Track & Field is getting a big kick right now in the ratings. In Germany, during the WC, athletics outdrew European soccer. On the night of the women's high jump, 8.6 million German households tuned into the WC.
In the US, the TV on Versus has been very good, the coverage on Universal NBC, on the web has been amazing and the NBC coverage has been better. The coverage of Zurich this past weekend was very good. The big question that media, meet directors, managers, federation leaders and athletes have to ask themselves is, how do we keept his going?
Usain Bolt, WC 2009, August 2009, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.
BOLT TO RUN AT WAF AND DAEGU
MONTE CARLO (MON): World´s most popular athlete sprinter Usain Bolt added a new start into his competitions. He will compete at IAAF World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki on Sep 13 at 200 m. The World record holder has so far run 200 m this season at three meetings. The National Championships in Kingston (28 June: 20.75, -3.6m/s wind and 20.25, -2.4m/s), in Lausanne at the Super Grand Prix (7 July: 19.59, -0.9), and at the World Championships in Berlin (18 Aug: 20.41, 0.0 and 20.70, -0.2; 19 Aug: 20.08, 0.0; 20 Aug: 19.19, 0.3) which culminated in his dramatic improvement of the World record from 19.30 to 19.19 sec. Writes IAAF. Before WAF he also should run the 200 m at Friday´s Van Damme Memorial in Brussels. Bolt last competed in the World Athletics Final in 2006 when he came third in 20.10sec (-0.1m/s wind) in Stuttgart, Germany, (10 September 2006). Even when not having enough points in this event, he can recieve a wild card, which IAAF can use once in each event. In between also his last meet of the season was confirmed. Bolt will run in Daegu, Korea on Sep 25 the 100 m.
TOP NAMES IN ROVERETO
ROVERETO (ITA): Last this years Area Permit meeting with scoring possibility towards IAAF World Athletics Final will be Tuesday´s jubilee 45th Palio della Quercia meet (EA Premium) in Rovereto. Relay world champion Steve Mullings runs the 100 m as the in Zurich improved Lerone Clarke. Other world champion Aileen Bailey competes in the women 100 m against improving olympic medalist Sherone Simpson who is coming back from injury. Other world medalists for example Godfrey Mokoena of South Africa in long jump, US Terrence Trammell at 110 m hurdles, James Kwalia of Qatar in the 5000 m, Cuban Guillermo Martinez in javelin throw and Russian Mariya Abakumova in women javelin. For home fans the 800 m by Elisa Cusma against strong Ukrainian Tetyana Petlyuk and high jump with Ciotti twins against former world champion Yuri Krimarenko and world indoor medalist Andrey Tereshin. US Golden League meets winner Damu Cherry runs the 100 m hurdles, Russian Tatyana Polnova is the main name for women pole vault. In long jump duel Russian Olga Kucherenko is facing Funmi Jimoh of USA.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgacom Memorial Van Damme is sold out, the organizers are informing. The last event of AF Golden League will see many top stars of the sport competing, three remaining athletes in one million dollar jackpot contest (Richards, Isinbayeva, Bekele), two world record attempts (men 4x1500 m relay and women 2000 m) and the best sprinters. Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell will clash at 100 m and Usain Bolt will run the 200 m.
PARIS (FRA): European record holder Bob Tahri will not run the steeple at Decanation match on September 9 in Charlety Stadium. He will compete at 1500 m because the withdrawal of Yann Kowal. Vincent Zouaoui Dandrieux will run the steeple for the home team.
BREMEN (GER): European indoor long jump champion Sebastian Bayer could be again optimistic while looking into his future. The surgery on his left foot went well end of last week. In Berlin at World Championships he was competing with pain. As planned he will start in october his preparation for next year.
ZURICH (SUI): Steeple world record holder Gulnara Samitova-Galkina did not finish the 1500 m race in Zurich at Weltklasse. As her coach Gennadiy Suvorov explained for All-Sport the reason was her knee injury. “It happened at Golden League in Rome. We tried to heal it until the World Championships, but we did not succeed totally. Now it is time for her to try to get totally healthy and I think she will pass the coming indoor or cross season,”.
FRANKFURT (GER): Hammer world championships silver winner Betty Heidler must change her car number. She had so far 7700 what meant for her the barrier to achieve with hammer. Now that was surpassed in Berlin with 77.12.
MELBOURNE (AUS): World bronze winner in long jump Australian Mitchell Watt ended his season and will no longer compete this summer. That means he will be also a no-show at IAAF World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki.
ZAGREB (CRO): Jamaican world and olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica still plans to continue in her racing after the European season. She will contest 100 m races at Asian meetings in Shanghai and Daegu.
DUBNICA (SVK): The 7th Athletics Bridge in Slovakia planned for this Sunday in Dubnica is having top clash in shot put on the programme. Top two from Berlin will meet in a revenge – Christian Cantwell against Tomasz Majewski. Last year in Dubnica Cantwell won and he is also the meet record holder. Jamaican Steve Mullings and US Mike Rodgers will try to improve the Slovak All-comers record at 100 m (10.07 by Calvin Smith in 1988). In hammer throw Hungarian Krisztian Pars will have the chance for revenge against top two from Berlin Slovenian Primoz Kozmus and Szymon Ziolkowski of Poland. Home star will be Martina Hrasnova, who won bronze in women hammer throw in Berlin.
LAUSANNE (SUI, Aug 29): Marc Schneeberger posted at regional championships fast 20.72 (-1.3) at the 200 m. Pascal Mancini clocked windy 10.49 (+2.3) at 100 m.
Special thanks, as aways, to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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