TOP TEN QUESTIONS FOR 2013
1)Bolt and Blake how many times they will meet head to head?
2)Defar and Dibaba changing to road, or still doing some track?
3)Isinbayeva after passing indoors, will be back on top for summer?
4)Russia will stage the Worlds, will they attack the top position of US Team?
5)Marathons after record year 2012 in results depth another move forward?
6)IAAF and EA remain in opposition towards European Games?
7)Will we see first women 80 meters in hammer? And more world records in steeple men and women, marathon men and 400 m hurdles women?
8)Will David Rudisha try something above the 800 m?
9)Kenenisa Bekele and Teddy Tamgho (and Dwight Phillips) returning in top shape?
10)Robert Harting again unbeaten?
VIVIAN AND LINET AGAINST MESERET
EDINBURGH (GBR): World champions Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai have thrown their hats into the ring, in what should be an explosive confrontation against Meseret Defar at the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry in the New Year. The Kenyan pair will go head-to-head with their arch Ethiopian rival in the Women's Invitational 3 km race at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Holyrood Park on 5 January. Athletes coordinator Andy Caine added, „Edinburgh's going to be a very interesting race. Cheruiyot and Masai are far more experienced cross country runners than Defar who normally concentrates on racing indoors during the winter. But Ethiopian women have had massive success at previous meetings and she will be determined to continue that success." Former World 1500 m silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey and fellow British international Charlene Thomas will lead the domestic challenge.
FELIX IN AUSTRALIA
MELBOURNE (AUS): Athletics Australia hopes to lure female athlete of the year Allyson Felix back to compete at the World Challenge meet in Melbourne in April. Felix has made a surprise visit to Sydney this week, raising hopes that she may consider a return to compete a little later in the season. The US sprinter is in Australia to attend a wedding at Byron Bay but asked Athletics Australia officials to assist with organising training facilities in Sydney during her visit, and they were delighted to oblige reports The Australian.
HERNANDEZ FAVORABLE PROGRESS
MEXICO CITY (MEX): Former successful Mexican walker Noe Hernandez is in serious condition after being shot (lost his left eye) over the weekend at a nightclub in central Mexico, police said. Two other people died in Sunday's attack, police said. The 34-year-old Hernandez serves as sports secretary of the executive committee of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area. In the latest development per Mexican media Hernandez is in favorable progress, but still in life danger. He is already awake, but still cannot speak. Hernandez won silver at Sydney Games 2000 in the 20 km walk, was also fourth at World Championships 2003 in Paris with 1:18:14, his personal best.
KINGSTON (JAM) : The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association has endorsed the selections of three coaches to attend an IAAF/USA Track & Field Academic Elite Jumps and Throws course in Chulavista. Julian Robinson, who coaches World Youth and Junior discus champion Frederick Dacres and Olympian Traves Smile, Orville Byfield and Michael Vassell have been selected to travel to the USA writes trackalerts.com.
KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica's first ever female Olympic champion Deon Hemmings-McCatty (400 m Hurdles) has been appointed International Ambassador for the JAAA. Hemmings-McCatty was given the post offered to Donald Quarrie leading into November's JAAA elections according to Trackalerts.
APELDOORN (NED): Several top Dutch athletes are set to start their indoor season at a local meeting in Apeldoorn this weekend. Decathlete Eelco Sintnicolaas is set to compete in the 60m hurdles and shot put and will take on Italian Paolo Molin. Heptathlete Dafne Schippers will start in the 60m hurdles and possibly takes on Sharona Bakker who is returning from an injury to the Achilles tendon reports losseveter.nl.
LONDON (GBR): Britain's 11-time Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson believes the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the IAAF World Championships should always be held side-by-side she told Insidethegames. London have been awarded the right to stage both competitions in 2017 and they will hold the IPC event in July at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford before hosting the IAAF meet in the same venue a month later in August.
SEATTLE (USA): American distance runner Lauren Fleshman joins women's running apparel company Oiselle in a partnership aimed at creating new products, opportunities & messages for female athletes. The announcement comes shortly after Fleshman requested a release from her contract with Nike after spending 9,5 years with the company.
BERLIN (GER): Thomas Bach, President of the German Olympic and Sport Federation, has welcomed the interest of Berlin and Hamburg for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games and told German newspaper Sport Bild he believes it is time to bring the Olympic Games back to Germany writes leichtathletik.de.
JACKSON (USA): For their accomplishments at the London Olympic Games, Bianca Knight and Brittney Reese are The Clarion-Ledger's Sportswomen of the Year for 2012. It is the second time each has won the honor. Reese was named last year, after winning the long jump at the world championships, and Knight shared the honor with Ridgeland High School classmate Rachel Givan, a soccer standout, in 2006.
PORTLAND (USA): Alberto Salazar told Oregonlive the incident with Mo Farah at a US airport was „blown out of proportion" by British newspaper Sunday that reported Farah was held under suspicion of being a terrorist. It was not a big deal at all," Salazar said. „That's why he didn't even say anything about it."
PORT OF SPAIN(TRI): Grenadian quarter-miler and Olympic 400m champion Kirani James said he felt humbled and honoured to be the first recipient of the Caribbean Spirit of Sport award which will be presented to him in recognition of his performance and the spirit of fair play he displayed at the London 2012 Olympic Games. James was given a warm welcome when he arrived in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the Spirit of Sport Awards ceremony at Queen's Hall.
OSLO (NOR): Norwegian athlete Ingvill Mĺkestad Bovim is pregnant of her first child. The middle distance athlete is currently recovering from a surgery to the Achilles and is expecting her first child in May. She is also working on a cook book called ‚Winning food'.
ISTANBUL (TUR): Istanbul 2020 are again emphasising Turkey's growing financial vitality as a major reason why they should be awarded the Olympics and Paralympics. With Istanbul, along with rivals Madrid and Tokyo, due to hand in their Candidature Files to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne next Monday (January 7) they are hailing a new record on the city's Stock Exchange as a further sign of Turkey's rapid development. It ensures that Turkey remains on course to become one of the world's top ten economies by 2023, when the country is due to celebrate its centenary, claims Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Informs insidethegames.
ORTOLA (BVI): Sprinter Karene King, who led the 100m and 200m rankings for the first time and had a consistent season despite narrowly missing the Olympic Games qualifying standard, was the BVI Athletics Association Senior Female Athlete of the Year presented by Sol. The association's 4th Awards Gala was held on December 28 at the Moorings Mariner Inn, at with a variety of awards were doled out including Lifetime Achievement Awards to the track and field Olympians presented by Gatorade. Informs Trackalerts.
BUDAPEST (HUN): All-Athletics.com announced the Middle-distance Runners of the Year 2012. In global terms number ones are Africans David Rudisha and Pamela Jelimo. In Asia Qatari Mohamed Al Garni and Bahraini Maryam Jamal, in Europe Briton Andrew Osagie and Russian Mariya Savinova. In the North and Central America Nick Symmonds with Alysia Montano, in Oceania Nick Willis with Kaila McKnight and in South Americna Fabiano Pecanha with Rosibel Garcia.
BUDAPEST (HUN): All-Athletics.com also announced the Distance Track Runners of the Year 2012. In the world number ones Mo Farah with Tirunesh Dibaba. In Africa top male is Isiah Koech and in Europe top female Jo Pavey. In Asia top ones are Moukhled Al Outaibi and Shitaye Eshete. Galen Rupp and Amy Hastings are the leaders in North and Central America. In Oceania Collis Birmingham and Eloise Wellings and in South America Gilberto Lopes with Nonata da Silva.
STAVANGER (NOR): Stavanger Aftenblad informs that European 1500 m champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen will have a small nose surgery in mid-January. He is currently in South Africa for an altitude training camp for two weeks. After the surgery he would need to stop the training for one week. There is a possibility that the fresh European CC U23 Champion will miss the indoor season.
NAIROBI (KEN): The Star informs that the first annual ‚Maasai Olympics' was held last weekend at Kimana Sanctuary in Amboseli with members of the local community and tourists welcoming it. Olympic winner and world champion David Rudisha, who was the chief guest, was feted by a traditional entourage. Rudisha inaugurated each game in the event, with his spear throw marking over 30 meters. The games included sprints, a 5000 m run, a traditional ‚rungu' throwing contest, and a traditional high jump contest. There were attractive awards and cash prizes for each category. Jacob Parmuya, the winner of the 5000 m got a full sponsorship to run the New York Marathon in 2013.
KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica Observer informs that Olympic relay gold medallist Michael Frater says he has held discussions with Racers Track Club coach Glen Mills about joining the University of the West Indies (UWI)-based training outfit once he is back to full fitness. Frater, who was elected third vice-president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) in November, split from the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track and Field Club last month after an article published in the Jamaica Observer quoted Francis as saying that unless Frater could convince him he would not be negatively influenced by the Warren Blake-led administration, he could be asked to leave the University of Technology (UTech)-based club. "I'm going to weigh my options. Obviously, he (Mills) would be the first choice; he is one of the best coaches in the world," said Frater, adding that returning to health was his main focus for 2013.
KINGSTON (JAM): Florida-based former 110 m hurdles Jamaican champion and record-holder Dwight 'Bigga' Thomas hopes for good health in 2013. "Definitely health and that God keeps me healthy because last year I was injured all season, so I'm prepared to go to the World Championships and win a medal for Jamaica," he said. His personal goals include health also for his diabetic mom and brother, who is also unwell. "I want my mom to be healthy and my brother also. I'm wishing him all the best." Informs Jamaica Observer.
KAMPALA (UGA): Ugandan media are informing that corporates have continued showering Olympic marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich with offers. Mukwano Industries is the latest in a long list of companies that want to be associated with the man who won Uganda's first gold at the prestigious games since 1972. Kiprotich will serve as an ambassador of one of Mukwano's brands--Aqua Sipi water.
LONDON (GBR): Latest Pat Butcher blog at www.globerunner.org: Happy New Year.