HOWARD FOR MORAVIA TOUR
HUSTOPECE (CZE): Besides Ivan Ukhov another top star jumper announced for 8th Moravia High Jump Tour (Jan 28 in Hustopece and Jan 30 in Trinec) will be US record holder Chaunte Howard Lowe. She is returning after giving birth to her second child earlier this year. First daughter Jasmine was born in 2007 and this year the second one Aurora in April. She also tried after minimum of training at US nationals to qualify for Daegu but managed 178 cm. Now should be back in good training and planning for full indoor season. She is defending a bronze from Doha 2010.
NAZAROVA BACK AFTER INJURY
MOSCOW (RUS): Double relay olympic medalist Natalya Nazarova plans to compete at her third Games in London. The 32 years old World Indoor Champion 2003 and 2004 is also reigning European 4x400 m champion from Barcelona. Because of an injury in May she missed the most of the 2011, but is now is healthy and plans for indoor 2012. She hopes to qualify for World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Nazarova also admits that the fight for the three olympic places will be tough. „I see Kapachinskaya, Krivoshapka and Firova as top 3 names, but also younger ones Zadorina and Topilskaya. In the the olympic season the results level is always very high. But I hope that despite my age of 32 I could be a useful part of the relay team," said Nazarova.
BUBKA IN BULGARIA
SOFIA (BUL): First Balkan Athletics Gala evening will be held on Thursday in Pravets. Special guest will be IAAF Vice President Sergey Bubka. He will be also welcomed by NOC president high jump world record holder Stefka Kostadinova. On thursday Bubka will also have the possibility to meet with prime minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov.
DEVYATOVSKI PLANS FOR THE GAMES
MINSK (BLR): Olympic hammer medalist from Beijing Vadim Devyatovski plans to return in 2012 and qualify for London Games at age of 34. „Im in good training, but it is not like when I was 20. Now Im 34 and need to pay attention to my body. On the other hand it will be tough with Shayunov, Krivitskiy, Svyatokha and also my rival Ivan Tikhon is back in training as far I know," said Devyatovski for Belarus media. Despite his law graduation he also thinks about Rio Games 2016 and then to end his career. He is World 2005 silver winner and European 2006 bronze winner. His last meet was the olympic final in Beijing 2008 and after an positive doping test he won at the end of the day the fight to clear his name.
MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF recently agreed for changes in the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup for the 2014 edition which will be staged in Marrakesh, Morocco. In the distance races 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 3000mSC only two athletes from each team shall participate as in 2010 edition three were allowed. And in the 3000 m and 5000 m no athlete shall be allowed to double in these two events. Otherwise the new format with continental teams which started in 2010 in Split will continue.
BEIJING (CHN): Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) president Duan Shijie said here on Tuesday that he will be satisfied if star hurdler Liu Xiang wins a medal of any color at the London Olympic Games. Informs Xinhua. Duan was re-elected as the CAA chief on Tuesday. Although elected as commissary of CAA at the Congress, Liu did not show up in the meeting room. According to Feng Shuyong, head coach of the Chinese track and field team, Liu is still enjoying his two-week long training camp in USA and will return to Shanghai on Wednesday for further specialized training.
TRIPOLIS (LBA): Libyan athletes, including 2010 400m African champion Mohamed Khawaja, are back to training as the situation in the country gets better. Khawaja clocked 44.98 in 2010 to win the gold in Nairobi at African Championships. In this year he was out at African Games with 48.66 in Maputo after not having enough training. From African Athletics facebook.
MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian news agency informs that world and olympic gold medalist in pole vault Steve Hooker is making secret, ground-breaking changes in a bid to return to the top of the pole vaulting world. Hooker needs to be fully healthy as his left knee could again cause problems at any moment. „I have got a good idea of what I want to do in terms of a technical model," Hooker was quoted.
HOFU (JPN): Brett Larners informs on his blog that the organziers of the 2011 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon (December 18), the last elite marathon of the year, announced the lineup of this year's invited athlete field. One of the most competitive editions in Hofu history, the field includes 2010 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Youngjun Ji from South Korea, Tokyo Marathon hero Yuki Kawauchi, defending champion Serod Batochir of Mongolia and Fukuoka University ace Takuro Nakanishi among others.
NEUBRANDENBURG (GER): World silver winner in women pole vault Martina Strutz is changing clubs. She goes from small ESV Hagenow to a big club SC Neubrandenburg. She signed a one year contract.
DRESDEN (GER): 2009 World medalist Raul Spank confirmed his participation at Dresden jumping meet on January 27. In his home city he will be the main favorite for the men´s high jump. His main rival should be Russian 2006 World indoor medalist Andrey Tereshin. In second event of the evening, women pole vault Czech Daegu 7th placer Jirina Ptacnikova will face among others from home elite for example Julia Hutter.
ROESELARE (BEL): Former World CC champion and European record holder Mohammed Mourhit from Belgium competed after 5 years again. He was on Sunday 33rd at the Lotto CrossCup event in Roeselare. He was banned in 2002 and is currently training with 160 to 180 km per week.
BOTTROP (GER): The organisers of Bottrop meeting (German Meetings member) will stage on July 6-7 next year also events for disabled athletes and will count as qualifiying events for Paralympic Games in London. The dates are during the closing of the selection process for the Games also for able bodied athletes.
LONDON (GBR): British media are informing that UK Athletics has been left to search for a new grassroots sponsor following the decision of McCain not to renew its five-year deal when it expires in 2013. The company sponsors the cross country UK Challenge Series. McCain's decision will add to the uncertainty over the sport's financial future since UK Athletics' main sponsorship deal with Aviva is due to expire at the end of 2012. Talks about renewing the deal are in progress, though UK Athletics is optimistic that its successful bid for the 2017 World Championships will make the sport an attractive proposition. Writes The Telegraph.
GERMANY: 16 male and 15 female runners will represent Germany. That means teams for all 6 races. In the senior team the leader is steeple world participant Steffen Uliczka and in the women team marathon runners Sabrina Mockenhaupt with Susanne Hahn. Also the other two runners in women team Simret Restle and Verena Dreier are of top level. European steeple junior record holder Gesa Felicitas Krause is the top name for junior girls team. In the women U23 team sisters Anna and Lisa Hahner, also brothers in junior team Bastian and Martin Grau and in brother Stig Rehberg with sister Maya Rehberg in junior teams.
SWITZERLAND: 8 athletes will represent Slovenia. The only senior will be Rolf Rufenacht, in the U23 races Christoph Ryffel, Adrian Lehmann and Fabienne Schlumpf. The only junior girl will be Prisa Auf der Maur and three junior boys Adriano Engelhardt, Fabian Jucker and Yannick Jäger.
SPAIN: Spain will send full teams for all six races. The country picked up six medals over the border in Albufeira, Portugal, 12 months ago and a similar haul is distinctly possible. In the men team 2010 silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem along with Javier Guerra, Youssef Aakaou, David Solis, Ricardo Serrano and Alvaro Lozano. On paper, the Spanish men's under 23 team looks like it could do better than the bronze medals they won in Albufeira and is able to boast of 2010 junior men's winner Abdelaziz Merzougui as well as the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships 3000m steeplechase winner Sebastián Martos Sadly, Spain's junior men's team is without double European junior champion Gabriel Navarro, who contracted pericarditis in October and has been unable to compete this winter, but they could still be in medal contention. Among the Spanish women, the big hope is Cristina Jordán in the under 23 race, who is hoping to add to her medal collection after finishing second last year. With the help from European Athletics.
FRANCE: Also France is sending all teams, together 36 athletes. Senior women team has Sophe Duarte as the leader. The European U23 champion at 1500 m Florian Carvalho leads the U23 team. In the men´s team Abdellatif Meftah with Morhad Amdouni and Mokhtar Benhari with Denis Mayaud can attack top positions.
PERTH (AUS, Nov 23): At local meet 400 m 2009 world relay medalist Ben Offereins improved his 800 m best to 1:52.00.
SYDNEY (AUS, Nov 27): Dani Samuels, the 2009 discus world champion again tested her early shape with 58.40 win.
SYDNEY (AUS): Maxine (Johnson) Corcoran passed away on Tuesday from a brain tumor after a short but brave battle. Maxine represented Australia at the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games where she finished 8th in the 400m in 54.46 and was a member of the silver medal 4x400m relay team. She also competed in the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games where she was a semi-finalist in the 400m in 53.29. Maxine became a successful coach with her most recent athlete Kelly Hetherington a semi-finalist at the recent World University Games. She leaves behind husband Danny (former CEO of Athletics Australia) and children Nick, Daniel and Bridget. Informs Paul Jenes.