Usain Bolt running the turn, Berlin 2009 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net.
The Diamond League is....all about the stars! Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Kenenisa Bekele, and more! A recent Washington Post article noted that, even without Usain Bolt-like USATF athletes, the sport is taking off! And it is!
As we get into high school sectionals and state meets season, track and field in the US is in full bloom! I think that is our secret. Last year, over 285,000 track fans paid to go to one of the 50 high school outdoor state meets (we have called all state associations, and actually, those numbers are a bit low)! Texas at 40,000 plus and California, at 12,000 plus a day, are two of the leaders! Our Relay meets, Drake, Kansas, Penn, Texas, and Mt. SAC, draw 30-40,000 plus a day!
The adidas Grand Prix and Nike Pre Classic will be the two meets with the highest levels of compeition in North America this summer, and they should show once again, it is all about the competition!
BOLT 200 M IN ZURICH
ZURICH (SUI): Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League organizers announced their top stars from group of ambassadors. On Aug 19 at the famous Letzigrund Stadium Usain Bolt will run the 200 m, Kenenisa Bekele the 5000 m, Shelly-Ann Fraser the 100 m, Sanya Richards-Ross the 400 m (she was the guest at today´s press conference in Switzerland). She will duel over one lap with Allyson Felix. Also competing Dayron Robles, Barbora Spotakova, Melaine Walker. Meet director Patrick Magyar still hopes that Yelena Isinbayeva would be able to compete. Usain Bolt will run the 200 m in Zurich for second time after 2007 (second in 20.19, beaten by Xavier Carter, 19.92). For first time a new idea, special women shot put competition the day before (Aug 18) at Zurich Main Train Station. One day after the ticket-sales started already 23 650 were sold from the 26 000 capacity.
DL SCHEDULES OF BOLT AND GAY
KINGSTON (JAM): From the seven DL appearances of Usain Bolt are so by now known New York, Paris and Brussels over 100 m and Shanghai, Lausanne with Zurich over 200 m. One more remains to be announced. Apart of Diamond League he runs 100 m in Daegu and 300 m in Ostrava. For Tyson Gay from seventh contracted, the 100 m in New York, Eugene, London and Brussels and 200 m in Gateshead, Monte Carlo are announced. Also here one is missing.
SUPERB MEN 800 M FIELD IN DOHA
DOHA (QAT): More top names for Diamond League opener are in the 800 m the mile olympic winner Asbel Kiprop and olympic medalist Ahmed Ismail are adding the spice to the world leader David Rudisha and world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. In the steeple all top Kenyans will run, also world and olympic winner Ezekiel Kemboi. All three US top 400 hurdles will run, not only Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson but also olympic winner Angelo Taylor. Three top Cubans are stars of triple jump (Betanzos, Copello and Girat). Women´s 400 m will be a top clash as also Shericka Williams is added there, she was previously thinking to run the 200 m. Novlene Williams, Christine Ohuruogu and Allyson Felix with world indoor champion Debbie Dunn are rounding a superb field.
IDOWU FOR RIO
BELEM/RIO (BRA): Brazilian meets announced more names. For the top event in Rio de Janeiro (May 23, IAAF World Challenge) the triple jump world champion Philips Idowu of Great Britain is confirmed. He will face home star Jadel Gregorio. Other top names are Brazilian world indoor champion in Pole Vault Fabiana Murer and in the men´s 100 m race Briton Dwain Chambers against US Mike Rodgers and Daniel Baily of Antigua. In Belem on May 19 good pole vault with US jumpe Mark Hollis against best Brazilian Fabio Gomes da Silva and in high jump US Jesse Williams clashing with Brazilian record holder Jesse de Lima.
FELIX IN MANCHESTER
MANCHESTER (GBR): Three-time world 200 metres champion Allyson Felix is a late, but very high profile, entry for the Powerade CityGames Manchester this Sunday. Felix, after competing at the inaugural IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday will fly immediately to compete over her gold medal winning distance in the innovative street meeting. The 24-year-old will replace fellow American, world 400m title holder Sanya Richards-Ross, who withdrew from both the Doha and Manchester events after suffering a quad injury. Felix's participation will see her face Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, the Bahamian who she relegated to third place when scoring her third successive IAAF world championships victory in Berlin last August. Felix will run 200 m on the straight. Her appearance will boost even further the number of high profile stars at the meeting including fellow countryman Tyson Gay, also at 200 m straight. Olympic relay gold medallist Marlon Devonish returns to the CityGames Manchester next weekend confident he can again challenge his British 150 metres best performance for the distance. Devonish has become a big fan of the street racing concept after finishing runner-up behind double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt in last year's race and is looking for a victory this year. His biggest challenger on Sunday should be reigning European 100m and 200m gold medallist Francis Obikwelu and the 150m distance is expected to suit the Portugese star's style. Mark Lewis-Francis who was also in the British 4x100m relay team which captured the 2004 Olympic title is competing over 100m and determined to impress the national selectors. Devonish himself holds the British 150m „record" for the distance at 14.88 seconds, which he ran at the Great CityGames in Newcastle/Gateshead last September. However, the European best is held by Italy's legendary Pietro Mennea with a hand-timed run of 14.8 in Cassino in 1983. The international feed for the BUPA Great Manchester Run and Powerade City Games will be streamed on www.greatrun.org on Sunday 16 May. In the morning the 10 km run (Gebrselassie, Lebid, Tulu, Pavey) and in the afternoon sprints on the street (Gay, Felix, Obikwelu, Ohuruogu, Ennis).
BARCELONA (ESP): The European Athletics Championships Barcelona 2010 and Turisme de Barcelona have signed an agreement to increase the event's promotion and the number of tourists joining the Championships.
BARCELONA (ESP): Spain's middle-distance runner Manuel Olmedo has decided to change his 800 metres for 1500 metres, which is his big goal of this season. "I feel optimistic and self-confident for a new challenge, something that gives me new motivation," said Olmedo for the Organising Committee. He is still disappointed about the injustice, when he was not selected for Doha, but looking forward to compete in Barcelona, where Spain features some of the best athletes over this distance. His debut this year will be at the Bislett Games in Oslo for a mile.
HALLE (GER): This Saturday´s throwing meet in Halle, Germany will see the comeback of Cuban former world champion in hammer throw Yipsi Moreno. She is returning after baby break and will clash with top two from last year World Championships in Berlin Anita Wlodarczyk and Betty Heidler.
PARIS (FRA): French Muriel Hurtis-Houairi confirmed, after running 53.65 in an interclub meeting this weekend, she is not excluding the possibility of changing events to the 400m. Hurtis-Houairi has been forced to focus on the longer sprint distances because an ongoing injury prevents her from doing sprint work. Hurtis-Houairi does not change her objective of competing in the 200m at the European championships but, should the injury continue to prevent her to focus on sprint training, she is open to continue her career in the 400m. The French athlete confirmed for athle.com she aims at competing internationally until at least the 2012 Olympic Games.
TOKYO (JAP): Honorary Vice President of Japanese Federation Teruji Kogake has passed away on May 9th after liver failure. Kogake was 77 years old and was head coach of the Japanese team before becoming Vice President, Kogake also was Vice President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and a IAAF Veterans' Committee member. As a triple jumper Kogake participated at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where he placed 8th.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Youth Olympic Games organizing committee (syogoc) has exceeded its sponsorship target of 50 million dollars. With the addition of latest Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola providing cash, goods and services the Syogoc clearly fulfilled its sponsorship needs. Before the start of the event on August 14th the Syogoc expects its sponsorship figure to go up with another 10 to 20 million dollar confirms channelnewsasia.com.
PAPENDAL (NED): Dutch discus thrower Rutger Smith is confident he will achieve a top 8 position during the European championships in Barcelona. Smith was the world bronze medalist in 2007 but has since suffered from a serious back injury and has not been able to compete. Smith also won a silver medal in the shot put during the 2005 world championships but has been forced to give up the event because of his back injury he confirmed for All Track Press.
LONDON (GBR): Pat Butcher´s latest blog at www.globerunner.org is named An ‚unknown' springs to fame. It is about surprise Prague marathon winner Eliud Kiptanui.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): 2008 World indoor champion and olympic silver winner Khotso Mokoena plans European meets in preparation for African Championships. He will start on May 29 in Kalamata, Greece. Then he will be on June 6 in Rabat, Morocco at IAAF World Challenge event. Mokoena will be back home to join South Africans for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on June 11 at Soccer City.
PARIS (FRA): World indoor triple jump record holder Teddy Tamgho has given more details about his competition schedule. Tamgho will compete in four club competitions, including European champions club cup in Portugal end of May, before going to New York to compete in his first Diamond league competition of the year on June 12th. Tamgho has also confirmed to compete at the SPAR European Team championships in Bergen mid-June. Other meets in his schedule are on May 23 second round of French Club Competition, on June 8 international meet on Montreuil.
LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames.biz writes that Sebastian Coe's hopes of becoming the next President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have suffered a major setback after Lamine Diack announced that he plans to stand for another four-year term in the role. Coe, the chairman of London 2012, had been onsidering standing if Diack had carried out his original plan to step down. Coe has previously told insidethegames that he would not stand against Diack. Diack's decision to stay on could potentially work in Coe's favour, however. By 2015 - when the next election would be due - Coe's standing may be even higher than it is now if the London 2012 Games are successful and he has successfully negotiated the transition so that the Olympic Stadium continues to stage world-class athletics. The vote for IAAF President could even take place in London because the capital is bidding to host the World Championships that year and the Congress would be held on the eve of the event. Writes insidethegames.biz.
NEW DELHI (IND): There are some recommendation of arriving several weeks early before the British Commonwealth, in New Delhi, will start. Several weeks could take for elite athletes to acclimatize to the pollution in this sprawling city. It could be a shock to the system coming from the fresh air. Informs thestar.com.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Seven U.S. sprinters are seeking to regain their Olympic relay medals stripped from 2000 Sydney Games because of doping by Marion Jones, who admitted using performance-enhancing drugs at the time. The Court of Arbitration for Sport heard lawyers for the women challenge the International Olympic Committee's decision. UniversalSports informs that a ruling on the appeal is not expected for several weeks.
NEW YORK (USA): Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe both found out they are expecting babies in late September on the same date when they began training together last January in Portland under coach Alberto Salazar. As they explained to the New York Times in a sports section cover story which ran on Mother's Day last Sunday, they plan to run the NYRR New York Mini 10-K, the world's oldest all-women's road race on Saturday, June 12, to share their love for the sport with everyday runners. Not surprisingly, the New York Road Runners, the race founders and organizers, have warmly welcomed Goucher, 31, and Radcliffe, 36, into the Mini, part of a super weekend of athletics here which will also include the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League meeting later the same day. Writes RRW.
COLORADO SPRINGS (USA): US Berlin hammer 7th placer Jessica Cosby has had her two-year drug suspension reduced to four months, handing the US Anti-Doping Agency a rare loss in arbitration. An arbitration panel ruled on Monday that it found Jessica Cosby's explanation about taking a „water pill" to help her urinate to be believable and that it wasn't taken to enhance her performance. Cosby's positive test came shortly after she finished seventh at the world championships last year. Her mother gave her the pill containing banned diuretics. The next day, she failed a random drug test.
DONETSK (UKR, May 8): World leading triple jump by olympic finalist Olha Saladuha of Ukraine with 14.76 at local meet. It is third best of her career.