Vlasic in Good preparation, by Alfons Juck,note by Larry Eder

Blanka Vlasic, photo by PhotoRun.net

Blanka Vlasic, one of the high jump goddesses, is training well and on plan for London 2012. We are looking forward to the women's high jump. Great weekend of track, with Drake Relays, in Des Moines, Iowa and Penn Relays, in Philadelphia, PA.

Keep the family of Geoff Hollister, Nike employee number three, in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. The family is having a private memorial service for the long time supporter of grass roots running and track & field. He was a good man, and he is missed. His influence on the sport and Nike, is something that can not be measured, but should be appreciated. Remember, as Galen Rupp told us in February, Geoff helped bring on Alberto Salazar as a sponsored athlete for Nike...

On that note, we encourage you to purchase and read Fourteen Minutes, by Alberto Salazar and John Brant. Amazing book, Alberto is quite honest with his colorful family upbringing, his drive to be a great runner and his love of his family, friends and sport. A fun read. And an honest memoir.

Geoff Hollister with Steve Prefontaine, about 1973,
photo courtesy of Nike communications


SPLIT (CRO): Star high jumper Blanka Vlasic is in good preparation for the summer season. After missing the indoor season she is planning her first outdoor meet sometime in June. Where exactly is not yet decided. She recently cleaned out some puz under the skin in Croatia. This week she is spending in London with a specialist for treatment and tests. Next week she will be back in Split for full training programme and is now very motivated to soon be back competing in the big meets and of course the Olympic Games in London. Vlasic is double World Champion (2007 and 2009) and Olympic silver winner from 2008. She did not compete indoors because of an successful arthroscopic surgery end of January on the joint and heal of her bouncing foot.



ROMA (ITA): FIDAL website informs that high jump world medalist Antonietta Di Martino suffered a muscle injury. She returned earlier than expected from a training camp at Grand Canaria. After beeing examined in Pavia it was diagnosed as injury of left thigh. It will stop her preparation for about three weeks. She plans now to enter the season later and be ready mainly for European Championships and Olympic Games.



VOLGOGRAD (RUS): Pole Vault star Yelena Isinbaeva plans until Olympic Games three meetings in the July period. That was confirmed by her coach Yevgeniy Trofimov for All-Sport agency. Trofimov all said that the preparation goes according to the plan and currently Isinbaeva trains in Volgograd after stays in Kislovodsk and Monaco. European Championships are not in her plans, says Trofimov and also confirmed that Isinbaeva recieved a bye from the National Championships and will be named into the olympic team.



HAMBURG (GER): With the spring marathon season drawing to a close, the 27th running of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday morning looks like giving further impetus to the wholesale revision of winning times that has taken place over the last couple of years. Where 2:06 was once, even recently, worthy of a whistle of surprise, it barely elicits a shrug of the shoulders nowadays. Seven men have already gone under 2.05 this year. They are all, inevitably Kenyan and Ethiopian, underlining that a virtual prerequisite for success at long distance running is dependant on being born and raised at altitude. Top names are Dadi Yami of Ethiopia, who went from a 2.11 debut in the Netherlands last year to 2.05.41 in Dubai three months ago. Paul Biwott of Kenya, on the other hand has run a dozen marathons, but at age 33, ran 2.06.54 in Amsterdam last year. The women's favourite, Robe Guta already ran 2.24.35 on this course as a 19 year old, in 2006. But the most important person here may yet prove to be the athletes' manager, Jos Hermens, whose help (and company) has been enlisted to restore Hamburg to the world top ten status it enjoyed a decade ago. The organisers could not have consulted a better man. Informs Pat Butcher (globerunner.org).







KINGSTON (JAM): Usain Bolt's chances of breaking the 100 m world record at the London 2012 Olympics could be hampered by the British weather, according to the coach Glen Mills. In yesterday´s IAAF conference call Mills said he believes Bolt is capable of running below 9.50. „I don't believe it's impossible but he would have to have the right conditions," the 62-year-old said. „I'm not sure if London is going to be kind. I am talking about the weather."


DES MOINES (USA): Local media are informing that popular hurdler Lolo Jones said that temperatures in the 40s would rule her out of the Relays, and the low 50s caused concerns, as well. "I'm worried about the weather," said Jones after an autograph session with fans today at Fitness Sports in Windsor Heights. "I'm checking the weather probably more than the weatherman at any news channel."


DULUTH (USA): The road to London will soon take a journey through Duluth for a pair of U.S. Olympians. Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman officially have registered for the USA Half Marathon Championships to be held June 16 in Duluth as part of Grandma's Marathon weekend. Goucher and Abdirahman earned spots on the 2012 Team USA marathon squad by placing in the top three at the Olympic Marathon Trials Jan. 14 in Houston. There are currently 158 American athletes signed up to compete in the championships with a May 15 deadline to register. They will be competing for a prize purse of 82 000 USD, including first-place awards of 12 000 USD for the men's and women's champions. Organizers are informing.


JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Athletics SA (ASA) confirmed that rising South African long jump star Luvo Manyonga (20) has tested positive for the methamphetamine, commonly known as tik. Afrikaans newspaper Beeld reported that the 21-year-old Manyonga's dreams of participating in this year's London Olympic Game were in the balance after tests returned positive for the drug. ASA chief executive Frik Vermaak said he could not comment on the athlete's case as the process was being handled by the SA Institute for Drug-free Sports (Saids). Manyonga is world junior champion 2010 and was 5th last year at World championships in Daegu.


HALLE (GER): The 38th Halle Throwing Meeting announced first top clash for men shot put on May 19. World champion David Storl will compete against olympic winner Tomasz Majewski of Poland. Nadine Muller will be the star of women discus. Total budget of the meet is 130 000 E and with new title sponsor the situation is safe.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian media are informing that the naturalization process of Ethiopian runner Almensch Belete (22) has been completed. The 15:03.63 5000 m runner is now able to compete for Belgium. She lives for some years already in Belgium. Belete also recieved an contract with Flemish Athletics League and might aim to run for her new country at European Championships and Olympic Games. Last year she clocked twice the 5000 m olympic standard.


LONDON (GBR): Athletics Weekly informs that the British Olympic Association announced that Lee Merrien has been added to Team GB to compete in the men's marathon at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Merrien was the first British man home in last weekend's Virgin London Marathon in a personal best time of 2:13.41. Bis time fell short of the 2:12 qualifying standard that had been set by UK Athletics and he was not included in the team that was named earlier this week. The IAAF had set a qualifying guideline of 2:15 for the marathon, but UKA had tightened it to 2:12, meaning Merrien had missed out by just under two minutes. The Guernsey athlete appealed through the formal UK Athletics appeal process and his appeal was unsuccessful. But the selection panel was asked to reconsider if exceptional circumstances existed, as it could under the policy.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Dailytelegraph.com.au informs that former double world champion at 400 m hurdles Jana Pittman is aiming to represent Australia in rowing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Injury ruined her plans to compete in the 400m hurdles at this year's London Games, so the 29-year-old hung up her spikes and turned to rowing. Pittman, a two-time world hurdles champ, has already been tested by Rowing Australia and identified as a potential star of the sport.


LONDON (GBR): UK Athletics has announced the athletes who will compete in the London 2012 athletics test event, at the Olympic Stadium on 4 - 7 May. More than 140 athletes, including London 2012 hopefuls Holly Bleasdale, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Jack Green, Robbie Grabarz (against Samson Oni), Lawrence Okoye and William Sharman will be testing out the Stratford venue as the Capital gears up for the biggest sporting spectacle in the world this summer. The athletes will compete at the Olympic Stadium alongside the BUCS Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships, in a programme of events organised by UKA. The occasion will be the first time the stadium will be open to the general public for an athletics competition and ticket sold out quickly at the start of April. Informs UK Athletics.







CHULA VISTA (USA, Apr 26): At OTC Pre Olympic series meet excellent discus marks. Dutch Eric Cadee got 66.80 world lead ahead of Briton Lawrence Okoye 66.25 and Hungarian Robert Fazekas 65.14. Another Dutch thrower Rutger Smith won another flight with 65.06. Interesting to note Jamaican improvements for Travis Smikle (63.10) and Chad Wright (62.18). With national record holder Jason Morgan Jamaica now has three 60+ throwers. Olympic winner Stephanie Brown-Trafton was the best in women flights with 63.46. Briton Goldie Sayers achieved 63.04 javelin olympic qualification and her team-mate and world junior champion 2010 Sophie Hitchon improved own UK hammer record to 71.61. Greg Rutherford leaped to 820 olympic qualifier in the long jump and is now European leader 2012.


JOHANNESBURG (RSA, Apr 27): National champion Simon Magakwe clocked 10.06 at the 100 m in the semifinals during the South African Students Championships. He equalled so the national record of Johan Rossouw from 1988. Magakwe´s best was 10.11 from winning this year national title in Port Elizabeth. He is so far unbeaten in South African season.


DES MOINES (USA, Apr 26): At Drake Relays Jamaican CAC champion Peaches Roach-Findley won the heptathlon (5709 points) and Daniel Gooris the decathlon with lifetime best 7624 points. Olympic winner Bryan Clay competed during the second day in the hurdles (13.92, +5.0), with discus (50.86) and in the pole vault (490).


PHILADELPHIA (USA, Apr 26): Penn Relays saw Slovenian pole vault record holder Tina Sutej winning with 435 clearance, Whitney Gipson with 640 the long jump and Jamaican Kimberly Williamson the high school high jump with 183 cm. Villanova posted in women distance medley relay good 11:01.3 win. Attendance for Thursday was impressive 23 075 spectators.


BUNNELL (USA, Apr 26): At Florida regional High School championships Marvin Bracy registered a sprint double 10.25 (+1.2) and 21.13 (-0.1).


ROMA (ITA, Apr 25): Hurdler Marzia Caravelli posted solid 17.41 (-0.2) at the 150 m during Trofeo della Liberazione meet.

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