Bolt VS Powell in Paris (July 16), by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Our sport is all about the competition. It is also about seeing the competition. That was my frustration with the World Indoor Champs, where both the majority of sports viewers in U.S. and U.K. did not get to see the fine performances in Doha, Qatar.

Word is, on the Diamond League, that IMG did a great job selling the television rights for the meetings. I am looking forward to seeing Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay competing across the circuit!

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Asafa Powell, Photo by PhotoRun.net.

EME NEWS (MAR 29, 2010)


HOWE THINKS BARCELONA

ROME (ITA): 2007 vice-world champion Andrew Howe is optimistic about defending his European crown this summer in Barcelona. Howe has been sidelined with injury over the last months but expects to be in full fitness again when the European Championships are held in Barcelona in July. Howe will slowly built up the season starting with a couple of 100m races in May and will be back to the long jump probably in June. If healthy, Howe considers himself the man to beat in Barcelona. Other Gothenburg Gold medalist Stefano Baldini in marathon also expressed his aim to regain full fitness ahead of the European Championships in July. Baldini has been slowed down in practice by a back injury writes fidal.it.


FASTEST 100 M OF THE YEAR

CULLOWHEE (USA, Mar 27): Former Western Carolina sprinter Manteo Mitchell (22, currently unattached) made a sensational breakthrough at Catamount Classic meet. He won the 100 m in the fastest of the year 10.10 (-0.9). His previous best was only 10.50 in last year. He was considered more a 400 m runner with fastest 46.00 last season. World junior participant Kemar Hyman of Cayman Islands was second in 10.25 (PB also, but had 10.26 before) and former 200/400 standout Xavier Carter fifth in 10.60.


BOLT VS. POWELL IN PARIS

PARIS (FRA): The first clash of big sprinters is confirmed. Usain Bolt (already announced for Paris) will compete against Asafa Powell at the Stade de France, on Friday 16th July at the MEETING AREVA, which is part of the IAAF Diamond League. Last July, during his first ever performance in the Stade de France, the chilly conditions and rain prevented Bolt from teasing out his best time. However, he still lit up the evening with a time of 9.79, which was a real tour de force given the extent of the unfavorable conditions. Paris could be Bolt´s first 100 m in Europe in 2010, IAAF writes in a release. Powell is the last athlete so far who enjoyed beating Bolt, it happened at Stockholm DN Galan meet 2008. There are more clashes of this duo and including Tyson Gay expected in the inaugural Diamond League series. So far officially Bolt is confirmed outside Paris to Ostrava and New York, Gay to Manchester road and Powell is expected for the Doha opener. Also in the race in Paris is one of the biggest ever young sprinting talents Christophe Lemaitre who is considered potential candidate for the title first „white“ sub 10 runner.


BYDGOSZCZ FLASH-BACK

ORGANIZERS: After organizing the Sunday event in Myslecinek Park the city of Bydgoszcz is the only in the world with staging in one decade three different IAAF Championships. It started in 1999 with inaugural World Youth event, continued in 2008 with World Juniors and now with World CC Championships. City Mayor Konstanty Dombrowicz was satisfied also after IAAF praised the championships on the terrain and hopes for more in future. IAAF president Lamine Diack said per polish federation website that Bydgoszcz is capital of Polish Athletics and he was always feeling well here. By the way, Bydgoszcz wants to organizer European CC Championships in 2012.

KENYA: Kenyan head coach David Leting attributed Kenya’s amazing gold medal sweep to good preparations. „We trained well and managed to arrive at the venue of competition early enough to acclimatize and master the course. I believe we fully deserve all this achievement,“ Leting said for standardmedia.co.ke.

KENYA: Strong family ties. Junior women‘s bronze medallist Esther Chemtai is the grand-daughter of Ben Jipcho, former steeple world record holder. Jipcho was the first sub 8:20 performer with 8:19.8 in 1973. Later in that year he bettered that time to 8:14.0.

AUSTRALIA: Former world champion Benita Willis (née Johnson) was once again the best Australian at the IAAF World cross country championships. Willis, who is 30 years old and won the world title in 2004, crossed the finish line in the women’s 8km course in 17th position in a time of 25:26. It was her 8th top 20 finish in as many editions.

CANADA: Canada’s Simon Bariu placed 13th, finishing 44 seconds behind the winner. “Thanks everyone, appreciate the love,” Bariu, the lone Canadian in the field, wrote on his Twitter page after the race. “Crossed finish line in 13th place knowing I gave everything. Already excited (for) fall marathon debut.”

EBUYA: “The whole of the Kenyan team was training at the foot of mount Kenya which is as chilly as Bydgoszcz,” men winner Joseph Ebuya told the media after the race. After long wait for success Kenya runners swept all before them taking all individual and team titles. “I had said it and I knew I meant it,” said Ebuya. “I had done well in training and I knew I was in good shape to win here. The presence or absence of Bekele could not have changed anything, after all I had beaten him in Edinburgh,“ he was quoted by Kenyan media. At the medals ceremony, the Kenyan national anthem was played over and over again, creating the impression that Kenya was the only nation competing at the world event. Junior winner Caleb Mwangangi left home a week ago a jobless youth. He will return from the championships in glory as the junior world champion and with a job at a Japanese company.

JAPAN: For the first time in several years, the Japanese national team at the World Cross-Country Championships will go home empty-handed as its perennial team bronze medal-winning junior women‘s squad placed only 4th at this year‘s event. Junior woman Nanaka Izawa‘s 19th place finish was the best individual placing on the entire Japanese team, admittedly in the least competitive of the four fields, but her run led the Japanese junior women to finish as the top non-African team. Writes Brett Larner.


OTHER NEWS

BERLIN (GER): After winning Berlin HM Sabrina Mockenhaupt admitted her next goals are lying on the track. She plans to run German 10 000 m championships on May 1 and qualify in this event for Barcelona. She is considering to try for a fast time at European Cup 10 000 m early June in France (Marseille, June 5).

NEW DELHI (IND): Former world medalist in long jump Anju Bobby George expects her first child in June. She has informed the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) of her unavailability for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year and says she will decide on her future only after the baby arrives. Sunday Express informs.

KINGSTON (JAM): The Jamaican National stadium has been cleared to be “as safe is it was built” after it was inspected by an engineering consultancy. The consultant who executed the inspection was hired following a quote attributed to the Mayor of Kingston in one of the daily newspaper that the National Stadium was „a death trap“. However they now confirm on trackalerts.com: „what we have seen on our very short visit has not given us any cause for alarm“.

PORT OF SPAIN (TRI) : The Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA) have informed to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)that they will not bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. This means that most likely Abuja and the Gold Coast will be the only candidates to declare their bid before the deadline for applications closes on Wednesday (March 31). The country was hit by the decision to cancel the Caribbean Games last June on the advice of the country‘s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization because of the swine flu epidemic. However also the current economic crisis played a part in the decision not to bid. The CGF are due to announce which city will host the Games during its annual meeting in St Kitts and Nevis in November 2011.

COLORADO SPRINGS (USA): Running USA has launched its Running USA Annual Marathon Report. 2009 was a record year with an estimated 467,000 runners finishing a marathon, which means US marathons managed to grow an exciting 10% in 2009. A record 88 U.S. marathons reported greater than 1,000 event finishers. The world largest marathon was the 40th ING NYC marathon who, with its 43,660 participants, was the largest marathon ever. The Flora London Marathon was 2009 second biggest race with 35,370 participants. Since 2002 marathon median times have become gradually faster for both genders.

BATON ROUGE (USA): The LSU track and field team has added three international junior college standouts for their 2010 recruiting class as well as USA prep jumper Lynnika Pitts. The Tigers will add jumper Kyron Blaise of Trinidad and Tobago who is regarded as one of the best junior college jumpers after winning the 2009 NJCAA Championships in the triple jump. They also signed sprinter Riker Hylton of Jamaica who brings with him his 2010 NJCAA national championships in the 400m. Third international recruit is Jamaican native Jonique Day who will run the 400-meter and 800-meter events. “We feel like the 12 recruits we have signed to this point are as deep and as talented as any group we have signed in recent years,” LSU coach Dennis Shaver said in a news release.

BARCELONA (ESP): The brand new blue-colored synthetic track called Mondotrack FTX has been installed since Monday morning in the main venue in the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys de Montjui“c for the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona 2010. The track will be inaugurated on 16th of April by Barcelona‘s mayor Jordi Hereu. The blue track will also come with a green complement in the throwing competition areas and it is similar to the one which was used for the Olympics in Beijing. Barcelona 2010 will also invite their nine ambassadors including Fermín Cacho, Olympic gold medalist on the old track, who won the 1500m final in 1992. Organizers are informing in a release.


RESULTS

BERLIN (GER, Mar 28): Best European male runner at Berlin Half-marathon was Czech Jan Kreisinger as 16th. He improved his life-time best to 1:03:42 and fulfilled so the criteria of Czech Athletics Federation for the autumn world championships in China.

CHALONS (FRA, Mar 28): Kenyan wins at Courir pour la Vie Half-Marathon. Justus Moranga clocked 1:04:37 and Sarah Chepchirchir 1:12:24. Gervais Hakirimana of Rwanda who did not travel to Bydgoszcz won the 10 km in 29:52 with Kenyan Josphat Muraga as second having the same time.

IURRETA (ESP, Mar 28): European champion Jesus Espana won the 30th Cross Iurreta at 5 km in 15:30 ahead of Alberto Garcia (15:39).

LANGREO (ESP, Mar 28): Moroccan wins at 10 km road race here. Anouar Debbab achieved 29:50 in men category and Malika Asahssah 32:54 in women race.

PERTH (AUS, Mar 28): Aaron Rouge-Serret after great 100 m improvement won also the 200 m at Western Australian Championships with 20.96 (-1.2).

MELBOURNE (AUS, Mar 28): New state record at Victorian Championships for female javelin thrower Katryn Mitchell 59.68 m. 400 m specialist Sean Wroe won the 200 m (21.04, +1.9).

HOUSTON (USA, Mar 27): World Championships participant Aries Merritt clocked 13.61 (+1.0) at Victor Lopez Meet. Preston Perry posted 10.34 (+0.2) in the 100 m and Gloria Asumnu sprinted the 200 m in 23.36.

MAYAGUEZ (PUR, Mar 27): Colombian sprint record holder Daniel Grueso achieved fast 10.28 (+1.7) at 100 m in Puerto-Rico.

ORLANDO (USA, Mar 27): 2008 world indoor medalist at 400 m Shareefa Woods improved at UCF Invitational her 100 m best to 11.36 (-1.8). Florida men posted 39.37 at 4x100 m.

MEGARA (GRE, Mar 28): Greek walking champions at 20 km were crowned Alexandros Papamihail in 1:32:43 and Evaggelia Xinou in 1:39:18. Both defended their last year titles.

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