Haile in the Big Apple, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

               Haile Gebrselassie, 2009 real, Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Lots on the marathon in this report from Alfons, also please check out Jere Longman's
superb piece on Haile and his chances in ING New York City. His piece can be found
at the www.nytimes.com website.

EME NEWS (OCT 28-29, 2010)




ATHENS (GRE): This year is the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon, the little joust whose re-telling gave rise to the race itself and, in passing may just have saved democracy for the western world. The Greeks understandably - in need of some good news in these economically straightened times - have gone to town on it. The cast list (in best alphabetical order) includes Abel Anton of Spain, Italian Stefano Baldini, Joan Benoit of the USA, Constantina Dita of Romania, Briton Ron Hill, Rosa Mota of Portugal, and Kathrine Switzer of the US, who between them won four Olympic, three world, and six European titles in the marathon, as well as breaching the male bastion in Boston over 40 years ago. So if they can't provide a word of warning on what to do about a course that begins with a flat 10 kilometres out of the town of Marathon itself, then rises 21k, before a steady 11k decline into Athens, and the haven of the 1896 Olympic Stadium, then no one can help the intrepid 12500 who will start at 0900 Sunday. Race favourite is Kenyan Jonathan Kipkorir who ran 2.07.31 in Paris last year and won this year Mainichi Marathon in 2:10:50 said, "I heard it's a tough course. But when I heard about the history, I asked my manager to send me here for this fantastic race. The organisers would like us the go for the course record (Baldini's gold medal 2.10.55 in 2004), and if the weather is good, then maybe we can go out in 65-66 for halfway. I know I'm favourite, but anyone who can run 2.10 is a potential winner". Another name to watch is Jacob Yator, who ran a personal best 2.09.02 in winning in Enschede, Netherlands last year. Add four other colleagues who are under or just over 2.10, and Paul Lekuraa, who set the race (as opposed to the course) record of 2.12.42 in 2008, and the 28th edition of this revived Athens Classic Marathon could be on the way to matching the legend which spawned it. The Russians, Irina Permitina and Olga Glok would do well to beware of Eri Hayakawa of Japan in the women's race. Writes Pat Butcher, more on his blog globerunner.org.



ROMA (ITA): G4 will start to work also in athletics. Representatives of athletics federations from Germany, France, Spain and Italy will meet during this weekend in Rome. They will discuss their relations with IAAF and EA as well as with other international sports bodies. The idea behind the meeting is to share and export the knowledge that each federation applies in different areas. Informs RFEA website.



KINGSTON (JAM): Coach Glen Mills believes the best is yet to come from Yohan Blake who improved last season to impressive 19.78 in the 200 m. With that time he is second fastest Jamaican ever at the distance, even faster than the legendary Don Quarrie. Mills, speaking of Blake, said: "I think he is going to be an outstanding 'A' class sprinter. Presently, he has a lot of rough edges and a lot of technical deficiencies. He still has a mountain to climb in terms of really becoming a finished sprinter, but he is so talented, that while the process is being worked on, you will see flashes of brilliance." WritesTrackAlerts.



MADRID (ESP): President of Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco confirmed for Marca that former European walking champion Francisco Fernandez will not be able to compete at London 2012 Games. He is currently banned for two years and under new IOC rules he is out of next games. His ban ends on February 10, 2012. He will also not be able to compete at European Championships in Helsinki that year because this shorter version of the event is not having walking events.







NEW YORK (USA): RRW writes that veteran Olympic sports journalist Jere Longman of the New York Times just released a feature story on Haile Gebrselassie's marathon career and whether the two-time Olympic gold medallist best known for running fast on flat courses can conquer a tough course and an even tougher field at the ING New York City Marathon on November 7. Also, at the Times New York City Marathon blog, readers are encouraged to submit questions for 1996 Olympic marathoner Linda Somers Smith who, at the age of 49, will be running New York for the first time.


NEW YORK (USA): Another interesting item fro Race Results Weekly points out this fall Kenyan marathon domination. Of 42 marathons in 24 countries with international elite fields men from Kenya have won 38 of them, a winning percentage of 90%. Ethiopian men have won the other four.


MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF announced the conclusion of a deal by IEC in sports, IAAF's exclusive media rights agency for Europe and Africa, with the company Sports Extra Time (SET) for the Sub Saharan African territory for the period of 2011 to 2013. Under the terms of the deal, SET will acquire a package of media rights including terrestrial, free to air and pay TV satellite rights as well as internet and mobile rights for the IAAF World Athletics Series to 2013 in the territory. The deal covers all of terrestrial Sub Saharan Africa with the exclusion of South Africa and Ghana, where IEC has already concluded agreements.


LONDON (GBR): Mike Summers is to leave England Athletics after three years as chief executive, it has been announced. As insidethegames writes day-to-day responsibility for leading the governing body through its ongoing modernisation process will be taken over by current chairman of the organisation John Graves.


BREMEN (GER): German 400 m hurdler Jonna Tilgner will have a baby break. She expectes a child next April. The national champion 2008 and 2009 plans to return to the track in 2012. Her best is 55.71 from 2009 and she is world 2009 semifinalist in the hurdles and Olympic relay finalist from Beijing.


JOHANNESBURG (RSA): 800 m world champion Caster Semenya can't find a sponsor because of the negative publicity. South African media are writing. She is struggling to pay for her running and has even met with and accepted an offer of help from two young South Africans, who say they "rallied a few friends on Facebook" to raise money for the athlete. Earlier this month, Semenya even met with the Facebook group which intends to sell T-shirts and hold mobile car washes for cash - an unthinkable situation for a world champion athlete to resort to. Michael Seme, Semenya's coach, told the AP she receives a salary from the South African government, is provided with running clothes by a sportswear company, and receives help with tuition fees and the use of training facilities from the University of Pretoria. But there's no endorsements.


ACAPULCO (MEX): During the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) General Assembly in Acapulco Cheikh Thiaré, Director of the IAAF President's Executive Office, was presented with the ANOC Order of Merit Award for "outstanding contribution to the activities of the Association of National Olympic Committees". A former member of the Executive Council of ANOC, on which he served two consecutive mandates, Cheikh Thiaré was a Member of the ANOCA (Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa) Executive Board for 8 years (two consecutive mandates which ended in July 2010), and served as President of ANOCA Zone II which comprises eight countries. Informs IAAF.


MOSCOW (RUS): The track magazine Spikes was presented on Friday for first time in Russian language during the Russian Athletics Federation general assembly.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Commonwealth Games champion Steve Hooker has been announced as nominee for the fourth annual Sports Performer Awards in Australia. The nomination caps a stunning year for 28-year-old Hooker that has seen him take out world indoor, Continental Cup and Commonwealth Games gold, and contest all seven pole vault competitions on the Diamond League tour. Writes Athletics Australia. The Western Australian-based star, who trains under the guidance of coach Alex Parnov, is now in the running for both the Sports Performer of the Year and IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards. The winners of the five awards categories will be announced at a gala function at Melbourne's Crown Casino on Tuesday November 30.


LJUBLJANA (SLO): Slovenian shot put record holder Miran Vodovnik will pass the indoor season in order to concentrate on the summer competitions.


OTTAWA (CAN): The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre (CACC) and Athletics Canada (AC) are hosting a National Sprints Conference at the University of Toronto November 12 - 14. The conference will bring in multiple world renowned coaches including Tom Tellez, coach of nine time Olympic champion Carl Lewis; Loren Seagrave, coach of three time World long jump champion Dwight Phillips; Gary Winckler, former coach of 2003 world 100mH champion Perdita Felicien; Toronto based coach Anthony McCleary, coach of 2009 world silver medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep as well as many other Canadian National Event Group Coaches, athletic therapists and sports scientists from the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario. Informs Athletics Canada.


MOSCOW (RUS): Readers of Rusathletics.com website voted for newcomers of the year in Russian athletics. Biggest number of votes went to 400 m runner Kseniya Ustalova (Barcelona silver individually and gold in relay) and young walker Valeriy Filipchuk who achieved bronze at IAAF Race Walking World Cup in Mexico and later won the World junior title in Moncton.


MARSEILLE (FRA): The 32th edition international Marseille-Cassis Classique (20.308m) this Sunday will have title defender Meseret Mengistu as the favourite in the women's race while her Ethiopian teammates Lelisa Desisa and Deriba Merga will try to offer a first male victory to Ethiopia. IAAF is writing.







STARICA (RUS, Oct 24): Veteran Vyacheslav Shabunin is still better than his younger rivals. He won the 21st half marathon in Tversk Region in very solid 1:05:24 for age of 41.


ALGES (POR, Oct 24): 30th edition of Corrida de Tejo winners were at 10 km Rui Silva (29:13) and Jessica Augusto (33:27).


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