MONACO (MON): IAAF confirmed two doping cases of good quality Qatar athletes. Abubaker Kamal who is steeple olympic and world medalist was positive last December at Arab Games in Doha and is banned for 2 years until January 8, 2014. He will lost two gold medals winning at the games (5000 m and steeple). Sprinter Femi Ogunode (of Nigerian origin) who was finalist at World Championships 400 m last year was also tested positive at Arab Games last December and will return his gold medals at 100 m and 200 m. His ban ends also on January 8, 2014. He is Qatari record holder at 200 m (20.30) and 400 m (45.12). In 2010 Ogunode won the 200 m and 400 m at Asian Games in Guangzhou. IAAF also confirmed the ban of Lithuanian marathon runner Zivile Balciunaite from European Championships in Barcelona, she finally lost her gold medal and is banned until September 5, 2012.
BUBKA STADIUM IN SERBIA
SMEREDEVO (SRB): The symbolic foundation stone of the new athletics stadium was laid on Monday in the town of Smeredevo in Serbia situated 50 km from Belgrade. The venue is named after Sergey Bubka, Olympic champion, 10 times outdoor and indoor world champion, 35 times pole vault world record holder, as well as IOC member, IAAF Vice-President and President of Ukrainian NOC. The stadium will be constructed inside the medieval Smederevo Fortress built in the 15th century when the town was the Serbian capital. Running track surface is expected to be completed over the next two months. It will be July when the arena hosts its first national competitions. The first international event will take place at the Sergey Bubka Stadium before the summer ends. Sergey Bubka took part in the foundation stone laying ceremony wishing that the new venue would serve to promote sport among the young Serbians and help to bring new athletic stars from Serbia on the world stage.
KENENISA VS. MO
EUGENE (USA): For this years Prefontaine Classic a super field is expected in the men´s 5000 m. Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia against the reigning World Championships gold medalist in Mo Farah of Great Britain. Both are very familiar with Hayward Field and plan to meet again in London at the Olympics. Fastest among the group are the veterans, led by Ethiopian Tariku Bekele, Kenyan Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, Kenyan Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, and Kenyan Jacob Cheshari. The U.S. will be represented by three world-class runners with 2008 Olympic experience. Galen Rupp (13:06.86), more accomplished at the 10K (finalist at 2008 Olympics and last three World Championships), Matt Tegenkamp (12:58.56) and Dathan Ritzenhein. But there is also a stunning group of young guns, and one of them has impressive experience already. Isaiah Koech of Kenya, at age 17, was just out of the medals at last year's World Championships, finishing 4th and was ranked No. 4 in the world by T&FN. Among the slightly older are a pair of Ethiopians with world-class times, 22-year-old Yenew Alamirew (13:00.46) and 21-year-old Abera Kuma (13:00.15). The youngest runners in the field may provide the most intrigue. Albert Rop, a 17-year-old from Kenya who doesn't turn 18 until December, came out of nowhere to run 13:03.70 last year. Tesfaye Cheru, a 19-year-old Ethiopian, will debut at this distance after bursting on the scene last year with a 2K world junior record. William Malel, an 18-year-old Kenyan, won last year's 3K World Youth Championships gold medal. David Bett, a 19-year-old Kenyan, won the 2010 World Junior Championships gold medal at age 17 and has a best of 13:06.06. Also in the field are two-time Olympian Alistair Ian Cragg of Ireland (13:03.53), three-time Olympian Craig Mottram of Australia (12:55.76), 2008 Olympian Collis Birmingham of Australia (13:10.97), and 2010 European silver medalist Chris Thompson of Great Britain (13:11.51). Organizers are informing.
YELENA FOR HERCULIS
MONTE CARLO (MON): Pole Vault star Yelena Isinbaeva will make her final pre-Olympic appearance at the Herculis Samsung Diamond League meeting in Monaco on 20 July 2012. In 2008 the Russian star set a 5.04m World record in Monaco in her last outing prior to the Olympic Games in Beijing. She later raised that record in the Olympic final in the Chinese capital. Isinbaeva will most certainly have the same mindset when she makes her return to the Louis II Stadium. After breaking her own World record indoors with a 5.01m leap this past winter and conquering a fourth World Indoor title, Isinbayeva has decided to compete in the Principality of Monaco, a place she knows very well as she regularly trains at the Louis II stadium where the conditions fit her really well. „I am looking forward to competing at the Monaco Herculis Samsung Diamond League Meeting. For me this is one of the very best competitions on the circuit and I really wanted to come back and compete here this summer. The fans and the atmosphere are great so I look forward to do my best here in July." She will compete before Monaco at two French meetings - Reims on July 4 and Sotteville on July 10. Organisers previously announced double Olympic sprint champion and World record holder Usain Bolt who will contest the 200m.
COLLINS VS RODGERS IN JAPAN
KAWASAKI (JPN): At Sunday´s Golden Grand Prix meet (IAAF World Challenge) World champion Allyson Felix will compete for first time this year in an individual event. In the 100 m her main rival will be one of the fastest Europeans, Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria. 400 m world champion Amantle Montsho should expected an easy run as main opponents are US Shareese Woods and Mary Wineberg with Ireland´s Jo Cuddihy. Since Berlin World Championships 2009 for first time outside USA running will be former double world champion Michelle Perry at the 100 m hurdles (she is 33 on May 1). In men´s hurdles Chinese star Liu Xiang will debut into the olympic season, main rival is US Omo Osaghae who clocked last weekend in Des Moines 13.24. Kim Collins vs. Mike Rodgers will be the top men´s 100 m duel. Olympic winner Brimin Kipruto leads the Kenyan charge in the steeple (8:19 world lead is expected to go). Men´s hammer starts the IAAF HT Challenge with German Markus Esser, former Poland´s olympic and world winner Szymon Ziolkowski, Asian Games winner Dilshod Nazarov, top US Kibwe Johnson, European U23 Champion Pawel Fajdek of Poland, Latvian record holder Igors Sokolovs and Russian Sergey Litvinov.
SANTA MONICA (USA) : The Santa Monica Track Club, perhaps the most winning track club in U.S. history with twenty-nine Olympic medals, 38 world records and 60 U.S. records set or tied, and thousands of athletes trained, is in financial trouble. Coach Joe Douglas, who founded the Santa Monica Track Club in 1972, is left with no sponsors and financial resources and fears the club will have to shut down reports surfsantamonica.com.
BRUSSELS (BEL): The Flemish athletics federation can add two more athletes to their team for the European championships in Helsinki. Koen Naert and Soufiane Bouchikhi managed times of 28:32.29 and 28:35.91 respectively at the Payton Jordan invitational.
LAUSANNE (SUI): European athletics reports that Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin has been elected the new President of Athletics Ireland, replacing Liam Hennessy who held the post for the past four years . Ó Catháin has been something of a revelation for Irish athletics in recent years using his role as President of Athlone Institute of Technology to build world class facilities for the sport with an outdoor 400m track built three years ago and a new state of the art 200m indoor track just months away from opening.
LONDON (GBR): Ian Beattie has been appointed non-executive chairman of Scottish Athletics, the position from which former national athletics coach Frank Dick resigned in February. The Edinburgh based chartered accountant is chief operating officer of Lindsays Solicitors and is also race director of the West Highland Way race. Beattie has run 85 marathons and ultra marathons and has been involved in various clubs according to Insidethegames.
SAINT JEAN DE MONTS (FRA): Delegates of all French athletics clubs have gathered in Saint Jean de Monts for a yearly assembly. Aside from voting and approving new rules and regulations the French athletics association also paid a special tribute to former pole vaulter Pierre Quinon, who commited suicide last August, and to now retired IAAF General secretary Pierre Weiss.
PRAHA (CZE): Last bibs were sold for the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on May 13. The capacity is set at 9000 runners. At the half-marathon in March 11 000 runners competed.
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) keeps the title sponsorship for Great Ethiopian Run, the biggest road races in Africa for the second year running. The 12th edition of the 10km International CBE Great Ethiopian Run is taking place on Sunday 25th November 2012 with 36,000 participants. Great Ethiopian Run (GER) is introducing a new early registration system for participants.
KINGSTON (JAM): 2009 hurdles world champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton (37) is working her way to full fitness; not quite there yet with the smooth mechanics that helped her to a world gold but with each cleared hurdle, she moves one step closer to realising her own dreams - a first Olympic medal. The athlete was among the first to report to training at Stadium East when The Sunday Gleaner visited the MVP Track Club. A serious hamstring injury to her left leg in 2010; a repeat of a similar injury suffered in 2007 to her right leg left her 2011 IAAF World Championships campaign in shreds with the national record holder failing to make the final with a 12.87 clocking in the semi-final.
TOKYO (JPN): Olympic winner and world champion Koji Murofushi said he is thrilled at the chance of competing for a second Olympic gold this year, and may even continue his career until the next Games. „It feels great and thrilling that I can throw in London. My life has never been so full as now," the 37-year-old told Japanese media in San Jose, California, where he has been preparing for his fourth Olympics. He said that he aimed to compete at the 2013 world championships in Moscow, and held up the prospect of taking part in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Murofushi is planning to open his season early June at national championships.
IRVINE (USA, Apr 29): At Steve Scott Invitational British sprinters achieved solid times. Andy Robertson 10.31 (+1.7) in the 100 m and Chris Clarke 20.65 (+0.2) in the 200 m (and also 46.41 in the 400 m). Charles Jock won the 800 m in 1:46.59 and world champion Jason Richardson achieved 13.32 (-0.2) at 110 m hurdles. Sub 13 in women hurdles by 2004 olympic winner Joanna Hayes 12.87 (+1.0, her fastest since 2008) and Candice Davis 12.90.
ORLANDO (USA, Apr 28): At Annual Spring Classic meet fast times by German hurdlers Alexander John (13.60, -0.2) and Erik Balnuweit (13.61).
LICHTENFELS (GER, Apr 28): Corinna Harrer clocked personal best at 3000 m here with 8:55.47.
MEDELLIN (COL, Apr 29): During second day of Restrepo Grand Prix junior Diego Palomeque contined in great display of shape with 20.69 at the 200 m (national junior record).
ABIDJAN (CIV, Apr 29): At the African meet of Abidjan Ben Meite got good sprinting double with 10.29 and 20.73. 2004 olympic hurdles medalist Naman Keita of France won the 400 m in 46.42.
WROCLAW (POL, Apr 28): Fast 300 m races by Rafal Omelko 33.33 and Marcin Marciniszyn 33.62.
WESTWOOD (USA, Apr 29): At the dual meet here Canadian Aaron Brown clocked 10.33 (+1.0) and 20.53 (+2.2) sprint wins.
SAVIGNY (FRA, Apr 29): World indoor medalist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde started with 13.92 (-4.0) at a local meet.
VARAZDIN (CRO, Apr 29): New Brazilian hammer record for Wagner Domingos in Croatia with 72.78 m.
MOLFETTA (ITA, Apr 29): Vito Di Bari with 42:09 and Eleonora Giorgi 46:08 won the Italian Walking Grand Prix event here.
YANGZHOU (CHN, Apr 29): Dubai marathon winner and world leader Ayele Abshero in his first competition since January won the Half Marathon here in 1:01:11. Second Kenyan Silas Kipruto 1:01:47 and third Moroccan El Hassan Elabbasii 1:01:57. In the women category Kenyan Fyles Ongori in 1:11:07 beat by one second Ethiopian Feysa Tadesse 1:11:08, third also close Kenyan Alice Mogiri 1:11:11 with Bezunesh Bekele fourth 1:11:15. Dubain winner Aselefech Mergia was 7th (1:11:41). From Tilastopaja.
OSLO (NOR): Sten "Stein" Jean Johnson died on April 28 in Oslo at age of 90, he was 8th at Olympic Games 1948 in discus and fourth at European Championships 1950. Later a top Speed skating coach.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Former South African marathoner Frank Pooe, who finished 3rd at the 1999 Boston marathon (2:11:37) and 3rd of the 1999 All-Africa Games, passed away recently after a short illness. He was 37. Informs African Athletics United facebook.