Runblogrun applauds the race directors of ING New York and BAA Boston marathons for beginning discussions with USATF CEO Doug Logan on hosting the Marathon Trials, as both did in 2008. In my humble opinion, both marathons did great jobs to highlight the races and give an added stature to the best of America's best.
My only beefs with either event had nothing to do with NY or Boston, but the USOC. I hope that Mr. Logan, in his quest to give USATF more visibility and more media attention sees that the promotions of both of these events have amazing media power. The women's press conference after the Women's Trials was one of the most amazing conferences that I have ever seen. From Deenah Kastor to Magdelena Lewy Boulet to Blake Russell, what an amazing group of the sport's ambassadors!
EME NEWS (APR 9-10, 2009)
ROBLES, JELIMO, VLASIC TO OSTRAVA, ZELEZNY BECOMES MEETING DIRECTOR
OSTRAVA (CZE): The best Czech one day meeting the 48th Ostrava Golden Spike (the name of the city is now incorporated into the official name of the meet), which is part of IAAF Grand Prix announced at a press conference its first top three big stars for Wednesday, June 17. Two of them will return into the City Stadium and one will be a newcomer. Croatian High Jump world champion Blanka Vlasic comes already for sixth time (has three wins here in the past) and last year cleared 205 the highest ever in Czech Republic and tried for new world record 210. For Vlasic this will be her fifth meet of the summer and she plans to come from Berlin Golden League beginning 2009 with begin in Doha on May 8. “I really enjoy jumping in Ostrava. The surface is great and I always get a great support from the crowd. For me it feels like I‘m jumping at home, that‘s how relaxed I feel in Ostrava,“ she said via prepared statement. Also returning will be a man who made Ostrava popular all over the world last year. But now he will returns as Olympic winner, the Cuban Dayron Robles who last year clocked 12.87 world record here. For him this should be as last year third meet of the summer. „It‘s with extreme pleasure that i confirm my participation at the Ostrava Golden Spike, the site of my world record race and I hope that all my fans turn out and support me in my attempt to better my last year performance,“ Robles who is back in full training after summer injury was quoted. A rival for Robles will be Czech Torino bronze winner Petr Svoboda who attended the press conference and said that he wants to break 13.10 this season and dreams to be first white sub 13 hurdler. A newcomer in Ostrava will be another olympic winner from Beijing, the 800 m revelation Pamela Jelimo of Kenya. She promised to come to Jarmila Kratochvilova the 800 m world record holder already when they met for first time last November at World Athletics Gala in Monaco. „I want to come to Ostrava to run as fast as possible, hopefully a personal best and who knows about the world record of Jarmila. I must admit there is still a gap of 0.73 between my best and this fabulous record and that is lot on this level,“ Jelimo was quoted. The Kenyan super talent is also in full preparation for summer after she missed her planned short indoor season and will have 1-2 races before Ostrava. Already before the organisers announced that best Czech athlete javelin olympic winner and world record holder Barbora Spotakova will compete and also Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech with aim for a fast steeple time. Another interesting news from the background is that after succesfully debuting in this role at Prague Indoor Meeting, the legendary javelin thrower Jan Zelezny became new meeting director of the Ostrava event. „I always loved competing here, the fans are great and the experience of the organisers is also excellent. My aim would be to support the meet in current situation when the meetings scene is undergoing major changes,“ Zelezny who is also an active coach was saying. Last year the meet registered two world records and the participants won in total 11 gold medals in Beijing (competing were such stars like Usain Bolt, Tirunesh Dibaba or Jeremy Wariner). Good news for the athletics in the city were confirmed by vice-mayor Zdenek Trejbal at the press conference. The standing tribune will be modernised for all-seating stadium with 15 000 capacity after the 2010 edition of the meeting and it will be on time for the 2011 edition also because in July 2011 the European U23 Championships will be held there.
NDEREBA FOR LONDON
BOSTON (USA): 36-year-old long distance runner from Kenya, Catherine Ndereba will not repeat her Four-time Boston Marathon victory this year. “I talked with Boston, I wanted to run there, but they said they didn’t have space for me,” she told Universal Sports. Instead, Ndereba will run in the star-studded London Marathon field, where something more than race director Dave Bedford’s winning personality undoubtedly lured her from her Pennsylvania training base. “I am looking forward to a good race,” the reigning marathon world champion and former world record holder said. “Whether I win doesn’t matter. When you race, you win or you lose. I don’t have to put a lot of pressure on myself. I just thank God I am able to run.”
AUCKLAND (NZL): Valerie Vili and Nick Willis head an initial selection of nine athletes selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Athletics. Vili will be defending her world shot put title won in Osaka in 2007 while Willis has been named for the 800m and 1500m. Vili and Willis were pre-selected in February. Joining these two are Adrian Blincoe 5000m, James Dolphin 200m, Stuart Farquhar javelin throw, Brent Newdick decathlon, Kimberley Smith 5000m and 10,000m, Rebecca Wardell heptathlon and Monique Williams 200m and 400m. A further selection will be made on 25 May of athletes to compete in the marathon and world cup marathon. Team coaches and support staff will also be announced after 25 May. Any further selections will be announced when the final team is confirmed on 27 July. Informs New Zealand federation website.
DES MOINES (USA): Michael Johnson, considered the greatest long sprinter in the history of track and field, and Gwen Torrence, one of America‘s best and most versatile women sprinters of all time, have been named the Drake Relays overall Men‘s and Women‘s Athletes of the Century, as drake.edu informs. All 20 Drake Relays Athletes of the Century will be honored during a gala event which is open to the public on Thursday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Drake Knapp Center. High hurdler Anwar Moore, who was ranked No. 5 in the world last year, will seek his fourth career Drake Relays title in the men‘s invitational 110 hurdles. Moore, 30, will be seeking his third straight crown in the event which also features Richard Phillips from Jamaica who finished seventh in the 2008 Olympics, along with Ryan Wilson and Ty Akins, who were ranked Nos. 8 and 9, respectively, in the U.S. last year. Eric Mitchum, who owns the third fastest time in the world this year at 13.31 seconds at the Florida Relays, also will compete along with Dexter Faulk, who was second in the 60 hurdles at the 2009 U.S. Indoor Championships; Jerome Miller, who won the Texas Relays last Saturday in a personal best 13.39; and Ty Akins who was second in the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The 100th running of the Drake Relays will be April 22-25 at Drake Stadium.
CASTRIES (STL): As Jamaica Gleaner informs, the 38th CARIFTA Games which are starting today at the George Odlum Stadium with a new look and the high-powered Jamaican aggregation poised for yet another table-topping display. The meet will be contested on a new Mondo surface laid in recent weeks. Over 600 athletes and officials from 21 countries are arriving for the meet. The Jamaican team will not include IAAF World Junior and World Youth champion Dexter Lee, who suffered an injury last weekend but his replacement will be the outstanding Nickel Ashmeade, a 200-metre silver medallist at the World Juniors last year and silver and bronze medal winner from the World Youth Championship. The 200-metre World Youth champion Ramone McKenzie is also in the Jamaica squad. One of the more intriguing battles at the meet will be the Boys‘ Under-20 middle-distance clashes between the gifted Trinidadian Gavyn Nero, an eight-time CARIFTA champion and the in-form Jamaican, Kemoy Campbell.
OTTAWA (CAN): After nearly 15 years of service to the organization, Athletics Canada announced that Jean-Guy Ouellette will not put his nomination forward in the upcoming quadrennial election for Chair of the Board of Directors, as runnersweb.com writes. The president of Athletics Canada from 1986 to 1991 and chairman of its board of directors since 2000, Jean-Guy has been instrumental in the success of several major sports events across Canada and has occupied numerous senior positions with various sports organizations, provincially, nationally and internationally. Given the announcement on the deadline for applications, the deadline for application for the Chair position will be extended to 4:00pm EST on Tuesday April 14th. Runnersweb informs.
BELFAST (GBR): Olympic legend Dame Mary Peters is to become the Queen’s representative in her adopted hometown of Belfast. The 69-year-old 1972 Munich Olympics gold medalist in pentathlon will replace the current incumbent Lady Romayne Carswell in the role of Lord Lieutenant of the County Borough of the city.
BOSTON (USA): Boston and New York marathon directors are discussing with Doug Logan, the Chief Executive Officer at USA Track and Field (USATF), about again hosting the trials events for 2012 Olympic Games. Logan said in a phone call that USATF is still in the exploratory phase of picking the next venues and that he plans to meet again with both Mary Wittenberg and Guy Morse while in Boston around the time of the marathon on April 20. USATF hopes to decide on the venues by the end of the summer, about two years out from the first of the two trials if it were held in New York in 2011. USATF secured New York and Boston as the 2008 trials venues in the summer of 2006, a little more than one year prior to the men’s trials race in New York in 2007.
SAO PAULO (BRA): The 17th World Congress of AIMS was held last weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Carlos Moya (Lisbon Half Marathon) was returned unopposed as Vice President. Dave Cundy (Canberra Marathon) and Gordon Rogers (Vancouver International Marathon) were re-elected as Board members. Carlo Capalbo (Prague International Marathon) was elected as a Board member. The vote to determine the venue for the 18th World Congress of AIMS went through three close rounds of voting as first Jungfrau Marathon, then Comrades Marathon and finally Prague Marathon were eliminated to leave the Athens Classic Marathon as the selected hosts. The Congress will take place on 28-30 October 2010 and will coincide with major celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. The 4th annual AIMS Marathon Symposium, held in the town of Marathon, will be scheduled on the final day. The first annual Daegu Int‘l Marathon will take place in on 13 April over the same one-lap course intended for the 2011 IAAF World Championships Marathon. In Europe the fourth edition of the Alexander the Great Marathon will be held in Thessaloniki, in Greece. Informs AIMS website.
BARCELONA (ESP): The huge crane placed by the company Odeco for the dismantling of the scoreboard of the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys has begun its work. The crane has been placed outside the installation, next to the 1500m starting point bend, and it will remain there to carry out its work until the month of June. It is expected that the new scoreboard could be used before the 2008-2009 football league ends (the last day will be on May 31) and of course that it be working for the Míting Ciutat de Barcelona on July 25 as well as for the 2009 Spanish Athletics Championships that will take place the following week. All of work should be finished by July 3-10 in order to be used, as the scoreboard, during the two test events of the European Athletics Championships Barcelona 2010 that are organised for this summer in Montjüic.
TALLINN (EST): New data for Estonian premier one day meeting in Tallinn (EA Premium) is August 25, 2009. Initially it was supposed to be on June 3 but then the organising club Audentes cancelled its involvment. New name of the event is BIGBANK Tallinn 2009 and new meet direktor Mati Lilliallik. Athletes coordinator will be as always agent Aivar Karotamm.
DAKAR (SEN): The International Athletics Meeting of Dakar will allow the High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) of Dakar to have an idea about the beginning of its preparation which was punctuated by practice in Morocco and in Southern Africa, announced his manager in an exclusive interview with APS. „As usual, it will be a very important event, a major test for the athletes of the centre „, explained Raphael Agopomé at about ten days of the demonstration envisaged on April 18th 2009. The international meeting of Dakar, which became Grand prix IAAF in 2006, is one of the first big athletics events. For athletes of the HPTC who will perform in their home country, it will be a wished opportunity to rank among the best but also to have an idea about the first half of the preparation „ and improvement to be brought „, explained Raphael Agopomé. “If the majority of athletes have been to Salé (Rabat) from March 20th to April 3rd, Ndiss Kaba Badji, the Senegalese specialist of horizontal jump, went to Southern Africa”, added his manager who lays much hope on him for this year’s world championships. The HPTC Dakar will be able to count on Kadiatou Camara from Mali (100 and 200m), Nagmeldin Ali Abubakr from Sudan(400m), Amantle Montsho from Botswana (400m), Ibrahima Mai“ga from Mali 400m hurdles during this meeting which exceptionally this year was relocated at Iba Mar Diop stadium.
MOSCOW (RUS): On Friday April 10 the two years ban of Discus European Champion Darya Pischalnikova expires. But that does not mean she can now compete. Because that is the ban of Russian Athletics Federation which is challenged by IAAF and will be decided by CAS. “I m in regular training, but I do not know what is my exact situation,” said Pishchalnikova for All-Sport from Adler where is she having a training camp. For example in one week a throwing competition will be held in Adler. But she will not be able to compete because the case is not finalized and IAAF is seeking a ban starting from August 2008 and also to be increased for four years in cases of all other athletes involved here (like runners Yelena Sobolova and Yulia Fomenko).
WESTWOOD (USA, Apr 9): Olympic trials hammer winner Jessica Cosby achieved in last throw the same mark of 70.54 at Johnson/JJK Invitational as last weekend at UCLA Invitational.
ZHAOQING (CHN, Apr 10): Olympic marathon bronze winner Zhou Chunxiu was third during National Grand Prix meet here as tilastopaja reports. She clocked 16:10.62 at 5000 m behind this years CC champion Jia Chaofeng (15:56.64) and Zhu Yingying (16:07.28). Interesting personal bests in 100 m heats – Guo Fan with 10.34 (+1.3) and Su Bingtian 10.36 (+1.9).
ST. GEORGES (GRN): Interesting addition from last weekend. World junior and youth silver winner at 400 m Kirani James (still 16 years old) improved to hand-timed 45.3 national junior record. His automatic PB is 45.70 from last year beeing second in Bydgoszcz. The Grenada athlete is now the top favorite for World Youth Championships in July in Italy. The best ever for 16-years old is 45.14 by US Obea Moore in 1995.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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