A little global news here...Usain Bolt is back in shape, ready for the year, 2012, and it looks like he will be running the 400 meters in February, probably one a relay or two and perhaps an open 400 meters. Michael Johnson, 400m WR and former WR holder in the 200 meters thinks that, for Usain Bolt, the 400 meters is his destiny. We shall see.
BOLT IN TOP CONDITION
KINGSTON (JAM): „For me this is going to be my biggest Olympics, so I am definitely focused and I am looking to go out there and surpass my own feat that I accomplished in Beijing so I am definitely working on that," fastest man Usain Bolt told The Jamaican Gleaner. „I am putting in the work and hopefully, with God's willing and the weather, it should be good for me there," he added. The two-time world 200m champion reported for training at the end of 2011 with a clean bill of health, meaning that for the first time in many moons he has conducted his background training at optimal levels and has been able to push himself, which could spell bad news for his rivals. „The back won't be a problem this year because we have put in a lot of work on that as well as my strength work and core work. One of the main focus is to try and keep away that (back) problem this season. My fitness has been holding up and that is key for me. Being able to start the season in the best of shape ensures that I can push myself really hard, so I am very happy with the progress that I have been able to make up to this point in training and I am focused and ready to work even harder. It's been going great, training has been wonderful. I haven't been having any problems so I have been doing well. All my strength work has been going well so I can't really complain, I'm just trying to stay focused and keep working hard," said Bolt. He should open the season with training competitions at 400 m in February.
HOWE HOPES FOR LONDON
ROMA (ITA): Former long jump European champion Andrew Howe is upbeat and in good mood 165 days after undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon. „The goal is to take part in the long jump at the London Olympic Games. I evaluate my condition with Professor Giuliano Cirulli who operated me to avoid possible risks. On 28 January I will undergo a medical check six months after surgery. The recovery was quicker than expected. What was important was my determination not to give up. Last year I took a year off from the long jump. In 2012 I want to return to jump and leave a mark in this event. I think I have more chances in the long jump at the games. I want to thank the Italian Federation and the Aeronautica team who have never abandoned me in the most difficult period of my career," says Howe. He devotes his spare-time to music. A new CD of his rock band „Craiving" will be released next February. The title is „Wood" and contains a new song „My name" which reflects many aspects of his personal story.
WOJCIECHOWSKI IN GERMANY
COTTBUS (GER): The 10th Cottbus Jumping meet (Springer Meeting) on January 25 will open after Wuppertal on January 21 the jumping indoor season in Europe. In the start list two medalists from Daegu in men´s pole vault. The winner Pawel Wojciechowski and silver winner Cuban Lazaro Borges. From home elite in the field Karsen Dilla, Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe. Three other foreign jumpers are rounding the start list. Fourth placer from Daegu Lukasz Michalski, sixth from Worlds Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece and British 9th placer Steven Lewis. Meet record 585 of French Renaud Lavillenie might be under threat. The second event of the evening will be women´s high jump with US record holder Chaunte Lowe making European comeback since summer 2010. Spanish record holder Ruth Beitia, top Russians Svetlana Shkolina, Irina Gordeyeva and Anna Shorstova will jump with Canadian Nicole Forrester, Romanian European U23 Champion Esthera Petre, Cuban Lesvani Mayor and Magdalena Ogrodnik of Poland. Gordeyeva is the meet record holder with excellent 201 cm.
ZELEZNY BID AMBASSADOR
OSTRAVA (CZE): Javelin legend and IOC member Jan Zelezny agreed to become the official ambassador of the City of Ostrava bid for the European Team Championships 2014. Ostrava is a place he always loved competing at. Because of very special atmosphere, not only at the stadium. He is also currently the meet director of Ostrava Golden Spike (IAAF World Challenge) to be held on May 25 this year.
LONDON (GBR): London Olympic photo shooting on adidas behalf assembled into the olympic city top tracksters from around the world. Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake, David Rudisha, Veronica Campbell-Brown among others.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Winter meet on February 5 in Moscow (IAAF Indoor Permit) is preparing fast women 60 m hurdles. World indoor champion Lolo Jones will compete against US rivals Kellie Wells, Yvette Lewis and mainly world silver winner from Daegu Danielle Carruthers. Russians in the field Aleksandra Antonova and Daegu finalist Tatyana Dektyareva. They will attack one of the oldest meet records 7.92 by Eva Sokolova since 1993.
HOUSTON (USA): Canadian Simon Bairu and Australian Benita Willis, a pair of international athletes who train in the United States, will each contest the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday in hopes of hitting qualifying marks to represent their homelands at the 2012 Olympic Games. Bairu, the Canadian national record holder for 10,000 meters (27:26.63), is looking to complete his first marathon on Sunday. He started the 2010 New York City Marathon but was unable to finish and planned to run the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October but pulled out due to fatigue from training. Bairu has a half marathon personal best of 1:02:08. The former Wisconsin Badger trains under the Oregon Track Club and coach Jerry Schumacher in Portland, Ore. The fastest man in the field is Kenyan Charles Munyeki. His personal best of 2:07:06 is just two seconds slower than Bakana Daba's course record set in 2010. If Munyeki or any of his competitors can improve upon Daba's 2:07:04, it would mark the fourth consecutive year in which the course record was broken. Challenging Willis will be a group of strong Ethiopian women led by Alemitu Abera. After finishing third a year ago, Abera returns to Houston seeking a victory. Since last January, she set a personal best of 2:26:33 at the Daegu International Marathon in South Korea and also posted a victory at the Istanbul Marathon in a time of 2:27:56. Organizers are informing.
CHELYABINSK (RUS): European high jump champion Aleksandr Shustov plans to jump next on January 21 at Governor´s Cup in Volgograd. After twice mastering 230 already in January his plans are set for new indoor best (so far 234). After Volgograd he will represent Russia at Aviva Match in Glasgow on January 28 (against Andra Manson and Donald Thomas jumping for USA and Commonwealth). Russian Winter on February 5 is also on his agenda. „I want to qualify for Istanbul, but at the nationals end of February a strong group will fight for two places only, it will be very tough," said Shustov.
BALTIMORE (USA): Management group of agent Mark Pryor World Express Athletic Management announced two new names undert contract. Trinidad´s sprinter and World finalist Rondell Sorrillo and US female hammer thrower and national champion Jessica Cosby.
DUSSELDORF (GER): Top men´s long jump competition is set for 7th PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on February 10. Barcelona winner Christian Reif will clash with Torino and Paris winner Sebastian Bayer. International field will be headed by Moroccan Daegu fourth placer Yahya Berrabah.
BOSTON (USA): For sixteen years, New England track fans have come to expect the world's best middle distance and distance runners to go head-to-head on the oval at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. This year those same fans will get an added treat. On Feb. 4, the world's top long sprinter, Kirani James, will take to the track at 400m at the 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix , organizers announced. "2011 was a dream season for me but I want to get started on 2012. I hope for bigger and better this year and can't wait to get started in Boston," James said. It will be his pro indoor debut. Among his challengers will be Miami native, Bershawn Jackson, the world's top 400m hurdler in 2010. The Men's Shot Put has not been contested in Boston since 2008 but will make a big return with 2010 IAAF World Indoor Champion, Christian Cantwell, leading the charge.
MELBOURNE (AUS): Athletics Australia announced Qantas as the official partner and airline of the 2012 Australian Athletics Tour. The 12-month partnership will see Qantas named as the title sponsor of the Australian Athletics Tour, the IAAF World Challenge accredited Melbourne Track Classic and the official airline for Athletics Australia. The 2012 Qantas Australian Athletics Tour starts on 28 January in Adelaide, before heading to Perth on 11 February where reigning Olympic champion Hooker will face former US pole vault champion Mark Hollis (USA).
LE MANS (FRA): 2010 CC World Champion Joseph Ebuya will be the star of the 31st Le Mans Cross Country race on Sunday. Also running World junior champion Caleb Ndiku, another Kenyan. The biggest cross country race in France is organized by newspaper Ouest-France. In the men´s enlarged distance (from 8.92 to 11.2 km) also Mike Kigen the previous winner is in the field. Also women race will be longer from 4.82 km to 6 km.
BELFAST (GBR): Athletics North Ireland confirmed that European CC champion Fionualla Britton will be racing in the Antrim IAAF International Cross Country at Greenmount on the 21st of January. The event is shaping up to have quite the line up with European bronze medallist Gemma Steel also confirmed. The event is part of the McCain UK Cross Challenge series and is one of only eleven IAAF permitted cross country races in the world. The Antrim event is organised by Athletics Northern Ireland and sponsored by Antrim Borough Council. Also racing at Greenmount will be new European U23 silver medallist James Wilkinson.
BERLIN (GER) : Ethiopian runner Eleni Gebrehiwot is hoping to compete for Germany at the European championships in Helsinki. The 27-year old athlete is married to a German and hopes to compete for Germany as soon as April. Her coach Tono Kirschbaum believes she could run the 10.000m European standard of 32:50 writes Der Westen.
LONDON (GBR): Worldwide Olympic sponsor P&G have introduced a team of 24 world-class athletes from 18 countries, including sprint star Tyson Gay, who will represent their male grooming brand Gillette at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Gay is joined by several high profile athlete ambassadors, including tennis player Roger Federer, American swimming star Ryan Lochte, British cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and Chinese badminton player Lin Dan reports Insidethegames. Only other track name in the list is Peruvian runner Mario Bazan who is South American champion.
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya is hoping to enter its biggest ever team at this year's Olympics in London and beat the record total of 14 medals, including six gold, it won at Beijing four years ago. The biggest team Kenya has sent to a Games since it made its debut at Melbourne in 1956 was at Athens in 2004. Kip Keino, the 1968 Olympic 1500m and 1972 3000m steeplechase gold medallist, who is now the President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has challenged the team to do even better in London according to Insidethegames.
MONACO (MON): Sprint star Veronica Campbell-Brown is still undecided whether she will run at the IAAF World indoor championships in March. The defending champion will run over 50m at the US Open on January 28th and told fans on her IAAF online Diary that she will make a decision about the world indoor championships soon.
PORT OF SPAIN (TRI): Kelly Ann Baptiste and national 200m champ Rondel Sorrillo were crowned the National Association of Athletic Administration (NAAA) Senior Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year. Baptiste is the second female in Trinidad and Tobago to have won a medal at the World Championship and was an outright winner among the women despite a challenge from shot putter Cleopatra Borel-Brown writes Newsday.
LONDON (GBR): Fast food chain McDonald's and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are close to agreeing a new, eight-year sponsorship contract reports Reuters. McDonald's, whose contract runs out after this year's London Olympic Games, and IOC officials will meet in Austria during the Innsbruck Youth Olympics starting on Friday to finalise details. A new, four-Games deal would include the 2020 summer Olympics, which have yet to be awarded to a host, as well as the 2014 winter Games in Sochi, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympics.
KINGSTON (JAM): The YB Afraid Foundation, established by world sprinter Yohan Blake, has joined with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in adopting the Mount Olivet Boys' Home in Walderston, Manchester. This partnership resulted in a day of excitement and gifts for the residents of the home in December as the JIS management and staff and the YB Afraid Foundation were accompanied by other sponsors, as they hosted a Christmas dinner and awards ceremony in association with the staff of the home. The 30 residents received attractive donations of sneakers, slippers and windbreakers from adidas, through the YB Afraid Foundation. The ecstatic boys were appreciative of their gifts, and director of the Mount Olivet Boys' Home, Sonia Lowe, shared how exciting the event was for them. „The gifts were amazing (especially because) we were very limited in terms of funds. The boys had a fantastic time. They loved meeting Yohan Blake and can't wait for the training camp," she said, making reference to the promise made by coach Glen Mills to host the boys at the Racers Track Club. Informs Jamaica Gleaner.
PRAHA (CZE, Jan 9): Czech high jumper Oldriska Maresova started her indoor campaign at University Championships in Strahov hall on a high note. She cleared 190 and equalled her indoor and overall best. So far in her career she twice did 190 indoors. (in 2009 and 2010).