships last year and current world record holder. Russia is represented by the current World record holder Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (9:01.59), reigning World champion Yekaterina Volkova (9:06.51), and World silver medallist Tatyana Petrova (9:09.19). Kenya will field the World Junior record holder Ruth Bisibori Nyangau (9:24.51) and African record holder and Osaka bronze holder Eunice Jepkorir (9:14.52). Bisibori was the bronze medallist at the recent African Championships, and the two Ethiopian women who beat her, gold medallist Zemzem Ahmed (9:32.53) and runner-up Mekdes Bekele (9:32.05) are also in the Oslo starting line-up. You cannot ask for more. World record 9:01.59 by Gulnara Samitova in Iraklio, Greece in 2004 will be in danger. Meet record is 9:19.44 by Eunice Jepkorir in last year.
CHAMBERS TO DOUBLE IN GREECE
KALAMATA (GRE): British sprinter Dwain Chambers will double at Wednesday´s Papaflessia European Athletics Permit meeting in Kalamata, Greece. As confirmed by the organizers he will run not only the 100 m, but also the double distance. „I m ready to run something good, this is a nice and warm place to run," he was quoted here and it is expected that temperatures will be around 28-29 degrees without wind. His rivals at 100 m should be US Marcelle Scales, Canadian Nicos Macrozonaris, Dariusz Kuc of Poland and at 200 m home sprinter Panayotis Sarris with 20.48 best time. Chambers last 100 m was back in 2006 with 10.43 in August at match in Birmingham. His last 200 m was in July 2003 in Gateshead but this result was deleted after his doping case. So last valid 200 m at World Championships in Edmonton 2001 clocking 20.60 in second round. His valid PB is now 20.31 from 2001. Interestingly in 2001 he was the winner at same meet in Kalamata with windy 10.14. And competed here also in 1998 (being fifth 10.29 again windy).
FOUR RUSSIANS OLYMPIC BOUND AFTER GOTZIS
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian head-coach Valentin Maslakov confirmed that top two Russians from weekend combined events in Gotzis, Austria are qualified for Olympic Games. For decathlon Aleksey Sysoyev and Aleksandr Pogorelov and for heptathlon Tatyana Chernova and Anna Bogdanova. The remaining places will be given based on national combined events championships which will be held in Chelyabinsk on June 15-16. The already selected athletes will not compete there. Informs All-Sport Agency.
GREAT DISTANCE FIELDS AT PRE
EUGENE (USA): At last year's Prefontaine Classic, Oregon Track Club Elite's Nick Symmonds thrilled a disbelieving sold-out Hayward Field by overtaking Olympic gold medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy in the final strides of the 800 meters. Organizers are informing. Symmonds is back for next Sunday's 34th Prefontaine Classic, this time facing a well-known foe in Khadevis Robinson, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for the past three years, and Bahrain's, Youssef Kamel, who was ranked No. 5 in the world by Track & Field News. World medallists Gary Reed and mainly world champion Alfred Yego are adding the necessary spice to the field. The morning races will be organized as world record attempts by Kenenisa Bekele at 10 000 m and Meseret Defar at 5000 m. For Kenenisa the pacemaker will by junior Abreham Feleke who was running in Berlin on Sunday sub 13 minutes. For Defar the usual pacemaker Russian Olga Komyagina. Also in the field World silver medalist Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya.
DIBABA STAR OF OSTRAVA 10 000 m
OSTRAVA (CZE): Top entry for women 10 000 m race (only one at Grand Prix circuit) at Golden Spike on June 12 will be triple world champion at the distance Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba. It will be her first ever race in Czech Republic and after 5000 m world record try in Oslo this Friday. Also in the field former world cross country champion Benita Johnson of Australia and top Kenyans Linet Masai, Doris Changeiywo and Grace Momanyi seeking Olympic qualifier 31:45. Strong Ethiopian group will also have World CC silver medalist this year Mestawet Tufa and other Dibaba sister Eyegayehu. Trying to run fast will be also Olympic winner in 2000 Derartu Tulu. Initially also World half-marathon world record holder Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands wanted to run, but unfortunately canceled her participation based on doctors advice. She wants to try to achieve the necessary 31:45 for Beijing most probably at Nijmegen meeting end of the month.
PARIS (FRA): 400 m French record holder Leslie Djhone has pulled out from Oslo Golden League meet because of a pain in the gluteus maximus muscle in his left leg. „I keep training, I can run, but I shall not get fast" he declared. Next meets on his schedule should be Sotteville on June 15 before the European Cup in Annecy on June 21-22, informs L'Equipe.
ENNIS TO MISS BEIJING OLYMPICS
LONDON (GBR): British combined events Osaka fourth placer and one of the best young European athletes Jessica Ennis will miss the Beijing Games after suffering stress fractures to her right ankle. Ennis who has been troubled by the injury for a few weeks was forced to withdraw after the first day's action at the IAAF World Challenge Hypo Meeting in Gotzis on Saturday, informs David Martin. CT and MRI scans at the Olympic Medical Institute where a fracture was revealed. Ennis is still only 22 years old and has a long athletics career that will sadly not include the 2008 Olympics but will include London 2012 and the 2016 Games.
LIU XIANG NOT INJURED SAYS COACH
EUGENE (USA): The coach of world 110 meters hurdles record holder and Olympic winner Liu Xiang is not injured despite pulling out of last Saturday's Reebok Games in New York (hamstring). That means he will be ready to compete on Sunday in Eugene at Prefontaine Classic. Sun Haiping insisted the Chinese star withdrew from the meeting because of the weather conditions which delayed the start of the meeting by an hour and then saw thunder and lightning when it did get underway, informs David Martin.
Sun Haiping insisted: „It's an overstatement to call it an injury. His legs move and he would have easily raced within 13.20 seconds had he entered. But we did not want to take even the slightest risk, particularly in the rain and with the Games barely more than two months away."
LEBEDEVA THINKS ABOUT LONDON 2012
DESSAU (GER): Russian Long Jump World champion Tatyana Lebedeva who competes today in Tallinn at European Athletics Premium Meeting is thinking about competing at London Games in 2012. „I m not thinking about end of my career. I want to jump in London 2012 and as Heike Drechsler be Olympic winner at 36. She is my hero. I m sure it is possible. But maybe not in triple jump," she was quoted.
NO OLYMPICS FOR LAMMERT
NEUBRANDENBURG (GER): Shot putter Petra Lammert from Germany, fifth at the World championships and bronze medallist at the European championships, will not be able to participate at the Olympic Games due to a training accident on Saturday. The injury at her elbow, which was caused by an unlucky fall, is so bad that the 24-year-old will not be able to train for several weeks. And she won't be able to make up for the training deficit until Bejing.
CHORZOW (POL, May 31): Fast sprints by Poland´s relay European silver medalist Marcin Jedrusinski 10.26 PB at 100 m (+1.0) and 20.58 at 200 m (+1.9).
BARCELONA (ESP, June 1): New Spanish record at Catalanian Champonships. Beatriz Pascual clocked in 5000 m track walking 20:53.97.
ZARY (POL, June 1): At special Pole Vault meeting in Poland German Malte Mohr improved to 576 cm. The meet is held as Tadeusz Slusarski Memorial, the former Olympic winner who tragically died in car accident.
SANTO DOMINGO (DOM, June 1): Pan-Am combined events challenge winners were US athletes Chris Helwick (7820) and Lela Nelson (5944).
LOGRONO (ESP, May 31): World marathon medalist Mubarak Shami of Qatar won the 17th Half-Marathon De le Rioja here after 1:03:08. Best woman was Kenyan Paris Marathon winner and Olympic qualified Martha Komu (1:13:43).
JURMALA (LAT, May 31): New personal best for national 50 km walk champion Arnis Rumbenieks 3:58:35.
HAVANA (CUB, June 1): World champion Yargelis Savigne achieved on Sunday in Havana in her special event triple jump 14.78 (but it is not world lead as agencies informed because on the same day Marija Sestak got 14.85 in Ljubljana as EME NEWS reported). Savigne will compete in Europe already this week in Torino on Friday and Moscow on Tuesday. World 2005 800 m champion Zulia Calatayud clocked 2:03.4 at 800 m. World record holder in Javelin Osleidys Menendez achieved 60.73 on Saturday and also heads to Europe. In jumps Ibrahim Camejo (815) and Victor Moya (227). Fast hand times sprints for Henry Vizcaino 9.9 and Virgen Benavides 11.0.
LONDON (GBR): Writer Tony Ward made remarks on his blog about the continuing implications of the BALCO affair in the USA and the implications for the sport world wide. You can watch at: http://tonyward-trackchat.blogspot.com/
We plan updates from meetings in Tallinn and Malmo today.
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