Lemaitre vs. Vicaut? Robles not Motivated, Felix Limo retires, by Alfons Juck,note by Larry Eder

Christophe Lemaitre, photo by PhotoRun.net

Christophe Lemaitre is in Japan, visiting ASICS, his sponsor. ASICS is also sponsoring the French Athletics Association. Lemaitre is in pretty good shape, per his coach, and will be racing four times indoors this season. 

Felix Limo, Chicago and London marathon champion, has decided to retire. Dayron Robles is not sure what he wants to do, citing a lack of motivation after his injuries in London this past summer. 

Chevron Houston Marathon should be pretty impressive this weekend. 




KOBE (JPN): European champion Christophe Lemaitre visited Japan on behalf of his sponsors Asics, the company is now also sponsoring the French national team. His coach Pierre Carraz is satisfied with the training so far. His indoor schedule is having the meetings in Dusseldorf, Gent and Val de Reuil and will end with French Championships. He is not planning to run in Goteborg. His main French rival Jimmy Vicaut is training in INSEP conditions and plans for European Indoors in Goteborg and could be one of the top contenders for the top position in the 60 m. He also plans to run in Dusseldorf. That means they might clash together at the German meet on February 8.



HAVANA (CUB): After informing that he will pass the indoor season the Cuban former world record holder Dayron Robles confirmed he has problems with motivation for future career. His coach Santiago Antunez said for AFP he is even considering to retire. He was injured at the London Games.



LISBON (POR): Latest news from Portugal stars. Former European sprint champion Francis Obikwelu is injured since June 2012 (at Clubs championship), with a muscular injury in the zone of the groin. He was in December in Canada, where he consulted the doctor who operated his knee in 2001 and he recommended to resume training later in January and return to the competition in the summer. Triple jump olympic winner 2008 Nelson Évora took away in the beginning of December the peg that was used in the operation to the femur, in January of 2012. He is training well and intends to return to the competition in May, for the European Champion Clubs for Benfica Lisbon. And also please correct the previous information on running star Rui Silva. He is now preparing for a debut in marathon, possibly in Rotterdam (last year, he cannot travel due an injury two or three weeks before). He will run only once indoor at the clubs championship. He is also considering the World Championships in Moscow at the 10 000 m, but not the European indoors. With the help from Arons Carvalho.



GOTEBORG (SWE): Following European countries have been invited to run the 4x400 m relay at European Indoor Championships in Goteborg. Based on 2012 list men from Great Britain, Russia, Belgium, Germany and Poland. On the women side Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, France and Czech Republic. In both races home teams of Sweden will be added. In case one of the countries will not confirm its participation first alternates are men of Czech Republic and women of Belarus.



TIBERIAS (ISR, Jan 10): Kenyan sensation Dominic Ondoro won the 36th Tiberias Winner Marathon in fast 2:07:58. In his marathon debut missed the course record from last year achieved by French Patrick Tambwe only by 28 seconds (2:07:30). He also missed 100 000 USD bonus for that, now he will get 20 000 USD for his win. Record participation of more than 2000 runners from 22 countries was registered. The weather was better than expected with around 10 degrees and also in some parts strong winds. Women course record of 2:34:17 remained as Ethiopian winner Ashete Dido was timed with 2:40:21 (4000 USD first place). More results to come later.







ROVERETO (ITA): Ethiopian rising star Edris Muktar, World Junior champion in the 5000 m in Barcelona and African Junior Cross Country champion, will be in the spotlight at the 36th edition of the Vallagarina Cross Country race on Sunday (EA CC Permit) in men´s 9.07 km just one week after his win at the Campaccio IAAF Cross Country Permit race. Edris, a 13:04.34 runner last year at the Paris Diamond League meeting, also finished a close second behind Imane Merga in the Bolzano Boclasic. The other headliner will be European nine-time cross country champion Sergiy Lebid, who won the Vallagarina Cross twice in 2003 and 2004. Peter Mateelong will try to follow in the footsteps of his elder brother Richard (world class steeplechaser) who finished runner-up in the Vallagarina in 2010. Kenya will be also represented by Wilson Maraba, silver medallist at the African Championships in the 3000 m steeplechase and Robert Ndiwa, a 1:02:59 half marathon runner. The Italian challenge will be led by National 5000 m champion Stefano La Rosa, who finished sixth at the recent Boclassic. The women's field at 6.44 km features local favourite Silvia Weissteiner, Italian reigning Cross Country champion who recently finished fourth in the Boclassic and sixth at the Campaccio, 2011 European Indoor bronze medallist in the 3000 m and Hungarian Cross country champion Livia Toth.


ELGOIBAR (ESP): Kenyans are the favorites of the jubilee 70th Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar on Sunday (EA CC Permit). In men´s 10.796 km road world record holder Leonard Komon will run against Vincent Chepkok, Emmanuel Bett and talented Conseslus Kipruto. Spanish challenge at Mintxeta Sport Center will be headed by European medalist Ayad Lamdassem. In women 6.624 km Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew will clash with Mercy Cherono, Dutch Adrienne Herzog and home Diana Martin.


BELFAST (GBR): The 36th Antrim IAAF International Cross Country will take place in conjunction with the NI & Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships on Saturday. Organised by Athletics Northern Ireland and sponsored by Antrim Borough Council, it will be held in the picturesque venue of CAFRE, Greenmount Campus in Antrim. 15 000 USD is once again on offer in prize money for the senior races. Double European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton will face a star quality line- up in the defence of her Greenmount title. Leading the challenge will be European U23 Cross Country champion Jessica Coulson. Also running Louise Damen and Olympian Freya Murray-Ross. This year the Kenyan challenge will be fully tested by the anticipated muddy conditions from Eunice Kales and Magdalene Masai. Top British internationals Andy Vernon and Frank Tickner will be challenging the usual phalanx of classy African athletes in the men race. Kenyan group will be led by 26 year old Bernard Rotich who finished 3rd in last year's event with Joseph Birech and David Bett with Julius Maisei.







CLERMONT (USA): Latvian Laura Ikauniece achieved at age of 20 European medal and Olympic 9th place in heptathlon last year. Currently she is having a training camp in the National Training Center, in Clermont, a spectacular facility located in the center of Florida. Her mother, Vineta, is the national record holder in all sprint events (11.34/22.49/50.71). Her father, Aivars, was a good hurdler (13.71 in 110H). She confirmed for Nestor Calixto blog: „My biggest goal for 2013 is the World Championships in Moscow." On her way in 2013 she is planning to compete in the pentathlon at the European Indoor Championships and two heptathlons before Worlds in Gotzis and World University Games in Kazan. He coach Andis Austrups plans for 2013 that she can attack the 6700 barrier.


NAIROBI (KEN): This year's Athletics Kenya elections set for February 20 are expected to usher in several changes at the association. The Nation informs. Under AK's new constitution, the elections will usher in new structures that will take effect immediately, AK Secretary-General David Okeyo disclosed. In readiness for the polls, Okeyo said the campaign to register new members ended on December 31 and that a committee in charge of the process was compiling a final list. Okeyo said AK's 12 branches and four affiliates have been informed about the elections date. With the new constitution coming to effect, the positions out for grabs include that of the president, four vice presidents one of which must be a woman, treasurer, assistant treasurer, public relations officer and three committee members.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Athletics Weekly informs that the decision from UK Athletics to not send a Great Britain athletics team to the World University Games this summer in Kazan has prompted student athletes to start a petition urging them to reconsider. This week saw fans of the event, as well as student athletes, voice their disappointment on the social network Twitter, in response to a piece published in The Epinal, Loughborough University's independent online student newspaper. "Representing your country at any level is an honour and it should not be denied to the athletes with the opportunity to do so," former Bath University athletics captain Chris Wakeford told The Epinal. UKA is concentrating on the IAAF World Youth Championships, European Under-23 Championships and European Junior Championships this year, and the World University Games, together with the European Youth Olympics, clash with these. This means, despite a record of success for British athletes in these events, no teams will be sent to either in 2013.


HULST (NED): The well-known Kenyan distance runner Felix Limo announced his international retirement after a top-level career that spanned more than a decade. Now 32, Limo first came to prominence when he ran 27:04.54 for 10,000m for second place at the 2000 Van Damme Memorial meeting in the Belgian capital of Brussels. However, Limo quickly found that his forte was racing on the roads. On 21 November 2001, he ran 15km in 41:29 at the Seven Hills Run in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, famously beating Haile Gebrselassie. The time was the inaugural standard for the distance when the IAAF ratified road running world records at the start of 2003 and stood as the best time ever until November 2010. Limo ran his first marathon in 2003 when he finished second in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:42, at the time the second fastest debut ever. Between 2004 and 2006, he won four out of his five marathons, his other victories coming at the 2005 Chicago Marathon and 2006 London Marathon, the latter in 2:06:39. „At the end of last year, I had some tough decisions to make. I had some back problems which meant I could not train as well as I would have liked, which lead to me dropping out of the Toronto Marathon last October," reflected Limo. "In addition to obviously spending more time with my family, I'm looking forward to being able to devote more of my energies to my business affairs away from athletics as I have interests in real estate, dairy farming and tea plantations," says Limo. Informs his agent Michel Boeting.


NEW YORK (USA) : The 106th edition of the Millrose Games on February 16 continue to announce stellar races. In the men's 60 hurdles all eyes will be on London Games silver medal winner Jason Richardson, former world champion Ladji Doucoure of France and 2012 NCAA champion Andrew Riley. Last year at the Millrose Games, Russian Olga Kucherenko became the first woman to ever leap 22 feet at The Armory. This year at Millrose she might find a lot of company. In women long jump the olympic winner Brittney Reese is announced. Along with olympic bronze winner Janay DeLoach and also with NCAA Champion Whitney Gipson this event will be with top expectations. Joining Bernard Lagat in the two miles will be double NCAA champion Cam Levins and 5k college record holder Lawi Lalang of Arizona with national steeple record holder Evan Jager, former American 5k record holder Dathan Ritzenhein, former NCAA 1500 m champion German Fernandez and U.S. Olympian Andrew Bumbalough.


KINGSTON (JAM): The Business of Sport brokered a deal with Hayden Knowles, Managing Director, Competitive Edge, Australia, to bring a group of track and field athletes to Jamaica for a camp. The ten athletes from Australia are sprinters while level V IAAF Coach and Olympian track and field head coach, Maurice Wilson will be the technical director for this mission and he will be assisted by the GC Foster team reports trackalerts.com.


BERLIN (GER): German shot putter Nadine Kleinert has committed to competing for another year but is already thinking about the coaching career she wants to commence when she retires from competition. At this point Kleinert has started coaching youth and junior throwers which has taken away some time from her training. However, Kleinert confirmed for leichtathletik, she will be ready for her first indoor competition in Nordhausen on January 19th.


BRUSSELS (BEL): 2011 European cross country champion Atelaw Bekele is losing his contract with the Flemish government after not performing well in 2012. Bekele will still be supported but no longer receives a salary to train full time reports sporza.be.


OOKMEER (NED): A small competition in the Netherlands is set to welcome some of home best athletes on January 13th. Dutch decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas and heptathlete Nadine Broersen are testing their form in the 60m and 60m hurdles. In the women's 60m Kadene Vassell, Jamile Samuel, Eva Lubbers and Marit Dopheide are set to compete. Also former combined events athletes Rudy Bourguignon and Yvonne van Langen, also well as up and coming talents Pieter Braun and Mark Jacobs will be present.


TOKYO (JPN): Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi returned from training in Kunming, China on Tuesday ahead of her first appearance at the National Women's Ekiden in 5 years. Her run on the 13th will hold a special significance for her. Because her sponsor will move its office away from Kyoto in April, Noguchi will be making her first and final appearance as a member of the Kyoto team. „After 16 years in Kyoto I'll run in the Kyoto singlet for the first time, and it will be my last chance to repay the kindness and support I've received," she said. Interviewed on her arrival at Kansai Airport, Noguchi commented, „I feel like it's just around the corner now." Informs Brett Larner on his blog.


MARRAKECH (MAR): Some 4000 athletes, including 950 foreigners, will participate in the 24th Marrakech International Marathon on January 27th, APS reported.


GENEVE (SUI): Swiss sprinter Cedric Nabe (29) announced he is ending his career. That is despite his doping ban ended on December 21 last year. After 18 months out of the competitions he lost the necessary motivation. He missed three doping controls in 2011. His best is 10.28 from 2009 in Florida.


BUDAPEST (HUN): All-Athletics.com announced as throwers of 2012 Tomasz Majewski and Valerie Adams. Top European woman is Sandra Perkovic and top Oceanian man Ben Harradine. In Africa the number ones are javelin throwers Julius Yego and Sunette Viljoen, in Asia discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi and hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu, in North and Central America Reese Hoffa with Yarelis Barrios and in South America German Lauro with Jennifer Dahlgren, both from Argentina.


BUDAPEST (HUN): Olympic winners Ashton Eaton and Jessica Ennis are Multi-event Athletes of the Year 2012 in the World by All-Athletics.com. In Africa Willem Coertzen and Margaret Simpson, in Asia Dmitriy Karpov and Irina Karpova, in Oceania New Zealanders Brent Newdick with Sarah Cowley, in South America Brazilians Luiz Alberto de Araujo and Lucimara Silvestre. Additionally top male in Europe is Hans Van Alphen and top female in North and Central America Jessica Zelinka.







JABLONEC (CZE, Jan 9): Czech shot putters fulfilled standards for Goteborg at a local indoor meet. Ladislav Prasil with 20.10 (indoor best and second overall mark for him) and Martin Stasek 19.78 (overall lifetime best).


LAIKIPIA (KEN, Jan 9): International road runner Simon Ndirangu and London Olympic steepler Mercy Njoroge won at a grassy runway at Mweiga Airstrip the Laikipia Air Base (LAB) CC races. Ndirangu clocked 32:20 at the 12 km ahead of Kiplimo Kimtai 32:20 in a close finish. Third Leonard Oloitiptip 32:21. In the women 8 km Njoroge got 31:11 beating Winfred Kwamboka 31:15.


SAMARA (RUS, Dec 16): As late addition high jump world junior indoor record holder Mariya Kuchina of Russia jumped here at a local meet 195 cm, what is so far the best result in the starting indoor season.

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