RIO GETS BOLT
RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Sprinting star Usain Bolt will run a 150 m race on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 31st. The event titled 'DESAFIO MANO A MANO' will feature four of the top sprinters in a street meet type concept. The organisers XM3 Brazil will construct the track on the iconic Brazilian beach and promise to give the fans an exciting opportunity to see the world's fastest man up close and personal. This will be Bolt's second visit to Rio having been there in October 2012 for a promotional visit with his sponsors Puma. Bolt started the season at Camperdown Classic two weeks ago with 46.71 in the 400 m. It is not confirmed yet, but he might run a 4x400 m relay this Saturday at Gibson Relays. His only confirmed track meet for the summer season is Bislett Games of Oslo on June 13 at a 200 m.
RIO GETS WARNING
RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Rio 2016 officials have been given another gentle reminder that preparations need to be speeded up as they prepare for the Olympics and Paralympics with time slipping away. Nawal El Moutawakel, chair of the International Olympic Committee's Coordination Commission, was her usual diplomatic self as her team of inspectors finished its fourth visit to the Brazilian city since they were elected to host the Games in October 2009. But, it was clear, reading between the lines, that fears remain that Rio can deliver the project without it descending into a scramble in the final few months, as is happening with Brazil's preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. El Moutawakel praised organisers for the amount of work carried out since the last visit in June 2012, such as on the media villages, the venue masterplan, and the recruitment of staff by the Organising Committee, including a new chief executive, Sidney Levy. Informs insidethegames.
HAILE FOR FALL MARATHON
NIJMEGEN (NED): Legendary Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie is in preparation for the April Vienna Half Marathon. His next marathon is an option for fall or winter of 2013. He said that in an video-interview. „No plans for marathon right now. Maybe at the end of the year. Now Im focusing my preparation for half marathons and 10 km races," he said. His last finished marathon was one year ago Tokyo on February 26 as fourth in 2:08:17.
ASIAN CHAMPS WITH QUESTIONMARK
CHENNAI (IND): The 20th edition of Asian Athletics Championships, originally scheduled for Chennai from July 3 to 7, has been postponed following recent revelation of Sri Lankan war crimes by Britain's Channel-4 television. Few days ago Channel-4 broadcasted photos and video evidence showing brutal murder of Balachandran, the 12-year-old son of Tamil separatist movement leader Prabhakaran, and many civilians while in custody with the Sri Lankan military. People in mainland Tamil Nadu, for which Chennai is the capital, were terribly shocked by the recent revelation and hence in an emotional state. "We have taken the responsibility of conducting the Asian championships in July. However due to present scenario, we are not able to honour our commitment" expressed J. Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in an interview to local media. When contacted the officials of Athletics Federation of India said they did not receive any communiqué from the Government of Tamil Nadu so far and they will take decision on shifting of venue only after receiving such information. Along with the continental championships the Asian Athletics Association's quadrennial Congress and election of office-bearers also fixed at Chennai on July 1, this year. Writes Murali Krishnan.
TOP NAMES FOR NAGOYA
NAGOYA (JPN): Brett Larner informs that in its second year as a mass-participation women-only marathon the Nagoya Women's Marathon (March 10) released its elite field. For Japanese women it is the last chance to make the 2013 World Championships in a domestic race, with Boston and London remaining within in the qualifying window. National record holder Mizuki Noguchi tops the list after having pulled out of the Osaka for the second year in a row. London Olympians Risa Shigetomo and Ryoko Kizaki, both winners of other domestic women's marathons, and last year's Tokyo Marathon 4th-placer Eri Okubo round out the top end of the domestic field. The overseas field is strong. Kenyan Georgina Rono looks like the favorite for the win with a 2:21:39 in Frankfurt last year, several minutes ahead of countrywoman Margaret Agai and Ethiopian Genet Getaneh. Latvian veteran Jelena Prokopcuka is also listed along with multiple World CC Championships medalist Worknesh Kidane. Interesting debutantes overseas and domestic alike include Australian Nicole Chapple, 2008 World CC Champs silver medalist Mestawet Tufa of Ethiopia and two-time Ome 30 km winner Asami Kato. From Europeans to note Ukrainian Yuliya Ruban and as pacemakers Russians Mariya Konovalova and Alina Prokopeva.
PRETORIA (RSA): The decision by the national police commissioner to remove the investigator, Detective Hilton Botha, was the latest in a series of abrupt twists and setbacks in the prosecution of Oscar Pistorius. It caused a further delay in the defendant's hearing on his request to go free on bail in the case, which has riveted South Africa and much of the world. The commissioner, Riah Phiyega, said Detective Botha would be replaced by Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo, whom she described as the country's "top detective," The Associated Press reported. The attempted murder charges hanging over Detective Botha only compounded questions about his work on the Pistorius case. Under cross-examination on Wednesday, he was forced to acknowledge sloppy police work and to concede that he could not rule out Mr. Pistorius's version of events based on the existing evidence. The hearing was later adjourned until Friday. "Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius," Nike SA communications manager Seruscka Naidoo said in a statement.
FELEKE FOR ROTTERDAM
ROTTERDAM (NED): Last year's runner-up Ethiopian Getu Feleke will return to Rotterdam Marathon on the 14th of April. Informs GSC twitter. The 26-years old runner clocked his life-time best in Rotterdam in April 2012 with 2:04:50. Later he could not finish the London Olympic Marathon. Feleke started 2013 with 7th place at RAK Half Marathon in 1:00:26.
HOBART (AUS): Back-to-back athletics action will dominate the headlines in Hobart this weekend, as athletes from across the country descend on the Tasmanian capital for the Briggs Athletics Classic and the Australian and Oceania 20km Race Walking Championships. Scheduled for Saturday evening at the Domain Athletics Centre, the 24th Briggs Athletics Classic features local favourite and 2009 IAAF World Championships bronze medallist Tristan Thomas competing in the short sprints and his fellow London 2012 starters Collis Birmingham, Youcef Abdi, Jeff Hunt and Zoe Buckman taking to the track in middle distance events.
MONACO (MON): With just over one month to go to the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the oldest of the IAAF World Athletics Series events, the spotlight will be shone again on the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, which was also the host of the 2010 edition of the Championships, on Sunday 24 March. Informs the IAAF. Bydgoszcz's Myslecinek Park staged a magnificent spectacle in the finest traditions of European cross country running three years ago and 2013 looks set to be remembered as another fine championship. In 2010, 51 countries and 461 athletes competed in Bydgoszcz but preliminary entries suggest that those figures will increase this time around; with 55 countries and 487 athletes having indicated they will take part.
HONGKONG (HKG): The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2013 will be this Sunday also the venue for the 14th Asian Marathon Championships. Elite runners from 44 countries and regions were invited to take part in this biennial event which was previously hosted in Hong Kong in 2002 and 2008. Hong Kong Marathon has been upgraded to a Silver Label Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). For Japan running the entrants are Kenzo Kawabata on the men side and Kumi Ogura in women race. From Brett Larner.
MOSCOW (RUS): Reigning European champion at 110 m hurdles and world & European leader at 60m hurdles Sergey Shubenkov who won national indoor championships with PB 7.50 told to Russian media about his plans for Goteborg. "I am really satisfied with my season results. Certainly I would like to run under the world record but 7.50 that's time I was ready for" smiled 22-year-old Russian. "I know I'll be one of medal favorites in Goteborg but all my rivals are not very far from me and everyone from them can improve his result. That is why I don't want to predict any medalists. My goal is to surpass myself first of all. I go to Goteborg to run quickly."
IRVINE (USA): Asics America announced the fastest American marathon runner Ryan Hall, continues his longstanding relationship with Asics. One of the premier faces in American distance running, the two-time Olympian and American half marathon record holder became the first American to break the one-hour barrier in the half marathon in 2007.
KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica Gleaner writes that a majority of sports fans in Jamaica would like to see Usain Bolt line up in the 400 metres at this year's IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow. When asked if Bolt should run the 400m at the next World Championships, the Gleaner sports poll found that 80.14 per cent of females and 72.22 per cent of males want to see the 100 and 200 metres World record holder in the one-lap event.
BEIJING (CHN): China.org.cn informs that the national 1500 m champion Sun Lu has tested positive for a diuretic, the country's anti-doping body said. Sun was found using hydrochlorothiazide, a medicine that treats fluid retention and high blood pressure and can be used to cover the traces of other performance-enhancing drugs, the China Anti-Doping Agency told Xinhua. Sun, who had requested an analysis of her B sample, which still turned out positive, gave up the right for a hearing. The 25-years old runner clocked last year 4:12.16 when winning the national title.
PORTLAND (USA): British royalty, in a manner of speaking, graced the chambers of City Hall in downtown Portland on Wednesday. One day after learning Portland would be one of 35 cities asked to consider a bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, Lord Sebastian Coe spoke from the heart, and from experience as he served as Chairman of the London games organizing committee. „I saw the London games as something much more than something we would deliver for four weeks," Coe told the council members. „In the history and life of our nation, it had to have a lasting legacy." Writes kgw.com.
MELBOURNE (AUS): It won't be about revenge for Mitchell Watt when he squares off in Perth and Melbourne against the man who famously beat him to claim the Olympic long jump title in London. Australian media are informing. Watt and Briton Greg Rutherford are close friends and it is now a matter of record that the British jumper won the only event that really counted in 2012, with the Australian pocketing the silver medal. The upcoming Perth and Melbourne Track Classics will be their next head-to-head meetings. The Perth Track Classic is on March 16, with the Melbourne meet following on April 6.
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): Puma introduced its latest breakthrough running shoe, the Mobium Elite. As the premier model in Puma's new Adaptive Running collection, it is designed to expand and contract along with the foot's movement, and follows with current trends in performance running shoes, encouraging the runner to adopt a more natural and efficient mid-foot strike.
AMSTERDAM (NED): Netherland has currently 12 athletes to compete at European Indoors in Goteborg. Still until Sunday athletes can fulfill the necessary standards. So far qualified - men - 800 m: Kupers, Lathouwers, 1500 m: Nouws, 60 m hurdles: Smet, TJ: Florant, hept: Sintnicolaas. Women - 60 m: Schippers, Samuel, 400 m: Ghafoor, 60 m hurdles: Bakker, pent: Fransen, Broersen.
ZAPORIZHZHYA (UKR): Heptathlon reigning world indoor silver medalist Oleksiy Kasyanov will go to Goteborg to compete in the long jump. "It's my own decision to compete this winter in individual events" 27-year-old Ukrainian explains to national media. "I had some knees problems and I couldn't show my real potential in my favorite event even a few months ago. Now I don't feel any knees' discomfort and ready to jump far enough. I'll not make any predictions as my rivals are so strong but I'm not going to be just a tourist at European Indoors. I go there to fight." Kasyanov also added that his focus on long jump doesn't mean he didn't pay attention to other decathlon's events. "I definitely needed a little break from heptathlon or decathlon. But I'll return to combined events in summer aiming for a medal at world championships in Moscow."
YALTA (UKR, Feb 21): On third day of Ukrainian Winter throwing championships impressive breakthrough from 20-year-old Oleksandr Nechyporuk who won men javelin and improved his personal best from 66.10 to 80.05, Second Mykola Shama 76.88 and third Rustem Dremdzhy 75.35. Oleksiy Semenov topped the discus throw with 61.13 and his wife Nataliya Semenova won the women discus with 57.64.
PAROW (RSA, Feb 16): Bulgarian guest Georgi Tsonov leaped here to 16.85 (+2.4) in the triple jump. Former world junior champion from Bulgaria Tezdzhan Naimova clocked windy 11.24 (+2.6) in the 100 m.