2011 Penn Relays Mania! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

M4x400-Penn04.JPG2004 Penn Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net

The chills and spills at the Penn Relays will be wildly appreciated by over 100,000 fans on Thursday, Friday and Saturday! Our own Elliot Denman, who says that he has seen many, but not all of the Penn Relays (117th, I believe), will be reporting for RBR and RunningNetwork this weekend!

RBR will be flying out to the west coast to attend the Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday, May 1. Hope to see many of you there!

Historical marker on the University of Pennsyl...

Picture to right is of Penn Relays Historical marker on campus at the University of Pennsylvania.


DAEGU (KOR): Not only sprints, but also distance races will have top names at the best one day meeting in Korea. The Colorful Pre-Championship meet in Daegu (IAAF World Challenge) will see on May 12 the return of reigning 1500 m world champion Kamel Yusuf Saad of Bahrain. He will compete in the 800 m against Kenyan Boaz Lalang. In the steeple race olympic bronze winner and African Champion Richard Mateelong will fight with World Youth Champion 2009 Hillary Yego. In the women 1500 m Ethiopian World Indoor Champion Kalkidan Gezahegne is scheduled against her team-mate Tizita Bogale who is World Junior Champion and Youth Olympic Games winner from last year.



HAVANA (CUB): Cuban media are informing that world record holder Dayron Robles will start his outdoor season earlier than expected. Before coming to Europe he will run at the Caribbean event. On May 7 in Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, which is French territory. Reports are saying he is ok after the injury from indoor season. After that he plans to have a small European tour highlighted by 50th Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on May 31 in Czech Republic. Then he plans to return to Cuba for training and be back in Europe for July meetings. His main aims for this year are World Championships in Daegu and Pan-Am Games in Guadalajara. In Baie-Mahault his main rivals will be olympic medalist US David Payne and Jamaican olympic finalist Richard Phillips.



OSLO (NOR): The Norwegian athletics federation has announced that there will be a national tribute in memory of Grete Waitz at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo on 11 May. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will give a speech at the tribute and Norway's Royal Family has also been invited to the tribute. The gates of the stadium will also be open for members of the general public to pay their respects to Waitz, who was one of the greatest female distance runners in history. A bronze statue of Waitz was erected already in 1984 outside the Bislett Stadium to acknowledge her contribution to the sport. Informs European Athletics.



NEW YORK (USA): First three names confirmed for New York City Marathon this autumn are defending champions Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia and Kenyan Edna Kiplagat. The New York Road Runners also announced that Meb Keflezighi, who in 2009 became the first American to win the race since 1982, will also compete on November 6. A record number of 140 000 runners applied for the race.



BIRMINGHAM (GBR): US sprinter Carmelita Jeter who is the second fastest woman in history, will compete at both the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix and the Aviva London Grand Prix in a double-diamond swoop on the UK this summer. The 31-year-old has announced her plans to run the 200m at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 10 July and 100m at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 5-6 August, which will take 100 days from now. Organizers are informing.



MANCHESTER (GBR): Three times World Championships 200 meters gold medalist Allyson Felix will clash with Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu next month in what could be the first of several encounters this summer. The pair of world beaters are both returning to the spectacular Powerade ION4 Great Manchester CityGames track meeting, which will take place for the third successive year on Deansgate in Manchester's City Centre on May 15. Felix clocked last year here at straight 200m 22.55. "I love this concept of street athletics where the spectators are virtually rubbing shoulders with you and make it so exciting," Felix said for the organizers. Jessica Ennis, the reigning World and European heptathlon title holder and Britain's current golden girl, will defend her 150 m crown (last year 16.99) and will also race in the 100m hurdles against Tiffany Ofili. Last month Ofili won the European Indoor 60m hurdles silver medal in Paris, where the former USA athlete deprived Ennis of her British record.



PHILADELPHIA (USA): Jamaica is sending Asafa Powell, Sheri-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Melaine Walker, Kerron Stewart and Nesta Carter for the USA vs The World relay events on Saturday at the 117th Penn Relays. Also in the team Sherone Simpson, Davita Prendergast, Kaliese Spencer, Christine Day, Novlene Williams-Mills, Kenia Sinclair, Aleen Bailey, Simone Facey, Michael Frater, Steve Mullings, Ramone McKenzie, Dewayne Barrett, Lerone Clarke and Michael Mason. The top 4x100 m is expected to be composed from 3 MVP sprinters (Carter, Frater, Powell) and added by current world leader Mullings. US teams will have Walter Dix, Ivory Williams, Trell Kimmons, Mike Rodgers, Wallace Spearmon, Justin Gatlin, Darvis Patton, Shawn Crawford. In the 4x400 m Angelo Taylor, Bershawn Jackson, Johnny Dutch, Kerron Clement, David Neville, Lionel Larry, Xavier Carter, Jamal Torrence, Michael Tinsley, Joshua Scott, Quentin Summers. In the distance medley to compete Nick Symmonds, David Torrence, Duane Solomon, Leo Manzano, Bernard Lagat, Russell Brown. Very strong also women teams. In the 4x100 m Carmelita Jeter, Marshevet Myers, Alex Anderson, Allyson Felix, Lauryn Williams, Miki Barber, Me'Lisa Barber, Bianca Knight. The 4x400 m will see names like Debbie Dunn, Allyson Felix, Francena McCoroy, Natasha Hastings, Sanya Richards-Ross, Lashinda Demus, Dee Dee Trotter, Sheena Tosta, Nicole Leach, Latavia Thomas, Keshia Baker and Monica Hargrove.



OSTRAVA (CZE): Top opposition in the 110 m hurdles at 50th Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on May 31 (IAAF World Challenge) for world record holder Dayron Robles and home hero and European indoor champion Petr Svoboda. Scheduled to run is 2005 World Champion Ladji Doucoure of France with 12.97 national record along with Poland´s olympic finalist Artur Noga. Two current Russian world leaders are also confirmed. The stellar javelin field (Thorkildsen, Pitkamäki, best Czechs) will see the 38-years old Sergey Makarov who won twice in the past in Ostrava. In 2005 and in 2006 when the current meet director and world record holder Jan Zelezny had his last competition here. Aleksey Zagorniy who just achieved 81.54 is the addition into the hammer throw where all three medalists from Barcelona are confirmed (Libor Charfreitag, Nicola Vizzoni, Krisztian Pars). In the javelin also to note the presence of Latvian youngster Zigismunds Sirmais who improved in March the world junior record to 84.47. Poland´s high jump bronze winner from Berlin Sylwester Bednarek is an valuable addition to the field headlined by world number one Ivan Ukhov and best home jumper Jaroslav Baba. In the men´s 400 m world indoor champion from Doha Chris Brown of Bahamas will work on his comeback against Jamaican record holder Jermaine Gonzalez.



SAO PAULO (BRA): Brazilian Athletics Confederation announced that world indoor champion British sprinter Dwain Chambers will compete in four meetings of Brazilian Athletics Tour 2011. He will run in Belem on May 15, Uberlandia May 18, Sao Paulo May 22 and as the final race the IAAF World Challenge meet in Rio de Janeiro on May 26. Former triple jump world champion Walter Davis of USA is announced for Belem, Sao Paulo and Rio. Also for Rio earlier announced was World medalist Alonso Edward of Panama for 100 m and 200 m, home star and world indoor champion Fabiana Murer for pole vault and olympic champion Maurren Maggi for long jump.







MUMIAS (KEN): The Nation informs that some top names are planning for Athletics Kenya meeting on Thursday. Olympic 800 m champion Pamela Jelimo is expected to compete. Over to the 5000 m the world junior 10 000 m Dennis Masai will run with last year World CC Champion Joseph Ebuya.


AUCKLAND (NZL): New Zealand sensation in shot put Jacko Gill is certain he will qualify for the London Olympics when he lines up against the world's best in Sweden in late July. Gill, who left Takapuna Grammar at the end of last year to concentrate on his Olympic bid, received an invitation late on Tuesday night to the DN Galan meeting in Stockholm, the setting for a record 83 world athletics records. NZ media are informing. The unique "Big Shot" shot put competition takes place at the Kungstradgarden (Kings Garden), a tree-lined square in the heart of the city. Athletics New Zealand will seek dispensation for "exceptional"Jacko Gill to throw at this year's senior world championship after claiming he has had the same meteoric rise as Olympic Games sprinting champion Usain Bolt. The 16-year-old broke the 20m barrier for the first time on Saturday, and met the 2012 Olympic Games qualifying target, but IAAF rules prevent shot putters competing at the world championships until their 18th year reports stuff.co.nz.


MOSCOW (RUS): Russian top middle distance runner and 2009 European Indoor Champion Anna Alminova plans to open the season at Russian Team Championships to be held in Sochi on May 24-25. Expect of one race she passed last indoor season due to an back injury. She was recently performing in a programme of Russian TV second channel during a gymnastics exercise.


TRENTON (USA): NJ.com informs that in a ruling that outraged Democrats and prompted accusations of a conflict of interest, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno threw Olympic track-and-field champion Carl Lewis, a Democrat, off the ballot for state Senate. Guadagno, a Republican, said there was "substantial credible evidence" that he had not lived in New Jersey for the four years required under the state Constitution.


UTRECHT (NED): Organisers of the Jaarbeurs Utrecht marathon have denied that Kenyan athlete Mutai Kipkorir slowed down in the final stages of the marathon in order to let Dutch athlete Michel Butter win. Kipkorir had a significant lead until the last kilometer of the race but then slowed down and lost the victory to Butter.


LONDON (GBR): London 2012 Organisers were forced to extend the deadline to apply for tickets for next year's Olympic Games by more than an hour to cope with a last-minute surge in demand. Problems struck the website for about 20 minutes from 10.30pm last night, as the clock ticked down to the 11.59pm deadline for the 6.6 million tickets. At 11.37pm - 22 minutes before the deadline expired - London 2012 posted a Twitter message informing people it had been extended. By 1.30am the site was closed reports Insidethegames.


NEW DELHI (IND): Suresh Kalmadi has been effectively sacked as the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and replaced by V K Malhotra, the head of the country's archery federation. The decision to remove 66-year-old Kalmadi from the post he has held since 1996 came hours after a court in New Delhi ordered him to be held in custody on corruption charges linked to last year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi writes Insidethegames.


MOSCOW (RUS): Moscow will replace London to host next year's Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly revealed Insidethegames. Moscow has stepped in to host the event after the cash-strapped British Olympic Association (BOA) were forced to admit that they could not afford the 8 million dollar it would cost to stage.


MIAMI (USA): Triple world champion in sprints Lauryn Williams reports she has opened an official facebook page called Lauryn Williams official.


LAUSANNE (SUI): France's Yoan Rapinier spoke to Athle.com about his major improvements during the European indoor championships in Paris in which he triple jumped three new PB's and managed 4th in the final with 17.23. Rapinier has only been in triple jumping 2 years and had to switch his take off leg a year and a half ago. Rapinier is considered one of the favourites to take the title at the European U23 championships this summer in Ostrava and is hoping to qualify for the IAAF World Championships.


VIENNA (AUT): RRW informs that organizers of the Österreichischer dm Frauenlauf (Austrian Women's Run), reported that the event reached its 25,000 participant cap after just 31 days. That's a record for the event which will be held for the 24th time on Sunday, May 22. Ilse Dippmann, who organizes the event with Andreas Schnabl, said: "It's unbelievable, really sensational. Thank you to all women who registered. I am looking forward to welcome you all at the starting line of the 24th Austrian Women's run in May!" The 25,000 participant number represents an increase of 18% over last year. It is likely to be the largest all-women's race in Europe this year.


DAKAR (SEN): African Athletics Confederation confirms for EME NEWS that the 2012 Senior African Championships will be held in Benin from 27th July to 1st August. The decision has been taken by the CAA Council in Algiers in 2007 and has been confirmed in Nairobi during the 2010 Championships. Reports about countries interested to host the event from media were not correct. The CAA Council has decided in Yaounde that the Junior African Championships will be organized by Rwanda in 2013 and that Nigeria will stage the 1st Youth African Championships in 2012.







STRETFORD (GBR, Apr 25): Fast 1500 m here by Kenyans as Bethwell Birgen achieved 3:38.19 and 800 m specialist Richard Kiplagat 3:38.71 in his debut at the distance. Also impressive third place for another 800 m runner and Barcelona silver medalist Michael Rimmer who clocked in the 1500 m in good quality personal best 3:38.91.


DES MOINES (USA, Apr 26): Alan Webb won the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines in 4:08.22 after a finishing kick ahead of South African Peter Van der Westhuizen 4:08.75. Kenyan Boaz Lalang was fourth (4:12.28). In the women race at the Grand Avenue Sara Hall dominated in 4:45.78. Second Amy Mortimer clocked 4:46.90.


BRNO (CZE, Apr 23): Czech olympian and Barcelona participant Jan Marcell improved at a local meet to impressive lifetime best 66.00 m in discus. It is also current outdoor world leader. But as the meet was not listed among the qualifiers for Daegu by Czech Athletics Federation he would need to confirm the result later. Marcell has also indoor shot put best of 20.20 from 2010. In discus he won silver at European U23 Championships in 2007.


NEW ORLEANS (USA, Apr 23): Ethiopian Belete Assefa won the 33rd Crescent City Classic 10 km road race in 28:14. Second and best Kenyan was Allan Kiprono in 28:19 ahead of his team-mate Macdonald Ondara (28:38). Berlin bronze winner at 10 000 m Wude Yimer was the best in women race in solid 31:36 ahead of Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui 31:47 and another Ethiopian Belainesh Gebre (31:58). Informs RRW.


BAMAKO (MLI, Apr 26): African 400 m champion Amantle Montsho is in good shape. At Area Permit meet in Bamako she clocked national 100 m record for Botswana 11.60 and won also the 200 m in 23.08. Idrissa Adam of Cameroon also showed fast speed with 10.40 and 20.56 double. Both results personal bests for Commonwealth Games participant.



Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required