Liu Xiang in Dusseldorf! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Liu Xiang with fans after his stunning Asian Games comeback, photo by

Liu Xiang will be running indoors this season, and the fans in Dusseldorf will be one of the crowds getting that treat! Congrats to Jessica Ennis and Jenny Meadows on their wins in Glasgow. Congrats to David Oliver and Dan Huling, among other US winners. LoLo Jones did not have a good day in Glasgow, but she will round into shape soon.

Impressive runs at the U.S.A. half marathon championships and the Chevron Houston Marathon. Ryan Hall is running well, as is Mo Trafeh and Patrick Smythe. On the women's
side, Jenn Rhines should consider the marathon if she is not for 2012, and Selena Burla
ran well, especially with her challenging year.

Moving up on the marathon food chain, Bekana Daba will be offered some nice paydays this spring and fall. Running 1:04:17 for the first half and 1:02:47 for the second, as well as running a pb of seven minutes and 36 seconds should wake up a few folks. Nic Arciniaga took his second pb in two tries and Stephanie Rothstein conquered dietary challenges to run a ten minute personal best with her third place in 2:29:35.

RBR has been at the last two Chevron Houston Marathon weekends. The team in Houston is well prepared to host both Olympic marathon Trials. The course will be challenging. I do have concerns, I must admit, about the u-turns on the course, however, it does make the race much more of a tactical affair.

More on this on Tuesday, as I am preparing for 20-25 inches of snow from Mr. Weatherman.

RUSANOVA 1:59.44 AT 800 M

BELGOROD (RUS, Jan 29): Russian Yulia Rusanova (24 years) as first this winter clocked sub 2 minutes in the 800 m. At Belogoriye Cup her time was new indoor personal best 1:59.44. Darya Pizhankova from Ukraine achieved two new facility records at 60 m (7.40) and in the long jump (647).



MOSCOW (RUS): Sunday´s Russian Winter IAAF Indoor Permit will have as one of the highlights the men´s high jump competition. World indoor champion Ivan Ukhov who on Saturday cleared 238 and attacked world indoor record 244 will face his main home rivals olympic winner Andrey Silnov, world champion Yaroslav Rybakov and European Champion Aleksandr Shustov. You cannot ask for more. Although it is more difficult to jump high at normal meetings as at the special events with music, still top marks will be under threat. It looks like this will be the only meeting except possibly of Russian Championships where this four jumpers will meet together this winter. Also in the field US jumpers Jesse Williams and Jamie Nieto added by Cuban Victor Moya and Bahamian Trevor Barry. In the women 60 m European indoor title holder Yevgeniya Polyakova is scheduled to clash with US Miki Barber, Briton Joyce Maduaka and Ruddy Zang-Milama of Gabon.



STUTTGART (GER): Saturday´s Sparkassen Cup in Stuttgart (IAAF Indoor Permit) has excellent long jump start list. European indoor record holder Sebastian Bayer will compete against world indoor champion Khotso Mokoena, top French duo Kafetien Gomis and Salim Sdiri and Greek record holder Luis Tsatoumas. In men´s high jump US Dusty Jonas, young Russian Sergey Mudrov and 2007 world champion Donald Thomas will be the main rivals for home star and world medalist Raul Spank.



DUSSELDORF (GER): One of the most popular sports personalities from China is returning to Europe. Star hurdler Liu Xiang confirmed his participation at the 6th PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on February 11. He last time competed in Europe at World Indoor Championships 2008 in Valencia and last time in Germany during indoor circuit in 2007. In that year he won in Dusseldorf with 7.53. It is not known whether he will run more meetings in Europe. In Dusseldorf his main rival will be olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba and European list leader 2010 Czech Petr Svoboda.







ISTANBUL (TUR): website informs that 20 years old sprinter Ramil Guliyev of Azerbaijan is changing the nationality. The European junior record holder at 200 m (20.04 in 2009) and Berlin finalist wants to compete for Turkey. In 2010 he competed only very rarely.


BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Indoor Pedros Cup meeting on February 16 in Bydgoszcz announced its stars. At this EA Indoor Permit meeting three events will be staged (men pole vault was in initial thinking). World champion Christian Cantwell should compete against home star Tomasz Majewski in shot put added by German Ralf Bartels. In men´s high jump Russians Ivan Ukhov, Yaroslav Rybakov are mentioned with Cyprean Kyriacos Ioannou and Czech Jaroslav Baba. But the strongest field will be registered in women´s pole vault with last year world number one Fabiana Murer, European winner Svetlana Feofanova and home stars Anna Rogowska with Monika Pyrek.


HUSTOPECE (CZE): Young Russian high jump talent Mariya Kuchina was in Czech Republic with her founder coach Gennadiy Gabrilyan. He explained about the success of the fresh world indoor junior all time best holder: "She is from city of Prokhladniy which has around 80 000 population. I know her since she was 6 years ald and we also in preparation pay attention to versatility. She was running, jumping, everything. We are from Republic Kabadino-Balkaskaya which is in North Caucasus. The nearest biggest city is Nalchik." Now she trains already in Volgograd in the group of famous coach Gerkov. After jumping 197 and 194 in Moravian part of Czech Republic she returned home and will concentrate on the National Junior Championships. Then she will think about the possibilities to fight with the seniors for Paris tickets. In summer her main attention is towards European junior championships in Estonia. Daegu is not a theme for the moment.


NAIROBI (KEN): On Saturday the last force championships in cross country in Kenya will be held, the ones for police. Here also world champion in marathon Abel Kirui is announced. In another action former double world marathon winner Catherine Ndereba said that in case she will be fit enough, she wants to be in Daegu for the world title race. "My first priority is to reclaim my Boston title and then go for World Championships if selected. If I do well in Boston which is one of the races to be used to select the team for Daegu, I have a chance of being the first Kenyan female World Marathon Majors winner," disclosed Salina Kosgei, another Kenyan top female marathon runner for Daily Nation.


BRUSSELS (BEL) : European 400m champion Kevin Borlée will not switch to the 800m before the London Olympic Games. Although urged by his father to move up to the 800m, Kevin believes he can still progress in the 400m and wants to achieve his full potential in the 400m before taking on the 800m writes


PARIS (FRA): Former world silver 60m medalist Frédérique Bangué is preparing a return to the track after retiring seven years ago. Bangué gave birth to her first child last year and just recently decided to get back into training for the indoor season. Bangué's PB stands at 7.11. A documentary will be filmed about her return, Bangué hopes the exposure will help her find a job in television writes


LONDON (GBR): The Nigerian Olympic team have joined Britain and Japan in choosing Loughborough University as its base for a pre-Games training camp before the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Sani Ndanusa, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), announced that they had chosen Sebastian Coe and Paula Radcliffe's former university as its base following a meeting in Abuja. Ndanusa himself also is a graduate of Loughborough writes Insidethegames.


LONDON (GBR): Charles van Commenee, Britain's head coach, was pleased with his team's start to the indoor season after Jessica Ennis and Jenny Meadows impressed in Glasgow on Saturday. "I think Jessica's performance, especially in the hurdles, was very good," Van Commenee said. "There's definitely more to come because she made a poor start and did an excellent time, so that's pleasing."


LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics reports that France's European 400m hurdles record holder Stéphane Diagana has been moved out of intensive care after being seriously injured in a road accident last week. Diagana is now in the hospital's ear, nose and throat unit and they said his condition was 'favourable'.


VIENNA (AUT): The biggest meet of the winter in Austria, the 6th Vienna Indoor Classic is having record field on Tuesday. In total 722 athletes from 33 countries are entered for the competition in the Ferry Dusika Hall. One of the highlights is women long jump with US Funmi Jimoh, solid fields also in the women 60 m hurdles and in the 400 m, 800 m and 1500 m races. Austrian top athletes want to attack the standards for Paris.


BOSTON (USA): Bershawn "Batman" Jackson, world number one at 400m hurdles in 2010, won't have any hurdles to clear at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix but he will be flying around the oval at the Reggie Lewis Center again this Saturday. He will compete in the 600 m. His best at the distance is 1:18.65 from the same meet in 2006 when he was second. Leo Manzano has also been added to the Men's Mile field. Canadian Sheila Reid and Kenyan Sam Chelanga, both 2010 NCAA Cross Country Champions, will race in the Women's Mile and Men's 3000m, respectively.







GAINESVILLE (USA, Jan 30): Chris Lawson achieved here solid sprint double with 6.19 and 21.32 (55 m/200 m).


NEUBRANDENBURG (GER, Jan 30): Martina Strutz cleared 445 in pole vault at regional championships.


APELDOORN (NED, Jan 29): European silver decathlon medalist Eelco Sintnicolaas improved this weekend on his high jump best with a jump over 200. Also 205 was very realistic but Sintnicolaas narrowly missed. In the hurdles he clocked 7.96, in the 60m he was good for a solid 6.92. Sintnicolaas will compete this weekend at the European combined events in Tallinn.


OLOMOUC (CZE, Jan 29): Solid 789 by Stepan Wagner at local meet here, he missed the Czech Paris standard by only 1 cm.


ELDORET (KEN, Jan 30): Former world CC medalist Abraham Chebii won the Discovery Kenya Half Marathon in 1:02:59. Vincent Kipruto was second (1:03:11).


VIANA DO CASTELO (POR, Jan 30): World Championships 6th placer from Berlin Marisa Barros won the Manuela Machado Half Marathon in 1:10:30. Kenyan Evans Taiget was the best male runner in 1:03:21 ahead of Russian Oleg Kulkov (1:03:24).


NAGPUR (IND, Jan 30): Kenyan John Kyui won the 3rd Nagpur Marathon in solid 2:15:21 ahead of Ethiopian Afework Ayele Kibret 2:15:33. Jane Muia scored for Kenya half marathon win (1:13:14).


BELGRADE (SRB, Jan 30): Talented Serbian world youth 2009 medalist Amela Terzic (17) won the women 3 km race at the 44th Beli Kros (White Cross) in Belgrade in freezing temperatures (mins 2 degrees) and on snow in 10:40. Second Ana Subotic clocked 11:02. Men´s 8 km winner was Darko Zivanovic (25:45). Around 600 athletes participated in all races at this EA Permit competition.


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