Paul Kipsele Koech, 2012 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net
LaShawn Merritt, 2012 Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net
Yelena Isinbayeva, 2011 Stockholm DL, photo by PhotoRun.net
The 2012 Herculis Monaco meeting is going to be the last major meet before the London Olympics. With Track & Field being held August 3-12, some athletes have already been arriving in London. The US team had some relay practices in Monaco and will be running the 4 x 100m in the stately city.
We will have one of our writers, Jon Gugala at the event as well as several keen observers. No Live blog tomorrow, but watch us on twitter!
Merritt-James first time, Yelena is back, Kipsiele for WR?
MONACO (MON): Last Samsung Diamond League meet before the Olympic Games Herculis of Monaco is offering some spectacular races in expected great weather situation. Fireworks are planned after the meet, but during also some will be seen in the track. And all this
during a week in which IAAF based in Municipality celebrated its 100 years. In the
programme also both 4x100 m relays for men and women, all teams not known but US
will run in olympic composition.
Event by event preview
200 m: Spearmon looks clear, but Martina and Ashmeade also posted sub 20 this year.
400 m: The top male field, where the worst and only not sub 45 is Eurowinner Maslak.
First this years clash of Oly winner and world leader Merritt against world champ James.
800 m: Non-DL event with Kaki but strong group also attacking (Symmonds, Lewandowski,
1500 m: Oly winner Kiprop in last pre-Olympic test. Also olympic bound is Chepseba,
what is the shape of Laalou?
Steeple: Kipsiele Koech and his olympics. Is he going for the global mark?
World junior record 7:58.66 too far for C. Kipruto?
110mH: US London bound trio Merritt, Richardson, Porter against Oliver,
Jamaican Riley and top Europeans Shubenkov with Darien.
HJ: Mutaz back on circuit, Grabarz is Eurochamp and Williams Worldchamp.
LJ: Watt is unbeaten so far in 2012, should continue so. Attacking from behind Bayer,
Mokoena, Tomlinson and what about Saladino shape?
JT: After withdrawals from Thorkildsen (still healing his injury) and Vesely
(oly preparation) it remains free most probably for Pyatnytsa.
100 m: Olympic bound Tianna Madison against Okagbare and from Jamaicans Stewart,
current number 3.
800 m: Semenya is the name, but behind her very open field with Montano,
Russian second line and improving Jamal.
3000 m: Here you bet for anybody. Mimi Belete has the best time, Simpson is 1500 m
world champ, Diriba is the world junior champ from Barcelona, or improving
Andersen or Kibet or...
400mH: Czech strong duo Rosolova-Hejnova against US and Jamaican trials winners
Demus (world champ) and Walker (oly winner).
PV: The top technical field of the day. Isi is the star, but also world champ Murer,
Feofanova, Ptacnikova, Rogowska and much more.
TJ: Rypakova and Ibarguen against all-time star and double mother Lebedeva.
DT: Perkovic wants no more losses after Paris, against her Barrios, Muller and
NEWCASTLE (GBR): Long distance all-time hero Haile Gebrselassie will run for a second
victory at the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday 16 September. The all-conquering Ethiopian,
with 27 world records under his belt, will again be a welcome figure when returning for
the world's most iconic half marathon, which he won two years ago. Writes IAAF and the
organizers. Gebrselassie, although not chosen for the Ethiopian squad for the London
Olympic Games, said: "I want to continue running - age is no barrier to me, you are
only as old as you want to believe you are."
LONDON (GBR): Website fastlifeshow.com informs that Omega Timing Board Member
Peter Hurzeler has informed The Fast Life that Usain Bolt has become the first
athlete to purchase the new athletics starting block system from Omega.
Following the trials, Hurzeler said they received word from Bolt's management
that "he would buy one as soon as possible." Ricky Simms of Pace Sports Management
confirmed for EME NEWS they bought the blocks for the whole group of athletes not
only for the world record holder. Omega's new athletics starting blocks were
introduced this season and utilized in all Diamond League Meets, for which Omega
is also the official timekeeper, and will make their Olympic Games debut in London 2012.
"The runners' reaction times are measured entirely by the measurement of force against
the back block and not by movement. The new blocks can detect the reaction times of
every runner - from children through world-class sprinters - without changing any
settings on the device. The central bar is thinner than that of the previous
device allowing better starting positions for women and children. It has been
reduced from 80 to 50 mm. The foot rest is now wider, having been expanded from
120 to 160 mm, allowing different starting positions," from Omega's London 2012
Press package. The Omega athletic starting blocks are openly available for
purchase by any athlete or organization.
MADRID (ESP): Spanish Sports Disciplinary Committee has ruled the penalty that the
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) imposed on walker Francisco Paquillo Fernandez
as incompatible with the Spanish legal system. He served one year of punishment for
possession of doping substance. "I said from the beginning that the CAS decision
was unfair," said Fernandez. He has the necessary standard and could have compete at
the London Games. After one year of the ban his sanction was reduced and he returned
to competition in 2011.
MADRID (ESP): World record holder Dayron Robles is trying to get his shape at a
training camp in Spain. He will not compete until the Games, his possibility was
Herculis in Monaco but that was cancelled. His last race was end of May in Havana
where he lost to his young trainin partner Orlando Ortega (13.18 season best and
has in total only 3 races in 2012). It remains open whether he would be able to
achieve full fitness and top shape for the Olympic Games.
NAIROBI (KEN): Thestar.co.ke informs that world champion and world record holder David
Rudisha is hoping to lower his own world 800m record during the 2012 London Olympics
Games without pacesetter . "I don't know how it will be like to break the world record
without a pace setter," said Rudisha. "It has never happened before but I am hoping
to do it my way," he said. "To break the world record entails a lot of things including
your own form and the weather among other things and I hope everything will be right
for the day," he said. "But by the time we get there, we will see what to do. Maybe
this Olympics will be the first, where somebody will break 800m world record without
pacemakers." Meanwhile, Rudisha has welcomed the decision by NOCK to allow the
athletes leave on July 30 for London Olympics. He said the move will allow
training programme at high altitude to go on uninterrupted.
NAIROBI (KEN): World 3000 m steeple bronze medalist and current world leader Milcah
Chemos has come a long way on the track and remains confident she will excel at her
debut performance at the London Olympic Games. The 26-year-old says she is happy
with her performance so far this year and hopes it can end with at least a silver
medal in London. Kenya clinched silver when the event made its debut at the
Olympics in Beijing in 2008 courtesy of Eunice Jepkorir. Informs East Standard.
"This year, I feel great especially after improving on my personal best time to 9:07.14.
It has given me a lot of motivation especially in an Olympic year and my goal is to do
better than the two bronze medals I have previously won at the World championships,"
she said. Chemos has ruled out running at Diamond League in Monaco but revealed that
she will, like many other elite runners, be returning to the 14-leg circuit after
LONDON (GBR): Reuters informs that a refugee from Sudan's civil war who became a top
distance runner after moving to the United States is fighting for last-minute permission
to compete in the London Olympics as an independent athlete. Guor Marial (28) who was born
in southern Sudan at the start of the conflict, would have liked to run the marathon for
South Sudan, which became an independent country last year. He improved this year at San
Diego Marathon to solid 2:12:55 and easily fulfills the necessary standard. The world's
newest country has not yet established a National Olympic Committee, so it cannot send
a team to the Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suggested that
Marial runs for Sudan, which has invited him to join the team, the runner told
AlertNet, a humanitarian news service run by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Marial,
who lost 28 members of his family in the war, has refused.
LONDON (GBR): US miler Andrew Wheating informed on his facebook that: "Sadly, I've
scratched from Monaco. I've just finished patching up my plantar issues and am
getting back to some hard training. As much as I want to race Monaco, it's not worth
hurting myself and falling behind. Fast race or shot at Olympic gold, you decide."
He qualified for the Games as third from 1500 m race at US Olympic Trials.
NAIROBI (KEN): The 2010 World Junior Championship 800 metres silver medallist,
Cherono Koech, wants to repay her late inclusion in Team Kenya with a medal at
the London Olympic Games. The 19-year-old Cherono, who won the 2009 World Youth
title, was a late call-up to replace Winnie Chebet, who finished second during
the national trials. What locked out Chebet is that she had not attained the 'A'
Standard qualifying time of 1:59.90 (2:00.33 at the Trials her PB). Cherono
Koech was only 6th at the Trials but the others who beat her (Wafula and Jelagat)
are also not having the necessary time. Koech clocked last year 1:59.68. The other Kenyan
800 m team members are olympic winner Pamela Jelimo and 2007 World gold medalist Janet
Jepkosgei. Writes The Nation.
AUCKLAND (NZL): Athletics New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee
are disappointed to announce Adrian Blincoe's withdrawal from the New Zealand Olympic
Team to London 2012. He was set to compete in the men's 5000 metres. Blincoe,
together with his support team, made the decision to withdraw after an injury
to his ankle. Informs Athletics New Zealand website.
LONDON (GBR): For the very first time in the Olympic Games, the 53 African NOCs
hold an hospitality house at the very heart of London : « Africa Village », London,
Kensington Gardens. The Africa Village is set up to host athletes and visitors throughout
the Olympic Games. The public is invited to take a journey to discover the cultural,
artistic and sporting riches of Africa.