The London 2012 Olympic Stadium, Opening night Fireworks,
photo by PhotoRun.net
The London Olympics are finishing day three. I arrived earlier today and the travel from Heathrow to North London was in record time. My credential took me through customs faster than I have ever been, with the exception of Harry Fry and his team at the Virgin London marathon.
The LOCOG had taxis for credentialed media, athletes, and Olympic members, that quickly got us around a quiet London. Tomorrow, I will head to the Media Centre and adidas Media Lounge, using our Free Transport card.
Press events at the Media Centre for USATF tomorrow, adidas Media Lounge, and some work at the International Media Centre. Details to follow.
Paula Radcliffe's withdrawal, while considered for several weeks, did make people aware, once again, how tough it is to maintain health and fitness at the elite athlete level. Paula has been involved in four Olympics, prior to London, where she has fought the good fight, but not medaled.
Her World Records in the marathon were in 2002, at Bank of America Chicago, and in 2003, at the Virgin London Marathon. My belief is that her most valiant victory was in the World Cross Country, where she won, in the mud and muck, over the last 100 meters. Her European 10,000m win 2006, and her World Championships in the Marathon in 2005.
RECORD NUMBERS LOOKING POSSIBLE
LONDON (GBR): In total 2151 athletes are entered for athletics at London Games.
Among them 1117 men and 1034 women. Beijing 2008 had 2056 (1082 men and 974 women
competing), Athens 2004 had 1995 (1079 and 916). But the record is so far from
Sydney 2000 with 2137 athletes (1257 and 880). For example Athens 1896 started
with 63 competitors (all men). The biggest number of entries (could more than
allowed to compete in each event, so the final numbers will be less) is in the
women marathon 119 and men marathon 109. In running events on the track the biggest
number 79 men at 100 m and 81 women. The highest number in technical events in both
javelins, men 44 and women 42. Big figures also in walking, men 59 at 20 km and 64
at 50 km and 61 women at 20 km. The biggest number entered by country are 124 from
USA ahead of Russia 104, Ukraine 78, Germany and Great Britain 77 and Poland 60.
PAULA UNFORTUNATELY OUT
LONDON (GBR): Paula Radcliffe will end her brilliant career without an Olympic
medal after she withdrew from Britain's marathon team for London 2012 because
of a foot injury which has cast a doubt over whether she will even ever compete
again. The 38-year-old world record holder had been suffering with the problem
for nearly a month and formally pulled out after failing a fitness test.
It robbed Radcliffe of the opportunity of competing in a fifth Olympics.
"From the day when it was announced [in 2005] that London had won the bid,
taking part and performing well in the London Olympic Games has been a major
goal in my life. That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself
that it isn't going to happen," she said.
USA WITH 25 MEDALS
BUDAPEST (HUN): Based on the latest All-Athletics World Rankings the USA
is expected to take the most medals (25) at the London Olympic Games. Kenya
is to be second with 21 medals to be followed by Russia (16) and Jamaica (13).
Great Britain & NI should have 9 podium appearances (without considering
the home track advantage), the same as Ethiopia (9). A total of 38
countries are supposed to share the 141 medal positions.
BLAKE EXCITED ABOUT ZURICH
LONDON (GBR): Agent Cubie Seegobin thinks Yohan Blake might run the 200 m at
Weltklasse meet on August 30 in Zurich. „Yohan is excited about returning to
Zurich once again, after last year's performance. He totally enjoys the Swiss
fans, as was evident from his recent competition in Luzern earlier this month,
" Seegobin was saying. Both fastest men Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are confirmed
for the first Samsung Diamond League final but the event will be specified later.
LONDON (GBR): Sanya Richards-Ross who did not race since US Olympic Trials said the
false start rule gets too much attention. „Whatever the rule is we have to live
with it," she was quoted as saying.
LONDON (GBR): St. Kitts and Nevis top sprinter Tameka Williams has been pulled
from her country's Olympic team after admitting to substance use. The St. Kitts
and Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC) took the decision to send home Williams on
Saturday 28th July. She has left the Olympic Village for St. Kitts and Nevis.
LONDON (GBR): Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie admitted Sunday that it
was "painful" not to be competing at the London Olympics, but held out hope he
could make the Rio Games in four years' time. He was part of the opening ceremony
with the olympic flag and plans to run Great North Run in September. Gebrselassie
backed compatriot and former teammate Kenenisa Bekele to win the 10,000m from a
clutch of Kenyan rivals and British hope Mo Farah. „I say Bekele for the 10K,
" he said, warning that Bekele would prefer a fast pace.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgium's pole vaulter Dennis Goossens has announced he is ending his
career. Goossens last year suffered a severe injury to the wrist and hand and has not
been able to return to his best shape reports The Gazet Van Antwerpen.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian heptathlete Sara Aerts is fit to compete at the London
Olympic Games. Aerts had sustained a hamstring injury at the European championships
in Helsinki and was doubtful about participating in London. Final physical tests now
showed she is good to start in London writes losseveter.nl.
AMSTERDAM (NED): The Dutch 4x100m women's relay team is not going to change their
line-up when competing in London confirmed national coach Wigert Thunnissen.
Starter Kadene Vasell followed by Dafne Schippers, Eva Lubbers and Jamile Samuel
successfully won a silver medal at the last European championships in Helsinki.
BERLIN (GER): In a very open hearted interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel,
Robert Harting said he needs a victory in London. Harting has been dealing with
both physical and emotional problems in the build up to London and admitted he
has wanted to give everything up. A gold medal in London would make things more
bearable according to Harting.
LONDON (GBR): The tweet said simply this: „I am honored to be an Olympian,
but #WeDemandChange2012." The target of what appears to be a coordinated
campaign of U.S. track and field athletes, all the tweets were almost
exactly the same, and many of them popped up at about the same time,
is the International Olympic Committee and Rule 40. The protest is against
this rule which is preventing them from thanking their sponsors via social
networking sites. Some of the American track and field athletes who tweeted
the comment are Sanya Richards-Ross, Nick Symmonds, Doc Patton, Bernard Lagat,
Aretha Thurmond, Lashinda Demus, Jamie Nieto, Lauryn Williams, Leo Manzano,
Khadevis Robinson, Marquise Goodwin, Trey Hardee and Janay DeLoach reports
LONDON (GBR): Jenny Meadows claims that her Olympic heartache of missing out
on the London Games was caused partially by Russian dope cheat Yevgeniya Zinurova,
who beat her to the 2011 European indoor 800 meters gold reports The Daily Mail.
Meadows, the 2009 world bronze medallist, has now been upgraded to the gold medal
after a three-year drug probe proved that Zinurova had been doping. Meadows makes
the point that it is the strain of trying to keep up with girls who are doping
that leads to clean athletes breaking down.
LONDON (GBR): Sports fans attending the London Olympics were told to avoid
non-urgent text messages and tweets during events because overloading of data
networks was affecting television coverage reports Reuters. Mainly road events
such as cycling, triathlon and the marathon could be affected by the overload.
LONDON (GBR): American hurdler Lolo Jones is in the news after posting an
insensitive message on Twitter on Saturday. Her tweet „USA Men's Archery
lost the gold medal to Italy but that's ok, we are Americans... When's da
Gun shooting competition?" wasn't well received by some of her followers on
the social media site, comes eight days after 12 people were slain at the
midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.
LONDON (GBR): CCTV, the Chinese state broadcaster signed a media rights deal
to broadcast the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi and 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The deal is reported to be significantly increased in comparison to the previous
LONDON (GBR): Former track athletes are busy in London working for television
stations. Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards are regular BBC faces,
Maurice Greene is helping with coverage for French Eurosport.
Donovan Bailey arrives to London to work for CTV of Canada.
HENDON (GBR, Jul 28): At British Athletics League Premiership Chris Clarke posted 46.27
in the 400 m and Nathan Woodward 49.53 in the 400 m hurdles.
AVILA (ESP, Jul 28): More from Criterium de Verano meet saw Yazaldes Nascimento of
Portugal sprinting to 10.41 (-1.3) in the 100 m and Venezuela´s Alberto Bravo
getting the 400 m in 46.25.
MONACHIL (ESP, Jul 28): At altitude meet fast sprint times by Spanish Bruno
Hortelano 10.27 (+1.9) and 20.64 (+0.2). Francisco Javier Lopez clocked windy
13.69 (+2.1) at 110 m hurdles. Also to note the 669 (+1.1) by Maria del Mar
Jover in the women long jump.
BOGOTA (COL, Jul 29): Bogota Half marathon is a tough race in the 2600 m altitude.
Kenyan Peter Kirui clocked excellent 1:02.26 to win. Second Ethiopian Feyisa Lelisa
1:03:18 and third position for another top marathon runner Wilson Chebet 1:04:19.
Not coming into top 5 were other favorites Kenyan Sammy Kitwara (6th 1:05:13) and
Ethiopian half-marathon world leader Yemane Tsegay (7th, 1:06:00). In women race
Kenyan win for Gladys Cherono 1:13:27 over Abebech Afework 1:14:49 and Helah
Kiprop 1:15:56. More than 44 000 runners participated.
DAVENPORT (USA, July 28): Silas Kipruto won the 38th Quad-City Times 7 km road
race 32:31 ahead of Allan Kiprono 32:34 and Shadrack Kosgei 32:44. Margaret
Muriuki was the best woman in 36:17. Former world champion Catherine Ndereba
ended 9th (38:53). From RRW.
SAN FRANCISCO (USA, Jul 29): Jeff Eggleston 1:03:54 and Molly Pritz 1:10:45 posted
course records at San Francisco Half-Marathon.
CHARLEVOIX (USA, Jul 28): The 5th Ryan Shay Memorial Mile winners were Daniel
Clark 3:58.67 and Heather Kampf 4:31.83 (course record). From RRW.
WINNIPEG (CAN, Jul 29): At Canadian Junior Championships Brandon McBride
won the 400 m in good 46.25.