Penn, Drake, London, Boston-Your World Athletics Fix for April 25, 2009, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


The lobby of the Tower Hotel in London is full of athletes, agents, managers, and media. Right now, about 5 P.M. local time, the technical meeting is going on, as managers frantically try to find their athletes and their missing water bottles. Word is that two pacing groups tomorrow, one on 2:04, and one on 2:07.30. Wanjiru is obviously a big favorite, but if one speaks to the managers and elite observers, there are other names that come out. Gourmi fro Morocco could be one, I saw him in the lobby today and believe if he can make the big jump, he can be quite dangerous on this course. Less than twenty four hours to go, and it will surely be a superb race on both the men and women's side!


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EME NEWS (APR 25, 2009)


PHILADELPHIA (USA): Hampered a bit of discomfort in his left ankle, former 100 m world record holder Asafa Powell will not represent Jamaica in the 4x100m at the 115th staging of the Penn Relays. Jamaica Observer informs. „He will not be running the relay, we‘re considering still running the 100 metres. He‘s having a little bit of a problem with his ankle when he‘s running on the turn,“ said, Powell‘s agent Paul Doyle in an exclusive interview with Sporting World from Philadelphia. „The way the track is structured here at Penn, every leg runs about half their leg on the turn and half of it on the straight-a-way. It‘s tough for him running on the turn right now... he trained this morning (Friday) and tested it (left ankle) out and it was just a little bit unstable and the way that the track is structured here, even if he was to run his usual anchor leg, the first 40 metres or so of that leg is on the turn,“ Doyle was quoted. Questioned if the same ankle problem kept Powell out of last Saturday‘s UTech Classic, Doyle replied: „I‘m not sure if that was what the issue was last week, but he‘s definitely here and he‘s had a little bit of problem with his ankle.“ Doyle also disclosed that his second (after 10.23 in Melbourne in February) international 100 m of the year will be at Qatar Super Grand Prix in Doha on May 8.


PHILADELPHIA (USA): IAAF writes that double Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown is expected to be fully recovered by the middle of May after suffering what is being described as a “severe inflammation of a toe on her left foot” which has put her out of action for the past five weeks. Claude Bryan, her agent confirmed on Thursday that the 27-year-old was “recovering satisfactorily” and is expected to run later in May but could miss the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston on May 2nd. Earlier in the week, Campbell-Brown had been confirmed to compete at the adidas Track Classic on 16 May in Carson and it is hoped that her injury will not prevent her from taking part.


BOSTON (USA): Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt will attend Sunday ‚Puma Street Meet‘ to find the next fastest runner in the world. He will be joined by Maurice Smith, Chelsea Hammond, Shevon Stoddart and Juliet Campbell. The athletes will encourage runners to compete for the popular title ‚Street Meet Champion‘. The area ‚Puma Street Meet‘ mixed Jamaican carnival atmosphere with the excitement of being able to run on the street and encourage fans to show their talent under the watchful eye of Bolt and other Jamaicans. The first-ever Puma Street Meet in the ICA parking lot (100 Northern Ave, Boston) right next to Puma City. Street Meet takes everything that’s exciting about track and drops it in the middle of a Jamaican street carnival. Good music, good food, a great view, unbelievable weather, and Usain Bolt. Furthermore, those who come to the ‚Puma Street Meet‘ Jamaican food can taste and enjoy the live performance of legendary rock band Status Quo.


NAIROBI (KEN): The Nation writes that the new Boston Marathon champion Salina Kosgei said that Boston Marathon was so close that she was not sure of winning until the very last few metres. “When I saw the tape, I realised that I had some energy to push,” Kosgei said during a reception hosted in her honour by the Kenya Prisons service and attended by the Prisons commissioner Isaiah Ougo. “The race was tough. I had to run a tactical race because Tune is very strong and I had to devise a strategy to win,” she recounted. The duel started after only two kilometres from when it became a cat and mouse game with the two leaders exchanging the lead several times.” She looked simple in a white polo-neck light sweater and ordinary jeans as she pulled an equally simple bag on arrival from Boston on Wednesday night.


LONDON (GBR): Former world marathon majors (WMM) champion Gete Wami has for the last few days to remain a background figure as the expected pre-race candidates for the Flora London Marathon title have grabbed the headlines. Wami has been content to complete her final preparations fully confident that after finishing second and third on the last two occasions, she can finally win the world‘s most competitive marathon. Achilles and tendon injuries forced her to drop out of the Olympic marathon and finish sixth last November in Berlin.Now Wami one of the world‘s greatest ever distance runners over all terrains, is adamant after resting and treatment, she is back at her very best and can fulfil a dream of lifting the London Marathon. Mara Yamauchi with Radcliffe an absentee and both Jo Pavey who would have made her marathon debut and Liz Yelling pregnant, is once again, the best British hope. Irina Mikitenko despite the presence of last summer‘s three Olympic medallists believes she is in great shape to defend her title on Sunday. Mikitenko who missed the Beijing Games through injury where Constantina Dita, Catherine Ndereba and Zhou Chunxiu took the podium placings, still enjoyed an exceptional 2008 season despite that disappointment.

Mikitenko said of her preparations: „I can‘t make an exact comparison with last year but I know my training has gone very well. I‘ve done quite a lot of training in Germany where the snow has not affected me and I‘ve done a little altitude training.“ The World Championships in August in Berlin are top priority and she knows a victory there and if successful this weekend, will place her in a strong position to retain her WMM crown. Olymnpic champion Sammy Wanjiru is planning to eclipse Haile Gebrselassie‘s world record of 2hr 3min 59sec in the men‘s race but fellow Kenyan Martin Lel is determined he can defend his title and become the first man to claim four London victories. Race director Dave Bedford confirmed pacemakers have instructions to set a tempo of 2:04 for the first 20 miles as Wanjiru and others in the lead pack target Haile Gebrselassie‘s seven month old mark of 2:03:59. Writes David Martin.


KINGSTON (JAM): The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has started investigations into the non-participation of several top-billed athletes at the University of Technology (UTech) Track and Field Classic held at the National Stadium last Saturday. Jamaican media are informing. David Miller, executive director of the FTC, said the commission, acting on complaints from the public, has been gathering information on the meet since Wednesday, and could, as early as next month, prepare a report on the findings. It was advertised that athletes such as former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell, Olympic 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams, and Trinidad and Tobago‘s Darrell Brown would have participated, but they did not. Powell‘s coach withdrew him on the day of the meet, Williams was mourning the death of her grandmother, while Brown had not fully recovered from an operation he had after the Beijing Olympics. According to Miller, if the allegations prove to be true this would constitute a breach of the Fair Competitions Act which, upon conviction in court, could result in a maximum fine of $5 million. Hector Wheeler, a member of the Classic‘s organising committee, and head of the Department of Advancement at UTech, said he was aware of the investigations, but at this time could not comment on the matter.

PHILADELPHIA (USA): Former star and doping cheater Marion Jones is again pregnant. She revealed more in Philadelphia recently. She could not bear to have her children visit in prison. The partings, she knew, would be too painful. But even on those nights when she missed her two young sons the most, the jailed track star knew there were some in that Texas women‘s prison who hurt more. „I wish that at certain moments in my career that I really had taken a break and stepped back from the fame, the money, and the success,“ she said, „and thought about the decision I was making. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not do that at pivotal moments in my life and my career.“ Jones (33) and pregnant with her third child, was relaxed and upbeat throughout the session, part of the center‘s Race and Sports Lecture Series. As difficult as her prison experience was, she said, it also was, in an odd way, liberating. That new beginning, she told the audience at Huntsman Hall auditorium, included regrets and a desire to use her experience as a life lesson for others. However, she said it would not result in a book about her ordeal. Philadelphia Media are informing. Jones was speaking during a talk sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania‘s Center for Africana Studies.

MONTREUIL (FRA): The French meeting of Montreuil which is part of national Athle Tour series is another appointment for European Indoor Champion Dwain Chambers, French media are reporting. The event is not member of Euromeetings group of all strongest European one-day meetings which is not inviting athletes who can harm the publicity and reputation of the event. Chambers belongs to such a category of athletes by Euromeetings members. The event will be held on June 11 situated in east part of Paris. Chambers is also scheduled to compete in Uden, Netherlands on June 27.

MINSK (BLR): Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko awarded hammer Olympic winner Oksana Miankova with the special “Belarus Sports Olymp” for 2009. The award is given yearly since 2003 for special achievements and efforts towards the popularization of sports and physical culture.

LONDON (GBR): British media are informing that, the brother of a British Olympic High Jump silver medallist Germaine Mason received a life term this week for the murder of an innocent student caught up in a London gang war. Andre Mason, 16, was told by a judge at the Old Bailey that he would have to serve at least 13 years for his role in the death of Yasin Abdirahman, despite a plea from his brother Germaine, who won silver in the high jump in Beijing last year. The High jumper who is warm-weather training in his native Jamaica, was said to be „shocked and saddened“ both for the victim and killer.

DESSAU (GER) The German Anhalt meet in Dessau (June 2) announced the participation of reigning world champion in discus Franka Dietzsch. “I want to win there and qualify for European Team Championships,” Dietzsch was quoted. The 11th edition of the meeting will be also part of European Athletics Classic series.


EUGENE (USA, Apr 24): Ashton Eaton scored his third career 8000+ after two such results last year. At Oregon Relays he got 8023 points in as usual great sprints and hurdles (10.66-758-11.61-205-47.54-14.08-38.28-455-53.70-4:28.93). Cyrus Hostetler confirmed his solid javelin shape (79.83). Jenny Barringer achieved world leading 4:08.38 at 1500 m and Galen Rupp clocked 28:28.68 at 10 000 m with second Luke Puskedra (still a junior) debuting with excellent 28:34.17.

DES MOINES (USA, Apr 24): At the 100th Drake Relays the best result of Friday programme in warmer weather (11 022 evening and 12 298 afternoon attendance) was new US junior record by Natalie Willer in Pole Vault as she cleared 436 cm. Baylor clocked fast 1:22:01 at 4x200 m with current US collegiate list leader at 200 m Trey Harts as anchor.

PHILADELPHIA (USA, Apr 24): The third biggest Friday attendance (39 501) was registered at 115th Penn Relays. Biggest headlines for best ever 4x1500 m women relay as Tennnessee clocked 17:08.34, the previous mark 17:09.75 of Australia in 2000. Chanelle Price (4:19.5) with Phoebe Wright (4:19.0), Rolanda Bell (4:19.6) and anchor Sarah Bowman (4:10.2) achieved the feat. Texas AM scored their first Penn 4x100 m women win in 43.10 (Carter-Lucas-George-Mayo). In men heats of relays Clemson (39.73), Texas AM (1:22.03) and Florida State (3:05.83 with Belgian Kevin Borlee 45.7 in second leg) achieved the fastest times. Jason Richardson posted good 13.44 (+1.6) in 110 m Hurdles heats. World Youth Champion 2007 William Wynne won the 400 m hurdles in 50.02 (the event was staged at 8.50 am). Jeremy Hicks leaped to outdoor PB in Long Jump (803) and Serbian Milan Jotanovic was the best in Shot Put (19.76).

HAVANA (CUB, Apr 23-24): Triple jump world champion Yargelis Savigne posted world leading 14.70 (-0.8) at ALBA Games in Cuba. Second Mabel Gay had windy 14.52 (+3.0). 23-years old Yarisley Collado improved in discus to great 63.86 m and beat Olympic silver medalist Yarelis Barrios (63.24). Also other Cuban athletes showed impressive shape. Michael Herrera clocked 10.16 (-1.3) to win the 100 m, William Collazo got 45.74 at 400 m and Omar Cisneros 49.49 at 400 m Hurdles. Yeimer Lopez achieved excellent 1:45.00 at 800 m and Dayron Capetillo improved to 13.61 (+0.9) at 110 m Hurdles. In women events Indira Terrero got 51.79 at 400 m and Anay Tejeda impressive 12.98 at 100 m Hurdles against -3.3 wind. Former world champion Zulia Calatayud won the 800 m in 2:05.58.

ADLER (RUS, Apr 24): During second day of Nizamutdinov Memorial of throwers in Adler Olympic silver medalist Mariya Abakumova won the javelin in bad weather with 58.86. She also confirmed her participation at throwing meeting in Halle, Germany on May 23. There she will face all best Germans including Christina Obergfoll and Steffi Nerius.

KLAIPEDA (LTU, Apr 24): National CC champions were crowned Natalija Piliushina at 4 km (13:47) and Tomas Matijosius at 5 km (14:58).

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