Oliver Opens at FLA Relays, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

David Oliver, 2010 USA Outdoor, photo by PhotoRun.net

David Oliver will be opening his 2011 outdoor season at the 2011 Florida Relays, later this week! In Virgin London Marathon news, Sammy Wanjiru, the 2009 champ, is out, with a knee injury.



GAINESVILLE (USA): Last year world best hurlder and US record holder David Oliver will make his outdoor hurdles debut at 67th Florida Relays this Friday. He is entered in the lists published by the organizers along with training colleagues Joel Brown and Jamaican record holder Dwight Thomas. The Florida Relays began more than 70 years ago in 1939, thanks to the vision and creativeness of the Gators' legendary head track and field coach Percy Beard. Since that first meet 72 years ago, the Pepsi Florida Relays have grown in epic proportions from the small regional competitions on April Fool's Day that featured 209 competitors, to one of the nation's premier track and field meets. Writes Gator´s website. Also entered is long jump world champion Brittney Reese, she will compete in the 100 m. Former world and olympic 100 m winner Justin Gatlin is in the list along with Xavier Carter also for the short dash. Olympic finalist Churandy Martina plans to test his sprint endurance in the 400 m. Last year US Championships second placer Johnny Dutch should compete in his special event, the 400 m hurdles. US record holder in sprints Tyson Gay informed via his twitter some time ago he wants to run 4x400 m relay here. In the women events world medalist Jamaican Deloreen Ennis-London is in the 100 m hurdles, Tiffany Ross-Williams in the 400 m hurdles, Natasha Hastings should run the 200 m and quarter-miler Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica is in the 800 m entry list. Former world champion Tianna Madison is scheduled for long jump.



WACO (USA): After running the 200 m already and commited to Allyson Felix duel in Rome at Golden Gala meet in the 400 m the reigning world champion Sanya Richards-Ross plans for her season debut in the 400 m. It should happen at the Michael Johnson/Dr. Pepper Invitational on April 23 in Waco.



LONDON (GBR): Athletics Weekly came out with fast stats about the best athletes in the 400/400H combination after another impressive improvement of South African LJ Van Zyl. He is now 9th best ever with this years times 44.86 and 47.66, total of 2426 points. Top three are Angelo Taylor 2501 (44.05+47.25), Kerron Clement 2473 (44.48+47.24) and Andre Phillips 2460 (44.71+47.19). Only fourth is world record holder Kevin Young 2454 (45.11+46.78). Best European position for Harald Schmid as 8th and 2431 points (44.86+47.66).



PRETORIA (RSA): World champion Caster Semenya will next run at the South African Championships in Durban (April 8-9). It will be most probably the 400 m and then she plans races at IAAF World Challenge meet in Dakar on May 28 and most probably at Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on June 4. It is interesting to note that she clocked her 400 m best on Saturday some 50 minutes after winning the 800 m.



LONDON (GBR): Olympic winner Sammy Wanjiru is out of 31st London Marathon (Apr 17). The World Marathon Majors champion has been forced to withdraw from next month's race with a knee injury, organizers said today. As RRW writes: "I am bitterly disappointed not to be able to race in London this year," Wanjiru, 24, said through a news release. "Winning the London Marathon in 2009 was one of the great achievements of my career and I was hoping to become the London champion again." He continued: "But I have been suffering some problems with my right knee recently which meant I had to withdraw from the Lisbon Half-Marathon. Unfortunately, it has not responded well enough for me to make my final preparations for London." After winning last October's Bank of America Chicago Marathon in a thrilling sprint finish over Ethiopian Tesgaye Kebede, Wanjiru has faced several difficulties. Last December, he was arrested at his home in Nyahururu and charged with threatening his wife, striking a security guard, and possessing an illegal AK-47 rifle. Wanjiru was released on bail, and his wife later withdrew her charges against him (he still faces the weapons charge, however). Wanjiru was also involved in a car accident last January on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road, rolling his four wheel drive vehicle several times trying to avoid an oncoming truck. Acting quickly, London race director Dave Bedford has added three-time London champion Martin Lel to the field (both athletes are represented by Federico Rosa). Lel, 32, who has a 2:05:15 personal best, won the London race in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Struggling with his own injury problems, Lel hasn't run a marathon since finishing fourth at the Olympic Games in 2008. He has, however, completed several half-marathons, winning both the 2009 Lisbon and Great North Half-Marathons and breaking one hour in both events.







DUNEDIN (NZL): Athletics New Zealand has announced that the 2012 New Zealand Track and Field championships will be held in Auckland. The event will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Athletics New Zealand and will double as a 2012 Olympic Trial event. The date and venue will be announced shortly. Athletics New Zealand Events Manager Will Stewart said "We are stepping up the promotion and presentation of our key events and the Track & Field Championships is our flagship event, so Athletics New Zealand and the local organising committee are going to ensure that Auckland 2012 will be a fantastic championship event." The federation website announced.


PERTH (AUS): Australian news agency informs that former world champion at 400 m hurdles Jana Rawlinson is set to race on Australian soil for the first time in five years at the Perth Track Classic on Thursday and Friday. And in her corner will be the Melbourne-based coach Phil King, the husband of Australia's other great 400m hurdler, Seoul 1988 Olympic champ Debbie Flintoff-King. Rawlinson's former coaches include Craig Hilliard and her English husband Chris Rawlinson, who won the men's 400m hurdles gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.


FLAGSTAFF (USA) : German European track champion from 2006 Jan Fitschen is currently training in Flagstaff in preparation of his marathon debut in Dusseldorf in May and lets leichtathletik.de know he is in very good shape. The former European 10.000m champion reaches mileage of up to 230 kilometers per week while training in the Arizona altitude.


LAUSANNE (SUI): Great Britain's Lisa Dobriskey has confirmed she will not try to double in the 800m and 1500m in the near future. Dobriskey instead will focus on her pet event the 1500m explaining she hopes to be competitive in the 1500m as she is more of an endurance runner.


LONDON (GBR): Colin Moynihan, the chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), is under pressure after a senior Minister from his own political party condemned his decision to take legal action against London 2012 to try to get more money from the Games writes Insidethegames.


RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Brazil Sports Minister Orlando Silva is seeking help from the country's Congress to simplify bidding processes and speed-up work ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Silva said the Congress could help by changing the current rules, thus allowing construction work to be completed in time ahead of both events. Brazil is facing significant challenges upgrading airports, renovating stadiums and improving public transportation, and some recent reports have warned that the slow pace in construction work may lead to missed deadlines reports Insidethegames.


NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has announced that Kenya will bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. "No other country in Africa has won as many medals at the Olympics as Kenya and we are appealing to Brazil, who organizes the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to support us towards achieving this goal," Ondinga was quoted in Chinadaily.com.


MADRID (ESP) : Spanish 5000 m record holder Alemayehu Bezabeh has been cleared from his connection to the doping case "Operacion Galgo". Bezabeh was arrested by the Spanish police on December 9th and was forced to withdrawn from the European cross country championships. Bezabeh has now been released from all charges and is free to compete. Bezabeh is currently training in Ethiopia.


ATHENS (GRE): The case continues. Greek sprinter of the past Katerini Thanou appeared on Monday in the court in her trial over alleged false statements to authorities in the 2004 Athens Olympics case. The 36-years old Thanou said she never doped and that she could not recall the exact details of how a motorcycle accident involving her and another sprinter Kostadinos Kenteris happened. The male sprinter was not present due to personal travel to USA. "I expect the judges to take into account the new information received and to make a fair decision. I had more than 300 unannounced tests in my career. I have never been found positive and we have heard so much over the last seven years. I had no comment or reprimand from the international federation for some misconduct," Thanou was quoted by Greek media. The trial will continue on April 5 with the speeches of lawyers.







PERTH (AUS, Mar 25-26): Berlin medalist Mitchell Watt remains in top shape when he leaped to 828 (+0.8) in long jump during the Western Australia Championships. Aaroun Rouge-Serret clocked windy 10.33 (+2.4) in the 100 m.


SAO PAULO (BRA, Mar 25): South American 100 m record holder Ana Claudia da Silva is already in good shape as she clocked here 11.19 in her heat (+1.0), only 0.04 behind her continental mark. In the finals she achieved 11.41 (+1.7). In men´s 100 m Carlos Roberto Moraes got 10.44 (-1.1). Thiago Mendes posted 13.74 (+1.4) in the 110 m hurdles. Nice double for Geisa Coutinho, she was timed with 23.38 (-2.2) in the 200 m and 51.97 in the 400 m.


ENVIGADO (COL, Mar 27): Mexican Cristian Berdeja won the last event at Copa Panamericana in walking. He clocked 3:59:14 at 50 km ahead of Colombian Fredy Hernandez (3:59:40, PB) and Roland Saquipay of Ecuador (4:01:20 in his debut at the distance). To correct the information from Sunday, women 20 km winner was 39-years old Evelyn Nunez of Guatemala with 1:36:04.


SAN JOSE (CRC, Mar 27): At the opening meet of the new Estadio Nacional Mateo Edward from Panama achieved 10.57 (-1.0) in the 100 m. He is 17-years old South American Youth champion. World 200 m medalist Alonso Edward is his older brother.


VENLO (NED, Mar 27): Third placer at Sunday´s Venlo Half-Marathon Jussi Utriainen clocked new Finnish record 1:02:50. Former mark of Janne Holmen was 1:03:01 from Bristol 2001 World Championships.


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