Vlasic to compete indoor, including World Indoor, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Blanka Vlasic, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala Roma, photo by PhotoRun.net

Blanka Vlasic told Croatian news agencies that she would be competing indoors, including the World Indoors in Instanbul. And guess which event Sports Illustrated noted at the Olympic story of 2011? Sure, Usain Bolt's false start in the 100 meters! They also noted Goeffrey Mutai's New York win!

Bolt_UsainDQbib1-World11.JPGUsain Bolt, 2011 World 100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net




ZAGREB (CRO): Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic plans to compete during the indoor season including the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. She said that for Croatian media. But details are not yet known. In the beginning of January Vlasic will travel to training camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa for a 20 days period.



LONDON (GBR): Olympic gold medallist Marlon Devonish (35) has told insidethegames that Britain's hopes of success in the 4x100 meters at London 2012 will not be lost on a failed changeover, as happened in Daegu at the World Championships earlier this year.  Going into the final leg of the 4x100m final, Devonish was unable to transfer the baton to Harry Aikines-Aryeetey as he collided with the United States' Darvis Patton. Devonish was left clutching the baton as his team mate set off too quickly, and threw it to the ground in disappointment, but feels Britain's medal hopes next summer are strong. „In the relay we have a serious chance of a medal I think," he told insidethegames. „For the relay team the slowest athlete in the Jamaican team run 9.8s, and the Americans are in that ilk so their flat speed is superior to ours," he said. „After 2012 I'll probably call it a day - I've had a great innings in sport and I've pretty much done everything I've wanted to," he said.



MINSK (BLR): Athletes of the Year in Belarus are shot putters and world medalists Nadezhda Ostapchuk and Andrey Mikhnevich. They were announced during a press conference before Christmas. Best in the U23 category hurdler Alina Talay and decathlete Eduard Mikhan and among juniors 400 m runner Yuliya Yurenya and javelin thrower Pavel Meleshko. All are medalists from Ostrava and Tallinn in the summer. Team of the year was women 4x400 m relay, sixth in Daegu and on the men side the decathlon team third in the European Cup Super League. In the biggest improvement category the win for long jumper Anastasiya Mironchik-Ivanova, coaches of the year are the shot put experts Aleksandr Yefimov (Ostapchuk) and Vladimir Sivtsov (Mikhnevich).



NEW YORK (USA): Armory Foundation president Dr. Norb Sander announced that multi-World Champion and Olympic Gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross will compete in the 105th Millrose Games. Richards-Ross is expected to face stiff competition on February 11 at the 400 m mainly from Natasha Hastings, Mary Wineberg and Alian Pompey. „Running at the Armory is very special to me," said Richards-Ross, who attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. „I broke both the high school 200m and 400m records there as a junior and I'm looking forward to more great performances on my favorite indoor track at the historic Millrose Games." During the 2002 National Scholastic Indoor Championships at the Armory, she won the 200 and 400 setting National High School records in both -- 23.22 and 52.10. Since then both marks have been broken nationally, but remain Armory records. She last time competed in the indoor 400 m at World Indoor Championships 2006 in Moscow.







AUCKLAND (NZL): Kiwi athletes and teams who have performed well this year, and those likely to do well at the London Olympics and Paralympics, are the big winners in the 2012 investment announcement by High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). Top athletes will be allocated more money for their Olympic preparation according to Insidethegames.


BRUSSEL (BEL): Talented high jumper Hannelore Desmet is confident she can qualify for the European championships in Helsinki. Desmet holds a personal best of 189 but was slowed down in the last two years by several injuries. Now injury free the former world junior bronze medalist is confident she can further improve writes Het Nieuwsblad.


NEW YORK (USA): Heading into 2012, Morgan Uceny is confident she could get an Olympic medal in London. For teamusa.org  her coach, Terrence Mahon, said the goal is well within reach and was quoted "since I believe that Morgan was the best 1500 runner in the world in 2011, then I don't really think too much needs to change to be a podium athlete in London."


PARIS (FRA): World indoor record holder Teddy Tamgho reacted in a special way to his recent suspension by French Athletics Federation. He posted a video on youtube where he as rapper explains his position to the whole story. „They're trying to shoot me as if I was a terrorist, I have done nothing serious, just set a small story," he sings but also admits that he accepts the decision of the federation.


GENT (BEL) : Former European indoor 60m hurdles champion Eline Berings has returned to competition after injuries slowed her down in the last 2 seasons. Berings opened up in a local race over 60m and clocked 7.56. The athlete commented that it is great to be back in competition and is expecting great performances over the next months.


MANILA (PHI): After a record breaking performance at the SEA Games, Philippine athlete Marestella Torres has set her eyes at the IAAF World indoor championships in Istanbul. Torres won the SEA Games with a leap of 671 and believes she could do well in Istanbul according to manilatimes.net. Torres competed at World Indoors 2010 in Doha, but remained in the qualification.


LONDON (GBR): Olympic bosses are planning to auction off naming rights for some of the stadiums that have been built to host the games in a deal that could be worth up to 10 million pounds a year. It is believed major corporate sponsors of the games such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds have already been approached as potential sponsors once the Olympics comes to a close according to The Independent.


SHIPPENSBURG (USA): Neely Spence, the reigning NCAA Division II 5000m and cross country champion, has decided to turn professional, according to the athletics department at Shippensburg University where she competed. „Today, Shippensburg University senior Neely Spence began her dream to become an Olympian by signing a contract with an agent to begin her career as a professional runner," read the release, dated Dec. 26. Spence, 21, who has a 5000m personal best of 15:27.72, finished seventh in that event at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., last June and went on to represent the United States at the Pan Am Games, where she finished eighth. She has signed with Flynn Sports Management. Informs Race Results Weekly.


DAKAR (SEN): African Athletics United facebook informs that 2001 400m world champion Amy Mbacke Thiam has filed a complaint to the police after 4 men in arms turned up at her house at 1 am in the night of the 24th to 25th December, but were unable to find her thanks to the self-control of her security guard. Murder attempt or bullying, local media are asking and thinking the aggression could be a retribution to the athlete's support for political leader Macky Sall.


MOSCOW (RUS): Among top ten Russian Sports Persons of the Year 2011 are two track athletes. In the vote of Russian Sports Journalists high jump world champion Anna Chicherova and 800 m gold medalist from Daegu Mariya Savinova. All top ten persons (without a ranking) will get the Silver Deer Award. Walking expert Viktor Chegin was voted Coach of the Year. The awards evening will be held early next year.


MOSCOW (RUS): Double olympic middle distance winner Svetlana Masterkova was elected as Chairman of Moscow Athletics Federation. She is replacing Oleg Kurbatov.


ALGERS (ALG): African Athletics facebook informs that the 2003 800m world champion Djabir Said Guerni from Algeria has signed a contract with Iran's federation to coach three 800m specialists from Iran in Algiers.


LONDON (GBR): Reigning European 3000m indoor champion Helen Clitheroe will look to build on a superb 2011 by commencing her Olympic year at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow on 28 January. The former 1500m and steeplechase athlete, is aiming for a hat trick of wins at Kelvin Hall following her victories in 2010 and 2011. Just three weeks after her appearance in Glasgow Clitheroe will test herself against a world class field at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, where she will contest the 3000m announces UK Athletics.


MELBOURNE (AUS): A spokesman for the Australian Olympic Committee has confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that they are aware of an investigation conducted by the Victorian Institute of Sport into Jarrod Bannister's alleged actions. Bannister is a member of the AOC's elite shadow Olympic team after placing in the top eight at this year's world championships in Daegu in javelin. Bannister is expected to be called before a committee comprising the London Olympic team chef de mission Nick Green, deputy chef de mission Chris Fydler and the AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips and could be suspended from going to the London Olympic Games. The alleged actions by Bannister have not been specified.


NEW YORK (USA): Sports Illustrated has called Usain Bolt's false start at the IAAF World Championships the Olympic story of 2011. The disqualification left fans in shock but also gave rise to new world champion Yohan Blake. Also in the list of best Olympic stories of 2011 is Geoffrey Mutai's run at the Boston marathon in April.


MADRID (ESP): Madrid's new mayor Ana Botella said the city's bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics is viable despite its high debt, since most of the necessary investment has already been made. "Among our aims, Madrid's effort to be an Olympic city has an important place - a commitment that we are renewing with our eyes on the 2020 Games," Botella, said after being sworn in reports iol.co.za.







OMSK (RUS, Dec 23-24): At Bulatovs indoor Memorial Daegu finalist pole vaulter Dmitriy Starodubtsev showed solid early shape with 570 cm clearance. In women pole vault 21-years old Yekaterina Kazeka improved to 440 cm. In races Nadezhda Paleyeva clocked 7.37 in the 60 m, Marina Chernova 38.49 in the 300 m and Yelena Zadorozhnaya 5:56.90 in the 2000 m. In men´s 60 m Mikhail Idrisov posted 6.83, Roman Smirnov 34.14 in the 300 m and Stepan Poistogov 1:18.08 in the 600 m.


YAROSLAVL (RUS, Dec 25): Marina Pospelova clocked here 2:03.34 in the 800 m.


BARCELONA (ESP, Dec 26): Steeple runner Jose Luis Blanco won the San Silvestre de El Masnou race in 14:19 at 5 km (course record). Second and third Moroccans Khalid El Amri (14:20) and Ilias Fifa (14:20). Women winner Jacqueline Martin achieved 16:45 beating Latvian Jelena Abele (17:00).


MEEUWEN (BEL, Dec 27): European CC Champion Atelaw Bekele lost a 5 km road race „Kerstcorrida" to Ethiopian Dame Tasama. He clocked 13:50, the winner 13:41.


NORTH SHORE (NZL, Dec 22): Jacko Gill still competed once before Christmas and achieved with junior 6 kg 21.71. Tom Walsh was second with 20.19m.


ANKARA (TUR, Dec 27): Turkish steeple record holder Binnaz Uslu won the 76th Ataturk road race with 33:15 at 10.8 km course. European U23 record holder Meryem Erdogan was 5th (35:10). Mert Girmalegesse was the best male in 29:02 clearly over Bekir Karayel (30:01).







JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Zithulele Sinqe, one of South Africa's best distance runners during its golden era of road running in the eighties and early nineties, was killed in an automobile accident in Balfour near Johannesburg last Thursday. Sinqe, who at the peak of his career held both the national marathon and half-marathon records, was 48. After he retired from running Sinqe became well known as a television commentator on the sport and developer of young athletes, while he was also active in administration. He went to live in the village of Balfour in 2010 and formed the Dipaleseng Athletics Club with help from Burnstone Mines. The club focused on schools in the area. He leaves his wife and three children. Informs RRW.

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