Clarke beats all in Dusseldorf, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

The Europeans are starting show some strong performances as they prepare for the European Indoor champs in Goteborg, Sweden, March 1-3. Lerone Clarke ran 6.52 for 60m and Jimmy Vicaut ran 6.53 for the 60m in the same race in Dusseldorf! 

Jimmy Vicuat, photo by

Clarke in season opener beats them all
DUSSELDORF (GER, Feb 8): Four great sprint finals were the climax of the 8th PSD Bank Meeting (EA Indoor Permit) before 2000 capacity crowd. In summary 3 world leading marks (women triple and twice men hurdles) and four meet records (pole vault, 3000 m, 60 m and women 60 m). Kevin Craddock improved to 7.50 world lead over another US hurdler Omo Osaghae 7.52 (equaled his PB and 7.53 world lead in heats) at 60 m hurdles. Here third Hungarian Balazs Baji clocked PB and EL 7.57 ahead of French Dimitri Bascou 7.61 as Cubans were beaten and world champion Jason Richardson out in heats (7.73). Similarly in men 60 m heats out for European Champion Christophe Lemaitre (6.71). Jamaican Commonwealth Games winner Lerone Clarke in his first meet of the season clocked after great start 6.52 and equaled the meet record of Kim Collins from 2011. Second French Jimmy Vicaut clocked for third time in his career 6.53 and equaled the European lead. Third Angel David Rodriguez got new Spanish record 6.55 over US Mike Rodgers 6.57 when world leader Yunier Perez of Cuba after impressive heat 6.57 cramped in the final (6.91). Women had equally dramatic finals as Murielle Ahoure clocked meet record 7.08 to win the flat sprint over Barbara Pierre 7.12, Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks 7.20 and top European Ivet Lalova 7.24. US Yvette Lewis also earned well deserved hurdles victory in 7.94 (also 7.95 in heats) when Europeans Alina Talai and Eline Berings (both 8.01) beat other strong US hurdlers. In distances department the strongest field men 800 m did not produce fast times but great clash won by Euroindoor champ Adam Kszczot from behind 1:47.96 ahead of his country-mate Marcin Lewandowski 1:48.30 and indoor debutant Abraham Rotich 1:48.80 (behind them still Timothy Kitum and Yuriy Borzakovskiy). Actually second fastest overall B-race winner Eric Sowinski of USA 1:48.04. Great national indoor record for Djibouti as Ayanleh Suleiman in 3:36.13 beat in final straight of the 1500 m race Kenyan Bethwel Birgen 3:36.61. Third Spanish David Bustos 3:38.41 life-time indoor best. Next European Austrian Andreas Vojta as 6th 3:39.22. In the 3000 m new meet record for Kenyan Caleb Ndiku 7:38.77 over Albert Rop 7:39.70 followed by two steeple specialists Mahiedine Mekhissi 7:43.72 and Paul Kipsiele Koech 7:46.09. Women races registered wins for Eastern European runners: Russian olympic medalist Yekaterina Poistogova 2:03.54 (800 m) and Ukrainian Anzhelika Shevchenko 4:09.13 (1500 m). Ukrainian olympic medalist Olha Saladukha achieved five 14+ attempts and the best 14.52 was a new world lead for 2013. Bjorn Otto cleared in second atttempt excellent meet record 590 and won (equals his season best) with second Yang Yangsheng of China twice improving the national indoor record (570 in first and 580 in second). 

Antyukh with serious plans
MOSCOW (RUS): 400 m hurdles European and Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh lifted slightly her plans in preparation to Moscow World championships. 31-year-old Russian told to rusathletics web she has functional practices now laying the foundation for further serious trainings. "I'll start to train under big loadings from the beginning of March when we'll go to Portugal training camp. I'm aiming to open my summer season in June at the Diamond League event in Eugene. Bit later I'll check my velocity somewhere running the 200 m. Last year I set personal best at this distance 22.72 sec. So I would like to run about that result before Moscow Championships. It'll be great indicator of my shape," Antyukh said. 

Kotova retested positive from 2005 Worlds
MOSCOW (RUS): Official web site of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) informs that International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) initiated a review of a possible anti-doping rule violation by two-time Bronze Olympic medalist (2000 and 2004) in long Jump Tatyana Kotova. Her sample A was retested positive in the WADA-accredited Laboratory in Lausanne. The sample was collected on August 10, 2005 during the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki. In January 2013 the case was forwarded to RUSADA. "Tatyana Kotova has been informed of the situation and her rights. The athlete has been suspended from participating in any capacity in a training camp or competition as of January 29, 2013 until the decision has been rendered on the case," RUSADA says. Kotova got silver medal at World championships 2005 in Helsinki and bronze in Osaka 2 years later. In 2006 she won World indoor championships in Moscow. If confirmed all this results will be changed. 

Great fields for XL-Galan
STOCKHOLM (SWE): The Ericsson Globe Arena has hosted five world records and three junior world records in the middle & long distances during the last 16 years. At XL-Galan, on February 21, seven World & Olympic medallists will take part in the 800 and 1000 meters. Several teenagers emerged last year, such as Mohamed Aman, 19, who's the only one that David Rudisha has surrendered to during the three last years. Aman became World Indoor Champion and will be confronted by even younger Timothy Kitum, 3rd in the incredible Olympic final, Abubaker Kaki, his predecessor as World Indoor Champ and Euro Indoor Champion Adam Kszczot. That stellar field on 800 meters is matched by the competitors of the 1000 meters. The World Indoor Champion (1500 meters) Abdelaati Iguider runs against Silas Kiplagat, winner of last yer's Diamond Race, Andrew Osagie, 3rd at the World Indoors and the surprising European Champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen from neighbouring Norway. At the end it could be Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleiman who outshines all the medallists. Tne 20-years-old runner from Jama Aden's prolific group of multinational runners showed great ability last summer, but became injured shortly beföre the Olympics where his mate Taoufik Makhloufi won the 1500 meters. Soulemain is reported to be in great shape what was confirmed with his win in Dusseldorf on Friday.

Bolshova 4852 WL 
VOLGOGRAD (RUS, Feb 7-8): Yekaterina Bolshova won the Russian pentathlon championships with world leading 4852 points. The 6th placer from Istanbul 2012 missed her PB from last year by 44 points, still achieved personal bests in long jump 657 (overall) and in the 800 m 2:10.52 (indoor). Her first three marks were 8.50, 189 and 13.40. She is so the top favorite for Goteborg when Jessica Ennis confirmed she is passing the indoor season. Bolshova was among invited athletes already based on 2012 results. Artyom Lukyanenko won the men heptathlon with 6008 points and is not among Goteborg participants as two other Russians were invited based on 2012 results (Sviridov and Shkurenyov). 


LONDON (GBR): The Telegraph writes that George Osborne's decision to grant overseas athletes a tax exemption for the meeting, as revealed exclusively by Telegraph Sport, means this time fans will have the opportunity to watch the world's greatest athletes in action at a fraction of Olympic prices. Although ticket arrangements are still being finalised, UK Athletics insists it has no intention of trying to profiteer from the meeting. It has confirmed that the pricing structure will be based on the cost of seats that were originally on sale at Crystal Palace before the meeting was switched to the Olympic Stadium. Adult tickets ranged from £20 to £41, with a small number of £120 VIP tickets on the finish line.

HONOLULU (USA): Former RAK Half Marathon winner and course record holder Patrick Makau of Kenya (58:52) will not run the event this year. The marathon world record holder will instead tune up for the London Marathon one month from now thousands of miles away on the island of Oahu at the Hapalua Half Marathon, the second-year sister event of the Honolulu Marathon. At the March 10th Hapalua (Hawaiian word meaning "Half") Makau will race against seven-time Honolulu Marathon champion Jimmy Muindi, and 60:09 half-marathoner and 2:06:34 marathon man Nicholas Manza who ran 4th at the 2012 Berlin Marathon. 

PRAHA (CZE): Two months prior to the race the individual entries for the 15th Hervis Prague Half Marathon have filled the capacity.  Some start numbers are still available through partner charity organisations. The first ever Prague half-marathon took place back in 1999 in Stromovka Park with 950 runners taking part. Two years later the start was moved to the Charles Bridge. In 2006 the number of competing runners for the half-marathon surpassed the number of Prague marathon participants for the first time ever. In 2012, thanks to the superb time of 58:47 achieved by the Ethiopian Atsedu Tsegay, the Hervis Prague Half Marathon became the world's fastest half-marathon of the year.  Today it is the largest race of the RunCzech Running League with 12 000 runners from 65 countries. Top star will be Zersenay Tadese who announced world record attack.

NEW YORK (USA): The NBA and Sprint announced the official lineup of the 2013 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which will take place at the Sprint Arena on Friday, Feb. 15, during NBA All-Star Jam Session at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. NBA All-Stars James Harden of the host Houston Rockets and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder will serve as the West and East team coaches, respectively. Among the celebrities also sprinting star Usain Bolt. 

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Athletics Weekly informs that following his recent departure from UK Athletics, Ian Stewart has been given a consultancy role with Nova International to help sign athletes for the Great Run Series and CityGames. On announcing his departure from UKA, the governing body said Stewart had decided to leave "in order to pursue independent career opportunities". Appointed as a consultant to the Great Run series,‭ Nova International state he will be ‬principally working with the elite athlete management team.

NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyan media are informing that Uhuru Gardens will host the national cross country trials slated for February 16. Athletics Kenya (AK) public relations officer, Peter Angwenyi said they have now settled for Uhuru Gardens after consultations. AK had earlier raised serious doubt that the event would be held at Uhuru Gardens after several athletes complained of the poor conditions . A total of 24 athletes will be selected to represent the country at the World cross country championships planned for March 24 in Bydgoszcz , Poland. Kenya will be seeking to replicate the eight gold medals won in the same venue three years ago. AK said the athletes would train for four weeks and not three for the World Championships. 

CAPE TOWN (RSA): Athletics South Africa confirmed that one province and two clubs have stepped forward to host Permit Meetings during March and April 2013. Starting on Tuesday, 19 March Athletics Central North West will host a permit meeting at the KK MacArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom.  On Thursday, 18 April the Tuks Athletics Club will host the Tuks Gert le Roux Invitation Meeting at their campus in Hatfield, Pretoria.  The meeting is named after the doyen of Athletics Statisticians, Gert le Roux. Two days later, on Saturday 20 April the Traumeel University of North West-Pukke Athletics Club will host the Traumeel NWU-Pukke Invitation meeting at the KK MacArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom. 

BARCELONA (ESP): Former track world champion Eliud Kipchoge confirmed his participation at 23rd Barcelona Half Marathon on February 17. He switched last year to road racing and had his first two half marathons in September in Lille (59:25) and 61:52 as sixth at World HM Championships in Bulgaria. 


BUDAPEST (HUN, Feb 8): Good shot put wins at Hungarian federation international meet for Lajos Kurthy 19.76 and Anita Marton 17.31. Serbian hurdler Emir Bekric clocked 47.85 in the 400 m.

LYON (FRA, Feb 7): At French University Championships Chinese guest Wei Zhang cleared 562 in the pole vault and that is Asian junior indoor record.

NOVOCHEBOKSARSK (RUS, Feb 7): During first day of Russian junior championships Dmitry Sychev won the 60 m in 6.82. Alsu Bogdanova topped girls 3000 m in 9:23.07.

AMES (USA, Feb 7): Lindsay Lettow totalled 4286 points personal best in pentathlon at the Iowa State Classic meet. 

POTCHEFSTROOM (RSA, Feb 7): Olympic winner Krisztian Pars had his first meet of the year during the training camp here with 75.80 m.

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