Okay sports fans, it is less than one week from WC in Berlin and your favorite blogger gets onto the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt on Wed night, Aug 12, arriving in Berlin on Aug 13. Expect live twitter updates ( so sign up at www.twitter.com/runblogrun)-its free, and analysis of each and every event, plus pictures, video, and rantings. Special thanks to adidas and Saucony for their help with this World Championships coverage.
NON BERLIN NEWS
GAY vs. BOLT SET FOR VAN DAMME
BRUSSELS (BEL): Three weeks after the World championships in Berlin, there will be another clash of the fastest sprinters at the Golden League final in Brussels, Belgium. At the 33rd Belgacom Van Damme Memorial Tyson Gay (USA) and Usain Bolt (Jamaica) will compete against each other on September 4th at the 100 metres. There are also negotiations for a duell at the meeting in Zurich on August 28th one week before. For post Berlin meetings Bolt is already confirmed for Zurich and Shanghai, Gay´s schedule is not known except of Brussels. Nearly 40 000 tickets have been already sold for this years edition of the Belgian meet. New track should be oficially inaugurated on September 2. Another special event will be men´s 4x1500 m relay with world record attack (14:38.8 by West Germany in 1977) with teams of Kenya, USA, Great Britain, Ireland and Australia. For men´s steeple world record holder Saif Saeed Shaheen of Qatar is confirmed. All top Belgian athletes are scheduled to compete and the usual musical ending will be performed this year by Clouseau.
MANCHESTER (GBR): The country‘s tallest and most controversial sculpture which was commissioned to celebrate Manchester‘s hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games has been taken down and put into storage. The last of the ‚B of the Bang‘s‘ 180 spikes on the 184 foot sculpture were removed following a series of problems with its construction, which saw some of the potentially dangerous spikes falling off. Artist Thomas Heatherwick‘s work next to Manchester City‘s Eastlands stadium was named after a phrase used by Linford Christie, the 1992 Olympic 100 metres champion, to describe his speed out of the blocks. Informs insidethegames.com.
LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames.com informs that olympic 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu has been named as the ambassador for a Ł1 million fund-raising campaign aimed at boosting children‘s sporting opportunities ahead of the London 2012 Games. The Londoner joined fellow Olympians at the London Coaching Foundation‘s West End launch of their GO4KIDS2012 campaign. The initiative aims to raise Ł1 million by 2012 and among those who were at the launch alongside Ohuruogu were Natasha Danvers, the Beijing Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist, and Dwain Chambers, the European indoor 60m champion.
ATHENS (GRE): Greek sprinter and former European Champion Ekaterina Thanou has turned down a compromise agreement that would have seen her receive the Olympic gold medal for the 100 metres at Sydney in 2000, it has been reported. HellenicAthletes.com has claimed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were prepared to upgrade Thanou to the gold medal that they stripped from American Marion Jones after she admitted using banned performance-enhancing drugs at the time. In return, the Greek sprinter would acknowledge her guilt and accept full responsibility for her missing a series of out-of-competition drugs tests in the build-up to the 2004 Athens Games. Thanou has refused the offer and her legal team is now preparing a multi-million dollar dollar lawsuit against the IOC.
MUNICH (GER): In an interview with German newspaper TZ pole vaulter Tim Lobinger said that he dreams of clearing 5,80m for the 100th time. Until now he has cleared this height 99 times in the last ten years - something nobody elso has achieved before. After his athletics career, he thinks about working as a fitness trainer or for the German Athletics Federation (DLV) or - more likely - the Bavarian Athletics Federation (BLV). He might also work with the sponsor of his club, Stadtwerke Munich. Tim Lobinger is living in Munich since seven years.
PORTLAND (USA): Writing for the Washington Times website, reporter Steve Nearman says that USA mile record holder, Alan Webb (did no qualify for Berlin), will relocate from Reston, Va., and move to Portland, Ore., and will train with Alberto Salazar‘s group. Nearman reports that Webb‘s longtime coach, Scott Raczko, will still pay some role in coaching Webb. Informs Race Results Weekly.
LONDON (GBR): Pat Butchers´s blog: 1984 And All That! at http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=227.
US 4x100 m WOMEN WORLD LEAD, WLODARCZYK NATIONAL HAMMER RECORD
COTTBUS (GER, Aug 8): The US 4x100m relay (Lauryn Williams, Allyson Felix, Muna Lee and Carmelita Jeter) set the highlight at the ‚Lausitzer meeting‘ in Cottbus on Saturday clocking world leading 41.58 and thus missing the world record only by 0.21. It was the fastest time since 12 years. Only seven teams have ever run faster. B-team (Young, Anderson, Hooker, Ch. Williams) posted also very fast 42.23. The men‘s relay was without triple World champion Tyson Gay who did not run in order to save himself because of his groin problems. But he confirmed: ‚Until the World championships I will be 100% fit. I just did not want to take a risk today.‘ Without Gay the relay with Terrence Trammell, Mike Rodgers, Shawn Crawford and Darvis Patton won in 37,85s. Mike Rodgers crossed the finish line as first in the 100m after 10.14. Another highlight of the meet was Poland‘s Anita Wlodarczyk World lead in the hammer and new polish record 77,20m winning over Betty Heidler from Germany who achieved 73,76m. Her club mate Kathrin Klaas came third with a new PB of 73,75m. Wlodarczyk is now fourth best performer ever. Cuban Omar Cisneros was the winner of the 400m hurdles race (50,00s) in which Thomas Goller from Germany injured himself two steps after the starting block. European javelin champion Steffi Nerius lost the event against Sunette Viljoen from South Africa (63,02m against 62,21m). Christina Obergfoell did not take part in order to concentrate on training. German Ralf Bartels won the shot put with 20,42mm from the first attempt. His compatriote Peter Sack came second with 19,38m. Spain‘s Mario Pestano won the men‘s discus throw with 65,62m. Bjoern Otto was the winner in the pole vault competition clearing 5,65m. Melis Mey from Turkey had the longest jump (6,66m). German Bianca Kappler achieved 6,53m. Russian Irina Gordeyeva cleared 194 in high jump and Australian Petrina Price the same what means new PB for her. US Lopez Lomong won the 1000 m (2:20.98) and Kenyan Collins Kosgei the steeple (8:30.13). Poland´s Sylwia Ejdys was the best in the 800 m in 2:01.91 with US steeple champion Jenny Barringer improving to 2:02.56 as third.
PAPPAS IS BACK: 8569 POINTS
MARBURG (GER, Aug 9): 2003 Decathlon world champion Tom Pappas surprised at Thorpe-Cup in combined events. The 32 years old athlete scored 8569 points, his best in last five years and second best in the world this year. Unfortunately due to injury he was not able to compete at US Trials for Berlin. His marks: 10.84 – 763 – 16.82 – 207 – 49.49 – 14.19 – 51.57 – 505 – 61.70 – 5:00.77. USA won the decathlon match against Germany clearly with 39 462 over 35 297. Second Joe Detmer achieved 7892 and third best home athlete, the world junior champion Jan Felix Knobel (7758). US Liz Roehrig won the heptathlon with 5990 points but in next places Germans Christine Schulz (5974) and Claudia Rath (5941). Germany won here with 17 680 over USA 16 650. Berlin-bound Trey Hardee competed only in pole vault with 485, Jake Arnold tested himself in five events (505 in pole vault).
AMSTERDAM (NED, Aug 8): At Amsterdam Open meet (EAP Category) US Chris Lawson sprinted to solid 10.28 (+2.1) at 100 m. In Australian 400 m hurdles duel Brendan Cole beat faster this season Tristan Thomas (49.83-49.86). New Zealand 200 m record holder Monique Williams won her event with 23.34 (+1.0). Kenyan NCAA stand-out Sally Kipyego won the 1500 m in 4:17.15. Polish steeple champion Tomasz Szymkowiak clocked new stadium record at 3000 m (8:02.53).
NINOVE (BEL, Aug 8): Briton James Ellington posted wind-aided 10.33 (+2.2) win at Rasschaert Memorial meet in Belgium. He clocked legal 10.36 (+0.8) in heats. Former Ukrainian Dmitri Gluschenko who now represents Israel won the 200 m in 20.93 (+0.3). Solid 800 m races by Joseph Moise of Haiti (1:46.61) and Briton Nikki Hamblin who aims to represent New Zealand in 2:02.72. US wins also for Fred Townsend at 110 m hurdles (13.60, +1.1) and Brenda Martinez at 1500 m (4:12.45).
SCHLANDERS (ITA, Aug 7): Italian Giorgio Piantella won the pole vault meeting in Schlanders with 5,53m in front of Toby Stevenson (USA) and Richard Spiegelburg (Germany).
FRIBOURG (SUI, Aug 7): Swiss sprinter Pascal Mancini ran a SB of 10,50 as second, winner Imaad Hallay of France had 10.48. Discus thrower Daniel Schaerer was not satisfied with his 55,39m. Alexander Martinez jumped 16,06m in the triple jump event.
GROSSETO (ITA, Aug 8): Italian long jumper Andrew Howe achieved 7,83 (+0.6) and was not satisfied with his pre-Berlin test, also because he felt pain. He said afterwards that he will not go to Berlin and end his season at this point. He will undergo surgery at the end of August or beginning of September.
TYNISTE (CZE, Aug 9): Roman Sebrle again tested his shape with 14.49 at 110 m hurdles, 15.28 in shot put and 48.18 in discus. Latvian hammer record holder Igors Sokolovs got 78.15 m.
TABOR (CZE, Aug 8): 22 years old Algerian 400 m national record holder Zahra Bouras achieved new 800 m PB 2:02.54. Pole Vaulter Michal Balner improved his outdoor best to 563 but it is too late for Berlin selection (Jan Kudlicka jumped one week ago 562). Also excellent long jumping here. Heptathlete Jana Koresova improved to 665 (+1.1) and Stepan Wagner in men competition to 815 (+1.2).
MADRID (ESP, Aug 8): Italy won the 7th Mediterranean Junior Match with 250 points ahead of Spain (201), France (181), Greece (159), Turkey (142), Algeria (96) and Morroco (49). Spanish world junior record holder Javier Cienfuegos achieved in hammer 77.82 (junior implement) and Italian Elena Vallortigara cleared 185 in high jump.
RHEDE (GER, Aug 9): Kamghe Gaba tested himself at 400 m with 46.07 in a special race during German Junior Championships.
LAHTI (FIN, Aug 5): At Summer Night Meet African record holder Khotso Mokoena leaped to 820 (+1.0) in long jump. In fast 600 m Poland´s Adam Kszczot achieved second best ever by a European with 1:14.55. The best by European is 1:14.41 by Andrea Longo of Italy in Rovereto in 2000. World best by US Johnny Gray is 1:12.81 from 1986 (Santa Monica). Second Latvian Dmitrijs Milkevics was also good (1:15.55).
COPENHAGEN (DEN, Aug 6): Briton Joe Thomas won the main event the men´s 800 at Copenhagen Games with 1:46.36. Russian world indoor medalist Andrey Tereshin cleared 223 in high jump and Colombian Paolo Villar posted solid 13.61 (+0.3) at 110 m hurdles. But the biggest star of the meet was Czech decathlon world record holder Roman Sebrle who tested his shape with 14.57 at 110 m hurdles, 743 in long jump and 15.59 in shot put.
CASTRES (FRA, Aug 5): Fresh European junior record holder Christophe Lemaitre won the 100 m at international meet here with 10.20 (-0.1). But at 200 m he was beaten by David Alerte (20.65-20.73, -1.1). Damiel Dossevi cleared 565 in pole vault. Russian Yulia Rusanova achieved good 2:00.94 to win the 800 m. Solid results in hammer throwing. Slovak record holder Martina Hrasnova won with 71.28 and in men event also Slovak record holder Libor Charfreitag achieved his season best 78.81 but was beaten by Czech Lukas Melich who also improved his 2009 mark to 78.91.
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