Tirunesh Diba Considering London double, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Tirunesh Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

At the World Champs in 2003, the crowd in Stade de France in St. Denis, was amazed by the flying finish of eighteen year old Tirunesh Dibaba. For the next half decade, Tirunesh Dibaba enthralled track fans with her record runs, fast finishes and superb record in major championships. In 2010 and 2011, Dibaba had some tough injuries, but she is again racing and training injury free.  Runningtimes.com was told that, if she is healthy, Tirunesh is considering a 5,000m/10,000m double for London 2012. Remember, Tirunesh Dibaba is the only women to win both events in both the Olympics and World Champs.



TAICANG (CHN, Mar 30): Chinese walkers showed top shape before Olympic Games in London. At the Taicang leg of IAAF Race Walking Challenge in good weather (8 degrees) they improved hugely and broke both senior 20 km Asian records. Daegu fourth placer Wang Zhen won the men´s race in 1:17:36 and is now 8th best performer ever. He also improved the former Asian mark by 5 seconds (1:17:41 by Hu Zhongjun in 2005). Second Chen Ding in his first senior year got 1:17:40 improvement and third Cai Zhelin 1:18:47 also lifetime best. Fourth and best European Italian Giorgio Rubino 1:20:10 ahead of double olympic medalist Jared Tallent of Australia 1:20:34 and German Christopher Linke who improved his PB to 1:20:41. Ten walkers went under 1:23. Double world medalist Liu Hong was the best woman in another Asian record 1:25:46. It is the best non-Russian 20 km result ever. Former Asian record from Wang Yan 1:26:22 was from 2001. Second Lu Xiuzhi achieved new Asian junior record 1:27:01 and third Qieyang Shenjie also improved to 1:27:04. Fourth Gao Ni lifetime best 1:28:06 with Australian Claire Tallent fifth in personal best 1:28:53. Best European was Russian Tatyana Korotkova as 10th (1:37:23). Other two top European entries were disqualified (Russian Tatyana Sibileva and German Melanie Seeger). In the National Grand Prix results the top positions for junior Zhao Qi 1:19:58 with 17 years old Li Tianlei going 1:21:01. In the women results 1:28:26 for Nie Jingjing and 1:31:49 for 17 years old Luo Xingxcai. With help from Tilastopaja.



AUSTIN (USA, Mar 29): Texas A&M defended its 4 x 800 m title at the 85th Texas Relays in record fashion, breaking a 27-year-old meet record in the process with a winning time of 7:15.99. James Bonn (1:49.5), Joey Roberts (1:47.2), Oscar Ramirez (1:50.0) and Michael Preble (1:49.3) were the individual runners. Leo Manzano won the 800 m in meet record 1:47.65. Great decathlon saw several personal bests. Winner Isaac Murhpy 8067 over Romain Martin of France 7977, Wesley Bray 7932, Kurt Felix getting national record for Grenada 7921 and 5th Petter Olson of Sweden 7857 (a Helsinki qualifier). Heptathlon winner Chelsea Carrier-Eades scored 5821 points.



CARLSBAD (USA): Runningtimes.com informs that Tirunesh Dibaba thinks about doubling in London as she did in Beijing. She is the only woman in olympic history to have this double. "Tirunesh has been training well since late in 2011," says her manager, Mark Wetmore. "Her expectations for 2012 are high," adds Wetmore. "If it's God's will and I'm healthy, I'm running both," Dibaba says. She competed this year so far only once, winning the 2 miles at Boston indoor meet. On Sunday she runs the Carlsbad 5 km on the road. When she will again run on the track is not yet known.







LONDON (GBR): International Olympic Committee inspectors have issued a glowing report on their final visit to London before this summer's Olympics - but urged organisers there was no room for complacency. With just over 100 days to go until the opening ceremony, Denis Oswald's co-ordination commission concluded their 10th three-day visit in a display of mutual back-slapping and congratulation with Seb Coe's organising committee. Agencies are informing. Olympic officials also predicted they expected the majority of Olympic athletes to attend Danny Boyle's showpiece opening ceremony, despite the three-hour show starting at 9pm.


AUCKLAND (NZL): Athletics New Zealand has announced the initial selections for the team that will compete at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain in July. In the list of 12 names also the shot put favorite and title defender Jacko Gill is listed.


BERLIN (GER): Wilson Kiprop insists he is in better racing shape for the Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday than he was when winning the 2010 IAAF World Championships gold medal over the distance from Zersenay Tadese in Nanning. But despite his confidence that he can become the fifteenth Kenyan to lift the title since Philip Chirchir set the band wagon rolling when becoming the first to do so from that running mad nation in 1995, he played down the possibility of a new course record. That belongs to his fellow countryman and current world marathon record holder Patrick Maskau who five a years ago streaked around the streets of Germany's capital to win in 58 minutes 56 seconds a mark which still ranks the 10th fastest of all-time. Against him also Dennis Koech and Leonard Langat as other Kenyan top names. Philes Ongori on paper almost two minutes quicker than fellow Kenyan Helah Kiprop which earned her the 2009 World Half Marathon silver medal, will start as favourite in the women's race. Informs David Martin.


LONDON (GBR): UK Sport's Director of Sport Peter Keen is to stand down from his position in May, less than 100 days before the start of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Keen, a former junior international pursuit cyclist, has been with Great Britain's high performance sports agency for eight years since joining as a performance consultant. „With the work of the UK Sport Director of Performance complete for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Peter will move into a new role of Special Adviser for Performance as of 1st May 2012," said Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): For British athletes hoping to be selected for the London Olympic Games this summer, Sunday 1 April is an important date in their diary as it marks the start of the qualification period to achieve a current UKA "A" standard in the run up to the Aviva 2012 Trials. From 22 - 24 June over 750 athletes will go head-to-head at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, as they try to gain automatic nomination for selection for this summer's Olympic Games. The atmosphere is sure to be electric in Birmingham as only the first two eligible athletes in the final of each discipline are automatically nominated for selection provided that they fulfill the selection criteria available, which includes securing a current UKA "A" standard from 1 April, with up to three spots available overall. Informs UK Athletics.


PORT OF SPAIN (TRI): Trinidad´s hurdles star Jehue Gordon will run his 400 meters hurdles season opener at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, this weekend. The 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete is expected to square off against Puerto Rico's Eric Alejandro in the Falcon Games men's one-lap hurdles. On Sunday he Gordon should run also the 110 m hurdles. Emmanuel Callender is also expected to be on show, he is olympic relay medalist. The 2012 Falcon Games will also feature members of the T&T Carifta team, in their final warm-up ahead of the April 7-9 Games, in Bermuda.


PARIS (FRA): After not finishing the Dudince 20 km race the French record holder Yohann Diniz will compete in another two 20 km races before the Olympic Games. On April 15 at French Championship and the in May at the IAAF World Cup in Saransk. His first 50 km of the year will be at the London Games.


BRATISLAVA (SVK): The 7th edition of CSOB Bratislava Marathon will have for first time over 7000 entries for all races during the weekend. Organizers are hoping that course records could go. Men´s top time 2:19:42 (Ukrainian Vasyl Remshchuk in 2008) will be attacked by Kenyans Richard Chepkwony (2:12:02 in 2009) and Micah Samoei (2:14:32 last year). In the women category Kenyan Lilian Koech will try to defend her two wins in last two years here (2:45:30 course record last year) but another Kenyan Lucy Wambui (she got here CR in half marathon last year 1:11:51) with 2:40:20 from last year in Dublin could destroy her plans. Kenyans from Austrian based group Run2gether will also compete in the half marathon and chasing existing course records 1:11:51 and 1:03:45. The only fear for this fast growing event in Slovakian capital city for Sunday is strong wind.







TUCSON (USA, Mar 29): Solid first day leaders at Jim Click Combined events. Nigerian Ohunoma Osazuwa has 3786 points after first day of women pentathlon. Her individual marks were all personal bests and she is on her way to first 6000+ score (13.43-184-12.52-23.79). Second Bettie Wade has 3736 points. In decathlon Commonwealth Games winner Canadian Jamie Adjetey-Nelson has 4199 points.


KINGSTON (JAM, Mar 29): Second day of Jamaican School Championships at National Stadium saw IAAF World Youth Champion Fredrick Dacres winning the discus with 60.43 ahead of Pan Am junior winner Ashinia Miller 56.46. Youth Olympic Games winner Odean Skeen confirmed that he is back in good shape, registering the fastest time in the Class One 100m heats, 10.51. In the highly competitive Class Two 100m, last year's silver medalist Raheem Robinson is on course to go on step better this year after he won his heat in 10.69, the fastest in the class.


SANTO DOMINGO (DOM, Mar 29): Pan Am silver medalist and still a junior Luguelin Santos posted at home Military Championships 45.80 in the 400 m.


ROSARIO (ARG, Mar 28): South American discus record holder Jorge Balliengo of Argentina achieved here olympic B standard 63.30 m.


TEL AVIV (ISR, Mar 30): New course record at Tel Aviv Marathon by Kenyan Sammy Tum 2:15:14.

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