In our upcoming issue of American Track & Field, Dick Patrick notes that Ato Bolden believes that Usain Bolt has a good shot at the 19.32 of Michael Johnson. I agree, IF he listens to his coach. This young man has a ton of talent, but 19.32 is a time that puts one with the immortals.
Michael Johnson's 19.32 came at a huge price. He was not the same sprinter for three years. I believe that such an effort has to play with one's immune system and like a stratospheric world record, it takes time to recover.
Usain Bolt's run over 100 meters was a revelation. I did not think a young man that tall could ever run that fast. Those levers moved and Usain Bolt had the race. Can he run 9.6? With the effort he showed there, sub 9.7 is a distinct possibility.
EME NEWS (JUNE 17, 2008)
BOLT WANTED TO DOUBLE IN 2009
KINGSTON (JAM): Coach of 100 m world record holder Glen Mills had a plan to let Usain Bolt to double at 2009 World Championships in Berlin. „I am not excited about this doubling at the Olympics," he said. „It's one year too early for our plans and preparation," he was quoted by Jamaican media. The final decision about Beijing will be made after Jamaican Trials where Bolt will run both sprints.
DROZDOV AND KURBAN FOR BEIJING
CHELYABINSK (RUS, June 17): Aleksey Drozdov in decathlon and Olga Kurban in heptathlon are the last additions into Russian combined events Olympic team. They both won the National championships today and qualified for Beijing, informs All-Sport. Already after Gotzis IAAF Challenge event Aleksey Sysoyev, Aleksandr Pogorelov, Tatyana Chernova and Anna Bogdanova were named. Kurban scored great 6559 points personal best and is third in the current world lists. Second 20-years old Yana Panteleyeva improved hugely to her first 6000+ (6430) and third Marina Goncharova scored 6289 points. Osaka fourth placer Aleksey Drozdov achieved 8130 points to win.
REESE WILL TURN PRO
OXFORD (USA): Long jump co-world leader Brittney Reese (21) won during the weekend her second NCAA Championships title. After that she announced that she will not complete her senior college year and turn pro. „My goal for the trials is to get 23 feet (seven meters) at least, and at Beijing I would like to at least medal," Reese said about the 2008 Summer Olympics. She jumped this year already twice 693 and debuted internationally last year at World Championships in Osaka as 8th.
SEBRLE AND BLONSKA TO DEFEND
KLADNO (CZE): Second edition of TNT-Fortuna Combined events meeting in Kladno (near Praha) will see on Wednesday and Thursday both title defenders from inaugural year competing. Czech world record holder, Olympic and world winner Roman Sebrle is after injury to complete his first decathlon of the year. Last year he won here with 8697 points, this time his goal is not that high. „My preparation is oriented towards Beijing, but first I need to have the qualifying mark, so that is the most important thing at the moment," he was quoted. The expected capacity crowds will see his battle with world silver holder Maurice Smith of Jamaica who was fifth in Gotzis with 8332 points before three weeks. Organizers were hoping that also other two star names Andrey Kravchenko of Belarus and Dmitriy Karpov from Kazakhstan will compete. But Kravchenko is not ready yet after illness and Karpov who is in Czech republic injured his hamstring recently during training with Sebrle. His Olympic participation should not be in danger. But another big name will be there, one of the co-organizers and triple world champion Tomas Dvorak. He was quoted as saying for Czech media that this might be his last decathlon. But question-mark still remains. Also in the field decathletes with 8000+ like French Rudy Bourguignon (8025), Asian Games winner Vitaliy Smirnov of Uzbekistan (8021), Austrian Roland Schwarzl (8102) and experienced Dutch Chiel Warners (8363). Interesting to watch will be the debut of Czech hurdler Stanislav Sajdok who just week ago in Ostrava improved to Olympic qualifier 13.53. His coach Dvorak expects that he can come close to 8000 points.
Ukrainian Osaka silver holder Lyudmila Blonska comes to defend her title (6354 year ago) with 6570 and second place from Gotzis. Poland´s Karolina Tyminska with 6402 best should be her main rival. Home star Denisa Scerbova hopes to come close to Czech record 6268 of Zuzana Lajbnerova from 1988. Interesting to see Jamaican Toni-Ann D´Oyley a former hurdler (12.92 best) who is trying the heptathlon. Organizers around former Czech pole vault record holder Zdenek Lubensky are offering also international junior competitions in decathlon and heptahlon and also a special men javelin competition headed by South African 2006 world junior champion Robert Oosthuizen. Men decathlon winner will get 6000 E, the best woman 3000 E. Lubensky hopes that for 2009 the event will be already included into the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
ALSO BARBER TO MISS OLYMPIC HEPTATHLON
PARIS (FRA): French 1999 heptathlon and 2003 long jump world champion Eunice Barber, announced that she'll only take part in the long jump in Beijing and not the heptathlon. The athlete, who has experienced muscle problems since beginning her technical preparation following knee surgery last autumn, recognized that „Preparing far all the events to be in top shape at the Olympics is too demanding, that's why my coach Bob Kersee and I decided to focus on the long jump". After Carolina Kluft and Jessica Ennis another top name out of Olympic heptathlon.
DUMBRAVEAN WAITS FOR B-SAMPLE
BUCURESTI (ROM): Romanian middle distance runner Corina Dumbravean (24) who disappeared from the Romanian Track and Field scenery for more than a year is being suspected of doping. Lately a mystery has taken over the case, the officials from the national athletics federation avoiding to speak about the athlete from Ardeal. According to the on-line edition of the daily "Cotidianul", Corina Dumbravean says that she took forbidden substances against her will. „I went in order to donate blood for Mr. Gelu Stefanescu, former president of CS Olimpic Sport Craiova. We had the same blood type. The second day towards the evening I started feeling sick. I have a slim figure and the fact that I donated blood probably affected me. I managed to call a neighbor who called the ambulance. When the ambulance came I put on a sweat suit and left to Craiova hospital. I was so dizzy that I forgot to take my mobile phones with me therefore I wasn't able to call anyone. I was unconscious from the evening until the next day in the morning when I woke up with a perfusion in my arm", declared Corina for the mentioned source. According to the athlete, the medic had given her forbidden substances being unaware of the fact that the 24 year old woman was an active athlete. Corina is now waiting for the results of the B sample. She won silver at European Indoor Championships 2005 in 1500 m race and the same year also won the European Championships U23.
GRANGEMOUTH (GBR): Andy Baddeley the superb winner of the recent ExxonBislett Dream Mile in Norway will contest his last race before bidding for Olympic selection at the Bank of Scotland Cup on July 1, informs David Martin. Baddeley who followed in the footsteps of Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Peter Elliott in winning the legendary mile race in Oslo on June 6, will compete over 800 m at the Grangemouth venue. This weekend he will represent Great Britain in SPAR European Cup at 3000 m.
BERLIN (GER): German steepler Verena Dreier has given up her Olympic ambitions because of overload with her work as physiotherapist, her exams, the pressure to get the standard and difficulties with her coach Sybille Willwacher. The 23-year-old is now looking for a new coach and wants to dedicate 2009 on athletics only as a professional.
PARIS (FRA): Sprinter Christine Arron withdrew from the SPAR European Cup in Annecy after feeling small pains, but hope to make her debut on June 27 in Villeneuve d'Ascq at European Athletics Premium Meeting.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian and also Dutch athletics is mourning the tragic death of runner Tom Compernolle (32, 13:14.75 5000 m best from 2004). He was still competing in 3000 m on Saturday in Leiden and on Monday died in military accident. He was 10th at European Championships 2006 5000 m final and competed also at Olympic Games 2004.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Javelin throwers have been voted the European Athletes of the Month for May based on their outstanding performances in the competitions in Zaragoza (Czech world champion Barbora Spotakova) and Doha (Norway Olympic winner Andreas Thorkildsen) respectively. The runners up in the women's poll were Belgian sprinter Kim Gevaert, World High Jump champion Blanka Vlasic and Russian World Champion walker Olga Kaniskina while walkers Francisco Fernandez (ESP) and Denis Nizhegorodov (RUS), 10,000m runner Günther Weidlinger (AUT) and Belgian decathlete Frédéric Xhonneux were the runners up on the men's side.
CARDIFF (GBR): Welsh 400m hurdler Rhys Williams is out of Olympic Games in Beijing. He suffered a stress fracture to his right foot. The six-week recovery period rules him out of the Olympic trials in July. Williams (24) suffered the injury in Sunday's Welsh Championships at Swansea, his first appearance since a similar injury in 2007. His best 49.09 is from 2006.
LOS ANGELES (USA): UCLA jumps coach and long jump world record holder Mike Powell is stepping down from his position after three successful years with the Bruins. Powell is going away from collegiate track and field to continue his involvement with the IAAF, where he serves as an ambassador to the sport. As an ambassador, Powell attends track meets and press conferences, as well as meet with sponsors, host clinics and do whatever he can to represent and promote the sport of track and field. He will also continue to coach a group of professional athletes in the jumps, informs UCLA website.
ADDIS-ABABA (ETH, June 15): Teklu Tefera won the 24th Abebe Bikila Marathon, clocking 2:18:51 in Addis-Ababa on Sunday. The women's race was won by Letay Negash in 2:42:39. Last year's winner was Tsegaye Kebede who went on to win the 2008 Paris marahon in April.
RICHMOND (CAN, June 15): Canadian javelin thrower Scott Russell improved his season best to 83.20m at the Kajaks International Track Classic on Sunday. Sultana Frizell claimed the women's hammer throw with 67.99m. Brian Barnett won did the 100m-200m double, clocking 10.28 and 20.56 respectively.
TORONTO (CAN, June 14-15): American pole vault national record holder Jennifer Stuczynski cleared 445 during the weekend at a local meet in Toronto. Canadian Hurdler Priscilla Lopes won the 100 m dash in 11.47.
SOFIA (BUL, June 14-15): Desislav Gunev clocked fast 10.27 (-0.5) at 100 m during Bulgarian Championships. Pole Vault record holder Spas Bukhalov cleared solid 570 cm in his event. On the women side also good 100 m by Inna Eftimova 11.26 (+1.3) when Ivet Lalova and Tezdzhan Naimova were not competing. Gabriela Laleva clocked 23.33 to win the 200 m. Gita Dodova was the best in Triple Jump (13.76) as former Olympic winner Tereza Marinova was only fourth (13.69).
SENTA (SER, June 15): Serbian talent Ivana Spanovic (18) improved at national junior championships in Long Jump to 665 cm. It is new national junior record and she missed the senior mark of Tamara Malesev only by 2 cm (668). She won silver at last years World Youth Championships in Ostrava.
EUGENE (USA, June 15): At pre trials warm-up meet fast 600 m by 800 m specialists. Matt Scherer clocked 1:14.41 and Nick Symmonds 1:14.47. World best of Johnny Gray is 1:12.81 from 1986.
WALNUT (USA, June 15): During Southern California tune-up meet Chris Berrian (26) improved in the 200 m to 20.24 (+1.8). His previous best was 20.31 since 2006. World 100 m medalist Carmelita Jeter achieved 11.17 (+1.1).
ANGELS (JAM, June 15): National record holder Yohan Blake did not get the expected 100 m title at national junior champs. He got disqualified after false start. He then at least ended second at 200 m (21.06) and was beaten by Nickel Ashmeade (20.89). Short dash title for Dexter Lee (10.36) ahead of Ashmeade (10.41). Blake still hopes to be selected for the 100 m for World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz in July. Shermaine Williams clocked 13.22 at 100 m Hurdles and achieved the best girls result.
GOLD COAST (AUS, June 14-15): Interesting results during Australian Winter Series of meetings. Hurdles record holder Sally McLellan clocked 12.91 (+2.5), pole vaulter Alana Boyd came close to her best with 450 cm. World junior 2002 medalist Fabrice Lapierre leaped to his second career best in long Jump (810, +0.8). Sean Wroe clocked 45.96 at 400 m, informs Paul Jenes.
YALTA (UKR, June 16): Excellent high jumping at Ukrainian junior championships by Bohdan Bondarenko who cleared 225 cm. El-Sherif Sherif got 16.35 (+1.0) in Triple Jump and Andriy Martynov 75.46 in hammer (6 kg). Also good the heptathlon score of Anna Fyodorova 5475 points.