Who will run against Powell in Reebok NY? by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


The Reebok Grand Prix is loaded with great competitors, a great facility and a knowledgeble and enthusiastic crowd. One of the highlights will be the 100 meters with Asafa Powell. The question is, can Darvis Patton, who is undefeated this year, beat Asafa Powell? We will find out on Saturday!


ROMA (ITA): Members of the Laureus Academy including football legend Sir Bobby Charlton have presented the Queen of pole vault, Russia‘s Yelena Isinbayeva with the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award. The presentation was made in Rome ahead of tonight‘s Champions League Final. Isinbayeva is to open her season on June 14 at first leg of AF Golden League at DKB-ISTAF Meet in Berlin.


TORONTO (USA): When Usain Bolt runs the 100-metre race in Toronto on June 11 he will have his training partners Mario Forsythe and Marvin Anderson, duo of home sprinters Jared Connaughton and Anson Henry with three US sprinters Ivory Williams, 2004 olympic winner Shawn Crawford and 2004 olympic medalist Bernard Williams as oponnents. The University of Toronto announced the full lineup for the event in the Festival of Excellence meet at Varsity Stadium. Others stars at the meet will be US decathlon olympic winner Bryan Clay competing in a triathlon and home stars Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien at 100 m Hurdles.


EUGENE (USA): Prefontaine Classic on June 7 presented another excellent fields in the hurdles events. All three olympic medalists Angelo Taylor, Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson will run the 400 m hurdles against current world leader Isa Phillips of Jamaica. In the women‘s 100 m Hurdles, surprise Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper is joined by bronze medalist and world leader Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada, along with former world medalist Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica and world champions Michelle Perry and Perdita Felicien, another Canadian.


TORINO (ITA): 10th Memorial Primo Nebiolo on June 4 (also European Athletics Premium meeting) announced its highlights. Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles changed his plans and will start his European campaign in Italy and then will follow to Thessaloniki in Greece for June 10 meet. He will face Andrew Turner from Great Britain and national record holder Shamar Sands from the Bahamas. Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius will face Tim Benjamin from Great Britain and Italian Claudio Licciardello in the 400m event. Home Elisa Cusma is the big name in the women‘s 800 m. European Indoor champion Mo Farah from Great Britain will compete in the 3000 m event. The spectators await also the triple jump with olympic medalist Phillips Idowu and Cubans David Giralt with Alexis Copello. Another top Italian athlete Antoinetta di Martino will compete in high jump. Russian Viktoriya Klyugina, Kazakhstan´s Marina Aitova and Canada´s Nicole Forrester should be her main rivals. Olympic medalist Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus is entered in shot put.


NEW YORK (USA): The 100 m field at Reebok New York Grand Prix this Saturday is loaded with talent. There will be two races and it will be interesting who will be seeded into the run with former world record holder Asafa Powell who will compete for first time after his injury from Penn Relays. Will it be his Jamaican olympic gold relay team members Nesta Carter or Michael Frater or world medalist Derrick Atkins of Bahamas or Olympic medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad? In which race will be fresh sub 10 runner Daniel Bailey of Antigua (9.99 in Belem on Sunday) or Doha winner Travis Padgett (10.00 this year) or so far unbeaten Darvis Patton (winner in Kingston and Carson) ? It will be a tough job for the meet director to decide about composistion and lane-draw of this two races. But also something special for the spectators at Icahn Stadium.


RAVENNA (ITA): 2004 Olympic marathon champion Stefano Baldini will try to get his fourth national half-marathon title after 1995, 1998 and 2001. In the women‘s race Bruna Genovese, Deborah Toniolo, Rosaria Console and Fatna Maraoui will fight for the victory.

MONTE CARLO (MON): In the latest list of sanctioned athletes published by IAAF is also the Slovenian long-distance runner Helena Javornik. She was positive at Vienna Half-marathon in March 2008 and is banned for two years after disputes from June 11, 2008 until June 10, 2010.n

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Long time USA Track & Field staff members Jill Geer and Ivan Cropper have taken on new titles and new duties as the National Office continues to undergo reorganization under CEO Doug Logan. Geer has been named Chief Public Affairs Officer, while Cropper becomes Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. The shift combines USATF‘s previously distinct communications and marketing departments under Cropper, while establishing Geer as the chief communications strategist for the organization.

REIMS (FRA): Another competition opportunity for Dwain Chambers comes again from France after Montreuil. The meeting of Reims (July 14) confirmed the invitation for the European Indoor Champion at 60 metrs. Chambers next runs in Dessau, Germany on June 2 where he is entered in both sprints, 100 m and 200 m.

KINGSTON (JAM): Olympic 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams of Jamaica is aiming to run close to or sub-49 seconds to enhance her bid of winning gold at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. Informs Jamaica Gleaner. „Having a personal best, at least running 49.2 or going 48 or somewhere along that line and also to win in Berlin,“ were identified by Williams among her major goals for 2009. „I have to be more aggressive there,“ she explained. „The end part of my race is always strong, so that is not a problem, it‘s just to work on my first part of the race coming up to World Champs,“ continued Williams. Her best from Olympic Games in Beijing is 49.69 and this year so far competed only once at 400 m (3rd in Doha, 51.08). Her next meet is New York Grand Prix on Saturday where she will face not only US medalists Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards, but also her main home rival and world medalist from Osaka Novlene Williams.

AMSTERDAM (NED): Half-marathon world champion Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands hopes for speed recovery after her injury and plans to compete at Dutch 10 000 m championships on June 13-14 in Utrecht. She was for some time suffering from an old injury, a crack in the tendon below the knee. „The tendon is perfect,“ reports Kiplagat‘s husband and agent Pieter Langerhorst for Atletiekunie.nl. On Wednesday she was running without pain and will travel next week to Ireland to see the famous therapist Gerard Hartmann for further treatment.

MOSCOW (RUS): Candidates for Russian Marathon teams at World championships in Berlin are Sergey Rybin, Oleg Kulkov, Mikhail Lemayev and Yuriy Abramov. On the women side Svetlana Zakharova, Alevtina Biktimirova, Yulia Yulamanova, Olga Glok and Lyubov Morgunova. That was confirmed by long distances head coach Aleksey Melnikov for All-Sport. He also said that recent LA Marathon winner Tatyana Petrova and sucesfull debutante in London Lilya Shobukhova are not planning to run the marathon at World Championships. Both want to qualify in other events, Shobukhova at 10 000 m and Petrova in steeple.

BRISBANE (AUS): Australian media are informing that world champion at 400 m hurdles Jana Rawlinson has appointed Craig Hilliard as coach. It is for second time in her career. Five weeks after confirming her separation from husband and coach Chris Rawlinson, the 400m hurdles superstar has officially linked with Hilliard in the lead-up to August‘s track and field world championships in Berlin and beyond. Following a frustrating year on the sidelines with a litany of injuries that forced her to miss the Beijing Olympics, a fully-fit Rawlinson will return to competition at Bydgoszcz, Poland on June 10. European top meets are then planned for July in preparation for World Championships in Berlin. Her main focus still remains gold medal at Olympic Games 2012 in London. Hilliard also coach current best Australian male runner at 400 m hurdles Tristan Thomas.


KUNSHAN (CHN, May 27): In second Asian Grand Prix meet in China (also counting for IAAF World Athletics Tour) home female throwers achieved the best results. Song Aimin registered second best mark of the year in discus 64.40. Gong Lijiao was again over 19 metres in shot put (19.25) and Xie Limei over 14 metres in triple jump (14.13, -0.2). Interestingly Uzbekistan sprinter Guzel Khubbieva clocked the same 11.31 (0.0) at 100 m as in the first leg of the continental series during the weekend. In men events Chinese javelin thrower Qin Qiang improved to 81.48 m and Korean triple jump record holder Kim Deok-Hyung went for first time this year over 17 metres (17.06, -0.1). Osaka worlds finalist Shi Dongpeng also improved his season best to 13.46 (+1.2) in the 110 m hurdles.

ATHENS (GRE, May 27): At 10th Filothei Women Gala (meeting only with women sprint and jumping events) Bulgarian high jumper Venelina Veneva returned from two years doping ban with 189 clearance. It was enough for second place as Kazakh Marina Aitova achieved 193 cm. Olympic finalist and European bronze medalist Anna Pyatykh won the triple jump with good 14.30 ahead of Serbian record holder Biljana Topic (14.21). Pyatykh was also second in long jump (635), beaten by Greek Maria Eleni Kafourou (644). Nikolia Kiriakopoulou improved her best in pole vault to 446 cm as winner.

SAVONA (ITA, May 27): Italian hammer thrower Silvia Salis won at throwing meet here with 69.91. 2007 European Indoor champion in shot put Assunta Legnante achieved 17.88 m.

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