B. LAGAT TO DEBUT AT NYC HM
NEW YORK (USA): Mary Wittenberg president and CEO of New York Road Runners has announced the running legend Bernard Lagat will make his Half Marathon debut on March 17 at the New York Half Marathon. He spoke about a big step in distance but he will be absolutely prepared to do his best. Lagat feels really excited run his debut in a beloved city of New York. His longest race so far was 12 km cross country back in 2009 in Kenya. In next weeks more top names for the race will be announced.
STRONG OPPOSITION FOR MO
NEW ORLEANS (USA): Mo Farah will run against an impressive field on Sunday at Rock ‚n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. Leading name will be legendary three times London Marathon winner Martin Lel who won in New Orleans 3 years ago in the first edition. New York Marathon winner Gebre Gebremariam with his team-mate Markos Geneti are the top names from Ethiopia. Cybrian Kotut of Kenya and Briton Scott Overall are other names to mention. Olympic winner Meseret Defar leads the female challenge with home stars Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. Former World Half Marathon champ Berhane Adere and Jemina Jelagat will be other top contenders. Course records are 1:01:07 by Martin Lel in 2010 and 1:07:35 by Kim Smith of New Zealand in 2011.
MOSCOW (RUS): The two-time Olympic champion and multi world record holder in pole vault Yelena Isinbayeva told rusthathletics.comshe would like to open her summer season in China, the most probable place could be the Diamond League meet of Shanghai on May 18. "I haven't any commitments yet but I like to jump in China where fans know and like me so much. I would like to make them happy. But I don't want to predict events even if we speak about World championships in Moscow. I'm just training, working and hoping for better. Let see what'll happen and let it'll be my surprise," said the 30 years old pole vault megastar. Isinbayeva underlined she didn't begin special preparation for next summer yet. "I'm training now just for my pleasure focusing on technique. The most important thing is to take a rest. The desire to create something can appear only after full rest. That is my own attitude to my job. My jumps are not only mechanical work. I think they are esthetic and a spectacular show, maybe, even something like the art," Yelena added.
DONETSK (UKR): Reigning European and world champion in women triple jump Olha Saladukha confirmed to EME News her participation at European indoors. London Olympic bronze medalist made her final decision after performance at British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham where 29-year-old Ukrainian won with world leading 14.61. "Initially I didn't have Goteborg in my season schedule but I felt bit dissatisfied when leaving the track on Saturday. I want to compete and fix my technical issues, I finished last summer season injured and couldn't show my normal technique after London Olympics. I need to renew the feelings of correct jumps to begin preparation for next summer in positive mood. That is why I decided to continue my indoor season in Goteborg. I hadn't enough of special technical work to expect something special at European indoors. But I still have two weeks and will pay maximum attention for my runway to make it more accurate. If everything will be OK I'll try to set new national indoor record in Sweden," Saladukha explained. By the way last time she improved national indoor record one year ago was in Swedish when she got 14.79 at XL Galan in Stockholm.
PRETORIA (RSA): Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has denied murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at a bail hearing on Tuesday. In an affidavit read by his lawyer, the 26-year-old is reported as saying: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder let alone premeditated murder as I did not intend to kill my girlfriend." In the affidavit he explained what happened on that evening and night. The hearing has been adjourned until Wednesday. Informs Athletics Weekly.
IGUIDER SWITCHES FROM 1K TO 3K
STOCKHOLM (SWE): Moroccan olympic 1500 m medalist Abdelaati Iguider changed his mind and will run the 3000 m at XL-Galan in Stockholm on Thursday instead of 1000 m. In his career he competed only twice at the distance. In 2006 as junior was 11th at Flanders Indoor in Gent with 8:00.51 and one year later outdoors got 7:41.95 as winner of the outdoor meet of Herrera in Spain. Interesting to see the 15-years old fast talent Irene Ekelund in the 60 m with double olympic 100 m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
AUBIERE (FRA): Renaud Lavillenie is the logical team leader of France for European Indoors. Also named sprinter Jimmy Vicaut with European champions Eloyse Lesueur in long jump and Antoinette Nana Djimou for pentathlon. Experienced Romain Mesnil did not confirm the Goteborg participation, so third pole vaulter will be Emile Denecker. Final selection will be named on February 24, still open the events for Mahiedine Mekhissi and Bob Tahri. So far selected on the men side - 60 m: Vicaut, Biron, 400 m: Hanne, Jordier, 800 m: Leroy, 60 m hurdles: Martinot-Lagarde, Bascou, high jump: Hanany, pole vault: Lavillenie, Joseph, Denecker, triple jump: Compaore, Correa, Taillepierre, heptathlon: Mayer. Women - 60 m: Soumare, 400 m: Gayot, 3000 m: Bardelle, 60 m hurdles: Decaux, Okori, high jump: Melfort, long jump: Lesueur, pentathlon: Nana Djimou, 4×400 m: Gayot, Hurtis, Anacharsis, Raharolahy.
SPALA (POL): Poland selected 20 athletes so far for Goteborg after the weekend. Open question is the event for 2010 European gold medalist Marcin Lewandowski who is currently selected for 800 m and 1500 m. In case he will pass the 1500 m the place will go to Damian Roszko. Possibility still exists for Przemyslaw Czerwinski in the pole vault but he must clear at least 560 on Wednesday at Prague Pole Vault meet. The team, men - 400 m: Sobinski, for relay also Kszczot, Domagala, Grynkiewicz, Omelko, Pietrzak, 800 m: Kzszcot, Lewandowski, 1500 m: Lewandowski, Krawczyk, Nowicki, 3000 m: Demczyszak, 60 m hurdles: Bochenek, pole vault: Lisek, Sobera, long jump: Strzalkowski. Women - 800 m: Rostkowska, 1500 m: Cichocka, Broniatowska, Urbanik, high jump: Stepaniuk, pole vault: Rogowska.
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Reigning European 800 m Indoor Champion Jenny Meadows has been announced as the captain for the GB & NI team for the European Indoor Championships in Goteborg. Meadows, who made her competitive comeback last weekend at the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix will lead a 29-strong team, two years after winning gold in Paris. Writes British Athletics. Other top medal hopes Holly Bleasdale in pole vault, Robbie Grabarz in high jump, strong 400 m duo Perri Shakes-Drayton with Eilidh Child. The 2009 Euroindoor winner Dwain Chambers was confirmed. Interestingly no runner was selected in the men 1500 m and 3000 m. The team, men - 60 m: Aikines-Aryeetey, Chambers, Dasaolu, 400 m: Bingham, Levine, Strachan, for relay Buck, Lennon-Ford, C. Williams, 800 m: Mohamed, Rimmer, Thomas. 60mH: Pozzi, HJ: Grabarz, PV: Lewis, LJ: Tomlinson. Women - 60 m: Philip, 400 m: Child, Shakes-Drayton, Cox, also for relay Adeoye, Beesley, Ohuruogu, 800 m: Meadows, 1500 m: Muir, 3000 m: Howarth, PV: Bleasdale, LJ: Proctor, TJ: Aldama.
SYDNEY (AUS): Australian Olympic hero Steve Hooker is set to face a familiar foe after it was announced that he would duel his training partner and British star Steve Lewis in the men's pole vault at the Sydney and Perth legs of the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour. Hooker and Lewis, the Australian (606) and British (582) record holders respectively, train together in Phoenix in the US under coach Dan Pfaff but the high flying duo will take time out from their friendship to face-off in Australia next month. The Qantas Australian Athletics Tour launches in Sydney on 9 March, before the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic on 16 March and the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge on 6 April.
NAIROBI (KEN): The Star informs that the much awaited Athletics Kenya (AK) national elections have been postponed indefinitely. AK president Isaiah Kiplagat said the move was aimed at paving way for the country's forthcoming general elections before staging their polls. Speaking during the KCB national cross country-cum-national trials/IAAF permit meeting over the weekend, Kiplagat assured that despite the postponement, everything towards the elections are on course. The elections were first set for last year before they were pushed to February 27 and again to March 19.
TOYKO (JPN): Brett Larner writes that the Tokyo Marathon organizers announced Arata Fujiwara has withdrawn due to inflammation of the hamstrings in his right leg. He has been experiencing pain in that area since last month. Last year Fujiwara ran 2:07:48 to finish 2nd overall as the top Japanese man, earning a place on the London Olympic team. Without training seriously he jumped into December's Fukuoka International Marathon, finishing 4th in 2:09:31. His goal this time was to run 2:06 and earn a place on the World Championships team.
FRANKFURT (GER): General Secretary of German Athletics Federation DLV Frank Hensel submitted the bidding documents of Berlin 2018 candidacy for European Championships to European Athletics President Hansjorg Wirz. The decision will be made on November 2 at EA Council meeting in Zurich.
NAIROBI (KEN): Athletics Kenya will on March 9 hold national trials to select a team to represent the country at the first Africa Youth Championships set for March 28 to 31 in Nigeria. AK youth development chairman, Jackson Tuwei, said the selection will be held at the Nyayo Stadium, where they will be seeking to select a strong team of 15-20 athletes. The championship was moved to Nigeria after initial hosts Rwanda withdrew their status citing financial constraints.
ROMA (ITA): At the Italian Olympic Committee CONI elections the great surprise was the election of Giovanni Malago with 40 votes against the former CONI General Secretary Raffaele Pagnozzi. For the executive board elected was also Fiona May the former long jump world champion. As general secretary appointed Roberto Fabbricini, former athlete, former general secretary of FIDAL.
WIEN (AUT): Austrian Athletics Federation informed that olympic finalist Beate Schrott will not compete in Goteborg at European Indoor Championships as she gives priority to preparation for World Championships in Moscow.
ISTANBUL (TUR): The site of last year World Indoor Championships in Istanbul will host another top event. The Balkan Indoor Championships this Saturday. The hall is now called after the olympic 1500 m winner, the Asli Cakir Alptekin Hall. The outdoor Balkan Champs and Games are having 85 years history, indoors started in 1994 in Pireaus, in the past it was only held in Greece, now for first time moves to Turkey. In total more than 180 athletes from 12 countries are expected. Home side will have European champion Nevin Yanit in hurdles, Ilham Tanui Ozbilen for 1500 m, Polat Kemboi Arikan for 3000 m.
LONDON (GBR): Latest Pat Butcher´s blog at www.globerunner.org :- Oscar Winner Beaufoy Writes Script for Coe & Ovett.
ADLER (RUS, Feb 18-19): London Olympic champion in hammer throw Tatyana Lysenko opened her season with solid 72.41 at Lunev Memorial in Adler one week before National winter throwing championships. Anna Bulgakova was second 70.61 and Gulfiya Khanafeyeva third 69.30. Igor Vinnichenko won men hammer with 77.00 ahead of 23 years old Denis Lukyanov 76.05 and Aleksey Zagorniy (76.01), Sergey Litvinov (75.79) and Anatoliy Pozdnyakov (75.77). Reigning javelin world champion Mariya Abakumova showed also good shape with 62.69. Aleksey Tovarnov was the best in men javelin 80.68. Aleksey Khudyakov set new national junior record in discus throw 63.39.
TEHRAN (IRI, Feb 14-15): Reza Ghasemi clocked fast 6.62 at 60 m during the 21st FAJR International Indoor Meeting. Athletes from seven countries competed. In the high jump Keivan Ghanbarzadeh and Amir Hosseinzadeh both cleared 221 cm.
YALTA (UKR, Feb 19): A couple of interesting results were registered on first day at Ukrainian Winter throwing championships. Volodymyr Myslyvchuk won hammer throw event (5kg) in youth category with 73.81. Valeriya Semenkova became the best in hammer girls 62.01 (3kg).
KIENBAUM (GER, Feb 18): At German qualification meet for European Cup Winter Throwing top results. Nadine Muller achieved 66.52 in women discus ahead of Anna Ruh 63.11. In men discus Martin Wierig got 62.90 over Daniel Jasinski 62.72.
KYIV (UKR): Triple jumper Olha Saladukha is not title defender as it was stated in the item about Ukrainain Goteborg selection.