World Rankings by AI: Toughest for Men's Steeple & Womens TJ, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Kemboi_EzekielM_WCh09.jpg Ezekial Kemboi, Berlin 2009 WC gold medalist, photo by

Athletes International, the newsletter by Peter Matthews & Mel Watman, has just announced their world rankings, and the toughest events: Men's Steeplechase and Womens' triple jump!

LONDON (GBR): Athletics Weekly published in its Christmas Issue the traditional World merit rankings by Athletics International group of experts (Peter Matthews, Mel Watman, Stan Greenberg, Mirko Jalava, Alfons Juck, Lennart Julin and Ed Gordon). The panel assessed the year's records of the leading contenders and the ranking order was determined by consensus. Among the factors considered were athletes' placings in significant competitions. This year there were no Olympic Games or World Championships, so the focus varied for athletes and this made the evaluations even more difficult than usual. Some had continental championships, such as African Champs, Europeans and Asian Games, while for many top athletes the Samsung Diamond League and the new Intercontinental Cup were vital. As ever the group was concerned with the quality of the best marks, consistency and win-loss records against other ranked competitors. Marks made indoors were not considered, nor were any athletes who were suspended during the year for drug-related offences. There is a big group of clear number ones in each event (Gay in 100 m, Bolt in 200 m, Wariner, Rudisha, A. Kiprop, Merga, W. Kiprop at 10 000 m, Makau, Oliver, B. Jackson, Lavillenie, Phillips, Cantwell, Harting, Thorkildsen, Yemelyanov at 20 km walk). Slightly more discussion was in high jump (Shustov over Ukhov), triple jump (Idowu over Tamgho), hammer (Charfreitag over Murofushi), decathlon (Barras over Eaton and Clay) and 50 km walk (Diniz over Toth). This will be different in some events as Track And Field News rankings due to the fact that here indoors is not considered. Real open situation was in steeple with Ezekiel Kemboi over Paul Kipsiele Koech and Richard Matelong. Women situation saw less clear number ones. In that group Felix over 400 m, Lagat at 1500 m, Tirunesh Dibaba at 10 000 m, Shobukhova in marathon, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep 100 m hurdles, Milcah Chemos in steeple, Blanka Vlasic in high jump, Brittney Reese in long jump, Nadezhda Ostapchuk in shot put, Betty Heidler in hammer, Jessica Ennis in heptathlon and Olga Kaniskina at 20 km walk as dominating persons. Nearly clear was the situation for Cuban discus thrower Yareli Barrios, Czech javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova, Fabiana Murer in pole vault and Lashinda Demus at 400 m hurdles. More closer the situation in the 800 m (Savinova over Jepkosgei) and 5000 m (Tirunesh Dibaba over Vivian Cheruiyot). Different opinions in both sprints (Carmelita Jeter over Veronica Campbell-Brown at the 100 m and Veronica Campbell-Brown over Allyson Felix in the 200 m). But the closest was triple jump, Olga Rypakova over Yargelis Savigne. Track and Field News rankings will be published within next days.

TRIER (GER): Kenyan Micah Kogo will be the top name of 21st Bitburger Silvesterlauf in Trier, Germany on December 31. He won here already in 2008, last year the title went to legendary Haile Gebrselassie. Course record 22:21 is still from 1997 achieved by Kenyan Isaac Kariuki at the 8 km course. Barcelona 1500 m medalist Carsten Schlangen is the best German name in the field.

MADRID (ESP): Top Spanish end of the year race the 46th San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid on December 31 will see home stars Chema Martinez and Jesus Espana running against world half marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea. In women race European 1500 m gold medalist Nuria Fernandez is entered. Her main rival should be current top marathoner in the world Russian Lilya Shobukhova and fresh European CC Champion Jessica Augusto of Portugal. In total 35 000 runners are expected to take part.


LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics confirmed changes in the results of European Champion Clubs Cup 2010 in the juniors category. For Serbian girls side Novi Beograd and boys club AC Sirmijum some athletes competed without full confirmation and that resulted in the fact that the winners of A Group are now AK Olymp Brno of Czech Republic and Novi Beograd is down to 6th from second. In boys category Sirmijum is down from fourth to seventh and so downgraded to B-group.

BEOGRAD (SRB): The indoor season of 2008 World junior long jump champion Ivana Spanovic is under question due to health problems. In her stomach a bacteria was found and she was told to reduce the training. Another problem for the 8th placer from Barcelona is lack of funds which brings in doubt the planned January trainíng camp in South Africa.

SOEST (NED): The short course race at the 30th edition of the Sylvestercross in Soest promises to be a high quality field with 800m runners Yvonne Hak and Arnaud Okken. The European silver 800m medalist Hak will face opposition from Dutch 1500m champion Marije te Raa and 2009 winner Lotte Jacobs. Arnoud Okken, 4th at the European championships, takes on Dutch Pim Molenaar and Belgian Maarten Mortelmans. In the women's race (6km) Adrienne Herzog is the favorite for victory along with Moroccan Rkia el Moukim. The men's race (10,400m) features 2009 winner from Morocco Jamal Baligha, Dutch Michel Butter, Dutch cross country champion Khalid Choukoud, Abdi Nageeye and Vitaly Rybak.

KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican junior talent Samantha Elliot wants to focus on both the short and long hurdles in 2011. Elliot has moved to coach Lennox Graham at the Johnson C Smith University, who will take over the athletes conditioning next month writes Elliott ran 13.42 this year to set a new Carifta Games record. She aims at representing Jamaica at the Pan Am junior championships in 2011.

TOKYO (JPN): In an article on Japanese Olympic hopefuls female sprinter Chisato Fukushima said the Japanese 4x100m relays team could be very competitive at the London Olympics. Fukushima won gold in the 100m and 200m at the Asian Games in Guangzhou and recorded this season a national record of 11.21. She aims at competing in both the 100m and 200m at the London Olympics and wants to reach the finals with the 4x100m team writes

RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): The Rio City Hall and the construction company Carvalho Hosken have signed a contract for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company will built the athletes village, which will comprise of 34 12-storey buildings, on an area of 75 hectares in Recreio dos Bandeirantes. The village will offer 2448 three and four bedroom, high standard apartments with balcony, dining and living rooms, a kitchen and a utility room. The Olympic village will be located at less than 10 minutes traveling from the training and competition facilities for 46% of the athletes. 73% of the athletes will be under 25 minutes away from their training and competition venues reports

LONDON (GBR): The organizing committee of the 2014 Commonwealth Games have appointed Glasgow-based design agency Tangent Graphic as its leading design agency. The agency will, among other graphic elements, produce the pictograms that represent the core disciplines of the Commonwealth Games writes

BRUSSELS (BEL): The Flemish athletics federation (VAL) has restructured its athlete development project 'Atletiek Vlaanderen'. The VAL will move away from supporting athletes with employment contracts to re-focusing on promising athletes who combine their careers with part-time school obligations. The group consists of 14 athletes such as European junior cross country champion Jeroen D'Hoedt, European junior decathlon champion Thomas Van der Plaetsen and break-through hurdler Michael Bultheel.

MUNCHEN (GER): lists top ten athletes of the 2010 without specific rankings. Included of course David Rudisha, Christophe Lemaitre, Blanka Vlasic but also Jessica Ennis, David Oliver, Chaunte Howard-Lowe, Teddy Tamgho, Mo Farah, Sergiy Lebid and Andreas Thorkildsen.

MOSCOW (RUS): Magazine PROsport listed in its new year issue 15 nicest Russian sportswomen. Inlcuded also three track athletes. Long jumper Darya Klishina, 400 m runner Kseniya Vdovina and high jumper Tatyana Kivimiagi.

SAN SALVADOR (ESA): More CAC countries AOY are in Bahamas 400 m runner Shaunae Miller and high jumper Donald Thomas. In Bermudas long jumper Tyrone Smith with heptathlete Shianne Smith.

PANAMA CITY (PAN): World 200 m medalist Alonso Edward while visiting his country stated that he is in good shape, healthy and ready for 2011. He suffered last April a left thigh injury which ruled him out from any other competitions. His main aim is Daegu World Championships. Indoors he plans to race only in USA at 400 m. Edward is training in Oklahoma under the guidance of Matt Kane.

TOKYO (JPN): Brett Larner informs on his blog that after retiring following the 2009 Tokyo Marathon to become a mother, two-time World Championships marathon medalist Reiko Tosa announced that she will make a comeback to competitive running. Tosa will spend the new year training with Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo on Miyako island and will run in February's Tokyo Marathon. Tosa gave birth to her first baby, a daughter, in April.

NEW YORK (USA): RRW informs that the New York Road Runners have released the final professional fields for Friday night's Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four mile road race held in Central Park at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the New Year. The final list does not include defending women's champion Erin Donohue who withdrew from the race today with a foot injury. Canadian Carmen Douma-Hussar and marathon specialist Desiree Davila are the favorites. In men´s race Sean Quigley with Bobby Curtis.

ZAGREB (CRO): Another award for Blanka Vlasic. The European high jump champion has been awarded the Sports Personality of the Year in Croatia by the national olympic committee.


FUNCHAL (POR, Dec 28): European CC Champion Jessica Augusto won the 52nd Funchal Sao Silvestre road race at Madeira Island with 18:46 at 6 km. Second Ethiopian Almensch Belete (19:09) ahead of Belgian Veerle Dejaeghere (19:29). Fourth place for Fernanda Ribeiro (19:56). Eduardo Mbengani was the best male runner after 16:48 clearly over Kenyan David Bett (16:58) and Rui Pedro Silva (17:07). In total 1061 runners were registered.

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