The level of influence of a national federation and an elite athlete's agent? Where does it begin, where does it end? In countries such as Ethiopia, there seems to be a line in the sand between the Federation and Jos Hermans. The letter sent suggests a problematic situation--the Federation describes the positive influence that Jos has had on the Ethiopian athletes, but seems stung that the athletes actually listen to him and will not risk all for country and flag.
Some of this has to do with Haile Gebrselassie vocalizing his desire not to run the marathon in Beijing and Kenenisa Bekele racing the 5k/10k as a possibility in Beijing. The Federations do not like to see their word questioned and especially by a sports agent, who they tolerate, but at an arms distance. In reading the letter, I felt I was reading a papal encyclical from the fifties... more on this later
The other news is the Russian middle distance women's team is decimatd with the IAAF recent sting. Ana Alminova will run the 1,500 as Soboleva, Fomenko and Tomashova are all out.....
EME NEWS (AUG 1, 2008) UPDATE
Friedrich 201, Straub 581
WATTENSCHEID (GER, Aug 1): The firework and farewell of German Olympians before their travel to China was the end of DAK Leichtathletik-Gala Meet 2008. Before that the 6000 strong crowd could celebrate Alexander Straub who is not Beijing-bound for a great 581 PB win in Pole Vault. Olympian Danny Ecker after his health problems achieved only 560 as second, Raphael Holzdeppe was sixth (550) and Tim Lobinger did not jump at all due to his injury problems. High Jumper Ariane Friedrich cleared excellent 201 (and tried at 204) and confirmed she could well think about podium in Beijing. Robert Harting was impressive in discus (66.96), the same for Markus Esser in hammer (78.28), also shot putters Ralf Bartels (20.36) with Peter Sack (20.16) and Nadine Kleinert on women side (19.52). World champion Betty Heidler improved the hammer meet record to 72.10. Another Olympian Silke Spiegelburg cleared in first attempt solid 461 in Pole Vault and tried for her new PB 471.
Thomas Blaschek won the 110m Hurdles with 13.53 (+0.2) after even faster 13.50 (+1.1) in the heats. US vet Dominique Arnold did not finish the finals after 13.55 in his heat and European leader Petr Svoboda of Czech Republic after winning his heat (13.68) did not want to risk any injury after feeling something in his knee. German men relay clocked again good 38.82 in Beijing composition Unger-Helmke-Kosenkow-Keller. Carsten Schlangen who also travels to China won his last test with very good 3:37.05 at 1500 m ahead of another German Stefan Eberhardt (3:37.51) and Bartosz Nowicki of Poland (3:37.90). Kamghe Gaba sent good signs for 4x4 relay as he won the race in very good 45.67 (Briton Andrew Steele as the next also dipped sub 46 - 45.99).
Foreign wins for US sprinter Ernest Wiggins at 100 m (10.27, +0.1), Kenyan Daniel Salel at 3000 m (7:45.85 meet record) and Nigerian Champion Obinna Metu at 200 m (20.71, 0.0). Russian Aleksey Dmitrik cleared 224 in High Jump and won. On the women side Vida Anim of Ghana as on Wednesday in Leverkusen won the 100 m in 11.36 (-0.5), Poland´s Ewelina Setowska was the best at 800 m in 2:01.62 ahead of World finalist Brigita Langerholc of Slovenia (2:01.88). US Danielle Carruthers dominated the 100 m Hurdles in 12.84 (0.0) and Russian world indoor champion Olesya Zykina the 400 m (51.94).
Ethiopian Federation against Hermens
ADDIS ABEBA (ETH): Ethiopian The Reporter is informing that The Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) suspended Jos Hermens, Global Sport Communications head and Getaneh Tesema, the local representative, to stop any intervention till the Olympics games are over. Bisrat Gashaw, president of the federation, in her letter dated July 22 succinctly told Mr. Hermens his organization played an important role in supporting Ethiopian athletes and the relations were very good, which was based on mutual respect and understanding. However, she said, "Lately, you and your representatives in Ethiopia have been playing a destructive role by giving unfounded information and intervening in the management of our national team in general and the Olympics team in particular." The biggest Ethiopian names under the guidance of Jos Hermens are Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. "We always helped the athletes and were standing on their side. Nothing else," said Hermens. He also confirmed that Haile Gebrselassie is fit and in good training for Olympic 10 000 m track race. Another idea coming from Hermens mind is the possible 5/10 double by Kenenisa Bekele. According to the Dutch expert he is in great shape and could well attack this historic feat last time achieved by another Ethiopian Miruts Yifter back in 1980.
First Kenyan athletes to Beijing
NAIROBI (KEN): First wave of Kenyan athletes including Asbel Kiprop, Augustine Choge, Nicholas Kemboi (1,500m), Eunice Jepkorir, Ruth Bosibori, Veronica Nyaruai (3,000m steeplechase), Lucy Kabuu, Grace Momanyi, Linet Masai (10,000m) and other management officials are expected to jet out on Saturday. The remaining members will stay home until August 11. The men's marathon team of Robert Cheruiyot, Samuel Wanjiru and Martin Lel will fly out on August 16. For the moment no changes in the reserves department. For example steeple world leader Paul Kipsiele Koech is only reserve to trio Brimin Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi and Richard Matelong.
The absence of world leader Yelena Soboleva from the women's 800m race in Beijing will not change Kenyan runners plan. Julius Kirwa, the national athletics team head coach, said Kenyan runners world leader Pamela Jelimo and world champion Janeth Jepkosgei were planning on how to beat all their rivals, not just the Russians. Information by Kenyan media.
Russian Team news, only one entry in women´s 1500 m race
IRKUTSK (RUS): Special high jump competition between Andrey Tereshin and Vyacheslav Voronin will be held in Irkutsk on Aug 6 during the Russian pre-olympic camp. The winner will compete as third with Yaroslav Rybakov and Andrey Silnov in Beijing. As All-Sport informs, changes have been made in the team after provisional suspension of five Beijing-bound olympians. In women´s 800 m instead of Yelena Soboleva the fourth from nationals will compete Yekaterina Kostetskaya. She was entered as fourth and reserve runner. In the 1500 m the situation is worse. All three entered are out (Soboleva, Fomenko, Tomashova) and that means only the fourth (reserve) Anna Alminova can run. As the whole case happened after the official entry deadline there is no possibility to have more runners. In discus no other Russian Athlete has the A-standard that means after Pischalnikova is not able to compete, only two will remain (Sadova and Saykina). In women´s hammer Gulfiya Khanafeyeva will be replaced by Yelena Priyma fourth from nationals who was named as reserve (her best 71.78 m).
Team of Tanzania
TANZANIA: Tanzania is sending eight runners to Beijing. Top names are marathoner Samson Ramadhani, 2006 Commonwealth champion and 2005 half-marathon world champion Fabiano Joseph who will double at 5000 m and 10 000 m.
Men - 800m: Samuel Mwera; 5000m: Fabiano Joseph ; 10000m: Dickson Marwa, Samuel Kwaang'w, Fabiano Joseph, Marathon: Samson Ramadhan, Msenduki Mohamed, Getuli Bayo
Women - 5000m: Zakia Mrisho
HELSINGBORG (SWE, July 30): World champion Gerd Kanter showed great shape at discus meet with 69.95 m. It is his third best mark of the year and the best since early May. He had also 66.83, 66.12 and 69.18 in the series. Second another Estonian Mart Israel achieved 63.55 m and third Gaute Myklebust of Norway 62.10.
VASTERAS (SWE, Aug 1): During first day of Swedish Championships Carolina Kluft got the Long Jump title with 652 (+1.3). Anna Soderberg was as expected the best in discus (60.29). Mattias Jons improved his best to win the hammer title (72.63).
Used with permission, Alfons Juck, publisher.