Global Updates, March 24, 2009, by Alfons Juck

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All that is new in our world of sports plus info on upcoming meets and events....Usain Bolt is number two in Sky Sports magazine list of greatest sports stars--Tiger Woods was number one! Remember, Tiger Woods once said he would be a 200 meter runner if he was not playing golf!

Bolt this time number two

LONDON (GBR): Triple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt finished second in a survey carried out for Sky Sports Magazine to find out the world’s greatest sports star.
Dozens of the world’s leading athletes across a full range of sports were asked to give their current top three sportsmen and women and Bolt wound up second – just two votes behind the world’s top golfer Tiger Woods. In joint third were Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong, Wimbledon tennis champion Rafael Nadal and Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps. Among the sports stars who voted Bolt their No.1 star was Liverpool and Spain footballer Fernando Torres. Bolt himself voted for basketball star Kevin Garnett and football players Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo. Writes spikesmag.com.

Diniz for Dudince

DUDINCE (SVK): European champion from Goteborg and Osaka 2007 silver medalist French walker Yohann Diniz (3:41:39) is expected to be the biggest star of 28th “Dudinska patdesiatka” European Athletics Walking Permit meeting this Saturday (March 28) in South of Slovakia. Also sub 3:50 best is having another top walker, Poland´s Grzegorz Sudol who will come to defend his last year title (with PB 3:45:47). From past winners also in the start list Ireland´s Colin Griffin (2007) and veterans Aleksandar Rakovic of Serbia (1999) and Hungarian Zoltan Czukor (1990). Slovak walkers want to mix the cards, as the event is one of the most important ones to fulfill the Berlin standards (A-3:58, B-4:09). Dudince as continental permit meeting belongs to official IAAF list of events where the athletes can achieve the norms. Sixth placer from Goteborg 2006 at 20 km Matej Toth will go for his first serious 50 km walk, also Milos Batovsky, Anton Kucmin and Dusan Majdan are aiming to qualify to World Championships. Around 50 walkers are entered for the 50 km distance, which will also serve as national championships for four countries. Not only home Slovakia, but also Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. New event is 35 km for men U23. Women will fight at 20 km for Slovak and Hungarian titles. Zuzana Malikova will try to achieve her sixth win here, Maria Galikova who already in Lugano fulfilled the Berlin standard will also try for the Slovak title. Also to mention the Ukrainian champion Vira Zozulya and top Czech walkers Barbora Dibelkova-Pitakova (5th at World Championships 2005) and Zuzana Schindlerova who already achieved this year 1:32:26. In total 230 walkers from 18 countries will compete in different races with 50 km starting as first in the morning at 8.30 am.

Markov coach in Poland

WARSZAWA (POL): Former world champion from 1999 and Olympic medalist from 1996 at 20 km Russian Ilya Markov will be new walking head-coach for Poland´s National Senior Team. His assistant will be double Olympian Roman Magdziarczyk. Markov knows the circumstances in Poland as he competes often there and represents also the club AZS AWF Krakow.

Dix in dispute with his agent

TALLAHASSEE (USA): AP is informing that Olympic medalist sprinter (bronzes at 100 m and 200 m) Walter Dix is trying to end his contract with his agent. The runner's lawyer, Jason Wolf, said that agent Kimberly Holland and ICON Management have locked the sprinter into an unfair contract and won't let him out. Dix claims the Atlanta-based agency has failed to obtain endorsements and appearances for him as promised. ICON contends Dix has tried to enter meets using his brother, Washington Dix, as representation — a claim the sprinter denies. Walter Dix's contract expires Dec. 23 and the dispute is in arbitration. Tony Mulrain, an Atlanta-based attorney who represents ICON, said Dix is actually the defendant in an ongoing arbitration for breach of contract for failing to pay the company a commission. Dix did not compete during the indoor season, his last race was early September in 2008 at Athletissima in Lausanne where he clocked excellent 9.92 as second at 100 m.

FIFA and UEFA against whereabouts

DENVER (USA): Agencies are informing, that WADA has warned soccer officials that the sport runs the risk of being dropped from the Olympics if its authorities failed to recognise the reality of drugs cheats. Earlier this week UEFA joined forces with FIFA in unanimously rejecting WADA's controversial "whereabouts" rule that requires athletes to inform national anti-doping authorities of their location for an hour every day. FIFA wants the rule to apply to teams and not individual players. The world's governing body also says out-of-competition doping tests should take place at club training facilities and that players should not be tested during holidays, "in order to respect their private life".

HUMAN CORNER

BUCURESTI (ROU): Former European High Jump champion Monica Iagar became a mother for the second time this Sunday. Her second daughter Maya Mihaela was born at 10.30 and had 4.5 kg and 54 cm. First daughter Ayana was born before five years. Father is journalist and TV reporter Cosmin Cernat.

BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian record holder in the marathon and at 10 000 m Marleen Reenders (40) is expecting her third child. Her husband and coach Peter Zeelmaekers confirmed that for Belgian media. The birth is expected for September this year. Renders will continue with light training. She has already two daughters Kimberley and Iluna.

FALUN (SWE): The injured tibia of Sweden´s hurdling sisters Susanna and Jenny Kallur is healing only slowly. Informs svt.se. The implanted metal plates must be removed before they can start training. Because of this they are facing the risk of missing the World Championships in Berlin. “They feel some discomfort of the plates, they are narrow in the leg, "says father Anders Kallur to the SVT Sport. National Team doctor Thomas Eriksson warns that to start too early with the training could bring another operation.

SIENA (ITA): Retired Italian hammer throw record holder Ester Balassini (73.59 in 2005) is expecting a baby. She was recently a guest at European Indoor Championships in Torino.

MOSCOW (RUS): During a commercial presentation (Nike) Olympic winner at 800 m Yuriy Borzakovskiy and Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin made a bet. The football player believes he can run the 100 m under 11 seconds. Borzakovskiy admitted he is a keen football fan and likes to play the game. Last weekend he scored 10 goals during a training play. Sports.ru informs.

LLORET DE MAR (ESP): Spanish runner and steeple specialist José Luis Blanco showed a nice degree of speed and responsibility recently. The Amman-bound runner this weekend saw three thieves to steal two bags and running out of a supermarket in Lloret de Mar. He with a friend started to run behind them and when nearing they shouted police and the robbers threw the bags and tried to catch a car. The runner then brought the bags back to the supermarket and both friends were celebrated like heroes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Hungarian IAAF main responsible for technical matters like rules and world records Imre Matrahazi celebrates 50th birthday.


KIYIV (UKR): Olympic heptathlon winner Natalya Dobrynska was voted the Best Athlete of the Year 2008 in Ukraine last weekend during the Personality of the Year 2008 ceremony. Other nominees were canoe flat water Olympic champion Inna Osipenko-Radomska and archery Beijing gold medalist Viktor Ruban.

COMPETITIONS

SAO PAULO (BRA): Strong group of Cuban athletes will compete at Brazilian May meetings circuit. The team will be headed by former javelin world record holder and world champion Osleidys Menendez along with Beijing discus medalist Yarelis Barrios. In women shot put Misleidys Gonzalez is the top name and high quality trio is announced for men triple jump with current world leader Alexis Copello with Yoandri Betanzos and David Giralt. For Long jump another Olympic medalist Ibrahin Camejo with finalist Wilfredo Martinez. They are scheduled to compete at four meetings circuit which starts on May 10 in Fortaleza and ends on May 24 at IAAF Grand Prix in Belem. Informs Brazilian Federation website.

WELLINGTON (NZL): Olympic and world gold medalist in Shot Put Valerie Vili will highlight the field events on Saturday afternoon at the New Zealand track and field championships to be held at Newtown Park Wellington from Friday to Sunday. Vili set a New Zealand all-comers and resident record of 20.25m in the shot put at the international meeting at Waitakere last month and last weekend won the Australian title with 20.22m. The Beijing Olympic Games gold medallist in the shot put will be going for her ninth straight national title win and her recent form indicates the possibility of extending her New Zealand resident record. Informs New Zealand federation website.

TANGIERS (MAR): The organizers of the Tangiers meet have held a press conference on Tuesday to introduce the second edition of the meet to be held on July 12 2009. The president of the organizing committee, legendary runner Hicham El Guerrouj, made the trip from the US, where he’s studying, to announce the event is expected largely to surpass the 2008 edition, since it will be part of the Golden Series of the African confederation. The conference was marked by the presence of middle distance guest stars Bernard Lagat, Rashid Ramzi and Hasna Benhassi who expressed their support and confirmed their participation on July 12. The meet is to benefit from the support of the National Television Company that signed a 3-year contract to cover the meet live, Kia Motors (three year contract) while a 5 year-agreement is expected to be signed soon with the city’s authorities. Look at http://www.meetingdetanger.ma/ for more information.

For more on the sport, click www.iaaf.org

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