Exxon Bislet Games on Friday: Great Fields, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder



Yelena Isinbayeva is one of the nine winners from Berlin who will compete at the Golden League's second event on Friday, July 2, in Oslo, Norway. The Exxon Bislett Games has over 40 world record performances on its intimate track setting. Wonderful summer weather in Scandanavia (or cold in other parts of the world), and stands very close to the track, give the athletes the feeling of an indoor facility, except that it is outdoors! Kenenisa Bekele is expected as well as Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba, which could be a true clash of the titans.

EME NEWS (JUNE 30, 2009)


OSLO (NOR): The first clash of Ethiopian running stars since Olympic Games in Beijing was now confirmed by the organisers of ExxonMobil Bislett Games. Tirunesh Dibaba will run against Meseret Defar at 5000 m this Friday in Oslo. But in the race of the evening also Meselech Melkamu and Vivian Cheruiyot will try to mix the cards. In 2007 Defar clocked in Oslo a great world record 14:16.63 (improvement by 8 seconds) and in 2008 Dibaba took another five seconds to 14:11.15. Their career head to head at 5000 m as per tilastopaja is 12:11 in favor of Defar. But except Beijing race their last meeting clash was back in 2006 at World Athletics Final in Stuttgart where Dibaba won by 0.01. Back in 2003 they even raced together at Bislett, Dibaba was third (14:39.94) and Defar fourth (14:43.46).


ROME (ITA): First big sprint clash of the year in Europe will happen at Golden Gala (part of AF Golden League) meet in Rome on July 10. World champion Tyson Gay will run against former world record holder Jamaican Asafa Powell. Gay so far clocked windy 9.75 and Powell 9.97 at 100 m. The meet record of Powell (2006) and Maurice Greene (1999) 9.85 will be in danger. Also in the field fresh US Champion and winner of GP meets in Eugene and New York Mike Rodgers who improved this year to 9.94. The world is still waiting on the first clash Gay vs. Bolt this year. The head-to-head Powell against Gay at 100 m is per tilastopaja clearly in favor of Powell with 6:1. The only win for Gay over Powell comes from World Championships final in 2007 in Osaka.


MOSCOW (RUS): In its third year the Moscow Open meet gained already European Athletics Premium category. And Luzhniki stadium will witness some excellent lineups during Wednesday evening. For example in men shot put olympic winner Tomasz Majewski will fight against Beijing bronze winner Andrey Mikhnevich of Belarus. Very special also long jump women where olympic 2004 winner Tatyana Lebedeva should debut into the season in duel with current two best Europeans Naide Gomes of Portugal (690 this year) and Russian Olga Kucherenko (685). Fast time could be expected from European indoor champion Anna Alminova at 1500 m in her last race in this period of the season. Afterwards she starts preparation for Russian Championships end of July. World leader at 800 m Ukrainian Yulia Krevsun will meet the young and improved Yelena Kofanova (1:59.09 this year), Ukrainian Tetyana Petlyuk, Russian Svetlana Klyuka and French Elodie Guegan. Reigning European Champion Vanya Stambolova of Bulgaria runs the 400 m against Natalya Nazarova and European indoor champion Antonina Krivoshapka who is to debut into the summer season. In 200 metres olympic relay winners Yulia Gushchina, Yulia Chermoshanskaya are in the race with Anastasiya Kapachinskaya and European indoor champion at 60 m Yevgeniya Polyakova. Yulia Kondakova is the 100 m hurdles favorite and olympic medalist Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus will compete against Romanian Euroindoor medalist Anca Heltne. In other men events great high jumping could be expected with European indoor champion Ivan Ukhov, olympic medalist Yaroslav Rybakov and other top home names like Andrey Tereshin or Aleksandr Shustov. Bulgarian Momchil Karailiev in triple and so far unbeaten Hungarian Krisztian Pars in hammer are the top names in their events. Briton Steve Lewis is entered in Pole Vault against Australian Paul Burgess, Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk and home armada headed by Sergey Kucheryanu. Olympic winner 2004 Yuriy Borzakovskiy is the star of 800 metres (he has tough schedule with Oslo on Friday and Znamensky Memorial on Sunday) and interesting duel at 100 m as 2003 World Champion Kim Collins meets with fastest European junior Ramil Guliyev of Azerbaijan. In men´s steeple best Russian runners, Poland´s champion Tomasz Szymkowiak will run against Kenyans (Patrick Langat, James Kosgei).


OSLO (NOR): Only one AF Golden League jackpot event winner from first leg in Berlin will be missing on Friday at Exxon Mobil Bislett Games in Oslo. German high jumper Ariane Friedrich is giving priority to national championships held during the weekend in Ulm. The remaining nine winners will be there (Bailey, Brown, Bekele, Faulk, Pitkamäki, Stewart, Richards, Cherry, Isinbayeva). The chances are very high for Isinbayeva to win again, in second row also for Kenenisa Bekele at 5000 m, US Dexter Faulk at 110 m hurdles and Jamaican Kerron Stewart at 100 m. Daniel Bailey will face at 100 m Asafa Powell, Tero Pitkamäki in javelin home hero Andreas Thorkildsen, Sanya Richards will meet with Olympic winner Christine Ohuruogu and Jamaican Shericka Williams her beaters from Beijing, Damu Cherry runs the hurdles against top two from Jamaican Championships. At 400 m Bahamian Chris Brown without US opposition could be in good position to repeat his win from ISTAF.


HAVANNA (CUB): The Central American and Caribbean Championships in Athletics will have 500 athletes from 25 countries competing from Friday until Sunday at Estadio Panamericano. The star will be the 110 m hurdles olympic winner and world record holder Dayron Robles. Also other Cuban olympic medalists Yareli Barrios (discus) and Ibrahin Camejo (long jump) will compete. World champion Yargelis Savigne will be the star of triple jump. Interesting clash at 400 m hurdles. Former olympic gold medalist Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic will compete against improved runners Javier Culson (Puerto-Rico), Omar Cisneros (Cuba) and talented Josef Robertson (Jamaica).



LILLE (FRA, June 30): Exciting sprinting duels highlighted the EA Premium Meeting „Lille Metropole“ on Tuesday evening. At 100 m Stephane Buckland of Mauritius clocked 10.15 and came close to his national record 10.13 back from 2001. Briton Craig Pickering was second (10.23) ahead of Brendan Christian of Antigua (10.24). The 13 500 spectators then saw at 200 m a tie between Buckland and Christian as both clocked 20.33 ahead of Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe (20.65). African record holder Gary Kikaya beat at 400 m (45.30) home Leslie Djhone but he was happy with Berlin standard 45.47. Steeplers notched top two places in the 1500 m race. Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabaad achieved 3:36.22 and Boubdallah Tahri 3:36.40. Ladji Doucoure clocked 13.62 (+0.7) at 110 m hurdles and Yohan Diniz world leading 18:38.12 at 5000 m track walking. National record holder Salim Sdiri won the long jump (817), but young Australian Mitchell Watt came close (815). Another home win for shot putter Yves Niare (19.47) and Cindy Billard at 100 m hurdles (12.97, +1.9). Ghana´s Vida Anim was the fastest at 100 m (11.32, +0.5) over Briton Emily Freeman (11.42) who clocked 22.79 at 200 m (+0.7). Russian wins for Viktoriya Klyugina in high jump (195) and Aleksandra Kiryashova (462 PB) in pole vault. Romanian favorite Nicoleta Grasu got the discus (63.04). Latvian olympic medalist Ainars Kovals was the best in javelin (82.47). Ethiopian wins were registered in long distances. Meskerem Assefa improved to 8:46.37 at 3000 m ahead of Sule Utura (8:46.52). In men´s 10 000 m Imana Marga achieved 27:33.87 great PB at 10 000 m.


PESCARA (ITA, June 30): First day of athletics at 16th Mediterranean Games saw olympic medalist Elvan Abeylegesse winning the 10 000 m for Turkey in 31:51.98. New Games record for 2004 olympic gold medalist Italian Ivano Brugnetti at 20 km walk (1:22:33) ahead of his team-mate Giorgio Rubino (1:22:34). Greek Nikolia Kiriakopoulou also scored meet best with new national record 450 in pole vault, second Mariana Zahariadi of Cyprus improved to 445 also national record but also fifth all-time junior in the event. The official world junior record is 448 cm by Silke Spiegelburg in 2005. Another win for Cyprus by female sprinter Eleni Artymata with 23.16 PB (+0.4) at 200 m. More Italian wins for Silvia Salis in hammer (70.39) and Fabrizio Schembri in triple jump (17.09, 0.0). Jackson Quinonez achieved the 110 m hurdles win for Spain after 13.60 (-0.4). Egyptian Amr Seoud won the 200 m in 20.92. 20 years old Fatih Avan registered a surprise javelin win for Turkey with new national record 79.78 m.


BEIJING (CHN): China´s top athlete hurdler Liu Xiang is still not clear when he will start with the competition. Although he was seen by media during a training session in Shanghai, his coach Sun Haipeng said that he is recovering well from his ankle injury but he is not a hundred percent fit for competition.

PORT OF SPAIN (TRI): The government of the Trinidad & Tobago has given green light for the 2009 staging of the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. Writes TrackAlerts.com. The event is scheduled for July 31 – August 2.

MONTE CARLO (MON): The traditional World Youth Masterclass connected with World Youth Championships will take place on 6 July and will include motivational speeches from no fewer than six IAAF Ambassadors, an Anti Doping Workshop and a couple of warm up sessions with some of the sport‘s all-time greatest athletes. IAAF Ambassadors who have responded positively and will pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation include double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes and World and Olympic champion Maria Mutola whose rivalry and friendship over the years has marked the history of the women‘s 800m. World record holder at the same distance, Wilson Kipketer will also be present in Südtirol with World Indoor record holder in the High Jump Kajsa Bergqvist, World Long Jump record holder Mike Powell and European 400m Hurdles record holder Stephane Diagana.

MONTE CARLO (MON): Sprinter Gerald Phiri was cleared by IAAF to compete since June 24 this year for Zambia. Formerly having UK affiliation he improved this year to 10.13 and 20.29.

DARMSTADT (GER): European indoors shot put champion Petra Lammert from Germany has to end her season due to an ellbow injury. At the beginning of August the 25-year-old will have an ellbow surgery. The injury was caused at a training accident in 2008 and has still not healed totally.

MOSCOW (RUS): Russia will send 30 athletes (15 girls and 15 boys) to World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy next week. Gold medal favorite is javelin thrower Valeriy Yordan who improved this year the U17 world best. Also to mention hammer thrower Yevgeniy Korotovskiy, female hurdler Yekaterina Bleskina, high jumper Mariya Kuchina and all walkers.

KINGSTON (JAM): TrackAlerts.com informs that national 400 m gold medalist Ricardo Chambers was involved in a car accident on Sunday night. This was less than 10 hours after he won the title. Chamber‘s car climbed the road divider and crashed his Dodge Charger car into a wall on the opposite side of Old Hope road. Glen Mills, Chambers‘ coach, confirmed the incident and added „He assured me that he is okay, he is at home resting presently“. He is scheduled to compete on Friday at Exxon Mobil Bislett Games in Oslo.

MOSCOW (RUS): Meet director of Russian Winter IAAF Permit indoor meeting Mikhail Butov said he is ready to move the traditional end of January date to a later one and so secure the participation of multiple world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva. She last time competed on Russian soil at World Indoor Championships 2006 in Moscow.

LOS ANGELES (USA): Latest update from agent Karen Locke about Hyleas Fountain. Her diagnosis was a muscle strain. She‘s fine. However, it was unbeknownst to her that she would not be allowed to sign up for the team. It‘s a pity as she was on her way to approaching 7000 points. Hyleas approached to sign up table and was turned away by USATF officials.

LONDON (GBR): Latest blog of Pat Butcher named „Berlin in View“ at http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=199.


EUGENE (USA, June 28): During last day of US junior championships the triple jump stand-out Will Claye achieved windy 17.14 (+2.7, 16.83+1.9), Tavaris Tate clocked 46.04 to win the 400 m.

BRNO (CZE, June 30): Saudi Arabian Hamdan Al-Bishi won the 200 m at international meet here with 21.01 (-0.7).

VALGA (EST, June 30): Kaire Leibak improved her season best in triple jump to 14.20 at national U23 Championships.

For more on the sport of athletics, click on http://www.american-trackandfield.com

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