Exxon Bislett: Behind the Scenes, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder


All the global news fit to print, courtesy of Alfons Juck, about the global track & road running season.....


Alistair Cragg, of Ireland, former Razorback, shown here racing the 5,000 meters in adidas Outdoor, ran the 1,500 meters in Bislett. Photo courtesy of Photorun.net.

EME NEWS (JULY 3, 2009)

Bislett Notes

OSLO (NOR, July 3): World junior record in the dream mile 3:49.29 by William Biwott of Kenya (68th world record mark of any category at the stadium) and world leading 49.23 at 400 m for Sanya Richards highlighted the Exxon Mobil Bislett Games after a storm delayed the begin of the main programme. Six athletes won after Berlin also in Oslo (Richards, Isinbayeva, Pitkamäki, Bekele, Cherry, Stewart). Daniel Bailey and Dexter Faulk did not win and Chris Brown and Ariane Friedrich did not come to Oslo from the remaining four Berlin winners.

Weather: Already for many years a top one day meeting (not counting 2005 Worlds in Helsinki) was not so in danger like Bislett Games. Big storm and rain came at around 7.15 pm when the opening ceremonies started and pole vaulters came to 471. Due to strong rain and wind all action was stopped and spectators went out. Fortunately at around 8.10 so nearly after one hour all was ready to continue with the meeting with 400 m women´s race. The only change was that the women steeple was postponed until the last scheduled event.

European View: Four European wins were registered in main events and also four European leading marks of the year. Blanka Vlasic (200) and Yelena Isinbayeva (471, only one succesfull attempt was enough) won their events as did Tero Pitkamäki in javelin (84.63) and the most surprising win for European athlete happened at 800 m where Olympic 2004 gold medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy clocked european leading 1:44.42 to win. Close to winning was also hurdler Andy Turner who lost his lead at 110 m Hurdles only after the last hurdle (was second in 13.44). Norwegian athletics celebrated another national record for Ezinne Okparaebo at 100 m with 11.29. She was fifth overall and also achieved the European leading mark of the year. Remaining two European leads were registered in 5000 m races. Briton Mo Farah with 13:12.28 as 11th and Portugal´s Sara Moreira with 14:58.11 as 15th.

Kaki: The world junior record holder Abubaker Kaki suffered a strong cramp at the 800 m according to his coach and agent Jama Aden. He will undergo some examinations but it does not look too serious. “World Championships in Berlin are not in danger, but we most probably cancel the planned races in next weeks,” said Aden.

Ethiopian running wars: Ethiopia is selecting their teams in long distances based on times. The only assurance are the title defenders and wild card holders Kenenisa Bekele at 10 000 m, Meseret Defar at 5000 m and Tirunesh Dibaba at 10 000 m. As per current times the qualifiers are at 5000 m Ali Abdosh (12:59.56), Kenenisa Bekele (but he is not sure about doubling 13:00.76) and Bekana Daba (13:02.32). Next if Bekele not running is Dejene Gebremeskel (13:03.13). At 10 000 m even three more can run, for the moment Ali Abdosh (27:09.40), Abebe Dinkesa (27:17.49) and Ibrahim Jeylan (27:22.19). In women 5000 m Meselech Melkamu (14:34.17), Ayalew Ymer (14:38.44) and Tirunesh Dibaba (14:40.93). If Tirunesh will not double the next is her sister Ejegayehu Dibaba (14:42.06). At 10 k Melkamu leads the trio with Dibaba with 29:53.80 ahead of Ayalew Yimer (30:11.87) and Aberu Kebede (30:48.26). Defar is only next in order (31:07.34) so would need a faster time if she decides to double.

Tahri European record

METZ (FRA, July 3): French Boubdallah Tahri (30) clocked new european steeple record at Alma Athle Tour French series meet with 8:02.19. Great work was done by pacemakers Elijah Chelimo and Patric Langat of Kenya. Former European record by Simon Vroemen of Netherlands was 8:04.95 from Van Damme Memorial 2005. Kenyan Patrick Terer (third from world junior championships last year) was second (8:13.96 PB) ahead of another Kenyan Bernard Mbugua (8:17.94 PB). "I'm really pleased, it's like in a dream. I always said I want to beat the French record in my city Metz," Tahri was quoted by French media. His coach Jean-Michel Dirringer was pleased with the last lap as he was passing to final 400 m at 6:59. In other events Mahmoud Farah of Djibouti achieved 2:19:49 national record at 1000 m, Isaac Makwala of Botswana 46.06 at 400 m and Ben Meite from Ivory Coast 20.78 (-1.0) at 200 m to complete African victories at the meet. In women events Briton Nikki Hamblin clocked 4:10.59 at 1500 m, Jade Bailey of Barbados clocked 23.22 (+1.0) at 200 m, Bulgarian Venelina Veneva cleared 192 in high jump and Russian Nadezhda Alekhina leaped to 14.14 (-0.2) in triple jump.

Savigne world lead, Robles wins

HAVANNA (CUB, July 3): World leading triple jump by world champion Yargelis Savigne 14.97 (-0.5) was the highlight of the first day of 22nd Central American and Caribbean Athletics Championships. Second Mabel Gay was also good with 14.48 (0.0). World record holder Dayron Robles won easily the 110 m hurdles in windy 13.18 (+2.5, 13.47 -0.6 in heats) ahead of Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados (13.31) and his training-mate Dayron Capetillo (13.39). Series of home Cuban wins overshadowed other participants. In throws Yania Ferrales beat in discus (63.12) the olympic medalist Yarelis Barrios (62.10), Jorge Fernandez was best in men discus (61.79) and Carlos Veliz in shot put (20.10). Yarisley Silva was the best in women pole vault (440) and Anay Tejeda won the 100 m hurdles (12.95, +1.0). Also both 400 m races brought gold medals for the host country. Indira Terrero with 51.64 in women category and improved William Collazo with 44.96 in men´s race. Only short sprints remained for other countries. In close men´s 100 m final Emmanuel Callender of Trinidad (coached by famous Glen Mills) beat Jamaican Lerone Clarke only by 0.003 (10.073-10.076) and for both 10.08 (+0.1) means life-time best. Barbados champion Andrew Hinds was good third in 10.12. Taheshia Harrigan of British Virgin Islands won the women´s 100 m in 11.21 (+0.8). With good scores overnight leaders in decathlon home athletes Yunior Diaz (4354) and Leonel Suarez (4322).

Sdiri 829

PESCARA (ITA, July 4): Excellent event record by French Salim Sdiri 829 (+0.9) in long jump highlighted the last day of athletics at 16th Mediterranean Games in Italy. High quality depth in long jump was confirmed by second Morrocan record holder Yahya Berrabah (823) and third Greek record holder Luis Tsatoumas (820). Another French wins for Sebastien Maillard at 400 m hurdles (49.80) and Melina Robert-Michon in discus (61.17). Home country also celebrated gold medals during the final day. Antoinneta Di Martino cleared 197 in high jump, Elisa Cusma won after 800 m also the 1500 m (4:11.88) and Anna Incerti was the best in half-marathon (1:12:25). Spanish best shot putter Manuel Martinez won his event (20.30) and his team-mates at 4x400 m were also the best (3:06.19). Morrocan Ahmed Baday was the top one in men´s half-marathon (1:04:06).


ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Ethiopian local media are reporting that police have detained 1992 Olympic 5000m silver medallist Fita Bayissa over an alleged murder attempt. The 1991 world 5000m silver medallist reportedly shot his wife Welela Assefa two times on her shoulder at the couple's jointly-owned kindergarten in Alemgena town, 20kms west of Addis Ababa. The police commander has been involved with a highly-publicized row with his wife of 14 years since the beginning of the year. Town police have refused to comment on the case.

BARCELONA (ESP): Spanish athletes will be the stars of the 15th Míting Internacional d´Atletisme Ciutat de Barcelona which will take place on July 25th in the Estadio Lluís Companys (EA Classic). The Míting is only the beginning of a week full of the latest information about athletics in the Catalan capital. Arturo Casado, current Spanish champion, Juan Carlos Higuero, Diego Ruiz, Reyes Estévez and Alvaro Rodríguez, five of the best middle-distance runners at the moment, will fight for a victory in the 1500. Organisers are writing in a release. The ranking’s best athletes will also fight each other in the 5000m race. Jesús España, Alemaheyu Bezabeh, Carles Castillejo, Sergio Sánchez and Ayad Lamdassem have registered for a traditionally fast race which will get close to the 13 minutes (2008: Moses Masai, 12:55.72). Vivancos – Quiñónez over 110m Hurdles, Bermejo – Sancho in the High Jump event, Martín – Blanco in 3000m Steeplechase and Pestano – Casañas in Discus are other four interesting confrontations of Spanish top athletes in the male disciplines. In the female category, two races with Spanish presence attract attention. In the 1500m race, Natalia Rodríguez, world leading over 3000m, will compete against Nuria Fernández (4:04.75 this sprinin Eugene) and in the 3000m Steeplechase race, no one less than Marta Domínguez will run against Rosa Morató. Digna Luz Murillo (200m), Ruth Beitia (High Jump), Manolo Martínez (Shot Put) and Joan Lino (Long Jump) will also attend the meeting.

TOKYO (JPN): Nanae Nagata (formerly Sasaki), who ran in the 1984 Olympic Marathon, died on June 27. She was 53 yers old. In the 1980's she was a teammate of Toshihiko Seko. Informs Ken Nakamura.

ZHUKOVSKIY (RUS): One of the oldest meetings in the Europe the Znamensky brothers Memorial will be staged this Sunday for the 51st time. Again as European Athletics Premium event it will have some excellent fields in Zhukovskiy near Moscow at the Meteor Stadium. Many from foreign athlets stayed in Russia after the Moscow Open meet on Wednesday. For example Portugal´s world indoor champion in long jump Naide Gomes. But this time she will be not competing against Tatyana Lebedeva who is already on her triple jump way and jumping in Madrid and Lausanne. Very interesting the return of world record holder Yulia Pechonkina at 400 m hurdles who missed last year due to health problems. Confirmation of excellent shape could be expected from 800 m runner Mariya Savinova who achieved on Wednesday world leading 1:57.90. Also another European indoor champion Antonina Krivoshapka who started the year on Wednesday with European leading 50.24 at 400 m can prove her fitness. Relay olympic winner Yulia Gushchina is scheduled to run the 200 m against top British sprinters Jeanette Kwakye and Emily Freeman. In high jump another interesting return as olympic medalist Anna Chicherova passed the indoor season and after surgery will start her season in duel with Irina Gordeyeva and best Czech Iva Strakova. In men events Athens champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy will continue in his tough schedule and will compete after Oslo at 800 m. Olympic bronze medalist Andrey Mikhnevich of Belarus is the favorite of shot put. Also other winners from Moscow Open will be there, Bulgarian Momchil Karailiev in triple jump and Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk in Pole vault. All members of 4x400 m bronze team from Beijing will run together (Alekseyev, Dyldin, Kokorin, Frolov) and 2003 World champion Kim Collins is the man to beat at 100 m.

ATLANTA (USA): Sammy Kitwara's road running win streak of four victories this year will be on the line at Saturday´s 40th running of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race which features a huge invited field, including many top Americans who will contest the USA Men's 10-K Championship. Kitwara beat in Den Haag in March Haile Gebrselassie and in the mean-time qualified for Berlin at 10 000 m. Tadese Tola, the Ethiopian who won the Healthy Kidney 10-K in New York's Central Park last May in a course record 27:28, looks to be Kitwara's chief rival at Peachtree. Tola's compatriot and 2008 world junior cross country champion, Ibrahim Jeilan, and Moroccan road specialist Ridouane Harroufi should also contest for the overall title. The top Americans, who will be competing for both an open and USA prize money purse, include Olympians Anthony Famiglietti (27:37.47 PB)and Abdi Abdirahman (27:16.99 PB). The women's race appears to be a close match between Kenyans Lineth Chepkuri and Alice Timbilili and Ethiopians Amane Gobena and Abebu Gelan. Bahrain's Nadia Ejjafini whould also be in the mix. Informs Race Results Weekly.


MARSEILLE (FRA, July 3): British European leader at 100 m Dwain Chambers is continuing in winning ways as he was the fastest at the Friday International meet with 10.17 (+0.7). Later he also won the 200 m in 20.68 (+0.3). Kenyan Joseph Kiplimo achieved 13:23.51 at 5000 m and former world champion Eunice Barber leaped to 643 (0.0) in long jump.

JINAN (CHN, July 3): During first day of Chinese Grand Prix meet excellent men pole vault as national record holder Liu Feiliang and second Yang Yangsheng (PB) cleared both 570, just one cm below the Chinese record. Guo Fan improved at 100 m to 10.33 (+0.3) and 20 years old triple jumper Chen Yufei registered career best 14.10 (+0.5). World and olympic hammer medalist Zhang Wenxiu got 70.03 and Beijing fifth placer Gong Lijiao second best of her career in shot put 19.66.

SLUPSK (POL, July 3): During first day of Polish Junior Championships Martyna Bielawska cleared good 190 in high jump. With that she leads the current European junior lists before the championships in Novi Sad.

SARANSK (RUS, July 2-4): At Russian Junior championships European U19 leader Aleksandr Menkov leaped to 796 in long jump. Aleksey Kochnev won the junior hammer with 76.00, solid also 21.10 200 m win for Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko, Sergey Shubenov went over the junior hurdles in 13.52. Other favorite wins for Sergey Mudrov in high jump (220) and Aleksey Fyodorov 16.36 in triple jump. In girls events Yekaterina Zavyalova posted a good double with 2:02.21 and 4:18.82. Alena Tamkova improved at 200 m to 23.54 and Liliya Zubkova at 400 m to 53.03. Favorite wins in jumping events. Natalya Mamlina 187 in high jump, Yekaterina Kolesova 410 in pole vault and Darya Klishina 655 in long jump.

DONETSK (UKR, July 3): During last day of Ukrainian U23 Championships Natalya Lupu clocked solid 2:00.32 at 800 m and Igor Bodrov won the 200 m in 20.97 (0.0).

SINGAPORE (SIN, July 3): During last day of athletics at 1st Asian Youth Games Japanese Masaki Nashimoto won the 100 m (10.82) and Chinese Li Jun the boys shot put (19.45).

OLTEN (SUI, July 2): Nicole Buchler improved her own Swiss record here to 445. She still has from Jonesboro in May 450 but this marks are considered as indoor results.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News for the global perspective.

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