Two Hour Marathon? " No reason why it can not happen" noted Bedford, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Wilson Kipsang training group, Kenya (February 2012), photo by

Busy weekend in track & field. Kansas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays saw some nice performances. I am in London, covering the Virgin London marathon (next weekend, Payton Jordan in Palo Alto, CA).

Dave Bedford, the man who orchestrates the Virgin London Marathon fields, noted, in an interview, that he believes there a no barriers to a sub two hour marathon. He is right, no barriers. But really look at what Mr. Bedford is saying. A two hour marathon means averaging 28 minutes per 10k, some mean running.

When will it happen? Who knows? But with athletes like Wilson Kipsang, and the success of the Kenyan training groups, we may see it in our lifetime. As you can see, I am not betting the house!




PRETORIA (RSA, Apr 20): Caster Semenya confirmed solid early shape when clocking olympic qualifier and world leading 1:59.58 at the 800 m during third Yellow Pages meeting. Observers described it as an easy run. Her next meet will be Ostrava Golden Spike on May 25 against olympic winner Pamela Jelimo. Second only 17 years old Monique Stander improved to 2:02.57. Another world lead was produced by 2008 World Indoor Champion Khotso Mokoena with 829 (0.0) in the long jump. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi did not succeed with olympic standard and won in 1:46.12. He is also set for Ostrava in a race with world record holder David Rudisha. Roscoe Engel scored a sprint double 10.30 (-0.5) and 20.79 (-1.1). Willem de Beer won the 400 m in 45.95 and Tjipekapora Herunga of Namibia came close to her national record 51.84 in women 400 m with 51.90 result. Latvian guest Lauma Griva won the women long jump (645, -0.2).



WALNUT (USA, Apr 20): Second day of MtSAC Relays in California registered four world leading marks and some olympic qualifiers in distance races. French Jamel Ahrass won his second race in USA with fastest mile of 2012 3:52.21 PB (and had great 3:35.70 split at the 1500 m), Second Canadian Taylor Milne 3:54.29 ahead of his country-mate Nate Brennan 3:54.81 and New Zealand´s Zane Robertson 3:56.13. Another world lead in women mile by Canadian Hillary Stellingwerff 4:31.04 beating Serbian Marina Muncan 4:31.52 PB and Delilah DiCrescenzo 4:32.11 PB. US record holder Molly Huddle achieved the fastest of 2012 in women 5000 m with 15:15.91 ahead of Australian Eloise Welling 15:20.67. Third Abbey D´ Agostino 15:23.35 PB beating New Zealand´s Lucy Van Dalen 15:23.54 lifetime best. Briton Julia Bleasdale won the other race in career fastest 15:25.62. British European U23 Champion and UK record holder Lawrence Okoye won the discus in world leading 66.67 (second best of his career) ahead the Croatian world leader from Thursday Martin Maric 65.15, Hungarian Robert Fazekas 64.70 and India´s record holder Vikas Gowda 63.04. Fast men´s 5000 m was won by Canadian Cameron Levins in life-time best 13:18.47, second Kenyan Lawi Lalang 13:18.88 and third Australian David McNeill 13:19.31. Briton Andy Vernon was fourth 13:23.20 over Kenyan Aaron Rono 13:23.52 and Italian Stefano La Rosa 13:23.58, for all from 1 to 6 personal bests. In other events Briton Andy Baddeley won the men´s 1500 m 3:40.33 and Chinese Yang Yanbo the women discus 61.56.







LAWRENCE: Canadian record holder and Beijing finalist Scott Russell started his season well with 80.60 javelin win at Kansas Relays.


CHARLOTTESVILLE: At ACC Championships fast 100 m times in heats by Cayman Islands record holder Kemar Hyman 10.15 (-0.7) and Maurice Mitchell 10.17 (+1.2) in another race. Bridgette Owens posted windy 12.83 (+2.5) in her 100 m hurdles heat. Chilean Gonzalo Barroilhet for first time in his career achieved 8+ mark and improved his own national record to 8065 in the decathlon. His only 5th South American going over 8000 points ever.


HAMMOND: Chelsea Hayes leaped at the Southeastern Lion Invitational 663 in the long jump, her personal best.


EUGENE: Kenyan 10 000 m world medalist from Daegu Sally Kipyego clocked during first day of Oregon Relays world leading 4:08.59 in the 1500 m. Second 28 years old Julia Lucas improved by 5 seconds to 4:10.75.


AZUSA: 2001 relay world champion Mickey Grimes is still fast despite 35 years of age. At Bryan Clay Invitational he clocked his fastest since 2007 with 10.17 (+1.9) over Canadian Bryan Barnett 10.29 (he then won the 200 m in 20.70, +2.0). British 400 m runner Shana Cox won the 200 m in 23.38 (+2.0) over Canadian heptathlon record holder Jessica Zelinka (23.45).







LONDON (GBR): Tyson Gay still not sure when he will start the season spoke to and said that he still hopes to have his peak and best shape ever. !In fact, my doctor was pretty amazed I ran 9.79 seconds last season in that shape. If I stay healthy, I can do some phenomenal things and, if we're both at our peak in London, which I think we will be, it's going to be electric."


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Great Britain's Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu will renew her fierce rivalry with 2009 World champion Sanya Richards-Ross at both the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix and Aviva London Grand Prix this summer. In an epic rematch of the most recent Olympic and World 400m finals, the pair will go head to head first at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium on 10 July, before making their way to the capital to match up at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on 5-6 August. The decorated 400m duo first met at Crystal Palace back in 2005 and have amassed a staggering nine major championship gold medals between them.


LONDON (GBR): Daily Mail writes that less than four years ago, the legendary Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie became the first man to run the marathon inside two hours four minutes. This year, the 39-year-old has acknowledged he is not quick enough to be selected for the Olympic Games. Could the two-hour barrier soon be the marathon equivalent of Roger Bannister's four-minute mile? Won't be done: Gebrselassie says it is unlikely the two hour marathon will be broken. London race director David Bedford says it will happen. „I can see no physiological reasons why it can't happen,' he said. 'Once they get close and sniff it, it'll come."


LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics will be well represented at 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in the Spanish city of Barcelona, with nearly every single Member Federation planning to send athletes. In total, a record 186 nations from around the world have entered the Championships, which will be staged from 10 to 15 July in the city's historic Montjuďc Olympic Stadium which was the venue for the 2010 European Athletics Championships. Around 1800 athletes will be in action, according to preliminary entries. Germany will send the biggest team to the Championships with 77 athletes and 32 officials. Hosts Spain will have the fourth largest delegation with 65 athletes and 18 officials. Other European countries who currently expect to be sending contingents of 50 people or more are: Italy (72), Great Britain and Northern Ireland (71), France (63), Ukraine (62), Russia (61), Romania (51) and Sweden (50).


PRAHA (CZE): Javelin world record holder Barbora Spotakova returned from two months long training camp in Potchefstroom in good mood and says she might be in her shape of the life. Coach Jan Zelezny was also satisfied: „I never saw her so strong in the training,"he said. For the beginning of the season Spotakova plans four meetings. First at Samsung Diamond League opener in Doha on May 11, then Ostrava Golden Spike her home meet and where the coach is the meet director, Rome Golden Gala and on June 11 Odlozil Memorial in Praha (EA Premium). In first three meets she is scheduled to clash with her greatest rival, Russian world champion Mariya Abakumova. „To the defend the olympic title from Beijing is the main aim," Spotakova said.


MANAUS (BRA): Brazilian female walker Tania Regina Spindler was positive tested, announced by Brazilian Athletics Federation. The 35 years old former national record holder was positive (isometheptene) at Brazilian Walking Cup in Blumenau in February (she was the winner in 1:49.02 at the 20 km). She recieved a warning due to the nature of the prohibited substance.


MANAUS (BRA): The doping case of Brazilian long distance runner and continental record holder Simone Alves continues with extension of the temporary suspension. IAAF decided to appeal to the CAS against the decision of the Brazilian Superior Court of Sports. She was already banned for 3 months end of 2010 and this new case could if approved cost her a lifetime ban as second offense.


LONDON (GBR): The BBC and the Virgin London Marathon have announced a new contract that sees their partnership extended through to 2018. Informs insidethegames. The deal gives the BBC exclusive United Kingdom broadcast rights to the event, across all platforms including television, radio, internet, mobile and through the BBC iPlayer. The BBC has been the broadcast partner for the London Marathon since its beginning in 1981. Sue Barker presents the television coverage on BBC One and BBC One HD, along with triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards. Colin Jackson, Denise Lewis, Phil Jones and Sonali Shah will be reporting from the course and commentary comes from Steve Cram, Brendan Foster, Paul Dickenson and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.







AZUSA (USA, Apr 19): Kurt Felix's decathlon result in Azusa was 7972 (not 7792). It is national record for Grenada along with his 430 in the pole vault.

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