Beijing Updates, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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Last track fix for about fifteen hours! Enjoy and I will write soon from Beijing!

EME NEWS (AUG 8, 2008)

OLYMPIC ATHLETES NEWS

RUSSIA: Another Russian athlete is out of the games, informs All-Sport. Steeple runner Roman Usov had positive doping test at national championships in July in Kazan (second in 8:26.13) and is provisionally banned until the B-sample will be analysed. He already competed at Athens games in 2004 and was out in heats, multiple national champion with best of 8:23.90 from 2004. In his sample was prohibited substance carfedon. Another new case which is not connected to current Olympic issues is the positive test of javelin thrower Lada Chernova after Russian Cup meet in Tula on July 5. After that she was already not able to compete at Russian National Championships.

BAHAMAS: Long Jumper Jackie Edwards as been added into the Olympic team and that makes her fifth Olympic appearance.

ITALY: European Long Jump champion Andrew Howe jumped for first time since 50 days at training camp in Kobe, Japan. He is optimistic about his Olympic participation.

FRANCE: Sprinters Aima-Issa Nthepe and Christoph Lemaitre are withdrawn from the French relay team. Yannick Lesourd was accepted as replacement. "You can't imagine how it feels for me to set foot in China. I did what it took to come back. I cannot be proudest of myself than today", declared French long jumper Salim Sdiri upon landing in Beijing. Sdiri sustained serious injuries after being hit by a javelin at the Roma Golden League meet on July 13, 2007.

AUSTRALIA: Commonwealth 400 m champion John Steffenson has withdrawn from the Olympic individual event (not feeling at the best shape) and will now focus his attention on the 4x400m relay.

USA: Team USA early on Wednesday morning was practising baton exchanges at the training camp in Dalian. The coach of the world's number one track and field team Bubba Thornton also made a very valid point that victories in Stockholm and London were without Gay and Walter Dix, runner-up in the US 100m trial behind the world champion and the 200m individual winner. That means the composition could not stay as it was in Europe. But Thornton needed no reminding that just a year after Athens, the 2005 world championships saw another Team USA disaster when with substitutes being used as the heats were a day after the 200m final and their stars were resting, the baton was dropped.

JAPAN: All major Japanese newspaper reports that reigning marathon Olympic winner Mizuki Noguchi has returned to Japan from altitude training in Saint Moritz. Originally she was scheduled to return to Japan on August 7, but she returned back on August 4 instead. The reason cited by the Noguchi team is that Nobuyuki Fujita, Noguchi' coach see that she needs to recover from fatigue accumulated from high altitude training, so he decided that it is best for Noguchi to return to sea level little early. She will continue to train in her base in Kyoto until Aug 13, when she departs for Beijing. Previously, Noguchi always returned from altitude training 10 days before the race day.

SWEDEN: Hurdles European champion Susanna Kallur is at training camp in Japan with the Swedish team and doing fine without pain. That means she will compete in Beijing.

OTHER NEWS

BEIJING (CHN): Former Olympic winner (400 m Hurdles at 1984 Games in Los Angeles) and IAAF council member Nawal El Moutawakel was elected unopposed to IOC Executive Committee, ensuring at least one female representative remains on the 15-member Board. Also Sergey Bubka the IAAF vice-president was elected as a full member of IOC after his period as athlete was over.
Also, the IOC picked Durban in South Africa over Hong Kong to hold its General Assembly in 2011, when the host city for the 2018 Winter Games will be selected. It will be the second IOC Session held in Africa, and first since Cairo, Egypt, in 1938.

BEIJING (CHN): No decision yet in the case of former 100 m European Champion Katheria Thanou. "There has been a meeting of the disciplinary commission," IOC President Jacques Rogge said. "I have not received their report. It is a little bit too soon." IOC officials said it could take a few days before a final decision. She is due to arrive on Aug 13, the 100 m heats are on Aug 16.

BEIJING (CHN): Russian athletics federation president Valentin Balakhnichev confirmed that until Sep 30 the decision in the case of 7 provisionally banned female athletes (tampering of the samples) will be made. First hearings are planned in early days of September.

FLAGBEARERS

USA: USA Track and Field announced that 1500m runner Lopez Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, would be the flag bearer at today night's Opening Ceremony at the 29th Olympic Games. Lomong, 23, who was raised by adoptive parents in Tully, N.Y., was informed of the decision by telephone in Dalian, the Chinese coastal city where the American athletics team has its training base. "This is the most exciting day ever in my life," Lomong said in a statement released by USATF to the media. "It's a great honor for me that my teammates chose to vote for me. The Opening Ceremony is the best day and the best moment of Olympic life. I'm here as an ambassador of my country and I will do everything I can to represent my country well."

Other top athletes are two reigning Olympic winners Felix Sanchez for Dominican Republic and Christian Olsson from Sweden. Olsson will not compete for sure due to his health status, the situation with Sanchez is unclear, but possible relay entry is real. 200 m Olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown goes with the flag for Jamaica, another sprinter Debbie Ferguson for Bahamas, triple jump world champion Nelson Evora for Portugal, world junior record holder and world leader at 800 m Abubaker Kaki for Sudan. Coach of double olympic winner Hicham El Guerrouj Abdelkader Kada will be the Morrocan flag-bearer.

MANAGER GROUPS

BEIJING: Jos Hermens Global Sports Communication will have 43 athletes competing in Beijing, Mark Block´s Total Sports 36 and Pace Sports Management of Ricky Simms will have 30.

CORRECTION

Please correct the dates of Kazakh Championships from August to July (per Heinrich Hubbeling).


Used with permission of Alfons Juck, Publisher of EME News.

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