Bryan Clay and Stephanie Brown-Trafton are Jesse Owens Athletes of the Year, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Bryan Clay won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in Beijng, over two hot and humid days and a very tough field. He competed against the 2004 Olympic champions, and current world record holder, Roman Sebrle.



Clay called it one of the most challenging competitions of his career. Clay's gold was the first gold medal since 1996 for an American decathlete, and improved on U.S. bronze medal performances in 2000
and 2004. For Bryan's Beijing decathlon, he will be the Jesse Owens Athlete of the year for 2008 for Men.

Stephanie Brown-Trafton took the lead in the discus on her first throw, and waited out a field of big throwers, who just could not come within three feet of her first throw. Brown-Traftons' gold medal was the first U.S. gold medal in the track and field portion of the Olympics. It was also the first women's gold in the discus for an U.S. athlete since 1932! For her stunning performance, Stephanie will be the Jesse Owens Award winner for women in 2008.

Two great athletes, two fantastic stories of challenges overcome, and pressures ignored. Congratulations to both Bryan Clay and Stephanie Brown-Trafton for winning the 2008 Jesse Owens Award, the highest award recognizing sports performance by USA Track & Field.


EME NEWS (NOV 19, 2008)

IAAF with ABU

MONTE CARLO: IAAF announced the conclusion of a major broadcasting agreement with the Asian Broadcasting Union. Brokered by the IAAF's marketing partner Dentsu, this agreement extends the previous agreement for the last IAAF World Championships in Osaka 2007 and will give athletics terrestrial coverage in 18 territories across Asia until the end of 2009. John Barton, ABU Head of Sport, said: "The World Athletics Championships is one of sports most prestigious events. We are delighted to be a broadcast partner in Berlin with the IAAF. There is a great hunger for high quality sports in Asia and we expect a substantial audience for the Berlin championships on free to air television. More announcements of new IAAF broadcasting agreements will be announced in late 2008 and early 2009.

EA Cross-Country permits for the weekend

TILBURG (NED): During the coming weekend two European Permit Cross-Country races will be held. In Tilburg the jubilee 50th edition of Internationale VGZ Warandeloop. Home favorite will be at men´s 10 km race Michel Butter coming from win last weekend in Gateshead and Dennis Licht who was the best Dutch at Seven Hills 15 km race. Top runners from other countries include Belgian Pieter Desmet, Hungarian Barnabas Bene, Romanian Marius Ionescu, Austrian Martin Proll, Italian Jamal Chatbi and French Larbi Zeroual. In women 8.1 km race candidates for European CC Championships are Hilda Kibet (her first race since Olympics), Adrienne Herzog and Miranda Boonstra. Foreign contingent will be headed by Ethiopian Alemitu Bekele, Hungarian Aniko Kalovics (already three times winner here), Belgian Veerle Dejaeghere, Romanian Ancuta Bobocel and Slovenian Sonja Roman. In total 3500 participants are expected.

AMORA (POR): Second event of the weekend is the 19th Cross Internacional "Cidade Amora" in Parc do Serrado. Also here very important qualification race for European CC Championships selection. Kenyan David Kilel is the African favorite in 10 km male race against home Hermano Ferreira, Manuel Silva and Rui Teixeira. Spanish top name coming is Alvaro Jimenez. In women 5 km Ana Dias and Spain´s Maria Moreno are the top names.

Clay and Brown Trafton

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Olympic champions Bryan Clay (decathlon) and Stephanie Brown Trafton (discus) were named winners of the 2008 Jesse Owens Award, the highest accolade presented by USA Track & Field. While Clay arrived in the Chinese capital among the clear favorites for gold, Brown Trafton did not. Yet despite never having won a national title, the 28-year-old Californian produced one of the Games' biggest surprises with her victory on the fourth day of competition to claim the first gold medal for the U.S. squad.

Kallur twins surgery happened

STOCKHOLM (SWE): It was revealed that both Swedish twin hurdlers Susanna and Jenny Kalur a couple of days ago had surgery on their stress fractures. Swedish media are informing. The surgery was performed in New York by Dr David Helfet, a world renowned expert in stress fractures. Of course there will be no competitions this coming indoor season but if the recovery goes according to plan they will be back at full force next summer.

Lopes-Schliep to compete indoors

QUEBEC (CAN): Surprise Olympic bronze medalist at 100 m Hurdles Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep plans to compete next indoor season. Although there is no major event for overseas athletes, she plans to run at meets in US and then head to Europe. The 26-years old athlete has a 60 m Hurdles best of 7.87 from her NCAA time in 2006.

OTHER NEWS

BERLIN (GER): The World Marathon Majors are planning to change the rules if a tie occurs to determine the overall winner. The race directors do not want that the situation will be repeated as this year they were forced to vote on the overall female winner. New criterias should be included for the series 2009/10 for example in terms of number of scoring races and average of times. Informs Leichtathletik Magazine.

BYDGOSZCZ (POL): In Polish athletics capital in Bydgoszcz the special evening to celebrate achievements in 2008 was held. The so called Gala Lauru Krolowej Sportu was held in the Opera of the city, but it is not the official poll organised by federation. In the category personality four athletes were awarded, mainly the Olympic shot put winner Tomasz Majewski, the discus Olympic medalist Piotr Malachowski and fifth placers Monika Pyrek with Anna Jesien. The honorary award in memoriam for Teresa Ciepla and enthusiast award for Mieczyslaw Mucko who coached Zdzislaw Krzyskowiak for example, also awards for competitor (hurdler Artur Kohutek), coach (Roman Dakiniewicz) or journalist (Marek Rudzinski and Maciej Petruczenko).

MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): Track Newsletter published US indoor calendar. From top invitationals which builded last season the Visa Championship Series the Fresno event is not included. The other three meets are listed, on Jan 30 the Millrose Games in New York, on Feb 7 the Reebok Boston Indoor Games and on Feb 13 the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville. In the championships section the USATF meet is on Feb 28 and March 1 in Boston and NCAA in College Station on March 13-14.

SHANGHAI (CHN): The first coach of Liu Xiang told a Beijing newspaper that he was offered 100,000 Euros (US$126,440) to reveal that the star hurdler used performance-enhancing drugs. The coach, Gu Baogang, met a group of journalists from seven countries, including France, Italy, Sweden and Germany accompanied by Chinese foreign affairs officials, at Yichuan Middle School, where he was training his athletes, sometime in 2007. "Their first question was whether Liu had ever taken dope," Gu said. "I replied through a female interpreter that it was a silly question as they should ask the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has the authority to give such information, not me." One of the journalist then took out a check and said Gu could receive an interview fee of 100,000 euros. "They told me the sum could be raised and then explained how to exchange the check into cash," Gu was quoted as saying. "I replied that it was no use increasing the sum because Liu had never taken doping", Shanghaidaily.com informs.

SPOKANE (USA): Organizers of the Lilac Bloomsday Run 12-K in Spokane have added USA-only prize money to the 2009 edition of their event in an effort to attract and reward home country athletes. Informs Race Results Weekly. The additional 20,000 USD in prize money set aside for American citizens brings their total purse to 93,000 USD, one of the largest of any non-marathon road race in the United States.

LONDON (GBR): Interest in domestic and international sponsorship for the London 2012 Olympics remains strong despite the current economic climate. Informs insidethegames.com. Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said that they remain on target to raise 750 million GBP in sponsorship to help pay for the 2.5 billion GBP operating costs of the Games. Addressing the London Assembly, he said: "Because we began tier-one negotiations early we have already secured the majority of our domestic sponsorship. Despite the turbulent economic situation, we continue to see strong interest from potential sponsors." Coe was supported by Paul Deighton, the chief executive of London 2012, who said that they have so far raised 430 million GBP worth of sponsorship. London 2012 currently has signed seven tier-one sponsors - Adidas, British Airways, BP, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB and Nortel - and two tier-two partnesr, Cadbury and Deloitte.

Meanwhile, Gerhard Heiberg, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Marketing Commission, said that he is in talks with several companies about filling one or two more spots in the worldwide sponsorship programme for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and London. It followed the decision on Monday, as reported on insidethegames, that Johnson & Johnson were not renewing its 100 million USD sponsorship deal for Vancouver and London. But the Norwegian said that he remained hopeful that the 2009-2013 sponsorship cycle would reach 100 billion USD. The IOC has nine partners for 2009-12 and already has raised more than the 886 million USD it received from 2005-08. The global sponsors remaining for 2009-2013 are Acer, Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa. The Panasonic and Samsung deals run through 2016, and Coke is signed up through 2020.

TOKYO (JPN). Marathon Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya has signed a sponsorship deal with Meiji Seika, makers of the sports supplement Savas. The two parties signed a contract extending from Nov. 1 through Nov. 2009 but have an agreement for the company's sponsorship to continue until 2018, a period covering the 2016 Olympics, with a total value of USD $3 million over this ten year span. The sponsorship deal frees Wanjiru to focus on his goals of a world record in the marathon and a second Olympic gold medal. In return Wanjiru will wear the Savas logo on his uniform, an arrangement similar to Savas' sponsorship of Japan's top soccer team, the J1 League Urawa Reds. Wanjiru graduated from Miyagi Prefecture's Sendai Ikuei High School and joined Team Toyota Kyushu is 2005. Just before this summer's Beijing Olympics he resigned from the team, saying he wanted to focus on the marathon. Since the Olympics he has split his time between training in Fukuoka and in Kenya. Translated from Asahi by Brett Larner of japanrunningnews.blogspot.com

DUBLIN (IRL): Sprinter Paul Hession was named as the Irish Athlete of the Year at the annual awards function of the Athletic Association of Ireland organised in association with Waterford Crystal. Informs European Athletics.

Hession reached the semi final of the 200m at the Beijing Olympic Games. The 25-year-old set four national records in 100m and 200m in 2007. Hession, who made it to 60m final at 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championship in Birmingham, was also named the Track Athlete of the Year. Hammer star Eileen O'Keefe took home the Field Athlete of the Year title. Cross Country and Road runner Fionnuala Britton was named Road Athlete of the Year. Britton is expected to be a top title contender at the SPAR European Cross Country Championship to be held in Brussels on December 14. Brian Gregan, one of Ireland's brightest hopes for London 2012 was named as Junior Athlete of the Year. The 18-year-old 400m sprinter had a superb season in which he broke the Irish record. Robert Heffernan was named the Race Walker of the Year. Heffernan was a top 8 finisher in 20km walk at the Beijing Olympic Games.

KINGSTON (JAM): Agencies are reporting, that the coach of triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt is prepared to wait a while longer before declaring the Jamaican the world's greatest ever sprinter. Glen Mills, who guided Bolt to victory in the 100 and 200 metres in world record times at this year's Beijing Games, believes his charge has plenty more to prove.

"His performance as a sprinter at the Beijing Olympics is the greatest ever in terms of quality," Mills told Reuters in an interview. "However, that's one performance. I would like to see him back that up with other outstanding performances before he can be called the world's greatest ever. I want some more from him, because right now it is even difficult to compare other athletes and eras with him. Training has just started but we are constantly interrupted with his numerous engagements. Hopefully, after Monaco we will be able to sit down and map out something in terms of his training so that we can be competitive," Mills said. Bolt travels this weekend to Monte Carlo for the usual World Athletics Gala where his expected to receive the award of World Athlete of the Year 2008.

GENEVA (SUI): The head of the European Broadcasting Union has urged the Olympic movement to renew its contract with public broadcasters and resist the riches offered by rival private networks. European Broadcasting Union director general Jean Reveillon told an audience of Olympic sports leaders -- including International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge -- that the free-to-air channels in 56 member countries attract higher ratings and encourage a young fan base. Agencies are informing. The International Olympic Committee recently awarded rights in Italy and Turkey to pay-TV networks from the Rupert Murdoch-owned media group.

FUKUOKA (JPN): Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Tsegaye Kebede, and former Chicago and London Marathon champion Felix Limo lead the list of international entrants for the 62nd Fukuoka Marathon on Sunday, December 7. It is the traditional last big marathon of the year. Reigning Fukuoka champion and course record holder, and Olympic marathon gold medalist, Samuel Wanjiru will not to compete. As Race Results Weekly informs, elite athlete coordinator Wataru Ogushi has also invited Spain's José Manuel Martínez (2:08:09 PB), Russia's Aleksey Sokolov (2:09:07 NR), Canada's Jon Brown (2:09:31 PB) and Ukraine's Yuriy Hychun (2:10:59 PB). The top Japanese entrants include 2005 IAAF World Championships marathon bronze medalist and the last Japanese to win Fukuoka, Tsuyoshi Ogata (2:08:37 PB); the man who was twice fifth at the IAAF World World Championships marathon, Shigeru Aburaya (2:07:52); Arata Fujiwara (2:08:40); Yuko Matsumiya (2:09:18); Satoshi Irifune (2:09:40); Tomoyuki Sato (2:09:43); and Seiji Kobayashi (2:11:02). The event serves as a selection race for the Japanese team for next summer's IAAF World Championships.

MONTE CARLO: For the first time in the history of the prestigious annual World Athletics Gala, the show will be shown via a video stream on the IAAF website, as well as the LIVE worldwide TV broadcast.

FRANKFURT (GER): Balian Buschbaum will soon become the new pole vault coach at USC Mainz, succeeding Herbert Czingon, who was named headcoach for technical events by the DLV. As Yvonne, Buschbaum, recorded a personal best of 4.70m and finished twice third of the European championships in 1998 and 2002, before announcing her retirement in 2007 to become a man and start the hormone treatment needed for gender reassignment. His new name « Balian » was chosen after the blacksmith in the movie Kingdom of Heaven. Balian, who is currently recovering from surgery, declared ""I wanted to leave my sport behind but I am more addicted to this drug pole vault than I thought". The use of testosterone has also given him a unique outlook at the doping issue because "I am living these changes" through the use of the forbidden steroid. I felt like an over-bred pitbull," Buschbaum recently told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung, saying he was far more aggressive in training and could jump with poles Yvonne Buschbaum only dreamt of using, DPA informs.

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For more information on USATF, please check out http://www.usatf.org

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