Our Word for Today: Millrose! by Larry Eder, News by Alfons Juck

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Dear readers,

The weather in NY is better, so get on those winter coats and head to the Millrose Games, starting tomorrow night at 6 pm at Madison Square Gardens. The 103rd version of the meet will feature some of our sports greatest stars! I for one, can not wait to see Bernard Lagat try for number seven and Beijing gold medalist Steve Hooker in the pole vault!

WANJIRU PLANS

NAIROBI (KEN): Following Haile Gebrselassie, Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru announced his ambitions for 2009: victory in London, and world record attempt in Berlin in September. "Everything is possible. It is all about trying. I'm in top form at the moment and I believe if I keep it up, then Berlin will be the best place to make my attempt," he said. "I will not try to break the marathon record in London. All I want is to win the race and look at the strength of the elite runners on parade. It will not be possible to break it when everyone will be watching your running style". Talking about Berlin's showdown', Wanjiru declared: "It will be nice to run against Haile. He skipped both the London Marathon and the Beijing Olympics, and one's real test is known when tested against such great runners," the Daily Nation informs.


BORZAKOVSKIY GETS A WILD-CARD

MOSCOW (RUS): Olympic 2004 champion at 800 m Yuriy Borzakovskiy recieved a wild card from the national federation concerning his participation at European Indoor Championships in March in Torino. He must not compete at national championships and will be selected. But he needs to achieve at meetings the qualifiying time. Borzakovskiy competes this Sunday at Russian Winter (1000 m) and then in Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Stockholm.


RADCLIFFE GOES US

LONDON (GBR): Paula Radcliffe commences a traditional training period in the United States next week which she hopes later this year will assist her regain both the Flora London Marathon and IAAF World Championship titles. Radcliffe already in the New Year has almost a full month's training under her belt although recently losing a few days through sickness at her base in the French Pyrenees.

„We've been three weeks in Font Romeu and it went well I until got flu and missed last the last four days," said Radcliffe who was accompanied by husband and manager Gary Lough and two-year-old daughter Isla. „I was enjoying running in snow and think it helped stregthen legs. I was doing fast stuff on the treadmill and it was going well." Now the 35-year-old world marathon record holder is looking forward to heading off to another favourite location in New Mexico next Monday to intensify preparations for the Flora London Marathon on April 26. „We go on February 2 after few days check up in UK and plan on staying eight weeks. There's no races planned yet but we're looking at both 10k and half marathon options," said the Bedford star who is managed by husband Gary Lough. „My plans for the rest of the year only include the marathon in Berlin so far, but will include other shorter races too," she revealed. Radcliffe a three times winner of the New York City marathon added: „I'm not sure on a fall marathon until I come out of Berlin okay." Writes David Martin.


OTHER NEWS

PARIS (FRA): Olympic 3000 metres steeplechase silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad was ordered to rest for 8 to 10 days because of a pain in the Achilles and thus pulled out from the Cinque Mulini Cross Country race on Sunday.

PARIS (FRA): French pole vault record holder Vanessa Boslak will likely be out of action during the whole winter season because of a heel spur on the right foot, l'Equipe informs.

KAMPALA (UGA): Uganda's athlete-of-the-year Moses Kipsiro has a vision of finishing at the podium in upcoming international events, especially the World Cross Country Championships in March and the World Championships in August. Speaking after being crowned by state sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi, Kipsiro said that it has given him a challenge to perform better this year around. "I have a vision this year," said the athlete flanked by his newly wed wife Berna after the crowning, the New Vision informs.

NAIROBI (KEN): Following Haile Gebrselassie, Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru announced his ambitions for 2009: victory in London, and world record attempt in Berlin in September. "Everything is possible. It is all about trying. I'm in top form at the moment and I believe if I keep it up, then Berlin will be the best place to make my attempt," he said. "I will not try to break the marathon record in London. All I want is to win the race and look at the strength of the elite runners on parade. It will not be possible to break it when everyone will be watching your running style". Talking about Berlin's showdown', Wanjiru declared: "It will be nice to run against Haile. He skipped both the London Marathon and the Beijing Olympics, and one's real test is known when tested against such great runners," the Daily Nation informs.

BUDAPEST (HUN): Hungarian Athletics Federation informs at its website about the death of former European Indoor Champion in Long Jump Gyula Paloczi (46). His best was 825 outdoors in 1985 and 815 indoors while winning the European Indoor title in the same year in Greece. Later he competed also in triple jump and got 16.87 in 1993. He was also 8th national champion and won a silver at European Indoor Championships in 1983 at home. He was medallist in long jump in World Indoor Games (2nd in 1985) and European Indoor Champs (gold in 1985 & silver in 1983). Hungarian champion in long jump three times (1984, 1986, 1990) and in triple jump (1988-90, 1993-94). Pbs: HJ: 2.11'82; LJ: 8.25'85; TJ: 16.87'93).

MOSCOW (RUS): Special women event at Russian Winter IAAF Permit will be the 300 m. Top entry will be here the Olympic relay champion Yulia Chermoshanskaya. She will face fellow team-members and 400 m runners Olesya Zykina, Yulia Gushchina and Anastasiya Kapachinskaya. Another interesting thing will be a so called double long jump. That means the organisers will count together best two jumps. Apart of the normal prize money for top athletes there will be a double prize money for the ranking when counting two jumps together. In other words you can have from the same competition two winners. Meet Director Mikhail Butov said for All-Sport that idea comes from world champion Tatyana Lebedeva. Top names in long jump are Italian European Champio Andrew Howe with Poland´s Marcin Starzak, Brasilian Rogerio Bispo and Briton Chris Tomlinson.

LJUBLJANA (SLO): Peter Kukovica remains the president of Slovenian Athletics Federation (AZS). He will continue in another four years term. He was the only candidate at the elections and received 33 from 35 votes.

KINGSTON (JAM): Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt and Olympic 400m hurdles record-holder and gold medallist, Melaine Walker, head a list of 12 nominees - five men and seven women - for next month's 48th National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards ceremony in Jamaica. Home media are informing, the celebration will be staged on February 13. Also in the nomination another sprinter Asafa Powell on the men side and more track athletes in the women part with Veronica Campbell Brown; Shelly-Ann Fraser; Kerron Stewart; Shericka Williams and 2006 winner Sherone Simpson. In the new category, the People's Choice Performance of the Year award within five nominations also Shelly-Ann Fraser for her surprise Olympic 100 m win.

NEW YORK (USA): Interesting piece from IAAF website about Olympic Pole Vault champion Steve Hooker. He begins with competitions in a series of indoor meetings, beginning with Friday night's Millrose Games in New York, then continuing to the Boston Reebok Games and on to Europe for competitions in Paris, Donyetsk and Stockholm. After that back home for top Australian meets in Sydney and Melbourne. "Millrose will be my first competition since Beijing. It's a great meeting. The officials in tuxedos, I love that, and the commentators walking around on the infield, talking to the athletes while they're competing. It's a whole lot of fun and it's also going to be fun going somewhere like New York and seeing all the stuff there is to see there. Actually, my media manager Dave Culbert once competed against Mike Powell in Melbourne wearing a body suit made up like a dinner suit complete with bow tie and buttons. Maybe I can borrow that and upstage the officials," he was quoted by IAAF.

MARUGAME (JPN): The 63rd running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon takes place this Sunday, Feb. 1. This year's race is its first in a new international format. The man to beat is course record holder Mekubo Mogusu. There are three man who can fight for the title: Mogusu's university rival Daniel Gitau, another is Asian Record holder Atsushi Sato, whose best time of 1:00:25 is only 37 seconds behind Mogusu's. The last rival could be Yuki Iwai despitehe only holds very old half-marathon PB of 1:02:59. Three weeks ago at the Asahi Ekiden he ran the 16.7 km 7th stage in 45:35, his average pace of just under 2:44/km faster than that of the 15 km world record. Informs Japan Running News.

VALENCIA (ESP): Organisers of Valencia IAAF Permit (Feb 14) announced the line-up for men´s 60 m race. Main star is 2003 100 m world champion Kim Collins of St. Kitts. Also running fastest home sprinter Angel David Rodriguez who clocked national 100 m record 10.14 last summer. Also in the field Italian Simone Collio (last year here at the meet Italian record 6.55), US Rae Edwards and Poland´s Dariusz Kuc.


RESULTS

NYIREGYHAZA (HUN, Jan 24): Levente Bodo clocked here twice hand timed 5.6 at 50 m (heats and finals).

NITRA (SVK, Jan 27): 20 years old Slovak Martin Kalafus who was a World Youth finalist in 2005 improved to 220 at a indoor HJ meet here. He is so 10th Slovak male high jumper ever who achieved at least 220 indoors.


Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

For more on the sport, click http://www.american-trackandfield.com

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