Big Turnout for World Indoors! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Mekonnen_DeresseFV-WorldInd10.jpg2010 World Indoors, Men's 1,500 meters, photo by

Someone once tried to describe indoor track & field to me. They noted that it was kind of like cross country meets roller derby. Just remember how Eamonn Coghlan used to take to the boards, leaning in at the beginning of the curves and coming off the back of the curves with speed to burn. His ability to race on boards was honed racing in college and post-college on indoor tracks. One wonders how new sensation Matt Centrowitz will run on the boards at the elite level....

World indoor champs are even more fun! The competition is up a notch and running on a fast 200 meter Mondo track with the best athletes in the world keeps the competition fast and exciting!

Nice to see that 170 countries have proposed to send athletes to the World Indoor Champs, to be held in Instanbul, Turkey in March 2012! Record before was 142, from Valencia!

Asafa Powell is one of the athletes focusing on Istanbul. He will be running against a tough field on January 28 at the U.S. Open as well.

Lee Evans, 1968 Olympic gold medalist, has had surgery on a brain tumor, noted the Mercury News (San Jose, CA).

The rumor mill is heating up! Who do you think will win the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for the Marathon on January 14, 2012? More than that, the fight for places two, three and four will be tremendous on both races!



DEN HAAG (NED): World 10 km and 15 km road record holder Leonard Patrick Komon hopes to make his debut in the half-marathon on a high note. The Kenyan confirmed his participation at the 38th ABN AMRO CPC Loop Den Haag on March 11 and announced that he wants to break the world half marathon record of 58:23 set by Zersenay Tadese in 2010.



ISTANBUL (TUR): Turkish sources are confirming big interest in World Indoor Championships to be held in March in Istanbul. Already 170 countries informed about their intention to participate. The record participation so far is 147 countries in Valencia 2008. Also the number of athletes is big with 864, current record is 712 in Paris 1997.



KINGSTON (JAM): USA Today reveales that Asafa Powell will compete with Richard Thompson and Justin Gatlin in the 50 m on January 28 in Madison Square Garden at inaugural US Open meet. „I don't like indoors for the mere fact that it's so cold at that time of year. I think I'll run faster to the building than inside," said Powell. Just to be safe, he's bringing a physical therapist to races. Powell plans to run afterwards in Birmingham on February 18 (against another fast starter Kim Collins) and World indoor championships in Istanbul in March, then open his outdoor season in April. Powell ran a personal best of 6.56 seconds in a 60 m in the MSG in 2004 (February 6), but this will be his first 50. The world record in the rarely run 50 is 5.56 seconds, set by Canada's Donovan Bailey in 1996 and US Maurice Greene in 1999 (this one not officially ratified by IAAF). That equals to 6.43 seconds in the 60, said Powell's agent Paul Doyle. „It's a lot to ask for, but he does run well in his first races, so I wouldn't put it out of the question." The Jamaican record of Michael Green from 1997 is 5.61, his brother Donovan Powell clocked 5.64 in 1999.



XIAMEN (CHN): First big marathon of 2012 is the Xiamen International Marathon on Saturday in China. Organizers announced as top names Kenyan Albert Matebor Kiplagat who improved last year in Frankfurt to 2:05:25 as third and in women race young Ethiopian Merima Hasen with 2:23:06 best from Toronto Marathon 2010. She will be 20 later in this year. Winners will recieve 40 000 USD, for new course record 10 000 USD is offered, for world record one million USD. The 2012 Xiamen International Marathon will be kicked off with over 70,000 participants at Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Centre at 8 am local time. Course records 2:08:07 by Robert Kipchumba from last year and high quality 2:22:38 by Zhang Yingying from 2008.



SAN GIORGIO (ITA): Reigning World CC Champion Imane Merga will face a tough field at the jubilee 55th Campaccio CC Race which will have IAAF CC Permit for first time in the history of the event. On Friday January 6 he will clash at 10 km with another medalist from Punta Umbria Vincent Chepkok and recent Bolzano winner Edwin Soi. Top European will be Velenje bronze winner Jose Rocha of Portugal, also in the field best Polish steeple runner Lukasz Parszczynski. Also in women race at 6 km Kenyan-Ethiopian duel. Sylvia Kibet and Mercy Cherono against Birtukan Adamu and surprise second placer from Bolzano Afera Godfay. Turkish steeple record holder Binnaz Uslu, Romanian Roxana Barca and best Italian Silvia Weissteiner are leading the European hopes.







ORLANDO (USA): European hurdles champion Andy Turner spent Christmas in Disney World, Florida. And he even treated his mum and dad to a holiday in the States as he started his build-up to what he hopes will be a year to remember. Writes UK media. From his Surrey home he went for a special three-month break in Orlando for intensive warm-weather training, plus a family break for his partner Natalie and three daughters, Jasmin (seven), Carman (five), Morgan (nine months). Most of the British athletics team are heading off to a camp in South Africa for their warm-weather training ahead of the new indoor season. But Turner won dispensation from the UK's head of athletics, Charles Van Commenee, to skip South Africa and head out to Florida where he has rented a house and has linked up with crack American hurdler David Oliver. Turner returns home in mid-January before the countdown to London starts in earnest.


CHELYABINSK (RUS): Apart of pole vault duel (Starodubtsev, Kucheryanu, Pavlov) the 30th Lukashevich Memorial on January 9 in Chelyabinsk will also offer high jump duel of European champion Aleksandr Shustov against World silver winner from Daegu Aleksey Dmitrik. In women high jump Daegu gold medalist Anna Chicherova will make her season opener.


BORDEAUX (FRA): The 3rd edition of International indoor meeting in Bordeaux at Stadium Velodrome on January 28 announced some of the top names. In men´s pole vault world medalist Romain Mesnil will clash with Barcelona silver winner Maksim Mazuryk of Ukraine and as French media are informing also with world champion Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland. Legendary Felix Sanchez will return to 400 m Hurdles indoors (against Briton Richard Yates). In the women 400 m European indoor champion Czech Denisa Rosolova will compete with Russian relay world medalist Kseniya Vdovina. In the 60 m Doha bronze medalist Ruddy Zang-Milama of Gabon against former African Champion Vida Anim of Ghana.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Former 400 m hurdles world champion Jana Pittman announced that she is no longer coached by Phil King. Athletics Australia provided her statement: „It is with sadness that I must inform all that Phil King and I are no longer working in conjunction with each other in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games. I am incredibly grateful for the time and effort that Phil has dedicated to me over the years, but it is time for me to take ownership and more control of my program. I have been in elite sport now for over 15 years and along the way have had some of world's best coaches support and educate me on the discipline of 400 hurdles. It is with this vast amount of knowledge and experience that I now feel it is time for me to take a new direction in my training. In doing this, the buck stops with me and I am ultimately responsible for the outcomes. This has been a mutual decision between Phil and I, and was agreed upon amicably over the past few weeks. I am very committed to my Olympic Dream, however, I am realistic about the uphill battle I will climb between now and then. I have an incredible support crew and medical team around me that will guide and continue my development from now going forward."


BOSTON (USA): Race Results Weekly informs that Mo Farah will run at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix meet in Boston one mile. On February 4 he will be ready to attack his indoor (4:00.46 in 2007) and outdoor (3:56.49 in 2005) bests.


LAUSANNE (SUI): The 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships took place in Velenje, Slovenia, on Sunday 11 December and were the highlight of the month from a continental perspective. All six winners from the event have been included in the short lists for the European Athlete of the Month award for December. However, there were also some outstanding performances on the roads around Europe and also indoors. Following this, European Athletics is pleased to announce that athletes from 10 countries have been nominated for the December award. The voting will close on 18 January.


AMSTERDAM (NED) : Former Dutch world junior shot put champion Melissa Boekelman is now training in Stuttgart under Germany's national shot put coach Peter Salzer. Boekelman has changed her training regimen under Salzer and is very confident she could compete well in the IAAF World indoor championships, European outdoor championships and the Olympic Games.


BERLIN (GER): Germany's talented hurdler Gregor Traber has ambitious plans for the upcoming season. The youngster is hoping to qualify for both the European championships in Helsinki and the Olympic Games in London. It would be the first senior championships for the 19-year old Traber writes


MADRID (ESP): Madrid's new Mayor Ana Botella has promised that the city's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics will not be affected by the economic crisis affecting Spain. The 58-year-old wife of the country's Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, made the pledge while at the same time vowing to cut the Spanish capital's 6.3 billion euro debt writes Insidethegames.


LONDON (GBR): Athletics Tanzania is battling financial constraints in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games with secretary general Suleiman Nyambui complaining that they have no plan for a pre-Games camp. Nyambui, the 1980 Olympic 5000 m silver medalist, said: „We were supposed to start training two years ago, nevertheless, we failed because we had no funds. This time, we have no means as well to turn the clock around." Only one athlete, 27-year-old Zakia Mrisho, has so far qualified for the 2012 Games after she reached the final of the 5,000m at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu reports Insidethegames.


TORONTO (CAN): Olympic icon Paul Henderson has caused a commotion in the after sending an open letter to Canada's Premier Dalton McGuinty warning that the 2015 Pan American Games will come in billions over budget. According to Henderson, the 2.4 dollar billion budget is unrealistic, given the scope of proposed new builds and facility renovations. Organizers, he argues, have also failed to accurately account for a number of "soft costs," such as additional pressures on police according to


SAN JOSE (USA): Lee Evans, the legendary 400 m 1968 Olympic champion, underwent surgery Tuesday to remove a nickel-sized tumor in his brain, the runner's sister said for Evans, 63, was visiting family when the incident occurred. He has been living in West Africa for the past four years in semi-retirement.


KRASNODAR (RUS): Heptathlon world champion Tatyana Chernova is scheduled to compete at the 5th edition of Governor of Krasnodar meet on January 29. In the long jump she will meet with Daegu medalist Olga Kucherenko and former European champion Tatyana Kotova. In the triple jump European indoor silver winner Olesya Zabara is entered. In men´s pole vault olympic medalist Yevgeniy Lukyanenko should clash with Aleksandr Gripich.


NEW YORK (USA): In just 24 hours, more than 28,000 people registered for the ING New York City Marathon 2012, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. "The record-setting day for the marathon application continues to show the power of the marathon," said Wittenberg. "As runners all over the world sign up and ‚run to keep their resolution,' we are happy that NYRR can support their goals." With the application opening on 1/2/12 at Noon, runners pledged to "run to keep their resolutions" at an astounding rate. In 2011, 22,382 people applied for the non-guaranteed entry in 24 hours. In 2012, that number was eclipsed by the 10-hour mark. Runners from all 50 states (and Washington, DC) and 134 countries already announced their intention to take part in the 2012 race. The 2012 event will take place on Sunday, November 4. The application will remain open now through Monday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m.


LONDON (GBR): British 400 m hurdles specialist and European silver winner from 2010 Perri Shakes-Drayton has plans to compete indoors. She will concentrate on 400 m flat and will try to qualify for World Indoors in Istanbul at the UK Trials mid-February in Sheffield.


BUDAPEST (HUN): announced the Throwers of the Year 2011 in the World both shot putters Dylan Armstrong and Valerie Adams. In Africa both top ones are javelin throwers Robert Oosthuizen and Sunette Viljoen. In Asia discus throwers Ehsan Hadadi and world champion Li Yafeng. In Europe Robert Harting and Barbora Spotakova. North and Central America top ones are Armstrong and Cuban Yareli Barrios. Adams is the best woman in Oceania, male top one is Australian Ben Harradine. In South American Argentinians German Lauro and Jennifer Dahlgren. Germany took control of throwing, as the special Countries Rankings reflect it. The Germans not only defended their first position in the women's ranking, but overtook last year's male ‚champion' USA in the men's ranking, as well. In the men's list ten of the Top-12 countries are Europeans. Russia improved from fifth to fourth while Poland retained its 3rd position. Belarus slipped from 4th to 8th. In a very close battle between the 8th and 12th positions Hungary entered the list in 10th place. Germany dominates the women's ranking while a well balanced United States finished the year in 2nd position. China kept its overall third position.


LONDON (GBR): The Telegraph writes that British sprinter James Ellington fears he may have been the victim of a hoax after an anonymous bidder pledged 32 500 GBP on the eBay website to sponsor him between now and the London Olympics. The south Londoner made headlines across the world when he came up with the novel idea of auctioning himself online to raise money for his Olympic campaign, and the stunt appeared to have paid off when he attracted a top bid that was Ł2,500 higher than his Ł30,000 reserve. But, since the auction closed on Dec 17, the winning bidder has failed to come forward and attempts by eBay to track the individual down have proved fruitless. A spokeswoman for the website admitted that the bidder "doesn't appear to be bona fide". The Telegraph also reveales that Ellington will start his indoor season at the South of England Indoor Championships at Lee Valley on January 15 with a 400 m race.







ST. PETERBURG (RUS, Jan 4): National Championships finalist Oksana Zhukovskaya improved at a local meet her indoor long jump best to 672 cm. Her outdoor best is 677 from 2007.


CHELYABINSK (RUS): More facts from Dmitriy Starodubtsev about his twice achieved 590. The first meet on December 17 was held with additional floor (+ 7 cm) and could not be included in the main list. In the same hall the Students Competition on December 29 was held under normal circumstances and should be included in the top lists. His sequence on December 29 was as follows: 540(1)- 560(1)- 570(1) - 580(1)- 590(1).







AFRICA: African Athletics United facebook informs about following sad news from Africa. Unfortunately during the Holiday season Roger Oyembo a leading coach in Gabon and general secretary of the Gabon Athletics Federation died. Also Margaret Bisereko the multi-event specialist from Uganda who was 2nd in the pentathlon at the 1978 All-Africa Games and 2nd in the heptathlon at the 1982 African championships. And third name reported from Togo Charles Bilanday Bodjona who competed in the long jump at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and 1983 in Helsinki at the inaugural World Championships.

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