Usain Bolt Love Fest! News by Alfons Juck, Deep thoughts by Larry Eder

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Usain Bolt was in the first row of the NBA game in Boston on Friday, December 21, 2008. He was watching the Celtics beat Chicago 125-108. Then, Presna Latina gives Usain Bolt the Best Male Athlete of the Year (Presne is the Cuban news agency). And finally, Universal sports gave Usain Bolt the Breakout Performance of the Year and Stefanie Brown Trafton as the Unsung Hero Award of the Year. Under disappointment, there were two American relay teams

Happy Hannukah from runblogrun.com!

Bolt is an example of the potential interest in track athletes, especially by the young athletes. It is all about the marketing and promotion.

We still have requests for Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor posters ( thanks to ASICS, we published 850,000 of them in 2007), then Brian Sell (400,000, courtesy of Brooks). In 2008, we published posters of Tyson Gay and Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jeremy Wariner and Allyson Felix, Jenn Stuzynski and then Yelena Isinbayeva, all 750,000 of them, courtesy of adidas. We just finished up the Jenn Stuzynski posters, and are starting to give out Yelena Isinbayeva, the Athlete of Year for IAAF, and World record pole vaulter.

I just received a very touching letter from an uncle whose neice is learning to vault in Canada and just loves Isinbayeva. He wanted to know if he could get her a poster. Of course, we sent out two for both of them, but it is the power of our sport!

Athletics will continue to thrive with sports personalities, promoting the sport via the web. The value of Flottrack.com, www.runnerspace.com , www.dyestats.com, http://www.letsrun.com,www.youthrunner.com, ttrackandfieldnews.com and our group at http://www.runningnetwork.com is huge. We give the local runner or fan a chance to enhance their relationship with the sport.

The Iaaf.org has used their sites to put the word out on the sport. Look at the videos, audio, digital TV and news service. Information is power and demystifying our sport is the type of work both the IAAF and USATF need to do. Both have continued to improve, but the battle for the sports marketing dollar will never be tighter than it is right now.

Kudos to www.globalathletics.com, the website for GAM, the team, lead by Mark Wetmore and Rich Kenah and their team ( Barbara Heubner should take her bow). Their website and their videos make a huge statement.

The Chasing Bolt series that PUMA supported was a huge example of viral video getting around the world. YOU TUBE, the pre eminent video site, notes that several Bolt videos are over the two million views mark!

What does this mean? For athletics, the web, digital media, continued promotion, searching out our potential viewing pubic, and the potential consumer is crucial to our success. Utilizing the new and emerging stars, helping them develop a following is critical in any time,but right now, our sport has a chance to shine and we can not let up!

So, get Usian Bolt to more NBA games, bring Dathan Ritzenhein to more running events, get Jenn Stuczynski to speak at a women's sport clinic. All such activities
give another generation of sports fans and participants a chance to see our great sport!

EME NEWS (DEC 21, 2008)

BOLT AT NBA

BOSTON (USA): Boston Globe informs that after racing within a game of tying a team winning streak, the Boston Celtics were all abuzz with talk of a famous face in the front row. Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt watched as the defending NBA champs won their 17th straight and improved to 25-2 with a 125-108 victory over Chicago on Friday night.

AGAIN BOLT

HAVANA (CUB): Jamaican sprinters were winners of Prensa Latina, Cuban news agency poll about best Latin American sports personalities of 2008. Usain Bolt was the best man and Veronica Campbell-Brown the best woman. Bolt received 77 votes out of 93 newspapers, radio and television stations and news agencies from the Americas, Asia and Europe. Campbell-Brown got 47 votes. Among top ten from athletics also Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles and Panamian long jumper Irving Saladino.

WISSMAN FIRST TOP NAME

STOCKHOLM (SWE): The Stockholm´s GE Galan IAAF Indoor Permit (Feb 18) announced its first major name for next year edition. World and Olympic 400 m finalist Johan Wissman confirmed his participation. He will compete at 400 m again as last season (winner in 46.30) and aims also to succeed at two laps at European indoor Championships in Torino.

WMM VIA WEB

LOS ANGELES (USA): For the second consecutive year Universal Sports (former wcsn.com) has again secured the rights to broadcast the World Marathon Majors. World´s top five marathons in London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York will be shown on Universalsports.com and/or Universal Sports, the broadcast network in 2009. Further, for the first time the station will broadcast the Los Angeles Marathon, which attracted 17 438 finishers in 2008. The 2009 race is scheduled for May 25. Universalsports.com informs.

MARATHON COURSE

TOKIO (JPN): Last week the 2016 Tokyo Olympics bid committee gave a preliminary presentation on the proposed course for the Olympic marathon and other major events. The marathon would begin at the existing National Stadium, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and end at the planned new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo's waterfront Toyosu district. In keeping with IAAF recommendations, the tentative course includes three loops of a 10 km circuit. A finalized proposal for the marathon route will be filed in February next year. Informs Japan Running News.

BEST OF 2008

LOS ANGELES (USA): Universal Sports lists in its Best of 2008 survey the Usain Bolt results as the Breakout Performance of the Year. Discus win by Stephanie Trafton-Brown is the Most Unsung Performance of the Year. Athletics is represented also for third time in the survey, but as the Most Disappointing Performance of the Year - both US 4x100 m relay teams at Olympic Games.

RESULTS

SANTRY (IRL, Dec 20): European Champion Francisco Fernandez achieved at Irish 30 km walk championships a winning 2:07:35. As Marca informs, he clocked 43:40 and 42:50 in first two 10 km sections (1:26:30 20 km). The last part was the fastest with 41:05 and 20:00 the last 5 km. This test was a step into the direction to try in future the 50 km, possibly next spring at Spanish 50 km championships.

TAIPEI (TPE, Dec 21): Kenyans dominated the ING Taipei Marathon. Sammy Chumba clocked 2:15:37 and Carolina Kilel 2:30:44. The latter is also a new course record. She received 41 000 USD for that. Male winner got 20 000 USD. Second in men category Luka Kipkemboi achieved 2:15:43 and third Lawrence Saina 2:16:32. Zimbabwe´s Olympian Thabita Tsatsa was second best woman in 2:35:46 beating Japanese Junko Suzuki 2:45:25.

HOFU (JPN, Dec 21): Kentaro Ito beat an international cast of rivals at the 39th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon running 2:16:01 in stormy conditions to score his first win in the race where he set his PB back in 2001. Informs Japan Running News. Second Satoru Kasuya debuted in 2:17:10 and third Kachi-Tsu Chao of Taiwan achieved PB 2:17:12.

LA CHAUX DE FONDS (SUI, Dec 20): Swiss runner Stephane Joly won the Christmas race here at 8 km with 23:20. Ethiopian Tsige Worku was the best woman at 6 km clocking 20:05. Some 1100 runners participated.

EPIFANIA (ITA, Dec 21): African winner at 2008 Cross di Paulilatino. Ezekiel Kiprotich Meli clocked 23:29 at 8 km. Second another Kenyan Edward Too Kiptanui was 50 seconds behind.

TOULOUSE (FRA, Dec 21): At International Cross Country race Kenyan wins. Samuel Kamau clocked 29:01 at 9.306 km. Female winner Alice Serser had 17:41 at 4.77 km. Second Esther Wanjiku got 18:02 and third best French runner Rakiya Maraoui-Quetier 18:57.

LISBON (POR, Dec 21): Hermano Ferreira won 10 km road race which celebrated the 60 years of the municipality with 28:49. Second Luis Feiteira was only one second behind. Sara Moreira was the fastest woman in 31:25 beating clearly Marisa Barros (32:22).

VENTA DE BAŇOS (ESP, Dec 21): Spanish runner Alemayehu Bezabeh beat one week after European Championships a solid field at 29th edition of the race here. He clocked 31:45 at 10.68 km. Second Ayad Lamdassem achieved 31:52 and third Eritrean Kidane Tadese 31:55. Best Kenyan Kiprono Menjo only fourth 32:10 just ahead of European U23 Champion Andrea Lalli of Italy (32:11). Bronze medal winner from Brussels Ines Monteiro of Portugal won the women´s 6.775 km in 22:41. Olympic medalist at steeplechase Kenyan Eunice Jepkorir was second (23:02) ahead of another Portugal runner Dulce Felix (23:13). Then best Spanish ladies followed Diana Martin (23:51) and last year European CC Champion Marta Dominguez (23:51).

LOS PALACOS (ESP, Dec 21): Fast Half-Marathon at the end of the year in Seville region. Kenyan Thomas Kipkosgei achieved 1:01:28 ahead of his team-mate Kosmers Kemboi (1:02:56). Best European was Sweden´s Henrik Skoog who improved his PB to 1:03:36 as fifth. Kenyan Sarah Kerubo was the best woman in 1:15:31.

DRONTEN (NED, Dec 21): Morrocan Najim El Gady won the Half-Marathon here after 1:04:07. Kenyan Masila Ndungu was the best woman in 1:15:43. Home Alemitu Bekele was fourth in 1:17:33.

KUALA LUMPUR (MAS, Dec 15-18): At ASEAN University Games Vietnamese sprinter Nguyen Van Huynh clocked new national record to win the 100 m in 10.41. Home hurdler Mohd Robani Hassan won his event with 14.07. One of the most popular home athletes female pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu won with 400 cm. Vietnam was the most succesfull country with 27 medals. Informs Heinrich Hubbeling.

INDOOR

MOSCOW (RUS, Dec 20): During Student Indoor competitions Yevgeniy Ustavshchikov won the 60 m in solid 6.84. Second Aleksey Kryukov-Petrushin clocked 6.90 but got the fastest of the day in semis 6.81. World Indoor 2008 participant Svetlana Nabokina won the women 60 m in 7.51.

AUBIERE (FRA, Dec 20-21): Pole Vaulter Renaud Lavillenie scored 5363 in Heptathlon and achieved very good 560 in his special event. Winner Christophe Pechet was better only by a small margin with 5375 points.

MAYENNE (FRA, Dec 21): French 21-years old jumper Abdoulaye Diarra achieved already good quality 224 in High Jump. It is only 1 cm below his indoor PB, he has from 2008 indoor also 16.28 in Triple Jump.

MAGDEBURG (GER, Dec 20): European bronze medalist 2006 in Shot Put German Petra Lammert returned after injury break with 18.57 m. World Junior Shot Put champion David Storl again improved the national junior indoor record with 6 kg implement to 20.59 m.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck for all of his work to cover the sport this year, and all of his contributors at EME News.

A very Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from www.runblogrun.com!

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