Discus Wars: Kanter beats Alekna, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Virgilijus Alekna is large of stature. One can see that when he lines up with his competitors. Alekna and Kanter had an epic battle in Turnov. I did get to meet him a few years ago, I believe at the Nike Pre. He reminded me of the picture I had in my head of Goliath. Tall, with long arms-the perfect discus thrower! The Turnov meet, the Ludvik Danek Memorial, would have been a competition to see!

Kanter beats Alekna, Spotakova opens with 65.96 m

TURNOV (CZE, May 26): 11th Ludvik Danek Memorial Meeting (national permit) saw current olympic winner and world champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia winning over former gold medalist Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania in their first discus clash of the year. Kanter achieved in third round winning 68.90 after series of 67.18-68.24-68.90-68.33-f-66.76. He continues in unbeaten series since Rethymno meet July 2008 and currently his winning streak is at 14 competitions. “I must be satisfied because I was tired after my training in USA recently and also trip to Rabat during the weekend” he was quoted. Alekna was second in his season opener with 67.62 and Hungarian Zoltan Kovago third with also good 65.80. Decathlon world record holder Roman Sebrle tested his shape before Gotzis as 7th (47.09). Czech javelin star Barbora Spotakova started her season with excellent 65.96 what is second best mark of the year. I her series she confirmed very solid early shape after one week no training and preparing for her final exams at the Agricultural University where she finished the studies on Monday. Her series: 64.96-f-65.96-f-65.14-64.83. She also gave the public the unofficial seventh throw which was measured at 66.05. “I was one week having no training at all, just studying. I did not know what to expect, so it is clearly satisfaction with this first meet. From this a longer throw could be expected. I also had a new javelin from Miklos Nemeth for the first time, it was prepared specially for me and it feels very good,” she was quoted. Her next meet is on June 3 in Strasbourg, France against the current world leader Christine Obergfoll of Germany. In other events Vitezslav Vesely achieved in men javelin 78.73 and Antonin Zalsky 19.85 in shot put.

EA Classic Meets series starts on Friday

BEOGRAD (SRB): The series of 15 meetings of European Athletics Classic category will start this Friday with 4th Artur Takac Memorial in Beograd, Serbia. The best event looks to be men´s 100 m with top Britons Simeon Williamson and Craig Pickering competing against US Marcus Brunson and Slovenian record holder Matic Osovnikar. Also in the field should be US Rae Edwards who clocked excellent 10.11 last sunday in Belem, Brazil. In women´s 5000 m local running star Olivera Jevtic will compete against usual solid number of African runners but also British world junior champion Stephanie Twell who would want to improve her PB 15:47.53 dated back to 2007. Canadian olympic finalist Dylan Armstrong is the favorite in shot put. Fresh Norwegian record runner from last weekend Christina Vukicevic (12.87) is the favorite of 100 m hurdles. US hurdler Dexter Faulk who had an impressive indoor season will face into shape coming Briton Andy Turner (13.42 during the weekend). Former Cuban Yamile Aldama who represents now Sudan is competing against French Tereza Nzola Meso Ba in triple jump. US Funmi Jimoh is the top name of long jump with Serbian world junior champion Ivana Spanovic. Another home name to watch is discus thrower Dragana Tomasevic in the field with French Melina Robert-Michon, Russian Oksana Yesipchuk and Ukraine´s Kataryna Karsak. Russian fourth placer from Olympic Games 2004 Natalya Yevdokimova is the name at 1500 m.

Jamal for Hengelo

HENGELO (NED): New high quality addition of the women 800 m in Hengelo next Monday (IAAF Grand Prix FBK Games) is the Bahraini reigning world champion at 1500 m Maryam Jamal. It will be her first competition since beeing 9th at World CC Championships end of March in Amman, Jordan. Her best is 1:57.80 from last year and she will face among others also the current 800 m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya who will also open her season in her best event.

Stockholm Marathon on Saturday

STOCKHOLM (SWE): A record number of 18 736 runners from 71 nations have registered to Saturday's Stockholm Marathon. No more entries were accepted after Dec 1, 2008, half a year in advance of the race. Last year’s winners Willy Korir and Isabellah Andersson are coming back to defend their titles. The Kenyan will be engaged in a new duel with his compatriot Bernard Mutai and Tchad’s national record holder Abdelkerim Abdoulaye. None of them were able to follow Korir the last 12 kilometres during last year’s hot race. Mutai ended second and Abdoulaye faded to fifth, narrowly beaten by Philip Bandawe, winner of the two previous editions of the Stockholm Marathon (2006 and 2007). The Zimbabwean looks for his fourth podium in his fifth consecutive start in Stockholm. A solid contingent of Kenyans challenges the mentioned runners who all have the advantage to have experienced the unusual 2pm start time on the tough two-lap-course that have been exposed to high temperatures the three last years. That shouldn’t bother Paul Kipkemei Kogo who managed to be third on the even harsher course of Athens last autumn. Abraham Keter ended in similar fashion in hilly Madrid one year ago. Keter debuted as a winner in the inaugural Eldoret Kass FM Marathon at the end of 2007. The favourite among the women is also a Kenyan, but soon to be Swedish. Isabellah Andersson has already acquired the most typical of last names in the Nordic country after the wedding to her coach. She conquered five national titles last year, on all kind of surfaces, track, road, gravel and grass. She showed masterful tactics in her first marathon. Isabellah followed the Swedish record holder Lena Gavelin during the first lap of Stockholm Marathon. While all the seasoned marathon runners lost their momentum in the heat, Andersson simply stepped up the pace and went to win by more than six minutes. Gavelin is looking for revenge and is joined by last year’s third placed Lilian Magnusson. The three Swedish girls’ toughest opponent should be Germany’s Claudia Dreher who won in Tokyo last year and has three Cologne Marathon titles as well as the best PB of them all, 2:27.55. Dreher did not finish the Düsseldorf Marathon in the beginning of May. Lidiya Vasilevskaya of Belarus is the only other woman with a PB that’s faster than 2:30. But that dates back to 2002. Vasilevskaya started her career on the track with a solid fifth place at the Indoor World Championships already in 1995. Her last marathon victory was in Ottawa in 2005.

OTHER NEWS

YOKOHAMA (JPN): Yokohama International Women's Marathon is scheduled to inaugurate in 2009. The first edition is scheduled to be held on Nov 15 at 12:10 hrs midday. The course is basically a three 13.2 km loops course which starts at Marine tower and finish in Yamashita park in Yokohama.

MONTREUIL (FRA): South African 2004 olympic medalist at 800 m Mbulaeni Mulaudzi withdrew from Montreuil meet on June 11 due to sickness. He will most probably not compete in June at all. It is pity because he was in great shape in South African season clocking 1:44.81 in March and improving his 1500 m PB to 3:38.55. The 1500m double European champion Mehdi Baala sprained his right ankle Sunday while training in Font-Romeu and also under questionmark for Montreuil 800 m. His coach doesn’t seem to worry about the seriousness of the injury. “It’s a light sprain in the right foot. Baala will slow down his training for one week to 10 days and we will see how it evolves. For now, his debut is still scheduled on June 11 in Montreuil”, French media report.

LONDON (GBR): Latest blog by Pat Butcher is that if you can't run well, write well about running. See at: http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=165.

DESSAU (GER): European indoor champion Dwain Chambers will get another opportunity to compete internationally. After Ponce in Puerto-Rico in May he is entered also at 11th Anhalt meet in Dessau, Germany. The June 2 European Athletics Classic meet is offering him the place in the 100 m race. The event is not member of Euromeetings. Then Chambers has confirmed starts in Montreuil, France on June 11 and Uden, Netherlands on June 27.

BELEM (BRA): Agent Mark Pryor who represents long jump world leader Brittney Reese writes about what happened in the competition in Belem on Sunday. “There was controversy in the 2nd round as the officials re-measured Reese's jump at the request of Maggi's coach who was standing next to the long jump pit. Reese's 2nd rd jump was initially marked at 6.81m but then changed to 6.78m at the coaches urging. After World Express manager protested to the meet officials, the coach was removed from the jumping area but the mark was still recorded as 6.78m. A protest was recorded by World Express to have the original mark recorded.”

KINGSTON (JAM): Going against his tried and tested philosophy of allowing Jamaican athletes to train locally instead of making the trek to American colleges, MVP´s Stephen Francis says athletes who earn overseas scholarships should take them. The MVP Track Club head coach made the startling pronouncement at last Wednesday's Sports Development press launch where the NCB Foundation handed over $6.5 million to MVP and the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA). Writes Jamaica Observer. According to Francis, the common belief that most high school stars will make the transition to becoming world stars and making a lot of money is a misconception.

AZUSA (USA): Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay confirmed as his first meet of the year a triathlon in Toronto on June 11. It is the Festival of excellence meet where also Usain Bolt is running his next 100 m. Clay also said that he will contest US Nationals and so to qualify for World Championships. After Worlds he wants to consider Talence combined events Decastar in September. “I will start training early for next year. I want to train for the world indoors, as I am real close, and there is a possibility for the world indoor record. I want to be fit and ready to attack the outdoor season, and be ready for Gotzis in 2010,” he was quoted about next year.

BERLIN (GER): German Shooting-Star Sebastian Bayer is now confirmed for DKB ISTAF opening of last year of Golden League on June 14. He will compete in Long Jump in his third meet of the year after Hengelo and Bad Langensalza. Good news also from ticket sales, already 40 000 are sold out.


DARMSTADT (GER): Host country Germany announced its selection for World Championships in non-stadium races. The biggest star is the current best marathon runner in the world Irina Mikitenko. She will be joined in women marathon by Sabrina Mockenhaupt, Melanie Kraus, Susanne Hahn and Luminita Zaituc. European champion Ulrike Maisch is a reserve. Men´s team for World Cup is not so strong with Andre Pollmacher, Falk Cierpinski, Martin Beckmann, Stefan Koch and Tobias Sauter. Only two walkers are selected. Sabine Krantz in women 20 km and Andre Hohne who should contest both 20 km and 50 km on the men side.

MOSCOW (RUS): After European Cup Race Walking also Russian walks head coach Aleksey Melnikov announced first confirmed names for Russian walking team in Berlin. He will propose Denis Nizhegorodov and Yuriy Andronov for 50 km, Pyotr Trofimov for 20 km and Anisiya Kirdyapkina with Larisa Yemelyanova for women 20 km. With wild card as world champion will compete the olympic winner Olga Kaniskina. Others will be selected based on Russian Walking Championships in June.

CHANIA (GRE): The Venizelia Meet in Chania (on June 1 as EA Classic Meet) announced other top name. European Champion Yevgeniya Isakova of Russia is scheduled to compete against best home athlete Christina Hantzi-Meag at 400 m hurdles. US LaRon Bennett leads the men entries. These are without European champion Periklis Iakovakis (opened with 50.51 at Army Championships during the weekend) who is due to run at Odlozil Memorial in Praha on June 8.

BERLIN (GER): The World Championships’ Organising Committee BOC announced sanofi-aventis as the next National Supplier of the 12th IAAF World Championships. The international pharmaceuticals company with an important production and research location in Germany will get involved in the Championships with its diabetes prevention programme.

RESULTS

BEDFORD (GBR, May 25): At second day of Inter county championships a breakthrough fro Eilidh Child who won the 400m Hurdles in a PB of 55.52 to put her in contention for the European U23 championships.. Britains best female shot putter, Rebecca Peake improved to 16.55.

BOGOTA (COL, May 24): The triple jump of Johana Trivino at Colombian Championships was legal 14.26 (-2.3). She equalled so her national record from April.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.


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