In some ways, Hersh is correct, although it is quite sad. From the country that provides more medals in the Worlds or Olympics than any other, and with the obsession with Americans and sports, it is sad to note that we have not hosted an outdoor World Championships.
It is not because of the lack of fans. If that were the case, there would not be the nearly 400,000 fans at outdoor state high school track & field championships last year. The nearly 1.5 million athletes in cross country, track & field, both indoor and outdoor, constitute the largest sport in the high school world, and one of the best in the college world. The issue is a crisis in both perception and communication. Track & Field has been dumped on so much, that we normally just lay down and take it.
FARAH AS FIRST LONG DISTANCE RUNNER EUROPEAN AOY
LAUSANNE (SUI): Mo Farah of Great Britain has been voted the 2011 winner of the men's European Athlete of the Year Award presented by MONDO. He is the first male long distance runner winning this poll since 1993 when it started. The pinnacle of his achievement in 2011 was, of course, winning the 5000m gold medal at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, but there were so many other outstanding moments for the European Athlete of the Year to savour. The 28-year-old started off his year by setting a European indoor record over 5000m in Birmingham in February, circling 25 laps of the National Indoor Arena in 13:10.60. He successfully defended his 3000m title at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris in March. Moving into the summer, Farah set a European 10,000m record of 26:46.57 when winning at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, in June and in July he ran a 2011 world-leading 5000m of 12:53.11 in Monaco, a time which ranked him second on the European all-time lists for the event as well as being a national record. He had to settle for the silver medal in the 10,000m - one of only two defeats in 14 competitions on all surfaces during 2011 - but bounced back to run a tactically perfect race in the 5000m to become the first European runner to win a global title at the event for nearly two decades. He lost in the whole 2011 only two races (indoor Boston 3000 m and Worlds 10 000 m) in his all outings indoor, outdoor, CC or road. Second position for French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre and third for British 400 m hurdles world champion David Greene. More world champions followed, all from Germany: fourth shot putter David Storl, fifth discus thrower Robert Harting, sixth javelin thrower Matthias de Zordo. Poland´s pole vault world champion Pawel Wojciechowski is 7th ahead of European indoor champion and world indoor record holder Teddy Tamgho and Belgian 400 m runner Kevin Borlee. Next positions 10 and 11 for Russian walking world champions Valeriy Borchin and Sergey Bakulin. The published top 12 is completed by Hungarian hammer thrower Krisztian Pars. Informs European Athletics.
MAKAU NO MORE MARATHONS UNTIL LONDON
NAIROBI (KEN): Marathon world record holder Patrick Makau is not planning any marathons until Olympic Games in London. He was already named in the Kenyan team and said: "For this reason I want to focus and concentrate on the Olympics totally and that means there will be no appearance in any other marathon." He also revealed for AIPS website his plans in more detail: "I will only race in half marathons and road races to build for the Olympics which is my ultimate dream race." This weekend he can be richer by a nice bonus. He can be the winner of the World Marathon Majors where he currently leads the standings with the Chicago and New York marathons to go.
KIRUI FOR GSR
PORTSMOUTH (GBR): Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui, already one of the favourites to win gold medal at next year's London Olympic Games, will compete in the Bupa Great South Run on 30 October. The brilliant Kenyan, who won a second successive world title at the recent championships in Daegu, will reduce his distance when competing over the fast 10 mile course. His opposition will include Great Britain's European 10,000m silver medalist Chris Thompson. The Bupa Great South Run is the highlight of a weekend of running on the South Coast, which also features a 5k race with junior and mini events on the preceding day. Organizers are informing in a release.
E. DIBABA ADDED
CHICAGO (USA): In a surprise announcement, officials of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon informed that 2004 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba of Ethiopia would make her marathon debut at their race on Sunday. Dibaba, 29, whose track credentials include two world championships bronze medals, has never competed in a race longer than 10 kilometers, and has raced sparingly over the last two years. However, she has sterling track speed with career best times of 30:18.39 for 10,000m and 14:32.74 for 5000m. Dibaba is the older sister of two-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba. Chicago officials also announced that four athletes had withdrawn from the race: Russia's Inga Abitova (illness), Ethiopia's Chala Dechase (illness), Australia's Benita Willis (injury) and China's Wei Yanan (injury). Sunday's race in Chicago will be the 34th edition of America's second largest marathon. Last year's race recorded 36,159 finishers. For the fourth time in the last six years, the organizers will have to cope with warmer than normal conditions, according forecasts published by both local and national sources. "Just a sneak peak at the marathon weather, it might be a little warm for some runners," local meteorologist Steve Baskerville told his viewers last night on KORD, the local CBS affiliate. Baskerville's forecast called for cloudless skies and temperatures of 65°F (18°C) at 7:00 a.m., 30 minutes before the start. He said temperatures would warm to 70°F (21°C) by 10:00 a.m., about the time the women's winner will cross the finish line, and 75°F (24°C) by noon when the slower recreational runners will be finishing. Informs Race Results Weekly.
TRENTO (ITA): The 65th Giro al Sas - Trofeo Cassa Rurale di Trento (10 km road race) will have this Saturday Kenyan Edwin Soi as main favorite in the race against multiple European CC Champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine and home star Daniele Meucci. Soi is the winner of last two editions.
EINDHOVEN (NED): The 2011 Marathon Eindhoven men's race is expected to yield very fast times, with the course record of 2:07.01 looking in severe danger on Sunday. Eight runners will be on the start line with personal bests below the 2 hours 10 minutes barrier, five of whom have run faster than 2:08. Into the bargain, there are several runners set to make their debut over the classic distance but who have clocked great times at the half marathon. Leading the way is Ethiopia's Tadesse Tola, still only 23, who showed off his prodigious talent when he won the 2010 Paris Marathon in 2:06:41. He then improved to 2:06:31 almost exactly 12 months ago when he finished second in Frankfurt. Tola will be looking to jointly put an end to the 12-year winning streak by Kenyan runners and also improve on the course record, which was set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2009. Heading the challenge to retain Kenyan supremacy in Eindhoven is David Kipkorir Mandago. Also to note his compatriot Nicholas Chelimo Kipkorir, who was second in Eindhoven last year in a personal best of 2:07:38. Ethiopia's Teshome Gelana Etana had two good marathons last year, including winning in Houston in 2:07:37, but after failing to finish at the Daegu Marathon back in April, he will be determined to bounce back and show what he is capable of on European soil. Mention should also be made of Kenya's Kiplimo Kimutai (59:44 PB in HM), who will be making his marathon debut in Eindhoven. A group of pacemakers have been asked to take the leading pack through to the halfway point in 63:15 to 63:30, which will give someone an excellent chance of breaking the course record.
MONACO (MON): For the fifth consecutive year the Principality of Monaco is preparing to host a historic summit for peace through sport: the Peace and Sport International Forum 2011 which will take place from 26-28 October. The 2011 edition promises to be ambitious, with the participation of over 500 key players from 95 countries. There will be some particularly distinguished guests to mark this fifth edition. Five Heads of State will speak, along with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Joel Bouzou, President of Peace and Sport. Organizers are informing.
HELSINKI (FIN): European Athletics website recently published entry standards for the next year new format of European Championships in Helsinki (June 27 - July 1). There will be no marathon and walking events and participation is limited to 32 in sprints and 26 in technical events to be able to keep the time table. In the relays top 16 teams will be allowed to compete (aggregate of two fastest times), there is no formal standard set. Combined events are limited to 24 athletes. The 5000 m and 10 000 m races will be staged as straight finals with maximum of 24 and 30 runners. Also 1500 m and steeple are limited to 24 with heats and finals. The deadline for entry standards is set for June 17. Interesting additions into the procedures are that first three placed athletes from European Cup 10 000 m will be considered as achieving the standard, the same goes for top 3 at any European Athletics Premium meeting and winners from European Classic meetings (from 2011 and until June 17 2012). Of course this is not guaranteeing the selection, that is always in the hands of the concerned national federation.
LONDON (GBR): The IAAF Senior Vice President American Bob Hersh sees no prospect of the United States hosting track and field's world championships. "We just don't have the wherewithal, starting with the fact that there is no stadium that exists that could accommodate it," Bob Hersh, the senior vice president of the IAAF, said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian coach and father of 400m twins Kevin and Jonathan, Jacques Borlée has been awarded the European coach of the year award for his achievements with three of his children Kevin, Jonathan and Olivia Borlée. Borlée said to Belgian media to deeply appreciate the recognition and to be proud of the achievements of himself and his children.
TOKYO (JPN): After a long period of time away from the sport, 200 m Asian record holder (20.03 in 2003) and Worlds 2003 bronze winner Shingo Suetsugu ran his first race in three years when he ran a time trial in Kumamoto on Oct. 1. The race marked the beginning of a serious effort to make a comeback to full racing capability ahead of next year's London Olympics. The 31-year-old Suetsugu ran the 100 m at the Oct. 1 time trial, clocking 10.87 in the first heat racing against university students. After winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics as part of Japan's 4x100 m relay team he took an "indefinite leave of absence" from competition to deal with accumulated fatigue. Since then he has been based in his native Kumamoto, and beginning in February he started rebuilding and training toward regaining his full strength. Writes Brett Larner on his blog.