2011 AVIVA Birmingham Grand Prix Diamond League: Preview by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder


Farah_MoFV_Pre11.JpgMo Farah wins the 10,000m at Nike Pre Distance Gala, photo by PhotoRun.net

As that great philosopher of baseball, Yogi Berra once said, " It's Deja-vu all over again." So, can Mo Farah win this 5,000 meters in Birmingham?" We will have to wait a few hours to see (meet is from 5.30 pm to 8.15 pm Local time, or 10.30 Am to 1:15 pm Chicago time).

The 2011 AVIVA Birmingham Diamond League will be held this evening, July 10, in the Alexander Birmingham stadium, featuring a new Mondo surface. We have provided you with the Preview of the meet, by Alfons Juck.

Here are my picks:

Men's 100 meters: Asafa Powell versus the world. Watch for Michael Rodgers of the US to run fast.

Men's 800 meters: Kaki is in race, but I want to see how fast Nick Willis of New Zealand can run-can he come near Peter Snells' 1:44.8?

Men's 5,000 meters: Mo Farah wants to win in front of his home crowd and Imane Merga wants to win it too-this will be an epic battle. Totally stacked field!

Men's Shot Put: Dylan Armstrong, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Reese Hoffa, Tomasz Majewski-are you kidding, these guys will throw long.

Men's javelin: Andreas Thorkildsen wants a big throw. He asked me what the stadium record was (95 meters, meet record is 98 meters). He smiled. 

Women's 200 meters: Coach John Smith said she is ready, she is Carmelita Jeter. Let's see what happens here.

Women's 100 m hurdles: Some serious hurdlers here, I am looking at Danielle Carruthrs and Tiffani Offili.

Women's 1,500 meters: A very hard one to pick, but I am going with Morgan Uceny.

Women's high jump: OH, Blanka Vlasic, please clear 2.00m!

Women's discus: Stephanie Trafton Brown-on a roll.

MADRID (ESP, Jul 9): The 39th Meeting de Madrid (IAAF World Challenge) in a good weather and before solid crowd had as highlight the European leading, personal best and third fastest in the world 44.74 by European Champion Kevin Borlee of Belgium in the 400 m. Second Cuban William Collazo missed with 44.95 his best by only 0.02 and third Rabah Yusif of Sudan 45.32. Even faster in B-race was Nery Brenes of Costarica with 45.29. In the men´s 800 m US Tyler Mulder (4th at the trials) surprised 2004 olympic winner Yuriy Borzakovskiy with 1:45.10 over 1:45.57. Third Manuel Olmedo improved to 1:45.67. Great Spanish wins for Sergio Sanchez in the 3000 m (7:49.45 ahead of Kenyan Yusuf Biwott 7:49.80) and Nuria Fernandez in the 1500 m (4:06.00 ahead of Russian Yekaterina Martynova 4:06.27 and Ethiopian World junior champion 2010 Tizita Bogale 4:06.47). 12 runners dipped sub 4:10. In the expected 100 m duel Justin Gatlin won in 10.10 against strong head-wind -1.6. Dwain Chambers in 10.13 second ahead of US Travis Padgett 10.18. Close in head-wind (-1.8) also high hurdles dominated by US runners (Akins 13.45, J. Brown 13.49, Porter 13.53, Wilson 13.53). World indoor champion 2008 Russian Yevgeniy Lukyanenko is back to top heights in pole vault with 572 clearance and tried at 580 cm. Cuban Jorge Fernandez won the discus 63.81. In the hammer throw (part of IAAF HT Challenge) Italian Euro medalist Nicola Vizzoni won with meet record 78.82 ahead of improved Pawel Fajdek of Poland 78.13 and world champion Primoz Kozmus 77.06. Jamaican Schillone Calvert posted fast 11.23 against -2.3 wind beating Barbara Pierre 11.28. Cuban living in Italy Yusneysi Santiusti won the 800 m in 1:59.79 ahead of US Alice Schmidt 2:00.60. NCAA Champion Nia Ali debuted in Europe impressive in the 100 m hurdles with fast 12.83 against -2.5 wind. Spanish record holder Ruth Beitia won the high jump over Venelina Veneva of Bulgaria and Airine Palsyte from Lithuania, all cleared 192 cm. Latvian javelin win for Madara Palameika 60.88.

KOBE (JPN, Jul 9): World Junior, Asian Games and Asian Junior Champion Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar won the high jump during Asian Championships with impressive national and meet record 235 cm. He cleared 233 in first what was first record and then 235 in second and had also two tries at 238 cm. He was followed by Syrian Majd Eddin Ghazal (228) and Chen Wang (226). It is also second best mark of the year for the young Qatari jumper and also 5th place in Asian all-time lists, ahead of him four jumpers from former Soviet Union and one Chinese. Bahrain won after both 10 000 m races also both gold medals in the 5000 m. D.R.Mootumaa of Bahrain broke 18 year old Asian Championship record with a 13:39.71. Yuki Sato of Japan took over Alemu Bekele Gebre of Bahrain in the last 50m to take silver medal with 13:40.78 over 13:41.93. In the women race T.D.Chalchissa of Bahrain smashed 16 years old Asian Championship record with 15:22.48. Second Hitomi Niiya 15:34.19 and third another Japanese runner Yuriko Kobayashi (15:42.59). Japan was ruling in the 400 m hurdles finals. It was rare to see foul starts in the men final by two athletes (Hassan Aman Salmeen of Qatar and Takayuki Kishimoto of Japan. World Junior Silver medalist Takatoshi Abe of Japan clocked 49.64 to win. Satomi Kubokura of Japan not only defended her women title but also made hat-trick of winning three consecutive Asian Championship title in the women 400m hurdles. She clocked 56.52 ahead of young and talented Qi Yang of China (20) who set new personal best 56.69. USA Based C.S. Merril of Sri Lanka earned bronze medal in 57.30. Another multiple winner is Mohamed Ali Zankawi of Kuwait, he was 19 years old when he had won his first Asian Championship title in Manila in 2003 in the men's hammer and repeated that feat here for the fourth time to surpass his father's three Asian title in shot put. His winning mark in the absence of Koji Murofushi and Dilshod Nazarov was 73.73. Former Asian record holder and Asian Games Champion Xie Limei of China set leading Asian mark for this season with a gold medal winning effort of 14.54 (+1.9) in the women's triple jump final. World youth Bronze medalist Valeriya Kanatova of Uzbekistan won silver medal with a jump of 14.14 (+2.3, legal 14.05) while India's Mayookha Johny after winning long jump was here third with national record 14.11 (+0.9). Sha Wu of China was 16 years old when she won her first Asian Championship title in the women's Pole Vault in Manila in 2003. Today she kept Chinese domination in this event clearing 435. Supporters of Chinese Taipei were emotional when they heard National Antham of the country for the first time in 15 years at the Asian Championship and Chang Ming-Huang was responsible for this sweet moment which he had achieved by winning men's shot put title with a new championship record of 20.14. Defending champion Om Prakash Singh of India was second 19.47. Wassanee Winatho (31) of Thailand was ecstatic after winning her first ever Asian Championship title in the heptathlon by scoring 5710 points. Championships ends on Sunday with Liu Xiang at 110 m hurdles. With help from Asian Athletics website.

LILLE (FRA, Jul 9): Kenyan Leonard Kosencha is the latest running sensation. Revealed only this year as third at national youth trials with 1:46.9 he improved on Saturday at World Youth Championships to superb 1:44.08 fastest ever in this category. He comes from the same Masai village which has produced current senior World record holder David Rudisha. Kosencha´s time is also fourth best ever by a junior. Second Ethiopian Mohamed Aman also impressive national junior record 1:44.68 over second Kenyan Timothy Kitum 1:44.98. Another top Kenyan win for Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon in the girls 1500 m with 4:09.48. US Nnenya Hailey won the 400 m hurdles in world leading 57.93. Surprise boys 400 m hurdles win for Russian Yegor Kuznetsov in 50.97. Cuba's World leader Yusleidys Mendieta and Yorgelis Rodriguez won the Caribbean nation its first ever Heptathlon medals and in fantastic style with gold and silver scoring 5697 and 5671 points. Third Belgian Marjolein Lindemans 5532. Germany's Desiree Singh, who set a world pole vault lead of 425, matched that height for a nervous gold medal victory ahead of Australian Liz Parnov (420) and Briton Lucy Bryan (410). It was not list favorite Gael Rotardier, but Gael Levecque winning the high jump for the home country with 213 cm. Latario Collie-Minns with his first attempt won the triple jump gold medal for the Bahamas with 16.06 (+1.7). Louisa James, in a competition which was taking place when the track action had been completed, scored Great Britain's first success when winning the hammer title with a throw of 57.13. World leader Rosalie Vazquez wasn't far short of her personal best when becoming the second Cuban winner of the discus gold medal with a throw of 53.51. With help from IAAF.

Powell, triple jump, shot put duel, Greene vs. Batman

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Full Alexander Stadium expects on Sunday in debut of Samsung Diamond League here Asafa Powell in the 100 m, triple jump duel Tamgho-Idowu and much more, specially local heroes like Dai Greene or Mo Farah. Last year the meet was held in Gateshead.

Event by event preview

100 m: Asafa Powell is ready to confirm his 9.78 from Lausanne. Also in the field his team-mates Frater and Crater, US is headed by Rodgers. Also sub 10 this year Ndure of Norway and Bledman of Trínidad. But first to go through heats.
800 m: Abubaker Kaki against in-shape Paris winner Amine Laalou, waiting behind European champ Lewandowski.
5000 m: Mo Farah wants to please the fans. Strong Ethiopian group headed by DR winner Merga and latest revelation Alamirew with Mottram and Rupp.
400mH: Another highlight for British crowd: Greene vs. B. Jackson. Can he beat him? They are 9:1 in favor of Jackson, Greene beat him so far only once in Split last year.
TJ: The duel of the day Idowu (jumping as first) against Tamgho (jumping as last).
SP: Monster duel, Armstrong vs. USA and Majewski should be counted too.
JT: Thorkildsen plans to confirm his return to top shape. Will he attack the 90? Youngsters De Zordo, Frydrych, Oosthuizen waiting behind.

200 m: Jeter likes this distance more and more. Myers in her first race since US Trials and first deuce of the year.
400 m: McCorory, Montsho, Jamaicans and Sanya with hope for another improvement.
800 m (non-DL): Meadows, Okoro, British duel, waiting Slovak Klocova.
1500 m: Clitheroe and Dobriskey versus world champ Jamal and mainly in-shape US Champ Uceny.
Steeple: This time without Chemos the way is open for Ethiopian win. Meet record for sure.
100mH: Pearson wants non-windy fast time, also Wells, Vukicevic, Carruthers and national record holder Ofili-Porter. First barrier, the heats.
HJ: Vlasic has the chance to show that Lausanne should be forgotten. Will Green-Tregaro and Chicherova allow it?
PV: Ready for world lead with Murer, Spiegelburg, Feofanova and new home star Bleasdale.
LJ: Reese does not want to have meets with under 7 meters (if yes, also meet record).
DT: World champ Samuels with Muller, Brown-Trafton and Grasu.


HENDON (GBR, Jul 9): Sensational discus at throws and jumps fest meet. Sixth from last year world junior championships Lawrence Okoye achieved new British record 67.63. Old mark of Perris Wilkins 66.64 was from 1998. Okoye is still 19 but will be 20 years so his mark is not eligible for junior record purposes. But statistically it is the best result by a 19 years old ever. In second also Daegu A standard for fast improving Abdul Buhari 65.44 PB. Womens event won by Jade Nicholls with 60.76. In the long jump JJ Jegede achieved 8 meters with +4.8 support.

KORTRIJK (BEL, Jul 9): The 14th international meet, part of Flanders Cup, had double winners in sprint from Jamaica. Aileen Bailey 11.25 (+1.1) and 23.14 (+0.3) and Jacques Harvey 10.17 (+2.4) and 20.99 (+0.1). US Ben Blankenship improved hugely from 3:39 level to 3:37.23 in the 1500 m. In the women 1500 m also US win for Elizabeth Maloy 4:13.76. Richard Jones was the best in the 800 m (1:47.34) and Justin Gaymon at 400 m hurdles (50.00) with more wins of US athletes. Briton Michael Bingham clocked 46.85 to win the 400 m and Italian Manuela Gentili 56.65 at 400 m hurdles.

PLOVDIV (BUL, Jul 9): Inna Eftimova qualified to Daegu with 11.20 (-1.2) win at the 100 m at a international meeting here. Viktor Ninov improved his personal best to 229 in high jump and tried at Daegu and London standard 231 cm.

LILLE (FRA, Jul 9): In the morning session of Saturday Russian favorite Pavel Parshin won the 10 000 m walk in 40:51.31. Silver for Kenny Perez of Colombia 40:59.25 and Erwin Gonzalez of Mexico 41:09.60 was third. South African Morne Moolman achieved world leading 83.16 (and meet record) in boys javelin qualification (junior implement).

TARARE (FRA, Jul 9): At special 400 m hurdles meet Adrian Clemenceau was the best male runner with 50.17 and Sara Petersen of Denmark was the best woman 57.73.

XATIVA (ESP, Jul 9): David Alejandro clocked 10.48 (+2.6) during first day of Spanish Junior Championships and Didac Salas cleared 520 in the pole vault.

VINCENZA (ITA, Jul 9): Jacques Riparelli clocked fast 10.28 (+0.9) at 100 m during a local meet.

AMSTETTEN (AUT, Jul 9): New Austrian 100 m hurdles record for Beate Schrott at regional championships 13.06 (0.0). She fulfilled so also the standards for Daegu and London.

BULLE (SUI, Jul 9): At national meet Clelia Reuse improved in long jump to 660, Julien Fivaz leaped to 782 in the men competition. Pascal Mancini sprinted to 10.44 (+1.8) in the 100 m.

VESZPREM (HUN, Jul 9): At Balathon Championships meet young hammer thrower girl Reka Gyuratz (15) improved to national mark with 3 kg implement 69.40 and achieved with senior one 58.06 m. In the senior hammer Kristof Nemeth with 76.03 beat Slovak Marcel Lomnicky 71.73.

TRNAVA (SVK, Jul 9): Tomas Kruzliak improved at national junior championships to 71.75 with 6 kg hammer.


DURBAN (RSA): AIPS writes that the International Olympic Committee has approved a 'no needle policy' to curb against incidences of Doping at the Olympic games. The IOC session, which closed on Saturday in Durban, endorsed the proposal by Arne Ljungqvist, the President of the Medical Commission. "We want to send a strong message to NOC's and athletes that please behave appropriately in the Olympic village and with regard to medical treatment should be done by appropriate medical personnel. We don't want to act as police but we shall expect NOCs to declare any needles in their possession because if we come across any in the village we will regard it inappropriate behavior which could bring the Olympics into disrepute." Ljungqvist argues that syringes should be kept away from all the games competitions and the Olympic villages as they could be used for doping.

SYDNEY (AUS): Australian media are informing that 2000 400 m olympic winner Cathy Freeman is happy and well after giving birth to her first child. Ruby Anne Susie Murch was born on Friday morning to Cathy and her husband, James Murch. Freeman was diagnosed with type-two diabetes during pregnancy tests earlier this year. Since retiring from athletics in 2003 she has worked as an ambassador for children's fitness and Aboriginal health and education causes. She split from her first husband, Nike executive Sandy Bodecker, in 2003 after four years of marriage. Freeman and Murch were married on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula in 2009.

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