As the season winds down, Yelena Isinbayeva, she of the two Olympic gold medals, and twenty four world records, will compete for the last time in 2008 in Daegu, Korea...
EME NEWS (SEP 24, 2008)
WANJIRU LEADS KENYAN TEAM
NAIROBI (KEN): Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru will lead a strong Kenyan team to the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship to be held in Rio de Janeiro on October 12. Informs Daily Nation. The holder of the fastest half-marathon ever with 58:33 will four colleagues in the team. All of them have sub hour including Patrick Musyoka with an impressive personal best of 58:56 ran last year, Francis Larabar (personal best of 59:26) and Stephen Kibiwot (59:54). The women's field is no less impressive with Philes Ongori the fastest at 67:57, well known Pamela Chepchumba who won the Bogota Half Marathon in July and Peninah Arusei who was Olympian at 10 000 m (18th place). The aim is to defend the titles. The named athletes must until Friday confirm their availability, five each will travel. Kenya team: Men – Samuel Wanjiru, Patrick Musyoki, Joseph Nganga, Mekubo Mogusu, Elijah Keitany, Stephen Kibiwott, Francis Larabar. Women – Philes Ongori, Penninah Arusei, Julia Muraga, Pamela Chepchumba, Lenah Cheruiyot, Philomena Cheyech, Paline Wangui.
ISINBAYEVA THE MAIN STAR
DAEGU (KOR): Russian Pole Vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva will have her last competition on Thursday at Colorful Daegu Asian Permit Meet. For the site of 2011 IAAF World Championships another possibility to prepare for the global event. It is the fourth international meet here since 2005. On the way to Daegu Isinbayeva met in Seoul the world's strongest woman, Jang Mi-ran, who won in Beijing gold medal in super-heavyweight category at weightlifting. The two world-renowned female athletes exchanged greetings and hugs while posing for cameras at a shopping complex in downtown Seoul, where the Russian pole vaulter was meeting her Korean fans. Other stars of the meet are Olympic winner at 800 m Wilfred Bungei of Kenya and Russian Long jump silver holder Tatyana Lebedeva. Jamaican Michael Frater who is relay world record holder and gold winner should compete at 100 m. US 400 m hurdles bronze winner Bershawn Jackson is another top entry. Bahamian Leevan Sands who was third in Beijing is the top triple jump name. US female sprinters Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams world champions 2003 and 2005 should clash at 100 m. Jamaican Brigitte Foster-Hylton is the favorite at 100 m Hurdles and Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe at 200 m.
MAGARSA vs. MIKITENKO vs. KENYANS
BERLIN (GER): For Sunday´s Berlin Marathon not only Haile Gebrselassie and his bid for fast time will be the highlight. For home crowds the women race with London winner Irina Mikitenko who missed the Olympics due to injury will be something special. She recently clocked world leading 10 km on road and will face Ethiopian Magarsa Asale Tafa (2:23:23) as main opponent. The 23-years old runner was this year 3rd in Dubai and 5th in Boston. Kenyan challenge will be lead by Rose Cheruiyot (4th from Dubai in PB 2:25:48) and Hellen Kiprop (2:26:27 PB third last year in Berlin preparing for her first this year). Russian strength will be represented by Gulnara Vygovskaya who was 9th this year in Paris and has best time 2:28:22 as second from last year in France.
ELDORET (KEN): Family Bank half marathon will be held this weekend in Eldoret. Willy Korir is expected to defend his title in a meet which 200 athletes have already registered. Over 300 athletes took part in last year's race.
NEW YORK (USA): Some women background before New York Marathon. For example in 1977 the last victory by an American woman was registered (Miki Gorman), there were 12,535 female finishers in 2007 and 769 female finishers 30 years ago (1978). Also 38.04% of applicants to the ING New York City Marathon 2008 were women and 87 was the age of the oldest female entrant in 2007.
BRUSSELS (BEL): The Olympic success of Tia Hellebaut in High Jump is continuing in growing interest in the country. The second edition of "Golden High Jump" will be held on January 24 in Antverp (Lotto Arena). A special women high jump meeting with music which had the first winner in 2007 of course with Hellebaut herself jumping Belgian indoor record at that time two metres.
LONDON (GBR): Sprinter Dwain Chambers will be welcomed back into the British. That was said by new head coach of UK Athletics Charles van Commenee. Chambers has a lifetime Olympic ban having tested positive for the banned steroid THG in 2003, and lost an appeal against the decision in July this year. But Charles van Commenee is happy for him to represent GB in non-Olympic events like World Championships. "Dwain has served his sentence, he is more than welcome back in the team," Van Commenee told BBC Sport.
KAWASAKI (JPN): "I'll go to the world championships and try to better the Olympics, maybe," said Usain Bolt, a special guest at Tuesday's Seiko Super Meet at Todoroki Stadium in Kawasaki. "Pretty much I have to get a little more strength and work on my start a little more." Information by Japanese media. Instead of working on his start, Bolt worked as a starter on Tuesday, firing the gun for a school relay. He even thrilled the kids and the crowd by jogging two half-laps during the race. The playful 22-year-old even treated the fans to his now-famous pointing gesture, which he said is an adaptataion of a Jamaican dance and has appropriately named the "Lightning Bolt." Bolt also participated in the post-meet retirement ceremony for 36-year-old Japanese sprinter Nobuharu Asahara, although he said he will not likely last that long in the sport. "I don't think I want to run until I'm 36," said Bolt, who praised Asahara.
KINGSTON (JAM): Despite public comments from his parents suggesting that he should part company with his coach, Stephen Francis, Asafa Powell, the world's second fastest man, said that will not happen. Informs Jamaica Gleaner. His parents, Reverend William Powell, his father and mother Cislyn, said in an interview on local television, CVM, said it was time for their 25-year-old son to make a change. "My mother loves me very much, and she has the right to say whatever she wants to say. But that's an issue I have to deal with. There is not going to be any change of coach," said Powell, who along with fellow Olympian at 400 m and 4x400 m Rosemarie Whyte, returned to the island. "I just have to talk to her and explain all the details. My coach is not liked by a lot of people very much, but I have no problem with him, so there is not going to be any change," added Powell.
NEWCASTLE (GBR): Top british female miler Lisa Dobriskey is determined to round off the best year of her career by defending her bupa Great North Mile title around the Newcastle-Gateshead Quaysides on October 4. Dobriskey had a tremendous boost prior to her return to the north east with a thrilling win in New York's Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue road mile on Sunday. "So I've got just a tiny bit more to go. But that was hard," she added after her close confronation with Rowbury who placed seventh in the Olympic final. Informs David Martin. "And then I'm going to have a couple of weeks completely off, and then some easy running. It's all quite light, really, up until Christmas." Dobriskey will face a much tougher field than she did a year ago headed by Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei. Last year's world 800m champion and Olympic silver medallist is flying in from her Kenya base and her presence should ensure a fast early pace to ensure she doesn't jump the field in the closing stages. Spectators will also have the opportunity of watching teenager Stephanie Twell who was named European Rising Star for 2008. The men's mile will see Olympic 1500m silver medallist Asbel Kiprop in action and he will be joined by fellow Kenyan Brimin Kipruto winner of the 3000m steeplechase title in Beijing. The women's two miles features Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot who finished second in last year's race which was over the metric equivalent distance of 3000m while Helen Clitheroe and Emily Pidgeon head the British challenge. Olympic 5000 m and 10000 m gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge will be joined in their two miles race by Kenyan junior Levi Matebo second behind the great Ethiopian star over 3000m at last month's Aviva British Grand Prix in Gateshead.
MOSCOW (RUS): As expected top Russian walkers olympic, world and European medalists from group of coach Viktor Chegin in Saransk were banned for two years. The only surprise is that in the group is also holder of fastest ever 20 km Sergey Morozov (1:16:43 in early June at National Championships in Saransk, but the mark was not yet recognized by IAAF) who was not initially named. The first sign that something is happening with him was clear in Beijing where he did not compete without any serious reason despite beeing entered. It was known since before Olympics that Viktor Burayev, Vladimir Kanaykin, Igor Yerokhin and Alexey Voyevodin had tested positive for EPO and there was only waiting for decision about the terms and dates of the ban. Morozov and Yerokhin tested positive on July 29, and the others on April 20 (out of competition tests), All Sport informs. The ban starts on Sep 9 2008, that means the walkers will miss also not only World Championships 2009 but also European Championships 2010.
FRANKFURT (GER): Group of strong Kenyans have entered the Dresdner Kleinwort Frankfurt Marathon on 26th October. Among them are William Kiplagat and Benjamin Maiyo, who feature personal bests of 2:06:50 and 2:07:09. This will make 36 year-old Kiplagat the fastest runner ever at the starting line of the Dresdner Kleinwort Frankfurt Marathon. Organisers are informing in a release. While the women's field will see the return of the defending champion Melanie Kraus the Kenyan men are looking to continue their win streak. They took the oldest German city marathon race six times in a row so far. In the past then years only twice was there a non-Kenyan winner. The race through Germany's financial capital is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
With a huge bonus on offer the 27th edition of the Dresdner Kleinwort Frankfurt Marathon is expected to become a fast race, in which the course record of Wilfred Kigen (Kenya), who clocked 2:07:58 a year ago, might well be broken. The winner will receive 95,000 Euros provided he breaks 2:07.
Coming from the same tribe as Paul Tergat Benson Barus could be in with a surprise in Frankfurt. So far the 28 year-old Kenyan has run three marathons, which he all finished inside 2:10. His personal best came in Milan in 2006, where he finished his debut race in second place with 2:08:34. Sammy Kurgat's personal best is just very slightly slower (2:08:38). The 33 year-old Kenyan ran that time at the Dresdner Kleinwort Frankfurt Marathon a year ago, when he finished third. Kurgat will return to the race through Germany's financial capital.
BERLIN (GER): Marathon with Ice-hockey. The participants of Sunday´s Berlin marathon will be able to buy a discount (by 10 EUR) tickets for the top ice-hockey game Tampa Bay Lighting (NHL) against Eisbären Berlin which will be held the same day at 4 pm in the brand-new 02 World Arena.
BRUSSELS (BEL): This years 32nd Van Damme Memorial as Golden League finale had great TV viewing figures in Belgium. Average of 725 000 viewers is 32% market share, excellent figure for athletics. Around 10 pm when Kim Gevaert started her retirement celebrations the figure rose to 900 000.
KARLSRUHE (GER, Sep 21): Kenyan Ben Kimutai won the 26th Baden Marathon with solid 2:14:16. His team-mate Samson Loywapet was as second (2:15:45) the only one next clocking sub 2:20. Also in women race Kenyan win by Irene Cherop (2:35:56, course record).
BLUMENAU (BRA, Sep 21): New South American walking track record by Claudio dos Santos at 50 km with 3:57:58.0. It is first South American track mark under 4 hours and for the athlete also new PB as he before had 4:00:24 on the road from this years World Cup in Cheboksary.
SREMSKA MITROVICA (SRB, Sep 20): Russian SC Moscow Teams are the winners of top group of European Champion Clubs Cup for Juniors. In Serbia in cold and rainy weather the men won in the A Group with 98 points very closely before Spanish Playas de Castellon (95) with British Enfield Haringey third (89). Women of Moscow were clear winners with 119 points ahead of Czech Olymp Brno (96) and Turkish Enka Spor Kulubu (93). Relegated were boys teams from Bosnia and Hercegovina (Sloboda Tehnograd) and Slovenia (Kronos Ljubljana) and girls squads from Great Britain (Bromley AC) and Germany (Olympia Dortmund). World junior champion Konstantin Shabanov won the 110 m Hurdles in 14.04 (-0.5), other top Russian wins were in hammer by Denis Lukyanov (71.93) and Shot put by Aleksandr Bulanov (19.41). Briton Aaron Trim clocked 47.56 at 400 m and Czech Vaclav Zich running for Spanish Club won both sprints against the wind (10.80 and 21.41). On the women side Slovenian double sprint wins by Alja Sitar (12.38 and 24.76), home javelin favorite Tatjana Jelaca dominated her event (51.46), Turkish top 800 m runner Merve Aydin won also (2:12.29) and Russian favorites in jumps (Natalya Mamlina 175 in High Jump and Yekaterina Kolesova 360 in pole Vault).
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.