Lagat to run 5,000m ONLY at Trials, Shanghai hurdles battle Saturday, by Alfons Juck,

Bernard Lagat, World Indoor 2012, photo by

Bernard Lagat has decided to focus on the 5,000 meters for Eugene 2012 and also London 2012. With his win in the World indoors, and his focus on one event, Bernard Lagat has just upped his chances of being on the medal podium.

Lagat, the American record holder at 5,000 meters, both indoors and outdoors, is one of the best tacticians at the middle distance in ages. Lagat is at his most dangerous with 50-75 meters to go in a race, where his acceleration is frightening.




SHANGHAI (CHN): Jamaican star sprinter Asafa Powell said before Saturday´s race that he remains certain he can win the gold medal in the 100m at the London 2012 Olympic Games - provided he runs his best race. „I know for sure if I go out and do what I'm supposed to do, I will be very hard to beat," said Powell of his London chances. In the expected hurdles duel World champion Jason Richardson will have lane 4, home hero Liu Xiang 5, world indoor champ Aries Merritt 6 and US record holder David Oliver 7. All four hurdlers met in one race only once at last year World Championships. Liu Xiang will be under pressure as he will carry the expectations of 1.3 billion people to the line in London 2012. Aries Merritt will carry few expectations other than his own if he makes the Olympic final, but he reckons he is just one of nine men who can make the U.S. Olympic team. Daegu 2011 World champion Jason Richardson and David Oliver gave similar replies. „There's always pressure to make the U.S. team," Oliver said, „but I have qualified for several teams. Liu express the hope that more Chinese hurdles would get down near 13 seconds „to make the event even more interesting." Looking forward to the race Liu Xiang said that „all the US hurdlers are very competitive, so the competition will be fierce. I want to fulfil what I've been doing in training so I can be satisfied." Richardson might be able to dodge the rain, but there will be no dodging the pressure in the 110m Hurdles, not in Shanghai and not at the US Trials. In another hot duel of the meet, the women´s 200 m Veronica Campbell-Brown will have her first race at the distance since last World Championships in lane 5 and 100 m world champion Carmelita Jeter lane 6. They met just twice previously at this distance and in both cases the Jamaican sprinter was better. With the help from the IAAF.



HALLE (GER): The traditional throwing meet in German city Halle will have some great line-ups. In men´s shot put World Champion David Storl will clash with Olympic winner Tomasz Majewski. In discus similar duel world champ Robert Harting against Eurowinner Piotr Malachowski and world medalist Ehsan Hadadi of Iran. In women discus world champion Li Yanfeng (not competing at home SDL meet) will clash with her main European rival Nadine Muller. In shot put similar situation Gong Lijiao versus Nadine Kleinert. Home elite is in javelin with Christina Obergfoll and Linda Stahl. In women hammer season debut for 2009 world champion Anita Wlodarczyk against world medalist Zhang Wenxiu. Men´s hammer will see old guard Esser, Charfreitag, Ziolkowski against Polish newcomer Pawel Fajdek.



RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): The 3rd edition of IAAF World Challenge goes quickly with 6th meet of the season at the 28th Grande Premio in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It will be on Sunday also the fifth and last meet of the Brazilian Tour in May. IAAF Hammer Throw challenge continues here with men (Nazarov and international return of Vadim Devyatovskiy of Belarus) and women (Klaas, Dahlgren, M. Marghieva and Cosby). Home stars are competing, olympic winner Maurren Maggi in the long jump and world champion Fabiana Murer in the pole vault with the chance for revenge to Cuban Yarisley Silva who beat her on Wednesday in Sao Paulo. From international athletes interesting entry is the former 400 m hurdles world champion Kerron Clement who opens the season in the flat 400 m race. Men´s 100 m will see Gerald Phiri, Dexter Lee, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender against best Brazilians. In women 100 m Lauryn Williams and Bahamian talent Sheniqua Ferguson with home elite. US Nichole Denby is the 100 m hurdles favorite as is Ethiopian Mekdes Bekele in women steeple. Cuba vs. Brazil is the headline for men´s triple jump. Kenyans, home runners and Rafith Rodriguez of Colombia will clash in men´s 800 m. Jamaican Richard Phillips and Colombian record holder Paulo Villar are the favorites in the high hurdles. Short and long relays will be staged for men and women.







BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian triple jumper Svetlana Bolshakova is aiming for a return from injury on May 28th in a local meeting in Lokeren. Bolshakova had ruptured her Achilles tendon when jumping at the meeting in Rabat last year and has since been rehabilitating the injury. The former Russian athlete still has hopes of competing at the London Olympic Games if all goes well in the her upcoming meetings.


PARIS (FRA): French hurdler Ladji Doucouré has been named French athlete of the month April by the French website after clocking a very solid 13.37 in the 110m hurdles in Florida in April. He is scheduled internationally next week at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting on May 25.


MONTE CARLO (MON): Poland's Irena Szewinska, the multiple Olympic champion and World record breaker is the latest athletics legend to be named as one of the 24 inaugural Members of the IAAF Hall of Fame reports the IAAF. The announcement of this honour comes ahead of this weekend's Samsung Irena Run on Saturday 19 May, a 5km run for men and women in the Polish capital of Warsaw, an event of which Szewinska, an IAAF Council Member, is Patron.


NEW YORK (USA): Olympian Kara Goucher will test her fitness for the upcoming Olympic Marathon at the inaugural Rock ‚n' Roll Portland Half-Marathon writes David Monti. Goucher, 33, has been training at high altitude in Mammoth Lakes with Oregon Track Club teammate Shalane Flanagan and is excited to test out her form in Portland.


NEW YORK (USA): Participation in half-marathon races in the United States has exploded over the past five years, according to industry group Running USA. In 2011 there were an estimated 1.6 million half-marathon finishers in the United States, up 16.2% from 2010. In a recent report, Running USA called the half-marathon the „juggernaut distance" of American road running, the fastest-growing race distance since 2003.


EUGENE (USA): American distance star Bernard Lagat has confirmed he will commit to the 5000 m at this year's USA Olympic Trials in Eugene. Lagat is the American record holder over 5000 m and at last year's IAAF World championships was edged out by Mo Farah, who took the win.


LONDON (GBR): Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has sought to talk up the benefits of London 2012 for ordinary Londoners by highlighting the impact of this summer's Games on the local jobs market. A release from the recently re-elected Mayor says that 37,000 previously workless Londoners have „gained access to employment through London 2012 related activity", adding that 8,000 additional permanent jobs are planned for the Olympic Park after the Games writes Insidethegames.


ROMA (ITA): Italy announced its selection for the European Cup 10 000 m in Bilbao on June 3. Full teams will run, on the men side Daniele Caimmi, Simone Gariboldi, Stefano La Rosa, Andrea Lalli, Ruggero Pertile and in top shape running Daniele Meucci. Women team is composed by Federica Dal Ri, Nadia Ejjafini, Claudia Pinna, Elena Romagnolo, Valeria Straneo and Silvia Weissteiner.


MANCHESTER (GBR): Two-time Olympic 10 000 m champion Haile Gebrselassie, who has announced plans of making a serious challenge to compete over the distance at this summer's London Games after failing to gain a place in Ethiopia's three-man marathon team, defends his Bupa Great Manchester Run title on Sunday. The last minute ambition of the world's greatest ever distance runner, who won the first of his brace of gold medals at Atlanta in 1996, then retained his title four years later in Sydney, suggests he will be looking for another impressive performance when chasing a fifth Manchester victory. Gebrselassie, the former world marathon record holder, returns to the North West's capital city where his incredible record saw him win the first of his four titles in 2005 at a venue where he has also clinched victory for the last three years. Now having decided a week after Manchester he will chase a position in his country's 10,000m squad at the FBK-Games in the Netherlands, which is hosting Ethiopia's official trial race, he will be looking for a razor sharp display in his bid to lift a fifth Manchester title.


ZURICH (SUI): After Viktor Rothlin also the top Swiss female marathon runner Maja Neuenschwander was selected for the Olympic Games after she clocked at Zurich Marathon 2:31:56.







YALTA (UKR, May 17-18): European leading sprint times were registered at the Ukrainian University Championships. Olesya Povkh clocked 11.22 (-0.9) to win the 100 m and Mariya Ryemyen the 200 m in 22.77 (-2.0) over Viktoriya Pyatachenko 22.98. Also to note 55.42 at 400 m hurdles by Anna Yaroshchuk. Vitaliy Korzh won the men´s 200 m in 20.89 (+0.3). European U23 Champion Bohdan Bondarenko cleared 225 in the high jump and Krystyna Grushtina achieved 660 (+0.9) in the long jump.


MINNEAPOLIS (USA, May 17): Craig Miller and Heather Kampf took the respective men's and women's titles at the USA 1 Mile Road Championships. Warm, windy conditions met the competitors for the fourth annual championships, causing both fields to take a conservative approach to the early stages of the race. Kampf used a late burst to outrun the field in the last 400 meters, propelling herself to a decisive win over Alisha Williams. Kampf was timed in 4:36.9 with Williams following in 4:39.6. Danielle Tauro took third in 4:40.0. The men's race saw the majority of the field still tightly packed with 250 meters to go when Aaron Braun made his bid for his first U.S. title but Miller, who Braun outkicked for second in 2011, had one more gear, pulling ahead of Braun in the final 100 meters. Miller took his first U.S. title, running 4:04.3 with Braun less than a second behind in 4:05.1. Scott Smith took third in 4:06.9. Informs USATF.


HAYS (USA, May 17): Maximiliano Alonso of Chile improved the national discus record to 60.22 m.


PARDUBICE (CZE, May 16): Czech shot putter Antonin Zalsky achieved 20.01 at a local meet.


LEVELLAND (USA, May 17): During first day of JUCO Championships Bahamian Shavez Hart clocked 10.28 (+1.4) in the 100 m heats. Trinidad´s Reyare Thomas at age of 24 achieved 100 m personal best 11.30 (+0.4) in women heats. Janeil Belille of Trinidad won the 400 m hurdles in 56.00.


TUCSON (USA, May 17): Hyleas Fountain set the facility record in the women's long jump with a mark of 675 while competing in the Tuscon Elite Meeting at the University of Arizona. That mark is tied for No. 6 in the world and also meets the Olympic „A" Standard. The record was previously held by Jamaican Elva Goulbourne, she jumped 655 on March 18, 2000. US record holder Jill Camarena-Williams achieved 19.75 in the shot put over Michelle Carter 18.52 and Canadian Julie Labonte 18.19. Bosnian Kemal Mesic achieved 20.11 in the shot put and Kara Patterson got 59.66 in the javelin.


ST. BRIEUC (FRA, May 17): Abdoulaye Diarra cleared at the meet here 221 in the high jump and Adriana Lamalle clocked 13.74 at 100 m hurdles against -3.8 wind.

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