Some sensational races in Paris on Friday night. It is a rainy Saturday, and I am finishing up our coverage of the event, while I hang out in Paris, for meetings and some fun. Getting to meet David Rudisha, thanks to James Templeton, his manager, was a rare honor and treat. I am now calling him the Zatopek of the 800 meters, the highest honor I can give as Emil Zatopek, in my mind, was the most honorable athlete I have ever met.
Kostetskaya sensational 1500 m winner
CHEBOKSARY (RUS, Jul 6): Russian Championships ended with high quality women finals in the 200 m and 1500 m, both producing European leading marks of the season. In total the event registered 6 world leading marks. Former hurdler and now more a 800 m and girlfriend of Steve Hooker Yekaterina Kostetskaya improved to 3:59.28 in the 1500 m (EL) and qualified for the games. Second Yekaterina Martynova also PB 3:59.49 and third spot for 37 years old former world champion Tatyana Tomashova who clocked her fastest since 2006 3:59.71. Only fourth world indoor record holder Yelena Soboleva who was leading going into the last 100 m (4:00.09) and fifth Natalya Yevdokimova 4:01.85. Aleksandra Fedoriva improved in the 200 m final to EL 2012 22.19 (+1.0, first top mark in heats 22.43+1.0) ahead of Natalya Rusakova 22.49 (but 22.42 PB +1.2 in heats) and third place for Yelizaveta Savlinis 22.65 (22.62 in heats +0.4) over Olga Belkina 22.73. Men´s 1500 m saw Yegor Nikolayev fading but still winning in 3:39.25 ahead of Pavel Khvorostukhin 3:39.28. Konstantin Petryashov was the best in the 200 m in windy 20.73 (+2.3, legal 20.81 +0.6 in heats) over Valentin Morozov (20.77). 4x400 m winners were men of Moscow 3:08.11 and women of Sverdlovsk region 3:32.32. In the 4x100 m Karelia 40.63 and Irkutsk 44.81.
LAST CHANCE TO QUALIFY
WEEKEND: Weekend full of meetings will be staged as it is the last possibility to achieve the olympic qualification (July 8 is the deadline). IAAF World Challenge will continue with Madrid 2012 (K. Borlee, Hooker, Watt, Rutherford, Pars, Beitia, Savigne) meet on Saturday, EA Premium category has Heusden in Belgium (Jelimo, J. Borlee, Hellebaut, D. Komen, Meucci) the same day, German meet of Bottrop has two days of programme (Friday and Saturday, Caster Semenya in the 800 m). On Sunday Nancy in France (Lavillenie, Castlin, V. Adams, Rodgers, K. Collins and Lalova), Lapinlahti in Finland (Guliyev, Pitkamäki) and special meets in Viersen (high jump) and Rottach-Eggern (pole vault on Saturday) in Germany. National Championships in Belarus (Grodno), Switzerland (Bern), Italy (Bressanone), Ireland (Santry) and Romania (Bucuresti) will also be held.
Seven from Austria
VIENNA (AUT): Seven athletes have been confirmed to compete in London by Austrian Olympic Committee. Among them four women Ivona Dadic (still a junior) for heptathlon, Elisabeth Eberl for javelin, Beate Schrott for 100 m hurdles and Andrea Mayr for marathon. On the men side Gerhard Mayer for discus, Andreas Vojta at 1500 m and Gunther Weidlinger for the fourth time but first time for marathon).
Top UK Athletes for Aviva GP
LONDON (GBR): UK Athletics informs that the stars of British athletics will descend on the Aviva London Grand Prix in Crystal Palace on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July as they put the finishing touches to their Olympic preparation. With over two-thirds of the 71-strong Team GB squad confirmed for the Aviva London Grand Prix, the prestigious two-day Samsung Diamond League event will take on even more importance than usual as Britain's best look to hit their stride ahead of the Games. Of around 50 British Olympians taking part at Crystal Palace, the country's only defending Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu will line up in the 400m whilst other leading Olympic medal hopefuls Mo Farah, Dai Greene, Robbie Grabarz and Phillips Idowu will also be part of a world class field in the nation's capital. Fresh from having their selection confirmed, all three of Britain's male 110m hurdles representatives, Andrew Pozzi, Lawrence Clarke and Andy Turner will take on former Olympic Champion Liu Xiang in what should be a fiercely contested battle. Also entered in the 100 m Dwain Chambers, Simeon Williamson and Mark Lewis-Francis.
Olympic long jump winner Irving Saladino of Panama should return into the competition at Aviva Grand Prix in London. World indoor champion Mohamed Aman is in training in Addis Abeba and is not planning races until the Games. The same for European steeple champion Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad who will spent his days in training camp in Font Romeu. 400 m world champion Kirani James plans two races until the Olympic Games - in London and Monaco. Unfortunately because of his injury the season is most probably over for the US olympic medalist sprinter Walter Dix.
KAZAN (RUS) : Kazan is today marking one year to go to the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Universiade. The Universiade will also fire the starting gun on an incredible few years for major events in Russia. They celebrating with a wide range of festivities across the Russian city designed to offer the public a taste of what the event's atmosphere will be like next year writes Insidethegames.
PARIS (FRA): Beijing 1500m silver medallist Mehdi Baala will not be able to compete in London. Baala picked up an injury in May and has not fully recovered in time to be competitive in London, the FFA said, quoting a statement the athlete sent to the French daily L'Alsace.
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian hurdler Eline Berings has told Belgian media she is convinced she can run the Olympic standard at the EA meeting in Heusden this weekend. Berings claims she is in the best shape of her life and wants to join fellow Belgian hurdler Ann Zagré in London.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): South Africa is counting on javelin thrower Sunnette Viljoen, 800m star Caster Semenya, 400m hurdler LJ Van Zyl and long jumper Khotso Mkoena to win medals at the London Olympic Games. On top of that, the men's 4x400m team is expected to perform well reports sportlive.co.za.
MONACO (MON): IAAF remembers that the title of "World's Fastest Man" might have been small comfort to Donald Lippincott, the first holder of the 100m World record, as he left Stockholm without Olympic gold. On 6 July 1912 Lippincott ran a time of 10.6 in the 100m qualifying rounds, but was defeated in the final by Ralph Craig and Alvah Meyer, both his teammates on the USA squad. Returning for the 200m, he was bested again by Craig, but this time took silver. Despite four Germans having recorded times of 10.5 in the year leading up to the Stockholm Games, however, Lippincott left Sweden as the World record holder, and would keep that title for eight years without peers. In 1920 Jackson Scholz gained a share of the record, and finally in 1921 Charlie Paddock knocked the record down to 10.4.
FRANKFURT (GER): Decathlon European champion Pascal Behrenbruch was voted the German Sports Person of the month of June from all sports.
DUBLIN (IRL): Two weeks before the IAAF Centenary (17 July), the 140th consecutive annual Irish Athletics Championships takes place in the Morton Stadium in Dublin marking yet another milestone in the long and rich love affair between Ireland and Athletics. Little could those early pioneers have imagined when they organised the first event in 1873 that the championships would ultimately grow to be the longest running National Athletics Championships in the world today not even being disrupted by both World Wars. Although originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, 5 July 1873 bad weather forced a postponement to the following Monday 7 July, ironically the same date 139 years later that this year's event will take place. Writes Pierce O´Callaghan.
BRATISLAVA (SVK): Slovakia is sending for World Junior Championships in Barcelona 6 boys, among them Peter Tichy jr., son of former walking olympian and is selected for walking of course.
VIENNA (AUT): Ivona Dadic who was selected for London Games heptathlon will compete also at World Junior Championships in Barcelona. Another 12 athletes have been selected for Spain (6 boys and 6 girls).
NEW DELHI (IND): Distance runner Rahul Kumar Pal, who won a 'golden-double' in the recently concluded Asian junior championships at Colombo, leads a team of 17 Indian athletes (15 boys and 2 girls) to the forthcoming IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
WORLD JUNIOR RECORD: Mark Butler points out in the situation of world junior record in women pole vault that "I don't think we can call the 4.58 a world junior record. It is a world junior outdoor best, but the indoor 4.63 is the actual world junior record."