Vlasic in Split, Friederich in Dessau, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Blanka Vlasic, Greece 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Blanka Vlasic will be competing in Split this weekend, while Ariana Friederich will be competing in Dessau...Stefano Baldini is going to defend his European marathon title this summer in Barcelona!

Ariane Friedrich, European Indoor 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.


SPLIT/DESSAU (GER/CRO): World´s top two high jumpers will compete during this weekend. But not against each other. That means Ariane Friedrich and Blanka Vlasic will not meet in direct clash before World Indoor Championships in Doha. World Champion Vlasic jumps at her home meet in Split on Sunday (4th Slobodna Dalmacija Meet). Despite Winter Olympic Games interest for the event in Spaladium Hall is as usual big and it is expected to be sold out with nearly 10 000 spectators just for high jump. That shows the great popularity of the Croatian high jump record holder and current season leader with 206 cm. Her main rivals will be Russian Svetlana Shkolina and Sweden´s Emma Green and first aim to improve the meet record of 202 cm. European indoor champion Friedrich after clearing her back problems will compete on Saturday at 9th jumping meet in Dessau. Here the opponents are best Czech Iva Strakova and Tatyana Kivimiagi. Here the meet record of 194 should go. Vlasic competed so far three times, all won (206 and twice 201). Friedrich had two competitions with two wins (195 and 200). After this weekend both still have one more competition before Doha. Vlasic competes in Slovakia on March 4 (Banska Bystrica) and Friedrich at German Championships (Karlsruhe, Feb 28).


LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics announced that Russia‘s Ivan Ukhov and Great Britain‘s Jessica Ennis have been selected as the European Athletes of the Month for January. Ukhov, the High Jump gold medallist at the 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships, came up with a string of top notch performances during the month, including a world-leading 2.37m in Hustopece and a 2.34m in Trinec, both in the Czech Republic. Ennis, the 2009 World Championships Heptathlon gold medallist and the 2007 European Athletics Rising Star of the Year winner, ran 7.95 for a British 60m hurdles indoor record in Glasgow on January 30. She also cleared 1.94m in the High Jump on the same day, a personal best indoors and just one centimeter away from the British record. Croatian Blanka Vlasic finished a close runner-up in the women’s poll for the Athlete of the Month for January while Czech middle-distance runner Marcela Lustigová finished third. Spanish middle-distance star Sergio Sánchez and hurdler Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic finished second and third in the men‘s poll.


VENTURA (USA): Jane Laut (54) the wife of murdered, former shot put Olympian Dave Laut, pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to first-degree murder. She was arrested Saturday morning by Oxnard Police Detectives for the August 2009 shooting death of her husband. Laut won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. According to Ron Bamieh, an attorney representing Laut‘s wife, Dave was abusing Jane and their son. Bamieh says, photos of Jane‘s injuries will be introduced as evidence in the case to prove, Laut‘s death was the result of self-defense. Laut is scheduled back in court on Thursday for a bail reduction hearing. She is currently being held in Ventura County Jail on USD 3 million bail. Local media are writing.

ROME (ITA): 2004 Olympic marathon champion Stefano Baldini from Italy has decided to defend his European title in Barcelona later this year. Baldini did not compete in last year’s World Championships after ending the 2008 Olympic marathon as 12th. However, Baldini now has rediscovered his appetite for competition and is looking forward to competing at his best in Barcelona. „For some time I have been cultivating this great little dream. I am well aware that you can‘t hold back time but I really want to do well and I‘m highly motivated” Baldini said on fidal.it.

KINGSTON (JAM): Usain Bolt and Shericka Williams will kick off The Bob Marley one love charity football scheduled for today. It is unknown if Bolt, who played in the last charity match, will also play in the charity event.

NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyan’s cross country season will end this Saturday with the final of the KCB/athletics Golden Jackpot. Not only will the World cross country team for Poland be decided, there are still 6 athletes in the running to win 250 000 Kenyan Shilling in each of their catergories. Gladys Chemweno is the favourite in the 8km along with Mercy Cherono and Nelly Chebet. John Mwangangi is in for the 12km as well as Simon Cheprot, and Japhet Korir, writes standardmedia.co.ke.

FRANKFURT (GER): German 3000 m steeple champion Antje Moldner will not be able to compete in 2010. That means she will pass also the European Championships in Barcelona. She plans her return to training for November 2010. Moldner has a lymphoid cells disorder which requires treatment. She was 9th in Berlin last year with German record 9:18.54.

VIENNA (AUT): One more national record at Vienna Indoor meet on February 16. Jacob Riis clocked 47.04 at 400 m what is new national mark for Denmark.

MOSCOW (RUS): RusAthletics informs about the death of sports journalist, commentator and keen follower of athletics Aleksandr Kurashov. As journalist and reporter he followed seven olympic games, he was also international judge in athletics.

BUCURESTI (ROU): Middle distance runner Ancuta Bobocel (4:12.01 at 1500 m) and triple jumper Adelina Gavrila (14.13 this year) are currently the only two Romanian athletes qualified for World Indoor Championships in Doha. The team will be finalized after the national championships planned for last February weekend.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News for his support of our sport.

For more on the sport of athletics, please clickon http://www.runningnetwork.com

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