Semenya out of Commonwealth Games, Ticket Sales Poor, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

1958 Commonwealth Games 3d Stamp

1958 Commonwealth Games Stamp

The Commonwealth Games has a long and storied past. The matches in athletics alone have been amazing. The 2010 version, which opens this weekend, is having both media and security problems. Neither of those have helped ticket sales, which are at a paltry 200,000 out of an estimated 1.7 million tickets available.

Security concerns have kept many athletes away. While UK athletics and many other teams have kept a stiff upper lip, elite athletes have several concerns: security issues, the absolute exhaustion many face at the end of a ten month season, and how to prepare for 2011-2012.

India has huge potential in the global sporting world. They have had some outstanding athletes in track & field, and I believe we will see many more to come. They apparently understand cricket there as well, which, I assume, like American baseball, is a wonderful excuse to watch a sporting event while consuming adult beverages in a warm climate.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are not getting a break now. Caster Semenya, the World Champion from South Africa, has pulled out of the Games. Citing a continuing back injury, her team SA announced her withdrawal earlier today. 

EME NEWS (SEP 29, 2010)

Semenya out, Mokoena still possible
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): South African media are confirming the bad news. 800 m world champion Caster Semenya will not compete in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. The South African team management said they would not risk the health of Semenya, who has apparently been suffering with the ailment for some time now, and had taken the decision in the interests of the athlete. Semenya had reportedly been struggling with a lower-back problem, but a scan done showed the injury was more serious than first thought. Final decision of former World indoor champion in long jump Khotso Mokoena is expected in few days time.

Tamgho is the male Rising Star
LAUSANNE (SUI): World indoor record holder in triple jump with 17.90 French Teddy Tamgho is the 2010 winner of the men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Award presented by MONDO. He is succeeding his countryman sprinter Christoph Lemaitre who won this trophy a year ago. The Frenchman became the third longest jumper in history after breaking his national record with a 17.98 effort at the New York Diamond League meeting on 12 June. Only world record holder Jonathan Edwards (18.29) of Great Britain and Kenny Harrison (18.09) of the USA have jumped farther than the 21-year-old. Although he could only finish a frustrating third at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona Tamgho has been the triple jump sensation of the year. Writes European Athletics. He is also Samsung Diamond Race winner. Second place for Spanish long jumper and multi-talented Eusebio Caceres ahead of Poland´s shot put Youth Olympic Games winner Krzysztof Brzozowski.

Mbango must wait
MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF approved four top athletes nationality switches. US Hurdler Tiffany Ofili can represent Great Britain from September 5 this year. Former track runner Michael Aish is now marathon runner and is switching from New Zealand to USA from July 22 in 2011. Olympic triple jump winner 2004 and 2008 Francoise Mbango will be able to represent France (formerly Cameroon) only from April 23 in 2013. That means no Daegu or London for France. Poland´s walker Sylwia Korzeniowska (sister of famous Robert Korzeniowski) is in similar position and able to represent France from June 1, 2013. 

Icelandic talent with Swedish coach
REYKJAVIK (ISL): Respected Swedish coach Agne Bergvall (coaches also Carolina Kluft) signed the Icelandic talent Helga Margrét Thorsteinsdottir to be her coach. Helga was the fisrt Icelandic youngster in history to get a medal at the WJC in Canada this summer when she got a bronze in the heptathlon. Agne will be her main coach but to begin with she will continue to live in Iceland as she is still in school for one more year. During that time her first coach Gudmundur Hólmar Jónsson will carry on the daily training. Vesteinn Hafsteinsson will be her manager (in his group for example discus olympic winner Gerd Kanter) and will as well coordinate the work with Agne and her club at home. Thorsteinsdottir scored this year 5878 points in heptathlon what is also national senior record.

Heltne gets two years
MONTE CARLO (MON): Two new interesting doping cases from IAAF. Romanian shot putter Anca Heltne was positive at National Indoor Championships on February 27 and is banned for two years until March 31, 2012. She will lost bronze medal from European Cup Winter Throwing in France (promotion for Russian Anna Omarova from fourth to third) and also 7th place from World Indoor Championships in Doha. Talented US 400 m runner Michael Berry was initially banned for 3 months for cannabis during US Junior Championships on June 26. This was later reduced to time served upon the successfull completion of USADA educational program. That allowed him still to compete at World Junior Championships in Moncton in the winning US 4x400 m team. Later on August 1 he clocked his PB 46.13 while winning the US Junior Olympics in Sacramento.


SOFIA (BUL): Pity in Bulgaria. Seven meters are missing in the new multisports hall in Sofia to be able to have a track. National Department of Physical Education and Sports is still considering options, it is not a financial question, Bulgarian media are writing. The situation in Sofia in regard to indoor training and competitions is not good. The classic Festivalna Hall is under reconstruction which is not finished yet and is missing financial backing.

LEXINGTON (USA): World´s fastest 100 m runner in 2010 Tyson Gay writes on his twitter that another top US sprinter Travis Padgett is coming to Florida to train with his group. Padgett has a 9.89 best from 2008 and clocked in 2010 as fastest 10.10. He has two sub 10 legal times in his record.

LONDON (GBR):  David Higgins has resigned as the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to take up the same role at Network Rail, writes insidethegames. Higgins, former chief executive of construction firm Lend Lease and English Partnerships, will succeed Iain Coucher. The ODA's director of finance Dennis Hone will replace Higgins, who will stay on in his post until February 1, 2011. "It has been a privilege to lead the ODA over the last five years and I am leaving with the Olympic Park on time, within budget and with the finish line in sight," said Higgins, who earns £394,999 per year.

NEW DELHI (IND):  Manish Kumar, head of press operations for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, has been sacked following a series of rows regarding the distribution of media accreditation passes. Insidethegames informs. Kumar, who is also a deputy director general of the Organising Committee, was handpicked from the private sector to work for the organising committee by Chairman Suresh Kalmadi. He has been replaced as head of press operations by Manjushree Roy who has been transferred around the Organising Committee five times in the past year.

CHICAGO (USA): American marathon hope Ryan Hall has withdrawn from the Chicago Marathon on October 10th. Hall was aiming at breaking the American record during his Chicago run but doesn't feel ready after a disappointing run in September at the Philadelphia Half Marathon  and some poor workouts in the last couple of weeks.
MOSCOW (RUS): In an interview with Reuters Sergey Bubka confirmed he is sure Yelena Isinbayeva will return to top form rapidly during the indoor season and will again dominate her event. Isinbayeva took an indefinite break earlier this year, a decision Bubka backed. "She will be back at her best, I don't see any problems or any obstacles. She competed for so many years, she is very professional, very committed." Bubka was quoted. Isinbayeva will return to competition in February 2011.

NEW DELHI (IND): The Indian Tourism Minister Kumari Selja has blamed the negative media coverage around the Commonwealth Games for the disastrous ticket sales. According to Insidethegames only 200,000 tickets of the 1.7 million have been sold so far, only achieving 10% of the revenue target from ticket sales. Hockey, one of India's most popular sports, has received 30% of all sales.
LONDON (GBR): Lord Sebastian Coe has dismissed claims that the London 2012 organizing committee has decided to finish the Olympic marathon in front of Buckingham palace instead of in the main stadium. The Olympic stadium is located in Stratford and it is claimed the organizing committee is embarrassed to show the area and its people. Traditionally the Olympic Marathon has its finish in the Olympic Stadium writes insidethegames.
MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF received the news of the death of Khalid Abdullah Al Meer, a member of the IAAF Competition Commission and a former Vice President of Qatar Association of Athletics Federation (QAAF). Khalid Abdullah Al Meer, 55, of Doha, Qatar, died on Monday, 27 September. He leaves behind his beloved wife and 4 children. He will be laid to rest at the Abu Hamour burial ground, Doha. Throughout his life, Al Meer was actively involved in sports activities in general and Athletics in particular and held various positions during his 20 year career with the Qatar Athletic Federation. He retired from the federation in the year 2008, after serving as Vice President since 1996. He was Competition Director of the Doha IAAF Grand Prix from 1997 to 2008.

FRANKFURT (GER): One of top German sprinters Marion Wagner decided to continue in her career. The 32 years old Wagner was after Barcelona considering to end it. The main issue was her health situation which is now improved. For indoors she wants to help her team in relay and in the 200 m.

CHULA VISTA (USA): Retired legendary US pole vaulter Stacy Dragila two months ago became a mother, to daughter Allyx Josephine Waltz (father Ian Waltz is one of US top discus throwers).  "I have waited so long to experience that and it's a dream come true," Dragila said as per teamusa website. These days, she also spends a lot of time giving back to the sport. Last fall, Dragila and Waltz started the Altius Track Crew. She teaches kids everything they need to know about pole vaulting. And with the help of UCS Spirit, she is able to provide the kids with poles that fit them that their schools might not have. The first camp consisted of 40 high school kids, her goal is to grow it to 75 - 100 kids.

DALLAS (USA):  Michael Johnson Performance announced it has been named the Official Training Partner of the Dallas Cowboys. Through this unique partnership, Dallas Cowboys players and training staff will leverage the proprietary training programs and technology offered by Michael Johnson Performance (MJP). Informs Michael Johnson website.

MOSCOW (RUS): Russian running family is celebrating. Yelena Sidorchenkova (world class steeple runner) gave birth to a boy (3.4 kg, 51 cm). Father is multiple national champion Aleksandr Orlov.

SAN JOSE (USA): Olympic marathon medalist Meb Keflezighi will defend Rock 'n' Roll San Jose half marathon title at the fifth staging of the race on Sunday. Keflezighi is one of the top names in a field of more than 13,000 runners over a course which is recognised as the fastest in California and where he won in one hour ane exactly one minute a year ago.


PARIS (FRA, Sep 26): French in-shape Abdellatif Meftah won the 33rd edition of Paris-Versailles road race at 16.3 km after 48:40. Kenyan Miriam Wangari won the women category in 56:06. Informs RRW.

CAPE TOWN (RSA, Sep 26): South African marathon record holder Gert Thys (38) competed in his first marathon since his doping suspension ended (December 2008). He won the Cape Town Marathon in 2:22:12. His national mark from Tokyo 1999 is 2:06:33.

TATABANYA (HUN, Sep 25-26): Young Hungarian Bence Pasztor is confiming his throwing talent. The 15 years old athlete won three events at National U16 Championships. Shot put (4kg) with 18.53 what is national best, discus (1 kg) 56.56 and hammer (4 kg) 80.27 m.

KAARIKU (EST, Sep 25): Interesting experiment by Esthonian decathlete Anders Raja. He competed in heptathlon in women events with women heights and implements. He scored 7342 points after 12.7 at 100 m hurdles, 195 in high jump, 17.42 in shot put, 23.6 at 200 m followed by 679 in long jump, 53.48 with javelin and 2:08.4 in the 800 m. World record of JJK is 7291 points, Raja´s decathlon best is 8119 from Berlin World Championships.


LUKOVIT (BUL): Clarification to Bulgarian Athletics Federation elections. 76 out of 102 clubs were present. And all voted unanimously for Dobromir Karamarinov.


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