Alekna considering competition in discus at age of 40, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Virgilijus Alekna, photo by PhotoRun.net

It is 9 am in Frankfurt, Germany, where I am at the moment. I am on my way to Barcelona, Spain for the IAAF Centenary. 

In the US, many Thanksgiving day races. In particular, the Manchester Thanksgiving race will feature Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston champ, who is running his 50th Manchester race. Amby is one of the most thoughtful writers our sport has ever produced. His greatest skill, besides his running, was to guide Runners World in the 1980s and 1990s to the editorial fortress that it is. Amby got it. He told many of us (I was a former RW person in the 1980s) that one did not edit a magazine for oneself, but for the readers. He was concerned with each word printed. We wish Amby Burfoot a very special 50th race experience.

In San Jose, California, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has developed into one of the biggest 5ks in the country and a very fast one at that. Most years, I find myself in San Jose, CA, where my family resides and where I finished high school (Bellarmine Prep), and college (Santa Clara University). 

I will be in San Jose in thought today, as I travel to Barcelona, Spain. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family in US.

 

ALEKNA STILL THINKING TO COMPETE

VILNIUS (LTU): Change of mind. Legendary Lithuanian discus thrower Virgilijus Alekna said according to delfi.lt he is considering at age of 40 to continue in his career. His goal could be the participation at World Championships 2013 in Moscow. „There were no secrets, I never finally confirmed my retirement. I m thinking about competing at my 10th world championships. And I do not want just compete, but in that case I want to be ready for a top result. And I think I would also compete at other events. Alekna did not rule out to compete at the Rio Games in 2016.

 

STARS ON THEIR WAY

BARCELONA (ESP): On Saturday not only legends will be celebrated in Barcelona during the IAAF Centenary Gala, but also Athletes of the Year 2012 will be announced. It is expected that all finalists will attend the event. On the men side Usain Bolt (already posted on his twitter photos from his travel), David Rudisha and Aries Merritt, on the women side Jessica Ennis, Valerie Adams (longest possible travel from New Zealand) and Allyson Felix (she is this week in Africa).

 

RUTHERFORD TO US

GATESHEAD (GBR): During the European Team Championships launch olympic winner Greg Rutherford informed that he is set to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, as he prepares to pursue a gold medal at the world athletics championships in Moscow next August. The Olympic long jump champion seems certain to follow his coach, Dan Pfaff, to the United States's Sun Belt after Christmas in order to continue his recovery from three recent operations. „It's still not 100% confirmed but it's looking as if we're going to be based in Phoenix," said Rutherford. „I'm very hopeful that will be the case because, ultimately, I need to stay working with Dan. He got me to where I am now." Dan Pfaff also started to coach the 2007 High Jump world champion Donald Thomas from Bahamas.

 

KINGSTON (JAM): Olympic 100 m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has her eyes firmly fixed on next year's World Championship in Russia. The „pocket rocket" is „beaming with confidence ahead of next year's showpiece event".   „My new target is the world championships in Russia and of course I've done the double this year and it was the first time I'm doing it and it was just an experience for me," she said on Profile recently. Her target for the championships is to get the gold in both sprints events. Informs Trackalerts. „For 2013 I want to make it a reality in getting gold medal in the 100m and gold medal in the 200m."

 

 

 

OTHER NEWS

 

 

GOTEBORG (SWE): The countdown begins: day tickets for the Göteborg 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships will be released for sale on Monday 26 November at 9 a.m. Prices vary from 395 SEK, up to 995 SEK for the most exclusive seats. Some sections offer family discounts. Ticket packages for all three days are priced between 1,000 SEK to 2,300 SEK. Informs European Athletics.

 

LEVERKUSEN (GER): Changes in German clubs. TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen new income is pole vaulter Karsten Dilla. He will be now coached by Jorn Elberding. Discus thrower Markus Münch is changing also his club after 12 years with LG Wedel/Pinneberg he is going to compete for SC Potsdam. The olympian remains coached by world record holder Jurgen Schult.

 

BUCURESTI (ROU): Romanian Athletics Federation selected nine runners for the European CC Championships in December in Hungary. The only team will be junior girls with Madalina Florea, Adelina Panaet, Dana Loghin, Anca Bunea and Luminita Achim. The only senior will be female runner Cristiana Frumuz. The junior boy is Mihai Cosma and in the U23 category competing will be Nicolae Soare and Ioana Doaga (silver winner from Velenje 2011 in the junior girls category).

 

BELFAST (GBR): Double London 2012 Paralympic gold medallists Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop have been named as joint Northern Ireland Sports Personalities of the Year at the IN! Glamour Magazine Awards. Smyth won the 100 and 200 meters in the T13 category while McKillop took gold in the 800m and 1500m in the T37 at London 2012 and both were honoured during the awards at Belfast City Hall. Smyth is from Derry and McKillop from Ballymena in Northern Ireland, although both compete for the Republic of Ireland. Informs insidethegames.

 

MANCHESTER (USA): In 1963 a 17 year-old high school kid from Groton lined up for the Manchester Road Race, the hilly 4.748-mile footrace which will be held for the 76th time on Thursday just outside of Hartford, Conn.  Little did he know that he would begin one of the greatest competitive streaks in all of road running which would include nine victories and on Thursday 50 straight finishes at America's most prestigious Thanksgiving Day race. „It was my first road race and I felt like someone who had graduated from the bucolic high school running scene on Connecticut's well-tended golf courses to the wild, wooly, furious and thrilling road racing scene," recalled Amby Burfoot, 66, in a telephone interview with Race Results Weekly. Burfoot, the longtime executive editor of Runner's World magazine is now the editor-at-large. merican Olympians Donn Cabral and Lisa Uhl will be the main favorites along with Kenyan Haron Lagat, who won the race in 2009 and on the women side British olympian in steeple Barbara Parker.

 

NEW YORK (USA): Race Results Weekly is summarising that there are about 400 turkey trots, or Thanksgiving Day races, in the United States on Thursday, but the events in Manchester, Conn., and San Jose, Calif., boast the most competitive fields thanks to the work of their respective elite athlete coordinators Dave Prindiville and Mark Winitz. In San Jose at the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot/Elite 5-K, Winitz has loaded his field with recent NCAA stars, led by Kenyans Stephen Sambu (University of Arizona) and Leonard Korir (Iona). Other contenders with NCAA pedigrees on the men's side include former Chico State star Scott Bauhs, Northern Arizona standout Diego Estrada, and former Oklahoma Christian miler Silas Kisorio. In the women's field, American Olympic 5000m runner Kim Conley (formerly of the University of California at Davis) will take on 2011 NCAA indoor 5000m champion Jackie Areson (Tennessee) and 2009 NCAA 5000m champion Angela Bizzarri (Illinois).  Olympic steeplechaser Bridget Franek (Ohio State), 2006 ECAC 10,000m champion Clara Peterson (Duke), and 2009 Pac 10 500m champion Katie Mackey (Washington) should also be in the mix for the win.

 

LONDON (GBR): Two UK Athletics coaches were honoured at the 2012 UK Coaching Awards, which were organised by Sports Coach UK and hosted at the Lancaster Hotel in London. Toni Minichiello, coach to Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis, was named as 2012 UK Coach of the Year while he and Peter Eriksson also received High Performance Coach of the Year awards.

 

LONDON (GBR): IAAF Vice President Sebastian Coe has backed the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) proposal to double the length of bans from two to four years for athletes who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs writes Insidethegames. Coe has long been a vocal anti-doping campaigner - throughout his time as an athlete and an administrator - and supported the British Olympic Association's (BOA) life ban for any Briton caught doping.

 

LONDON (GBR): Queensland's Minister for the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey and Gold Coast 2018 chairman Nigel Chamier have issued reassurances that the competition will not be moved to Brisbane. It is a direct response to the latest media reports in Australia that claimed the Gold Coast will be unable to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games unless the majority of sporting events are moved to the nearby Brisbane according to insidethegames.

 

GLASGOW (GBR): Steve Cram told The Herald Scotland the participation of Usain Bolt at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow would be the highlight of the Games. Cram hopes that the fact that Bolt has not yet won a Commonwealth medal will make him interested in competing in Glasgow in 2014.

 

 

 

SAD NEWS

 

 

MOSCOW (RUS): Rusathletics informs that former top long distance runner Rashid Sharafetdinov died at age of 69. He was the first runner from at that time Soviet Union who clocked at the 10 000 m a sub 28 minutes time. He was European 1971 bronze medalist in Helsinki and achieved several national long distance records. He also won a silver in 1969 at European Championships in Athens.

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