Asian Games: China Dominates with 18 Golds, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder



Bai Xue, WC 2009 Berlin Marathon winner, photo by

In August 2009, Bai Xue won the Berlin World Champs marathon in front of a hundred thousand plus fans on the streets of Berlin. Bai Xue followed up her win in Berlin with a very tactical win at the Asian Games 10,000 meters...adding one gold medal to China's medal haul: 18 golds, 19 silvers and 10 bronze at the Asian Games.


GUANGZHOU (CHN, Nov 14): The 18th Asian Championships ended with total Chinese triumph with 18 gold, 19 silver and 10 bronze medals. Second Japan has 12-5-5 and third Iran 2-2-1. In total 21 countries won medals. In the relay wars Japan got three wins and China only one after their women were disqualified already in heats of 4x100 m. Winning Japan clocked 43.93 ahead of Thailand 44.55. In men´s race Japan achieved 39.01 beating China 39.07. Then close call for bronze as Chinese Taipei got 39.57, Thailand 39.57 and India 39.58. In long relays Japanese men were clear winners in 3:04.13. Silver for China (3:06.60) ahead of India (3:06.83) and Saudi Arabia (3:06.95). In women´ s 4x400 m China won in 3:31.08 ahead of India 3:31.62 and Japan 3:31.95. Marathon world champion Bai Xue won the tactical 10 000 m in 34:11.14 and it was her second gold at the distance after 2005. Indian Kavita Raut (34:17.21) was surprisingly able to beat the second Chinese Wang Jiali (34:22.64, she has 32:49 PB) for silver. In the men´s longest track race Arab countries with Kenyan origins dominated. Hasan Mahboob won for Bahrain (28:23.70) over two Qatari runners Nicholas Kemboi (28:25.22) and Abdullah Hassan (28:28.38, he is 2003 and 2007 gold medalist). Iranian Asian discus record holder Ehsan Hadadi did not compete before this season due to injury and won with solid 64.83. It was his third win in a row at the championships. Second place also for Iran as Mohammad Samimi got 64.01. Chinese National Games winner Zheng Xingjuan cleared 193 to win the high jump, Uzbekistan´s Nadezhda Dusanova was second (190). In the men‘s javelin world bronze medalist Yukifumi Maurakami of Japan threw 81.50 in the 4th round to win the gold medal. Wang Qing Bo last attempt of 80.25 (PB) earned him silver medal while Qin Qiang of China could not improve on his opening throw of 80.08 and settled on the bronze medal. Total of 5 championship records were registered during the championship where more than 530 athletes from 38 countries participated. The 19th Asian Championships will be held in July 2011 in Kobe, Japan but next year Guangzhou will host the 16th Asian Games in November.


KINGSTON (JAM): US 400 m world champion Sanya Richards who is one of the five candidates for the title World Athlete of the Year 2009 is looking to lower her personal records next year. She is not planning to compete indoors, but hopes to attack her life-time bests not only in 400 m (48.70), but also at 100 m (10.97) and 200 m (22.17) in summer. Another goal could be the new IAAF Diamond League. „2009 was a dream season, the season I had been awaiting for a very long time. I finally won my first world title and I also won the jackpot, so it was like my best season ever, „ she was quoted by Jamaican media. She plans to attend the World Athletics Gala next weekend.


LJUBLJANA (SLO): Hammer throw world champion Primoz Kozmus and 1500 m European Indoor medalist Sonja Roman (241 points) were voted Slovenian Athletes of the Year 2009. In the poll of Slovenian Athletics Federation (AZS) Kozmus (267 points) won already for fifth time, second was shot put world finalist Miran Vodovnik (159) and third pole vaulter Jure Rovan (25). Best coach of the year is Vladimir Kevo who guided Kozmus preparation. Women second place ended in a tie for triple jump European indoor bronze winner Marija Sestak with javelin world finalist Martina Ratej (both 121). Best in U23 category were 400 m runner Sebastjan Jagarinec and pole vaulter Tina Sutej. Unfortunately the leader Kozmus still insists not to continue with his career and devotes his time to free-time activities, mainly tennis. Gala evening was held in Hotel Mons in Ljubljana and the main presenter was former sprinter Alenka Bikar.


MALMO (SWE): Former triple jump olympic winner Christian Olsson aims to include World Championships in Qatar in March next year into his competition programme. That was confirmed by his coach Yanick Tregaro during a jumps conference in Malmo. After two and a half years of non-competitions he competed three times this summer. His best result was 17.24 m. „He got a little problem with his back after the first competition, then he got bad jumps, as the technique was not working well,“ says Tregaro for Swedish media. Olsson is now fully back in training and plans also to compete at European Athletics Permit meeting in Goteborg on February 2.


MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF announced the launch of the IAAF “Real Winner” anti-doping education programme, and a host of current track and field legends have already lent their support to this new and significant IAAF initiative.The Real Winner programme is a series of 9 interactive videos (including questions and answers) on anti-doping topics and is a fun, informative and interactive method of learning about anti-doping which is free for the entire athletics community. Each video is between 5-10 minutes long and available in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German (with Russian and Arabic coming soon). Mike Powell, Kajsa Bergqvist, Stéphane Diagana, Wilson Kipketer and Dame Kelly Holmes have all recorded video messages for the programme and thrown their support behind the concept.

PARIS (FRA): The 2010 Paris International Marathon has sold out at 40,000 runners. The race is scheduled for Sunday, April 11, in the French capital. „This early end to the registrations shows once again the craze the Paris Marathon provokes,“ said spokesperson Emilie Poucan through a press release.

In terms of finishers, the best measure of race size, Paris ranked #3 in Europe in 2009 after 30,334 runners crossed the finish line, up 5% from last year. That figure put Paris behind only London (35,306 finishers) and Berlin (34,994) on the European Continent. Paris is now ranked #5 in the world in total finishers behind New York (43,475), London, Berlin, and Chicago (33,475). Writes Race Results Weekly.

TOKYO (JPN): Rikuren announced that the Kenyan team at the six-stage International Chiba Ekiden on Nov 23 will include 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon gold medalist Abel Kirui and two-time Olympic silver medalist and world champion Catherine Ndereba. Also in the field are Beijing Olympics women‘s marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita from Romania and Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist Stefano Baldini from Italy. The Chiba Prefectural team will feature former marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita. Each team will include three men and three women. Writes Japanrunningnews.

LOS ANGELES (USA): Sara Morales at spoke to double world champion at 100 m hurdles Michelle Perry. She underwent surgery this year for a previous injury. With that said, Michelle’s smile shined bright as ever as she walked into the room of the interview. She remains so positive and says she’s doing her best to stay healthy. Sounds like basic strategy, but dude it’s hard. Injuries are nothing to sleep on. One wrong injury can really mess you up. Morales compiled three basic rules to help keep njury free in the next year. They are Silence is Golden. Don’t talk in practice. Then Stretch and the last one Learn your Dance.

MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian multiple national champion at 100 m Joshua Ross (28) announced his retirement from athletics. He clocked his best 10.08 in 2007 and is third fastest ever Australian. After 10 years in the sport the 28-year-old Melbourne-based athlete said it was time to move on to the next phase of his life. He was world semifinalist in 2005 at 100 m and relay finalist at Olympic Games 2004 and World Championships 2005.

KINGSTON (JAM): Top sprint coach Stephen Francis said that the relationship between the Jamaican Government and the nation’s athletes need to be “symbiotic and not parasitic”. Francis, founder/director and head coach of MVP Track & Field Club, the home of Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Melaine Walker, Shericka Williams, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Kaliese Spencer, Anniesha McLaughin and Germaine Mason, urged the government to “give back” to the athletes. Writes He said the government has not invested tangibly but had benefited tremendously from the world’s fascination with the exploits of these Jamaican youths. Francis advocated income tax exemptions for the athletes.

KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica Gleaner writes that World Junior Championships sprint relay gold medallist, Remaldo Rose (21), is said to be working himself back in competitive shape ahead of the 2010 track and field season. He is bronze winner from World Junior Championships 2004 and fourth placer in 2006 at 100 m. His best 10.29 is from 2006. He has not competed competitively in two seasons because of a series of injuries. Coach Glen Mills said Rose has had challenges, but he was hoping that the former Camperdown athlete would have his moment one day. „He is currently training and is in fairly good shape, so we are hoping that this is the breakthrough year for him,“ Mills said.

MADRID (ESP): Steeple world champion Marta Dominguez is Spanish Athlete of the Year and got the Jose Luis Alonso Trophy. It was 18th edition of this media poll, but it is not the official vote of the Spanish Athletics Federation. Results of the official one will be known later. Dominguez won for second time in a row (1598 points), she was followed by walker Jesus Angel Garcia (1345) and middle distance runner Natalia Rodriguez (1342). Top five is completed by high jumper Ruth Beitia (1260) and another female runner Nuria Fernandez (1216).

JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Agencies are reporting that lawyers of 800 m world champion Caster Semenya say the South African teenager was tricked into speaking to a reporter fromThe Guardian. The British newspaper denies the claim and says they were invited to speak to Semenya by her coach. Greg Nott, the managing partner for Dewey & LeBoeuf, issued a statement Saturday saying the quotes were obtained „under false pretenses and in a wrongful and unlawful manner.“ The Guardian rejected the claim in a statement Saturday, saying its reporter Don McRae was invited to speak to Semenya by her coach, Michael Seme. A decision by the IAAF in the case is expected to be announced on Friday after its council meeting.

WARSZAWA (POL): Walking great Robert Korzeniowski is no longer chief of Sports of public television station in Poland TVP. He was replaced by Wlodzimierz Szaranowicz (60) who was commentator on many last Olympic Games and Athletics World and European Championships. Szanarowicz was also famous for his commentary from ski jumping when Adam Malysz was winning.

LONDON (GBR): Former Finnish javelin thrower Esa Utriainen (55) was named UK Athletics Javelin head coach. Recently he has been javelin head coach of the Finland under-18 programme, and helped his country to gold silver and bronze at the 2007 Youth World Championships in Ostrava. Utriainen‘s appointment is the latest in a long line of new National Event Coaches, brought in to work under UKA head coach Charles van Commenee. His best with old model of javelin was 90.94 m in 1979.

SOFIA (BUL): Former European and World junior medalist in High Jump Mirela Demireva will not compete during the indoor season. She underwent a ankle surgery in Rotterdam in August and plans slowly to return to training so that she will be able to jump in summer. Demireva started only with light training and also the summer is not for sure. Her best is 188 from 2007 and she was considered in Bulgaria as successor of famous Stefka Kostadinova who still holds the world record of 209 cm.

ATHENS (GRE): Greek long jump record holder Luis Tsatoumas was positive after his last MRI scan. Because of pain he jumped only 759 in World Championships final what was also his last competition of the year. His therapy continues but he will miss the indoor season. He plans to recover step by step. His main aim remains summer European Championships in Barcelona.


GATESHEAD (GBR, Nov 14): Defending champion Stephanie Twell, on her Scottish debut, demolished the senior women’s field in UK Cross Country season opener. In the first race of the McCain UK Cross Challenge series she won at 8 km with 28:25. Second steeple national champion Helen Clitheroe (28:47) and third Sonia Samuels (29:00). England took the team title. Charlotte Purdue and Johnny Hay won the junior races. Mike Skinner was the overall 9km winner after 28:14 ahead of Tsegei Tewelde (28:18) and Scott Overall (28:34). The British trials for the European Championships will be at the Liverpool Cross Challenge at Sefton Park on November 28.

BIRSK (RUS): European junior champion in high jump Sergey Mudrov achieved at indoor meeting in Birsk 230 cm what is not only his new personal best but also better mark as Russian Junior Indoor record. That is 229 by Ivan Ukhov from 2005. It happened in Bashkortostan Republic, the exact day is not known, but it was in November.

KRAKOW (POL, Nov 11): At 21st Independence 10 km road race 5244 runners were entered. Rafal Wojcik was the best man in 30:27 and half-marathon national champion Agnieszka Gortel won the women race in 34:44 ahead of Anna Jakubczak (34:51).

KAPENGURIA (KEN, Nov 14): World Cross Country Championships sensation Chemtai Rionotukei made a successful start in the cross country season as she won the seventh edition of Tecla Lorupe Kapenguria Peace Run. She clocked 34:51.9 ahead of Ruth Chemisto (34:46.4). Kenneth Kimtai upstaged race veterans Elias Kemboi and David Plimo to win the men’s elite category in 31:53.5. Kemboi, a winner of the event in 2005 and 2007 editions, and David Plimo, who carried the 2003 and 2004 titles, finished returned second and third in 32:07.9 and 32:19.2. 3000 runners participated.

SPRINGFIELD (USA, Nov 14): Chris Derrick won the 10 km CC race at NCAA West Regional meet after 30:39. In women´s 6 km Kendra Schaaf clocked 20:42 to beat clearly young star Jordan Hasay (20:52).

MARTIGNY (SUI, Nov 14): Eritrean Simon Tesfay won the Corrida Octodure in Martigny at 7.75 km with 22:42. Second his country-mate Abraham Tadesse (22:44) and third Ethiopian Tesfaye Eticha (22:46). Nesga Aberash won the women race for Ethopia at 5.4 km (16:29).

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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