I have to admit, one of the best interviews of the Olympic Games was David Oliver. Poised, relaxed and with a self deprecating sense of humor, Oliver is a perfect interview. He is also becoming one heck of a hurdler.
Do not get me wrong. Oliver is a tremendous hurdler, but he is learning the game. How to compete on the world circuit, how to deal with media who have never seen a track meet ask him dumb questions. how to deal with track geek media ask him prying questions-Oliver does it with style.
David is coached by Brooks Johnson and it shows. Coach Johnson likes the details. And so do his athletes. Oliver hurdles well, and with the exception of last weekend, starts pretty darn well. What I really like about David Oliver is that he does not stop until he gets across the finsh line-and HE KNOWS how to lean! If I see one more American hurdler or sprinter loose a race because they do not lean at the finish line and run through, I am going to make myself watch 24 hours of Hannity and Colmes and that just is not healthy. So, dear hurdlers and sprinters, listen to your high school coaches, and run through the finish line, lean at the tape and know what line you are leaning at ( many wise athletes walk the track before to make sure that they know what to do when)--the devil is still in the details!
Hooker vs. Lukyanenko
MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian media are reporting that first meet of IAAF Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 5 will host an Olympic gold medal rematch at six metres above ground level after Beijing runner-up Yevgeny Lukyanenko of Russia was announced as a headline act for the Australian track-and-field season. The Russian — who was beaten into second place in the Olympic pole vault by Australian Steve Hooker — is the world indoor champion. Lukyanenko jumped against Hooker four times last year, beating him three times. Before then they should also meet in Europe at Paris Bercy event on Feb 13. Hooker travels to New York to compete at Millrose Games now while Lukyanenko should jump at Russian Winter Indoor meet in Moscow. Before Melbourne they should also clash in Sydney on February 28. The pole vault will be keenly contested, with Asian champion Daichi Sawano, of Japan, also coming to town to compete, as well as Australian jumper Paul Burgess, who is another member of the exclusive six-metre club. Beijing silver medallist Sally McLellan will also get some international competition for the Australian summer, designed to give her some tough hitouts ahead of August's World Championships in Berlin. Jamaican Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Beijing Olympic finalist Brigitte Foster-Hylton will race here, along with American Nichole Denby. It is also possible that sprinting star Asafa Powell will travel down under as last year.
Oliver to Europe
ORLANDO (USA): US Olympic hurdles medalist David Oliver travels after false starting in the finals in Gainesville during the weekend to Europe. He will compete at two meets in Sweden, on Thursday Jan 29 in Goteborg and on Tuesday Feb 3 in Malmo. After withdrawal of Dayron Robles he is the biggest star of the hurdles there. After short break in US he will return to Europe to compete at Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham. Early March he plans for first time to travel to Australia for the top meets there.
Collins for Commonwealth Team in Kelvin Hall
GLASGOW (GBR): Three World Champions will be representing the Commonwealth Select Team to face the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland, USA, Sweden, Germany at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow's Kelvin Hall on January 31. Former World 100m Champion Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis), who is making his first appearance in Scotland and who came sixth in the 200m Olympic final in Beijing, will compete in the 60m and 200m. He will be joined by the reigning World Indoor 400m Champion, Tyler Christopher (Canada) and Godfrey Mokoena (South Africa) the reigning World Indoor long jump Champion, who won a silver medal at last year's Olympic Games. Bahamian Shamar Sands who beat a good field last weekend in Gainesville will run the 60 m Hurdles. Sub 11 sprinter Chandra Sturrup is the star in women team at 60 metres. In Sweden´s team Johan Wissman runs the 200 m, Robert Kronberg the 60 m Hurdles and Alhaji Jeng is the top name in Pole Vault.
Mariano NR and Winter first over 8 metres
DORTMUND (GER, Jan 25): Netherland Antilles sprinter Brian Mariano who competes for Dutch Club Rotterdam Atletiek clocked here new national record 6.70 at 60 metres. He was second behind Alexander Kosenkow of Germany who also got 6.70. German Nils Winter achieved as first this winter a 8+ Long jump with 802 cm.
Tulu at RAK Half Marathon
RAS AL KHAIMAH (UAE): With just over 3 weeks till race day, the organisers of the 3rd Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon can confirm their women's line-up, with significant additions to strengthen an already mouth-watering start list. Headed by two Kenyans, veteran Edith Masai (67:45) and 2008 world No.1 Philes Ongori (67:57), the RAK field can now boast two-time Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu (ETH) along with reigning RAK champion Salina Kosgei (KEN). Abebu Gelan (ETH), sixth at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships last October, also joins the list, as well as 2004 Olympic marathon fourth placer, Elfenesh Alemu (ETH) who has run 69:46. These changes bring the number of "sub 70" minute starters at RAK to thirteen, making any prediction of just who will rise from the pack to take a lion's - or should that be lioness's - share of the $400,000 plus prize purse, virtually impossible. A European name to watch is that of Anika Kalovics (HUN). The prolific racer is currently sharpening her competitive instincts with a series of short cross country races on the European circuit, but as a 68:58 half marathon racer, it would be foolish to write off the 31 year old's chances, in spite of the massed African talent due in RAK. Organisers are informing in a release.
WINDHOEK (NAM): Namibia top female runner Helaria Johannes has joined the Namibian Defense Forces in a bid to gain more financial stability. The athlete, who set national records in the half-marathon (70:59) and marathon (2:32:30) in 2008, has six months left of her nine-month defense force training exercise. She won't be allowed to attend any competitions during this period but would join the athletics division of the NDF once she graduates, Informanté informs.
ZURICH (SUI): Athletes competing in the 7th annual Zürich Marathon on Sunday, April 26, will be the first amongst the public to pass through the new Uetliberg Tunnel, a 4.4 km engineering marvel which links the Birmensdorf bypass to the west of the city with the existing Zurich-Chur motorway to the east. The tunnel will open to cars the following day. Informs Race Results Weekly. The tunnel project began in 2000 and cost CHF 1.12B (USD 1.04B), according to a report published at the website roadtraffic-technology.com. Last year's Zürich Marathon had 4600 finishers and was won by Oleg Kulkov of Russia in 2:11:16 and Tadelech Birra of Ethiopia in 2:32:09. The event records are 2:08:20 by Viktor Röthlin in 2007 and 2:30:07 by Annemette Jensen of Denmark in 2004.
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya is engaged in extended communication with Bahrain and the IAAF aimed at expediting the return of Youssef Saad Kamel (Gregory Konchellah). "We are pursuing the matter and exchanged correspondence with them and the IAAF to ensure Gregory returns," Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat, told the press . "AK is doing all it can because we need the boy. He is young and has potential to win for our country," Kiplagat said, the Standard informs.
PARIS (FRA): The Paris Bercy meet planned for February 13 announced great line-up in women long jump. Olympic winner Maureen Higa Maggi should be the main star competing against best French Eloyse Lesueur and 2005 World champion Tianna Madison of USA who showed great speed last weekend. Also jumping other US athletes Grace Upshaw and Funmi Jimoh.
BELFAST (GBR): Olympic 400metres champion Christine Ohuruogu although not intending to compete at the European Championships in March is still planning a few indoor races in her build-up to the summer season. Ohuruogu whose major task this year will be the defence of her world 400 metres title in August, is scheduled to compete at the Woodie's DIY Irish Indoor Championships in Belfast on February 7-8. The 24-year-old Londoner will be the first British track Olympic gold medallist to compete in the Province since 100m winner Linford Christie appeared there in 1992 after claiming his title in Barcelona. Ohuruogu who is currently warm weather training in South Africa, has confirmed to organisers she will race over 60m and 200m in the two day meeting at The Odyssey Arena. Then it is a possibility she may, although not a candidate for the European Championships in Turin from March 6-8, take part in the trial meeting being staged in Sheffield on February 14-15 and has agreed to race the following weekend at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham. Ohuruogu preparations for a summer campaign where top priority is retaining the 2007 world crown she claimed in Osaka, is forecast to commence at the Jamaica International meeting in Kingston on May 3."It's not confirmed but she would like to run there and we're having discussions," said manager Ricky Simms at what will be a sell-out crowd eager to also see three-times Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and the other Jamaican sprint stars from Beijing in action. Writes David Martin.
COTTBUS (GER): The 7th International Jumping Meeting in Cottbus will see on Wednesday the first clash of top German and International pole vaulters. Danny Ecker, Björn Otto, Alexander Straub and Fabian Schulze want to achieve good heights fighting for the qualification (570m) for the European indoors championships. Igor Pavlov (Russia) and Olympic bronze medallist Denys Yurchenko from Ukraine are the international headliners with PBs of 5,85m and more. The second competion is the women's high jump with Canadian Nicole Forrester with the best PB (1,97m).
LEIPZIG (GER): World indoor champion at 1500 m Ethiopian Deresse Mekonnen is the headliner of 6th Leipzig Indoor meet planned for this Sunday. Kenyan Vickson Polonet and home runner Wolfram Muller should build a good field for him.
HAMPTON (USA, Jan 24): Demi Omole clocked here good 6.62 at 60 m. Rachelle Smith got 7.32 to win the women sprint. Keith Moffatt cleared 223 in High Jump.
LINCOLN (USA, Jan 24): Canada´s Olympic medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep achieved here 7.58 at 60 m and 8.36 at 60 m Hurdles.
KAMPALA (UGA, Jan 25): Uganda dominated the East Africa half-marathon organised at home with a podium sweep as Isaac Kiprop won the race in 1:06:51 ahead of Martin Toroitich (1:06:53) and James Kibet (1:07:01). Kenya had its revenge in the women competition, as Caroline Chepkwony took first place n 1:17:57. Uganda's Adero Nyakisi was second in 1:20:13.
VERACRUZ (MEX, Jan 25): Kenyan Isaac Kimayio won the 5th Half-Marathon Puerto de Veracruz in 1:02:50. Genoveva Jelagat was the best woman clocking 1:13:59.
CARLSBAD (USA, Jan 25): The Carlsbad Half Marathon by won by Wesley Korir of Kenya in a time of 1:02:45 what is his personal best. Kenyan Jane Kibii won the women race in 1:12:26.
BEOGRAD (SRB, Jan 25): Top home favorite Olivera Jevtic did not finish after 2.5 km the 42nd White Cross in Beograd, an EA Permit Cross-Country. And so the surprise winner was only 15 years old Amela Terzic who clocked 14:17 at 4 km. Second place for another home runner Ana Subotic (14:30) ahead of Hungarian Brigitta Tusai (14:52) and Slovenian Petra Sink (14:59). As the winner belonged to youth category, the first place bonus of 500 E went to Subotic who was the winner also a year ago. Another 15 years old Serbian athlete Teodora Simovic was fifth (15:04). Moldavian runners dominated the senior men 8 km. National middle distances champion Vitali Gheorgita clocked 25:41 ahead of home favorite and top runner Mirko Petrovic (25:53) and twin brother Viorel Gheorgita (26:13). Bulgarian Stanislav Lambev was fourth (26:52) ahead of Serbian Dusan Markesevic (26:58) and Ethiopian guest Gebrese Gabreselasie (27:07). Gheorgita twins finished fourth and fifth last year. Also here for the winner 500 E.
ROSIGNANO (ITA, Jan 25): Giorgio Rubino won the 35 km walking competition in 2h36:50. Gisella Orsini clocked 1h37:33 in the women's 20 km race.
DORTMUND (GER, Jan 25): Sina Schielke ran 7.50 in heats, but was defeated in finals as second with 7.60.
MALMO (SWE, Jan 25): Johan Wissman achieved his 20.93 at 200 m on Sunday and not on Saturday as reported by EME NEWS on Jan 25.
Thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News and Victor Sailer, Photorun.net.