Second day of break at Trials in Eugene, Oregon and all starts again tomorrow. Nice comments by Bill Roe, President of USATF on the state of sport. Bill is a good man and loves the sport. Eugene 2008 is a huge success and it should be model for all national championships and Oly Trials in future. It could be duplicated in other areas of country with support and leadership.
Credit needs to go to the right people. Dave Taylor, former Nike executive and Duck cross country and track athlete, is a fine example. For past two years, this man has spent several evenings and days each week, as Chief of Stuff, insuring that the Olympic Trials would be the event that they are-a true celebration of the athlete and a meeting place for fan, athlete and sport. Vinn Lananna and Mike Reilly, who took the US champs to a new level at Stanford 2001-2003, should not be overlooked, as they have made this a priority. Actually, they have run it like a business-which is something our sport has been remiss in this country. Nike, especially John Capriotti's group, has put time and effort here and it shows. And the advertising messaging is totally dialed in, actually, in my mind, the best that has come out of anywhere in years.
It is a Eugene lovefest, and this is not negative, just a fact. What needs to happen in upcoming years, is that the local businesses in town feel the economic benefit from the event. Coaches clinics have been quite successful and the folks at Niketown and Eugene Running Store have done super things to promote the event, the sport and make the ten days in Eugene that much more memorable.
I have not seen any TV on the Trials. I have heard that it it good, but I do think that NBC has blown it by not offering ESPN and 2 teasers each night of highlights. That is just wrong.
There are huge stories, real human drama in this event. A keen eyed producer could see that, from Nicole Teter, and her 40 days of training to the Madison gang and their bonds and moving from the Midwest to Portland.
Stars for Golden Gala: Dibaba, Robles, Powell, Vlasic, season openers for Isinbayeva and Sanchez
ROME (ITA): Golden Gala third leg of AF Golden League at Rome Olympic Stadium will offer on Friday July 11 many special duels and events. Current world record holder Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba will run her first 5000 m since the world record in Oslo. She will face her Ethiopian rival Meselech Melkamu and together with sisters Ejegayehu and Genzebe they will build a strong team. Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles comes to compete in his event 110 m Hurdles, his rivals from USA will be known after US Trials. Jamaican speed star Asafa Powell will compete at 100 m in duel with fresh Bahamian champion and Osaka silver holder Derrick Atkins. Blanka Vlasic comes to High Jump and she can try the world record in the stadium where it was set back in 1987 at World Championships by Stefka Kostadinova with 209 cm. Very special will be also the season opener of Pole Vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia. Another first meet of the year for reigning Olympic winner Felix Sanchez from Dominican Republic at 400 m Hurdles.
Not only Bolt, but also Robles and Shaheen
ATHENS (GRE): The 11th Tsiklitiria Meeting in Athens is proudly presenting for this years edition on July 13 three current world record holders. It was already announced that the fastest man on earth Jamaican Usain Bolt will compete here at 200 m. Cuban Dayron Robles the global mark holder from Ostrava at 110 m Hurdles (12.87) also competes here. And very special should be the 3000 m steeple with world record holder Saif Saeed Shaheen of Qatar running his first steeple since a long break. And he returns to the place where he competed in his special event last time. Back on Sep 17, 2006 he won the World Cup race at Olympic Stadium with 8:19.09. And it should be also his only steeple race before Beijing Games.
Wariner and Merritt side by side
EUGENE (USA): The draw makes it possible. Another great 400 m duel could be expected when US Olympic Trials will resume on Thursday. Olympic winner and world champion Jeremy Wariner runs in lane five of 400 m finals and his beater from Berlin LaShawn Merritt will be close to him in lane six. Can they come close to world record or they will concentrate on making the team...
PARIS (FRA): The analysis of an A-sample provided by cross-country European silver medallist Julie Coulaud, probably during the large scale testing operation carried on in Font-Romeu on May 31, shows traces of testosterone. The 25-years old athlete, who recently placed third in the 3000m of the European Cup in Annecy and has a PB of 9:31.43 in the 3000m steeplechase had not achieved the standard for Beijing yet. She was a long time target of the IAAF and the French anti-doping agency, L'Equipe informs.
PARIS (FRA): A Pontoise court reserved judgement to August 5 in the case filed by miler Bouchra Ghezielle against the IAAF in a bid to overturn a positive test for EPO for which she's been suspended for 3 years and a half, so that Ghezielle's hopes to compete at the Olympics are now behind her. Her lawyer Stéphane Mesones questions the fact that the control was carried out by foreign doping colletion officers on the French soil, while the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has been empowered to operate the tests on the national territory since 2006. The out-of-competition test had been ordered by the IAAF that was targeting the athlete for some time. If the Pontoise court declared itself incompetent to judge, Mesones plans to bring the case to the administrative court to question both the form (test validity) and the substance (false positive argument).
ABUJA (NGR, July 1): Kenechukwu Ezeofor won the men's javelin with a best throw of 70.94m while Funke Adeoye dominated the women's hammer throw (61.56m) on the first day of the Nigerian Championships in Abuja. Olusoji Fasuba and Adetoyi Durotoye both progressed to the semi-final of the 100m while Deji Aliu was eliminated in the second round. There is a question mark on the participation of quartermiler Saul Weigopwa who clocked 45.18 at the Abuja meet on June 23, but pulled out from the 4x400m team at the Zitouna meet last Saturday due to injury, Nigerian media inform.
EUGENE (USA): USATF Chairman Bill Roe spoke to media in Eugene about the possibility to stage an IAAF event in USA. "Many of you know that [IAAF President] Lamine Diack was here. We introduced him to the crowd. We brought him around to a series of events just so he could meet people. Mr. Diack and I have had conversations for years, hoping we could get an event on the IAAF World Series here in the United States. It's been my fond desire to bring the World Cross Country Championships to American soil for the first time since 2002. We've been working very hard, as a matter of fact we have two very dedicated cities working to bring the Cross Country Championships to the U.S., and we're going to have to choose one of them. I suppose that's a great position to be in. We also have four or five other cities that have expressed interest. It's going to be a six or seven city process to determine one to make a bid to the IAAF to put the Cross Country championships back in the U.S., in 2010 or 2011. That's our goal. That's my goal for the end of the year before my term expires, to place a World Cross Country. But President Diack isn't satisfied with that. He wants to see us be able to host a World Athletic Series event on the track and field side as well."
BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Blanka Vlasic's 2.05 in Bydgoszcz was her 27th consecutive competition with two metres or more. That would mean that she emulated Stefka Kostadinova's feat during 1985-87, according to Tilastopaja's statistics. In terms of total meets at 2 metres or more Kostadinova has 130 and Vlasic is now at 53. In the survey at 205 or more Kostadinova has 21 and Vlasic for the moment 8.
SOLLENTUNA (SWE): Russian Olympic winner Yelena Slesarenko, who is the last one to have defeated Blanka Vlasic (at Bislett Games in Oslo in June 2007) will appear in the Sollentuna GP (European Athletics Permit) on next Tuesday July 8 along with fellow Russian Viktoriya Klyugina and Olympic bronze medallist Viktoriya Styopina of Ukraine as well as Helsinki World Championships bronze medallist Emma Green from Sweden. Sollentuna is situated a few km´s north of Stockholm and it is the very stadium where Kajsa Bergqvist started her athletics. Sollentuna GP is the fourth competion of five in the Swedish circuit "Folksam Grand Prix". The meet will also offer World Champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia in discus against Omar El-Ghazaly of Egypt (6th in Osaka) and the Arrhenius borthers (both have 63ms SB:s). Osaka 400 m finalist Johan Wissman chases his own Swedish record of 32.40 in the 300 m race.
MANNHEIM (GER): Germany's Vice European 100m hurdles champion Kirsten Bolm has stopped her Olympic season due to problems at her Achilles' tendon which allow neither training nor competition. The 33-year-old had started her season late and achieved 13,07 in her only competition in Prague on June 16.
LONDON (GBR): Olympic relay gold medallist Jason Gardener has been appointed to the board of UK Athletics as it continues to prepare for the 2012 Games in London. Informs insidethegames.com. The 32-year-old from Bath, a member of the British 4x100 metres relay team that won the Olympic title so memorably in Athens four years ago, joins with immediate effect.
WORLD JUNIORS CORNER
WIEN (AUT): The Austrian Athletics Federation (OLV) announced the team for the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz. 6 men and 3 women will represent Austrian national colours: 18-years-old Junel Anderson in 100mH (PB from 2008 – 14.05), 17-year-old Lisa Egarter from Villach will try Heptathlon (PB 5195 from Gotzis 2008), and Marina Schneider will perform in High jump (1.80m). In the men's side Bernhard Chudarek will run both sprints 100 m (PB 10.48) and 200 m (21.57). Dominik Distelberger will compete at 110 m Hurdles (14.17), Stefan Ender 400m Hurdles, Julian Kellerer will try Long Jump (PB 7.54m), and Alexander Zinchenko Shot Put. The Austrian team will have also men´s 4x100m relay.
BUDAPEST (HUN): The 12th version of the IAAF World Junior Championships will welcome the team of 22 Hungarian athletes. Among 14 men there will be four 400m runners (Marcell Deák Nagy (47.37), Zoltán Kovács (47.93), Péter Martin Godaish and Máté Lukács), as Hungarian squad will try also 4x400m relay. Dániel Kállay with his PB from this year 1:50.35 will perform at 800m. In sprints only Balázs Baji qualified for 110mH (99 cm) with PB 13.80 (2007). Tibor Koroknai will be the last sprinter of the team performing at 400mH (PB 53.05). From the field events Dávid Fajoyomi (2.16) will compete in High Jump, 19-year-old Dezső Szabo at men´s Pole Vault (5.22 PB), Tibor Petrovszki in Discus/1,75kg (PB 57.75m) and Máté Helebrandt at 10 km Walking (PB 42:39). There will be also possibility to see two hammer throwers Dániel Szabó(PB 72.76) and Ákos Hudi (72.44). Possible medal can come from long jumper Dániel Ecseki with his PB from indoor season 7.65m.
Eight women will compete in 10 events because Anita Márton will compete in Shot Put (PB 16.90) and discus throw (PB 55.07) and her compatriot 18-year-old Jenny Ozorai, who has stronger Hammer throw (PB 61.27) will also try discus with a PB 49.34. In Hammer she will meet also with her compatriot Eszter Németh (PB 58.99). From the next events Evelin Farsang will run 400mH (60.29), Natália Zsigovics flat 400m (54.53), Barbara Szabó will perform at high jump (1.80 PB), Dóra Vegvari at long jump (6.19) and finally Berta Krivan at 10k Walk with a PB of 49:09.
PRAGUE (CZE): The group of 10 women and 12 men will represent Czech Republic in Poland. Bronze holder from the European Junior Championships in Hengelo last year, Nikol Ogrodnikova, will be one of the greatest medal chances in women's Heptathlon (PB 5.403) and she will try also Javelin and 100mH. Lucie Ondraschková will be the next Czech woman in Heptathlon with a PB of 5.251 points. Unfortunately the best and last year World Youth Champion Katerina Cachova is injured. The Czech senior record holder, hammer thrower Katerina Safranková, who also got B-limit for the Olympics, is a hot candidate for a medal (PB from this year 68.26m) and will compete with her compatriot Tereza Králová (59.43m). Martina Bařinová and Lucie Sekanová will meet in 3000 m Steeple. From the other events: Magda Nová, the Czech youth record holder (182cm) will compete in High Jump, Kateřina Rajmová will try 100mH (13,96), Barbora Svozilová Javelin Throw (50.23), and Kateřina Klausová Discus (49.04). From the men's side, Petr Novotný has the best chance to succeed in Shot Put with his PB 19.10m. Martin Hrstka is a hope for 800 m (1:48.29) and Jakub Vadlejch for Javelin Throw (71.11m). Petr Vanek will run 400 m (NJR 46,88), Martin Mazac and Tomáš Kavka 110mH (13,88 and 14.00), Martin Říčař 100 m (10,52), Vaclav Zich will run both 100 and 200 m (10.59, 21.36), and Lukas Stastny 200 m (21.26). The Czech men will also compete in both 4x100 and 4x400m relays.
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, publisher of EME News.