IAAF Signs SINOPEC: First Chinese Sponsor, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

sinopec logo_ac_e.jpgCongrats to Dentsu, the marketing arm of the IAAF, who signed SINOPEC, the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, as an official sponsor for the IAAF....new sponsors help support new programs and make the current events less of a drain on the federation coffers.....

VIENNA (AUT): Legendary Haile Gebrselassie confirmed to run a unique half marathon chase race in Vienna on 17th April next year. It will be his first race in Europe after the Ethiopian decided to continue his career, following his original withdrawal from the sport in New York in November. Gebrselassie is scheduled to run at the end of the year in Angola and in February Tokyo Marathon. The Vienna City Marathon is Austria's biggest one day sports event. In 2010 a total of 32,940 runners from 108 nations had entered the race through the picturesque capital. While the marathon is the main event there are other races staged parallel. Among them is the half marathon in which Haile Gebrselassie will compete. The 37 year-old will not only run the half marathon but he will also chase the elite marathon runners, who will run on the same course and who will get a head start. The time difference between the two starts will be determined nearer to the event. "I look forward to running in Vienna and expect this to be a thrilling race for the athletes and the spectators," said Haile Gebrselassie, who will celebrate his 38th birthday in Vienna on the day after the event. The world marathon record holder (2:03:59 in Berlin 2008) said that he would prepare seriously and "as usual I will give my best" to put in a great performance. "It was probably our last chance to bring Haile to the Vienna City Marathon and give our spectators the opportunity to see the world's greatest long distance runner in action," explained race director Wolfgang Konrad.



MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF announced the conclusion of a further worldwide sponsorship agreement with the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China's largest oil refiner, producer and seller of chemical products. The deal was brokered by Dentsu, IAAF's worldwide marketing partner. Under the terms of the deal that runs through 2015, Sinopec will become the worldwide Official Partner of the IAAF and its World Athletic Series in the category of 'oil and natural gas'. Sinopec is the 7th largest corporation in the Fortune 500 list in 2010. In addition, Sinopec will directly provide additional financial support to the IAAF for its Continental Programme joining Samsung and Adidas. This recent initiative has been introduced to support IAAF's Area Associations and Member Federations with the sponsorship of IAAF Official Partners. With this new agreement, the IAAF now has seven confirmed Official Partners for the 2011 World Championships, Daegu, Korea.



LUCENEC (SVK): First ever Slovak (since independency in 1993) European Champion Libor Charfreitag was clearly voted Slovak Athlete of the Year 2010. In the poll of journalists, coaches and officials he recieved 506 points. Second was 800 m runner Lucia Klocova (fourth in Barcelona) with 399 points just 3 points ahead of 50 km World Cup walking winner Matej Toth (396). Newcomer of the year title went to long jumper Renata Medgyesova who improved to 679 and was 7th in Barcelona. She was in the past high jumper and started new career as mother in long jump. Young athlete of the year was Moncton finalist in hammer throw Tomas Kruzliak. In the coaches ranks, the duo which leads the preparations of Libor Charfreitag was voted as best: Dave Wollman in Dallas and Libor Charfreitag sr. in Slovakia. In a nice ceremony in the city of Lucenec hammer IAAF Continental Cup winner Charfreitag expressed his wish for 2011 and that is to medal in Daegu.



MINSK (BLR): Belarus Athletes of the Year 2010 were announced by the national federation. The awards ceremony will be staged on December 23. In women category the trophy goes to shot put European gold medalist and World Indoor Champion Nadezhda Ostapchuk. Also in men´s category number one is shot putter and European winner from Barcelona Andrey Mikhnevich. Hurdler and sprinter Aleksandr Linnik was the best male in junior category and hammer thrower Yelena Novogrodskaya in girls ranks. Teams of the year were women at 10 000 m who were third at European Cup 10 000 m and men throwers who won European Cup Winter Throwing. Coach of the year is Aleksandr Yefimov who leads the preparation of Ostapchuk.



RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Pole vault world indoor champion and Samsung Diamond League winner Fabiana Murer won the highest award in Brazilian Sports. She was awarded Brasil Olimpico prize during a special ceremony held by National Olympic Committee. Her trainer Elson Miranda was named coach of the year. Male winner of the award was voleyball player Murilo. Two more athletics representatives got awards, in youth categories the medalists from Youth Olympic Games long jumper Caio Cezar Fernandes and pole vaulter Thiago Braz da Silva.







NAIROBI (KEN): IAAF World athlete of the year David Rudisha has married his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Naayu. The couple made its vows both at the district commissioner's office and through the traditional Maasai marriage rituals. Moses Tangui, Rudisha's usual pacemaker, was his best man writes nation.co.ke.


LAUSANNE (SUI): European cross country champion Jessica Augusto and Torino Marathon winner Ruggero Pertile have been voted European athletes of the month November. Augusto managed to win the European title at home in Albufeira while Pertile won the 24th edition of the Torino Marathon in 2:10.58.


MELBOURNE (AUS): 400m runner John Steffensen will be ineligible to compete in any competition for the next three months as he breached the Athletics Australia by-law that prohibits insulting or improper behaviour that will bring athletics into disrepute. Steffensen had criticized Athletics Australia and its selection procedure on numerous occasions and was sentenced by an independent panel. Steffensen will be eligible to compete again from February 16 2011 confirms Athletics Australia.


NORDHAUSEN (GER): Top three best shot putters in the world will compete at the special indoor meet on January 21 in Nordhausen. World champion Christian Cantwell with Reese Hoffa and Cory Martin will throw in Germany. They will also compete as US Team against Germans (Ralf Bartels, Marco Schmidt, David Storl). Not totally confirmed is the participation of Storl, if not available Andy Dittmar is ready to compete. Women competition will see home Denise Hinrichs with Italian Chiara Rosa, French Jessica Cerival and Dutch Melissa Boekelman.


LONDON (GBR): Paula Radcliffe recognizes she is out of the public eye since being out of the sport for over a year following the birth of her second child. However, the marathon world record holder said for The Express that she has big plans to win the 2012 Olympic Marathon and will be back in the spotlight when the time is right. "There will be no 'unknowns' about the London Olympic marathon, I know the food, I know the streets, I know what the support is going to be like, I have all that preparation in me. There is always pressure, it comes from yourself. That's not going to be any different because it's an Olympics in London." Radcliffe was quoted.


NEW YORK (USA): World indoor champion at 3000 m Bernard Lagat will clash with world indoor champion at 1500 m Deresse Mekonnen in the Wannamaker Mile at the 104th staging of the Millrose Games on January 28. Lagat surpassed the achievement of Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan and became "Chairman of the Boards" when clinching a record eighth victory at the Madison Square venue this year and is eager to extend his purple patch. Fastest woman of 2010 at 100 m Veronica Campbell-Brown will headline the "USA versus Jamaica Challenge," where three Americans will race against three Jamaicans in both the men and women's 60-metre sprints. Points will be awarded according to place, and the scores of the two races combined. Additional athletes in the 60m fields will be announced in early 2011.


EDINBURGH (GBR): Mo Farah and Chris Thompson following their best ever track seasons will switch their attention to winter campaigns when competing at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country in the New Year. They will spearhead the British team chasing honours in the Men's International Team Challenge on January 8.  Their appearances for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland senior team will see them contest what promises to to be a high calibre competition against exceptionally talented United States and European Select squads.


OSAKA (JPN): Russian 7th placer from this years NYC Marathon Lyudmila Petrova with best of 2:21:29 from 2006 will head the international invited runners group for Osaka Women´s Marathon on January 30. Another Russian veteran will also compete, Svetlana Zakharova who was recently second in Honolulu. Mexican record holder Adriana Fernandez will also run. From Europe also to note Italian Anna Incerti, Romanian Adriana Pirtea and Ukrainian former European CC Champion Tetyana Holovchenko. Home challenge will be led by Yumiko Hara with Tomo Morimoto and Yukiko Akaba.


KARLSRUHE (GER): European high jump indoor champion Ariane Friedrich confirmed her appearance at the BW-Bank Meeting in Karlsruhe on February 13 (IAAF Indoor Permit). It will be her third start at the meeting and also third start of the indoor season after Hustopece and Stuttgart. Already earlier confirmed were other German stars, European champions Verena Sailer with Christian Reif. Friedrich jumped in Europa Halle in 2009 after great duel with Blanka Vlasic meet record 205 cm.


LONDON (GBR): Pat Butcher´s blog at www.globerunner.org is called Salah Amaidan's Run to Freedom.


LONDON (GBR): UK Athletis writes, that golden-girl of British athletics, Jessica Ennis, was once again on our screens last night after being nominated for the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for the second successive year. Despite just missing out on the top prize, the nomination came on the back of a whirlwind two years for the heptathlon star, which saw her win back-to-back World and European titles on top of a record-breaking gold medal performance at the World Indoor Championships. Ennis has already confirmed her participation at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow's Kelvin Hall ISA on January 29 and also the Aviva Grand Prix at the NIA in Birmingham on February 19.


OOSTENDE (BEL): The Belgian 4x400m team has been named Belgian sports team of the year during a nationally televised show. Team captain Cedric Van Branteghem picked up the prize. European 400m champion Kevin Borlée narrowly missed out on winning the prize of sportsman of the year when the prize went to cyclist Phillip Gilbert. European triple jump bronze medalist Svetlana Bolshakova also came in second after tennis champion Kim Clijsters who was voted sportswoman of the year for the 8th time in her career.


PARIS (FRA): Double European bronze medalist Véronique Mang explained in an interview with athle.com that she is very excited about the European indoor Championships at home in Paris. The French athlete holds a personal best of 7.21 at 60 m but believes she will be able to improve on the time. She also thinks the French success in Barcelona will extent to the European indoor championships at home.


KINGSTON (JAM): Fast sprinter Asafa Powell was named among the top 10 most popular Jamaican personalities of 2010 by The Jamaican Gleaner. The Newspaper described Powell's early season as phenomenal and hailed his performances on the track as well as his personality off the track.


LONDON (GBR): Jama Aden, who guides the career of Sudan's Abubaker Kaki, has been named the 2010 Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Sports Excellence, which awards the best coach in the Arab sporting world. Under Aden's direction, Hamza Driouch, a 16-year-old Qatari, earned silver in the Singapore Youth Olympics, while Mohamed Al-Garni got a bronze in the IAAF World Junior Championships 1500m writes Insidethegames.biz.


EGMOND (NED): Sportscompany Le Champion has announced some of The Netherlands best athletes for the 39th edition of the PWN Egmond Halve Marathon on January 9th. In the men's race Michel Butter, Patrick Stitzinger, Koen Raymaekers and debutant Khalid Choukoud will take on each other. The women's race promises a clash between Hilda Kibet, Linsday Marrewijk and Miranda Boonstra.


BOLZANO (ITA): The 36th edition of Bo-Classic race on December 31 is having another top entry. Double European champion Mo Farah will run against Kenyan favorite Edwin Soi and multiple European CC winner Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine. Kenyan Silas Kipruto, who finished fourth in the Half Marathon World Championships is also among the top favorites. Last year Farah was third. Farah was also named track and field athlete of the year by British Olympic Association in the mean-time.


MOSCOW (RUS): European champions Olga Kaniskina (20 km walk) and Aleksandr Shustov (high jump) were voted into top ten of Russian Sports Persons of the Year 2010. There is no specific order in this poll of Russian Sports Journalists. The ceremony will be held in February.


MADRID (ESP): More than 350 track coaches signed a statement to support clean sport in Spain and asked for continued research and investigation to get final solutions connected to Operation Galgo. They expressed their view to reject all doping practices in all sports in the country. The coaches expressed unconditional support for all initiatives to be taken, both legal and federal, to eradicate doping in both athletics and in sport in general. All coaches who signed the petition can be found at Spanish Federation website.


LANGENTHAL (SUI): Swiss sprinter Fabienne Weyermann ended her career at age of 25. She was 60 m specialist and qualified for two European Indoor Championships and one World Indoors. She said she missed the necessary motivation to continue. Even a relay project towards European Championships 2014 in Zurich could not change her decision. Her best was 7.39 from 2007.


NAIROBI (KEN): African Athletics United facebook writes:  Our colleague Norman Katende informs that Uganda Athletics Federation's organising secretary Faustin Kiwa is among the people who were injured in a bus blast in Nairobi. He was on his way back from the East Africa University Games. He's been admitted in Kenyatta Hospital in a stable condition.







DORTMUND (GER, Dec 19): 2006 Euro winner Bram Som started the indoor campaign with 1:49.73 time at the 800 m.


ADDIS ABABA (ETH, Dec 19):  Half marathon runner Lelisa Disasa and newcomer Hiwot Ayalew were impressive winners of the 28th edition of the MOHA Addis Ababa Cross Country Championships. Writes IAAF. Desisa clocked 34:43 at 12 km and Ayalew 26:56 at 8 km. Junior winners were familiar names Emebet Anteneh (6 km, 19:54) and Yenew Alamrew (8 km, 23:07).


LISBOA (POR, Dec 19): In Christmas walking event Vera Santos clocked at 5 km 22:04 ahead of Lithuania´s Kristina Saltanovic (22:16).


AARHUS (DEN, Dec 11): In late addition the improvement of  2009 World Youth medalist in high jump. Janick Klausen cleared at local meet his overall best and national U23 record 222 cm.



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