Great Fields at Bislett, EME News by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder


Oslo today, Prefontaine on Sunday-a busy weekend in global track & field! Favorite American eccentric Breaux Greet is back at the javelin, and is geering up for the US Olympic Trials and a run at Beijing ! More to come....

EME NEWS (JUNE 5, 2008)


OSLO (NOR): Great weather and atmosphere is expected for another edition of one of the most classical one day meetings in the world Bislett Games of Oslo. This year second step of AF Golden League. World record try is officially announced for women´s 5000 m where World champion Tirunesh Dibaba wants to break the mark of her team-mate Meseret Defar from last years at the famous world record track here (her other two sisters also competing). Not announced but expected could be a race close to world record at women´s 800 m by young Kenyan (only 18 years old) Pamela Jelimo. This is also an jackpot event with chances that the Berlin winner will be successful again. In three events winners of first part will be missed (100 m Carter, 400 m Merritt and 200 m Simpson). Real chances for another win are with Croatian Blanka Vlasic who is already at 25 winning streak and so the best in the world currently. She will face pretty much the same field as in Berlin, only Spanish record holder Ruth Beitia is added. Fans (nearly sold out) will greatly support Olympic winner Andreas Thorkildsen in Javelin, but World champion Tero Pitkamäki of Finland will try to repeat despite back problems. Interesting additions are two former world champions Sergey Makarov of Russia and Andrus Varnik of Estonia. In the three golden events without Berlin winners young American Bianca Knight is 200 m favorite, Bahamian Osaka silver medalist Derrick Atkins at 100 m (added by World finalist Marc Burns of Trinidad and US indoor champion Mike Rodgers) and world and Olympic winner Jeremy Wariner at 400 m.

Good possibility also for 2005 world champion Bershawn Jackson (USA) at 400 m Hurdles who will ran against nearly identical field. Interesting to follow whether Josephine Onyia of Spain will be able to repeat her win over Susanna Kallur who will be able to improve in comparison to Berlin what was her first race of the summer. Another name to repeat is Kenyan runner Augustine Choge at popular Dream Mile. Interesting addition is World indoor champion Derese Mekonnen of Ethiopia. Saudi Arabian Husein Taher Al-Sabee is another not bad bet to win again also because world champion Irving Saladino withdrew because of injury.

From remaining events great women steeple is ready with all the best runners including current world champion and world record holder and all Osaka medallists. Another highlight could be men 800 m when World indoor champion Abubaker Kaki of Sudan will clash for first time with world leader and African champion David Rudisha of Kenya along with Berlin winner Albert Chepkirwok and experienced Mbulaeni Mulaudzi from South Africa. First sub 1:44 of the year could be well expected. Remaining is women 100 m with reigning Olympic champion Yulia Nesterenko of Belarus and men 200 m with solid field.


ARLES (FRA): Four men with PB above 8000 points and three women above 6000 points will take part to the fourth leg of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge to be held next week-end in Arles, Southern France. Leading the men's field is Frenchman Romain Barras (7th at the 2007 world championships /8406 PB from 2006) who'll make his season debut after pulling out from Götzis due to a pain in his right Achilles. He'll face competition from African record holder Hamdi Dhouibi of Tunisia (8023 points in 2005), Uzbek Vitaliy Smirnov (8021 points in 2003) and Frenchmen Rudy Bourguignon (8025 points in 2005), Nadir El Fassi and Julien Choffart. On the women's side Canada's Jessica Zelinka who suffered plantar fascia rupture last summer will want to make up for a disappointing 21st place last week in Götzis (6034 points, three hundred points short of her national record of 6343 points). Her main opponents will be Netherlands' Laurien Hoos who was leading after six events in Desenzano on May on May 11 before an injury forced her to pull out and Briton Julie Hollman who'll try to improve upon her 5909 points score from last week-end's English championships.


LA CORUN~A (ESP): The Galician city of La Corun~a will held next Saturday the „Gran Premio Internacional de Marcha Cantones de La Corun~a", 7th leg of IAAF World Race Challenge 2008. Former World champion Ilya Markov, from Russia, Norwegian Erik Tysse, Rio Maior race winner and currently second placed at the Challenge, Irish Robert Hefferman, Tunisian Hatem Ghoula and Portuguese Joao Vieira are the main names entered for 20 Km race. Neither Francisco Javier Fernández, the Spanish star, nor Juan Manuel Molina are walking. Reigning Olympic champion Athanasia Tsoumeleka from Greece and Challenge current leader Kjersti Plätzer of Norway, winner in Chihuahua, Rio Maior and Sesto San Giovanni this year are the main names at women's 20 Km. Other athletes to follow are Belarusian Elena Ginko, Roumanian Claudia Stef, Portuguese Ines Henriques & Ana Cabecinha, Spanish María José Poves and German Melanie Seeger & Sabine Zimmer.


KASSEL (GER): The European Permit Meeting in Kassel on June 6th promises a thrilling season opening in the women´s javelin with Germans Steffi Nerius, Christina Obergföll and Linda Stahl. The hammer competition with World champion Betty Heidler, her compatriot Kathrin Klaas and Cuba´s Yipsi Mereno is not less auspicious. And the women´s 100m hurdles present a suspenseful duel between Derval O´Rourke from Ireland (season opener) and Germany´s best hurdler at the moment, Carolin Nytra. Men´s pole vault offers the German elite with Tim Lobinger, Danny Ecker, Björn Otto, Malte Mohr, Raphael Holzdeppe and others who are as always on the hunt for a ticket to Bejing. At the 110m hurdles race, Thomas Blaschek will again try to run the qualification standard and his opponents from the Netherlands, Marcel van der Westen and Gregory Sedok seem to be the best stimulation. The 400m race is especially important for Ingo Schutz, Bastian Swillims and Kamghe Gaba as the winner will represent Germany at the European Cup in Annecy two weeks later.


BERLIN (GER): Olympic discus champion Lars Riedel from Germany has again problems with his back. "This is quite normal at peak times with full load", the 40-year-old told dpa. Riedel aims to take part at the Olympic Games this year once more, but has not competed so far. There are speculations about his retirement from competitive sports. "I know something, but I want Riedel to say it himself", said the federation´s discus coach Jürgen Schult. Lars Riedel stated that he won´t continue until 2009.


TORINO (ITA): Hurdlers Jana Rawlinson and Dayron Robles will be the main attractions of the Primo Nebiolo Memorial meet to be held in Torino on June 6th (European Athletics Premium Meeting). Two-time world 400m hurdles champion Jana Rawlinson will make her first competitive outing since September last year, after having toe surgery in January. Her coach and husband Chris Rawlinson told the Herald Sun that he was not expecting too much for this first race. „Just looking for an easy opener so I can see what areas need working on," he said. „Jana needs a couple of warm-up races before stepping it up in July." Two generations of Cubans will face each other in the men's 110 hurdles as 2000 Olympic champion Anier Garcia is back to the track after losing 14 kilos last year, taking up young gun Dayron Robles' challenge. Pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco is another high-profile athlete to make his return just a month after being cleared of doping accusations by the CAS. Osaka silver medallist Antonietta di Martino will lead the women's high jump field while African champion Kabelo Kgosiemang of Botswana will face Ukraine's Andriy Sokolovsky in the men's event. Following her 14.78m in La Habana last week-end, world champion Yargelis Savigne is a clear favorite in the triple jump against former Cubans Yamile Aldama and Magdelin Martinez. The meet will also offer relay races for countries looking to qualify to the Olympics. Great Britain, Holland, Poland, Hungary, Italy A and Italy B will be the strongest teams in the men's 4x100m, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Switzerland, Italy A and Italy B in the women's 4x100m and France, Ireland, Lithuania, Italy A and Italy B in the women's 4x400m.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Sprinter Kim Gevaert has pulled out from Oslo Golden League meet after feeling Achilles pain last Sunday in Berlin where she finished 5th of the 200m in 22.77. After examination, she was advised to take a brake by Dr Peers. „There's nothing dramatic about it, but the doctor advised me not to take any risks in an Olympic year. I should normally have recovered for the European Cup on June 21, but I will limit myself to the 100m and 4x100m." Information by Belgian media.


EUGENE (USA): US javelin record holder Breaux Greer (91.29) spend some time this spring to play in the US Gladiators as Hurricane. Now as his role is finished he is back concentrating on athletics. He will not compete before US Trials, but wants to make a shot to become an Olympian for Beijing. He last time competed at Weltklasse in Zurich in September 2007 (83.15 as third).


ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Triple world champion Tirunesh Dibaba spoke before her trip to Europe about her only one 10 000 m race before Olympic games in Ostrava on June 12. "I don't know how I will fare after trying for the world record in Oslo. But the most important thing for me to run fast in Ostrava and qualify for the Ethiopian Olympic team. It is not something easy to break 30 minutes and has only been done once before. It makes it difficult, but not impossible. My training has gone well and that will be my target in Ostrava."


PARIS (FRA): Victim of a stress fracture to her left fibula early May, long jumper Eloyse Lesueur, fourth at the last World Indoor Championships in Valencia (6.60m), will make her outdoor debut in a local meet in Nantes on Friday, before another one in Sotteville on June 15 to find her bearings ahead of the European Cup on June 21-22, informs l´Equipe.

PARIS (FRA): In an e-mail exchange with the French federation, former world champion Eunice Barber stated that if her first outings were satisfying she would make herself available both for the European Cup in Annecy on June 21-22 and the European Cup of combined events in Hengelo the following week-end. She first wants to test herself in the 100m and the long jump but the date of her first competition is not known yet, informs l'Equipe.

STRASBOURG (FRA): Accused of hosting fifteen or so Kenyan athletes in conditions contrary to human dignity, agent representative Jean Conrath had his sentence reduced in appeal, on Wednesday. Originally sanctioned a three month prison sentence without parole and a 8.000 euro fine in March 2006, he saw his penalty transformed to a three month suspended sentence and a two-year probation. Conrath was blamed for installing the 15 runners in a 55 square-meter house without operational bathroom and heating for a monthly 200 euro per mattress, in Vendenheim, not far away from Strasbourg, in November 2005. The former 5000 m French champion (1976 and 1978) pleaded guilty and recognized the accommodation was not up to standard. The event triggered the ban of 19 foreign representatives by Athletics Kenya in December 2005 before six of them were reinstated the following month.


TAINAN (TPE, May 29-30): Interesting Jamaican appearances in Chinese Taipei at International meeting. Xavier Brown clocked solid 20.83 (-0.3) at 200 m and Shilonie Calvert won the 100 m (11.57) ahead of Anastasia Leroy (11.68). But Leroy was better at 200 m with good 23.08 (-0.8) beating Calvert (23.42). New Zealander Stuart Farquhar got 80.51 in Javelin.

HONGKONG (HKG, June 1): New national junior record at 100 m by Lai Chun Ho 10.38 (+1.1) at third round of Hongkong Athletics League. With this time he could well advance during World Junior Championships in July in Poland.

YANKTON (USA, June 4): 2004 Olympic Pole Vault finalist, Derek Miles cleared 571 in a tune up meet on Wednesday in South Dakota. Miles travels to Eugene next to compete in the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday.

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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).

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