Khalid Khannouchi Retires, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder


Khannouchi_KhalidFV-NYT07.jpgKhalid Khannouchi, photo by

Khalid Khannouchi has announced his retirement from competition, due to his decade long battle with foot injuries. One of the most colorful marathoners on the world scene, Khalid's battles over the streets of Chicago and his gutty racing, virtually running on one foot, should never be underestimated. His 2008 US Trials (I know, run in November 2007), was a truly gutty race.


GOTZIS (AUT): Organisers of hypo meeting of Gotzis (May 26 and 27) confirmed top women field in heptathlon. Leading the list is olympic winner and fresh world indoor champion Natalya Dobrynska, British European Champion Jessica Ennis and Russian World Champion Tatyana Chernova. Dobrynska in the meantime devoted her win in Istanbul to her coach and partner Dmitriy Polyakov who died last Sunday. The funeral happened on Tuesday at Kyiv cemetery. „We knew about his illness since two years, but he did not want to speak about it. My Istanbul win was for him," said Dobrynska for Ukrainian media.


OSTRAVA (CZE): German shot put world champion David Storl is the latest star entry for the 51st Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting on May 25 in the Czech Republic (IAAF World Challenge). Shot put is returning for the first time since 2007 and Storl will come back to the site where he won the World Youth title in 2007 and last year the European U23 title. „I m happy to be back again in Ostrava, I was here last year the European Champion. In such high quality field with Armstrong and Cantwell I consider this competition as an important preparation for Helsinki and London," said Storl. The traditional Zatopek Memorial will be staged at 3000 m distance with Kenyan young star Isiah Koech. Organisers are hoping he will not only attack the meet record (7:31.68 by Yusuf Biwott in 2010) but also the world junior record 7:28.78 by Augustin Choge in 2005. Koech improved in 2012 indoor season the 3000 m world indoor junior record to 7:32.89. In the men 100 m the currently fastest in the 2012 lists US Darvis Patton with 10.04 last Saturday in Arlington confirmed his presence.


HENGELO (NED) : Director of the FBK Games in Hengelo Jan Arie Bijl has been fired with immediate effect from his position of director of the event to be staged on May 27 (IAAF World Challenge). According to the press release Bijl was not in line with how organizers want to develop the event. Hank Kloosterman will be taking over the duties of Bijl. Jaap Bishop will fulfill the role of the meet director for this years edition of the meet. After the meeting the organisation will try to find a new meeting director. Bijl took the position from Fedde Zwanenburg on April 1, 2009.


NEW YORK CITY (USA): Two-sport sprint star Marvin Bracy and milers Cami Chapus and Edward Cheserek, a trio of the top high-school athletes in the country, will be out to make history at the adidas Grand Prix on June 9, organizers and adidas have announced. Bracy (Orlando, Fla.), one of the most exciting young American sprinters in years, will be chasing the U.S. high school record at 100 meters (10.01) in the Dream 100, seeking to become the first high-school athlete to go under 10 seconds, while Chapus (Los Angeles, Calif.) will be trying to break the national record of 4:35.1 in the Girls' Dream Mile and Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) will be vying to break four minutes in the Boys' Dream Mile. If he succeeds, he will be just the sixth U.S. high-school runner in history to do so but the second in the last 12 months in the Dream Mile at this very meet, after Lukas Verzbicas ran 3:59.71 here last year.

MADRID (ESP): After the evidence gather in Operacion Galgo was ruled inadmissable recently, Spanish long distance runner Alemayehu Bezabeh is now saying that he wants his suspension ending and thinks about financial compensation. Bezabeh, who has already served eighteen months of suspension, remains in Addis Ababa to „train hard and eager to get right back to Spain to work on his own, that is, competing."

GAINESVILLE (USA): 2005 World champion Ladji Doucouré will compete in the USA to fulfill the olympic standard of 13.40. He will run at Hurrican Invitational in Coral Gables on April 14 and Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville on April 21.

KOSICE (SVK): The site of the oldest marathon in Europe is bidding to stage the 20th AIMS Congress in 2014. Kosice known for its International Peace Marathon in Eastern part of Slovakia are running its preparations for the 90th edition in 2013. In the mean time Kosice was awarded the title cultural capital of Europe in 2013. The organisers are preparing their presence at coming marathons in Krakow, London, Enschede and Prague.

NEW YORK (USA): On the heels of a very successful NYC Half on March 18, the New York Road Runners announced that their other marquis half-marathon, the Brooklyn Half, had sold out with over 15,000 entries in just ten hours. The race is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, on a new course from Prospect Park to Coney Island.

VIENNA (AUT): Organizers of the 25th Austrian Women's run, scheduled for Sunday, June 3, reported that their event had sold out with a record 30,000 entrants. The sell-out took just 25 days. „It's almost unbelievable!" exclaimed race organizer Ilse Dippmann through a news release. „I'm really looking forward to welcome 30,000 women at the starting line of this year's 25th anniversary run!"

TAICANG (CHN): The 2012 IAAF Race Walking Challenge moves to Taicang, China on Friday and all the top walkers from the previous version in 2011, all Chinese, will be starting the 20km race this time, too. In the race, which is traditionally a fast one, the home athletes especially will be looking for good positions before the London Olympics. In the men's race returning winner Wang Zhen, 20, will be a favourite this year, too. Also returning is the second placed athlete last year, Chu Yafei. Australian double olympic medalist Jared Tallent will also compete along with Korean Kim Hyun-Sub, German Christopher Linke, Russian Pyotr Trofimov and Italian Giorgio Rubino. In the women's race it's a couple of the top Russians against the top Chinese. Daegu silver winner Liu Hong from Guangdong is the top pick for the win again. Qieyang Shenjie is another Chinese athlete looking for the win. 31-year-old Tatyana Sibileva has already impressed this season having walked a 1:26:59 season's best in Sochi in February before grabbing the win in Lugano in 1:28:03. The second Russian is Tatyana Korotkova with 1:27:35 personal best. Informs IAAF.

BRUNSSUM (NED): The Parelloop in Brunssum on April first has seen some of its top athletes cancel their participation. Several athletes have come down with the flue in the last weeks, of which Belgian Abdi Nageeye and Dutch athlete Thomas Poesiat are the victims. Also Linsday Poesiat-Van Marrewijk has withdrawn due to a stress fracture reports

NEW YORK (USA): One of the greatest marathoners of all time and former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi has announced he is retiring from competitive running. Khannouchi will be most remembered for his two world records in the marathon, including his last world record at the 2002 London Marathon. The 40-year old said of his career „I'm proud of myself. I truly want to thank my family, all the people, the fans, my sponsors who really gave me the opportunity. I want to thank them for the support I had, and the great moments in the history of running that I had as they were a part of it." Reports Khannouchi confirmed it are nagging foot injuries that are forcing him to stop running.

COLOGNE (GER): The 5th edition of the European Pole Vault and High Jump conference, the first in this year's European Athletics Coaching Summit Series, concluded successfully at the German Sport University in Cologne reports European Athletics. A record entry of 283 participants from 24 countries came down to Cologne for lectures and workshops from coaches, scientists and athletes such as Ariane Friedrich and Martina Strutz.

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USA Track & Field announced its intent to host the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on the campus of Drake University. The championships will be hosted by the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Des Moines Area Sports Commission and Drake University. The USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships were previously held in Des Moines in 2010.

SHANGHAI (CHN): The time of 12.90 seconds should secure China's star hurdler, Liu Xiang, a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, his coach, Sun Haiping, predicted in an interview with the China Daily. He added that Xiang's physical condition is good and stable right now, although the Achilles' injury still poses a problem and plays up when the training is very intense. Haiping confirmed stress for the London Olympic Games will be nothing compared to the pressure Xiang was under in Beijing. „We feared something could go wrong and it did," he said of the Beijing Games.

DURBAN (RSA): Oscar Pistorius has withdrawn from the 400-meter race at the South African disabled championships in Durban held this week. Agent Peet van Zyl says Pistorius was struggling with a blister on his leg which made it very uncomfortable to run, although the withdrawal was „more precaution than anything else." Confirms Pistorius experienced a rare defeat in disabled competition in the 100 m on Monday when he finished second to fellow South African Arnu Fourie. Pistorius then made a mistake during the final changeover in Tuesday's 4x100 that led to his team being disqualified.

NAIROBI (KEN): The Nation informs that on Wednesday, Kenya's Olympic Games' management team visited the 10 000 m men's team's residential camp at the IOC/IAAF High Performance Training Centre on legend Kipchoge Keino's Kazi Mingi Farm in Eldoret to assess their training so far. Athletics Kenya will stage the men's 10 000 m trials on April 17 at the Nyayo National Stadium to pre-qualify athletes for mini-trials to be held in Eugene at the annual Prefontaine Classic on June 1.

DES MOINES (USA): US record holder Jenn Suhr leads the field for the 2012 Drake Relays „Pole Vault in the Mall" presented by Hy-Vee at Jordan Creek Town Center on Wednesday, April 25. The women's field also includes Kylie Hutson, Lacy Janson, Becky Holliday), Mary Saxer and Israel's Jillian Schwartz. The men's field includes Jeremy Scott, Derek Miles, Mark Hollis, fresh Istanbul medalist Brad Walker, Scott Roth and Jordan Scott. „I heard it is electrifying and the crowd is great," Suhr said via teleconference. „People are there and it's just a pumped-up atmosphere. (My husband) Rick and I talked about competing in a street mall or a mall mall and we saw it online and thought this is it. This is perfect." Organizers are informing on their website.

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