Global Review: Feb. 18-20, 2011, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

The 2011 AVIVA Indoor Grand Prix was an amazing track meet, but also, proved, once again, that track & field, well managed, can be great sports entertainment. The SRO crowd of 8,500 saw great performances by the world's best, but also some tremendous British performances, from Jenny Meadows winning the 800 meters, to Mo Farah's British and European record at 5,000 meters.

Farah_MoLeads_NewBalGP11.JpgMo Farah leads the 2011 NB indoor GP 3,000m, February 5, 2011, photo by

The weekend of February 18-20 was a huge weekend for national indoor championships, and, thanks to Alfons Juck, you have some of the most memorable performances. The European Indoor Champs, to be held in Paris, March 4-7, will give us a view of some new sports stars, with many stars, not yet in shape in 2011, with the World Championships not too far down the road.

The afternoon before the AVIVA Indoor Grand Prix, the rumors were answered: Mo Farah told the British press that he would be training with Alberto Salazar's group in Portland, Oregon. In fact, Mo Farah had been training with Galen Rupp for several weeks. The success of the new training regimen was illustrated with the 5,000m record by Mo Farah, establishing new European and British records and Galen Rupp holding on for the new AR. How did British media take it? One media member described it this way: " if Mo does well, no problems, if he
does not do well, watch for the questions to begin!".

BIRMINGHAM (GBR, Feb 19): New training partners Mo Farah and Galen Rupp broke their respective national records for 5000 m at the Aviva Grand Prix. Farah, the reigning European 5000m and 10,000m champion, won the race in 13:10.60, smashing Nick Rose's 1982 British record of 13:21.27 set in New York and European indoor record 13:11.13 of Bouabdellah Tahri last year in Metz. Rupp finished second in 13:11.44, surpassing Bernard Lagat's 2009 American record by just 0.06. Farah earned a USD 5000 bonus for the record. He now needs to decide if he will defend his 3000m title at next month's European Indoor Championships. In other events in total 8 world leading marks were registered. Abubaker Kaki came to Birmingham to break the world 1000 m record (2:14.96) but stranded at a world leading 2:17.76. It was Boaz Lalang who came through in 1:19.88 over 600m but eventually had to settle with second in 2:17.81 with Jackson Kivuva in third (2:18.46) and Andrew Osagie in fourth (2:18.56). Impressive performance by Sentayehu Ejigu, who broke the previous word lead by 11 seconds, finishing in 8:30.26. Her time is the fourth fastest time of all times and clearly beat compatriot Kalkidan Gezahegn (8:37.47), Mercy Njoroge (8:39.70) and Briton Helen Clitheroe with European leading 8:39.81. Fellow Ethiopian Abeba Aregawi was almost equally impressive with a world leading 4:03.28 in the 1500m. Kenyan Irene Jelagat didn't follow Aregawi but still broke the Kenyan record in 4:06.90 with two British athletes Hannah England (4:07.24 ) and Stacey Smith (4:07.42) coming in third and fourth. Also a national record for Norwegian Ingvil Makestad who took fifth place in 4:09.17. Augustine Choge won a fast 1500m in a PB and world leader of 3:33.23, just ahead of Ethiopian Daresse Mekonnen (3:33,97). In the sprint events Bianca Knight produced the best mark of 2011 in the 200m clocking 22.89. Later on Michael Rodgers went on to equal Kim Collins world leading time in the 60m with 6.50. Second Kim Collins 6.53 ahead of Lerone Clarke 6.54 and Marc Burns 6.55. Brian Mariano, now running for The Netherlands, broke the Dutch national record with 6.63. Sebastian Ernst also equaled the world lead with 20.58 in the 200m. Jenny Meadows clocked her first sub 2 minutes of the season with 1:59.22 over 800m, Morgan Uceny was the only other athlete under 2 minutes (1:59.97). Interesting duel in the triple jump with Phillips Idowu and Christian Olsson. Idowu ended up with a 17.57 jump, just 7cm shy of Teddy Tamgho's world lead. Olsson jumped 17.20. Kellie Wells continued her winning streak, taking the 60m hurdles in 7.87, well ahead of Danielle Carruthers (8.06). Aries Merritt also keeps winning, finishing first in 7.49 ahead of Jeff Porter 7.58 and Andy Turner 7.61 (but 7.57 in heats). Felix Sanchez got the win in the men's 400m hurdles but ended up just 0.03 shy of his own world best of 49.73 (world lead). Reuben McCoy, although hitting the last 2 hurdles, broke the US record with his 49.78. Third Briton Richard Yates clocked European all-time best 50.21. Another home athlete Nigel Levine posted European leading 46.17 at 400 m. US Gloria Asumnu won the 60 m (7.25) and Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills the 400 m (51.87). With help from RRW. 


ARNSTADT (GER, Feb 19): Russian wins as expected at 35th „Hochsprung mit Musik" meet. Ivan Ukhov remains unbeaten with 234 clearance (until then no failure), tried at 239 (meet record and world lead) and specially in last one was close. European champion Aleksandr Shustov and German number one Raul Spank tied for second with 231. Olympic winner Andrey Silnov and fresh Russian champion Sergey Mudrov followed with 228 cm. Best current Russian Svetlana Shkolina won the women competition with three valid jumps at 184, 192 and 195. Then tried at two metres, but was not succesfull. Irina Gordeyeva was second (192) and surprise German Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch with personal best 192 third. She beat other Russians Viktoriya Klyugina and Yelena Slesarenko (both 188).

POTSDAM (GER, Feb 19): Malte Mohr won the Pole Vault meeting in Stern Shopping Center of Potsdam in a special way. He had an excellent duel with Barcelona medalist Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk as both jumped 586 in third attempt and tried three times at 591. For Mohr new indoor PB. Then jump-off was ordered by the judges. They tried again at 591 but no one did it. After that both jumpers tired enough decided no more to jump, but when a jump-off started a winner must be established. And it was decided by a draw for Mohr. Third Bjorn Otto went over 561.

TALLINN (EST, Feb 19): 2009 European indoor long jump champion Ksenija Balta returned in right time with top shape. At last leg of Estonian Big Bank Kuldliiga series she achieved 673 (and also 670) what is third best European mark of the season. Grete Udras cleared 190 to win the high jump. Russians achieved best male results, Eduard Malchenko 228 in high jump and Konstantin Shabanov 7.67 at 60 m hurdles. Kenyan guest James Kangogo won the 1500 m (3:43.29).

FLORO (NOR, Feb 19): New Dutch 100 m indoor record for Patrick Van Luijk at International meet here with 10.33. In the 60 m he was second (6.72) to home Jaisuma Saidy Ndure (6.70). Another home star Christina Vukicevic confirmed top shape with 7.99 at 60 m hurdles and easy win over fresh Russian champion Anastasiya Solovyeva 8.14. Fastest Norway´s woman Ezinne Okparaebo won the 60 m in 7.32 and 100 m in 11.63.

GOMEL (BLR, Feb 19): Eduard Mikhan scored 5886 points to win heptathlon at Belarus University Championships. Yana Maksimova was the best in women pentathlon with 4349 points.


HAMILTON (NZL, Feb 19): Porritt Classic meet saw olympic medalist at 1500 m Nick Willis beeing third in the 800 m in 1:51.56. Nikki Hamblin clocked 2:05.42 to win the women race. Stuart Farquhar achieved 80.52 in javelin.

POTCHEFSTROOM (RSA, Feb 19): Yellow Pages series started with a clear win for Caster Semenya at 800 m. The reigning world champion clocked 2:04.12 and said she hopes to double at London 2012 Games in the 800 m and 1500 m. Javelin thrower Robert Oosthuizen returned after a injury and qualified for Daegu with 83.82 m. Former African record holder Justine Robbeson (60.93) comfortably defeated Commonwealth champion Sunette Viljoen in the women's javelin throw (55.85). National 1500 m and 10 000 m champion Stephen Mokoka clocked a fast 7:55.92 at altitude to win the men's 3000 m race.

NAIROBI (KEN, Feb 19): East Standard informs that marathon specialist Geoffrey Mutai won men's 12 km at 19th IAAF Permit/KCB National Cross Country at Nairobi's Uhuru Gardens. Linet Masai beat Vivian Cheruiyot in the women race and indoor sensation Isaiah Koech was the best in junior 8 km race and Janet Kisia stunned the favoured Faith Chepng'etich in the junior girls competition.Rotterdam and Berlin marathons runner-up Mutai got on the mostly flat course 34:35. Only runner-up and Kenya Police teammate, Matthew Kisorio (35:20) who came home 54 seconds adrift and Hosea Macharinyang (35:36) who slid to fifth managed to keep the winner company after his first surge at 6km turned the race into a procession. At the bell, Mutai kept receding from Kisorio's view as he arrived home well clear of any other challenger. Vincent Kiprop led the group of challengers powered through the final lap to seal third in 35:24 with newcomer Philemon Limo (35:26) edging Macharinyang in the fight for fourth. Reigning world champion Joseph Ebuya gave up because of stomach problems. In the women race Masai clocked 26:21. Cheruiyot claimed second in 26:24 and Prisca Jepleting was easy third (26:34). Also here last year world champion Emily Chebet dropped out.

HOBART (AUS, Feb 19): Double Olympic medallist Jared Tallent has won the Australian 20km Race Walking Championships in Hobart, with the AIS Scholarship holder joined atop the dais by wife Claire Tallent (1st, women's 20km walk) and sister Rachel Tallent (1st, girl's 10km walk) in a big night for his whole family. Stopping the clock at 1:20:18, Tallent's time at an event which doubles as Round 1 of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge secures his spot on the Australian 2011 world championships team. Joining him in staking their claims for Daegu selection, Luke Adams (2nd, 1:21:00) and Adam Rutter (1:22:25) also crossed the line quicker than the 1:22:30 qualifying standard. Taking out back-to-back Australian 20km titles on the Apple Isle, Claire Tallent edged out up and coming AIS scholarship holder Regan Lamble (1:35:08) and Nicole Fagan (3rd, 1:35:55) of New South Wales, with touring Commonwealth Games gold medallist Johanna Jackson (GBR) withdrawing from the race at the 10 kilometre mark.

BATALHA (POR, Feb 19): Ines Henriques won the Portugal 20 km women walk title in good 1:30:38. Second Lithuanian guest Kristina Saltanovic 1:32:11. Men winners Joao Vieira (1:27:19 at 20 km) and Jorge Costa (4:07:17 at 50 km).

EIN GEDI (ISR, Feb 19): Ethiopian Naile Admasu won the 28th International Dead Sea Half Marathon, the "lowest" race in the world (400m below sea level, 26 degrees temperature) in 1:06:17.


FINLAND (Helsinki): New national women's pole vault record of 436 by Minna Nikkanen. Jonathan Astrand won the 60 m (6.78).

HUNGARY (Budapest): Anita Marton again improved her U23 national shot put record to 17.80. Male winner Lajos Kurthy also solid (19.71). Barnabas Bene again good with 3:43.21 at 1500 m.

SLOVAKIA (Bratislava): Dana Veldakova secured her expected triple jump title (13.83). Another Paris-bound athlete Matus Janecek won the 60 m hurdles (7.88).

DENMARK (Skive): Long jump record holder Morten Jensen produced the best mark of the day 775 in his event.

IRELAND (Belfast): Walking events highlighted the first day in Odyssey Arena. Robert Heffernan won the 5000 m in 19:09.56. In women´s 3000 m Laura Reynolds improved to 12:47.55 ahead of Kate Veale (17) who bettered national junior record to 12:49.28.

CROATIA (Rijeka): Discus European champion Sandra Perkovic improved national indoor shot put record with 16.99. Also to note in men shot Nedzad Mulabegovic and his 19.82. Dario Horvat won the 60 m in 6.74.

BULGARIA (Sofia): Serbian guest Tanja Mitic won the 60 m in 7.42 ahead of former world junior champion Tezdzhan Naimova (7.46). Best male result of first day 19.23 in shot put by Georgi Ivanov.

SLOVENIA (Celje): Snezana Rodic achieved 14.11 in triple jump battle against returning Torino medalist Maria Sestak (13.73). Marina Tomic posted 8.17 at 60 m hurdles. Olympic finalist Rozle Prezelj cleared 222 to win the high jump.

AUSTRIA (Vienna): Beate Schrott qualified to Paris with 8.19 at 60 m hurdles from preliminary round. In dramatic 800 m Andreas Rapatz (1:49.59) beat Raphael Pallitsch (1:49.65). Clemens Zeller showed improved shape with 47.07 at 400 m. World mountain running champion Andrea Mayr won the 3000 m in 9:29.78. Talented junior Lukas Weisshaidinger just one day before his 19th birthday won his first senior title in PB 18.30 with senior implement.

LITHUANIA (Klaipeda): World leading pentathlon by Austra Skujyte 4578 points highlighted the second and final day here. Her individual marks: 8.66 - 182 - 16.94 - 629 - 2:32.51. Viktorija Zemaityte as second achieved 4334 points. Egle Balciunaite won after 400 m also the 800 m (2:05.75).

CZECH REPUBLIC (Praha): Petr Svoboda clocked two European leading marks of the season at 60 m hurdles with 7.51 in heats and 7.48 in the finals. But after that indicates that a flu might attack him. His girl-friend Jirina Ptacnikova easily cleared in first 457 cm and then tried at new national record height 467 cm. In third attempt was well over the bar, but fell on it. Barcelona long jump finalist Roman Novotny qualified to Paris with 801 cm. Last year Czech Junior of the Year Pavel Maslak clocked already in heats Paris standard at 400 m 47.05. Top two from 60 m also qualified for Bercy. Jan Veleba 6.65 and Libor Zilka 6.67. Hurdler Lucie Skrobakova won her 10th national title in good 8.09 at 60 m hurdles. Tie for 60 m women win, Katerina Cechova and Iveta Mazacova clocked 7.37. Third 400 m runner Denisa Rosolova marked a PR of 7.44.

POLAND (Spala): Fresh Pole vault record holder Pawel Wojciechowski cleared 570 to win the national title. Middle distance runners confirmed they are in good shape, Mateusz Demczyszak improved to 3:41.01 and beat national record holder Bartosz Nowicki 3:41.42 and Lukas Parszczynski 3:41.76. In close 60 m Olaf Paruzel beat Dariusz Kuc (6.70 and 6.71). Adrian Swiderski registered 16.63 in the triple jump. In women events Marika Popowicz solid 7.33 in the 60 m. Good long jump for Malgorzata Trybanska 661. Renata Plis won 800 m in 2:04.44 in close race against 3000 m sensation Sylwia Ejdys 2:04.45. Kamila Chudzik won the pentathlon with 4325 points, but that is not enough for Paris.

ITALY (Ancona): Triple Jump European Indoor champion Fabrizio Donato leapt to 8.03 improving his long jump PB by one cm. Chiara Rosa, World Championships finalist in Osaka 2007, produced one of the highlights of the first day as she won with 18.34, the fifth best performance this year in Europe, qualifying for the European Indoor Championships in Paris. In the absence of Antonietta Di Martino, who is preparing for Paris, the women's high jump title went to Raffaella Lamera who equalled her indoor PB at 190. European Championships finalist Marta Milani set her indoor PB with 53.09 beating Maria Enrica Spacca who also lowered her PB to 53.35 in the 400 m. An interesting result for the future of Italian athletics came from 2010 World Junior silver medallist Claudio Stecchi who cleared 5.50 improving his pole vault PB by ten cm. Claudio, son of former Italian record holder Gianni Stecchi finished second behind Giorgio Piantella who vaulted 5.55.

FRANCE (Aubiere)): Talented Guy-Elphège Anouman (born in 1994) won the 200 m senior title in high quality 21.13 what is not only national junior indoor record but also world indoor best for the U17 category. European gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie cleared 585 to win the pole vault (and tried at 602), but also note 580 of Romain Mesnil for second. National record holder Salim Sdiri leaped to seasonal best 806, Teddy Tamgho was fourth (779). Alice Decaux improved at 60 m hurdles to good 7.97 over Sandra Gomis 8.00. Hind Dehiba as expected got the 1500 m in 4:15.24. Jessica Cerival also registered a PB in shot put (17.99) and Haoua Kessely beat (647) in long jump favorite Eloyse Lesueur (645). In the 200 m fast Emilie Gaydu 23.39.

SPAIN (Valencia): European junior record holder in long jump Eusebio Caceres improved his indoor best to 808 cm. Also life-time best for Borja Vivas in shot put (20.18). Jesus Espana clocked 7:50.70 to win the 3000 m in his indoor debut of the year over Victor Garcia 7:51.95. Ivan Mocholi beat with 6.69 last year fastest in the country Angel David Rodriguez (6.72). Best women results for Ruth Beitia in high jump (195) and national record in pentathlon for Barbara Hernando 4381 points. Dolores Checa was the best in the 3000 m 9:08.36 and Naroa Agirre won her 9th national pole vault title (430).

GREECE (Peania): One world leading mark, two national indoor records and three more tickets for the European Indoors summarized the first day of the 25th Greek Indoor Championships at the Peanía Hall in Athens. After opening with 7.98 and 20 cm to spare from the board, in his 2nd attempt Loúis Tsátoumas took off almost perfectly and landed at 8.21, the best world indoor mark so far and a new national record. As a precaution to a slight pain he took no further jumps. In the 2nd place and two years after his serious injury in the same event & venue, Yeóryios Tsákonas secured his place in the Paris squad with 7.97, just 1 cm shy of his lifetime best. The other indoor record was achieved by Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou with a shaky clearance over 4.55, a height which also equals the Greek outdoor pole vault record that she co-holds with Afrodíti Skafída. In her first competition of the season Yeoryía Koklóni was twice under the 60m Paris standard, first in the heats with 7.28 and then winning easily the final with 7.27. A close battle was fought in the men's high jump, where Konstadínos Baniótis was challenged by another athlete returning from injuries, 21-year-old Dimítrios Hondrokoúkis. Both men cleared 2.27, a lifetime best for the latter and qualification for Paris, but Baniótis was the only who had a successful attempt in the same height during jump-off. Also to note Ággelos Aggelákis in the 60m with 6.69, but missing the Paris standard (6.65). Informs Thomas Constas.

ROMANIA (Bucuresti): Adrian Vasile 784 and Carolina Deiac 661 in the long jump during second day here. Ancuta Bobocel won after 1500 m also the 3000 m in good 9:01.25. To add from first day on Friday is the fact that out of competition was jumping former European medalist from Bulgaria Venelina Veneva and improved her season best to excellent 197 cm.

SWITZERLAND (St. Gallen): Irene Pusterla was the star of first day with wins at 60 m (7.50) and long jump (657). Pascal Mancini won the 60 m in 6.73 as his main rival Cedric Nabe was out in semis after a false start.

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