Although my grandfather Earl knew of one runner in his lifetime-Paavo Nurmi, the first runners I heard about from Scandinavia were Gunder Hagg and Arne Andersson. If I recall, it was about Andersson's coach and his use of fartlek training. Arne Anderson held the world record at 1,500 meters once, and the mile three times. On each occassion, his competitor, Gunder Hagg, broke them shortly thereafter.
Andersson held the world record (4:01.6), for the mile from July 18, 1944 until July 17, 1945, until Gunder Hagg put the record down to 4:01.4, which stood for nine years, until Roger Bannister broke his record and also the mystical sub four minute mile for the first time. The duels between Hagg and Andersson are that of legend. What, to me, is so satisfying about Hagg-Andersson was that they were fierce competitors on the track and good friends off the competitive surface. Great races by great athletes.
It is ironic, in my mind, that Andersson won the final race, between he and Gunder Hagg. Hagg died in 2004. Andersson lived to the ripe old age of 91.
EME NEWS (APR 3, 2009)
Tamgho chooses Golden League over European Champs
PARIS (FRA): French Triple Jump super talent Teddy Tamgho (17.58 improvement this winter) and his coaches (Jean-Hervé Stievenart and Laurence Bily) had to chose between participation in the European U23 Championships (Lithuania) and participation at the Meeting Areva - 4th event in the AF Golden League circuit. One of them could provide him with a new international title for his latest participation in a ‘junior' event, the other an initial, very high level confrontation ‘with the big boys' - in front of over 50,000 spectators.
The decision was made official, Teddy Tamgho will be at the Stade de France on 17th July, to his own great delight as well as that of a public keen to discover this talent. The rest of his programme is in the process of being finalised with the goal beeing the World Championships in August. However the two interclub rounds (Teddy Tamgho is a member of the C.A. Montreuil) on 3rd and 17th May - the European Champion Club Cup on May 31 in Dubnica - as well as the 11th June meeting in Montreuil, have already been confirmed. After the Meeting Areva, he is set to participate in the French Elite Championships and the Monaco Herculis Meeting. Areva Meet organisers are saying in a release.
Wariner at Drake
DES MOINES (USA): Double world champion at 400 m Jeremy Wariner will run the 400 meters at the Drake Relays. He was at the event in 2006 (winner 20.67) and 2007 (second 20.57), but competing at 200 m. Last time he ran here the 400 m was in 2005 when he was beaten by Darold Williamson (45.24 and 45.42). Two-time world champion Perdita Felicien of Canada will return to the Drake Relays for the first time since 2005. The 29-year-old Felicien, from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, is owner of five Drake Relays individual career titles. She was named the outstanding women's performer of the 2002 and 2003 Drake Relays. Felicien won the 100 hurdles at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships and captured a silver medal at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. The Drake Relays, Iowa's premier sporting event, will feature 113 events, including 20 invitationals, scheduled for the 100th running of the track and field extravaganza April 22-25 at Drake Stadium. Informs meet website.
Russian Team with young walkers for Metz
MOSCOW (RUS): Russia announced its team for 8th European Cup Race Walking to be held on May 24 in Metz, France. Olympic winners Olga Kaniskina and Valeriy Borchin are not included because they plan at that time to concentrate on IAAF Challenge events in China, Italy and Poland. The main name in the team will be double Olympic medalist Denis Nizhegorodov at 50 km. Although the squad is young still the aim to finish as number one in the team ranking remains.Women team head-liner will be Vera Sokolova, former world youth and junior champion, who improved in February at Winter Championships to fast 1:25:26. Junior teams are headed by both current world junior champions from last year in Bydgoszcz Tatyana Mineyeva and Stanislav Yemelyanov. The team - Women: Vera Sokolova, Anisya Kirdyapkina (European junior champion 2007), Yelena Shumkina (European junior 2007 silver), Larisa Yemelyanova (European junior champion 1999), junior-girls: Tatyana Mineyeva (World junior champion 2008), Kseniya Trifonova, Tatyana Kalmykova (World youth champion 2007), men – 20 km: Pyotr Trofimov (1:19:02 in February), Andrey Krivov (European junior 2007 silver), Aleksandr Yargunkin (winner in Lugano recently), Aleksandr Konkin, 50 km: Sergey Bakulin (European U23 2007 bronze and winner of winter nationals 35 km), Denis Nizhegorodov, Andrey Ruzavin (World junior champion 2004), Yuriy Andronov (European 2006 bronze winner), junior-boys: Stanislav Yemelyanov (World junior champion 2008), Denis Strelkov (World Cup 2008 junior bronze), Valeriy Filipchuk (17).
VIENNA (AUT): In an unprecedented move in the history of major international city marathons the organisers of the Vienna City Marathon have decided to invite debut runners only to their event. This applies to the men’s and women’s elite fields. The Vienna City Marathon will take place on 19th April. Austria’s biggest and most prestigious road race is expected to attract well over 26,000 runners. Around 7,000 of them will compete in the marathon. “We already had the idea of staging a race with debutants only a year ago. But then we saved it for this year, because the race on 19th April is much more suitable. This is because Günther Weidlinger and Andrea Mayr decided to compete here and run their first marathon, which causes a lot of media interest in Austria,” says Race Director Wolfgang Konrad. But Wolfgang Konrad also stressed that this is a one-time experiment. Next year the Vienna City Marathon will return to normal procedures. And Günther Weidlinger has already been signed for 2010 as well. Austria’s steeple chase record holder Günther Weidlinger will meet another former steeple chaser in Vienna on 19th April: Reuben Kosgei (Kenya), the Olympic Champion from Sydney 2000. Weidlinger had been running in that Olympic final as well and with an eighth place achieved his best ever result at a major global championship then. “It is great to run in a race with Reuben Kosgei again nine years after Sydney. However the Austrian record of 2:12:22, which I want to go for, will hardly be a target for him. But who knows: If he does not get his best day and I feel great I might be able to challenge him. It is great to be up against an Olympic Champion,” says Günther Weidlinger. While Günther Weidlinger will face more tough opposition from Kenya Andrea Mayr will perhaps have a better chance to reach a podium finish in front of a home crowd. The 29 year-old has a successful mountain running background. In 2006 and 2008 she won the World Mountain Running Trophy. One of her strongest opponents will be Kenya’s Esther Muthuku, who has a half marathon best of 1:12:28. Oganisers are informing in a release.
ROTTERDAM (NED): Despite the cancellation of the sick William Kipsang, winner of last year in a course record of 2:05:49, race director Mario Kadiks hopes for a new course record. “With seven runners having under 2:08 we have a top field. For this year the weather seems almost ideal. Wind around 2 meters and 12 degrees. It may be a historic race. We hope for a 2:05, “ Kadiks was quoted. The main candidate for the record could be Kenyan James Kwambai who was second behind Haile Gebrselassie in his Berlin world record race in 2:05:36. Kwambai ran in 2006 as a pacemaker in Rotterdam. ,, I know a large part of the course. That is an advantage,''said the 26-year favorite.
ALA DEI SARDI (ITA): On the slopes of Mount Acuto in the heart of Sardinia in Ala dei Sardi the fresh World CC champion Florence Kiplagat will compete at traditional end of the CC season Trophy Alasport race. Other top names are sixth from junior race Sule Utura of Ethopia and third from Prague Half-Marathon Pasalia Kipkoech. Italian colours will be represented by Elena Romagnolo with Federica Dal Ri. Great race is expected in men section with Kenyans Edwin Soi, Moses Mosop, Matthew Kisorio and Thomas Longosiwa. Among the Italians stands the name of Gabriele De Nardi who returned from Amman as 61st.
NEW YORK (USA): This weekend top road racing action in the United States will be split between the east and west coasts and at different distances. In Washington, D.C., the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run will celebrate its 37th running with a $40,000 prize money purse, five recent race champions and two Olympic medalists. Ridouane Harroufi, who became the first Moroccan to win the Cherry Blossom, will be back to defend his title, and his recent victory at the Azalea Trail Run 10-K in Mobile shows that he's in good form. Last year's NYC Half-Marathon champion Tadese Tola of Ethiopia should be his top challenger, but three-time Cherry Blossom champion John Korir is certainly hoping for another win. Kenyans Kiplimo Kimutai, Silas Sang, Samuel Ndereba and MacDonald Ondara should also contend. The top Americans entered are Jason Lehmkuhle and Jason Hartmann. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya headlines the women's field which competes in a separate all-women's elite race, but she won't be wearing the #1 bib. That goes to Lineth Chepkurui, the race's defending champion who was fourth at last Saturday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Other contenders include Ethiopia's Abebu Gelan, Britain's Kathy Butler, Kenya's Pauline Kiragu Wanguru, and Romania's Lidia Simon, the second Olympic medalist. Some 4200 kilometers away, the 24th Carlsbad 5000 will take place on the same day in Carlsbad, Calif., the home of the 13 fastest men's 5 kilometer road times in history. The men's race is loaded with talent, led by defending champion Terefe Maregu Zewdie of Ethiopia. He's facing an impressive list of challengers from his own nation Abreham Cherkos, Ali Abdosh, Ibrahim Jeilan, and Bekana Daba, all of whom have broken 13:10 for 5000m on the track. The Kenyan team is led by Shedrack Korir (13:09.92 PB) and Haron Lagat (13:36 PB/road). The last American man to win here was Doug Padilla in 1990, and Anthony Famiglitti and Scott Bauhs are hoping to change that. San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury leads the women's field. The reigning USA 1500m champion has run 15:38.42 on the track and 15:54 on the road for 5 km, but her four-flat 1500m speed makes her the fastest closer in the race. Her key challengers will be Ethiopia's Aheza Kiros, Australia's Lara Tamsett, Minnesota's Katie McGregor, and Canada's Malindi Elmore. There are special $5000 bonuses should the top Americans break the existing American records (13:24/14:54). Race Results Weekly informs.
BERLIN (GER): German runner Sabrina Mockenhaupt is one of the favorites of 29th Berlin Half-Marathon planned for this Sunday. Last time a German runner won here was in 2005 with Luminita Zaituc. Course record of Kenyan Edit Masai 1:07:18 from 2006 is of high quality. Also this year the main rivals for Mockenhaupt will be Kenyans Hellen Kimutai, Alice Mogire and Lydia Njeri. The multiple male winner and course record holder Patric Makau (58:56 in 2007) is missing this year because he is debuting at the full distance in Rotterdam. But Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich could follow him with a fast time in Berlin because he ran 58:59 as fourth this year in Ras-Al-Khaimah. Also running former big marathons winners Rodgers Rop and Patrick Ivuti. In total 25 000 runners are expected and some 150 000 spectators.
MILANO (ITA): Another top half-marathon of the weekend is the Milan Classic “Stramilano” which was first time held in 1976. It had its stellar years in the nineties when Paul Tergat clocked 58:51 in 1996 (but remeasurement showed the course was shorter by 49 metres), world record at that time 59:17 in 1998 and last time sub one hour 59:22 in 1999. Also strong group of his countrymen is running – Gilbert Chepkwony who won this year the Eldoret HM in Kenya, Paul Kimaiyo Kimugul and former world junior CC medalist Barnabas Kosgei. Italian runners could also mix the cards as Ottavio Andriani, Daniele Caimmi, Danilo Goffi, Daniele Meucci are competing. On the women side two time past winner and course record holder Hungarian Aniko Kalovics is the favorite (1:08:58 in 2007) with Kenyan Peninah Arusei (third in Paris HM earlier in the year). Bruna Genovese (17th from Beijing Olympic marathon) and Vincenza Sicari (29th in Beijing) will fight for home colours.
NAIROBI (KEN): Reuters writes in an article, that distance running power Kenya wants more protection for young athletes who are going to compete for richer Gulf states amid allegations of mistreatment, a senior Kenyan athletics official said. Kenyan athletes Isaac Kemboi Chelimo, Edwin Chebii Kimurer, Stephen Kamar and Gladys Cherotich Kibiwot were taken to Bahrain last month and represented the Gulf State at the 37th World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan. Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said another five Kenyan athletes representing Bahrain had sought help from AK to retrieve their passports from authorities there, to help them repatriate. The athletes included Saleh Marzooq Bakheet (Simon Mbuthia), Ishaq Isaak Abedeen (Isaack Waweru), Dawood Sultal Khamis (Dominic Kiprono), Majjid Saleh Basheer (Ronald Kipchumba) and Eyad Juma Yaqoob Basheer (Eric Chirchir).
COLOMBO (SRI): The most successful athlete that Sri Lanka has ever produced, 33-year-old sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe became a mother last Tuesday (31). The women’s 200m bronze medal holder from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games gave a birth to a baby boy. Daily News informs.
NAGANO (JPN): The organizing committee of the 11th Nagano Olympics Commemorative Marathon announced the elite athletes for this year's race to be held on Apr. 19. Running Nagano for the third time, 2005 men's winner Isaac Macharia (Kenya) will be back to look for his second Nagano win, while two-time Olympic 10000m gold medalist (1992, 2000) Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia) will lead the women's race. Her PB is 2:23:30. The sub-2:10 runner Michitane Noda is the one of the top home runners entered. Informs Japanrunningnews.
LAWRENCE (USA): US mile record holder Alan Webb, will open his outdoor season at the Kansas Relays on April 18. Running in the Glenn Cunningham Invitational Mile, Webb's goal is to to run the first sub-four minute mile at the Kansas Relays since Paul McMullen accomplished the feat in 1997 (3:59.88), organizers said. Webb, 26, who set the American record of 3:46.91 in Belgium in 2007, has broken four minutes for the mile 18 times during his career in track competition (plus two times on the road). Webb, who is still coached by his high school coach, Scott Raczko, competed indoors this year, capping his season with a second place finish at the USA Indoor Championships in Boston in the 1500m. The former prep star at South Lakes Regional High School in Virginia was hampered by hamstring and Achilles injuries last fall, and used the indoor season to get his racing insticts back. He did not compete in last summer's Beijing Olympics, after finishing fifth in the USA Olympic Trials in the 1500 m. Race Results Weekly is writing.
LAUSANNE (SUI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Guadalajara, Mexico; Nanjing, China; and Poznan, Poland, are all in the running to stage the second summer Youth Games in 2014. Six countries originally expressed interest to the IOC, but Indonesia, Morocco and Turkey have dropped out of the race. The three candidates must submit detailed bid files by September 4. The IOC's ruling Executive Board will select a list of finalists in December, and the full IOC membership will choose the host city at its session in Vancouver before the Winter Olympics open in February 2010. The first Summer Youth Games will be in Singapore in 2010. Informs insidethegames.com.
PARIS (FRA): 1996 Olympic champion Jean Galfione will organize a pole vaulting street event in Paris on July 16, on the eve of the Areva Golden League meet. The event got also a strong backing from Osaka silver medallist Romain Mesnil, who recently made the headlines running naked with his pole through the streets of Paris: “ Not only am I in favor of that kind event, it’s been two years that I’ve been talking about organizing a European pole vault city tour. We discussed about that last winter in Stuttgart with Jean Galfione and Mark Osenberg, the leading agent of German events, who’s set up similar events” Mesnil said. Convinced, Galfione turned to Laurent Bocquillet, the new director of Paris-Saint Denis Golden League meet, who shared his enthusiasm: “This suits with our will to get out of the Stade de France, to radiate beyond the 2-hour meet so that the event comes alive in Paris the days before. Puma will also run speed trials in the streets throughout the week to find the next Usain Bolt, the fastest kid in Paris”, Bocquillet declared. The exact site remains to be determined but the organizers will look for a traditional busy place. So the Eiffel Tower or the City Hall? L’Equipe informs. By the way, Roman Mesnil task to find a new sponsors via his naked running came to a 50 050 E sponsor offer via E-Bay auction. It will continue until April 10.
HALLE (GER): The 35th throwing meet in Halle (May 23-24) announced that olympic and world silver medalist Christina Obergfoll will compete in the javelin. Also other top german throwers are expected to compete, to name discus world champion Franka Dietzsch, Shot Put European Indoor champion Petra Lammert or men European champion Ralf Bartels.
NYMBURK (CZE): Current vice-president Libor Varhanik is the only candidate for the post of president of Czech Athletics Federation. The general assembly held on Saturday will vote for the key posts for next four year term. The current president Karel Pilny who is also EA Treasurer announced already some time ago that he will not run for the function again. Pilny was leading the Czech athletics since the split of the former Czechoslovakia in 1992 and his first main function could be found back in 1983 when he was elected vice-president of that time Czechoslovak athletics federation and in 1990 president of this body. Pilny still plans to help Czech Athletics mainly from the international point of view and plans to continue in his key post within European Athletics. Varhanik is also agent of top Czech Athletes like javelin world record holder Barbora Spotakova, discus world medalist Vera Cechlova or pole vault Osaka silver winner Katerina Badurova.
AUSTIN (USA, Apr 2): Former NCAA Champion and Olympian Trey Hardee began his competitions for the season with a win and near PB in the B Section of the Pole Vault at the Texas Relays. He won the competition with 520, then tried for new PB 531 and just tapped the bar off with his hand on the way down. He will compete in the long jump and Javelin on Friday and the 110 m Hurdles on Saturday. Slovak 2006 World Junior medallist Marcel Lomnicky won the hammer with 71.70. Last year NCAA bronze winner Bettie Wade won the heptathlon (5635) and French Camille Vandendriessche of Abilene Christian was the best in decathlon (7531 points).
KINGSTON (JAM, Apr 2): Second day of Jamaican Boys and Girls Championships had heats at 100 m at center stage, but the head-wind did not allow fast times. Seidatta Palmer was the fastest in girls U17 heats clocking 12.13 (-1.5). In boys sections Deshawn Jackson achieved 11.44 (-1.6) in U14 category, Julian Forte 11.17 (-3.3) in U17 and Dexter Lee with Nickel Ashmeade 10.94 in U19 section.
STOCKHOLM (SWE): At age of 91 died on Thursday one of the greatest 1500 m runners Sweden´s Arne Andersson. During Second World War in his duels with Gunder Hagg he achieved four world records. One at 1500 m (3:45.0 on Aug 17, 1943 in Goteborg) and three at one mile (4:06.2 on July 10, 1942 in Stockholm, 4:02.6 on July 1, 1943 in Goteborg and 4:01.6 on July 18, 1944 in Malmo). Arne Andersson had during the 1940's fantastic and unforgettable duels with Gunder Hägg, and the two Swedes created a running fever in the country wherever they came. Andersson was often called "The ever number two”. They were also good friends outside the track. They were also both disqualified in 1946 for breaking the amateur rules of that time.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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