Steve Hooker clears 5.72m, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Hooker_Steven1=Brussels10.jpg
Steve Hooker, photo by PhotoRun.net

Steve Hooker, the 2008 Olympian and 2009 World Champion, is back in shape. He cleared 5.72m this weekend and has made the A standard for the London 2012 Olympics. One of our most colorful athletes, Steve Hooker has one of the three highest pole vault jumps in history....



Diack supports four years
DOHA (QAT): Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), insisted that he did not support life bans for athletes convicted of serious doping offences. Speaking at the launch of this year's Samsung Diamond League, which gets underway here tomorrow in the Qatar Sports Club Stadium, Diack announced: "I am convinced that we should not condemn for life," but added: "We have to make [punishment] severe." Asked if he would prefer to see a standard four-year ban rather than the current two-year ruling, he responded: "Yes." Writes insidethegames.


100 youngsters sprinting
BEIJING (CHN): IAAF informs that the city of Beijing, China, which will host the 15th edition of the IAAF World Championships in 2015, will stage a special youth celebration on Sunday (13 May) to mark the year of the IAAF Centenary. 100 youngsters, split into 50 mixed teams (12-year-old boys and girls) of two runners will take part in a 100 metres Relay (2x 50m) race on a 50 metres track specially laid for the occasion in the Central Piazza of Beijing Olympic Park in the shadow of The Birds' Nest. "100 children, 100 metres, 100 years, is an appropriately symbolic way to celebrate the IAAF Centenary," said IAAF President Lamine Diack. "The IAAF was born in 1912 and the strength of our sport today, as it was 100 years ago, is its appeal to the youth of the world." Ahead of the start, video messages from President Diack and China's favourite sports' star Liu Xiang, the 2004 Olympic and 2007 World 110m Hurdles champion and former World record holder, will be shown, and directly following the relay a Kids' Athletics event for all the participants will be held.

Hooker 572 at his place
PERTH (AUS, May 11): Olympic winner Steve Hooker's dream of defending his pole vault Olympic title is back on track after the 29-year-old secured his ticket for London in a glitzy meet in Perth. Hooker, making his first competitive outing in three months, cleared the A-qualifying height of 572 on his second attempt on Friday night to secure his berth at a third straight Olympics. It was specially-sanctioned meet held in his own purpose-built indoor training facility in Midland. Hooker needed two attempts to clear 5.52m, but soared over 5.62m on his first go. He cleared 572 in first and twice tried at 583. His meets now to follow are Shanghai, Rome, Munich, Oslo and Lille.  Women's pole vaulters Alana Boyd and Liz Parnov were the warm-up acts, with Boyd clearing 4.12m off a six-step run-up and Parnov posting 4.22m off eight steps. Australian media are informing.


OTHER NEWS

SARANSK (RUS): IAAF Vice President praised at Friday´s official press conference the preparation of Saransk to stage the IAAF Race Walking World Cup this weekend. "We prepared very well and it is very important race for us. We have excellent system of training and finding young talents. And we have the best coach in the world," said world and olympic winner Olga Kaniskina.

ZURICH (SUI): Marathon European champion Viktor Rothlin was officialy named into Swiss Olympic Team as first track athlete. It will be his fourth games. He competes on Saturday at 31st Grand Prix Bern road race where new participation record was announced with 29 107 runners at the 10 miles.

MAASTRICHT (NED) : Dutch city Maastricht is planning for a first marathon in the city called Maastricht Marathon. The city aims at hosting a big running event with over 7500 participants in the first year reports The Limburger.

KAMPALA (UGA): Following the 800m race at the East-African championships in Kampala last week a heated discussion broke lose about the gender of Kenyan female athlete Sheila Chepngetich. The Kenyan athlete ran 2:07.14 over 800m but according to spectators the female athlete has significant male features. The Team leader for the Kenyan team dismissed the allegations.

BERLIN (GER): Following knee surgery at the end of last season and a burn out that left him unmotivated Robert Harting is now ready for the start of his Olympic season and is hoping to throw a solid performance in Wiesbaden on May 12 th . Harting decided to start the season in a low-key meeting, although he told leichtathletik.de that he is feeling very good and had a very successful training camp in Portugal.

LAUSANNE (SUI): French pole vaulter Vanessa Boslak has targeted the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki as a vital part of her comeback programme in a career resurrected by a vital knee surgery 18 months' ago writes European Athletics. Boslak made a successful return to action after three years' absence when she won silver behind Yelena Isinbayeva at the 2012 World Indoor Championships and now aims to make up for lost time by participating in as many international events as possible. "The European Championships, the Olympic Games and other high-profile meetings are on my agenda," she said. "I want to take part in them all and compete at the highest possible level." Boslak start the season at the Samsung Diamond League meeting of Doha.

MONTEGO BAY (JAM): Despite a slower than anticipated start to his season, veteran 400m hurdler Danny McFarlane is confident he will make the Jamaican team to his fourth straight Olympic Games. McFarlane, who was fourth in Beijing after taking silver four years earlier in Athens, said he is confident he can get one of the three spots to London reports The Jamaican Gleaner.

MANCHESTER (GBR): Ayele Abshero, currently the 2012 season marathon world leader thanks to his 2:04:23 run in Dubai, will face Haile Gebrselassie and Patrick Makau at the Bupa Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May. The young rookie became the world's fourth fastest ever marathoner on his debut at the distance, when clocking a superb time of 2:04:23 to win the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon at the end of January.

LONDON (GBR): A lot of pressure rests on the shoulders of young pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale who is among the favourites to win a medal in the women's pole vault competition at the London Olympic Games. Bleasdale told the Evening Post: "There is quite a lot of pressure on me. People expect me to win a medal, but I've just got to think that I am quite young. I've got another 10 years in the sport and maybe another two or three Olympics left in me."





RESULTS


DICKINSON (USA, May 10): At Blue Hawk Open Nigerian Fred Agbaje clocked 10.32 and Bahamian Sean Pickstock 20.70 in the 200 m.

COLORADO SPRINGS (USA, May 10): Grenada´s Kurt Felix won the Mountain West Conference Championships in decathlon with 7757 score

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