USA Half Champs: Mo Trafeh & Jen Rhines Win, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Hall_RyanLeds5mile_Houston11.JpgRyan Hall leads at five miles, Aramaco USA Half Marathon Champs, photo by

Shorn of his beard, Ryan Hall got down to business on a challenging course, and was caught by Mo Trafeh, with less than a straightaway to go. Trafeh won in 1:02:16 with Hall in 1:02:20 at the USA Half Marathon Champs, sponsored by Aramco. Patrick Smythe, in third, also was quite impressive in this event!

Trafeh_MoFV-Houston11.JPG      Mo Shows em: Mo Trafeh wins Aramco USA Champs, photo by

Jenn Rhines, the classic middle distance runner, from the mile to the marathon, and a three time Olympian, dropped a 5:20 mile between miles ten and eleven and used that tactic to distance herself from Selena Burla, who finished second for the second year in a row. Great stories here, watch my Monday column on the significance of this race!


Jenn Rhines takes the Aramco USA Half Marathon Champs, photo by





HOUSTON (USA, Jan 29): Mohamed Trafeh and Jen Rhines ahead of strong opposition won their respective USA Half Marathon Championship titles. Trafeh triumphed ahead of pre-race favourite Ryan Hall the American record holder to win the second USA road title of his career in 1:01:07. In a close finished he sprinted past Hall to win by three seconds with Patrick Smyth finishing third in 1:02:32. Rhines making a long awaited return to distance running clocked 1:11:14 to claim her first road championship since 2005. The three-time Olympian posting a personal best beat off the challenge of Serena Burla who clocked 1:11:38 with Nan Kennard third in 1:12:03.


AKABA IN 2:26:29

OSAKA (JPN, Jan 30): Surging away from Mai Ito at 38.7Km, Yukiko Akaba, who became a prohibitive favorite after Yumiko Hara pulled out of the race, won the 30th Osaka Women's Marathon with 2:26:29 on Sunday.  The time was slow because of strong wind, which unfortunately turned headwind in the last half. Thus Akaba, although she won the race, the half of the requirement for making the World Championships team, she was unable to crack 2:26, the other half of the requirement for making the team. However, Keisuke Sawaki of the JAAF, was quite impressed with Akaba's performance, and thus barring the emergence of couple unexpected runners running very fast in Yokohama and Nagoya, Akaba is likely to make the team. Informs Ken Nakamura. Second Mai Ito clocked life-time best 2:26:55 ahead of Chika Horie 2:27:26 and Anna Incerti of Italy. She achieved her career best and second mark of the early season by an European runner 2:27:33. Under 2:30 also fifth Ryoko Kizaki 2:29:35, another European Adriana Pirtea of Romania was seventh in 2:32:44.








GLASGOW (GBR, Jan 29): The Aviva International match in Glasgow was won by Germany (61) over team GB (56) and the Commonwealth select (56). The United States managed fourth (52), with Sweden (29) in fifth. Star of the day was golden girl Jessica Ennis who ran an impressive 7.97 in the 60m hurdles ahead of Tiffany Ofili (8.04), Lolo Jones only managed fourth with 8.27. Ennis then went on to jump 6.38 in a competition won by German Nadja Kather in 6.58. David Oliver clearly beat the rest of the field clocking a world leading time (at that time of the day) of 7.51. European Champion Andy Turner was second with 7.66. Also a world leading performance for Helen Clitheroe in the 3000m with 8:52.31. Mark Lewis-Francis got a good start of the season with a win in the 60m (6.66) over Marc Burns (6.73). Alexandria Anderson got the win in the women's 60m with 7.31. Jenny Meadows opened her season by winning in the 800m (2:02.48), with Marilyn Okoro in second (2:02.99). Lisa Ryzih improved on her personal best in the pole vault (455), while Dan Huling scored maximal points in the 3000m (7:56.68).  Jesse Williams managed 228 to win the high jump.


KOWAL 3:39.35 AT 1500 M

BORDEAUX (FRA, Jan 29): At the International indoor meeting home Yoann Kowal achieved the standard for European Indoor Championships with 3:39.35 at 1500 m. In the women 60 m Gabon world indoor finalist Ruddy Zang Milama won in 7.22 ahead of European Champion Myriam Soumare with good 7.28. Czech Denisa Rosolova clocked new meet record with 52.49 at 400 m. Spanish record holder Ruth Beitia beat on count back with 190 Kazakhstan´s Marina Aitova. Ukrainian European medalist Maksim Mazuryk achieved high quality 575 in the pole vault beating the French elite except of Renaud Lavillenie who was not jumping. Aleksandr Menkov of Russia beat in long jump (785) the national record holder Salim Sdiri (780). In French indoor speciality the 400 m hurdles US Reueben McCoy clocked 50.76 ahead of Briton Richard Yates 50.88. In another race Heni Kechi achieved 51.59 ahead of all-time hero Felix Sanchez 52.05 (he is world best holder from last indoor with 49.73).



EAUBONNE (FRA, Jan 29): Triple jump World indoor record holder Teddy Tamgho continues in impressive early shape with world leading 17.59 at a local meeting.



MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 29): During first day of Moscow City Championships Yevgeniya Zolotova clocked seasons fastest 4:05.47 in the 1500 m. Yevgeniya Polyakova showed solid early shape with 7.23 win over 60 m. Irina Meleshina leaped to 672 in long jump and Yevgeniya Kolodko improved by nearly 2 meters to 18.42 in shot put at age of 20. In the 400 m races the fastest by Kseniya Vdovina with 52.35. In men´s events Igor Pavlov good 570 in pole vault. Vyacheslav Sokolov won the 1500 m in good 3:42.46.



PEANIA (GRE, Jan 29): The first open indoor meeting of the season in the Peania indoor hall provided the opportunity for six athletes to achieve the standards of the European Indoor Championships that have been set by the Greek Federation. The most impressive mark came in the men's high jump, where Konstadinos Baniotis became the third Greek over the 2.30 barrier. He cleared this height in his 2nd attempt and then had three very good efforts, one at 2.33 and the final two at 2.36 for an indoor record, both of them quite close. He looked in great shape, and he mentioned afterwards that his winter training went favourably, adding that he wanted to test himself in higher jumps. Louis Tsatoumas had a solid series, starting with 7.98 and then produced three almost identical jumps at 8.09, 8.08 and 8.10, before calling it a day. After an inexplicably disappointing performance in France one week ago, pole vaulter Konstadinos Filippidis returned home with a vengeance and soared convincingly over 5.62, before raising the bar for a new indoor record at 5.72, where he ended his journey, despite being close in his last two efforts. The fourth man to get a ticket for Paris was triple jumper Dimitrios Tsiamis with 16.71, in a competition won by the great Romanian Marian Oprea, who flew to 17.20 in his very first attempt. Oprea spends a lot of his time in Athens, where he trains under the guidance of Georgi Pomashki, who is also responsible for Tsiamis. Two women achieved Paris standards, as well. Eleni Filandra ran a virtually solo race from gun to tape in the 800m and clocked a fine 2:03.93, but due to the lack of competition she was deprived of the chance to break her own indoor record 2:03.45, set in 2007. Finally Eleni-Maria Kafourou, competing indoors in Greece for the first time after 5 years in the University of Boise, leapt 6.40 m., exactly the limit required by the Greek Federationjump to secure her place in the Paris team. In another indoor local meeting in Thessaloniki, pole vaulter Nicandros Stylianou broke the national indoor record of Cyprus with 5.37. Informs Thomas Constas.



HOUSTON (USA, Jan 29): Aries Merritt won the 60 m hurdles in 7.46 a world leading time and life-time best. Carey LaCour won the 60 m in 6.64  with Swiss Cedric Nabe fourth in 6.72. French Kafetien Gomis leaped to 777 cm. Ukrainian Viktoriya Rybalko won women long jump with 664 ahead of French Eloyse Lesueur 661. Murielle Ahoure won the 60 m in 7.30 beating Gloria Asumnu 7.33.


SALAAM 6.55 AND 20.76

COLLEGE STATION (USA, Jan 29): Fast 60 m by Rakieem Salaam 6.55 ahead of Zambian Gerald Phiri 6.59 (national record) and young Prezel Hardy 6.61. Salaam confirmed great shape in the 200 m 20.76. Tabarie Henry of US Virgin Islands got 46.33 in the 400 m. Erik Kynard cleared 229 in the high jump ahead of Ricky Robertson 226. In the women 60 m Lakya Brookins posted 7.24 beating Jeneba Tarmoh 7.29. Jessica Beard clocked 23.18 in the 200 m.







LUXEMBURG (LUX, Jan 29): Impressive performances in the 60m here by Dutch juniors Dafne Schippers and Jamile Samuel. World junior heptathlon champion Dafne Schippers managed a new national junior record 7.28 (she had already broken the national junior record in the series with 7.33). Triple world junior silver medalist Jamile Samuel clocked 7.38 in the finals, a feat in which the duo beat all senior athletes present. Also strong performances in the 400m where Leslie Dhjone showed his form with 46.24, world indoor silver 4x400m medalist Antoine Gillet clocked a strong 46.95. Lindsay De Grande broke the national 1500m record with 4:09.70 in a very impressive solo run. European junior decathlon champion Thomas Van der Plaetsen improved on his pole vault best with a jump over 4.90. Gregory Sedoc comfortably won the 60m hurdles in 7.67. Czech athlete Lenka Masna won the 800m with 2:02.84.


GENT (BEL, Jan 29): Two qualifcation marks for the European indoor championships during the Walloonian championships in Gent. Hurdlers Elisabeth Davin (8.09) and Adrien Deghelt (7.66) easily booked a ticket for Paris. Davin managed the double with a 7.38 win in the 60m.


UNIVERSITY PARK (USA, Jan 29): Ryan Foster has become the first Tasmanian to break the four minute mile barrier. Running for Penn State University at an invitational indoor meeting in Pennsylvania Foster ran 3:58.49 to place third in the race, behind Cory Leslie 3:57.97 and Jeff See 3:58.15. Foster bettered the 37 year old mark previously held by Randal Markey of 4:00.9. Casimir Loxsom posted 1:47.36 at 800 m and Marquis Holsotn 46.87 at 400 m. In women races Aurieyall Scott got 23.17 at 200 m ahead of Shavon Greaves 23.18. Shana Cox posted 52.53 at 400 m.  


BOSTON (USA, Jan 29): Kenyan Leonard Korir won the 3000 m in 7:51.40 and Lalonde Gordon sped to 20.93 in the 200 m.


ALBUQUERQUE (USA, Jan 29): Josh Norman won here the 60 m in 6.62 and clocked also 6.61 in heats.


LEXINGTON (USA, Jan 29): World indoor relay champion Tavaris Tate achieved 46.35 at the oversized track here in the 400 m.


FAYETTEVILLE (USA, Jan 29): Tina Sutej of Slovenia cleared 442 in pole vault. In the 400 m Amaechi Morton clocked 46.23 ahead of Estonian Marek Niit who´s 46.76 is new national record. Horatio Williams won the 60 m in 6.63 ahead of Maurice Mitchell 6.66. Elliot Heath got 7:52.27 in the 3000 m. In women´s race Kenyan Pascale Cheruiyot achieved 9:13.51. Shelise Williams won the 400 m in 52.59.


MOGILYOV (BLR, Jan 29): Anis Ananenka posted 1:48.18 in the 800 m. Yulia Balykina clocked 7.30 in the 60 m with Olympic champion form Athens Yulia Nesterenko clocking 7.43 in the B-race. Svetlana Usovich achieved 52.48 in the 400 m and Natalya Koreyvo 4:11.57 in the 1500 m. Excellent the 671 of Veronika Shutkova in long jump ahead of Nastasiya Mironchyk 664. Alena Kapets achieved 18.20 in the shot put.


KRASNODAR (RUS, Jan 29): Olympic medalist Yevgeniy Lukyanenko started here with 520 clearance in pole vault after injury and health problems.


ZARAGOZA (ESP, Jan 29): Josephine Oniya clocked 8.06 at Gran Premio CAI-Ciudad de Zaragoza meet in her return after doping ban. Also to note 646 by Concha Montaner in long jump. Talented Eusebio Caceres achieved 787 cm in men´s long jump.


PRAGUE (CZE, Jan 29): At Prague City Championships Michal Balner cleared 560 to qualify in the pole vault for Paris. All-time hero Roman Sebrle returned to competition with testing in the pole vault (470) and at 60 m hurdles (8.15).







GLENDALE (AUS, Jan 29): Collis Birmingham clocked good 7:50.07 at 3000 m during Hunter Track Classic meet. In women´s race also impressive 8:58.46 by Kaila McKnight. Former 800 m world indoor champion Tamsyn Lewis won the 400 m in 52.15. Discus world champion Dani Samuels achieved 58.48.


PRETORIA (RSA, Jan 29): World Champion Caster Semenya in her first 800 m race on South African soil since Berlin World Championships in a local meet in Pretoria. She won in 2:09.60.


KINGSTON (JAM, Jan 29): Hurdles specialst Kaliese Spencer won the 400 m at Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational at Usain Bolt's track at UWI with 2:08.78 at 800 m. Another 400 m hurdles specialist olympic and worl winner Melaine Walker was 4th in 2:11.96. Also testing at 800 m were Shereefa Llyod 5th 2:11.30 and Shericka Williams the 400 m specialist as 8th in 2:20.08. Anneisha McLaughlin, 5th place finisher at the 2009 World Championships, won the women's 400m event in 53.78. Sprinter and olympic medalist Sherone Simpson finished second overall with 54.33.Antiguan World Championships fourth place finisher at 100 m Daniel Bailey opened his season with training time 50.15 at 400 m. His Racers Clubmate Kenroy Anderson won the event in 47.73. Hurdler Josef Robertson was overall second 48.01 ahead of Honduras sprint record holder Rolando Palacios 48.21. In the men's 800m, Edino Steele of Racers took top honours in 1:54.84. World and Olympic 100 metre champion Shelly-Ann Fraser return to the track was stalled by what source described as a "slight hamstring strain."


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