Golden Gala Preview: Powell Robles, great Long Jump expected, by Alfons Juck, Note, by Larry Eder

Asafa Powell, Rieti 2009, photo by

Asafa Powell, former world record holder at 100 meters, and current world leader for
2010, at 100 meters (9.72), is running the Golden Gala in Rome on Thursday, June
10, 2010.

GOLDEN GALA PREVIEW: Powell, Robles, great Long Jump expected

ROMA (ITA): Fourth leg of IAAF Diamond League continues in Eternal City in expected warm weather conditions on Thursday in Olympic Stadium. The meet saw in its history nine world records. It will be jubilee 30th Golden Gala. Short event by event preview:


100 m: Asafa Powell again against the clock. Meet record 9.77 possible, world lead (better than 9.83) very possible. What will do young French Lemaitre the day before his 20th birthday, will we see something special? But this is not Diamond Race event.

200 m: Wallace Spearmon looks like obvious choice, but Walter Dix returns to Europe after two years and has a sub 20 this year.

400 m: Jeremy Wariner the favorite, can somebody surprise him (for example Jermaine Gonzales with fast finish?). World lead 44.81 is something what could possibly go.

1500 m: Very open field, this is non Diamond Race event. Great depth but Ethiopian Gebremehdin Mekonnen is the name.

5000 m: Augustine Choge can surprise Bislett winner Imane Merga. Sub 12:50?

110mH: Dayron Robles finally in good weather. What will be the outcome? He is ready for first sub 13 in Rome.

Long Jump: Saladino, Phillips, Lapierre, you cannot ask for more. World lead very possible.

Shot Put: Cantwell still unbeaten, no signs that should change.

Discus Throw: Kovago winner from Shanghai, Malachowski in great shape, not to underestimate Kanter with Harting.

4x100 m: Jamaica should be there, what will be the composition? But meet record 38.65 should go.



100 m: Shelly-Ann Fraser, the favorite. LaShauntea Moore could be ready for a surprise.

800 m: Very big field, 2007 World Champ Jepkosgei is the name to pay attention.

400mHurdles: Lashinda Demus against the clock, arch-rival Melaine Walker is not there.

Steeple: Field similar to Oslo, will be Chemos faster?

High Jump: Vlasic wants to continue in winning, Howard-Lowe is also there, return of Di Martino. Meet record is 203.

Pole Vault: Murer vs. Rogowska, should be high.

Triple Jump: World Champ Savigne against Rypakova and Saladukha.

Javelin Throw: Spotakova is in better mood after Ostrava loss, Obergfoll and Ratej also there, but Abakumova is missing.





HUELVA (ESP, Jun 9): In the last event of the evening at Gran Premio de Andalucia in Huelva (6th meeting Iberoamericano, EA Classic category) the fans got something to cheer about. Steeple world champion Marta Dominguez returned to winning ways in great style. She clocked European leading 9:17.07 in her special  event, also third fastest in the world this year. Second Jessica Augusto of Portugal improved to 9:18.54, new national record. Another highlight was women 3000 m, so far the fastest of the year. Nuria Fernandez achieved 8:38.06 ahead of Kenyan Iness Chenonge (8:38.75), the first sub 8:40 times of the year. Sara Moreira of Portugal as third got 8:42.69 and Natalia Rodriguez 8:55.03 as fourth. Moroccan Hasna Benhassi won the 800 m in 2:01.02 beating in close finish her team-mate Malika Akkaoui (2:01.17, PB) and Russian Yekaterina Kostetskaya (2:01.19). Ukrainian Yelizaveta Bryzgina was the fastest in women 200 m (23.34, +0.1) and Ethiopian Asmare Work Bekele (18 years) improved to 4:08.30 meet record in the 1500 m which was classified as U23 race. In women technical events South American record holder Jennifer Dahlgren of Argentina beat (72.85) former world champion Yipsi Moreno of Cuba who is returning after maternity and achieved her best since then 71.41. In close long jump duel Viktoriya Rybalko of Ukraine was better than US Funmi Jimoh (647-646). In men events Kenyan Kiprono Menjo achieved excellent 13:02.54 at 5000 m with Kidane Tadese of Eritrea (younger brother of World champion) improving to 13:11.85 as second. Jesus Espana was best home runner as third (13:18.90). In steeple Jose Luis Blanco (8:22.00) and in the 1500 m Alvaro Rodriguez (3:37.15) scored Spanish wins. US Ty Akins posted meet record 13.45 (+0.3) at 110 m hurdles and Nery Brenes of Costarica won the 400 m (45.54). World champion Yaroslav Rybakov cleared 227 to win the high jump. In discus Cuban Jorge Fernandez surprised with 65.02 the best home throwers, Mario Pestano as second achieved 64.69.



CUXHAVEN (GER, Jun 9): German champion Carolin Nytra was the star of EWE Athletics, EA Classic meeting. In heats she clocked European lead of the season 12.79 (+0.3) and confirmed it with 12.83 (+0.3) win the final of 100 m hurdles. Tobias Scherbarth cleared 570 in pole vault in his third attempt. In javelin battle Cuban Berlin world medalist Guillermo Martinez won with 81.80 beating improved German Matthias De Zordo (81.50). Qatari 17-years old Mohamed Al-Garni improved to 3:36.32 in the 1500 m what is national junior record. Second experienced German Carsten Schlangen achieved good 3:38.07. Other winners to note in good weather conditions Jamaican Ryan Shields at 100 m (10.44), German Alexander Kosenkow at 200 m (20.84, +0.6), Poland´s Dominik Bochenek at 110 m hurdles (13.66, -0.2) and US Natalie Knight in the 200 m (23.27, 0.0).



JOHANNESBURG (RSA): 800 m world champion Caster Semenya is scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday to discuss the gender dispute, South African media are reporting. A statement from Semenya's public relations advisers Wednesday said the 19-year-old runner would appear at a news conference hosted by minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile. Semenya's lawyers will also attend along with mediator Brian Currin, a South African civil and human rights lawyer. Sources are saying the news will be she can continue to compete in women ranks. Press Association Sport also understands IAAF president Lamine Diack will also attend, a clear indication that a definitive decision on Semenya's status will be revealed.



ATHENS (GRE): Greek media are reporting that due to financial crisis in the country most probably the best one day meeting Tsiklitiria in Athens (IAAF World Challenge) will not be held this year. The EA Classic in Thessaloniki is moving to Patras. The only meet in healthy situation is Vardinoyannia in Rethymno at Crete Island (EA Premium) scheduled for July 7. Greek Championships will be held this weekend in Patras. All top names should compete including long jumper Luis Tsatoumas and hurdler Periklis Iakovakis. The biggest problem for Greek athletics is the financial crisis in terms of support for clubs, individual athletes and also the federation SEGAS itself.



BERLIN (GER): The oldest German meeting ISTAF of Berlin is doing well on ticket sales. Already 16 000 have been sold for the 69th edition planned for August 22 at Olympic Stadium. ISTAF will be part of IAAF World Challenge circuit. Top German names Robert Harting and Ariane Friedrich are the faces on the posters connected with the promotion of the meet.



LAUSANNE (SUI): 35th edition of Athletissima in Lausanne (IAAF Diamond League) announced more top names for July 8. Jeremy Wariner will compete in the 400m. This will only be his second race in olympic city, he won here in 2005.  The 800m is likely to be one of the great events of the evening, with the participation of David Rudisha, who has just won the 800m of the Oslo meet in 1:42.04. He should attack the 13 years old meet record of Wilson Kipketer 1:42.61. This year, he will face Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, of South Africa, the 800m reigning World champion. In the high jump, Yaroslav Rybakov, another current world champion will clash with his home rival Ivan Ukhov, the current world indoor champion and US Dusty Jonas.



ROMA (ITA): Fastest man of 2010 at 100 m Asafa Powell is changing his clothing company. Sources close to the sprinter confirmed he will work with Chinese sports manufacturer Li Ning. It is expected he will compete in the new vest already on Thursday in Rome. Li Ning has also Yelena Isinbayeva and Andreas Thorkildsen as other top athletes signed. Powell is so far unbeaten this season.







MONTREUIL (FRA, Jun 8): To add from this meet is the 11.21 by olympic medalist Kerron Stewart of Jamaica against -1.1 wind. Russian Yulia Rusanova posted very solid 1:59.85 in the 800 m, the fourth fastest time of current season. Damu Cherry was also pretty fast at 100 m hurdles with 12.82 into a -1.6 wind. Ethiopian Belete Assefa won good 5000 m in 13:18.40, where top 7 dipped sub 13:20 in close finish. Jamaican record holder Dwight Thomas achieved 13.37 also against 1.3 wind.


CHENNAI (IND, Jun 9): Asian Grand Prix circuit ended at Nehru Stadium with meet record 1:47.28 by Sajad Moradi of Iran. Chinese Ji Wei won the 110 m hurdles (13.64, 0.0). Another Chinese win for Wu Bo (16.73) in triple jump over best Indian Ranjith Maheshwari (16.60). Suryo Wibowo won the 100 m in 10.41 (0.0) beating Chinese favorite Zhang Peimeng (10.45). Chinese Taipei clocked 39.32 in the 4x100 m. Malaysian Lee Hup Wei won the high jump and equaled his national record of 227. Best female result was the 191 clearance of Svetlana Radzivil from Uzbekistan in high jump.







COLORADO SPRINGS (USA):  The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced high jumper Chaunte Lowe as its May Athlete of the Month. Lowe took the bronze medal at the IAAF World indoor championships and just recently broke the 22-year-old American record in Cottbus, Germany by clearing 204.


LONDON (GBR): World outdoor and indoor champion Jessica Ennis will not compete at this month's European Team Championships in Bergen, Norway. Ennis will compete in a three-event competition at the IAAF Diamond League in New York on June 12th and will not be recovered in time to compete with the British squad in Bergen. In New York Ennis will take on Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain in the long jump, 100m hurdles and the shot put.


PARIS (FRA): The French Athletics association has announced its team for the European Cup combined events in Tallinn, Estonia. Romain Barras, who managed 8297 points last month in Gotzis, will lead the men's team. Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida holds the best performance on the women's team.


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