Merrit for France, Tirunesh for Boston, Mo for Birmingham, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Thumbnail image for Merritt_AriesFH-Brussels12.jpg                                           Aries Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dibaba_Tirunesh1-Pre12.jpg
Tirunesh Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

Thumbnail image for Farah_MoFV1d_Pre12.jpg
Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net

Three of the most exciting athletes in our sport, are shown here: Aries Merritt, Tirunesh Dibaba, and Mo Farah. 

Aries Merritt moved us into hyperspace with his brilliantly hurdled 110 meter race in Brussels last September. 12.80 seconds! And the only man to break a WR by the amount, Renaldo Nehemiah, (first to break 13 seconds), believes that Aries is the only guy who can do it right now. 

Tirunesh Dibaba is, in this day, one of the top two distance tacticians in women's athletics. Her 10,000 meters at the London Olympics was nearly a perfect race. Her 5,000 meters, was even more of a surprise, as she was in the fight for gold until the last  sixty meters, playing her cards so close to chest that Meseret Defar had to look back twice after she passed Dibaba, to make sure that it had happened! 

And then, Mo Farah. What can one say? His 10,000 meters in London had 80,000 screaming fans, out of their minds, as Mo Farah held off all of the best in the world, running a text book race ( from the 1972 Olympics). His 5,000 meters should go down as the best tactical race perhaps ever. Farah willed himself to win that race, he gave every competitor a chance, and they just did not get it. How a man who put so much into that 10,000 meters less than a week before, could hold off men who have run much faster showed why Mo Farah and his team understand tactics! 

That fans will be able to see them all in February is pretty special! 


A. Merritt for French meet
VAL DE REUIL (FRA): After Christophe Lemaitre and Felix Sanchez the international indoor meeting of Val de Reuil got another top star for the February 12 edition. The world record holder, olympic winner and also world indoor champion Aries Merritt is scheduled to run here the 60 m hurdles. Informs L´Équipe. It will be his indoor debut in France, and in total his 5th meet ever indoors in Europe (2011 Gent, Birmingham, Stockholm and 2012 Birmingham). His best is high quality 7.43 from last year US Indoors in Albuquerque, world indoor record by Colin Jackson 7.30 from 1994. As L´Équipe further writes the French meet will be his second in the indoor season after Boston on February 2. He should then stay in Europe also for Birmingham and Stockholm. His appearance at this two meets still should be confirmed by the organizers.

Tiru for Boston 2 miles
BOSTON (USA): Ethiopian female running legend and triple olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba and 2011 World Championships bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz will compete at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 2, organizers announced. Dibaba will race over two miles, while Centrowitz will run the mile.  "I'm looking forward to launching my 2013 season in one of my favorite cities," said Dibaba, one of the most-decorated female athletes in the history of the sport.  The World Indoor best for two miles, held by Meseret Defar, is 9:06.26, achieved in Prague 02 Arena on February 26, 2009. Dibaba´s best is 9:12.23 from Birmingham 2010.  Dibaba and Centrowtiz joined previously announced Olympic Medalists Aries Merritt, Jenn Suhr, Galen Rupp, Dejen Gebremeskel, as well as high school distance phenom, Mary Cain.

Jeter named for Glasgow
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): US team for Glasgow Match on January 26 is headed by olympic relay gold medalist and world record holder Carmelita Jeter for the 60 m. Men´s 60 m representative also a high quality sub 10 runner Mike Rodgers. Men team is very strong with legendary indoor world champion Bernard Lagat for 3000 m, olympic finalist at 800 m Duane Solomon who will run the 600 m, more olympians Jeff Porter at 60 m hurdles and Jamie Nieto in the high jump. Emotional star of the London Games was Manteo Mitchell (running with broken leg) who will run the 400 m. Also selected for the 1500 m world medalist Matthew Centrowitz. Kind Butler will run the 200 m. In the women team also hurdler star and 2011 world silver medalist  Danielle Carruthers, long jumper Funmi Jimoh who is 2008 olympic finalist and olympic and world relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings for the 400 m. Other team members are Geena Gall for the 800 m, Sara Vaughn for the 1500 m, Mary Saxer in pole vault and Amanda Smock for triple jump.

Farah for Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Double Olympic champion Mo Farah is to compete over 3000m at the British Athletics Grand Prix at Birmingham's NIA on February 16 in what will be his only indoor race in 2013. Informs Athletics Weekly.  The 29-year-old, who holds a UK 3000m indoor record of 7:34.47, is looking forward to returning to the track and competing against a strong field in Birmingham. "I always love running in Birmingham and have fond memories of celebrating my Olympic success with the British fans at Alexander Stadium last August," he said. "I always run well at the NIA.  I won this meet in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and that's what I'll be aiming to do for next month at the British Athletics Grand Prix." He is currently in training in Kenya where the country is suffering from the been hitted by climate-linked temperature increases.

Top 3000 m field 
KARLSRUHE (GER): German star Arne Gabius will have it tough with top Africans in the 3000 m at the INDOOR MEETING - Weltklasse in Karlsruhe on February 2 (IAAF Permit). Third fastest ever indoors Yenew Alamirew from Ethiopia will run with fourth fastest ever Augustine Choge from Kenya and highly experienced world indoor champion Bernard Lagat of USA. In the field also another high calibre Kenyan Edwin Soi. In the summary all three medalists from last World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Meet record is high quality second fastest ever 7:26.15 by Haile Gebrselassie from 1998. German record 7:37.15 by Dieter Baumann achieved in Karlsruhe in 1995.

Sebrle to miss his last indoor season
PRAHA (CZE): Legendary Czech Roman Sebrle will not compete this indoor season what was supposed to be his last. He confirmed that from his training camp in Hawaii. "I do not want to risk anything before my last summer season," he said in an email from overseas. His heel pain has gone (because of this he only competed in the 100 m in London olympic decathlon) but is still one month behind in his preparation. His goals for summer are clear: finish his 50th decathlon over 8000 points and beeing better than at Worlds 2011 in Daegu (14th) in Moscow. Sebrle wanted to try to qualify for European Indoors in Goteborg, this will not be the case now. He could go for his record 8th participation in a row. 



OTHER NEWS

LONDON (GBR): BBC informs that legacy officials are working on ambitious plans to reopen the 2012 Olympic Stadium to mark the first anniversary of the opening ceremony. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) wants to use the stadium from the week around 27 July. BBC London has learned talks have taken place about hosting the London Grand Prix athletics meeting which is due to take place that weekend. The meeting is usually held at Crystal Palace. A decision is expected by the end of March, writes BBC.

CANBERRA (AUS): Olympian Collis Birmingham will stake his claim for selection to the Australian Team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships this weekend, as the nation's best distance runners arrive at Stromlo Forest in Canberra for the Selection Trial. Set to lead out in the men's 12km event, Birmingham, who has competed at five previous IAAF World Cross Country Championships, will be joined on the rugged course by his fellow Australian Flame teammates and London Olympians Jeff Hunt and Martin Dent, Australian 10 000 m championship medallists Mitchel Brown and Brett Robinson and City2Surf winner Liam Adams. In the open women's event (10km), national cross-country champion Celia Sullohern will be the woman to beat after she won her first open Australian title in the event in Adelaide last August.
 
NORDHAUSEN (GER) : Some of the world's best shot putters have gathered in Nordhausen, Germany for the start of their indoor season on Friday. The traditional shot put meet will have Europe-USA men duel in the 13th edition. Stars like Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting and Cory Martin are representing the USA, while Marco Fortes of Portugal, Serbian Asmir Kolasinac and German home star Ralf Bartels will represent Europe. In the women competition Nadine Kleinert is commencing her farewell tour and is taking on Christina Schwanitz and Josephine Terlecki, reports leichtathletik.de.

MONACO (MON): The IAAF announced that a commemorative 'page turning' ebook which celebrates last year's IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition in photographs has been published on the IAAF website. "A Photographic Celebration of the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition" offers an 88 page snap shot of the greatest collection of Athletics memorabilia ever assembled.

LVIV (UKR): European champion 2010 Aleksandr Shustov from Russia has confirmed his participation at High Jump Demyanyuk Memorial which will held in Lviv on January 19. His main rivals are world champion 2005 Yuriy Krymarenko and Viktor Shapoval (both 234 bests) from Ukraine. In women field the last year winner Oksana Okuneva is the favorite (her best is 194). Experienced Viktoriya Dobrynska and young silver medalist from last World Youth Championships Iryna Gerashchenko could make a strong competition.

CHICAGO (USA): The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and USATF announced that the first-ever USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships will be held as part of Chicago's popular 40,000-participant road race on Sunday, April 7, 2013. The Shamrock Shuffle, the world's largest 8K road race, is the traditional kick-off to the outdoor running season in Chicago for recreational and veteran runners alike. The introduction of the USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships elevates the elite-level competition, attracting competitive club teams and athletes from across the country to vie for a national title and a share of the USD 20 000 prize purse.

PARIS (FRA): Following a trip to Japan, where he did a series of hi-tech tests with his sponsor Asics, Christophe Lemaître confirmed he will compete in both the 100m and 200m at the IAAF World championships in Moscow this summer. Lemaître told athle.com he was never in top shape during 2012 but is now looking forward and hoping to do better in 2013. The French sprinter also added he gives more importance to winning medals then to improving his times.

HAVANA (CUB): The olympic pole vault medalist Yarisley Silva, olympic hurdles finalist Orlando Ortega and hurdles upcoming star the world junior champion Yordan O'Farril will compete during the indoor season in Europe. O´Farril will go for his indoor debut. Others like pole vault world medalist Lazaro Borges and the triple Jumpers are skipping the indoor season to better prepare for the World Championships in Moscow, Cuban media informed.

OITA (JPN): Yuki Kawauchi, the most prolific elite runner in Japan will be running the Beppu-Oita marathon on February 3. He ran eight marathons in 2012. It is also reported that Kawauchi is planning to run Lake Biwa Marathon on March 3 in his attempt to qualify for the world championships.  For Beppu, Kawauchi says he would like to avenge his loss against Ser-Od Bat-Ochir who defeated him in 2011 Hofu Marathon. Other sub-2:09 runner in the field is Kentaro Nakamoto, who was sixth in London Olympics. From international runners to note Poland´s Adam Draczynski and Morrocan Abdelkrim Boubker.

LONDON (GBR): Doha, Qatar, will stage the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, the International Paralympic Committee has announced. The event will be the last major gathering of top international athletes before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and is expected to attract around 1300 of the world's best athletes from 90 countries and will take place in March in 2015. In 2013 in July the event will be held in Lyon and in 2017 in London.  The 2011 edition of the Championships was held in Christchurch, New Zealand, and welcomed 1151 athletes from more than 70 countries, generating a national economic impact of approximately USD 19.6 million, including spending outside Christchurch.

ZURICH (SUI): Director of Swiss Athletics Hans Kappeler is leaving his post at age of 61 and goes into retiremenet. He was instrumental in putting the federation in day-to-day work back to shape after the 2004 problems. His replacement is not yet known. 

TOKYO (JPN): Interesting story from Brett Larner on his blog.  Popular Japanese marathon runner Yuki Kawauchi scheduled to run the Jan 18 Egyptian Marathon, arrived at Narita Airport only to discover that he had forgotten to bring his passport with him. As a result he was unable to board his scheduled 8:50 a.m. flight on Egypt Air and had to make an emergency rebooking on a 10:30 a.m. Qatar Airways flight, still ashenfaced as he boarded. At 6:50 a.m. Kawauchi looked even more haggard than in the last part of a marathon, having discovered that his passport was missing after he arrived at the airport for check-in. "Oh shit..." he said. Flustered and upset, he called his mother Mika to ask her to get his passport and bring it from their home in Saitama.  Unluckily, the train she boarded ended up being delayed. And to make the trip after all delays he was forced to buy a new full-fare round-trip ticket for 800 000 yen what is around 9000 USD, almost 3 months salary from his job, adds Brett Larner.

BOSTON (USA): After news broke earlier this week that Reebok was not resigning one of the top female marathon runners Kim Smith, many speculated which company would sign the New Zealand distance runner next. Runnerspace writes the answer is here. Smith tweeted she is now a New Balance athlete. Smith's addition to the New Balance team adds another top-level performer to the the Boston-based company's stable. Other notable track and road race athletes include: Jenny Simpson, Brenda Martinez, Maggie Vessey and Canadian Reid Coolsaet. 



RESULTS


JABLONEC (CZE, Jan 16): Solid improvement by Ladislav Prasil here in the shot put to 20.35 m. His overall personal best and so far top European mark of the season 2013. 

MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 15-16): During Moscow junior indoor championships Anton Kozlov achieved a nice double at 800 m (1:52.61) and 1500 m (3:59.92). Yevgeniy Kharin clocked 6.86 in boys 60 m and Kristina Sivkova (15 years old) 7.46 in girls race.
 



SAD NEWS

NEW YORK (USA): On Tuesday passed away at age of 71 the double olympic high jump medalist John Thomas. Bronze in 1960 in Rome and silver in 1964 in Tokio. He lost  out on the gold to rival Valeriy Brumel. An enormous part of that rivalry was that it took place at the height of the Cold War. In his career he achieved four official world records from 217 to 222 cm. 

MEXICO CITY (MEX): Former Mexican walker Noé Hernandez has passed away at the age of 34. Hernandez, who won an Olympic silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, was shot in the head when a gang started shooting in a bar in the Mexican city Los Reyes La Paz two weeks ago and now suffered a heart attack just some days after leaving the hospital.

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