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BOLT FIT AND READY
KINGSTON (JAM): "I am fit and ready to start my season." That is the quote from Usain Bolt published by Jamaica Gleaner. "Yes, I know that people have been questioning if I am ok, or when I am going to run, and so on, but so far everything is fine and I'll be opening my season at the end of the month, as was originally planned." His first three races of the season are planned for Rome on May 26, Ostrava on May 31 and Oslo on June 9. "I think I have lost about eight to 10 pounds so, yes, I have trimmed down a little and I believe more muscles have gone on. I have been working hard to keep my core together and, in doing that, I have gotten much more muscles, so for me that's the aim, to try and get everything together; my start, full power and everything else," he said. In another issue just published by SportsPro Usain Bolt tops the list of the 50 most marketable athletes in the world. SportsPro explains that athletes were ranked "according to their marketing potential over a three-year period." From track athletes in top 50 also Jessica Ennis as 12th, Liu Xiang as 19th and Tyson Gay as 29th.
LIU VS. OLIVER AT PRE
BEIJING (CHN): China Daily informs that next meeting of hurdles heroes should happen on June 4 at Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. World leader Liu Xiang will meet with US record holder David Oliver after last Sunday the Chinese won on home soil in Shanghai. For coach Sun, Liu's start and the final two hurdles are where he needs to improve. "Liu's skill is now stable when stepping on to the starting line, which is very good," Sun said. "His physical condition is very close to during his peak, but he still has to work hard on his starting and leaping over the last two hurdles" Sun was quoted by the Chinese paper.
LAALOU FOR 1000 M
RABAT (MAR): More top names for the Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athlétisme in Rabat, Morocco, on 5 June (IAAF World Challenge) are local favorite Amine Laalou who will contest the 1000m where he'll face Poland's Marcin Lewandowski, the European champion at 800m. The 1500m will feature a battle between Abdelaati Iguider, a two-time winner of the event here, and Kenyan's William Tanui and Geoffrey Rono. On the women's side, Moroccans Hasna Benhassi, a multiple World and Olympic medallist at 800m, and Halima Hachlaf will take on Dutchwoman Yvonne Hak and Briton Jeanny Meadows, the silver and bronze medallists from last year's European championships. In the 1500m, 2008 Olympic finalist and sub-4:00 ace Btissam Lakhouad will face young Ethiopians Abeba Arigawe and Genzebe Dibaba. Elsewhere on the infield, local long jumping star Yahya Berrabah returns to the scene of his 8.38m national record. In the men's Discus Throw, Omar El Ghazali of Egypt will face Erik Cadee of The Netherlands, while Cuba's former World and Olympic champion Olisdeilys Menendez will headline the field in the women's Javelin Throw. Other top names include Panama's Alonzo Edward, the 200m World silver medallist in 2009; Richard Mateelong of Kenya in the 3000m Steeplechase; Uganda's Moses Kipsiro in the 5000m; Kenyans Iness Chennonge and Sylvia Kibet and Ethiopian Wude Ayalew in the women's 3000m; and Jana Pittman-Rawlinson of Australia, the 2003 and 2007 World champion in the 400m Hurdles, who is waging a strong comeback after several years of injury. Informs IAAF.
MADRID (ESP): Spanish former European walking champion Francisco Fernandez will not compete at European Cup this weekend in Portugal due to an injury. He hopes to be back in training on time for Daegu World Championships. Spanish team will be now composed by José Ignacio Díaz, Benjamín Sánchez, Francisco Arcilla and Miguel Ángel López.
PARIS (FRA): European indoor champion Leslie Djhone confirmed his first 400 m of the year will happen at adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 11. Before that he will test himself at 300 m in Forbach on May 29 and Marseille on June 4.
ZURICH (SUI): Best Swiss high jumper Beatrice Lundmark (31) informed that she will reduce her businnes time in order to have more space for training as she wants to qualify for London 2012 Games. She achieved her first major final last year in Barcelona (10th) and improved to 192 cm last summer. She is working as communication manager in the Lugano City office and will reduce her working time by 50 percent. To qualify for Daegu she must clear 192 cm, her first international meet will be Dessau in Germany on June 1.
MOSCOW (RUS): European indoor champion 2009 at 1500 m Russian Anna Alminova changed coaches. She ended the cooperation with Gennadiy Suvorov (coaching also Gulnara Samitova-Galkina) and started to train under the guidance of Vladimir Kazarin (coach of Mariya Savinova).
STOCKHOLM (SWE): Former combined events star Carolina Kluft said for Swedish TV SVT that she wants to qualify in long jump and 4x100 m relay for Daegu World Championships this year. Kluft is currently healthy and plans to begin with the sprints end of May and continue with long jump later in June.
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya's world marathon champion Abel Kirui was given the opportunity to defend his title in the South Korean city of Daegu this year after other top runners turned down a place on the team. Kenyan media are informing, Kirui had been left off the provisional list of 10 men and 10 women but, with only six athletes having confirmed their availability to Athletics Kenya by last Sunday's deadline, he has now been named on the team. The selection of the Kenyan team has been overshadowed by the death of Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru, who jumped to his death after his wife found him in bed with another woman last Sunday.
NYAHURURU (KEN): The Nation writes that two women, who claim to be Olympic champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru's wives, joined his widow Triza Njeri in mourning his death at his Nyahururu home. Ms Judy Wambui and international athlete Mary Wacera entered the home accompanied by Wanjiru's mother Ann after holding an hour-long meeting at another home Kamau built for his mother at Muthaiga estate.
HALLE (GER): Double marathon olympic gold medalist Waldemar Cierpinski was running barefoot. But it was not a training run. He was chasing thiefs who broke into his house during last weekend. The 60 years old 1976 and 1980 olympic winner shouted on them first and when they started to run he chased them. But was not succesfull and called the police.
EUGENE (USA): Prefontaine Classic 2 miles race is very special in terms of top names. The 4th stop on the prestigious Samsung Diamond League circuit offers Bernard Lagat, Eliud Kipchoge, Tariku Bekele, new star Alamirew Yenew, Edwin Soi, top European Mo Farah, another Briton Chris Thompson, US record holder Chris Solinsky among others. To win this race, it may take something faster than Craig Mottram's 8:03.50 Meet Record at the 2007 Prefontaine Classic, the organizers are informing.
LONDON (GBR): London 2012 revealed details of the 70-day, 8,000-mile Torch Relay of Britain ahead of the 2012 London Games, starting at Land's End on May 19. London 2012 officials announced 74 locations where 8,000 torchbearers will carry the flame after it arrives from Greece in exactly a year's time on May 18, 2012. The torch will pass through England's major cities, the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as remote outposts including the Isle of Lewis. Informs insidethegames. The flame will spend the week in London before it is used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium on Friday, July 27, 2012.
NIJMEGEN (NED): Organizers for the Nijmegen Global Athletics (May 25) have announced a strong 5000m field with Italian European bronze 10.000m medalist Daniele Meucci (13:24.38) and Dutch Michel Butter. Also in the field are New Zealand's Jake Robertson (13:32.92 in Nijmegen in 2010), Abdi Nageeye, Mohamed Ali Mohamed and Khalid Choukoud.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Former European indoor 60m hurdles champion Eline Berings reports her surgery to the knee was successful. The 25-year old athlete stays positive and confirmed for Belgian media her recovery is going well.
LONDON (GBR): BMW has announced the involvement of a further 10 world-class athletes to its BMW London 2012 Performance Team. Including the latest recruits to join the 12 athletes earlier announced in January 2011 is 400m hurdles rising star Perri Shakes-Drayton reports Insidethegames.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USA Track & Field announced the Team USA women's marathon squad for the World Championships in Daegu. Coming off of a fifth-place finish at the 2011 B.A.A. Boston Marathon, Kara Goucher will once again lead the team. Joining her Tera Moody and 2004 Olympic marathoner Colleen De Reuck. Completing the five-woman squad will be Kathy Newberry and Alissa McKaig. The men's marathon team will be led by Nick Arciniaga, who locked-up his place on the squad with a second-place finish, running 2:11:30 at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January. Team USA will also feature Sergio Reyes and Jeffery Eggleston. Rounding out the men's squad will be Mike Sayenko and Mike Morgan. Informs USATF.
PONCE (PUR): Kingston 400 m winner and 2007 World championships medalist Novlene Williams-Mills pulled up in Ponce at the Grand Prix meet on Saturday with a quad strain. That means she was forced to cancel her upcoming meets in Europe but hopes to be ready for the National Trials end of June.
GOTZIS (AUT): Two major withdrawals are reported before the Gotzis Multi Events hypo meeting (May 28-29). Not coming is title defender Bryan Clay because of slight muscles injury. Also missing will be world record holder Roman Sebrle who has problems with stomach muscles. Clay must be ready for US Nationals and finish in top 3 in case he wants to be in Daegu and Sebrle must fulfill the necessary standard. Reigning world champion Trey Hardee will be in Gotzis. He is still uncertain what he may do at US Championships as since he has the reigning World champ's wild card for Daegu, so does not have to do the full decathlon in Eugene. He may do selected decathlon events, or an individual event.
MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF has recently concluded TV deals concerning the territories of Australia and Israel. In Australia, Dentsu, the IAAF Media Rights Agency for outside Europe and Africa, has concluded a TV free to air deal with SBS for the IAAF World Championships, Daegu 2011, with SBS offering very strong broadcast guarantees which means at least 35 hours of transmission in Australia. SBS is a public broadcaster with national reach. In Israel, IEC, the IAAF Media Rights Agency for Europe and Africa, has concluded a TV deal with the public broadcaster IBA. Under the terms of the deal IBA, who have offered strong broadcasting guarantees, will transmit all IAAF World Athletic Series events, in the period 2011 - 2013, which includes the next two editions of the IAAF World Championships, Daegu 2011 and Moscow 2013. IBA was the incumbent broadcast partner of the IAAF until 2009 through the deal the IAAF had with the EBU. Informs IAAF.
OTTAWA (CAN): Around 10,000 participants are expected at the new Ottawa 10Km course at Canada's most popular race destination on 28 May. Ethiopian former Boston marathon winner Dire Tune is the main women name.Her biggest threat could be fellow Ethiopian Ejegayehu Dibaba, an Olympic silver medallist. Also competing is 26-year-old Canadian Megan Brown, who is running her first Ottawa 10K and showing promise on the race circuit. Brown won the Montreal Half-Marathon in April.?? In the men's field, Deriba Merga is making a return to Ottawa to see if he can improve on last year's effort and possibly beat the course record of 27:24 he set in 2009. Organisers are informing in a release.
LONDON (GBR): Pat Butcher´s tribute to Sammy Wanjiru on his blog: www.globerunner.org.
SUSICE (CZE, May 17): European indoor champion Denisa Rosolova started well her outdoor season with solo effort at 300 m worth of 37.24 in strong winds. Zuzana Hejnova posted also good 39.74 at 300 m hurdles.
SOCHI (RUS, May 15): Aleksandra Butvina scored 5830 points to win Russian Cup combined events meet in heptathlon. Top males competed invididually. Aleksey Drozdov 203 in high jump and Vasiliy Kharlamova 45.38 in discus.
GREENSBORO (USA, May 15): Fast sprints at Aggie Classic meet. Murielle Ahoure who now represents Ivory Coast clocked in women 100 m new national record 11.06 (+1.9) ahead of Rachelle Boone-Smith 11.21. Ahoure is now in the top ten of all-time in African women 100 m list and only Nigeria and Cameroon have faster national records on the continent. In men´s 100 m Alesio Newman improved to 10.14 (+1.8) ahead of J-Mee Samuels (10.22). Jamaican Leford Green clocked 45.75 in the 400 m and Vanneishy Ivy improved to 12.99 (+1.4) at 100 m hurdles.
BRISTOL (GBR, May 15): Edwin Kiptoo won the Bristol 10 km in 28:39, in women race also Kenyan win for Edinah Kwambai 32:29 (RRW).
MOMBASA (KEN, May 15): RRW informs about 26th Safaricom Mombasa International Marathon in rain and heat. Winners were Wilson Loyanai in 2:13:00 and Rose Nyangacha clocking 2:39:01. The winners each received KSH 250,000 (about USD 2915)