Great Weekend of Athletics! More on 2012 Houston, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, 2012 Olympic Trials-Marathon,
photo by

It is Monday morning in Houston. The signage is down, and runners with medals around their necks are heading to the airport. The Running USA meetings, started last night, are in full swing, so many of the power brokers in the sport are in town. Meb Keflezighi stops to take pictures with some fans, as he, his wife and youngest daughter, have breakfast in the lobby hotel. Another day in running paradise.

Some tremendous performances this past weekend. We will be writing about Saturday and Sunday for some time to come! Right now, the staff of the Olympic Trials and Houston Marathon committee are trying to get their first night of sleep in several days.

Congrats to all on a job well done!

SEVILLA (ESP, Jan 15): 2009 World champion Linet Masai won the 30th Italica Cross Country race in Seville (IAAF Permit) in mud and rain with 25:42 at 8 km. Her main rival and multiple world champion Vivian Cheruiyot was second in 26:00 just barely ahead of best Ethiopian of the day Wude Ayalew (also 26:00). Fourth Hiwot Ayalew 26:23 ahead of Pauline Korikwiang 26:32 and Mercy Cherono 26:40. Best European followed, Italian Nadia Ejaffini as 7th 26:47 beating European Champion Fionualla Britton 26:54. Ninth Priscah Jepleting 26:55 and 10th best Spanish Diana Martin (27:32). World junior champion from Punta Umbria Geoffrey Kipsang won the in his first senior year the main 10.8 km race in 30:53 ahead of Albert Rop who is only 17 years old 30:57 and Ugandan Moses Kipsiro 31:03. Geoffrey Kirui in 31:13 followed ahead of Mark Kiptoo 31:14 and best European Spanish Ayad Lamdassem 31:23 as 6th. Seventh Ethiopian Abera Kuma (31:27) and only then last year senior World CC medalist Vincent Chepkok in 31:28. World road record holder Leonard Komon was only 11th (32:00).

MUMBAI (IND, Jan 15): African domination continued at the 9th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. After close finish Kenyan Laban Moiben and Ethiopian Raji Assefa clocked the same 2:10:48 and the Kenyan was the winner. For Assefa this was new personal best. Third another Kenyan John Kyui in 2:10:54. Ethiopian Nestanet Achamo Abeyo was an impressive women winner in new course record in good weather conditions 2:26:12. Previous fastest career race was 2:28:28 as fourth in Rome 2011. Her team-mates followed her: Fatuma Sado 2:30:20 and Makda Harun 2:30:47. Both winners will get 36 000 USD prize money. Ram Singh Yadav as best home runner was 12th and improved to olympic qualifier 2:16:59. He was also best non-African in the race. 2007 World champion Luke Kibet finished behin him as 16th in 2:18:36. In women race best non-Ethiopian as 13th Kenyan Lydia Rutto with life-time best 2:37:38. As Murali Krishnan points out, every year Mumbai witnessed a host of newcomers making to this marathon with different objectives to achieve.   Sigrid Eichner, the 71-year-old grand lady of Germany, was one among them.  This Sunday morning saw Eichner completed her 1,667th marathon.

COLLEGE STATION (USA, Jan 14): One of top female US sprinters Muna Lee who fighted with injuries in 2010 and 2011 returned with good 7.32 as second in the 60 m. She was beaten by Jessica Young (7.31) but was better than Porscha Lucas (7.41). Jamaican 400 m runner Patricia Hall posted solid 23.42 in the 200 m. At Texas 10 Invitiational Charles Silmon produced 6.66 at 60 m and Chinese Xie Zhen-Ye 21.25 in the 200 m. British sprinter Tyrone Edgar won another 60 m section in 6.76.

FAULK 7.62
LINCOLN (USA, Jan 14): Dexter Faulk improves with every race. This time 7.62 at the Holiday Inn Invitational over 60 m hurdles. Belarus former world junior medalist Aleksandr Linnik clocked 21.23 in the 200 m.

FLAGSTAFF (USA, Jan 14): Arizona State University sprinter Ryan Milus (100 m best 10.23 from last year) became the first of the year with sub 6.60 in the 60 m. At the Lumberjack Invitational he won with new personal best of 6.59. Canadian Oluseyi Smith won the other race in 6.66. Another Canadian Justin Rodhe showed top shape with 20.70 in the shot put.

GAINESVILLE (USA, Jan 14): Former US olympic and world winner Justin Gatlin made his first indoor race since winning the World Indoor title in Birmingham in 2003 (6.46 at the 60 m). He clocked new personal best at the 55 m 6.15 during the Jimmy Carnes College Invitational (6.32 in heats). Jamaican Kawayne Fisher was second (6.25). In the hurdles duel Joel Brown got 7.13 and David Oliver 7.14. But Oliver got the same 7.13 in the heats. Another impressive season opener for US Champion Kellie Wells with 7.47 at 55 m hurdles. Ivana Hepburn-Bailey improved to 7.67 as second. Jamaican relay world champion Aleen Bailey also clocked personal best at the 55 m 6.79. Hurdler Tiffany Williams returned from injury with 53.54 in the 400 m.

BIRMINGHAM (USA, Jan 14):  At Crimson Tide Opener reigning World indoor champion Lolo Jones opened with 8.08 at 60 m hurdles. Another global title holder Brittney Reese started the season with 662 in the long jump. Bosnian Kemal Mesic achieved 19.95 in the shot put. Good 60 m by Trinidad´s Semoy Hackett 7.36. In the men´s 60 m Keena Brock won with 6.66, former NCAA standout Rakieem Salaam got 6.73 in the heats.


LEXINGTON (USA, Jan 14): Solid races at oversized track here. Erica Moore clocked 52.75 in the 400 m. Jamaican Tarika Williams got 7.30 in the 60 m.

NEW YORK (USA, Jan 14): Reggie Dixon contines with winning at the Armory. On Saturday he scored a double with 6.74 and 21.21 in the 60/200 m combination.

MANHATTAN (USA, Jan 14): Lithuanian combined eventer Mantas Silkauskas clocked fast 6.75 at the 60 m.

NAMPA (USA, Jan 14): US junior 100 m record holder English Gardner won the Blue and Orange Opener here with good 7.34 at the 60 m. Her best from last year is 7.29.

PULLMAN (USA, Jan 14): Canadian olympic finalist Angela Whyte posted 8.16 at the 60 m hurdles here.

COLUMBUS (USA, Jan 14): Nice triple for Christina Manning at the dual meet. Last year NCAA silver medalist at 100 m hurdles achieved 8.12 in the hurdles, 7.36 in the flat 60 m and 24.24 at the 200 m.

ANCONA (ITA, Jan 14): Moroccan Abdellah Haidane achieved here new personal best at the 3000 m 7:54.73.

FAYETTEVILLE (USA, Jan 14): Another fast sprint time for Aldrich Bailey at the Arkansas High School Invitational with 20.99 in the 200 m.

UNIVERSITY PARK (USA, Jan 14): Ryan Whiting opened the year with good 21.29 at the Nittany Lion Challenge. Robby Creese won the 1000 m with 2:19.53. Hurdler Fawn Dorr clocked 1:29.80 in the women 600 m.

SEATTLE (USA, Jan 14): Norris Frederick leaped to exactly 8 meters at UW Indoor Preview meet. Josh Norman won the 60 m in 6.66. Lisa Uhl won the 3000 m in 9:10.36.

LEON (ESP, Jan 14): Spanish top sprinter Miguel Angel Rodriguez clocked here twice 6.76 in the 60 m.


LONDON (GBR): The British Olympic Association (BOA) submitted their documents to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in their bid to uphold their controversial anti-doping bylaw which prevents drug cheats, like Dwain Chambers (pictured) and David Millar, from competing for Team GB in the Games, including London 2012.  The BOA filed a formal appeal last month with the CAS to challenge the decision in November by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that declared its anti-doping bylaw non-compliant. The official hearing in Lausanne will take place on March 12 and is expected to take a day with the judgement to be delivered several weeks later. The BOA are now the only National Olympic Committee (NOC) to have a lifetime ban in place but if it is overturned, it would allow Chambers and Millar to compete at London 2012. Informs

HOUSTON (USA): Stats from Ken Nakamura related to US Olympic Marathon trials.  Meb Keflezighi failed to break the Olympic trials record by 6 seconds, but Hall and Abdirahman ran fastest 2nd and 3rd place time in the Olympic Trials.  Dathan Ritzenhein became the fastest runner who failed to make the Olympic team. Previously Dave Gordon in 1984 was the fastest 4th placer in the Olympic Trials.  Keflezighi became the only runner to make the Olympic Marathon team 8 years apart. Meb along with the Hall became the 7th and 8th runner to make the Olympic marathon team twice.  In women race first four runners broke Olympic marathon trials record, so Amy Hastings became the fastest runner who failed to make the Olympic team. Previously, Blake Russel in 2004 was the fastest 4th placer in the Olympic Trials.  The difference between first and third (28 seconds) is the second lowest in the history of the event.

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