Grete Waitz, RIP, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

| 0 Comments
Radcliffe-WaitzA-NYC06.JPG
Grete Waitz, Paula Radcliffe, photo by PhotoRun.net

When the late Fred Lebow was promoting the ING New York City Marathon, one of his biggest sales jobs was convincing Grete Waitz, one of the great middle distance runners in women's track & field and a terrific cross country runner, to run her first marathon. Grete Waitz did for women's marathoning what Frank Shorter did for the men. Grete went on to win New York nine times. And New Yorkers loved Grete.

Grete's wins at New York, and Boston were just part of her story. Grete Waitz and Joan Benoit Samuelson were the prime movers in the LA 1984 Olympic marathon. Waitz took the silver and Joan took the gold. Grete gave Joan a hug afterwards, and showed her class.

Grete was always very kind to me in interviews and always patient with questions. She loved the sport and she loved running. Over the last six years of her life, she was challenged by battling cancer. She became more of a champion by becoming more like the many of us who have had cancer affect their lives.

Grete Waitz was 57 at the time of her death. It was just announced that Grete requested a private ceremony, which will be held next week. Please keep Jack Waitz, her husband, her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.



OLIVER FOR LONDON

LONDON (GBR):  US hurdles record holder David Oliver has set his sights on breaking the world record when he competes at the Aviva London Grand Prix on 5-6 August. Organizers are informing in a release. Oliver's 12.89secs personal best in Paris last July ensured he was the fastest hurdler on the planet in 2010 and the American is now undefeated over 27 straight races - with the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha 2010 the last time he was beaten in any competition. "The Aviva London Grand Prix was a good event for me last year, it's where I won the Diamond League title. Everyone was asking last year if I'd break the world record and I'm sure that if I stay healthy and maintain my form from 2010 that I will at some point, but I don't concern myself with times. My goal this year is to arrive in Daegu fit and ready to race for gold," Oliver was quoted. "I'm feeling really good, we've had a great training session in St Kitts and I ran 13.09 at the weekend, which I'm really pleased about. By the time I arrive in London I hope to be in peak condition and ready to put on a performance for the fans," said Oliver who´s first big race of the season is planned for Shanghai DL against China´s hero Liu Xiang.

 

THORKILDSEN FOR BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Reigning world, Olympic and European javelin champion, Andreas Thorkildsen, has revealed his plans to compete at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on 10 July. The two-time Olympic champion, who also has a World and two European titles and a personal best of 91.59m, will compete at the Alexander Stadium when the city hosts its first ever Diamond League meet. Organizers are confirming. Thorkildsen is no stranger to competing in the UK, having previously thrown in Sheffield, Gateshead and Crystal Palace, but the 29-year-old admits he is looking forward to experience the atmosphere of a West Midlands crowd and has set his sights on breaking the stadium record of 88.14m, currently held by hero Steve Backley. Thorkildsen opens in Doha and continues in Shanghai, Ostrava and Oslo.

 

KOECH, CLEMENT, ABAKUMOVA FOR OSTRAVA

OSTRAVA (CZE): Kenyan olympic steeple medalist Paul Kipsiele Koech will return this year to 50th Ostrava Golden Spike meet (IAAF World Challenge. May 31) for the fifth time. The Diamond Race winner will have one main target: "I want to attack the meet record 8:06.14 achieved by Wilson Boit Kipketer back in 2002. And I think I should run as close as possible to 8 minutes," said Koech for the organizers. He won in Ostrava 2008, was second in 2003, third in 2009 and had bad luck in 2006 when leading and the bell was ringing one lap earlier (he re-started the race, but that was already only enough for a dq). In the indoor season Koech improved the 2000 m steeple world best to 5:13.77 and before Ostrava plans to run only one important race, the Shanghai Diamond League. Other two star athletes announced now are returning for their second Ostrava outing. Double world champion (2007 and 2009) Kerron Clement of USA will face at 400 m hurdles strong opposition in Euro gold medalist Dai Greene and current world leader LJ Van Zyl of South Africa. Organizers hopes that first sub 48 at Czech territory might be possible. "I'm really excited to be coming back to Ostrava this year. Your fans are the best and I can't wait to put on a great performance  for you guys," Clement was saying in a prepared statement. He is planning to open at Jamaica Invitational on May 7 in Kingston (IAAF World Challenge) and then will be running in Rome at Samsung Diamond League meet (there he will already meet with Greene and Van Zyl). Another Rome duel will be repeated in Ostrava in women javelin. Czech top athlete Barbora Spotakova will face her Russian rival Mariya Abakumova. Their head-to-head balance is 10:6 in favor of Spotakova. In Ostrava they met once before, in 2009 Abakumova was better (66.89). Both can attack the meet record 67.72 (Christina Obergfoll in 2008). Already earlier announced were Usain Bolt (event not yet confirmed), Oscar Pistorius, David Rudisha, Dayron Robles, Ivan Ukhov, Andreas Thorkildsen, Tero Pitkamäki, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Meselech Melkamu, Silke Spiegelburg and Anita Wlodarczyk.

 

UK DAEGU MARATHON NAMES

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): UK Athletics announced Jo Pavey as one of eight athletes selected to represent the Aviva GB&NI team at the 2011 World Championships team following her impressive Virgin London Marathon debut. Louise Damen (self coached) and Susan Partridge (coach: John Montgomery) also took to the streets of the capital and gained selection. Writes UKA in a release. Following withdrawal from the marathon, due to injury in January earlier this year, Mara Yamauchi is named to compete as an individual in Korea following a completed and approved fitness test -at the request of head coach Charles van Commenee. Alyson Dixon (coach: Liz McColgan) achieved  team selection with her time of 2:34.51 set at the Brighton Marathon just a few weeks ago and backed up by a 2010 New York Marathon time of 2:42.00. Although the Brighton course was not listed by the IAAF as a ratified course, due to a late submission of paperwork, selectors agreed that in respect to course measurement the time run is legal in terms of accuracy and therefore meets the sub 2:35.00 time needed for selection. Three British men ran in London and were subsequently selected, all meeting the UK Athletics' 'team' standard of 2:16 for the IAAF World Championships. They are led by Lee Merrien (coach: John Nuttall), Andrew Lemoncello (coach: Greg McMillan) and Dave Webb (coach: Bud Baldaro).

 

CANTWELL, VCB, BATMAN

LAWRENCE (USA): The Kansas Relays will write another chapter in its storied history this week as it opens up its 85th year of competition with events stretching from Wednesday through Saturday at Memorial Stadium and in downtown Lawrence. The event website informs. Men´s shot put with US elite headed by reigning world champion Christian Cantwell (also with Reese Hoffa, Cory Martin, Adam Nelson, Dan Taylor among others) will be the top highlight. In the 400 m hurdles world´s number one Bershawn Jackson will compete against Berlin 2009 participant Johnny Dutch. Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown will return to the Kansas Relays next week in an attempt to win two-straight Invitational 200-meter dash titles. Last year, in just the second year of the event, the three-time Olympian won with a record-setting time of 22.32. Former world champion sprinter Lauryn Williams is set to compete marking the return of the women's Invitational 100-Meter Dash. Also entered is former world indoor hurdles champion Terrence Trammell.

 

E. MUTAI PLANS

LONDON (GBR): London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai has set one eye on the Olympics already although he is well aware that selection is not a given thing. His big ambition is to win twice in London next year. For the fall 2011nothing has been decided yet. It's the choice between a fast race and a championship race. He has proven he can do both. He is the current leader in the World Marathon Major rankings 2010/2011 so the choice for one of the four scoring events seems obvious but as London next year and Olympics are only 13 weeks apart the coach might even come up with another idea. Consultancy with coach Patrick Sang will be done in the next two weeks. Informs his agent Michel Boeting.

 

STATS FROM BOSTON

BOSTON (USA): Some stats from Ken Nakamura. In 2009 Eindhoven marathon, Geoffrey Mutai covered last 7.195K in 20:29. In Boston, he covered the last 7.195K in 20:27, but Moses Mosop did even better 20:25. Mutai covered the second half in 61:04, the fastest ever recorded.  Mosop covered 35 to 40Km in 14:07, the fastest 5Km lap time in the world class marathon. The best marks for place for 1st through 5th and 7th through 9th were set. Geoffrey Mutai became only the second runner to run sub-2:05 marathon more than once. Gebrselassie has three sub 2:05 times. New Zealand record holder Kim Smith led the Boston Marathon for 25km before stopping at 1:38 with what appears to be a calf injury.

 

2:03:02 IS WORTH OF 9.77

BUDAPEST (HUN): In the All-Athletics.com marathon rankings after this weekend London leads over Boston and Dubai. The top six are rounded by Rotterdam, Paris and Daegu. In the men ranking London is ahead of Boston and Rotterdam, in women London ahead of Dubai and Yokohama. In the terms of scoring tables the 2:03:02 in marathon is worth of 1289 points. That is equal to 9.77 at 100 m, 19.58 in the 200 m or world record value at 110 m hurdles 12.82. The highest quality world record in the men category per scoring tables is the 9.58 of Usain Bolt, worth of 1356 points.

 

 

 

OTHER NEWS

 

 

HAMBURG (GER) : Kenyan Wilfred Kigen has announced his presence at the Hamburg Marathon on May 22nd. It is the 7th time in a row that Kigen runs the marathon in Hamburg and after finishing second three times he finally hopes to score a win. The Hamburg Marathon this year also qualifies as  the German marathon championships. In the women race Kenyan Rose Kosgei is the top name. It will be her second marathon after debuting last year with 2:30:51 in Toronto. She hopes to attack the last year winning time of another Kenyan Sharon Cherop 2:28:38 from 2010. Course records are of high quality, 2:06:52 by Spanish Julio Rey in 2006 and 2:24:14 of Russian Irina Timofeyeva in 2008.

 

COLUMBUS (USA): US Indoor mile champion Jeff See opens his 2011 outdoor season at home at the Jesse Owens Track Classic this weekend. He will run his first 3000 m steeplechase. This indoor season he won the US mile title and was 7th in the 3000 m.

 

LONDON (GBR): A deal has been reached in the financial dispute between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and London 2012 with BOA chairman Colin Moynihan being forced to accept defeat that any surplus from the Games should be calculated before the costs of the Paralympics are taken into account writes Insidethegames. An agreement between the two parties was signed last night but Moynihan failed in his main goal which was to raise extra cash for the BOA, who are struggling financially.

 

DENVER (USA):  The U.S. Olympic Committee has reunited with longtime sponsor Kellogs. The company took a brief break during the rough economy but now announced a new deal that runs through the 2016 Olympic Games and falls into the category of the USOC's bigger sponsorships, which are worth more than 10 million dollar over a four-year period reports ESPN sports.

 

LONDON (GBR): Switzerland's anti-doping agency wants British officials to explain why European champion Viktor Rothlin spent almost as much time giving blood before the London Marathon as he took to run the race. Rothlin complained after finishing 11th on Sunday morning that his arms were sore after a two-hour blood sample session ended at 11 pm on Saturday. Anti-Doping Switzerland director Matthias Kamber tells The Associated Press that the UK Anti-Doping team's work was "not acceptable" as the test was only expected to take 15 minutes.

 

EINDHOVEN (NED): Organizers of the Eindhoven Marathon have announced changes in the course of the marathon in order to facilitate faster times. The start of the race will be changed so that these athletes can go out faster and 25.000 athletes can enter the race instead of 18.000. Organizers aim at inviting more foreign athletes in the hopes of becoming one of the top 10 fastest marathons in the world.

 

LONDON (GBR):  A deal has been reached in the bitter financial dispute between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and London 2012 with BOA chairman Colin Moynihan being forced to accept defeat that any surplus from the Games should be calculated before the costs of the Paralympics are taken into account, it has been announced. Writes Insidethegames. An agreement between the two parties was signed last night which means that the BOA will drop its threat to take London 2012 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). But Moynihan failed in his main goal which was to raise extra cash for the BOA, who are struggling financially, and the agreement is heavily weighted in favour of London 2012, who were supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Britain's Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.

 

 

 

SAD NEWS

 

 

OSLO (NOR): Norwegian media are reporting that this morning the legendary Norwegian marathoner Grete Waitz, nine times the winner of the ING New York City Marathon, lost her battle with cancer at age of 57. The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news that Grete Waitz, a legendary pioneer in women's Marathon running, passed away today after fighting a long battle with cancer. Waitz took the gold medal in the Marathon at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Helsinki in 1983 and the Olympic silver medal over the distance in Los Angeles in 1984. Also European Athletics is mourning the loss of Grete Waitz. Norwegian Athletics Federation president Svein Arne Hansen said, "I will remember Grete as one of the greatest athletes of all time, as a shining light for women in sports and as someone who with great courage fought against adversity in the last six years through her battle with cancer." It has been reported that a private funeral ceremony is planned for next week, according to Waitz's wishes. Waitz is survived by her husband Jack Waitz and her two brothers, Jan and Arild.

 

 

 

CORRECTIONS

 

 

NEW YORK (USA): Emmanuel Mutai has 55 points and not 51 in the World Marathon Majors standings 2010/11.

 

MELBOURNE (AUS): Tristan Thomas is not in the 4x400m team for Australia at this stage. The junior Steve Solomon is.

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