Global Updates: Ritz and Hudson part, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Dathan Ritzenhein, two time Olympian, and Brad Hudson, his coach and former prep phenom are no longer working together. We wish them both best wishes and realize that as coach and athlete relationships are part art and science, things change.


METZ (FRA): This Sunday´s 8th European Cup Race Walking is expecting strong competition and many fulfilled standards for World Championships. Russia despite sending new and young names is the favorite. Mainly in both junior races as both reigning world junior champions from Bydgoszcz 2008 Stanislav Yemelyanov and Tatyana Mineyeva will compete. World record holder at 50 km Denis Nizhegorodov is the clear favorite of his event also because the world leader and home star Yohan Diniz of France competes in shorter 20 km. Nizhegorodov is also Beijing bronze medalist and so will be the only Olympic medal winner from last year who will compete in Metz. Strong opposition to Russians at 50 km (also Sergey Kirdyapkin with 3:38:08) will be the Spanish squad with veteran former world champion Jesus Angel Garcia and 6th from Osaka 2007 Mikel Odriozola. In men´s 20 km race Russia is having three internationally new names (Ruzavin, Trofimov, Yargunkin) and that means that Italy with 2004 Olympic winner and Beijing fourth placer Ivano Brugnetti along with 5th from Osaka Giorgio Rubino can fight for the team contest. Spain will have 2005 world medalist Juan Manuel Molina and Ireland the top ten placer from Osaka and Beijing Robert Heffernan. Ready for surprise is this year improved Slovak Matej Toth. In the women 20 km five walkers from Olympic top ten will race. Spanish Maria Vasco and Beatriz Pascual were fifth and sixth, Ireland´s Olivia Loughanen seventh and Portugal´s Ana Cabecinha and Vera Santos 8th and 9th. That means Spain and Portugal can attack Russia with Anisya Kirdyapkina, Yelena Shimkina, Vera Sokolova and Larisa Yemelyanova (all having bests under 1:26). Strong individuals from Germany (Sabine Krantz) and Romania (Claudia Stef) can also mix the cards.


RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Olympic long jumper winner Irving Saladino was on Sunday at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro but due to slight injury he did not compete as a precaution. The decision was made in last moment. His season debut is so postponed for FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands on June 1. For the Dutch meet also the junior talent Jamal Bowen (18) is heading, he improved last year the junior Panama marks of Saladino to 797 cm.


MOSCOW (RUS): Jumping world and Olympic medalist Tatyana Lebedeva plans her opening meet of the season on July 1 at Moscow Open European Athletics Premium Meeting. She is explaining the delay with her other functions at the Academy for Diplomacy where she is studying and as member of regional Duma of Volgograd. She hopes the negotiations with organisers of Moscow Open meet will be succesfull. Her first international outings should be in Lausanne on July 7 and Athens on July 13. “I m still not decided, I have the wild card for long jump as reigning world champion, but maybe I will try to compete in Berlin in both jumps. But I need some more time and training first. Then I will see after some weeks, all be will clear,” she was quoted by All-Sport.

MANCHESTER (GBR): IAAF informs that its President Lamine Diack announced the opening of “The World Keeps Running”, a new online initiative of the IAAF which has been created and designed in line with the Athletics’ World Plan with the aim of increasing the participation of youngsters, seniors and veteran athletes in our sport. President Diack headed an IAAF Delegation to the launch in Manchester which also included IAAF Senior Vice President Sergey Bubka who is in charge of the “Participation Team” within the Athletics’ World Plan. “Our goal is to provide all people with the greatest opportunities to participate in Athletics,” said World Pole Vault record holder Bubka. “Through our athletics heroes we are aiming at extending the focus of the sport to include health and fitness.” World Marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie, who won the Great Manchester Run 10km elite race this Sunday morning, was also on hand to support the sport’s world governing body’s initiative. ‚The World Keeps Running‘ can be accessed via the following link:

KHARTOUM (SUD): Sudan is now having excellent duo of 800 m runners. World Indoor champion Abubaker Kaki already achieved world leading mark in Doha recently (1:43.09). His training-mate Ahmed Ismail plans a later season begin. Kaki runs again this Saturday at Rabat Area Permit Meeting in Morroco. Ismail will open at Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on June 7 and continue to Golden Spike in Ostrava on June 12.

JERUSALEM (ISR): Ukranian sprinter Dmytro Hlushchenko immigrated and got an Israeli citizenship last month. He could be a strong force for the national squad for European Team Championships with his best times 10.25 and 20.75 at 100 m and 200 m. Israel competes in third league of the new championships in Sarajevo.

SOFIA (BUL): Veteran Bulgarian high jumper Venelina Veneva plans to compete this summer after her two years doping ban at age of 34. The European Championships silver medalist underwent four mandatory doping controls before beeing cleared to compete. The penalty expired on April 4 and doping tests also brought negative results. Veneva will now work with new agent Georgi Pavlov of Bulgaria.

RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Olympic hammer finalist Dilshod Nazarov of Tadjikistan who was recently second at Rio de Janeiro meet is interestingly also president of national athletics federation.

PARIS (FRA): L‘Equipe writes that the Mediterranean Games LOC has decided to to cut some events (including in athletics) due to small participation. They then list combined events, men‘s pole vault and women‘s walks. The Mediterranean Games are planned this summer for Pescara, Italy.

NEW YORK (USA): Coach Brad Hudson and distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein have parted ways after four quality years together, reports.

GOTZIS (AUT): As in past years strong contingent of Russian multi-eventers is heading for Hypo Meeting in Gotzis during last May weekend. The team leader will be Olympic bronze medalist Tatyana Chernova who is also title defender. Also coming are Olga Kurban and Marina Goncharova. For decathlon European bronze winner from Goteborg Aleksey Drozdov will be there along with Arkadiy Vasilyev who won bronze at European U23 Championships in 2007. Best Ukrainian male decathlete Oleksiy Kasaynov is coming too, he was silver winner in March in Torino at European Indoor Championships and was seventh in Beijing.


PARIS (FRA, May 16-17): Some interesting marks during French Interclub weekend. On Saturday, in Tours, woman hammer thrower Amelie Perrin achieved 66.34, with a mark near 30m better than her closest rival. On Sunday, in Versailles, her male counterpart Nicolas Figere posted 74.38 while Frederic Pouzy achieved 74.85 in Montreuil, host of the elite competition, with all his six rounds above 70m. In the 100m, 200m World Junior Champion Christophe Lemaître who is still a junior ran 10.31 (-0.4), just 0.05 off his PB. In horizontal jumps, the wind was a bit too strong, but Salim Sdiri jumped 8.10 (+2.4 and 7.98 +0.8) and triple jumper star of last winter Teddy Tamgho landed at 16.80 (+2.2, 16.60 +0.8). Pole vaulter Vincent Favretto cleared 5.50 in Vénissieux and French record holder Yves Niaré won the shot put in Versailles with 19.97. Ronald Pognon sprinted 10.43 (-0.2) in Antony and European champion Yohan Diniz clocked in Reims 18:35.10 at 5000 m walk.

TENDO (JPN, May 16-17): Naoki Tsukahara confirmed his current excellent shape with 10.15 at 100 m (+1.5) during East Japan Corporate team championships. World leader Josephat Ndambiri clocked another excellent 10 000 m 26:58.40 his third at high level within three weeks. Second Gideon Ngatuny got also impressive 27:01.83. Ethiopian Yakob Jarso achieved 13:19.20 at 5000 m to beat Ngatuny on the other day (13:19.41). Philes Ongori of Kenya won two events (1500 m in 4:15.08 and 5000 m in 15:12.15). National junior record for Asuka Terada at 100 m Hurdles (13.29, +1.6) and two 5000 m walk national marks for Akihiro Sugimoto in men race (18:56.70) and Mayumi Kawasaki in women (20:49.70).

GIFU (JPN, May 16): In Chubu district Corporate event also fast 10 000 m for Kenyans. John Thuo achieved 27:42.05 and Martin Mathathi 27:42.06 in close duel.

AMAGASAKI (JPN, May 15-16): National record holder Kayoko Fukushi registered a long distance double at Kansai Corporate competition with 15:37.25 and 33:13.83.


COLUMBUS: Adam Harris achieved a sprint double 10.29 (+1.4) and 20.78 (+3.3) at Big 10 meet. New meet and stadium record fro Nicole Bush at 3000 m steeple 9:41.87.

EUGENE: Fast 100 m races at Pac 10 Championships. Charonda Williams again improved after heats to 11.14 (+1.4) in the finals. Huge improvement for US Ahmad Rashad in men´s 100 m with 10.13 (+1.4) and he also won the 200 m in 20.82 (+1.9). Good 48.94 for Jeshua Anderson at 400 m Hurdles. In the flat races Jordan Boase clocked 45.64 and Keshia Baker PB 51.74. Still 19-years old Oscar Spurlock clocked career best at 110 m Hurdles 13.56 (+1.3). Interesting improvement for Swiss discus thrower Daniel Schaerer who registered 63.55 m.

LUBBOCK: Gil Roberts headlined the final day of Big 12 Conference Championships as he improved to great 44.86 (also a stadium record) at 400 m. Destinee Hooker won the high jump with excellent 195 clearance in first attempt and then tried new college record of 201 three times. Excellent 4x100 m winning times for Texas AM 42.97 in women race and 38.86 in men race. Baylor got its expected men 4x400 m title in 3:04.93. Sprints were hampered by negative winds as Alexandria Anderson won the 100 m in 11.25 (-0.9) beating Porscha Lucas (11.31). Lucas then won the 200 m in 22.92 (-1.5) 0.01 ahead of Tiffany Townsend (22.93). Zambian Gerald Phiri scored a double with 10.35 (-2.0) and 20.72 (-1.6). In close 400 m female final Jessica Beard beat Leslie Cole by 0.003 (51.525 and 51.528). NCAA Champion and US record holder Jenny Barringer won her steeple event in 9:58.14. Junior talent German Fernandez posted 3:42.80 to win the 1500 m and another junior Will Claye (still 17) achieved new US junior record 16.94 (+2.0) and had also windy 17.01 (+3.2) in triple jump.

GAINESVILLE: Second fastest 100 m of the year on the track for Trindon Holliday who clocked 10.01 (+1.1) personal best to win the SEC finals. Also other three achieved great life-time bests Jeremy Hall 10.08 (he also won the 200 m in 20.51, -1.1), junior Marcus Rowland 10.13 and Terrell Wilks 10.15. Another great event the 400 m Hurdles as Johnny Dutch second fastest of the year 48.58 ahead of Justin Gaymon (48.86). Another fast times were recorded at 400 m when Calvin Smith achieved PB 44.96 with close second Dwight Mullings of Jamaica another PB 44.98. Jason Richardson was a clear 110 m Hurdles winner with fast 13.29 (+1.2). As expected 4x100 m brought sub 39 marks for Florida (38.74) and LSU (38.86). Katie Stripling improved to 440 to win women pole vault and Meriam Kevhkishvili of Georgia achieved shot put personal best 18.05 m.


SAN FRANCISCO (USA, May 17): Kenyan Sammy Kitwara who beat Haile Gebrselassie in March at Haag Half-marathon won the ING Bay to Breakers 12 km race in new course record 33:31. Association of road races statisticians ARRS recognizes as world best the 33:46 of Simon Kigen from Portland in 1985. That would mean Kitwara´s time is the best ever at the distance. 19-years old Ethiopian Tilahun Regassa was second (34:15) ahead of John Yuda of Tanzania (34:23). For Kitware the final prize purse is 40 000 USD. Ethiopian women winner was Teyba Erkesso in 38:29 beating Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya (38:35) and US olympic marathon medalist 2004 Deena Kastor (39:04). Erkesso missed the course record of Asmae Leghzaoui of Morroco only by 7 seconds (38:22 in 2005).

ST. MALO (FRA, May 17): Cannes marathon winner Jacob Kitur won the Mont Saint Michel Marathon in 2:15:12 ahead of French Ahmed Ezzobayry (2:17:36). Russian Yelena Kozhevnikova was best woman with 2:47:46.

BARDEJOVSKE KUPELE (SVK, May 17): Tanzanian winner at 13th annual of the road race in eastern part of Slovakia. Ezekiel Ngimba clocked 36:55 at 13 km. Poland´s Dorota Ustianowska won the women race in 44:21 ahead of Czech champion Petra Kaminkova (44:45).

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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