Weltklasse Preview, More Global News, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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You will be able to watch the Weltklasse delayed today on ESPN 2 in the late afternoon-please check your local listings!

EME NEWS (AUG 29, 2008)

Before Great Zurich evening

ZURICH: Meeting director Patrick Magyar who was happy to announce today that there were no cancellations in the start lists of Weltklasse since Thursday what happened for first time ever, speaks about programme itself and strategy: "We will start the meeting with mini match between Golden League countries (Germany-Norway-France-Italy-Switzerland-Belgium) in U23 category added by local Zurich Team and Jamaican young team as part of our partnership with Puma. This special match will end with a relay called "Américaine" which is very spectacular with 3 runners running 3000 m in total. We want with this help to develop European athletics and with Swiss team participating that our crowds have something to cheer on. We also invited for the opening ceremony the best swiss olympians from all sports. At the end we will have ceremony for all winners and the Athlete of the Day will be announced based on SMS votes by public in stadium and behind the screens at home. The award for that is 0.5 kg golden bar. We will also announce the Andreas Brugger Youth Award for the best athlete in U23 category. And with Usain Bolt and Dayron Robles belonging to this category that could be also something special."

About the meeting strategy:
"We are coming back to pacemakers after last year because runners claimed without this help they cannot attack their best marks or records. We added bonuses for olympic medalists 10 000 USD, 5000 USD and 3000 USD for top three and that helped us to get excellent fields. Swiss TV did again an outstanding job with few new camera positions, so we should see some spectacular pictures. We will do surveys with athletes, coaches, but also public in the stadium and at home and through evaluations want always improve."

Klyuka the fastest possible pacemaker

Special pacemaker for todays evening 800 m race will be Olympic fourth placer Svetlana Klyuka of Russia. She is able to pace to 1:23-1:24 level at 600 m and give the necessary help also after this mark. The pace of Jarmila Kratochvilova was 56.1, 1:25.0, but the last 200 m in 28.2 and the second 400 m in 57.2 what are the most important factors. It is the oldest current world record 1:53.28 from July 26 1983 in Munich. The management of Jelimo informed, that she will run as in any other race, there is no pressure on her to try to break the record.

PREVIEWS

Powell and Gay in separate events, Bekele added

GATESHEAD: The final event of the UK Athletics major events season takes place in Gateshead with the Aviva British Grand Prix (IAAF Grand Prix) set to bring the world's best domestic series of athletics events to a fitting close. Latest addition is Kenenisa Bekele who will compete at 3000 m what is most probably his last race of the season. A total of 18 Olympic medallists from Beijing will be competing, and with the 2008 Games now completed, this meeting will be the first step on the road to the London Olympic Games in 2012. Asafa Powell runs the 100 m, Tyson Gay will compete at 200 m, his first race at the distance since he injured himself at US Olympic Trials. Olympic silver holder Phillips Idowu is the star of triple jump. Another home medalist Germaine Mason competes in the High Jump. Jamaican 100 m Olympic winner Shelly Ann Fraser is the star of this race, she continued Jamaica's superb form on the track in Beijing winning the 100m in 10.78 , the fastest winning time in the Olympics for 20 years. Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu is the one to watch at 400 m. Lisa Dobriskey became Britain's top middle distance runner with a fabulous if frustrating fourth place in Beijing, just missing out on a medal in the 1500m. The outstanding Ethiopian long distance star, Tirunesh Dibaba, added to her medal tally taking both the women's 5000m and 10,000m in Beijing. She will run the 3000 m. Another Olympic gold medalist Melaine Walker competes at 400 m Hurdles. Britain number one Goldie Sayers is the top javelin name. British long jump record holder Chris Tomlinson is aiming to quickly re-invent his career after injury wrecked his chances of challenging for an Olympic medal and will compete also.

Bolt the 200 m star

LAUSANNE: The 33rd Athletissima announced today 36 medalists from China, among them 19 golds. Total number of Olympic finalists is more than 60 for 17 events. Latest addition is Maurren Higa Maggi from Brasil, the gold medalist in Long Jump. Full podium will compete also in men´s 200 m, high jump, triple jump, women 100 m and women javelin. Asafa Powell runs the 100 m, Usain Bolt his last 200 m of the year. First post-olympic appearances for Olympic winners Wilfred Bungei at 800 m, Andrey Silnov in High Jump, Nelson Evora in Triple Jump, Barbora Spotakova in Javelin and Maurren Higa Maggi in Long Jump. Interesting cancellation because of injury is the 2004 olympic gold medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia. Interesting in this event the return of injured David Rudisha of Kenya who was running so well early in the season.

OTHER NEWS

JOHNSON CITY (USA): Two season ends reported from here. US Olympic 110m Hurdles silver holder David Payne ended the season because of his old foot injury. And Olympic fourth (200 m) and fifth (100 m) placer Muna Lee because of health problems.

PRETORIA (RSA) : Long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena announced that triple jump will again be part of of his training next season. The 2004 world junior champion, who has a PB of 17.25 (2005) is planning to double at the next Olympics in 2012, and actually as soon as next year's world championships, the Citizen informs.

PRETORIA (RSA): Former 1500m world record holder Sydney Maree, a South-African born who competed for the United States in the 1980s during the apartheid era, has been sentenced to an effective five years in jail for fraud involving R900 000 (about 116,600 USD). On August 14,the former acting chief executive of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) was convicted at the Pretoria specialised commercial crime court on two counts of fraud involving the transfer of money from the fund to his personal bank account.

RABAT (MAR): Marathon silver medallist Jaouad Gharib of Morocco announced that he doesn't plan to retire yet during a press conference at Rabat airport on Wednesday afternoon. "Although I'm 36, I still feel very able to run. Age is not an obstacle for me". The double marathon world champion (in 2003 and 2005) indicated he'll talk to his manager "to study the possibility to take part ot races and why not aim at a medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin if the conditions are good".

ZURICH (SUI): Last year world champion Janeth Jepkosgei who is this season running in shadow of Pamela Jelimo admitted she might consider to move to 1500 m. As first sign she will try this event at Shanghai Grand Prix meeting in September in China.

DUBNICA (SVK): Total of four Olympic winners are announced for 6th Athletics Bridge European Athletics Permit meet in Dubnica, Slovakia on Sep 7. The 110 m Hurdles gold medalist Dayron Robles of Cuba returns to his last year winning place (13.07 in cold weather) as current world record holder. Poland´s Tomasz Majewski competes in Shot Put, Slovenia´s Primoz Kozmus in hammer throw as both this events will present full Olympic podiums. At 100 m Hurdles US Dawn Harper will face bronze holder Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada. Special occasion will be the last classical meeting appearance of Swedish High jumper and Olympic winner 2004 Stefan Holm who plans to end his career after this season and after Dubnica only World Athletics Final is on the programme for him.

JOHNSON CITY (USA): US just turned pro sprinter Travis Padgett signed for representation with Total Sports agency led by Mark Block and Chris Layne.

SYDNEY: Australian Pole Vault Olympic champion Steven Hooker ended his season and will not return to Europe for competitions.

LONDON: Another blog of Pat Butcher where he is asking: Is Tirunesh The Most Boring Runner In History? http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=57

LONDON: Latest blog also by Tony Ward, Beijing: Where the Buck Stops, discusses Britain's athletics' performance in the Olympics. http://tonyward-trackchat.blogspot.com/

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

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