Ashton Eaton confirms for Gotzis, Usain Bolt confirms for Rome, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Harry Marra, Ashton Eaton, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, 
photo by

Usain Bolt, Golden Gala Roma DL, 
photo by

Ashton Eaton, the world's greatest athlete, London 2012 gold medalist and World Record holder in the decathlon, has committed to Gotzis. Think Ashton will run up a BIG SCORE in Gotzis? Is the pope a Jesuit? Of course! 

Usain Bolt and Rome are, well, a media frenzy. The press conference is extremely congested as every newspaper in Italy wants time with the IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year in 2012. 

On top of that, 456 athletes from 47 countries will toe the line in Bydogoszcz, Poland on Saturday for the World Cross Country Championships! 



ROMA (ITA): Sprinting star Usain Bolt will compete for the third time in a row at Rome's Golden Gala, the fifth leg of the Samsung Diamond League, on 6 June 2013. To date, Bolt has left two impressive marks on Rome's Olympic Stadium track - first with his 9.91 in 2011, and then his superlative 9.76 last year to break the meeting record. Bolt will once again contest the 100m at this year's meeting, during a night that is expected to feature many of the world's athletics stars, as is always the case at the Golden Gala. "We are happy that Usain Bolt will be in Rome again," said Alfio Giomi, president both of the Italian Athletics Federation and the organizing committee. "We are working hard, together with our partner, CONI Servizi, to be up to the tradition of Rome's Golden Gala: a meeting rich in champions and in world-class challenges. From my point of view, I wish that the high international value of the Golden Gala may be reached this year with a strong contribution of the best Italian athletes." In Bolt´s programme confirmed so far in pre Jamaican Trials period Rio de Janeiro on March 31 the 150 m, Cayman Islands on May 8 (event not confirmed yet), Rome 100 m and Oslo on June 13 the 200 m. In the after Trials period Ostrava 4x100 m on June 27 and Paris 200 m on July 6.



LONDON (GBR): Decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton confirmed his first decathlon of the year is planned for Hypo Meeting end of May in Gotzis as part of IAAF Combined Events Challenge. He said that in an interview with Spikes. It will be the first time he has competed in the iconic multi-events competition, where both legendary Czechs Roman Sebrle and Tomas Dvorak performed so brilliantly. "I think a lot of Europeans will be excited," he says. The Oregon athlete will then target the US nationals before hoping to challenge for gold at the World Championships in Moscow, where the target is clear. "I definitely want to win the world champs. I have never done so before [Eaton took silver behind countryman Trey Hardee in 2011] and I don't want to have to qualify through the US trials in 2015," he adds with a laugh, referring to the fact that a win in the Russian capital will guarantee him a wildcard for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. Eaton started last weekend in California with great javelin improvement and plans as next meet Stanford Invitational on March 30.



BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Courses with snow in Myslecinek Park are ready for the world best cross country runners on Sunday at the 40th World Championships. African runners should have it tougher than at flat grass courses in the past years. But they also showed their abilities in snow and mud in the history of the event. Entry lists are confirming in total 456 runners from 47 countries for the four races. Last time 47 countries competed was back in 1987, interestingly also in Poland (Warszawa). Last two editions in Punta Umbria and here in Bydgoszcz had 51 countries, the record is 76 in Vilamoura, Portugal. Among the entered countries 12 from Europe. The number of entered runners (456) is higher than at last championships, 423 in Punta Umbria and 437 in Bydgoszcz 2010. For the races 126 senior men and 111 senior women with 122 junior boys and 97 junior girls are registered. For both male races 19 teams each want to score, in female races 16 teams each are entered.



MONACO (MON): Russia's World and Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova in her first IAAF diary entry talks about her time off after her London triumph and thanks Belgium's Tia Hellebaut for her amazing career. "My life has recently been full of things that have nothing to do with high jumping - which is quite a nice change. As you know, I completely missed the indoor season. Instead, I spent a lot of time with my family and especially with my daughter, Nika. She is now two-and-a-half already. My mom - who used to help me with Nika - was sick, so in recent weeks I was finally able to be mother for the whole time. I watched the European Indoor Championships of course, and felt so sorry for Tia Hellebaut. I chatted a bit with Tia after Gothenburg, and she said that she had lots of problems and felt exhausted. I tried to cheer her up, and said that in summer it would all be different, and that she was a fighter so she should not give up. But Tia said, 'for every fighter comes a time when he needs to rest,' and soon after our chat she announced her retirement. I understand her - being a mother of two must be really hard. And I wish Tia all the best in the new period of her life, whatever it is she chooses to do. I'm now leaving for my first training camp in Portugal."



LISBON (POR): Kenya's former New York marathon champion Edna Kiplagat will lead a galaxy of stars in this Sunday´s 23rd EDP Lisbon half marathon. Kiplagat, who has recovered from the knee injury which she suffered at the London Olympics Games last year, will be using the race as a build up ahead of next month's London Marathon. Also in the women field more top Kenyans Rita Jepto, Pasalia Chepkorir and former track world medalist Sylvia Kibet. Steeple world record holder Gulnara Galkina in her debut at the distance and Latvia´s Jelena Prokopcuka are the top European entries. Home star Sara Moreira plans to run again after NYC Half last weekend. Big debut is planned also in the men race by current 10 000 m world champion Ibrahim Jeylan of Ethiopia. Also in the field more high quality Ethiopians Sileshi Sihine and Lelisa Desisa. From Kenyans Titus Masai, Hunegnaw Mesfin of Eritrea and Cuthbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe. The registrations for the race has been closed when 37 000 applications were recieved.



FRANKFURT (GER): German high jump star Ariane Friedrich is after injuries and setbacks in last two years again ready to fly high. „Im on good way in my training and satisfied. Also relaxed but I will not forecast anything,"said Friedrich who passed the indoor season. First competition is preliminary planned for May. The main goal is the World Championships in Moscow. Her German record from 2009 is 206 cm. Writes



HAMBURG (GER): The 28th Haspa Marathon Hamburg on April 21 has its focus on fast times in this year's edition of the marathon. Fast athletes, a new faster course and a small but strong group of athletes should be the key to a successful 28th edition of the marathon. Two former world champions Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kiprop will lead the field. Kipchoge, the most experienced track athlete of the field will make his debut at the marathon distance. Wilson Kiprop is the 2010 World Half Marathon Champion and aiming to improve his personal best of 2:09:09 which he ran in 2009, this will be his second marathon. Also included in the field, 2008 Amsterdam runner-up Chele Dechasa, 2012 Fukuoka winner Joseph Gitau and 2012 Cologne runner-up Limenih Getachew. They will all chase the course record of 2.05.58 set by Shami Dawit last year. The women's race will be an interesting battle between athletes from Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Morocco, Kenya and Ethiopia. Among them; upcoming German long distance runner, Lisa Hahner, who will only run her second marathon after finishing the 2012 Frankfurt marathon in 2.31.28. She will face Kateryna Stetsenko from Ukraine who has the fastest personal best of the field, 2.27.51 and the 2012 Dublin Marathon winner Kenyan Magdaline Mukunzi.







STAWELL (AUS): Former 100 m world record holder Asafa Powell will start from scratch in the 132nd running of Australia's richest and most famous footrace, the Australia Post Stawell Gift. The Jamaican, with a personal best of 9.72 seconds, will become the fastest runner ever to race at Stawell and is searching to become the third runner in history to win the event from the scratch mark. Whilst Powell's handicap was expected, there was some surprise in the handicap handed to two-time winner Joshua Ross. Ross, who won from 7m in 2003 and scratch in 2005, will give Powell just a 1m start in 2013. The 2013 Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival will be held from Friday, 29 March and will conclude on Monday, 1 April.


ROCHESTER (USA): World indoor pole vault record holder Jenn Suhr spoke to Spikes: "The week before the nationals I jumped 4.84m at a small meet in Indianapolis. It wasn't the height I jumped, but the height and clearance over the bar that showed me it was possible." One week later, possibility turned into reality at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, where Suhr put together her perfect competition. With both the men's and women's pole vault coming to the fore this winter, outdoor competition is set to sizzle: with Suhr taking on Isinbayeva in her own backyard. It could well be one of the highlights of the Moscow World Championships, although the American is keen to downplay talk of a head-to-head confrontation. "I'm not counting my chickens, as first I have to qualify for the team at the US nationals," she says. "I also think any time you go to someone's country and take them on, you are instantly the underdog. The way I look at it is: there's going to be 12 people in the final and all those girls are striving for the same goals and the same position. There is not just one person to worry about." She will open her outdoor season at Drake Relays in Des Moines.


NEW YORK (USA): Race Results Weekly writes that the sixteen year-old Alana Hadley, who is already the fastest American girl ever for the half-marathon as both a 14 and 15 year-old, has decided to move up to the marathon and will make her debut at the distance at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, May 19. The Charlotte, N.C., teenager made the announcement on her blog. „Well I have some pretty exciting news to tell you," wrote Hadley. „I am going to make my marathon debut this year at the Cleveland Marathon on May 19th. I am super excited about this decision and can't wait for May to get here!" In 2012, she completed three half-marathons at the age of 15, clocking 1:16:41 (Myrtle Beach), 1:16:46 (New York City), and 1:16:59 (Duluth/USA Championships).


LONDON (GBR): One of top British sprinters Dwain Chambers was not fully healthy at European Indoor Championships where she was out in heats. Now he is back training full time. Plans to travel to Miami at the end of the month for five. Then onto the French Alps to do altitude/conditioning work. Chambers plans to do less meets as the years before so that he will be in the best shape going into the summer. He will be opening with the 150 m at the Manchester City Games. Informs his agent Siza Agha.


DUDINCE (SVK): Top name at the 32nd „Dudinska patdesiatka" walking meet will be this Saturday in Southeast of Slovakia double European champion Yohan Diniz of France. He is also here the course record holder with 3:38:45 at the 50 km since 2009. Also entered Grzegorz Sudol winner from 2006 and 2008 and Rafal Augustyn who was number one in 2010, both from Poland. For all events 175 walkers from 19 countries are registered. In the main 50 km 49 names are currently in the start list, it will be also national championships race at this distance for Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. Slovak women will fight for national title at the 20 km. In the accompanying men 20 km best Slovak walker and olympic top ten placer Matej Toth will compete. For the organizers it will be also a very important test before the European Cup in Race Walking which will be staged here on May 19. New 1 km long course will be tested.


MOSCOW (RUS): Javelin throw reigning world champion Mariya Abakumova confessed to that she was in deep depression after failure at London Olympics and even thought about ability to give a birth for a child. "I was absolutely exhausted after London. I had no one thought to continue and even pondered maybe it's my time to become the mother. I was in one step to finish my sport career and to be honest I'm still in athletics mostly thanks to my husband (also javelin thrower Dmitriy Tarabin). But now I know that Dmitriy means for me much more than just husband. He's my real friend, adviser, my training partner. He is dearer than any medal or title. He is my gold. Dmitriy has activated me to move further in athletics and fulfill myself as thrower first of all." She confirmed she is really back with huge world lead 69.34 during last weekend at European Cup Winter Throwing in Spain. Abakumova also informed that now she is coached by former Estonian javelin thrower, USSR champion and European medalist Heino Puuste.


NASSAU (BAH): The 2013 BTC Carifta Games promises to be the best ever. The visiting officials and athletes will be impressed as soon as they enter the hall at the new Lynden Pindling Airport. Jamaica will be the team to beat. In the last forty-one editions of the Games they have lost only five times, in 1975 to Bermuda, and in 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1984 to the Bahamas. This years edition is planned for March 29th-April 1st.







JACKSONVILLE (USA, Mar 16): Good but windy sprints at Bill Hayes High School Meet. Levonte Whitfield (19) clocked 10.15 (+2.4) at the 100 m ahead of Kendal Williams (17) 10.18. In the 200 m they changed their positions, Williams 20.63 (+3.5) and Whitfield 20.66.


PRETORIA (RSA, Mar 15-16): At North Gauteng Championships Akani Simbine clocked 10.41 (+0.8) in the 100 m, he also won the 200 m in 21.19. 400 m hurdler LJ Van Zyl was third 21.40. PC Beneke clocked 49.77 at the 400 m hurdles. Wenda Nel posted 56.94 at 400 m hurdles and Lynique Prinsloo leaped to 659 (+2.2) in the long jump.


COETZENBURG (RSA, Mar 15-16): German decathlete Jan Felix Knobel improved here to great 76.36 javelin personal best.

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