LaShawn Merritt has opened well for 2012, with his 44.73 in Meeting Guadelupe. The 2008 Olympic and 2009 World Champion is running towards Eugene 2012. Looking forward to seeing him racing more.
Very deep fields at last weekends' Payton Jordan. With athletes from 30 countries, the next biggest to US, was Canada and then Great Britain and Japan. Cobb Track & Angell Field is a great complex to watch middle and long distance races. For sprints, there is this well groomed palm tree that does make it interesting to watch the sprints, but I digress.
Congrats to the Stanford staff and team, lead by Coach Floreal, who did a great job once again at a true fixture on the college and elite circuit!
MERRITT 44.73 WL
BAIE MAHAULT (FRA, May 1): The 8th edition of the Meeting Region Guadeloupe saw reigning olympic winner LaShawn Merritt opening his 400 m 2012 camapaign with world leading 44.73. He went out fast and was strong entering the home straight, before easing across the line ahead of junior Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic (45.29) and hurdles olympic winner Angelo Taylor 45.31. His next race is a 200 m at St. Martin International meet on Saturday and then the 400 m races in Doha and Ostrava. More Beijing winners started here in favorable Caribbean conditions their season. Dayron Robles with second fastest of the year 13.19 at the 110 m hurdles ahead of US hurdlers Ronnie Ash 13.30, young Cuban Orlando Ortega 13.31 and Joel Brown 13.39. Also Dawn Harper clocked good 12.71 in her opener beating Virginia Crawford 12.87 and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep in her first outdoor race after giving birth (last race August 27, 2010) 12.95. 2007 World finalist Lashauntea Moore of USA confirmed top early shape with fast 11.11 in the women 100 m beating Jeneba Tarmoh 11.24, Lauryn Williams 11.26 and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie 11.29. Churandy Martina was the close 200 m winner in 20.40 ahead of Rondell Sorillo of Trinidad 20.42 and Jarred Connaughton of Canada 20.60. Nigerian African Games winner Ajoke Odumosu posted good 55.07 at 400 m hurdles over Americans Tierra Brown (56.03) and Tiffany Williams (56.16). World medalist Catherine Ibarguen of Colombia confirmed early good shape with 14.73 triple jump win over former world champion Yargelis Savigne of Cuba 14.24 and Jamaican Kimberly Williams 14.19. World indoor champion Will Claye was the best in men´s triple (17.05). Canadian Michael Mason improved to 231 in the high jump as the winner and US Rachel Yurkovich was the best in javelin 61.06 personal best and olympic qualifier. In the distances Cuban Rose Almanza (19) won the women 800 m (2:03.18) and Kenyan Haron Lagat the steeple 8:38.17.
PHILLIPS POSTPONES SEASON DEBUT
PHOENIX (USA): Quadruple long jump world champion Dwight Phillips will not open the season as planned this Sunday at the Kawasaki meet in Japan (IAAF World Challenge). It is because he sustained injuries in a car accident a few weeks ago. While clearly a setback, Phillips insists for IAAF that he'll be ready for the US Olympic trials late next month. „I wish I had happier news to report but unfortunately my season debut has been put off. As you know I was really looking forward to competing in Kawasaki, Japan, but I was in a car accident a couple of weeks ago and this has interrupted my Olympic preparations. I was on the highway in stop and go traffic and a car hit me from behind. I sustained some injuries to my back and my neck so I am not going to be able to compete. So now I just have to regroup myself and do therapy and try to get healthy," said Phillips for IAAF.
DOHA (QAT): Qatari high jump sensation Mutaz Barshim will start his outdoor Olympic campaign in Doha at the Samsung Diamond League on May 11, which always comes too early for top performances. Mutaz jumped a personal best, 2.31, and was ranked third in 2011. Now he hopes for a repeat: "Last year I was very satisfied jumping 2.31. Opening the season with a personal best was really awesome. For this season, I hope to finish in the top three as well. I will compete in some more international meetings before the Olympics and after that we have the West Asian Games in September. Last year I eagerly wanted to break the Arab record that stood for 10 years. I was dreaming about this. This year, is kind of difficult because there are many competitions and the Olympics. If I can equal the Asian record 239 I would be happy," he said for the Doha organizers. One of his main rivals in Doha will be current world indoor champion from Istanbul Dimitrios Hondrokoukis from Greece who will open the season also in Doha.
DOHA (QAT): Women pole vault field at Samsung Diamond League opening meet on May 11 in Doha will see as top favorite Silke Spiegelburg of Germany who won in Doha back in 2010 with 470 (also meet record here). Against her 2009 world medalist Monika Pyrek of Poland and Russian duo Aleksandra Kiryashova with Yulia Golubchikova who is returning from injury and no serious competition in summer 2011. Greek record holder Nikolia Kyriakopoulou will also open her season here after being injured in Zurich at Weltklasse last year in her first competition since then and after subsequent surgery.
MOSCOW (RUS): The 800 m world champion Mariya Savinova said for Russian media she will open the season either at Russian Team Championships on May 26 in Sochi or at the Rome Golden Gala meet on May 31. „My planning is aiming towards our nationals in July. I m not thinking about the Olympic Games, but about the championships, first I must qualify for the games. On the other hand there is still a chance that world champions will recieve selection for the games without competing at the national championships. In any case I m planning 3-4 competitions until then. In July I will have my pre-olympic camp in Kislovodsk or in Adler," said the European Athlete of the Year 2011. „I was at training camps in Portugal and Kirgizstan. All was ok, I was healthy, no injuries appeared. My training is similar as in last years, but I must admit I m faster then in the past," commented Savinova on her preparation for Russian media.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): US 110 m hurdles record holder David Oliver has been selected for the United States Olympic Committee's Team for Tomorrow Athlete Ambassadors program, the organization announced. Launched in 2008 by the USOC and America's Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Team for Tomorrow is a humanitarian relief effort through which U.S. athletes give assistance and support to people around the world who are in need. The program gives humanitarian relief in the form of donations, volunteerism, disaster recovery support, advocacy and other contributions. Oliver is one of ten athletes selected that will serve as captains of the program on behalf of the entire 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams and the only track representative
FORBACH (FRA, Apr 25): European junior hammer champion Quentin Bigot in his first senior year improved at a local school meet to 75.30 m.
WINDHOEK (NAM, Apr 28): At Southern Region Junior Championships in Namibia the 19-years old Bafetoleng Mogami clocked new national junior 400 m record with 45.46. He did that in his heat and lost the final with 48.17 to Pieter Conradie of South Africa (46.80). Also to note the winning times of South African Siphelo Ngqabaza 10.35 (-1.6) and 20.87 (+1.7). In junior discus Gerhardus de Beer of South Africa achieved 61.64 m. Talented Monique Stander (17) won the 800 m in 2:05.34 for South Africa.
HERENTALS (BEL, May 1): Former world junior finalist now 25 years old Barbara Maveau debuted in the 5000 m with European qualifier 15:27.97 in the 5000 m. Former hurdles European indoor champion Eline Berings started with 100 m flat win in 12.15 (+1.1).
BAR (MNE, May 1): European junior silver medalist from last year Danijel Furtula improved at the International meet here his own Montenegro senior discus record to 60.33 m.