2011 World Champs/Daegu: Hersh, Al-Hamad, Coe & Bubka, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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While I was traveling from Fort Atkinson, WI to Daegu, Korea (24 hours), there was some real drama in the IAAF World Congress. The electronic voting system was malfunctioning, and so, a more primitive means of voting was used in the second go round. Hersh, Al-Hamad, Coe and Bubka were elected IAAF Vice Presidents, but in the first, malfunctioning round, Mr. Bubka was not in the top four. There was also a difficulty in the election for treasurer as well. Insidethegames.biz, the top watcher of all things federation and all things Olympic and World Champs caught the story and it must be read in its entirety to truly appreciate the situations and frustrations of all involved.

The facilities in Daegu are top class. Staying in a fun little hotel called Geo-gi (Sincheon, Dong gu, Daegu), with nice rooms, and an easy walk to the train station and bus. I am now working in the Media Center and it is organized, cool and close to all that we need. Signage is all over the city and you would have to be blind not to know or see it. Winds could be a problem during the Champs, as they have been quite high and reportedly adverse during the practice event held the other day.


DAEGU (KOR): Insidethegames informs that confusion reigned at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Congress as a re-vote was ordered after the first vote for the four vice-presidents posts. Doubts over the electronic voting system led to President Lamine Diack ordering a re-run later in the afternoon. In the first vote which was later annulled Dahlan Al Hamad of Qatar and Abby Hoffman of Canada both got 175 votes, Bob Hersh 171 and Sebastian Coe 167. The favorite Sergey Bubka had 118 votes. In the second and only valid vote Hersh got 175, Al-Hamad 171, Coe 165, Bubka 159 and Hoffman 122.  Kenyan Isaiah Kiplagat did not stand. The validity of the system began to come under scrutiny following the election of Russian Valentin Balakhnichev as the new treasurer in the election that followed the one for vice-president with more votes were cast than member federations were in the chamber and a wild swing in the polling. Treasurer elections were also canceled and later in the evening repeated with only two names running as EA Vice-President Karel Pilny withdrew leaving Valentin Balakhnichev and Jose Maria Odriozola as the remaining candidates. Results of this vote will be announced on Thursday. Earlier President Lamine Diack, who was standing as President unopposed, earned 169 votes. Nick Davies was confirmed as deputy general secretary.



DAEGU (KOR): Following an official welcome given by IAAF President Lamine Diack, the Mayor of the City of Daegu, Kim Bum-il last night declared the 48th IAAF Congress open at a colourful and spectacular ceremony held in the Grand Ballroom of the at Exco-Hotel, Daegu. As is tradition at the opening of Congress, the IAAF bestowed a number of Awards. Leaving treasurer Jean Poczobut got IAAF Gold Order of Merit, German Otto Klappert silver order and Briton John Velzian the IAAF Honorary Plaque. The official welcoming address was given by IAAF President Lamine Diack:







GERMANY: Discus title defender Robert Harting is fighting with his left knee in the training camp of Jeju. For weeks he is unable to do a proper training. He still remains full of optimism and wants to defend his title.


ALL-ATHLETICS: Based on the latest All-Athletics World Rankings the USA is expected to take the most medals (24) at the upcoming World Championships in Daegu. East-African running power, Kenya, is predicted to win 15 medals, while Jamaica should have 13 podium appearances. A total of 40 countries are supposed to share the 141 medal positions. Ten medals are predicted for Ethiopia and Russia and nine for Germany, Great Britain should win seven and China six. More at all-athletics.com website.


RUSSIA: High jump 2009 gold medalist Yaroslav Rybakov now finally decided not to travel. His foot injury did not improve in a way he planned. "Well, yesterday I tried to have a final workout but my injured foot just wouldn't let me do it," Rybakov said for agencies. That brings the number of title defenders not competing to five, besides Rybakov Mulaudzi, Dominguez, Nerius and Bai Xue.


KENYA: The Nation informs that Team Kenya finally arrived in Daegu after a tortuous journey that saw them make a four-hour bus trip from the capital Seoul's Incheon Airport to the event's athletes village. Officials of the Kenyan Embassy were on hand to receive the tired athletes and officials and showed them into and around the impressive Athletes' Village, with volunteers and other participants and officials craning their necks in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Kenya's 800m world record holder David Rudisha, the reigning World Athlete of the Year, who is very much the talk of town here.


GREAT BRITAIN: Britain's Mo Farah has highlighted Ethiopian long distance running icon Kenenisa Bekele as his main threat for gold in the 10,000 meters at the World Athletics Championships, which get underway in Daegu this weekend. Informs insidethegames. "I don't have a clue what to expect from him," said Farah, who broke the European 10,000m record in Eugene in June. "He's like the Usain Bolt of distance running, he's dominated and shown by how many medals he's won that he's a great athlete. If he's going to be there, of course it's not going to be easy, but at the same time I have to concentrate on my own race."


ZAPALA AGENTUR: The agency of Polish agent Czeslaw Zapala has in Daegu 11 athletes, among them such medal hopes as Tomasz Majewski in shot put, Piotr Malachowski in discus and Anita Wlodarczyk in hammer.


DANA SPORT: French agent Rene Auguin has 19 athletes in Daegu, all of them French. Best chances to medal for star sprinter Christophe Lemaitre, pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, walker Yohan Diniz and steeple runner Bouabdellah Tahri.


TOTAL SPORTS:  Carmelita Jeter, the second fastest woman in history over 100 meters, will lead a strong group of 25 Total Sports US clients into Deagu for the IAAF World Championships. Joining Jeter as world leaders in their respective events heading into Daegu are: Kenyan Sally Kipyego at 10 000 m and Canadian Dylan Armstrong in the shot put. In total, 10 Total Sports US clients in Daegu rank among the world's top 10 at this point in the season in their respective events.


AUSTRALIA: Olympic silver medallist and the fastest 100m hurdler in the world this year, Sally Pearson, says she is happy to be favourite heading into the world championships. She said: "My whole plan after Commonwealth Games was to get solid training and not miss a session, look after my body when it's needed and really listen to my body and what I need as an athlete. So far everything is going really well, touchwood, all my training sessions have been amazing.  As you have seen the results have been really good and consistent. Coming into the world championships as a favourite has been quite exciting and I'm up to the challenge, and let's see what happens," she said for Athletics Australia.


SPECTATORS: In total 5,9 millions spectators in the organising stadiums saw the 12 editions of World Championships. All is set so that 6 millions will fall this year in Daegu. The biggest number so far registered was in Athens 1997 with 760 029, Berlin had 518 582. In Daegu 500 000 are expected.


TRINIDAD: Trinidad´s talented 400 meters hurdler Jehue Gordon has not been entered to take part in the event at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. A release from the NAAA said Gordon's omission was an oversight. He was entered only into the 4x400m. Trinidad were hoping he will be allowed to run his special event. Similar situation happened to Czech European indoor champion at 400 m Denisa Rosolova who saw here entered only into the 200 m and relay. Obviously her event is the one lap race and as Czech Federations representatives said, it was not their mistake she was not in the first entry list in the 400 m where shave been now added.


MARATHON: Marathon runners will compete for not only for medals in Daegu but also for World Marathon Majors points. The women's and men's marathons, scheduled for August 27 and September 4, respectively, will factor heavily into the current 2010-2011 series standings with a number of WMM point-scorers representing their national teams. In the men's race, Ethiopia's Gebre Gebremariam, the 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion and third place 2011 Boston Marathon finisher, currently tied for fourth on the leader board with 35 points, would propel himself into the series lead with a World Championship victory. Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya is the current leader with 55 points. Gebremariam's countrymen Feyisa Lilesa and Bazu Worku, with 10 points apiece, are also poised to climb the series standings with top five finishes in Daegu. The women's race features a number of athletes on the WMM leader board, namely, 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion and third place 2011 Virgin London Marathon finisher Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, currently tied for second with 35 points. A gold medal performance would propel her into sole possession of second place, five points behind top-ranked Liliya Shobukhova of Russia. Kiplagat will be joined on the start line by her Kenyan teammates Sharon Cherop and Caroline Rotich, the third and fourth place 2011 Boston Marathon finishers. The Ethiopian squad will be led by Bezunesh Bekele and Aberu Kebede, tied for fourth on the leader board with 25 points apiece. Additionally, Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia, the 2009 World Championship bronze medalist, and Atsede Baysa could vastly improve their WMM rankings with top finishes at the World Championships.







LONDON (GBR): Latest Pat Butcher´s blog at www.globerunner.org: Letter to a Rival for John J Kelle

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