Zurich Weltklasse on Thursday, 30 August, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Dejan Gebremeskel, AREVA Paris 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Zurich Weltklasse meet, to be held on Thursday, August 30, has some of the best end of season of the fields on the season! The men's 800 meters is looking like a real barn burner if not an all out assault on the 800 meter world record. In the 5,000m, all but Mo Farah are there to run fast and make the crowd go crazy. A cool, clear evening in Zurich could mean a memorable night of track & field. 


SHOT PUT: Both Shot Put competitions on Wednesday at Zurich´s Main Train Station (for 3rd time here) will be also Diamond League finals. In the women competition Valerie Adams is the confirmed winner and will face Russian Yevgeniya Kolodko as the other olympic medalist competing. She might challenge her season best 21.11 from Luzern and definitely the Train Station best of Nadezda Ostapchuk 20.63 from 2010. Interestingly the last loss of Adams happened at the Zurich Train Station in 2010 when she was beaten by Ostapchuk. Since then she won 28 finals in a row, currently the longest winning streak in women athletics. Men competition will be more dramatic as there are still 3 contenders for the Diamond Race win. Second place would be enough for Reese Hoffa for overall win (he has 16 points), theoretically also olympic winner Tomasz Majewski and Dylan Armstrong with 10 points have their chance. Olympic silver winner David Storl will have after Oslo only his second Diamond League appearance. The Train Station best is 21.87 by Christian Cantwell from 2010.  

FIRST ATHLETES: First athletes arrived on Monday to Zurich. On Tuesday 1500 kids will meet the stars at the Youth trains with Weltklasse at 11 places across Switzerland. 

START LISTS: The athletes competing at Weltklasse won in total 73 Olympic medals (52 without relays), 48 World championships medals and 32 European championships medals. 15 Olympic winners from London will compete (only missing Walcott in javelin, Cakir in the 1500 m, Farah in the 5000 m and Pearson at 100 m hurdles), 14 World champions from Daegu and 17 world leaders 2012. The highest numbers from all one day meetings.

SWISS PARTICIPATION: Home athletics will have 3 individual starters in main events (Pusterla in long jump, Hochuli in triple and Wilson in the 200 m) and also men 4x100 m relay in the last event of the programme. 

GAY: Among first athletes arriving to Zurich was sprinting star Tyson Gay and he went to a shopping tour.

SANCHEZ: He will celebrate on the meeting day his 35th birthday. And could deliver a nice present for himself in case he could win for the fifth time in Letzigrund.

MEDIA: 400 media representatives are confirmed for Weltklasse. For example also journalists from Japan, Puerto Rico, Brazil, New Zealand.

ZARIPOVA: Olympic steeple winner Yulia Zaripova asked the organisers to pass on including a pacemaker into the race. She wants alone attack the magic 9 minutes barrier.  And there is nobody available who could be helpful at that kind level of pace. 


SPECIAL 100 M: Belgium's famous cuisine will be showcased in an exclusive "100m of Belgian Gastronomy." Outside the stadium's main entrance, a 100-metre-long walking buffet will feature the very best of Belgium's world-famous culinary heritage. Over 2000 ticket holders have received a free invitation to the tasty event.

200 M: The women's 200m race will feature one of the most enthralling duels of the London Olympic Games. In Brussels Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Carmelita Jeter, two of the world's fastest female short-distance runners, will take up the fight and rerun their dramatic Olympic final. 

800 M: Not unlike the 200m, the women's 800m race will be a thrilling Olympic final rerun. At the Belgacom Memorial Van Damme, London protagonists Mariya Savinova, Caster Semenya and Pamela Jelimo are the class of the field. The Belgacom Memorial Van Damme, Friday September 7th  in the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, is completely sold out.

400 M: Unfortunately olympic winner Kirani James ended his season and will not run at Van Damme Memorial. He returned to Alabama because of his duties as student. But the duel of twins Jonathan and Kevin Borlee will still be one of the highlights of the evening.

Jeter and Felix in Croatia

ZAGREB (CRO): Female US sprinters will be the top stars of 62nd Hanzekovic Memorial (IAAF World Challenge meet) in Croatia on September 4. Olympic silver winner Carmelita Jeter will compete in the 100 m and most succesfull female athlete of the London Games in terms of medals Allyson Felix will run the 200 m. Great field is expected in men 110 m Hurdles, the memorial event. Jason Richardson will clash with David Oliver and Sergey Shubenkov. Olympic 4th placer and World Champion 2011 Amantle Montsho of Botswana will be the star of the 400 m. Great shot put is also expected with olympic winner Tomasz Majewski and bronze holder US Reese Hoffa. In the men hammer olympic winner Krisztian Pars will throw against Slovenian Primoz Kozmus who will have here his only post olympic meet. Netherlands Churandy Martina will run the 100 m against US finalist Ryan Bailey and another olympic medalist Yelena Sokolova of Russia is going to compete in the long jump.  The biggest home star Sandra Perkovic as olympic winner will replace the usual star of past years Blanka Vlasic who is not competing this season. 


BUDAPEST (HUN): New leader after last week in the All-Athletics.com one day meeting rankings 2012 is Athletissima of Lausanne. 

TEHRAN (IRI): Insidethegames writes that compassionate Iranian athletes and officials have quickly swept aside celebrating their medal-winning exploits at the recent London 2012 Olympics to rush home and offer helping hands to compatriots stricken by their country's recent double earthquake tragedy. The generous-spirited sports heroes have joined rescue and relief teams in East Azerbaijan Province and donated blood for victims of the recent disaster, which has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 300 people and left over 3,000 injured. Discus silver medallist Ehsan Hadadi also paid a visit to the region and told Khabar Online: "It was my responsibility to come here in order to express my sympathies with people. "I'm very happy that I could bring smiles to people's lips when I talked to them and tried to help them," he was quoted as saying.

PRAGUE (CZE): Last few start numbers are up for grabs for the events coming up this September as part of the RunCzech.com running circuit. "Mattoni Grand Prix Prague is sold out, we anticipate that we will reach race capacity for Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon in a few days' time," says Václav Skřivánek from the organisational team. It is highly likely that the complete programme of the six runs for this year's premiere will be fully booked in advance. Capacity for the Mattoni Grand Prix stands at 6000 places, while in Ústí nad Labem it has been increased up to 2300 runners in the competitive races. The Mattoni Grand Prix Prague will be taking place on Saturday 8th September in Prague. The course, with the start and finish on the Old Town Square, offers up a unique atmosphere, leading runners through the illuminated streets of magic Prague. The event includes METRO 10K Race starting at 20.30 as well as the adidas Women's Race 5km (start 19.00), intended for women only. On Sunday 16th September, the second ever Ústi Half Marathon will take place together with an accompanying 10 km Run. A part of the race course takes runners through the otherwise inaccessible territory of the Spolchemie chemical plant which boasts an unconventional backdrop to the event.

BERLIN (GER) : In a tragic accident at a junior meeting in Düsseldorf, referee Dieter Strack has passed away after being hit by a javelin. The 75 year old man ran onto the field to measure a throw but got hit by the javelin in the neck instead. After being rushed to the hospital, the man passed away last night reports leichtathletik.de.

BERLIN (GER): Ludwin Klein, president of LC Rehlingen and founder of the Pfingstsportfest in Rehlingen, has passed away after a short illness. Klein was 74 years old has been president of his athletics club since 1970 and has headed the international Rehlingen competition since 1963 writes leichtathletik.de.

LONDON (GBR): The controversial election for the IOC Athletes' Commission took another twist when it emerged that the Japense Olympic Committee (JOC) had been warned during the campaign for distributing illegal literature. They were told off by the IOC for distributing a handbook that urged its athletes competing at London 2012 to vote for hammer thrower Koji Murofushi during the election which took place during the Games earlier this month. Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion who won a bronze medal at London, polled enough votes to secure one of the four places on the IOC but was disqualified by the IOC for allegedly breaching strict rules governing campaigning during the election writes Insidethegames.

GOLD COAST (AUS): Olympic champion Sally Pearson has revealed she is forced to train on a sub-standard Gold Coast City Council-funded running track that is "falling apart" because nobody will pay for a repair. Council officials proudly used the poster girl as a crowd puller to their annual race day on Saturday, but have left the Gold Coast Athletics Track to rapidly deteriorate. Pearson now demands something to be done about the track reports news.com.au.

TORONTO (CAN): The 27-year-old Canadian marathon record might finally be beaten at this year's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, on 14 October. Silvia Ruegger's record of 2:28.36 ran at the Houston marathon in 1985 might get broken by Canadians Lanni Marchant (2:31:51) and Krista DuChene (2:32:06). Both are aiming to beat the 2:30 barrier in Toronto.

LOS ANGELES (USA): Having triumphed at the Olympics sprint hero Usain Bolt is now being lined up to conquer Hollywood. Bolt has been approached by producers in Tinseltown about embarking on a new career as a big-screen action hero. Hollywood bosses believe the muscular Bolt could even follow in the footsteps of veteran star Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Usain's charisma is seen as a selling point. An approach has been made and it's hoped screen tests are going to be in place for the autumn." Day & Night is told.

KYIV (UKR): Sergey Bubka, Ukrainian NOC President, has been awarded with The Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (III grade). The award has been given as a part of celebration of the Independence Day. It was on August 24, 1991, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Parliament proclaiming Ukraine a new independent state. The award has been given as recognition of Sergey Bubka's contribution to success of Ukrainian team at the 2012 Summer Olympics and promotion of Olympic movement in the country. Athletes from Ukraine won 20 medals in London including 6 gold medals helping their team to take the 14th place in the Olympic medal table among 204 NOCs. It is due to Bubka's efforts Ukrainian NOC and national sport federations have got new sources of financing the preparation of elite athletes. The award is also in recognition of the several NOC initiatives implemented to bring kids closer to sports, show a healthy way of life and promote Olympic ideals. 


MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): Track and Field News points out that Aries Merritt now has the biggest number of legal sub 12.95 times in one year with 5 ahead of Dayron Robles (4 in 2008) and David Oliver (4 in 2010). In the number of legal sub 13 per year Robles still leads with 7 in 2008, but Merritt is close with 6 this year.

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