Christophe Lemaitre, photo by PhotoRun.net
One of the first times I met Coach Brooks Johnson, just over thirty years ago, Brooks was giving a coaching clinic. After an hour listening why US distance runners just did not get it about racing on the global track circuit, someone asked him if white kids could run fast.
I can still remember Brooks' look. He was both incensed and pleased. He told a bunch of young coaches that of course white kids could run fast. They just talked themselves out of running fast, but most of all, Brooks said, white kids were afraid of falling, getting dirty and sprinting was a series of almost falling, getting up, almost falling, getting up.
I enjoy Brooks Johnson for many reasons, most of all , because we can be diametrically opposed and still learn from each other. On this one, and on the one about American distance runners not getting it, Brooks was right.
Christophe Lemaitre is a young kid who is not afraid of falling, and wants to run fast. He will run fast, very fast.
One of the best lessons that I received from running track & field was that our sport, as is our world, a rainbow of different people, with different skills and abilities. It is what makes the world fun.
If you want your kid or grandkid to be prepared to live in our modern world in the world, to really be part of it, to really thrive in our modern world, get them on a track and a cross country team. They will have fun, they will get in shape, but most of all, you will change their life forever.
Track & Field, as the late Payton Jordan once said, is the world's first and only sport, the other stuff are merely games.
Top sprinters confirmed for Weltklasse
ZURICH (SUI): The fastest men of the world will meet for a post-Olympic showdown at
Weltklasse Zürich on 30 August. Even before the Games in London are being declared
open, the meeting promoters are announcing the names of the superstars who will
join the cast of the sprint events. Usain Bolt, who had confirmed his appearance
in Zurich early on, will meet his strongest challengers in London, Yohan Blake
and Tyson Gay, European Champion Christophe Lemaitre, as well 200 m gold medalist
Churandy Martina in the Letzigrund Stadium starting blocks. Both Blake and Bolt
have not yet decided whether they will run the 100m or 200m race. Gay has opted
for the 100 m as he said it will be so for the whole season, while Lemaitre and
Martina will tackle the 200 m. "It is quite unusual that we could sign agreements
with the fastest sprinters at such an early stage," Meeting Director Patrick K.
Magyar explained. "This extraordinary line-up in the sprint allows us to live up
to our reputation of staging Olympic Games in one night."
Lemaitre only 200 m
PARIS (FRA): European champion Christophe Lemaitre now finally confirmed
what was expected. He will not run the 100 m at the Games. Lemaitre said
he will come to Paris on August 4 and so unable to run the short dash.
But his coach Pierre Carraz opened a small window saying that if some
of the main opponents will declare not running he would reconsider the
plan. The only 100 m French representative at the Games will be Jimmy
Vicaut who is struggling with small left hamstring injury.
PARIS (FRA): French marathon record holder Christelle Daunay will not
compete at the Olympic Games because of a left foot injury.
CHICAGO (USA): The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced that two
of the fastest female marathon runners in the world will compete in the
October 7 race, as sub-2:20 performers Lucy Kabuu and Florence Kiplagat,
both of Kenya, will match strides on Chicago's flat and fast course.
Kabuu currently has the No. 3-ranked performance of the year and No.
14 all-time after her 2:19:34 at the Dubai Marathon in January; while
Kiplagat is ranked No. 18 all-time after winning the 2011 BMW Berlin
Marathon in 2:19:44. It was also announced that Kenya's Caroline Rotich,
the fourth place finisher from the 2011 Boston Marathon with a personal
best of 2:24:26, will compete in her first Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
CAPE ELIZABETH (USA): Organizers of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape
Elizabeth announced their elite athlete fields, headed by women's defending
champion Aheza Kiros. Celebrating its 15th edition on August 4, the picturesque
road race that runs along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean was founded by 1984 Olympic
Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson. Joining her on the starting line will be
course record holder and 2010 champion Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya. That year's runner-up,
Wude Ayalew, also returns. Ethiopia's Aberu Kebede, Kenya's Margaret Wangari Muriuki,
and Russia's Valentina Galimova and Kseniya Agafonova will be among the 6000 starters
expected for the race. On the men's side, eleven athletes in the field have broken
28 minutes on the road. Among them are a pair of young Ethiopians in Atsedu Tsegay
and Abera Kuma, who will be making their American road racing debuts at the race.
Tsegay, 20, the current world leader in the half-marathon (58:47 in Prague), will
drop down in distance hoping to lower his 27:46 personal best at 10-K. Joining him
will be 21-year-old Kuma, the fifth place finisher at the 2011 IAAF World Championships
5000m in Daegu. Writes Race Results Weekly.
LINZ (AUT): Top athletes are training currently at a base in Linz, Austria. Among them
2004 Olympic winner, 2005 World champion and 2012 World indoor champion Justin Gatlin
and 2009 hurdles world gold medalist Ryan Brathwaite from Barbados. Also here European
champion Churandy Martina, US hurdles champion from last year Kellie Wells and Nigerian
hurdler Selim Nurudeen. They are coached by relay olympic winner 1988 Dennis Mitchell.
It is expected that the athletes will return to Linz after the Olympic Games and compete
at the return edition of the International meet called Gugl Games (EA Classic). Mitchell
himself competed at 14 former Gugl Meets and was five time winner. It was also announced
that for 1000 m race Kamel Yusuf Saad of Bahrain, the 2009 World Champion will come.
Interestingly he is the son of Billy Konchellah the double world champion who was
competing in Linz twenty years ago.
BUDAPEST (HUN): Discus thrower Zoltan Kovago was given a two-year ban for a doping
offence and will miss the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Hungarian team said Thursday.
Kovago won silver at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and was considered a medal contender
at London 2012 as well with 68.21 from early May what is 6th best result in the world
2012. Kovago refused to provide a sample to doping officials last year. The IAAF
filed an appeal after Hungarian doping officials had initially cleared him. Hungarian
media are informing.
ATHENS (GRE): Another case comes from Greece. World indoor champion in high jump
Dimitrious Hondrokoukis tested positive and has withdrawn from the Olympics. Greek
media published a letter attributed to Kyriakos Chondrokoukis (father and coach)
saying his son had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol. He said his son has not
taken any banned substance and has asked for the backup "B'' sample to be tested.
KAMEN (GER): Canadian men 4x100 m relay team is on the move from Athletics Canada's
Olympic preparation camp in Kamen, Germany to their final Olympic tune up competition
taking place on Friday in Weinheim, Germany. With all eight men in the relay pool
racing relay coach Glenroy Gilbert will use this competition as a key performance
indicator to help establish who will run August 10 in the first round of the men's
4x100-metres at the Olympic Games.
PRAHA (CZE): Top Czech discus thrower Jan Marcell early June heavily injured his
knee at the Praga Academica meet. But he still hopes to be able to continue in his
career. He already underwent one surgery and second one is planned for end of September.
Eight months after that he should be back to former body situation and hopes in June
2013 to be ready to compete again. Above all this he plans to have a wedding in September.
BOULDER (USA) : American media are informing about the passing of former athlete and
fiancée of Dutch long distance athlete Adrienne Herzog, Terrence Doherty. Doherty
lived in Boulder with Herzog and was hit by a car last weekend.
LONDON (GBR): Paula Radcliffe's last chance of challenging for an Olympic medal was
rated as only 50/50 by UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commene reports Skysports.
"Paula is always a concern," Van Commenee said. "She is on a thin line every day for
the last decade. Nothing has changed." Earlier in June Radcliffe revealed that a foot
problem which forced her to miss the London Marathon in 2008 had also flared up again.
LONDON (GBR): The World Olympians Association hosted a prestigious Gala in
the exclusive St. James's Palace in London's famous Pall Mall. Some 400 members
of the Olympic family gathered in the presence of H.R.H. The Princess Royal and under
the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. A highlight of the association's
activities in London, the Gala has underlined the renewed positive relations with the
International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Federations and National Olympic
Committees, under the leadership of its new President, Joel Bouzou. The event marked
a key milestone in WOA's intention to step up its role with the IOC with it's double
mission: "Serving Society and Serving Olympians".
SCHONEBECK (GER, Jul 26): Last test here for German throwers and two excellent personal
bests were registered. For Martin Wierig 68.33 in discus and for junior World champion
from Barcelona Anna Ruh 63.38 also in discus. In men discus second Markus Munch 61.99,
world champion Robert Harting was present but not throwing. In women discus second
another junior Shanice Craft with 62.84 close to her PB. Shot put world champion
David Storl achieved solid 21.26 ahead of Ralf Bartels 20.30. European gold medalist
Nadine Kleinert was the best woman in shot put 19.27. Also hammer world record holder
Betty Heidler showed she is back to shape with 75.79 win.
WIESBADEN (GER, Jul 25): Discus world champion Li Yanfeng tested her shape at a
local meet with good 66.01 m. Behind her also solid Ma Xuejung 63.34 and Jian Tan
61.29. In the shot put also top mark from Gong Lijiao 20.13 ahead of Li Ling 19.95
and Liu Xiangrong 19.24.
NYIREGYHAZA (HUN, Jul 26): Marcell Deak Nagy won the national U23 title at 400 m
BESIGHEIM (GER, Jul 25): Iranian world medalist Ehsan Hadadi achieved here 67.92 in
discus. Denise Krebs clocked 2:02.87 in the 800 m.
BRATISLAVA (SVK): In her new country Slovakia Galina Cistjakova celebrated on
Thursday her 50th birthday. She is still long jump world record holder with 752
from 1988 Znamensky Memorial. With her husband and former triple jumper Aleksandr
Beskrovniy she is coaching a group of young kids in Bratislava, some of them already
improved to win medals at Slovak Youth Championships.