2011 European Cross Country is Dec.11, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

2011 SPAR European Cross Country, photo by PhotoRun.net

The European Cross Country Championships are tomorrow and you can find them live on the European Athletic Association on Sunday, December 11, 2011.
EME NEWS (DEC 9, 2011)

Blake and VCB, coach is Mills
KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican Athletes of the Year 2011 are as expected sprinters. On the men side 100 m world champion Yohan Blake, on the women 200 m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown. Coach of the year is Racers TC head Glen Mills. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) hosted its annual Golden Cleats Awards, at the Terra Nova Hotel of Kingston on Friday.

Five track athletes for IOC position
LAUSANNE (SUI): IOC informs about the candidatures of 21 sports persons for the IOC Athletes' Commission elections, which will be held during the Olympic Games in London in 2012. Four places on the Commission are up for grabs, with current members Hicham El Guerrouj, Rania Elwani, Frank Fredericks and Jan Zelezny all finishing their terms of office next summer. Only National Olympic Committees (NOCs) with an athletes' commission were eligible to put forward a candidate. The candidates themselves must have taken part in the Beijing 2008 Games or be taking part in the London 2012 Games. Informs IOC. From the 21 names from athletics are five persons. Walker from Portugal Susana Feitor, Swedish high jumper Stefan Holm, Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi, Ecuador´s walker Jefferson Perez and Czech javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova. From them still active are Feitor, Murofushi and Spotakova.

Edinburgh XCounty expands
EDINBURGH (GBR): The Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry after this year's highly successful three sided men's match between Great Britain, the United States and and a European Select squad, will expand the concept for the 2012 meeting.  A revised programme is forecast to build upon the excitement of the men's race last January where Mo Farah's individual win for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland side was his first major success of the year in a brilliant campaign which saw him clinch the IAAF World Championships 5,000 metres gold medal in the summer. Now organisers after the highly competitive inaugural International Men's Team Challenge encounter where the European contingent were winners ahead  of the host nation and the USA,  have announced senior women and both junior age groups will be included in the live BBC televised programme on 7 January. The meeting  a long standing participant in the IAAF's Cross Country Permit Series will also see a world class field assembled for the men's individual international race which will be held over a distance of three kilometres. It has been welcomed by all concerned and after the European Cross Country Championships on 11 December the British and European teams will be announced as quickly as possible  while the United States squad is currently being formulated by their selectors, informed athletes coordinator Andy Caine.

Kszczot for 600 m
MOSCOW (RUS): Organisers of Russian Winter IAAF Indoor permit on February 5 announced that European indoor champion Adam Kszczot will be the star of the 600 m race. He plans to attack the world best. In the 60 m of women world indoor finalist Rudy Zang Milama of Gabon is entered.


VELENJE (SLO): Visitors to this weekend's SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Velenje, Slovenia, will have the chance to enjoy three exhibitions of athletics-related artwork created by more than 100 children. Teachers and volunteers collected paintings, block prints, drawings and mosaics produced during art lessons at ten of the city's schools earlier this autumn. Two weeks ago, the creations were selected and labelled for display in the city's Velejapark shopping mall and Vila Bianca art museum where they will be in place for a total of three weeks in the run-up to the championships. The third exhibition will be set up on race day in the VIP area at the race venue. Informs European Athletics, crowds between 5000 - 10 000 are expected on Sunday for the race.

MADRID (ESP): Unfortunately one of the favorites in women U23 race will not compete. The last time silver winner in this category Spain´s Cristina Jordan will not travel to Velenje due to muscle fatigue. That will leave the team with 35 runners all together.

VELENJE (SLO): Fourteen countries across Europe will broadcast action from the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Velenje, Slovenia, on Sunday. According to current intentions received by the European Broadcasting Union, national broadcasters in Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain will show live coverage of the 18th edition of the event. There will be at least 26 hours of live television coverage of the premier continental cross country championships in 2011. National broadcasters in Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Russia and Turkey will show delayed coverage. Informs European Athletics.

VELENJE (SLO): European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz has hailed the annual SPAR European Cross Country Championships as being instrumental in helping enhance the quality of distance running on the continent. Speaking on the eve of the 18th edition of the Championships in the Slovenian city of Velenje, Wirz said, "The idea behind starting this annual pan-European competition in 1994 was to address what we viewed as a decline in the interest in cross country running on the continent and to help improve the standard of distance running across Europe. It gave me great pleasure when fans of athletics from around the world recently voted for a distance runner, Great Britain's Mo Farah, as our 2011 European Athlete of the Year." Farah, who won the men's 5,000m gold and silver in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in August, first came to international attention when he competed as a 16-year-old at the 1999 SPAR European Cross Country Championships, the last time Velenje staged the event. Informs European Athletics.


MEN: Again the same story? Lebid and his shape in right time. Waiting behind another medalist Lamdassem, strong UK contingent headed by Vernon, surprise from Belgian Ethiopian Atelaw Bekele?

WOMEN: New champion to be crowned. Many options available. Steeple specialists French Duarte and Turkish Uslu, from marathon background coming Mockenhaupt with Felix, UK team with Steel, Germany adds Restle, Dutch Herzog and not to forget in-shape Moroccan born Italian Ejaffini.

MEN 23: Summer track U23 medalists in one race, steeple Martos, 1500 m Carvalho, 5000 m Buraas, 10 000 m Moen. It should be one of them, or surprise from another Spanish runner Merzougui.

WOMEN 23: This looks like Turkish event with Erdogan as title defender and Mingir as track U23 steeple winner. Brits Twell and Pallant attacking from behind.

JUNIOR BOYS: Russian Safiulin, Portugal´s Pinto, but could be anybody´s race.

JUNIOR GIRLS: Serbian running miracle Terzic, German steepler already at senior level Krause, Turkish Aydemir, also in the field Brit Gorecka and Russian Fazlitdinova.


LONDON (GBR): Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics, believes that Daley Thompson should be chosen to light the Olympic flame at the London 2012 Games. Van Commenee said that Thompson would be a better choice than Sir Steve Redgrave, the bookmakers' favourite for the role, because rowing does not have enough global recognition.

LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics is inviting scientists, academics, students and others who have completed work contributing to the development of one or more aspects of athletics to enter their projects in the 8th edition of the European Athletics Innovation Awards. The biennial competition, which was established in 1998, offers awards in five categories and a CHF 20,000 prize fund. The categories included are: coaching, promotion, technology, sustainability and an open category. A CHF 10,000 first prize will be presented to the overall winner at an awards ceremony during the European Athletics Convention in Malta in October. The final date for receipt of entries is 31 May 2012.

BERLIN (GER): As early as never before the BMW Berlin Marathon is sold out. Registration for next year's event (September 30th, 2012) closed Thursday, December 8th, almost nine months ahead. The field is limited to 40 000 participants. The last 1000 entries were connected with a charitable donation for projects helping children (42,195 euros). There are a few entries left in connection with travel arrangements at classified travel agents. Registration had started October 20th. Last time the BMW Berlin Marathon was sold out seven months in advance.

STOCKHOLM (SWE): Not only Berlin but also the ASICS Stockholm Marathon (Saturday, June 2) is sold out with a record number of 21 122 entries from 78 countries. With 9 653 entries to the Jubilee Marathon, July 14th, that commemorates the 1912 Olympic Marathon by coping its course almost 31 000 marathon runners in the space of six weeks entered.

LAUSANNE (SUI): In other issues IOC Executive board was pleased to hear the positive developments with regard to the NOC of Ghana, which has now been deemed fully compliant with IOC rules. The participation at London Games is so no longer in danger. World Championships place Daegu was approved as the location of the Executive Board meeting on 26 August 2012. IOC informs.

NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyan media are informing that Kenya plans to bid for the 2019 World Athletics Youth Championships to be hosted in the coastal city of Mombasa. Athletics Kenya (AK) boss Isaiah Kiplagat said on Thursday Kenya has the infrastructure and facilities required to stage such an international event, after it received a thumbs-up feedback in the 2010 Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Nairobi.

CLERMONT FERRAND (FRA): European pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie succesfully underwent surgery on his fractured hand. Lavillenie now will have to let the hand rest until December 21st when doctors will check-up on the healing process. In the meantime the pole vaulter will dedicate his training to running and cardio workouts.

BERLIN (GER): The German athletics association DLV has not yet found an organizer for the German combined events national championships. With the lack of interest it is most likely that the championships will not be organized in 2012. DLV will also not organize the combined events youth championships, German mountain running championships and the 50km,  30km and 10km championships.

MONTE CARLO (MON): Bahamian talent Shaunae Miller is hoping to defend her world junior 400m title in Barcelona next year. Miller managed the win already two years ago at the world junior championships in Moncton and confirmed her dominance last year in Lille at the world youth championships. Miller also leaves options open to compete in the 400m at the London Olympic Games. In an interview for the IAAF she also added that she is looking forward to competing collegiately before going into a professional career.

LAUSANNE (SUI): The Olympic flame will be going to Ireland for the first time during the leadup to next year's London Games.The IOC approved London's proposal for the torch relay to visit Dublin on June 6, 2012, in a symbolic gesture of peace and political goodwill. After human rights protests marred the international torch relay before the 2008 Beijing Games, the IOC ruled that future relays should take place only within the host countries.


CANTIMPALOS (ESP, Dec 8): Argentinian Miguel Angel Barzola won the CC race here at 10 km in 31:47 beating "Chema" Martinez 31:52. Women 6.5 km winner was Alessandra Aguilar clocking 22:26.

PORT ELIZABETH (RSA, Dec 8): Yellow Pages Summer Series started with non-traditional events in Port Elizabeth. Sergio Mullins clocked 15.72 (0.0) at 150 m over Leigh Julius 15.79. In the 60 m Brent Stevens was the fastest 6.79 (0.0) and Shaun de Jager achieved 33.43 in the 300 m. Shane Victor who is a 46 level 400 m runner won the 600 m in 1:17.6. From women events to note the 7.41 by Cindy Stewart in the 60 m (0.0).  Next meet of the series will be on Monday in Ooudtshoorn.

PERTH (AUS, Dec 9): World relay medalist Ben Offereins clocked 46.25 at 400 m during a local meet.

BIRMINGHAM (USA, Dec 8): Relay world indoor champion Tavaris Tate achieved at Ice Breaker indoor meet in Alabama solid double 20.99 at 200 m and 47.18 at 400 m. US indoor silver national medalist from last winter D´Angelo Cherry started early with solid 6.69 at 60 m.

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