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As we come down to the final seven weeks before the 2011 World Championships, many things are going on...the Kenyan Trials are from Thursday to Saturday of this week, the European U23s are in Ostrava (opening on Wed, events Thursday to Sunday), and then two meets in Belgium as well!
I spent the last ten days traveling to Lille, France for the 2011 World Youth Champs, then to AREVA Paris on July 8 and AVIVA Birmingham on July 10. Some great track and field action and some points to consider. The USA team at the World Youth Champs took sixteen medals. Amazing considering that the USA full team was assembled so close to the event.
In watching the sprints in AREVA Paris & AVIVA Birmingham, team USA has to see that its' normal stalwarts for medals, the 100m, 200m, will be very tough in Daegu, Korea. The 400 for men and women is suprisingly open, with the men's 400 meters eerily open. Jeremy Wariner needs to find the form that gave him 2004, 2005 and 2007,2008 and 2009 medals. His race in Paris had to be considered a real upset.
Two of the most exciting events for the Worlds will be both the 110m hurdles and 100m hurdles. On the men's side, Dayron Robles, Lui Xiang and David Oliver are ever as exciting as the 100 meters. On the women's 100m, with Sally Pearson, Danielle Carruthers, Kellie Wells, among others, should also a great competition.
The men's shot put has the eight top guys competing against each other everywhere. Dylan Armstrong is taking on all comers, and Tomasz Majewski, 2008 Oly champ, and Christian Cantwell, 2009 World Champ, are moving into the battle at the right time.
The men's triple jump, with Phillips Idowu and Teddy Tamgho, are two iconic charac
We shall know more about the fields over the next few weeks, as each of the 206 plus countries who will have athletes at the World Champs will announce their teams. More to come here!
TEN TO WATCH IN OSTRAVA U23
OSTRAVA (CZE): Ten to watch at European U23 Championships which will start with opening ceremony in the center of Ostrava on Wednesday and competitions will be held from Thursday until Sunday. 1)Teddy Tamgho hungry for a long one in triple jump, will he beat stadium record or meet record? 2)Lisa Urech current European leader at 100 m hurdles, 3)British 400mHurdlers both with sub 49 this year Woodward and Green, 4)Holly Bleasdale already 470 this year in pole vault, 5)David Storl of Germany already this year improved the European U23 record with 21.03 can he add more?, 6)European indoor champion from Bercy Adam Kszczot in the 800 m, 7)Long jump duel Menkov vs Caceres, 8)Greek Papahristou is close to European U23 record 14.79 in triple jump with 14.72 this year, 9)Long jump clash Russian Klishina with Belarus Mironchik-Ivanova and former world junior champ Spanovic of Serbia, 10)Javelin young generation this year improved, Russian Tarabin, Turkish Avan, world junior champ Woschler, Ukrainian Kosynskyy and Zelezny coached home hopeful Vadlejch.
MADRID (ESP): Spanish judge Mercedes Pérez Barrios dismissed all charges of doping and selling drugs without prescription against steeple world champion Marta Dominguez on Monday. The athlete from Palencia has now been absolved of any link to supplying doping products following "Operation Greyhound." The judge had already dismissed in May any evidence from wiretapping which could have potentially linked Dominguez with the consumption of doping products. However, Domínguez still faces various separate charges of various infringements of Spanish tax law and these are expected to be heard in late July.
DIX FOR LUZERN
LUZERN (SUI): After Yelena Isinbayeva the Spitzenleichtathletik of Luzern (EA Classic, July 21) announced another top athlete to compete. In the 200 m the fresh US double sprint champion Walter Dix will run. It will be his first European meet since last August injury in London. He will face Jamaican talent Nickel Ashmeade (qualified for Daegu) and US new name on the circuit, NCAA standout Rakieem Salaam (improved this year to 20.05). Also in the race all three Swiss Daegu qualifiers Reto Amaru Schenkel, Marc Schneeberger and Alex Wilson. The race will have so numbers 2-4 from current world list and also Swiss record 20.41 by Kevin Widmer from 1995 might be under threat.
NAIROBI (KEN): David Martin writes that David Rudisha the World 800 meters record holder is one of the many stars hoping to cement their places in Kenya's team for next month's IAAF World Championships in Daegu. Rudisha after running a world lead of one minute 43.46 seconds in Nancy, France and opening his Samsung Diamond League with a victory in Lausanne on his return to Samsung Diamond League action 12 days ago, proved he is recovered from the ankle injury which sidelined him for three months. Since then Rudisha who insists he will not be satisfied until adding a global Championship title to his two world records has been preparing under the eagle eye of Irish coach Brother Colm O'Connell at Iten in western Kenya. The Kenyan Trials will be held from Thursday till Saturday. For men´s 800 m and 1500 m the plan is to have each day one round. Nancy Chebet Lagat, the women 1,500m Olympic champion, will be the main attraction, while Asbel Kiprop, the men's Olympic champion also in 1500 m, will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Silas Kiplagat. The African champion in the men 10,000m event Wilson Kiprop, is another top name expected to line up at Nyayo Stadium to fight for a place in the Kenyan team. Commonwealth Games 400 meters champion Mark Mutai, a late bloomer in athletics, is confident he will weather the storm and triumph in the trials in his event. Mutai, who together with other 15 Kenya Defence Forces athletes have shelved their departure to Rio de Jenairo for the World Military Games until Saturday night, is, however, wary of the challenge younger athletes will pose as they seek qualifying times for the World Championships in Athletics. Other sprinters who will be keen to break the jinx include USA-based Anderson Mureta, Jonathan Kibet, Moses Kertich, Julius Kirwa, Nicholas Bett and Geoffrey Rono. With help of Kenyan media.
JAPAN TEAM FOR DAEGU
TOKYO (JPN): A day after the conclusion of the Asian Championships, the final qualifying meet for the World Championships team, the complete Japanese team composition of the World Championships team was announced. Informs Ken Nakamura. Olympic gold medalist Koji Murofushi is the male headliner along with marathon runners, strong walkers and sprinters for 4x100 m relay. Yukifumi Murakami will try to defend his bronze from Berlin 2009 in javelin. On the women side again the marathon runners are the ones to watch. The team - men- 200 m: Shinji Takahira, Hitoshi Saito, Yukichi Kobayashi, 400 m: Yuzo Kanemaru, 4x100 m: Masashi Eriguchi, Sota Kawatsura, Hideyuki Hirose, Yusuke Ishitsuka, Kei Takase, 800 m: Masato Yokota, 5000 m: Kazuya Watanabe, 10 000 m: Yuki Sato, 400mH: Takayuki Kishimoto, Yuta Imazeki , Takatoshi Abe, PV: Daichi Sawano, HT: Koji Murofushi, JT: Yukifumi Murakami, decathlon: Keisuke Ushiro, marathon: Yukihiro Kitaoka, Yuki Kawauchi, Hiroyuki Horibata, Yoshinori Oda, Kentaro Nakamoto, 20 km walk: Yusuke Suzuki, 50 km walk: Koichiro Morioka, Takayuki Tanii, Hirooki Arai. Women - 100 and 200m: Chisato Fukushima, 4x100 m: Kana Ichikawa, Nao Okabe, Momoko Takahashi, Saori Imai, 5000 m: Megumi Kinukawa, Hitomi Niiya, 10 000 m: Kayo Sugihara, Hikari Yoshimoto, 3000 m SC: Minori Hayakari, 400mH: Satomi Kubokura, HT: Aya Masumi, JT: Yuki Ebihara, Risa Miyashita, marathon: Yoshimi Ozaki, Yukiko Akaba, Remi Nakazato, Azusa Nojiri, Mai Ito, 20 km walk: Kumi Otoshi, Masumi Fuchise, Mayumi Kawasaki.
MONACO (MON): IAAF ratified women hammer world record of Betty Heidler 79.42 in Halle on May 21. Also approved is the world junior record of Ethiopian Birtukan Adamu 9:20.37 in the steeple from Golden Gala in Rome on May 26. From the indoor season now ok for the 4x800 m relay world indoor record 8:06.24 by Moscow Region Team at National Championships in Moscow on February 18.
AMSTERDAM (NED): Dutch talent and world junior champion Dafne Schippers will compete in heptathlon at the European Junior Championships next week in Tallinn. She might add the 4x100 m relay if she's still fit after the heptathlon.
BERLIN (GER): German 400m athlete Bastian Swillims will put an immediate end to the season because of Achilles problems. The former European indoor silver medalist will focus on making it to the 2012 Olympic Games in London reports leichtathletik.de.
LIEGE (BEL): The Belgian meeting week starts with the international meet in Liege on Wednesday and continues with Heusden KBC Nacht (EA Premium) on Saturday. In Liege fast sprints could be expected. World champion Ryan Brathwaite runs the 110 m hurdles (against US Joel Brown and Ty Akins), former world champion Lauryn Williams is in the women 100 m. In the men´s 100 m Daegu bound Darvis Patton runs with Travis Padgett and NCAA stars Rakieem Salaam and Gerald Phiri of Zambia. New Franch name Jeff Lastennet is the 800 m favorite with 1:45.56 improvement this year. Kenyan Yusuf Biwott has the best mark in the 3000 m. Ukrainian record holder Roman Avramenko leads the javelin field with Poland´s Igor Janik and Argentinian world youth record holder Braian Toledo. 11 runners in the women 1500 m is having sub 4:10 bests, headlining the list is Erin Donohue, Sara Hall, Liz Maloy, Alice Schmidt from USA, Poland´s Lidia Chojecka and Yeliz Kurt of Turkey. Belgian Elisabeth Davin is facing British record holder Tiffany Ofili-Porter with NCAA Champ Nia Ali of USA at the 100 m hurdles. Daegu qualifier Jasmine Chaney leads the 400 m hurdles field with Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson.
BOTTROP (GER): Bottrop Gala will have its fifth edition this Friday. Moroccan olympic medalist Hasna Benhassi against her team-mate Halima Hachlaf at the 800 m will be one of the highlights of the event. Tatooed German Janin Lindenberg will test her shape in the 200 m against US sub 23 runners Tiffayn Townsend and Charonda Williams. In men 100 m strong field with US Rae Edwards, Zambian record holder and NCAA standout Gerald Phiri, world medalist from 200 m Alonso Edward of Panama and Briton Marlon Devonish. Moroccan Abdelaati Iguider leads strong 1500 start list with Briton Andy Baddeley and Adrian Blincoe of New Zealand. US trio Ty Akins, Jeff Porter and Dominic Berger are to be considered favorites for 110 m hurdles. South African world junior champion Luvo Manyonga is the long jump headliner with Mohamed Al-Kuwailidi of Saudi Arabia, Lithuanian record holder Povilas Mykolaitis and Czech olympic finalist Roman Novotny. US Nicole Denby is the top name at 100 m hurdles. World junior record holder Birtukan Adamu is the top name of strong women steeple and US Briana Glenn is the one to watch in women long jump. US Daegu bound duo Kara Patterson and Rachel Yurkovich along with home Katharina Molitor are javelin favorites.
IZMIR (TUR, Jul 9-10): Olympic medalist Esref Apak achieved at national championships 78.04 in hammer. European champion Nevin Yanit clocked 13.25 (+1.2) at 100 m hurdles and Nagihan Karadere improved national record at 400 m hurdles to impressive 55.67.