2010 European Cross: Lebid is King (again), Augusto Wins First title, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Lebid_Sergey1-Campaccio10.jpg           Lebed at Campaccino, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sergiy Lebed is the European King of Cross Country. This year, it was a bit more difficult as it came to a huge kick with 300 meters to go, but Lebed is now Cross Country Rex Europa, to debase the Latin language for the purpose of this short commentary. Lebed has won all of the European XC Champs, winning his ninth metal here in 29:15. Portugal's men beat the Spanish men here, for the first time in four years! Lebed is 35 years old, but his last 300 meters showed that Sergiy does his speed work!

Jessica Augusto, the bronze medalist from the European Championships at 10,000 meters this past year, lead the Portugese women to the champions circle with her superb win here!
This gold medal will go well with Augusto's junior championship ten years ago! Augusto won 8.2 kilometers in 26:52. Portugal's women  beat France and Great Britain for the team championship!




ALBUFEIRA (POR, Dec 12): As in Dublin last year also this year in Portugal Great Britain was the best team of 17th European CC Championships with 4 golds, 1 silver and two bronze medals (last year it was even more 3-6-3). Portugal at home soil was second best country (2-2-3) ahead of France (2-2-0) and Spain (1-2-3). Eleven countries won medals (last year 12). Sergiy Lebid again improved his status as best European CC runner of the history. The 2011 edition will be held in Velenje, Slovenia. Ukrainian Serhiy Lebid confirmed who is the boss (still) and with his finish in the last 300 m dominated again at age of 35. The man who competed in all editions of European CC Championships won his 9th gold in 29:15. Three seconds behind was Spain´s Ayad Lamdassem (29:18) who had no answer to Lebid's turn of speed over the final 400m but hung on to claim the silver medal, after finishing fifth in Dublin 12 months ago, while  Portugal's Youssef El Kalai, who had surged at the start of the last lap to test his rivals, won an exciting battle for the bronze in 29:19. The two Frenchman Mourad Amdouni and Abdellatif Meftah came home fourth and fifth respectively (both 29:21) but had the huge compensation of helping their country dethrone Spain after three years of their rivals being on top. Portugal got silver ahead of Spain. Jesús España, the 2006 European Athletics Championships 5000m champion and the silver medallist over the same distance this summer, was ninth while local middle distance legend Rui Silva, who also won a bronze medal in 2007 in his only previous outing at the European CC event, completed the Portuguese scoring quartet by finishing in 17th place. Portugal's Jessica Augusto added the senior women's title to the one she won as a junior a decade ago with one of the most dominating performance seen at this event in recent years. It was first women senior gold medal for Portugal at this event. She clocked at 8.17 km 26:52 and was 5 seconds ahead of Turkish Binnaz Uslu. In fight for bronze Ana Dulce Felix beat Ireland´s Fionnualla Britton (both timed at 26:59). Portugal was clear team winner ahead of Great Britain and Spain. Of the two former senior women's champions Ukraine's 2006 winner Tetyana Holovchenko was seventh while Great Britain's defending champion Hayley Yelling-Higham struggled home in 28th place, clearly not fully recovered after a severe cold recently. France dominated men´s U23 race. Hassan Chahdi and Florian Carvalho ended top two at 8.17 km (24:11 and 24:14). Bronze surprisingly for Russian Yegor Nikolayev (24:15). Belgian Jeroen D´Hoedt was fourth (24:23). But teams gold went to Ireland ahead of France and Spain. When the news had filtered though that Norway's Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal had been injured in November and felt she was not fit enough to make the trip to Albufeira, Turkey's Meryem Erdogan was always going to be the prohibitive favourite and she didn't disappoint. She won at 6070 m in 20:08. Cristina Jordan of Spain was second nine seconds behind (20:17). Great Britain's Emma Pallant ended third in 20:28. Great Britain took their third team gold medal of the day ahead of Russia and Ukraine. Spanish distance running has an illustrious history but Abdelaziz Merzougui became just the second man from the country, following in the footsteps of Yusef El Nasri in 1998, to take the junior boys title. Merzoughui, the Spanish junior 3000m steeplechase record holder, executed a perfect race plan and covered 6070 m course in 18:07. Serbia's Nemanja Cerovac, who was seventh in Dublin 12 months and who made the final of the 1500m at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Canada, chased Merzoughui off the bend and over the final 100m and was given the same time and the silver medal but, in truth, the Spaniard had everything under control and was never under serious threat from the bushy-haired Serbian. Portugal's Rui Pinto, who was sixth 12 months ago, was cheered all the way to the line as he took the host nation's first medal when he finished third, two seconds behind the leading pair and holding off a late challenge from the Ukrainian surprise package Ivan Strebkov, who ran a fantastic last lap to make up nine places and who also clocked 18:09. Norway's pre-race favourite Sondre Nordstad Moen ended fifth (18:16). Great Britain won teams ahead of Portugal and Russia. In junior girls race after finishing third three years ago, second in 2008 but missing last year's SPAR European Cross Country Championships because of injury, Great Britain's Charlotte Purdue finally made it to the top of the podium after a four year journey in 12:42 after 3.97 km. Second Serbian Amela Terzic with 17 seconds behind and third another Briton Emelia Gorecka came through strongly over the final 1500 m (13:00) to overtake Russian favorite Gulshat Fazlitdinova (13:03). Two runners on the podium helped Great Britain to regain the team medals they relinquished to Russia last year in Dublin, second was Germany and third Romania. Text with help of European Athletics.







MADRID (ESP): 2009 European CC Champion Alemayehu Bezabeh confessed to the police that he used banned substances. Police found a bag of his blood, Spanish media are informing. His coach Manuel Pasqua was one of the arrested 14 persons on Thursday when operation Galgo started. The head of the 24th Madrid Court (TJSM) released on Sunday after questioning coach Manuel Pasqua, current coach of Marta Dominguez Cesar Perez, runner Alberto Garcia and agent Jose Alonso among others. They must report any changes connected to them like changing of address etc. Eight persons are remaining detained. This group includes also steeple worlds champion Marta Dominguez who will be questioned next week via video conference (she was released under charges because of pregnancy). Civil Guard informed that the decision about the direct action on December 9 was agreed already in middle of November. The investigations were going on since April.


KINGSTON (JAM): TrackAlerts reports that popular sprinter Asafa Powell made a visit to Auckland, New Zealand for a promotional photoshoot with his new Chinese sponsor Li Ning. According to stuff.co.nz, Powell, during his three-day visit he had photoshoots at Takapuna Beach and Mount Eden, where he was ambushed by former Commonwealth Games cyclist Gavin Stevens, now one of the world's best masters' marathoners.


KINGSTON (JAM): CAC website informs that world indoor champions Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown and Cuban Dayron Robles were named Central American & Caribbean Athletes of the Year 2010. In the junior category the awards are going to Kirani James of Grenada (400 m) and Cuban jumper Dainelis Alcantara.


RIO DE JANIERO (BRA): Elson Miranda (45), who is the coach of Diamond League winner and World Indoor pole vault champion Fabiana Murer won the prize for the best coach of the year awarded as Premio Brasil Olimpico. It was in the category individual sports, in teams sports the award went to men´s national voleyball team coach Bernardinho Rezende.







HONOLULU (USA, Dec 12): Kenyan Nicholas Chelimo won the 2010 Honolulu Marathon in humid conditions timed at 2:15:18. Next placers also from Kenya, Richard Limo second 2:17:18 and Solomon Bushendich third 2:19:54 ahead of Gilbert Kirwa 2:20:58. Seven-time winner here Jimmy Muindi still respectable fifth (2:22:34). Story happened around the women winner. Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia won in 2:32:13 in her marathon debut, but media are reporting that race officials reviewed photos and other race records because of a possible rule violation, in which Gebre may have received illegal assistance from her boyfriend. It was alleged that the boyfriend, Ezkayas Tsegaya, helped to pace her, and also gave her water and other drinks from containers that he wore on a belt around his waist. Experienced Russian and previous winner here Svetlana Zakharova who was second (2:33:01) filed a protest. Honolulu Marathon president Dr. Jim Barahal said that Tsegaya's actions may have been inappropriate. But Gebre, who was a late entry into the race, also did not have access to aid stations that were available to invited elite runners and so Gebre was confirmed as winner. Writes hawaiinewsnow.com. Third was Japan´s Kaori Yoshida in 2:39:02.  A total of 22 806 runners entered the race (13 490 from them from Japan).


ZURICH (SUI, Dec 12): Another Swiss win during the weekend for Paul Kipkorir after Sion. He was the best at Zurich Silvesterlauf in 25:32 at 9.8 km. Eritrean Abraham Tadesse and fellow Kenyna Daniel Chebii were three seconds behind second and third. Christian Belz was best Swiss runner as 7th (26:02). He afterwards announced his retirement. Jerome Schaffner who was 8th is the overall Post Cup series winner. Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony won women´s 7 km in 20:48 and defender her last year title. Here the Post Cup honours goes to Sabine Fischer.


BEIT-SHE´AN (ISR, Dec 10): New Israeli half-marathon record at 32nd Beit-She´an race when Moges Tesseme clocked 1:03:20. Former Ethiopian was 20th at European Championships in Barcelona at 10 000 m.


HASTINGS (NZL, Dec 11): New Zealand´s super shot put talent Jacko Gill improved the all-time best with 5 kg implement to impressive 23.86 m. Former best mark was 23.23 by Poland´s Youth Olympic Games winner Krzysztof Brzozowski (17) when winning the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this summer. Gill will be soon 16 years old (December 20) and is already world junior champion with 6 kg from Moncton.


SION (SUI, Dec 11): Kenyan Paul Kipkorir clocked new course record 19:48 to win the 42th Christmas Run in Sion. Daniel Chebii was 21 seconds behind him as second. Former Olympic silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba was the best woman in 15:55 at 5 km. Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony was 39 behind her.


SANTA CRUZ (ESP, Dec 10): Favorite Juan Carlos de la Ossa was only fourth at the 34th Cross de Navidad de la Palma at Tenerife, Grand Canaria. Winner at 7.59 km was Jose Carlos Hernandez ahead of Miguel Vaquero and Ciro Zapico.


CALVIA (ESP, Dec 12): Poland´s Maciej Miereczko won the 27th Calvia Marathon in 2:22:31.


ROMA (ITA, Dec 12): Kenyan Erastus Chirchir was the best after 29:09 at the 10 km Fuimicino road race.


BURLADA (ESP, Dec 12): Africans dominated the 19th Hire-Herri cross race in Navarra region. Cuthbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe was the best at 10 km (30:29) with best home runner steeple specialist Eliseo Martin third (31:22) and 1500 m Euro winner Arturo Casado fourth (31:38). South African Lebogang Phalula won the women´s 6.12 km in 21:25.


FERROL (ESP, Dec 12): Kenyan Daniel Keitany won the 25th Memorial Adolfo Ros in 1:03:08 at the half-marathon. Best European Marco Morgado of Portugal who debuted at the distance in good 1:04:19 as fourth.


REGGIO EMILIA (ITA, Dec 12): Moroccan Taoufik Barhoumi won the 15th Reggio Emilia Marathon in life-time best 2:15:55. Second Tamas Kovacs of Hungary improved to 2:16:07 (his first sub 2:20). Italian Ilaria Bianchi was the best woman in 2:40:23 ahead of Hungarian Monika Nagy (2:45:29 another personal best).


CASTELLON (ESP, Dec 12): Fast debut of Castellon Marathon. In the first edition Ethiopian Solomon Tsige clocked new career best 2:10:37. His previous mark was 2:11:47 while winning Hamburg in 2009. Moroccan Hassan Achouchar was second in 2:13:20. Best home runner was Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez who was second at European Championships. He achieved 2:17:50 as seventh.


MELBOURNE (AUS, Dec 12): Commonwealth Games silver medallist Luke Adams has claimed his maiden national 50km road walking title on a big day of racing for Australia's elite road walking community in Fawkner Park, Melbourne. Her clocked excellent 3:47:34 and clearly achieved the Daegu standard 3:58. Double olympic medalist Jared Tallent did not finish the race, withdrawing just before the 40km-mark. Ian Rayson (22) in his first 50 got 3:59:43 as second. Berlin participant Adam Rutter took out the men's 20 km walk in a time of 1:24.56. In the women's 20 km event, New Delhi silver medallist Claire Tallent took the honours in a time of 1:35.38, one minute clear of young gun Regan Lamble (8th in Moncton this year) on her 20 km debut (1:36:40). Writes Athletics Australia.


EAUBONNE (FRA, Dec 11): European relay silver medalist Lina Jacques-Sebastien clocked solid 23.65 at 200 m during her season begin.


MANHATTAN (USA, Dec 11): Erik Kynard who was world juniors 2008 participant started his indoor campaign with new overall life-time best 227 cm.


STADTALLENDORF (GER, Dec 11): Felix Goltl improved at 60 m to 6.80.


KENT (USA, Dec 11): Reggie Dixon was the fastest at Golden Flash Gala meet with 6.68 and 21.31 sprint wins.


COLLEGE STATION (USA, Dec 17): Fast 60 m by Jessica Young 7.23 at Reveille Invitational. Berlin Worlds participant Aries Merritt won the 60 m hurdles in 7.73. Zambian record holder Gerald Phiri was the fastest in men´s 60 m in 6.70. He beat world junior 100 m silver winner from Moncton Charles Silmon (6.73). Joey Roberts showed early 800 m shape 1:49.47.


PRINCETON (USA, Dec 11): At New Year´s Invitational meet fast 300 m by 20-years old Austin Hollimon 33.68.


SPANISH TOWN (JAM, Dec 12): Talented sprinter Jazeel Murphy (16) who is Carifta winner from 2009 competed for first time since March and clocked at development meet 16.6 at 150 m.

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