Usain Bolt Asks for Support of Haiti, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Usain Bolt calls for support of the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti, which has left thousands dead, and safe water and food difficult. The US State Department has a safe donation process where one texts Haiti (check CNN.com web site), $3million donated overnight. Keep the families and people in Haiti in your thoughts and prayers and make a donation, if you can.

Tyson Gay had great experience as CES show, where he represented adidas and Sennheiser electronics! And this weekend, Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, where RBR.com will be for the Running Network National Meetings! Watch our coverage on runblogrun.com and www.runningnetwork.com!

BOLT CALLS FOR SUPPORT

KINGSTON (JAM): World and Olympics sprint double champion, Usain Bolt, has called on his Caribbean neighbors to lend their support to Haiti during this time of disaster. Thousands of people are feared dead after the largest earthquake to hit the Caribbean in the last 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, toppling buildings and burying residents under rubble. Writes TrackAlerts.com. “I would like to add my own word of sympathy for the people of Haiti who just suffered a catastrophe of an earthquake on Tuesday, January 12. Any loss of life is devastating and I am concerned of the reported loss that is facing my Caribbean neighbor at this time. This is a time when Caribbean unity is necessary and I am sure the people of the region will rally to support our regional family. Although I have never been to Haiti, the news has been sad and I hope that the recovery process and the necessary help required will be speedy. May God bless the people in Haiti. One Love,” Bolt statement ended.

TIME TO WAIT UNTIL MID-FEBRUARY

JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Spokesman for her lawyers, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, was more cautious and refused to confirm there would be an immediate return to competition for 800 m world champion Caster Semenya until her gender issue is concluded in their discussions with the IAAF. With a decision yet to be announced it appears under question whether she will compete in the national Yelllow Pages series during the coming months in South Africa. „All the parties are still in negotiations,“ the spokesman told reporters. „We‘re optimistic that there‘s going to be a positive resolution for all parties concerned,“ media are informing. IAAF is not commenting on the situation. Formally she could compete, but it could complicate the whole issue. Athletics South Africa (ASA) spokeswoman Ethel Manyaka revealed that Semenya „has been cleared and will compete internationally and locally“. Manyaka would not clarify who had cleared her or when, informs iol.co.za. Her coach Michael Seme responded that „just listen to the lawyers.“ Yellow Pages series will start now officially later in February with first meet on February 19 in Port Elizabeth. Then it will go to Durban on February 26, Potchefstroom on March 4, Johannesburg on March 24, Stellenbosch on March 30 and Pretoria on April 6. The Johannesburg leg, usually held in Germiston where a new track is being laid, will be staged at the University of Johannesburg. Yellow Pages will also fund the South African Athletics Championships in Durban on March 19 and 20, the South African Youth and Junior Championships at UJ on April 9 and 10, and the SA Student Championships in Potchefstroom on April 16 and 17. That means there is still time to solve the issue with Caster Semenya as the first meet is on February 19 and not on January 22 as previously reported.

HOUSTON (USA): In the 38th annual Chevron Houston Marathon, 2009 winner and course record holder Teyba Erkesso returns to defend her crown. Erkesso ran her debut marathon in Houston last year crossing the finish line in 2:24:18. Joining the top-seeded Erkesso on the starting line are American Paige Higgins, Tara Quinn-Smith of Canada and Kenya‘s Lydia Kurgat. Rounding out the top five is Margarita Plaksina of Russia, who won the 2009 Helsinki City Marathon. In the men‘s race two Kenyans are leading the field. Jason Mbote, who ran 2:07:37 at the 2008 Seoul International Marathon, followed by Charles Kibiwott, who clocked 2:08:30 at the same race in Seoul. American Brett Gotcher joins the two for his marathon debut, along with Ethiopians Zembaba Yigeze and Hussan Adelo. For the fourth consecutive year, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon is hosting the USA Women‘s Half Marathon Championships. 2009 champion Magdalena Lewy Boulet is returning to defend her title. However all eyes will be on Shalane Flanagan who took bronze in the 10,000m at the 2008 Olympics. In her debut half marathon she will face the 2004 winner of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and course record holder, Colleen De Reuck as well as Serena Burla and Heidi Westover. The men‘s race is shaping up as a breakthrough opportunity for several up-and-coming runners. Josh Rohatinsky ,Tim Nelson , Antonio Vega, Josh Moen, and Patrick Smyth will all strive for the medals. James Carney, who won the race in 2008 was forced to drop out of the race due to injury. Announced in a press release by the Chevron Houston Marathon.

TOP SHOT PUT FIELD OF THE INDOOR SEASON

BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Organizers of top Polish indoor fixture, the 11th Pedro´s Cup in Bydgoszcz (EA Permit on February 10) announced their fields. Specially men´s shot put will have in Luczniczka Hall all the best in the world competing. Top three from Berlin Christian Cantwell, home hero Tomasz Majewski and German Ralf Bartels will be there. Also in the field other two US stars and former world champions Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson. It looks like this will be the best field in the indoor season. Also Canadian record holder Dylan Armstrong is scheduled to compete. Women´s pole vault is oriented towards two home stars and world gold and silver medallists Anna Rogowska and Monika Pyrek. They will have strong Russian opposition in former world record holder Svetlana Feofanova, South American record holder Fabiana Murer and German Silke Spiegelburg. Also UK record holder Kate Dennison is in the start list. Third competition of the evening is men´s high jump with another local star, Berlin medalist Sylwester Bednarek. His main opponents will be US jumpers Tora Harris, Andra Manson and Dusty Jonas with Russian world medalist Andrey Tereshin and Ukrainian 2005 world champion Yuriy Krymarenko. Jacek Kazimierski who is general director of the main sponsor Strauss Cafe confirmed that the budget is at 1.4 millions of Polish Zloty level what is approximately 500 000 USD.


WATT AIMS FOR NATIONAL MARK

BRISBANE (AUS): The Courier-Mail informs that long jump world championships bronze medallist Mitchell Watt is having plans to attack the Jai Taurima‘s national long jump record 849 from 2000 Olympic Games after a sizzling training output. He has 843 best from last year. Watt will compete on February 6 at Brisbane Grand Prix meeting. Also confirmed for that meet is discus world champion Dani Samuels. Athletics Australia competitions manager David Gynther said Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker would not compete in the event in Brisbane. But possible is the participation of olympic medalist Sally McLellan. Watt will start his season on January 30 in Canberra at Australia Cup and aims also for World Indoors in Doha.


PREVIEWS


PHOENIX (USA): American record holders Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor will be the top names this weekend at the Rock ‚n roll Marathon in Arizona announces competitor.com. It will be the first race of the year for both athletes in the half marathon. In addition to headlining elite athletes, the race will offer a 50-kilometer division. A total of 50 participants will get the chance to run a 50k with Dean „Ultramarathon Man“ Karnazes in conjunction with the marathon. The race will take place on January 17th.

SEVILLA (ESP): The IAAF cross country permit race in historic Santiponce, Sevilla promises to be another hotly contested race of the weekend. In the 28th edition on Sunday the men‘s 10.8 km race is headed by Ethiopian world champion Gebre Gebremariam, followed by title defender Moses Kipsiro from Uganda. Strong Kenyan group has Leonard Komon as headliner, Ethiopians have Gebremariam beater from Zornotza Hunegaw Mesfin and Ayele Abshiro as top names. Home armada top name is European champion Alemayehu Bezabeh with Sergio Sanchez, Chema Martinez and Carles Castillejo. In the women‘s 8 km race another 2009 world champion is leading the pack. Title defender Florence Kiplagat will be challenged by fellow Kenyans Pauline Korikwiang and mainly 10 km track world champion Linet Masai (also Grace Momanyi, Ines Chenonge and world steeple medalist Milcah Chemos). Also running her first CC of the season will be 2008 European Champion Hilda Kibet of Netherlands with another top Dutch runner Adrienne Herzog, young Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, Hungarian Aniko Kalovics, Portugal´s Ines Monteiro with Ana Dias. Home runners will be represented for example by Rosa Morato and Nuria Fernandez. All in all one of the best fields of the current terrain season.

ROVERETO (ITA): Second this years European Athletics CC Permit race will be staged on Sunday and as the first again in Italy. It is already 8th EA fixture in the 2009/2010 winter calendar and the penultimate (last is Belgrade White Snow CC on January 24). The 33rd Vallagarina race in Rovereto in the men´s 8.69 km will see the usual picture Africans against Europeans and home runners. Best Austrian runner Gunther Weidlinger and Ukrainian Vasyl Matviychuk will represent Europe, home armada will be headed by Stefano La Rosa and Gabriele De Nard and Africa by Ugandan Wilson Busienei who is member of the local club and Ethiopian Abera Chane who won the Peuerbach Silvester Race in Austria. Women´s 5.59 km will see former Ukrainain European CC Champion Tetyana Holovchenko and Hungarian Livia Toth against local star Federica Dal Ri. African challenge will be headed by Ethiopian Asmare Work Bekele the female winner of Peuerbach race during last day of 2009. Summary of the race will be broadcast by Raisport on Monday.


OTHER NEWS

TORONTO (CAN): Canada’s lone medalist in track and field at the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships has officially renewed her contract with Nike Inc. Her agent, Kris Mychasiw had been in discussions and negotiations for some time, and both parties came to mutually accepted terms that will see Priscilla Lopes-Schliep bear the Nike brand right through the 2013 season. “I am very happy for the continued support from Nike and am ecstatic about being part of the Nike family for the next years,“ she said. Lopes-Schliep will open her 2010 indoor season on January 16th at York University where she will challenge training partner and the 2009 Canadian 100m Champion Toyin Olupona over 60m. She will then race at the University of Nebraska’s Wesleyan Invitational on January 22nd, where she will test her legs over the 60mH one last time before the 103rd Annual Millrose Games at Madison Square Gardens on January 29th where Lopes-Schliep is looking to extend her winning streak to 3. Her goal during winter season is the World Championships in Doha.

NEW YORK (USA): The fifth edition of the NYC Half-Marathon here on Sunday, March 21, will be the richest 21.1 km race in the United States with a 100 000 USD prize money purse, the New York Road Runners announced. Moreover, the 20 000 USD first prize will be the largest offered by any non-marathon road race in the 50 States. The first four editions of the race had been held in the summer in July and August. This will be the first year that the race from Central Park to Battery Park will be held in the spring. The date, chosen in cooperation with the New York City government, puts the race four weeks before the Boston Marathon and five weeks before the Virgin London Marathon, making it the perfect marathon tune-up for recreational and elite runners, alike. Writes Race Results Weekly.

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Long distance star Kenenisa Bekele confirmed for IAAF Diamond League website that he will after Edinburgh loss concentrate on two indoor meetings. “I will be running in the indoor meetings in Birmingham and Lievin. I really look forward to some fast races. Last few months I have been training with my brother Tariku again, I am happy that he his back again after his injury. I don’t like to train alone, I am used to train in the hills outside Addis Ababa and I like his company and support,” Bekele said. He should run on February 20 a 3000 m in Birmingham and a 1500 m in Lievin on March 5.

LEXINGTON (USA): US 100 m record holder Tyson Gay’s fame and popularity were exemplified when he attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as visitors to the show packed Sennheiser and Adidas’ booth to met the IAAF Diamond League Ambassador. Writes Diamond League website. “My holidays were a combination of family, friends and a side trip to Las Vegas. First, I traveled to Jamaica to support Asafa Powell’s Foundation. When I got there I found a welcoming group of friends and competitors. Respect is a word that people use a lot in Jamaica but it is also the best way to describe my relationship with Asafa, Usain and other top athletes there. Finally before returning to training, I took a side trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show as a guest of Sennheiser and Adidas. It was my first time there and I was surprised by how big the show was. One of the coolest things at the show were the new 3D TV‘s,” Gay who will pass the indoor season said. He plans to enter the Diamond League in the later stages and committed to seven races (combination of 100 m and 200 m).

BARCELONA (ESP): The projection and popularity of the European Athletics Championships Barcelona 2010 has risen throughout the past few weeks since the Championships has been using the influence of social networks to increase the number of fans being interested in details of Barcelona 2010 visiting the official website. The recent number of website-visits (www.bcn2010.org) has broken records in December. Barcelona 2010 accounts on facebook and Twitter as well as two blogs on the official website – written by Spanish middle-distance runner Juan Carlos Higuero and the B10 mascot, Barni – have soared the sources of information about Barcelona 2010. The large number of fans on facebook, counting more than 3200 in less than one month, emphasizes the great interest of people in this year’s top European athletics event. A total of 19533 people have visited www.bcn2010.org during the last month of 2009 peaking on 10 and 28 December, which coincided with the start of the national promotional campaign.

MOSCOW (RUS): Reigning World and European indoor 60 m champions will clash at Russian Winter IAAF Permit on February 7 in Moscow. US Angela Williams is set to run against Russian Yevgeniya Polyakova. Also in the race apart of other Russian sprinters will be British Joyce Maduaka and other US sprinter Mechelle Lewis.

TOKYO (JPN): Brett Larner at his Japan Running Blog writes, that sports maker Adidas Japan held a press conference to announce the signing of Hitoshi Mimura, the master craftsman known for the handmade shoes he has long produced for the world‘s top athletes, to an exclusive advisor position with the company. Mimura, 61, will continue to develop his shoes at his ‚M. Lab‘ workshop in Takasago, but said, „I want to make shoes that will set a world record.“ Beginning in April, Mimura‘s shoes will be an Adidas-branded product. Focusing on running and baseball, he will supervise product development for elite athletes, the designing of Adidas‘ lasts, and Adidas‘ mass-produced running shoe line. „I hope to work together closely with the athletes,“ Mimura said. Mimura had a long-standing position with rival maker Asics, where he made shoes for Olympic marathon gold medallists Mizuki Noguchi, Naoko Takahashi and Stefano Baldini among others. He left Asics last spring to pursue his work independently.

RESULTS

KOLN (GER, Jan 13): African Champion Kabelo Kgosiemang won the 3rd High Jump with Music and defended his last year title in the Koln Athletics Center. He cleared as in last year 221 and tried for new meet record 224 cm. Second was European U23 last year finalist Dimitriou Hondrokoukis of Greece with 221 (his best indoors is 222) and third Eiken Onnen of Germany with 218.

VILNIUS (LTU, Jan 13): Lithuanian fastest sprinters won the 60 m races at Vilnius City Championships. Lina Grincikaite clocked 7.37 and Rytis Sakalauskas 6.76.

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