EDINBURGH (GBR, Jan 7): Double Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will probably have preferred to have stayed in Ethiopia where it was Christmas Day rather than suffer the ignominy of a shock defeat at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country. Informs David Martin. The world's greatest ever distance runner looked a shadow of his former self as he finished well down the field in 11th position in the International three kilometres race at the IAAF Permit event meeting in Holyrood Park. There were no excuses from Bekele as he struggled in a race which included two other 2008 Olympic gold medallists, Kenyan's Asbel Kiprop the 1500m champion and Brimin Kipruto winner of the 3000m steeplechase in Beijing. Kiprop clocked 9:20 ahead of surprise from British ranks Jonathan Hay 9:25 and Eliud Kipchoge 9:26. Spanish Juan Carlos Higuero was close fourth (also 9:26). European champion at 1500 m Arturo Casado was 8th (9:40), Bekele 11th (9:42) and steeple olympic winner Brimin Kipruto 12th. Bekele, despite suffering his second defeat over the lush Holyrood Palace course in the last two years, then seeing himself not compete until last year's World Championships where he dropped out in the 10000 metres final, remains confident his performance did not send out the wrong message. "The course was okay and my shape is not good, that's the reason," said Bekele, "I'm 50/50 at the moment and I was not confident before the race. It is too early in the year to be in great shape. My goal is to build up for the Olympics and I want to do it slowly. I'm not happy with the result but what can I do about it. I wanted a good position but my body was not ready." In an exciting Team International Match the host nation triumphed (144) from the USA (196) and the European team (215) although their only individual victory came in the junior women's race won by European junior gold medallist Emelia Gorecka (4 km, 14:48). The senior men's 8km event saw Ayad Lamdassem run a perfect race to score a comfortable win (25:44) ahead of Bobby Mack (25:47) and more importantly Atelaw Bekele (25:47) who beat him for the European Cross Country title in Velenje last month. Ireland´s Fionnuala Britton in her first race since clinching the European Cross Country title, produced a display which was even more dominant when whipping the opposition on that occasion. She achieved 21:32 at the 6 km ahead of Gemma Steel 21:52. Ethiopian-born Kirubel Erassa ran a perfect race to win the junior men's 6km race for the USA (19:56).
Kamais with course record
XIAMEN (CHN, Jan 7): Kenyan Peter Kamais won the first big marathon of 2012. He clocked new course record at age of 35 with 2:07:37 at the 10th Xiamen International Marathon (also a personal best for him). He will get 40 000 USD for the win and another 15 000 USD for the new event best. Second another Kenyan Dickson Chumba (2:08:21) and third Ethiopian Solomon Tsege in 2:09:01 (also an PB). Last year winner Robert Kipchumba (2:08:07 course record) was 6th in 2:09:45. Ethiopian women win for Ashu Kasim in personal best 2:23:09. Here second Kenyan Miriam Wangari in 2:31:30 ahead of another co-favorite Ethiopian Merima Hasen (2:31:46). Over 70 000 runners competed in different races.
Shustov 230, Borzakovskiy and Savinova beaten
YEKATERINBURG (RUS, Jan 7): European High Jump champion from Barcelona Aleksandr Shustov started well into the indoor season with first attempt 230 clearance at Yalamov Memorial meet. He also tried twice at 235 cm. World medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy was beaten in the 500 m despite his usual strong finish. Pavel Trenikhin won the 500 m in 1:01.70 beating Borzakovskiy and Sergey Petukhov as third (both credited with 1:01.81). "I m satisfied with the result concerning the stage of my preparation. My next competition will be at Russian Winter on February 5 at 600 m," said Borzakovskiy. European Athlete of the Year 2011 Mariya Savinova was second in the 1000 m (2:43.40), winner was Yuliya Tutayeva in 2:43.25. Savinova is not specially preparing for the indoor season. In the 300 m Konstantin Petryashov was the fastest with 33.42. In the 3000 m Boris Zakharov achieved 7:58.77 ahead of Ethiopian Million Yehualashet 8:00.73. In duel of top Russians at 60 m hurdles Konstantin Shabanov beat in 7.76 Yevgeniy Borisov (7.79) and Igor Peremota (7.80). Barcelona silver medalist in the 400 m Kseniya Ustalova improved her 300 m best to fast 36.94. In other races Aleksandra Fedoriva achieved 37.43, Yulia Gushchina 37.61 and Olesya Krasnomovets 38.14. Former world indoor champion Natalya Nazarova won the 500 m in 1:10.92, she is the holder of the all-time best at this distance indoors with 1:07:36 in 2004. Also to note 5:49.30 of Yevgeniya Zolotova in the 2000 m, 8.16 by Tatyana Dektyareva at 60 m hurdles and 60 m 7.33 by first Nadezhda Paleyeva and second Natalya Murinovich.
KINGSTON (JAM): Special guests at Racers Track Club Awards Banquet on Friday were IAAF Vice President Lord Sebastian Coe and 1996 olympic winner Donovan Bailey. Of course the top star of the club the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt was also present. Sprinter Kenroy Anderson was named the most punctual athlete and Warren Weir as the most improved Athlete of 2011. "Their (Jamaican track stars) role is absolutely huge towards the success of the Games," said Coe. Turning his attention to the Jamaican diaspora in London, Coe shared that the LOC has taken steps to ensure that there has been full engagement to ensure that support is mobilised. From Trackalerts and Jamaican Gleaner.
EUGENE (USA): 2011 World Champion in high jump Jesse Williams will take on former Oregon three-sport letterman Jordan Kent in a dunk contest at halftime of the Oregon-California men's basketball game on Sunday. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena. Williams will start his indoor season at US Open on January 28 and continue in Arnstadt on February 4 and Banska Bystrica on February 8.
HOUSTON (USA): Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia, one of the fastest half marathoners in the world, and Caroline Kilel of Kenya, winner of the 2011 Boston Marathon, lead an international field for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday, January 15. The race, which begins at 7:00 a.m., features a top prize of $10,000 to both the men's and women's winner.
LONDON (GBR): London 2012 were forced to temporarily suspend their official ticket resale website, following unknown computer problems that are being investigated. The website, which is run by the London 2012 official ticketing services provider and Tier three sponsor Ticketmaster, opened for the first time in order to allow people with unwanted tickets to put them up for sale to other members of the public at face value. Fans trying to buy tickets were able to click onto apparently available events but, after several minutes, were then told these were not available. Informs insidethegames.
BLACKSBURG (USA): 16.02 triple jumper David Wilson (20) and last summer NCAA Championships 6th placer is foregoing his senior season in Blacksburg for the NFL draft after leading the conference in rushing and leading the Hokies to their fourth BCS bowl in five years. He read his prepared statement off an iPad, and he won't have any trouble footing the bill for that, either. Local media are informing.
GENT (BEL, Jan 7): Jan Van Den Broeck improved at regional championships at the 800 m to fast 1:47.19 indoor PB. He achieved with that the Istanbul standard. Van Den Broeck was 7th at the European U23 Championships in Ostrava last summer.
FAYETTEVILLE (USA, Jan 6): Kenyan Silas Kisorio clocked 2:21.94 in the 1000 m at Arkansas Invitational.
NEW YORK (USA, Jan 6): Trinidad´s Lalonde Gordon was timed with 1:02.83 in the 500 m at the Metro Coaches Invitational. US record holder Alan Webb was second in the 800 m (1:55.02).
COLUMBUS (USA, Jan 6): Christina Manning posted a solid double at the Ohio State Invitational meet with 7.40 in the 60 m and 8.19 at 60 m hurdles.
COLLEGE STATION (USA, Jan 6): At Texas High School Classic meet Aldrich Bailey got 21.33 in the 200 m and Shawnacy Barber cleared good 535 in the pole vault.
CHEMNITZ (GER, Jan 7): Christian Blum was already fast at local meet with twice 6.70 in the 60 m (heats and finals).
PANEVEZYS (LTU, Jan 7): National record holder at 100 m and 200 m Rytis Sakalauskas achieved another Lithuanian top mark at the 300 m with 33.69.
APPELDOORN (NED, Jan 7): European junior champion Dafne Schippers started the indoor on a high note with great improvement at the opening meet with 8.18 at 60 m hurdles. Her previous best over senior hurdles was 8.53. She was beaten by Sharona Bakker who also improved to 8.17. That was in the heats. In the final Bakker got 8.19 and Schippers 8.23 (she also cleared 170 in the high jump). Ghana´s Ignisious Gaisah leaped to 782 cm in the long jump.
PROVO (USA, Jan 5-6): Swedish throwers dominated at the BYU Cougar Indoor Invitational as Leif Arrhenius got 19.55 in the shot put and Niklas Arrhenius 63.01 in the discus (his first ever indoor discus).
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK, Jan 6): At the 7th walking indoor meet wins for young Patrik Spevak in the 5000 m (20.43.9) and Hungarian Viktoria Madarasz in the 3000 m (13:36.0).
KISII (KEN, Jan 7): The Nation informs that Timothy Kiptoo, Phenencer Chemutai, Mercy Chebwogen and Justine Cheruiyot won the Athletics Kenya/Kenya Commercial Bank cross country series jackpot after Saturday's final round at the Kisii Golf Club. On the day, Emily Muge won the senior women's 8 km in 27:28.1. Relatively unknown Agnes Chebet clocked 20:30.6 to win the junior women's 6 km. Japan-based Bidan Karoki won the senior men's 12km men in 36:20.2 and was then followed in the second place by Timothy Kiptoo (36:52.4) while third place fell to Fredrick Musyoki (36:54.5). Justine Cheruyot won the junior men's 8 km in 23:44.8.
MALDONADO (URU, Jan 6): Cuban Aguelmis Rojas who lives in Uruguay won the 38th Corrida de San Fernando with 29:33 in the 10 km. Best woman was Fatima Romero of Paraguay (37:15).