2011 AREVA Paris: Bolt & Lemaitre, Robles VS. Oliver, Event by Event Preview, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Thompson, Bolt, Lemaitre, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala, Roma, photo by PhotoRun.net

Robles_Dayron1-Hengelo11.jpgDayron Robles, 2011 FBK Hengelo Games, photo by PhotoRun.net

Oliver_DavidFH1_Pre11.JpgTurner, Oliver, Xiang, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by PhotoRun.net

The AREVA Paris meeting is a meet that gives one hope. One keen observer of the sport put it this way, " Since Laurent Boquillet took over the management of the Paris meeting, it has been resurrected. Laurent understands the sport as a former footwear executive, sponsorship manager, and athlete. The move to the current hotel, the attention to detail in the media center, even the quality of the food has changed. AREVA Paris shows what can be done when someone who knows and cares about the sport gets involved in a major meeting. "

The press conference for Bolt on Wednesday, July 7, had 134 media members and, a veteran of Bolt media days noted, " it was one of the best."

The interviews today with Robles & Oliver were the highlight for me. The most telling moment was, when Dayron and David were both asked how often they had raced, they both acted as if they did not know. Then slowly,
Robles remembered last race, and times of both, and they went, race by race, for four minutes, to the astonishment of the media, over each of their races-a truly unique moment.

Right now, for me, the 100 meters is a great event, but the competition, the truth of our sport, the life blood of our sport, is at the 110m hurdles, the 100m hurdles, the men's triple jump, the men's shot put and the middle distances. That Robles and Oliver and Xiang will race this year is tremendous.

Bolt is Bolt. Usain is a phenomenon that fills stadiums, and when stadiums are filled, the meets get better and better. It is something we should note: Bolt and competition fills our meets. It is a juggling act to be a successful meet director, and Laurent Boquillet has developed a masterpiece. Tres bon, Monsieur Boquillet!

Bolt (and Lemaitre), Robles vs. Oliver
PARIS (FRA): Samsung Diamond League continues with AREVA in Paris on Friday at the monumental Stade de France, temperatures up to 20 degrees, hopefully no rain is the forecast. The highlight is Bolt with Lemaitre at the 200 m, but also Robles vs. Oliver at 110 m hurdles. Meet records expected mainly in men´s 200 m and women javelin, also some world leads are very possible. 
Event by event preview:
200 m: Bolt wants to be faster than in Oslo 19.86, MR for sure (20.01), can Lemaitre lower his French record (20.16) ?
400 m: Wariner has sub 45 as only one from the field, J. Borlee is the best European, Bartholomew at the end not there. Pistorius hopes for PB.
1500 m: Attack for first sub 3:30 of the year. Lagat, Laalou, Kiprop the top names.
Steeple: World champ Kemboi in his first big European meet of the year, MMB wants also run fast, will he come back to Oslo idea to break as first European 8 minutes? Other top Kenyans resting for the trials.
110mH: Clash of the evening: Robles vs. Oliver. Cuban is unbeaten, Oliver lost once to Liu in Shanghai. Their head to head per Tilastopaja is 16:4 for Robles. But since September 2008 they met only once.
LJ: Saladino, Watt, Lapierre vs. Europeans (Reif and Britons with home Gomis). Or Mokoena waiting behind?
HJ: Small Russian champs, all best five competing.
PV: Lavillenie likes this stadium, looks like world lead is a real possibility (so far 584).
DT: Harting so far unbeaten this year. Will it remain?

100 m: VCB can attack Marion Jones 10.88 meet record. Will Lalova confirm sub 11 shape from home track?
800 m: World leader there, US champ there, Meadows, also Semenya, Hachlaf, looks like sub 1:58 could be possible.
5000 m: Defar, Melkamu and many other Ethiopians fighting for Daegu qualification. If good pacing first years sub 14:30 a possibility.
400mH: Jamaicans vs. Stambolova, Hejnova waiting behind, can young Tracey attack world junior record 54.40?
TJ: Savigne and Saladuha for first years 15 meters?
SP: Adams beat Ostapchuk in Oslo, but in the meantime the Belarussian improved the world lead.
JT: Another clash of top trio: Abakumova vs. Obergfoll vs. Spotakova. Meet record 64.59 should go.

Gill 20.75 in the qualifiying round
LILLE (FRA, Jul 7): During first session of second day at World Youth Championships New Zealand young star Jacko Gill achieved easy 20.75 in the shot put qualification. Fastest in boys 3000 m heats was Kenyan William Sitonik in 7:54,09. Australian Liz Parnov cleared 390 in girls pole vault qualification. In the boys 1500 m the fastest in the first round Ethiopian Teshone Dirirsa 3:45.32. French Wilhelm Belocian was the best in the 110 m hurdles heats 13.78 and US Nnenya Hailey posted world leading youth 58.44 in the girls 400 m hurdles heats. After six events in octathlon leading position for Australian Jake Stein with 4969 points and bests over the hurdles 14.25 and in the high jump 198.

Bubka comments on Durban decision
DURBAN (RSA): IAAF Senior-Vice President and IOC Member Sergey Bubka commented on the election of 2018 Winter Olympics host. "First thing I would like to say immediately after the voting is "thanks" to all three candidate cities. I want to thank to hundreds of people who worked on the bids and hundreds of thousands who live in the candidate cities and inspired the bid committees. Your work and your inspiration help not only your cities - it helps the sports, it helps the whole planet. All three 2018 candidate cities held on the tradition. Several months before the vote it was clean - whoever the winner is it would be a good choice. Both IOC Evaluation Commission and IOC president Mr. Jacques Rogge said every city candidate deserves to host Winter Olympics in all aspects including one of the most important - "green" concepts. To PyeongChang - for brand new Alpenasia resort, the best in this part of the world, for their motivation, self-belief, persistency and tenacity.  To Munich - for their great idea of using legendary Summer Olympics 1972' venues for the Winter Games. To Annecy - for splendid Alpine Olympics concept which harmoniously combined the unique splendid nature of Alps and hi-tech ideas. The most helpful factor for PyeongChang team was their experience. It was the third Winter Olympics bid in a row for them. During these years Koreans made their bid close to perfect. They fulfilled all the promises given to IOC concerning venues, infrastructure, logistic. Korea held plenty of major championships in winter sports which gave a boost to winter sport in the whole Asia. Thanks to all this Korea has got a good sporting reputation. It is a lesson for those who intend to host Olympics in the near future - for Ukraine in particular - experience in hosting sport events gives an advantage."

Powell confirmed for Gyulai Memorial
BUDAPEST (HUN): It is now confirmed world leader Asafa Powell will run the 100 m at the inaugural Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Budapest on July 30. It is his third confirmed meet for the pre-Daegu European circuit (other two are Birmingham and London). The main rivals in Budapest will his training partner Michael Frater and US Darvis Patton.  Also announced were already earlier Veronica Campbell-Brown, two-time World Athlete of the Year, Sanya Richards-Ross, and discus throwing legend, Virgilijus Alekna. The event which will take place on 30 July in the Ferenc Puskás Stadium, in Budapest, is named after one of the most recognised and most popular Hungarian sports diplomats, the former General Secretary of both the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who passed away five years ago. Other top Hungarian athletes, like Krisztián Pars, who is leading the All-Athletics.com World Hammer throw Ranking, and European 110m Hurdles bronze medallist, Dániel Kiss will also compete in Budapest. Sports Director of the event Attila Spiriev, Managing Director of All-Athletics.com, is negotiating with further top athletes to make the inaugural István Gyulai Memorial a memorable sporting event in Hungary.


LAUSANNE (SUI):  The month of June saw the outdoor track & field season get into full swing. Following major competitions such as the SPAR European Team Championships, European Cup Combined Events, European Cup 10000m and a number of top one-day meetings, European Athletics is pleased to announce the nominations for the European Athlete of the Month for June representing 13 countries. At the end of each month, a panel of experts produces a shortlist of the outstanding athletes and performances achieved by European athletes during that month, which is emailed to European athletics media and thousands of fans who have signed up to receive news from European Athletics. The voting will close on Monday 18 July at noon CET.

PARIS (FRA): South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the famed "Blade Runner", has only 12 days left to get the all-important qualification time that would allow him to compete in the world championships later this month. Agencies are informing. After missing out on the Beijing Olympics by just 0.3sec, at stake now is the qualifying time of 45.25 to ensure a slot in the South African squad at the World Championships in the indvidual race.  "We've had our (South African) national trials (in March). We've got until the cut-off date on July 15, but I've had extension through to July 19 because I have two more races," said Pistorius, who ran a best of 45.61sec at the trials. Even when not achieving the time he still might be selected for the relay, in case the relay is qualified.

PARIS (FRA): Another blow for former world 110m hurdles champion Ladji Doucouré who has to end his season due to another injury. The French hurdler is suffering from an injury to his hamstrings following his race in Sotteville-lès-Rouen where he ran a disappointing 13.73. Doucouré has also withdrawn from the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Paris this Friday reports AFP.

HAMBURG (GER): German European indoor champion Sebastian Bayer will miss the Paris Areva DL in the long jump. Knee problems is the reason. The injury is not too serious he might be ready to jump on Sunday in Dillingen.

LONDON (GBR):  Jo Pavey and Louise Damen who both achieved the qualifying time with tremendous performances at the Virgin London Marathon in April have withdrawn from next month's World Championships in Daegu. Pavey has sustained a minor foot injury and has had to ease off her required training schedule for three to four weeks so took  the decision to  withdraw as a precautionary measure. The former Commonwealth 5000 metres silver medallist if recovering may target an autumn marathon. Meanwhile Damen will receive treatment on a sports hernia this summer and has also withdrawn to ensure she can regain full fitness ahead of her 2012 build up.

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Andy Pozzi the newly crowned UK Junior 110 metres hurdles record holder is part of a 57-strong Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the European Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, from 21-24 July. Pozzi coached by hurdles guru Malcolm Arnold, set his time of 13.29seconds in Mannheim, Germany, at the weekend and now has the realistic target of securing the European age group title won by his training partner Lawrence Clarke two years ago. Also ranked number one in Europe, World Junior 100m champion Jodie Williams will attempt a sprint double as she lines up in two individual events, plus the 4 x 100m relay, in Tallinn. Emelia Gorecka and Jonny Hay, both coached by Mick Woods, lead the European endurance rankings in the 3000m and 5000m.

AMSTERDAM (NED) : The Netherlands is sending 29 athletes to the European U23 championships including two 4x100m relay teams. Most important medal contender is Melissa Boekelman in the shot put.

PARIS (FRA): French high jumper Melanie Melfort feels ready to win a medal at the world championships in Daegu she said for athle.com. The French record holder continues her strong season with competitions in Birmingham and Monaco as well as the French national championships.

MINSK (BLR): Belarus is sending 21 athletes for European U23 Championships in Ostrava. They are 11 men and 10 women. Top names are long jumper Anastasiya Mironchik-Ivanova, Eduard Mikhan in decathlon, Yana Maksimava for heptathlon and other former world and european youth and junior medalists, mainly in throwing events.


SACRAMENTO (USA, Jul 6): Track and field legend Zola Budd Pieterse was back on the track, or rather the course, at Granite Regional park competing in the World Masters Athletic Championships' 8 km. Local media are writing. Things looked good for the 45-year old South African as she led the pack of runners from the start, legs churning as they have done in many international competitions over the years. But the pace proved a touch too quick, and Spain's Soledad Castro Solino closed hard in the last two miles to win the race in 28:52.7. Budd Pieterse was second in 29:19.9.

TEL AVIV (ISR, Jul 6): During first day of 75th Israeli national championships Yochai Halevi achieved 16.77 (+0.3) in the triple jump, Russians cleared 219 in high jump, Sergey Milokumov and Andrey Tereshin with local star and Youth Olympic Games winner Dmitriy Kroyter beeing third with 216. Belarus guest Anastasiya Shvedova cleared 450 in the pole vault and equalled the all-comers record. Jillian Schwartz was second 424. Another meet record by Russian hammer thrower Anna Bulgakova 66.85.


LILLE (FRA): In the girls 3000 m the right order was top 3 for Africans, fourth place for Russian Alena Kudashkina.

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