Tsegaye Kebede Defends Fukuoka Title, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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The Fukuoka Marathon, in its sixty-third incarnation, will feature a very tough field: from Tsegaye Kedede, the defending champion and Beijing and Berlin bronze medalist, to Evans Cheruiyot, the 2008 B of A Chicago Marathon champion.

Former S. I. writer Kenny Moore immortalized Fukuoka in "Consider the Chrysanthemums", comparing Moore's patience, and Frank Shorter's colorful antics in dealing with overseas travel, training, and nerves before racing. For the sixties and seventies, and much of the eighties, Fukuoka International Marathon made the likes of Buddy Edelen, Akio Usami, Derek Clayton, John Farrington, Frank Shorter, Jerome Drayton, Bill Rodgers, Rob de Castella global stars from their victories or high placings. The qualities of the fields were second to none. Reread "Consider the Chrysanthemums" and note Moore's details on the lead pack...that was sports writing.

Fukuoka continues to be a bellwether on the marathon stage, and this year will be no different...

EME NEWS (NOV 19, 2009)

Map of the Fukuoka Marathon course, courtesy of www.fukuoka-marathon.com/en/

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For more on the Fukuoka Marathon, please click on www.fukuoka-marathon.com/en/

KEBEDE RETURNS

FUKUOKA (JPN): One of the last marathons of the year in Fukuoka on December 6 (63rd edition) will have as runners with best PB the Ethiopian bronze medalist from Beijing and Berlin Tsegaye Kebede (2:05:20). He is also title defender and course record holder with 2:06:10 from last year. Last year Chicago winner Evans Cheruiyot (2:06:25) is another headliner. Leading European runners will be Ukrainian record holder Dmytro Baranovsky (2:07:15 in Fukuoka 2006, it is also the fastest by an European in the history of the race) and Russian Oleg Kulkov who improved this year to 2:10:13 in Zurich. In debuts department the interesting name is Kenyan Mekubo Mogusu who lives and trains in Japan and has half best 59:48. Japanese leader is Tsuyoshi Ogata with 2:08:37 PB.


SEMENYA SAGA

MONTE CARLO (MON): World governing body IAAF, the South African Ministry of Sport and Recreation and Caster Semenya’s representatives have been and still are in discussions with a view to resolving the issues surrounding Caster Semenya’s participation in Athletics. The IAAF will not comment upon the medical aspects of Caster Semenya’s case, it said in a press release on Wednesday evening. The medical testing of the athlete is still to be completed. There will be no discussion of Caster Semenya’s case at the forthcoming IAAF Council Meeting to be held in Monaco on 20-21 November 2009. Semenya, 18, enjoyed an unprecedented rise in athletics during 2009. Her best time for 800m entering this year was a solid, but unremarkable, 2:04.23. But in a span of ten months, she brought that time down to a South African record 1:55.45, winning every 800m race she contested but one, including the IAAF World Championships in Berlin which she won by more than two seconds. Writes Race Results Weekly. In another move on Thursday the South Africa’s sports ministry said in a statement it had reached an agreement with track and field’s world governing body to keep the gold medal and prize money Semenya won at the world championships in Berlin. IAAF did not confirm this information. The South African statement also said: “We have agreed with the IAAF that whatever scientific tests were conducted will be treated as a confidential matter between patient and doctor. As such there will be no public announcement of what the panel of scientists has found.” IAAF also in some media informations said it accepted the resignation of former ASA president Leonard Chuene from the IAAF Council. „The sport bodies must be allowed to deal with the rest of the investigations in terms of their own regulations,“ the ministry said, referring to Sascoc‘s inquiry into ASA.


OTHER NEWS

BARCELONA (ESP): 800 m runner Mayte Martínez and shot putter Manolo Martínez, two of Spain’s most famous athletes, will, as many other athletes did before, help promoting the European Athletics Championships Barcelona 2010. Both will be part of the upcoming national promotional campaign, intended to boost the ticket sales during Christmas. The objective of Barcelona 2010 is that athletics fans consider buying B10 tickets in order to surprise their family and friends with this original present. Everybody who buys Barcelona 2010 tickets as a Christmas gift in the shop Wala (Paseo de la Zona ranca 191 in Barcelona) will receive a present box containing promotional material of next year’s European Championships as well as discounts on different cultural visits in Barcelona. Individual tickets for the European Athletics Championships Barcelona 2010 will go on sale on 1 April 2010. Organisers are saying in a release.

SINGAPORE (SIN): Singapore may be one of the world’s smallest countries, as evidenced by the ‘city-state’ designation, but the organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon put on an event which bears comparison with the biggest on the planet. This year’s marathon on Sunday, December 6 also has an elite entry to match the numbers which make this the biggest event in Asia. Writes Pat Butcher. World champion 2007, Luke Kibet of Kenya returns to defend the title he won last year in record time, and he is joined by several illustrious compatriots. Vincent Kipsos, Evans Ruto and David Langat, along with Tanzanian neighbour John Saya have all run under 2.09; while John Kelai, winner in 2004, Leonard Mucheru, and Ethiopian Ashebier Demissie have gone sub-2.10. The women’s race also features the best in-depth entry, with eight sub-2.30 marathoners, headed by Russian Lyubov Murgonova, with a best of 2.25.12. One thing that Singapore will never be is a world record course, for despite being flat and scenic, with a long stretch beside the coast, the temperatures rarely drop below 24C, with high humidity. Hence Kibet’s course record last year, of 2.13.02, and his compatriot Salina Kosgei’s superlative women’s record from 2007, 2.31.55, over two minutes faster than next best, the 2.34.18 that her colleague Edith Masai ran to win last year.

SYDNEY (AUS): Discus world champion Dani Samuels has been voted the Female Athlete of the Year at the 2009 New South Wales Institute of Sport annual dinner at the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney. Writes insidthegames.biz. Samuels, the 2005 world youth champion, capped off a great night for her when she was also awarded the Classic Sportswear Most Memorable Moment for her amazing performance which captured the imagination of the nation.

BERLIN (GER): German Athletics Federation (DLV) annual general assembly will be staged this Saturday in Hotel Berlin, Berlin where the German Team was located during the summer World Championships. Its also an election assembly, Clemens Prokop who is in function since 2001 will stand again for the president position. Some 187 delegates from 20 regional federations will meet to discuss the next four years of German Athletics. For the free vice-president post for top athletics the candidate is former pole vaulter Gunther Lohre.

KINGSTON (JAM): “The world record is definitely way, way ahead of me … For now I just want to keep lowering the American record, my eyes are not set on the world record … I want to get more consistent at 48 seconds, before I even think about breaking into the 47’s,” world champion Sanya Richards was quoted by TrackAlerts.com. Her aim for next season (without indoors) will be to attack her personal bests in 100 m, 200 m and 400 m.

KINGSTON (JAM): Star sprinter Usain Bolt is the Jamaica Gleaner (daily newspaper) 2009 Man of the Year Award for the second year in a row. The accolade comes at the end of a successful season for Bolt, which saw his superstar status cemented around the world. Thus, it came as no surprise to those gathered at the Mona Visitors‘ Lodge on the campus of the University of the West Indies in St Andrew for the annual Gleaner Honour Awards luncheon. Writes Gleaner. „It is always an honour,“ a smartly dressed Bolt told those gathered for the occasion.

ZURICH (SUI): As Swiss media are informing, the city of Zurich is guaranteeing a deficit up to 5 millions of Swiss Francs for the bid to stage the 2014 European Championships. At the same time the City council approved an interest-free loan of 3.3 million francs. The formal decision about the bid is expected next week. European Athletics will decide at its next council meeting early May 2010 about the 2014 full-scale European event. The preliminary dates are August 5-10, 2014. European Athletics plans also an evaluation process for the bidders.

KYIV (UKR): 8709 points decathloner Oleksander Apaychev is confirmed as Ukrainian national head-coach.

GUANGZHOU (CHN): Heinrich Hubbeling points out following Asian countries who did not compete at recent Asian Championships: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Timor Leste and Yemen.

For more on the Fukuoka marathon, please click on http://www.fukuoka-marathon.com/en/

For more on our sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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