Asafa Powell for AVIVA Grand Prix (Birmingham, UK), by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Asafa Powell, 2011 Lausane, photo by

Lots of announcements about 2012 Indoor season, including Asafa Powell. Heard that FootLocker XC Nationals was well done, and some gripping battles. Photos on way.

Indoor season is shaping up. Saw that McMillan adidas repeated as winners in USATF XC Club champs, nice run by Matt Centrowitz, Jr. who was fourth in 29:50 (he ran a Turkey trot in 30:05 for 10k, taking second there).

Noted earlier that Jenny Simpson, 2011 WC gold at 1,500 meters and 2011 WC bronze medalist Matt Centrowitz, Jr., will be opening 2012 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 4, 2011.

Sad News that Sunday Bada, one of Nigeria's most decorated athletes, died suddenly, at the age of 41.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Jamaican sprint star Asafa Powell looks set to turn the Birmingham athletics faithful into a new home crowd when he competes at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on 18 February. The former world record holder, who will be based in Birmingham with the Jamaican team in the lead-up to the Games, has chosen the Aviva Grand Prix - widely considered to be the world's premier indoor athletics competition - to hone preparations for his tilt at Olympic gold. Twenty-nine-year-old Powell, who has not competed anywhere on the indoor circuit since 2004 and has never competed indoors in the UK, said the radical shake-up of his competition programme formed part of a bold attempt to claim his first individual Olympic medal in London in 2012. "I'm really excited about competing indoors as I haven't raced an indoor season in a long time," said Powell. Organizers are informing in a release. It will be his first indoor race in Europe since Budapest World Indoor Championships in 2004. In 2003 he competed in Erfurt, Stuttgart, Chemnitz and Gent.



DUBLIN (IRL): Fresh European CC Champion Ireland´s Fionnuala Britton was presented with a new challenge, as outlined by her Welsh-born coach, Chris Jones, the man who masterminded her highly impressive victory that was achieved with true world-class running. The new Irish star has achieved the A standard to compete in the 3,000 meters steeplechase in the London Olympics next year but Jones said yesterday that she will not be running in this event. Instead she will go about qualifying for the two longest events on the track, the 5,000m and 10,000m. Irish media are informing. Britton is expected to resume competition at the big IAAF cross country challenge in Edinburgh early in the New Year, January 6th, an event she has run well in the past.



DOHA (QAT): IAAF President Lamine Diack has lauded Qatar's organisation of the early stages of the Arab Games. He has been so impressed by the ongoing Arab Games in Doha that he believes Qatar is qualified to host the 2019 World Athletics Championships after they missed out to London in the race to stage the 2017 event. Diack, who attended the opening ceremony on Friday, said: „We are confident that Qatar would host a successful IAAF event, whether the Diamond League or the World Championship." Local media are informing. Athletics at Arab Games starts on Thursday.



BOSTON (USA): The reigning World Champion at 1500 Meters, Jenny Simpson, will open her 2012 season in Boston and Matthew Centrowitz will make his professional track debut on February 4 at the 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, organizers announced. "2011 was a big year for me but 2012 is almost here. Preparations for next year are going well and I am excited to return to Boston. Track fans at Reggie Lewis have shown that they particularly appreciate the distance races so I am looking forward to hopefully giving them a glimpse of things to come this summer," said Simpson. Organizers are informing in a release.



NEW YORK (USA): American record holders and Olympic medalists David Oliver and Jenn Suhr have joined the parade of international stars competing at the U.S. Open Track & Field on January 28 at Madison Square Garden. The duo join previously announced track and field celebrities Bernard Lagat, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell at the inaugural edition of the U.S. Open writes USA Track and Field in a press release.



VELENJE (SLO): European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz paid tribute to the organisation of the Velenje 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships and hailed the record number of runners who competed in the Slovenian city on Sunday. "Having the opportunity to now look back on the 18th SPAR European Cross Country Championships, I believe that it was an excellent championships," said President Wirz. "The decision by European Athletics to return to Velenje 12 years after the city first staged the Championships in 1999 proved to be justified in every respect. The local organisers can take great pride in putting on a fantastic event, one of the best SPAR European Cross Country Championships I have witnessed. Talking to people from some of our 33 Member Federations that were in Velenje, at the closing banquet later on Sunday, I can say confidently that this view is held by everybody I spoke to, it's not just my personal perspective on the day. Continuing on the subject of the races, special congratulations have to go to Great Britain who were again the best country, and on this occasion by quite a margin, in terms of medals. With 12 places on the podium and six gold medals, it was a fair reward for how much commitment and enthusiasm UK Athletics and British athletes generally have for cross country running. This shows that cross country running at international level has a European-wide appeal and many of European Athletics' efforts to develop this aspect of the sport across the continent in the last decade, are definitely bearing fruit. Also, for the first time, we broadcast the entire championships live via the internet on the European Athletics website, and there were more than 25,000 hits during the day," EA President was saying.



MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF, which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden just two days after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, will celebrate 100 years of existence on 17 July 2012. Planning has been underway at IAAF HQ in Monaco since February 2010 when an IAAF Centenary Working Group was established by President Lamine Diack headed by IAAF Council Member Helmut Digel (GER). Their mission has been to seek out imaginative and creative ways to commemorate 100 years of active life without excessive expenditure. Major items will be IAAF Centenary Logo and "look", promotion at IAAF WAS and permit competitions, with a launch event at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul (9-11 March 2012), IAAF Centenary Book, IAAF Centenary Exhibition, IAAF Centenary TV Series, IAAF World Congress on School and Youth Athletics, IAAF PR campaign, special IAAF Centenary section of the IAAF website and Facebook site, IAAF Centenary Gala and Opening of the IAAF Hall of Fame. The IAAF Centenary date of 17 July 2012, falls just two days after the end of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain (10-15 July 2012), and to mark the occasion a temporary IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition composed of audio-visual displays and physical exhibits, will be staged during two periods of 2012 in the 'Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch', the city's Olympic and Sports Museum. During the weekend of 24-25th November 2012, Barcelona will also host a special edition of the annual International Athletics Foundation Gala, which usually takes place in Monaco. The IAAF Centenary Gala Show and Dinner will be the focus of a weekend of activities in the Catalan capital, following an IAAF Council Meeting, Demonstration athletics events and the presentation of the 2012 Athletes of the Year Awards. An IAAF Hall of Fame is also being created which will celebrate the legends of our sport, with the first names unveiled during the launch event at the World Indoors in Istanbul.



LONDON (GBR): Usain Bolt is the Athlete of the Year 2011 by the readers of the very informative results and news bulletin Athletics International (edited by Peter Matthews and Mel Watman). He achieved 422 points ahead of David Rudisha (390) and Yohan Blake (361). Also in top ten Mo Farah as 4th (323) ahead of Kirani James (253) and discus thrower Robert Harting (183). Seventh place for marathon world record holder Patrick Makau (173) ahead of his team-mate Geoffrey Mutai (119). Top ten is rounded by US jumpers Christian Taylor (79) and Jesse Williams (74). In women poll Sally Pearson got 470 points ahead of Vivian Cheruiyot (444) and Valerie Adams (326). Fourth place for Carmelita Jeter (262) ahead of Amantle Montsho (173), Mariya Savinova (169), Anna Chicherova (121), Lashinda Demus (104), Mariya Abakumova (102) and Yulia Zaripova (101).







MADRID (ESP): Spanish athlete of the year is Daegu bronze winner at 1500 m Natalia Rodriguez. She was awarded with the Jose Luis Alonso Trophy. It should be noted that this is not the official Spanish Federation poll which will be announced later. Rodriguez got in the vote of 130 athletes, coaches, journalists, statisticians in total 1566 points ahead of middle distance runner Manuel Olmedo (1456) and long distance runner Jesus Espana (1388). Fourth is high jumper Ruth Beitia (1219) and fifth discus thrower Mario Pestano (1144).


STOCKHOLM (SW): Swedish head coach Stefan Olsson already selected for athletes for World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Two female high jumpers Emma Green Tregaro and Ebba Jungmark with long jumpers Michel Torneus and Carolina Kluft. For Kluft it will be only her third World Indoors after winning the pentathlon in 2003 and being third in long jump 2004.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Athletics could have a dominant night at the Belgian Sportsgala 2011 on Sunday December 18th. Both Borlée brothers Kevin and Jonathan are nominated for the Belgian athlete of the year award and will take on cyclist Philippe Gilbert, while also their father Jacques Borlée could go home winning the award for 'coach of the year'. The Borlée family could go home with even more awards as the 4x400m relay team is nominated for the 'team of the year' award. European U23 decathlon champion Thomas Van der Plaetsen is among the nominees for most promising athlete of the year reports


AMSTERDAM (NED) : Dutch very talented Dafne Schippers has won the 'young talent award 2011' at the nationally televised Dutch Sportsgala. Schippers won European junior title and broke the Dutch national 200m record at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, a feat with which she just narrowly missed out on a spot in the 200m final.


LONDON (GBR): The IOC has unveiled its „Show Your Best" campaign, which gives people across the world the chance to be part of a global Olympic television advertisement and win a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The campaign seeks to encourage people to create, share and discuss video footage which shows them at their best - whether it is performing a great sporting feat or creating a piece of art reports Insidethegames.


LONDON (GBR): British Golden girl Jessica Ennis believes she will have to break the British heptathlon record to stand a chance of winning Olympic gold at next year's London Games. The 25-year old won the 2010 European championships with a personal best of 6823, eight points short of the British record held by Denise Lewis. „I think it could take 6,900 points to win and that's going to be really, really tough." Ennis was quoted by the BBC. Ennis also revealed she will strictly limit her media work in 2012.


MONACO (MON): Retiring IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss said goodbye to colleagues last week. At the Fairmont Hotel Monaco on 7 December at an IAAF party held in his honour, Pierre Weiss, the recently retired General Secretary received gifts and best wishes from his colleagues and made his goodbyes to all at IAAF HQ.


MONACO (MON): IAAF confirmed positive test for British Virgin Islands sprints national record holder Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Brazilian meet in Rio de Janeiro on May 26 (IAAF World Challenge) in her season best of 11.14 (as winner). She was banned for 6 months until January 7, 2012. She is 2009 World Championships semifinalist and her national record holder from 2006 is 11.13.







OUDTSHOORN (RSA, Dec 12): In the second Yellow Pages Summer Series meet Shaun de Jager clocked 46.24 in the 400 m. Elroy Gelant won the mile (4:01.69). In sprinters duel Brent Stevens clocked 10.59 ahead of Leigh Julius (10.70).


BARQUISIMETO (VEN, Dec 12): New national javelin record 57.58 by Yusbelis Parra during the National Games of Venezuela. In good quality 400 m Alberto Bravo clocked 46.04 ahead of Alberto Aguilar in 46.07, for both personal records.


ADDIS ABABA (ETH, Dec 11): IAAF informs that young hopefuls Feyse Tadesse (8 km, 26:53) and Belete Assefa (12 km, 35:12) were the winners of the women's and men's titles at the 2nd Ethiopian Clubs Cross Country Championships at the Jan Meda racecourse. Second and third respected marathon runners Koreni Jelila (26:57) and Tiki Gelana (27:04) with Aberu Kebede 6th (27:23) in women race.


Junior winners were Yebrgual Melese in girls 6 km (20:09) and Hagos Gebrehiwot in boys 8 km (23:24).







KENT (USA): The improved shot putter Justin Rodhe now throws for Canada. He married Canadian hammer thrower Megann Rodhe (2010 Commonwealth Games participant) in September 2009. He was granted Canadian citizenship this fall, informs Martin Bissinger. Rodhe plans to compete for Canada in Istanbul for world indoors.


KARLSRUHE (GER): In the title of the item it should be Strutz and Spiegelburg (not Hildebrand).







LAGOS (NGR): Nigeria's former Olympic silver medallist, Sunday Bada is dead. Bada, who until his death was the technical director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), slumped and died at the National Stadium, Lagos Monday evening. The quarter miler, who would have clocked 42 on June 22 next year, won three medals at World Indoor Championships, including a gold medal in 1997 at the Paris event. He also won silver medals at the 1993 (Toronto) and 1995 (Barcelona) competitions Additionally, he was a part of the Nigerian team that won the silver medal in 4 x 400 meters relay at the 2000 Olympics. Nigeria established a national record time of 2:58.68 minutes in that race. He set his personal best of 44.63 seconds at the 1993 World Championships where he finished fifth. This is the second fastest time by a Nigerian sprinter, after Innocent Egbunike. Nigerian media are informing.

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