Usain Bolt for Oslo, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan lead 2011 USA XC, photo by PhotoRun.net

Our athletics season is one of overload. From Cross country to indoor to outdoor and throw in road racing in Fall, Summer, Spring. As the indoor season is taking off, Usain Bolt is announcing his outdoor early season. The US Olympic Trials-Marathon are two days away and one considers how long we go during the year without an athletic event (road running, track & field, race walking, cross country running)-like zero?

I liked the picture of Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle. Right after this picture was when Shalane put the hammer down. Wondering what she will do in Houston? The Desi/Shalane show will be interesting!

BOLT FOR OSLO

OSLO (NOR): Fastest man on earth Usain Bolt confirmed his first main season race of 2012. He will return to ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo. After his first appearance on the famous Bislett Stadium at the 200 m last year he will run this year on June 7 the 100 m. "I am looking forward to come back to Oslo and the Bislett Games this summer and try the 100 meters," said Bolt, the 2011 Athlete of the Year. "I have so many good memories from this great city with its fantastic stadium last year. I was really happy with my performance last year when I ran 19.87 in the 200 meters in front of a sold out stadium with its enthusiastic crowd. That race ended up being my second fastest 200m race of my season," Bolt added. "We are proud of having the biggest sport stars in the world lined up for our 100 meters race," said Meeting Director Steinar Hoen. Meet record 9.88 by Ato Boldon from 2001 will be under threat. Earlier Bolt confirmed his test races in February and March in Jamaica. It is also expected he will compete at Jamaica Invitational on May 5 in Kingston.

 

POWELL WANTS TO COMPETE IN ISTANBUL

KINGSTON (JAM): Former world record holder Asafa Powell plans to compete at World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. „If all goes according to the plan with his indoor meets he wants to be in Istanbul," his agent Paul Doyle said. He will attack to get his first global individual title. Powell is scheduled to run twice during the undercover season, 50 m in New York on January 28 and 60 m in Birmingham on February 18. Jamaica plans to send 14 athletes to Istanbul. From other top names 200 m olympic and world winner Veronica Campbell-Brown is still undecided about her participation.

 

CENTROWITZ WITH NIKE

LONDON (GBR): PACE Sports Management announced that World Championships 1500 m bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz signed a multi-year endorsement contract with sportswear manufacturer Nike. The former University of Oregon runner will wear the Oregon based company's swoosh logo and train as part of the Alberto Salazar coached Nike Oregon Project with assistance from his current coach Andy Powell who guided him throughout his college career. "I am very excited to sign a professional contract with Nike and become part of the Nike family. They have many great athletes and I hope my achievements will make the brand proud in the years to come," said Matthew. Commenting from the Nike HQ in Beaverton Global Marketing Manager for Athletics John Capriotti commented, "We are excited to have Matthew as part of Nike's Running Team. I am particularly interested in watching his continued development as a World Class Middle-Distance Athlete." Pace Sports Management says in a release.

 

COE IS RACERS AMBASSADOR

KINGSTON (JAM): IAAF Vice President and London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe became ambassador of the Racers Track Club. The club is led by respected coach Glen Mills and among club members such world stars like Usain Bolt or Yohan Blake. Speaking at the inaugural Racers Track Club Fund-raiser and Zenith Awards Banquet at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Coe said: „I am thrilled to be speaking at such an extraordinary evening and really honoured to become an ambassador for the Racers Track Club. As Chairman of London 2012 I am very aware of the role the Jamaican track stars will play towards the success of the Games. Track and field is very much a part of Jamaica's history, and I look forward to welcoming them to London next summer at a time when Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence"

 

 

 

OTHER NEWS

 

 

MADRID (ESP): Spanish Athletics Federation will host a meeting of five European powerful national federations named G5 on January 13-15 in Madrid. In late October 2010 four countries established this cooperation (Italy, France, Spain and Germany). Fifth is now Great Britain. The aim is to share experience in main questions related to current state of the sport athletics. Three top themes of discussions are financing of the federations, competitions structure, regional and local structures. It is expected that each national federation will be represented by top officials including all presidents.

 

LONDON (GBR): Agencies are informing that 400 m world record holder Michael Johnson will help the Williams Formula One team with its crew speed during drivers' pit stops. Johnson says his expertise can cut off time from pit stops in Williams F1 said Wednesday that Michael Johnson Performance Inc., the training company founded by the retired 400-meter Olympic champion, will devise a training program for its pit crew and evaluate the entire team.

 

NEW YORK (USA): Turkish five times European Mountain Running champion Ahmet Arslan will also participate at the 35th Empire State Building Run-Up 2012. It will be a debut for him in this competition and with his mountain running skills he can challenge the multiple German winner Thomas Dold. The event is scheduled for February 8.

 

JOHANNESBURG (RSA): It took almost six years of legal wrangling, but South African marathon record holder Gert Thys has at last cleared his name after having tested positive for a prohibited substance at the Seoul International Marathon on March 12, 2006. After sequence of different rulings and decision he will get ten thousand Swiss Francs as contribution towards his legal fees. Thys won the Seoul Marathon for the third time in four years in 2006, clocking 2:10:40. This time will now again be regarded as valid. Since his reinstatement Thys, who was the fourth athlete to break 2:07:00 for the marathon, won the Cape Town Marathon in September 2010 in 2:22:12 and was second in the Beijing International Marathon the next month in 2:15:56. Last year he failed to finish the Old Mutual Two Oceans ultramarathon, his first race farther than a marathon, as well as the Cape Town Marathon. This past weekend, in his first race since turning 40, he set a new SA veterans (masters) record of 2:41:40 for 30 km in the Ocean Basket Bay to Bay race. Informs Race Results Weekly.

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