ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Ethiosports.com informs that the situation in Ethiopia is changed and the ban on top runners is lifted. National federation EAF informed that the ban of 34 top athletes including Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba is ended. The federation had set up a training camp for its leading athletes early this month to improve preparation for London after a poor showing at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, last August. But top runners did not show up in the camp. The lift of the ban also means that specially the runners for Dubai marathon on Friday who were worried are now ok.
TURNER VS US DUO
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Winter announced top hurdlers from USA for February 5 IAAF Indoor meet. Joel Brown and Dexter Faulk will be the top names against home record holder Yevgeniy Borisov who is returning from a surgery. Also European Champion 2010 from Barcelona Briton Andy Turner is entered. In the 5000 m walk not only Russian top names Valeriy Borchin, Sergey Bakulin, Denis Nizhegorodov and Vladimir Kanaykin will be competing. Also Spanish Juan Manuel Molina and Mexican Eder Sanchez are in the race. In women 3000 m walk world champion Olga Kaniskina will be facing Melanie Seeger of Germany, Ukrainian Yelena Shumkina, Sylwia Korzeniowska and home rivals Anisya Kirdyapkina.
UKHOV, SILNOV, FRIEDRICH - TOP NAMES FOR THE SERIES
HUSTOPECE (CZE): First meet of the 8th Moravia High Jump Tour in Hustopece on Saturday January 28 will see some top clashes. Indoor high jump king Ivan Ukhov of Russia will open here his indoor season (last two years 237 and 238 as openers in Hustopece). Main rivals will be two Daegu medalists, silver winner Aleksey Dmitrik (last weekend 232) and Bahamian Trevor Barry. Reigning olympic winner Andrey Silnov of Russia is another key name opening his season in this Czech city. Home hero and European indoor silver winner Jaroslav Baba will have big support of the spectators. Greek top events finalists Kostadions Baniotis and Dimitrios Hondrokoukis are another top edition to a high quality field of 12 jumpers, only one having a personal best below 230 cm. In the women competition all eyes will be on German Ariane Friedrich returning to the competition after 13 months. Her main rivals will be another returning athlete, double mother US record holder Chaunte Lowe, with two meters bests Russian duo Svetlana Shkolina with Irina Gordeyeva. Romanian European U23 record holder Esthera Petre already did 194 this winter and young Russian Mariya Kuchina is world junior record holder from last year in this series (197, but at the second meet in Trinec). The lowest PB in the field is 190 cm. The series continues then on January 30 (Monday) in Trinec. Only Greeks and Silnov with Friedrich are making just one stop in Hustopece, the others will continue to the southeast part of Czech Republic close to Poland. Meet records at both events (238 Ukhov and 200 Friedrich in Hustopece and 234 Ukhov and 201 Vlasic in Trinec) will be under threat. Full start lists and also live results at www.moravskavyskarskatour.cz
SUPERB 5000 M FOR MILLROSE
NEW YORK (USA): Three U.S. national records could fall during the men's 5000 m run in the 105th Millrose Games, February 11 at the Armory's New Balance Track & Field Center. Millrose Games' meet director Ray Flynn announced the completion of a super 5k field that includes eight-time Wanamaker Mile winner and record holder Bernard Lagat, who is attempting to break Galen Rupp's American record of 13:11.44. The two other records at stake in the race will be the collegiate and high school marks. A fourth record -- the Millrose mark of 13:20.4 -- could be eclipsed. Suleiman Nyambui of Tanzania established that record in 1981 as he edged Alberto Salazar (13:22.6) to set a World record. Salazar's second-place time was an American record. Joining Lagat in the 5000 m event will be five of the country's premier collegiate runners, each with an excellent chance to surpass Rupp's college mark of 13:18.12. Those runners are Lawi Lalang, the NCAA Cross Country Champion from the University of Arizona; Leonard Korir, the NCAA Indoor 5,000m champion from Iona; Elliott Heath, the NCAA Indoor 3,000m NCAA champion from Stanford; NCAA Cross Country runner-up Chris Derrick of Stanford; and first-team All-American Steven Sambu of Arizona. Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico -- a training partner with Lagat -- is also featured in the event. Britain will be represented by Andy Baddeley and Mark Draper. Edward Cheserek, who ran the second-fastest indoor mile (4:02.21) in U.S. high school history over the weekend, is another entry and will aim at the 5000 m indoor HS mark set by Lukas Verzbicas at 14:06.78. Organizers are informing.
KENYA VS ETHIOPIA DUELS
DUBAI (UAE): First big marathon of 2012 will be the Standard Chartered Dubai race on Friday. Top male favorites are Kenyan and former London winner Martin Lel and Ethiopian Deriba Merga. For Merga in case of winning this could be very important towards his olympic selection. Another Kenyans in good shape running are Stephen Kibiwott and Jonathan Mayo. In total 12 runners are having a personal best under 2:07. Among them title defender David Barmasai. From new wave to note Markos Geneti of Ethiopia and Kenyans Gilbert Yegon with Elijah Keitany. Kenya vs Ethiopia also in women race. World bronze medalist Sharon Cherop with Lydia Cheromei are the two Kenyans who belong to the elite group of 6 olympic pre-selected Kenyan runners. A win could be very helpful in this case. But also debuting Lucy Kabuu should be mentioned. Ethiopians to be considered are Aberu Kebede, Aselefech Mergia (title defender) and Koren Yal along with Mamitu Daska (2010 winner here) and Mare Dibaba. For both winners 250 000 USD is ready. In all races 15 000 runners are expected. Mainly women course record 2:22:42 by Berhane Adere in 2008 will be under threat. Men´s course record by Haile Gebrselassie who is not running this year is 2:04:53 from 2008 (his first win from three in a row 2008-10). With help from Alberto Stretti blog.
FAYTTEVILLE IS BACK
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF website informs that the host of USATF's Indoor Visa Championship Series for the past 10 years, Fayetteville, Arkansas, will stage the USA Track & Field Classic February 11 as part of the nationally televised series, USA Track & Field announced. The USATF Classic will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Tyson Invitational, one of the nation's premier collegiate meets, on the campus of the University of Arkansas. The meet joins USATF's 2012 Indoor Visa Championship Series that also includes the U.S. Open January 28 in New York City; the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix February 4 in Boston; and the 2012 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships Feb. 25-26 in Albuquerque, N.M. Fayetteville hosted the Visa Championship Series from 2000-2009. In 2012 it re-enters the series thanks to a 10-event professional lineup that will feature some of the strongest fields of the indoor season. "When we saw the fields that the University of Arkansas and Nike had put together, it was obvious that this meet would be a highlight of the indoor season," said USATF CEO Mike McNees. Among the athletes currently slated to compete are Galen Rupp in the men's 2 mile, world champion Kirani James of Grenada in the men's 400m, American record holder and World Outdoor bronze medalist Jillian Camarena-Williams and USA Outdoor champion Michelle Carter in the women's shot put; world champion Brittney Reese, Olympic medalist Hyleas Fountain, Marshevet Hooker and Funmi Jimoh in the women's long jump; Shawn Crawford, Richard Thompson and Churandy Martina in the men's 60m; and Silas Kiplagat and Leo Manzano in the men's mile.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF informs that USA Track & Field's Board of Directors has welcomed athlete and activist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, sports attorney Eve Wright and network television executive Mickey Carter to its ranks. Wright and Carter assume independent seats, while Joyner-Kersee takes the board's High Performance seat. Board member Steve Miller has been elected to the position of board vice chair.
TORONTO (CAN): A game changing world first in the sport of athletics (track and field) was announced by the National Track League (NTL). For the first time in the history of the sport, a competition, in this case a complete series, will share race bib inventory with the participating athletes. In the coming weeks the NTL will finalize and make public the exact specifications of the race bib which participating athletes will own.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian decathlete Thomas Van der Plaetsen has confirmed his participation at the Indoor Combined Events meeting in Tallinn on February 3 and 4. Van der Plaetsen last year scored a Belgian indoor record of 6020 points and hopes to improve on that mark. He will most likely only compete in one heptathlon this indoor season and in February returns to South Africa for a 10 week training camp.
LONDON (GBR) : If the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were being awarded on the basis of local opinion polls then Baku would be the early favourites after they released a survey claiming that 95 per cent of people in Azerbaijan backed their bid, nearly 30 per cent higher than in Tokyo, the bookmakers choice reports Insidethegames.
NAIROBI (KEN):The Athletics Kenya (AK) Sprints, Field and Medley Relays championships get under way on Wednesday at Nyayo National Stadium and national sprints head coach Stephen Mwaniki said Monday AK will use the event to assess and monitor athletes ahead of the London Olympic Games. "We want to try and refine them so as to qualify more numbers to the London Olympic Games," he said for The Daily Nation. On the card are the men's and women's 4x800m and 4x200m medley relays, All the field events, including shot put, discus, javelin, hammer, pole vault, high jump, long jump and triple jump , as well as hurdle races.
MONTE CARLO (MON): Russian long jumper Darya Klishina has written her first IAAF Online Diary and reported about her university diploma in sports management, her successful surgery on her leg after the World championships in Daegu and her birthday party. Klishina also revealed that following surgery training now is going well and she will start competing in Glasgow on January 28th followed by the Russian Winter in Moscow on February 5th, after that she will evaluate whether she competes at the Russian national indoor championships.
ADELAIDE (AUS): Australian Flame captain Steve Hooker will launch his 2012 campaign at the Adelaide Track Classic this weekend, as theQantas Australian Athletics Tour begins with a bang on Saturday. Seeing the return of international athletics to South Australia for the first time in six years, the Adelaide Track Classic will see Hooker, the reigning Olympic pole vault champion, join Australia's biggest track and field names including Sally Pearson (100m, 200m), John Steffensen, Jana Pittman, Benn Harradine, Dani Samuels and Tamsyn Manou. "It's been a promising few weeks. I jumped five metres off six steps a couple of weeks ago in Perth and the plan for Adelaide is to extend out to eight steps and look for a height of around 5.30m," Hooker said for Athletics Australia.
MINSK (BLR): Vladimir Potupchyk remained the President of Belarus Athletics Federation. That is the result of the election conference of the federation on Tuesday. His deputies are Grigoriy Kosyachenko and Anatoliy Baduev. Former olympic winner at 400 m hurdles will continue as general secretary. In the 26 strong board of the federation also hammer thrower Vadim Devyatovskiy and discus thrower Ellina Zvereva, olympic winner from 2000.
MADRID (ESP): Spanish Athletics federation RFEA informed that according to the rules non Spanish International level athletes can only compete in those races, which are included in the RFEA Calendar. Marathon of Seville will not be included in our Calendar, as they do not comply with some requirements established by RFEA. For this reason it is not possible that foreign athletes participate in this race. The Sevilla City Marathon is planned for February 19.
MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 24): European 200 m bronze winner from Barcelona Aleksandra Fedoriva is apparently moving to the 400 m. At Moscow City U23 Championships running as a guest she clocked in her only second ever 400 m race more than solid 52.39. Former world indoor champion at the distance Natalya Nazarova posted in her race 53.39. Barcelona bronze steeple winner Lyubov Kharlamova won the 2000 m steeple in 6:13.10. It is 6th best ever all-time performer. In the men 2000 m steeple Ildar Minshin achieved 5:24.80 ahead of European Junior Champion from Tallinn Ilgizar Safiulin 5:27.09. In the women 60 m Natalya Murinovich won the guest race in 7.35 after faster 7.29 in heats. Konstantin Shabanov clocked 7.71 at 60 m Hurdles and Yuriy Koldin 3:44.73 in the 1500 m.
OSTRAVA (CZE, Jan 24): European indoor silver winner Jaroslav Baba started his indoor season in a good manner. At „Ostravska latka" special high jump meet he cleared in third attempt the Istanbul standard of 229 cm. Baba then tried at 233 cm. Second Romanian Mihai Donisan, third US Keith Moffat with Poland´s Piotr Sleboda and 5th Slovak Matus Bubenik, all cleared 223 cm. For Bubenik new life-time best. Oldriska Maresova won on count-back the women competition with 185, also Poland´s second Urszula Domel and third Karolina Blazej cleared 185 cm.
PRAHA (CZE, Jan 24): Czech fastest woman Katerina Cechova started her season with fast 7.38 in the 60 m. Hurdler Lucie Skrobakova was close in 7.48, new personal best. Young Pavel Maslak achieved good 33.65 in the 300 m and old-timer Roman Sebrle tested his shape before weekend´s match with 7.30 at 60 m and 8.26 at 60 m hurdles.
LASNAMAE (EST, Jan 24): Estonian series Big Bank Kuldliiga started with national record holder Anna Iljustsenko clearing 190 in the high jump. Latvian guest Elvijs Misans leaped to 772 in the long jump and Russian Yuriy Kovalev got 16.65 in the triple jump. Caribbean guests coming from Volgograd won the 200 m races. Jamaican Patricia Hall 23.65 and Antoine Adams of St. Kitts 21.58. Decathlon star Mikk Pahapill achieved 15.18 in the shot put (his best is 15.73).
BYDGOSZCZ (POL, Jan 22): Lukasz Michalski tested his shape here before Cottbus with 550 clearance. World champion Pawel Wojciechowski took it as a training with 5 meters.