Eighth Olympic winners not leading
LONDON (GBR): In 8 events Olympic winners from London are not leaders in the traditional Athletics International World Rankings for 2012 which were published by Athletics Weekly. Six are men cases. Second positions for Stephen Kiprotich in marathon (leader Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia), Ezekiel Kemboi in steeple (first position for Paul Kipsiele Koech), Tomasz Majewski in shot put (leader is Reese Hoffa) and Chen Ding in the 20 km walk (on top his team-mate Wang Zhen). Ranked third is 1500 m gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi (first Silas Kiplagat and second Asbel Kiprop) and Keshorn Walcott in javelin is fourth (ahead of him leader Vitezslav Vesely, second Oleksandr Pyatnytsa and third Tero Pitkamaki). In all other men events olympic winners are leading the rankings. In women events only two are not having London winners at the top. In women 1500 m Abeba Aregawi is number one ahead of Asli Cakir and in hammer Betty Heidler is leading before Tatyana Lysenko. The selection panel is consisting of the co-editors of "Athletics International", Peter Matthews and Mel Watman, with Stan Greenberg (UK), Mirko Jalava (FIN), Alfons Juck (SVK), Ed Gordon (USA) and, for this year, Stuart Mazdon (UK) taking the place of A.Lennart Julin (SWE) who was unable to take part this year. The panel assessed the year's records of the leading contenders and the ranking order was determined by consensus. Among the factors considered were athletes' placings in significant competitions, and this year the Olympic Games (OG) took pride of place. Below that there were the Diamond League (DL) and World Challenge meetings with fewer Continental events than in most other years plus natonal championships etc.. As ever panelists were concerned with the quality of athletes' best marks, their consistency, and win-loss records against other ranked competitors. Marks made indoors were not considered (apart from when part of outdoor meetings, such as the Zürich shot), nor were any athletes who were suspended for 2 years during the year for drug-related offences.
Wins for African juniors
BRUSSELS (BEL, Dec 23): African runners dominated the Iris Lotto CrossCup race in Brussels (IAAF CC Permit), both fresh European champions from Hungary were beaten. Juniors topped the senior races, both winners beeing 18 years old. Ethiopian World junior 5000 m medalist Ruti Aga won the women 6 km in 20:48. Double European CC Champion Fionualla Britton of Ireland was second three seconds behind 20:51. Third in Germany living Ethiopian Eleni Gebrehiwot (21:20) and fourth Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony (21:24). Best home runner Veerle Dejaeghere ended fifth21:31. Another co-favorite Almensh Belete was 9th (21:58). European U23 Champion Jess Coulson ended 11th in 22:04. Kenyan world junior steeple medalist Gilbert Kirui topped the 10.5 km men race in 33:02. Second 9 seconds behind another Kenyan Alex Kibet in 33:11. Third place for Eritrean Tsegay Tuemay 33:27. Fourth Moroccan Hassan Chani in 33:32 and fifth top European French Hassan Chahdi in 33:41. European champion Andrea Lalli finished 7th in 33:50. 2011 Euro champ Atelaw Bekele was only 22nd (35:43).
PRAHA (CZE): Retired 2007 world silver medalist in the pole vault Katerina Janku (formerly Badurova) won the Czech version of the Star Dance competition. In the finals she beat with dancer Jan Onder a pair which was composed by ice-hockey player Martin Prochazka and dancer Tereza Bufkova. She continued in top placings of athletes in this competition, legendary decathlete Tomas Dvorak was third in the past.
PRAHA (CZE): Hurdles European indoor champion 2011 Petr Svoboda is still not in training despite undergoing several surgeries and treatments on his achilles. He spent four weeks in South Africa recently at a training camp but was unable to run. One of his last options to find out what would be the best is the planned visit at the famous clinic of Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt early January. For sure he will not be able to run indoors and so will not try to defend his title from Paris in Goteborg.
LJUBLJANA (SLO): Talented Slovenian 800 m runner Zan Rudolf has two goals for the next season. The European U23 Championships in Tampere and World Championships in Moscow. "With the training we have already started and so far everything goes according to plan, no injuries, Im in good health," he said. In January Rudolf plans a training camp in Portugal. The 19 years old runner also wants to compete for first time in his career in the indoor competitions and leaves door open for possible Goteborg participation. For future after graduation he plans to train and study in USA.
LAUSANNE (SUI): European Champion Clubs Cup competitions have the sites and dates confirmed for 2013. First held will be the cross country on February 3 in Castellon, Spain. Senio track A group in Portugal (Vila Real de Santo Antonio on May 25-26) and B and C group in Slovakia (Dubnica on May 25). Junior A group will be on September 21 in Brno, Czech Republic. The place for the B and C group is not know yet.
PARIS (FRA): Former IAAF general secretary Pierre Weiss was named in the Bureau Federal of French Athletics Federation FFA. He will be Vice President responsible for development and cooperation at international level.
SEVILLA (ESP): The traditional Cross Italica of Sevilla (IAAF CC Permit) is back on track. President of Seville Council Fernando Villalobos announced a budget of 100 000 E for the event which will continue so be able to invite top international runners and organise also the Carrera Popular for the other runners. Villalobos also said he hopes for future a public-private financial partnership will be possible in financing the competition. It will be held on January 20 and earlier reports were suggesting it will not be held in 2013 and later that only the open race will be staged.
OSLO (NOR): Top Norwegian runner Ingvill Makestad Bovim will not compete during the coming indoor season. She is recovering from an achilles tendon surgery which was performed in Netherlands. She injured just few days before London Games, she even travelled to UK but was unable to run. World Championships in Moscow are the main objective for 2013.
VIENNA (AUT): Olympic finalist at 100 m hurdles Beate Schrott and middle distance runner Andreas Vojta won the Austrian Athlete of the Year poll. The vote was conducted by the fans, journalists and coaches. Top young athletes are heptathlete Ivona Dadic and world junior semifinalist at 800 m Nikolaus Franzmair. Vojta won for third time with 66,33 % of votes ahead of Markus Hohenwarter and thrower lukas Weisshaidinger. In women category second Dadic and third marathon and mountain runner Andrea Mayr.
NEW YORK (USA): Trackledger.com informs that sensational olympic bronze medalist at 400 m Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad aims for 2013 to attack the 44 second barrier. "Last year I started my season in December; and at the Olympics my body felt tired; this year I will start my season in March. I will be stronger for the World Championship where I'm looking to go 43's in the 400m." For Lalonde, winning two bronze medals at the Olympics (also in relay) was like a dream come true and his initial reaction was one of shock and amazement. Gordon who grow up in the Bronx, New York and has relatives in Trinidad and New York, said that his Olympic success has changed his life.
ZAGREB (CRO): Discus olympic winner Sandra Perkovic was voted Sportswoman of the Year 2012 in Croatia. She was the best in the traditional journalists poll.
NEW YORK (USA): Jamaica Observer writes that Usain Bolt's astonishing repeat success at this year's London Olympics, coupled with his deal with Puma, has catapulted him onto Forbes Magazine's 2012 prestigious 30 under-30 sports list Each year, the magazine chooses 30 personalities all aged under 30, from 12 different fields, who it describes as "young disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs... impatient to change the world". He has also been labelled the world's most marketing athlete by noted sports website SportsPromedia.com.
MAYENNE (FRA, Dec 23): World indoor medalist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde showed good shape at the Meeting National en Salle with twice 7.73 at 60 m Hurdles (heats and finals). Cindy Billaud was the best in women hurdles in 8.29.
AMSTERDAM (NED, Dec 23): Dutch hurdles champion Koen Smet improved to 7.81 at 60 m hurdles at the Phanos-indoor meet in sportcentrum Ookmeer. He was even faster in second race with 7.79, it is 5th all-time best in Netherlands. Top female sprinter Jamile Samuel got 7.40 (and 7.42) in the 60 m.
OKAYAMA (JPN, Dec 23): Brett Larner informs that at the Sanyo Ladies Road Race defending champion Yukiko Akaba clocked 1:09:56 to successfully claim her second-straight Yuko Arimori Cup Half Marathon title. Yuko Watanabe was second in 1:10:06 in preparation for her second shot at the marathon next month in Osaka. Third Kenyan Wainaina Murugi in 1:10:17. Also aiming for Osaka where she will run her first marathon since giving birth in July last year, past World Championships team member Mari Ozaki was 7th in 1:11:36. Another Kenyan Felista Wanjugu won the 10 km in 32:16 ahead of Selly Chepyego 32:29 and Grace Kimanzi 32:30.
ISTANBUL (TUR, Dec 22-23): Turkish junior records in boys heptathlon 4806 points for Yunus Pehlivan and 3870 in pentathlon for Pinar Aday.
HUNT VALLEY (USA): Philly.com informs that Terry L. Musika, 64, a native of Coatesville and an expert on intellectual property damages who qualified for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich as a sprinter, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, Dec. 18, at his home in Hunt Valley, Md.
ATHENS (GRE): The two Greek indoor competitions in 2013 will be held at the "Peace and Friendship" indoor hall of Piraeus and not at Peanía.
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