U.S. Open: Great Women Hurdles, Asafa & VCB will run 50 meters! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Kelly Wells, Ginny Powell, LoLo Jones, Danielle Carruthers, Doha 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

Powell_Asafa-Lausanne11.jpgChristophe LeMaitre, Asafa Powell, photo by PhotoRun.net

Campbell_Veronica-ParisDL11.jpgVeronica Campbell-Brown, photo by PhotoRun.net

The U.S. Open Indoor Track & Field meet, to be held January 28, 2012, will feature some hot races. In the women's hurdles, and in the 50 meter sprints, fans will get to see some of the best in the world, from LoLo Jones, Kelly Wells and Tiffany Ofili Porter, to Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown in the 50 meters! More to come!



NEW YORK (USA): Four possible 2012 Olympic finalists will contest the women's 50-meter hurdles at the U.S. Open Track & Field event January 28 at Madison Square Garden reports USATF. Defending Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper, two-time defending world indoor champion Lolo Jones, USA Indoor and Outdoor champion Kellie Wells and British national record-holder Tiffany Ofili Porter will go head-to-head in a hurdling showcase. Porter can attack the UK record 6.94 by Diane Allahgreen from 2000. Also in other sprints 50 m are scheduled, that means Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown will run their first ever 50 m races.



LAUSANNE (SUI): Serbian Novak Djokovic and Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen were voted best male and female sports persons of 2011 by the International Sports Press Association, AIPS. In total 379 journalists from 82 countries participated in the vote. From track athletes Usain Bolt is third, Yohan Blake is 8th. On the women side Vivian Cheruiyot is even second with 566 votes what was very close to the Norwegian winner (576 votes). Sally Pearson ended as 5th. The expansive and well-equipped media Centre and press tribune in Daegu, South Korea that hosted the IAAF World Championships got the best press facility award with 633 votes. Wimbledon was second favorite with 616 votes while the press facility offered by the world cup-hosting nation of New Zealand was voted third best at 326. Informs AIPS.



MOSCOW (RUS): Russian sports journalists elected as top athletes in the country in 2011 high jumper Anna Chicherova and walker Valeriy Borchin. Chicherova got 53 points ahead of Mariya Savinova (41) and Mariya Abakumova (39). Borchin was more ahead with 66 against of 48 by another walking world champion Sergey Bakulin (48) and Yuriy Borzakovskiy (34). Already earlier two other polls were organised. By the officials of Russian Athletics federation the top positions went to Chicherova and Borzakovskiy and by the fans of rusathletics.com to Savinova and Borzakovskiy.



SAO PAULO (BRA): Brazilian Athletics Federation named 14 athletes with standards for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. They all can compete in Turkey but must prove the fitness and results level in January or February (until the 19th). From this group three athletes already said they are not planning to compete in Istanbul. Among them current world champion and indoor title defender Fabiana Murer, male pole vaulter Fabio Gomes and female sprinter Rosangela Santos. Others remaining are sprinter Nilson Andre, middle distance runners Kleberson Davide, Leandro Prates de Oliveira and Hudson de Souza, long jumper Mauro Vinicius and triple jumper Jefferson Sabino. On the women side sprinter Ana Claudia Lemos, 400 m runner Geisa Coutinho, jumpers olympic winner Maurren Maggi, Keila Costa and Gisele de Oliveira.



BARCELONA (ESP): Chema Martinez, the European marathon silver medalist from Barcelona 2010 will return to the Catalan capital city on March 25 next year to run the 34th edition of Zurich Marato de Barcelona. "I have always said that I had an outstanding debt with Marató de Barcelona since in 2008 the organization trusted me and finally I couldn't come. It is a consolidated event that just now is the best one in Spain, it has a very fast circuit in which good records can be done, and I also have good memories of the support of the people in Barcelona when in 2010 I ran the European Championship", assures Chema Martínez, who in the streets of Barcelona will dispute his 20th marathon since he made his debut in this category in 2002.







MONTEVIDEO (URU): Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius made a visit on behalf of Nike to Argentina and Uruguay in the company of all-time hero Carl Lewis. He posted on his twitter.


STELLENBOSCH (RSA): British stars headed by 400 m hurdles world champion Dai Greene started their training stay in Stellenbosch, South Africa. It should last one month, Greene is saying on his twitter.


BRATISLAVA (SVK): Slovakia already has one competitor confirmed for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. The recent Athlete of the Year and Daegu finalist Dana Veldakova got a wild card from the national federation and is already selected for the March event. The triple jump specialist will go to her third world indoors, being always in the finals, 8th in Moscow 2006 and 6th in Doha 2010.


TALLINN (EST): Estonian Sportsman of the year is discus world medalist Gerd Kanter, best young athlete in the country from all sports is European U23 heptathlon winner Grit Sadeiko and one of the top three best sports organizations (every years three are selected) is the Estonian Athletics Federation (with voleyball and football) headed by Erich Teigamagi.


BERLIN (GER) : German marathoner André Pollmächer is back in training after a minor stroke occured while he is on a training camp in Portugal. Pollmächer had headaches after arriving in Portugal, which later caused a small stroke. The 28-year old now is cleared to run again and will continue his training camp and preparation for the London Olympic Games reports leichtathletik.de.


EGMOND (NED):Dutch athletes Khalid Choukoud and Jesper van der Wielen have been confirmed to run at the 40th edition of the PWN Egmond Halve Marathon on January 8th. The duo joins Michel Butter and represent the top of Dutch running. Among other top runners are also Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, Samuel Tsegay and Wilfred Kirwa confirm organisers.


GENT (BEL): Dwain Chambers will complete a full indoor season and is aiming to run well at the IAAF World indoor championships in Istanbul. Organizers of the IFAM indoor meeting in Gent on January 18th have confirmed Chambers will run the 60m in the build up to Istanbul.


KINGSTON (JAM): Yohan Blake doesn't fully agree with Maurice Greene's analyses that he will be the one to win Olympic Gold in London. Blake believes it's going to take more than that to beat the world's fastest man to take the victory and pointed out that it will be all about execution. He added that the one to be out of the blocks first, will most likely win the race writes trackalerts.com.


CHRISTCHURCH (NZL): The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) have announced the recipients of the Christchurch Athlete Hardship Grant which have been made available to support athletes in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that hit the city earlier this year. The grants will see eight athletes share a pot of just under 40,000 dollar. Among the athletes awarded is also heptathlete Rebecca Wardell writes insidethegames.


BEIJING (CHN): Among China's top 10 athletes of the year 2011 are also two athletes. Discus world champion Li Yanfeng is ranked 5th on the list while hurdler Liu Xiang is ranked 10th thanks to his world silver medal in Daegu writes China Daily.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Australia's two-time world champion hurdler Jana Pittman has suffered another injury setback. Pittman has been ruled out after rolling her ankle. The athlete has battled a series of foot and leg complaints since winning gold at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007 reports abc.net.au. It is very unfortunate for her, just recently she posted on her twitter positive messages about the training.


SAN JOSE (USA): Mastertrack.com gives an update on Lee Evans situation from his sister. He's doing well, no longer in pain, says his sister. Still waiting on the surgery.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian media are informing that Commonwealth Games javelin gold medallist Jarrod Bannister has been slapped with an Australia-wide ban by every institute of sport for a code of conduct breach. The controversy threatens to cost Bannister his place on the Olympic team under a new ethics and behaviour rule introduced by the Australian Olympic Committee since the 2008 Beijing Games. A review of the suspension will take place end of April. His breach of conduct is related to alleged anomolies involving support funding and services.







FUNCHAL (POR, Dec 28): Home runner Jose Cunha won the 53rd edition of Corrida de Săo Silveste do Funchal. His winning time was 17:13 ahead of Belgian Mats Lunders 17:25. Ugandan Rebecca Cheptegei was the women winner with 20:46 at the 6 km distance.

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