April 2016 Archives
James beats Merritt
DES MOINES (USA, Apr 29): Olympic winner Kirani James despite chilly conditions beat in the 400 m at Drake Relays World champion LaShawn Merritt in 44.08, the second fastest time ever achieved in April (only faster Michael Johnson 43.75 in Waco on April 19 in 1997). It is also a World lead and meet record. Second Merritt also fast 44.22, fourth fastest ever in April (in-between Jeremy Wariner 44.12 on April 22, 2006 also in Waco). In head-to-head all-time situation James now leads over Merritt 11:7 (per Tilastopaja). "It shows that I'm on course to do some great things, so long as I don't take anything for granted and keep on doing the right things for the rest of this season," James said. "I wanted to win the race, but I didn't want to kill myself. The main thing that was tough is that my toes felt frozen. When I tried to really push, I felt like I was tip-toeing," Merritt added per local media. Good times also for third Bralon Taplin 44.92 and fourth David Verburg 45.03. In other Rio Preview events (second half to be staged on Saturday) to note another World lead, Jenny Simpson 4:06.44 in the 1500 m ahead of Kate Grace 4:07.15 and Heather Kampf 4:07.26. 2005 World champ Bershawn Jackson won the 400 m hurdles in 49.30 over Michael Tinsley 49.36 and Kerron Clement 49.86 with Bahamas Jeffery Gibson fourth 49.98. In technical events two wins for Canada by the reigning World champions. Derek Drouin in high jump 224 and Shawn Barber in pole vault 550. Second places for Bryan McBride 224 and Sam Kendricks 550. British World indoor medalist Lorraine Ugen won the long jump with 682 (+3.5, legal 661 +1.1) over Olympic and World winner Brittney Reese 674 (+1.5). Another loss for reigning World indoor champion in shot put as Tia Brooks with 19.37 (equaled her PB) was better than Michelle Carter 18.72. In the mixed shuttle hurdles relay the Team Blue (Castlin, Adams, Ali, Lovett) won in 54.42 over Team Red (Stowers, Parchment, Coward, A. Merritt) 54.77 and Team Green (K. Harrison, Harris, Rollins, McLeod) 54.89. The fourth Team White was disqualified (DeLoach, Riley, Q. Harrison, Oliver).
NEW YORK (USA): Bizjournals.com informs that Procter & Gamble Co. signed one of the world's fastest women Allyson Felix to help pitch Bounty, the paper towel brand touted as "the quicker picker upper." The Olympic gold medal sprinter suffered a minor injury in advance of a major promotion planned. She could not participate because of this and those who attended were to get a chance to compete virtually against Felix via green screen.
The cool, clear evenings in Palo Alto have hosted some of the finest distance running in the world. The picture above was taken after Chris Solinsky, who retired this past week, broke the then AR for 10,000m, becoming the first non-African to break 27 minutes over the distance.
How fast will they run in 2016? You can be assured, pretty darn fast. And for your viewing pleasure, here are the final entries and final schedule for the 2016 Payton Jordan Invitational.
Final Entries for Payton Jordan:pjc_program.pdf
Final Schedule for Payton Jordan:2016 Payton Schedule (Final).pdf
As always, a very special thanks to David Kiefer, at Stanford Sports information, who has always been supportive of our efforts.
COLUMBUS (USA, Apr 30): US Half Marathon champions are Tara Welling 1:10:25and Christo Landry 1:02:52. They were clear winners ahead of Desiree Linden 1:11:06and Brianne Nelson 1:11:24. On the men side second Scott Fauble 1:03:06 and third Scott Bauhs 1:03:15 ahead of Shadrack Biwott 1:03:19.
PHILADELPHIA (USA): Star sprinter Justin Gatlin admitted he was slowed down in his preparation by an injury at the end of last year. "I had an ankle injury in November, where I severely rolled my ankle and it's been a really tough Fall training season for me. Mentally getting myself ready but also physically, it's been a challenge for me as well. Me also being the veteran, especially within my training group, it was kind of tough for me to be in the back training while everyone was running past me. To be able to come out and run 9.90 the first race out, being here at Penn is really going to help me get ready for the next races," he said before his relay outing on Saturday at the Penn Relays.
Dave Johnson is the director of the Penn Relays. For a track geek such as Dave Johnson, this is a dream job. This dream job, however, comes with many challenges. Here is the thoughtful piece from David Hunter on Dave Johnson, posted on the weekend of the Penn Relays, the oldest and most prestigious relay meet in America.
Larry Eder notes on this story by Cathal Dennehy:
After his magnifiscent win in London, my queries to Eliud Kipchoge regarding his coach, his training regimen and his training group were met with a wide smile. "I am confident because of my coach, my training and my training group." noted Eliud. When I asked him the size of his training group, the smile continued, and he said, " Big."
It was quite clear, from this amazing athlete, that Patrick Sang plays a huge part in his success. Any coach suggest 1000 meter repeats, but Eliud Kipchoge loves 13 times 1000 meters! His ability to cover every move in the 26.2 miles of the London marathon is a special talent, which has been nurtured by Patrick Sang, perhaps the finest, or if not that, one of the finest coaches in the world.
Patrick Sang would never suggest that he is the finest coach in the world. We let Cathal Dennehy say it in the following feature.
Tamberi to open at Stadio Olimpico
ROME (ITA): Three big names have been confirmed for the Rome Golden Gala IAAF Diamond League on 2 June: Olympic, European and world long jump champion Greg Rutherford, world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk and world indoor high jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi. This will be Tamberi's first competition on home soil since winning gold in Portland last month. From organisers.
Kirani James, photo by PhotoRun.net
James vs Merritt
DES MOINES (USA): The 107th Drake Relays highlights are for Friday and Saturdaymen 400 m with first years clash of Kirani James vs LaShawn Merritt, Omar McLeod with Hansle Parchment, Aries Merritt and David Oliver are in the high hurdles. Women hurdles are offering early world leader Kendra Harrison against Dawn Harper-Nelson, Jasmin Stowers, Brianna Rollins, Kendra Harrison and Nia Ali. Jenny Simpson is in women 1500 m, Brittney Reese in women long jump, Boris Berian in the 800 m, Will Claye and Marquis Dendy in triple, Michelle Carter in shot put, Javier Culson against Jeffery Gibson in 400 m hurdles. Always very special shuttle hurdles mixed relays this time. Spectators will notice a few changes to this year's event as competitors might be giving it a little more to earn some extra coin. Athletes will be able to 'Leap For Loot' and 'Throw For Dough' to win an additional 9000 USD. In the women's long jump and men's triple jump, competitors will 'Leap For Loot' with an additional $1,500 being awarded to the top jumper in each of the event's six rounds. Combined with the existing purse money, $15,000 in total money is now up for grabs in each of the two events. The women's shot put field will have a similar structure as the field 'Throws For Dough.' The top mark in each of the event's six rounds will collect $1,500. The worry is the weather as the forecast is not very favorable
Larry Eder responds: Kudos to Hy-Vee, the major sponsor of Drake and the team at the Drake Relays. Continuing to innovate, bring in tremendous athletes and curating excellent rivalries is no mean task, and Drake's team management does a great job! The Merritt vs James is a case in point. Two of the three finest 400 meter runners in the world, Drake fans will be spoiled on Friday with this an dmany of the other competitions. Bring your winter jackets, because it could be cold.
More top names for Rabat
RABAT (MAR): More big names have been confirmed for the Rabat IAAF Diamond League on 22 May. World champion Piotr Malachowski leads the discus field which includes the top six finishers from the 2015 World Championships while world champion Yarisley Silva leads a class pole vault field which also includes Sandi Morris, Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, Ekaterini Stefanidi and Silke Spiegelburg. Two-time Olympic champion Valerie Adams faces Anita Marton in the shot put while world champion Caterine Ibarguen goes head-to-head with world indoor champion Yolimar Rojas in the triple jump. A strong field in the long jump has also been recruited: Fabrice Lapierre, Mauro da Silva, Ruswahl Samaai and Marquis Goodwin. In total, 29 global champions past and present set to compete. From organisers.
Larry Eder responds:The Rabat IAAF Diamond League was a suprise to many. Truth is, meet has fine crowds and puts together strong fields. It is not, however, New York City, the media capital of the world. Instead of funding the New York DL, adidas is funding two meets, on May 13-14, in Herzogenaurach, Germany (adidas HQ) and June 17-18 in Boston, as both meets are part of the new adidas BOOST series.
Larry Eder responds on LME press release below:
Somehow, in the myriad of compelling road racing dramas that shaped up in London on Sunday, April 24, the British Trials were shown and given the respect due. Callum Hawkins and his brother, Derek, plus Tsegai Twelde ran the races of their proverbial young lives. Chris Thompson, with six weeks of training, used muscle memory to run a 2:15, showing respect to both his sport and himself.
On the women's side, Alyson Dixon and Sonia Samuels ran excellent races, proving once again, that they should be the focus of the British selectors, and they were.
I wanted to commend London Marathon Events on their training grant donations to the five British athletes for their last few months expenses for training for Rio 2016.
Matt Fitzgerald writes compelling books on high performance athletics. His ability to weave the anecdotal and scientific is one of his finest qualities. In this review, by Jeff Benjamin, our long time correspondent from Staten Island, we learn about Mr. Fitzgerald's newest tome, "How Bad Do You Want it?".
Jonas Hedman is a long time writer and publisher on Swedish Athletics. He is co-author of Who's the Greatest? If you are a track fan, you need to get this book! www.worldsgreatestinathletics.com, published by our friend Jonas Hedman, who writes A View from Sweden for runblogrun.com.
Top throwers for Doha
DOHA (QAT): World champions Piotr Malachowski, Christina Schwanitz and Katharina Molitor are among the newest recruits for the Doha Diamond League on 6 May. The three discus medallists from the World Championships will be in action with Malachowski taking on silver and bronze medallists Philip Milanov and Robert Urbanek while Schwanitz is set to go head-to-head with world indoor champion Michelle Carter in the shot put. Molitor faces Sunette Viljoen and Martina Ratej in the javelin. The organisers have also assembled a classy field in the pole vault: Ekaterini Stefanidi, Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, Sandi Morris, Silke Spiegelburg, Nicole Buchler and Li Ling have been confirmed. Elsewhere, world indoor champion Yolimar Rojas has been added to the triple jump field where she will face Olympic champion Olga Rypakova and world champion Caterine Ibarguen while Orlando Ortega has been added to the field for the 110m hurdles. From organisers.
Allyson vs Sanya
EUGENE (USA): An all-star field has been assembled for the women's 400m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on 28 May. The line-up includes seven runners with sub-50 lifetime bests including world champion Allyson Felix and Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who recently announced she will be retiring at the end of the season. Other top athletes in the line-up include world silver medallist Shaunae Miller, the world-leader with 49.69; and Quanera Hayes, who recently set a PB of 49.91. The field also includes Francena McCorory, Natasha Hastings, Stephenie Ann McPherson and Ashley Spencer. Felix leads the head-to-head 7-4 over Richards-Ross at 400m, and 20-9 across all distances. From organisers.
ELDORET (KEN): Kenya's athletics trials for the Rio Olympic Games will be held at Eldoret's Kipchoge Keino Stadium on June 14 and 15, with Team Kenya also setting up their pre-Olympic training camp in the North Rift region. In a departure from tradition, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya yesterday announced they have reached the final decision to concentrate their pre-Olympics preparations in the counties of Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Elgeyo-Marakwet. It will be the first time ever for the entire Kenyan contingent to the Olympics to train outside Nairobi. The pre-Olympics residential camp in the North Rift starts on June 20. Informs Daily Nation.
Bolt in Ostrava 100 m
PRAGUE (CZE): Sporting superstars Usain Bolt and Ashton Eaton will both line up in the 100m at the Golden Spike in Ostrava on 20 May (IAAF World Challenge). "I'm pleased to return to the Golden Spike meeting for the eighth time in my career. It's one of my favourite meets on the circuit. The organisation is always great and the fans create a fantastic atmosphere. It will be my first European meeting of 2016," said Bolt, who is unbeaten in seven appearances in Ostrava. Eaton will also contest the long jump in Ostrava. For Bolt this will be his second meet of the year after Cayman Islands on May 14. Ostrava organisers announced at a press conference in Praha.
Eliud Kipchoge is the finest marathoner in the world for his era.
In six of his seven marathons, Eliud Kipchoge has come out on top. In perhaps, his finest performance in his career, Eliud Kipchoge battled Stanley Biwott, NYC Marathon champion, Wilson Kipsang, former world record holder, Gemhre Ghebreselassie, World Champion, Dennis Kimetto, current world record holder, plus the current world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele.
Eliud Kipchoge covered every move that his competitors attempted. His level of confidence comes from his coach, Patrick Sang, his training partners, and his training.
One more thing must be said! Eliud Kipchoge is an absolute pleasure to interview, as Eliud gets it: there are no secrets but hard, hard work. His pleasure at winning a tough race is obvious.
This interview was done on April 25, 2016, by Larry Eder at the final presser for the Virgin London Marathon. Eliud Kipchoge, obviously exhausted from the phone calls (1200 messages on his iphone) and messages, gave us a wonderful view into his racing and his love of the sport.
Jemima Sumgong has been one of the finest marathoners in the world for the past half decade. In that time, she has paled second in New York, Boston and Chicago.
On April 24, 2016, Jemima Sumgong won the Virgin Money London Marathon, after a difficult fall, where Jemima virtually jumped from the ground and ran to the front.
This interview was done on Monday, April 25, 2016, right after the final presser of the London marathon. Jemima Sumgong told me that it took her some time to realize that she had actually won! Soft spoken, Jemima Sumgong, like many of the most successful global runners, speaks English well and gives you, the reader, an inside view into her racing.
Thanks for Frederico Rosa, Jemima's manager, for his support in this interview.
Guy Morse was the first Executive Director of the B.A.A. Boston marathon in the professional era. This interview was done by Larry Eder, on Thursday, April 14, after the John Hancock presser introducing the champions and elite fields of the Boston Marathon.
In this fascinating interview, Guy speaks about John Hancock's first involvement, adidas coming in as a sponsor and Gatorade's involvment. All three of those sponsors came in on Guy Morse's watch. Fascinating to hear how many worried that, after the 1984 race, whether the 1985 race would even happen!
Special thanks to Guy Morse for his time and thoughts.
Global Athletics and Marketing today announced a partnership between adidas, the city of Boston and GA&M. The new event, the two-day adidas BOOST Boston Games will provide an exciting, fast format approach to track & field, incorporating the best of traditional athletics and the exciting interaction of a street games format, all in the city of Boston!
With athletes such as World record holder and Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr, World record holder and multi World Championship and Olympic medalist Meseret Defar and Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis, one of our sports' most innovative management teams, GA&M, plus one of our sports'most iconic brands adidas are working with one of the premier sports city's in the country. Add to the mix a resurging Yohan Blake, Olympic silver medalist in the 100 meters, and you will make the streets of Boston rock!
"Boston is a sports city." noted Global Athletics' Mark Wetmore. This approach to showcasing our sport is what the IAAF, the governing body of the sport, has been talking aobut for several years. How do you bring young fans to the sport? You bring the sport to them!
The entire announcement from Global Athletics & Marketing is provided below, and a link to the pdf is a click away: ABBG-PR1.pdf
The fall of Jemima Sumgong had to be seen to be believed. This is what happened: Aselefech Mergia cut across Jemima Sumgong and Sumgong did a "header", as in hit her head, gashed it. Mary Keitany, looking back, fell over herself. Keitany was hurt and finished ninth.
Sumgong was hurt (observers noted she was bleeding at the finish), yet got up and went to the front. First she broke the assembled field, and then, Florence Kiplagat and Tigist Tufa were only ones left. Jemima Sumgong increased the pace to 5:16, 5:13 and 5:15 for miles 23, 24 and 25. First, Florence Kiplagat went, finishing third, and over the last two kilometers, Jemima Sumgong, who finished second in NYC, Boston and Chicago, won the 2016 Virgin London Marathon.
Here is how the VLMN Media & Communications team saw the race!
Both races were races for the ages. The 2016 Virgin London Marathon Men's race and Women's race were tight competitions with the best marathoners in the world. Here is how the VLMN Media team saw the men's race!
Eliud Kipchoge came within eight seconds of a new World Record today, at the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. His 2:03:05 came from a hard fought race, with his 25th mile run in 4:35!
"It was a good course. The support was perfect-the crowd was fantastic and it was good to get a PB!" noted the victor himself, Eliud Kipchoge.
Look at this photo, no really close. You are seeing history here. Eliud Kipchoge may be the best marathoner in the world. The difference is this: especially for Kenyan, Eliud is exceptionally well spoken, and quite proud.
The pride is not about ego, although Eliud Kipchoge, by Kenyan standards, does speak his mind and also explains his motivation. The pride comes from the confidence that he has both in his coach and his workouts.
One thing is for certian, Eliud Kipchoge loves the sport, and loves to race marathons.
Glasgow for Euroindoors 2019
AMSTERDAM (NED): Glasgow has won the right to stage the 2019 European Indoor Championships. The decision for the 35th edition of the event was made at the European Athletics Council's 146th official meeting in Amsterdam this morning. Glasgow won nine votes compared to Torun's six. Apeldoorn had one vote and Minsk no vote. "In Glasgow, we have chosen a fantastic host. I attended the Glasgow 1990 European Athletics Indoor Championships, and I am looking forward to being there in 2019 for what will be my final major event as European Athletics President," said Svein Arne Hansen. The Council also decided that Győr, Hungary, will host the 2018 European U18 Championships and Rieti, Italy, will stage the 2020 edition.
Larry Eder Responds: I have to say, the European Athletics Association should be commended on how they are building for the future. Social media, coverage of events all reaching out to 14-25 year olds, an focus on building participation.
NAIROBI (KEN, Apr 23): Final day of Kenya Police Championships had Vincent Yator winning the 10 000 m in 28:15.7 ahead of Joseph Kitum 28:17.5 and Augustine Choge 28:22.8. Three hours after that Yator won the 5000 m in 13:43.1 over Isiah Koech 13:44.7 and Remmy Limo 13:45.1. A double also for Janet Kisa who won the 5000 m in 16:28.8 and 1500 m in 4:11.3 ahead of Margaret Chelimo 4:11.8 and steeple specialist Virginia Nyambura 4:12.3. Olympic winner Asbel Kiprop dominated the 1500 m in 3:40.2 over Abednego Chesebe 3:40.6, Collins Cheboi 3:41.7 and Paul Kipsiele Koech 3:42.2. Top shape display by 1500 m specialist Elijah Manangoi who won the 800 m in 1:45.1 ahead of Jeremiah Mutai 1:45.8 and Job Kinyor 1:46.1. World champion Julius Yego achieved 78.29 to win the javelin. In women 800 m Emily Cherotich 2:00.0 ahead of Nelly Chepkosgei 2:00.7. From Sportsnewsarena and Daily Nation.
Record numbers for London Marathon
LONDON (GBR): Record numbers are expected to start the 36th 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday after nearly 40 000 registered for the race over the last four days. When registration desks at the London Marathon Expo at ExCeL London closed at 17:00 today, a total of 39,698 accepted applicants had picked up their running numbers and Ipico Sports Timing tag. Last year record of starters 38 200 should be broken. Another major milestone in the history of the event is planned when its one millionth finisher crosses the Finish Line in The Mall some time tomorrow afternoon. Despite the expected chilly winds, around 38,700 should finish the race tomorrow, easily beating the record 37,740 who crossed the line in 2015. Just a few hours earlier, the London Marathon will take its first ever step into outer space when British astronaut Tim Peake sets the runners on their way from Blackheath before he begins his own marathon mission, running the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon on a treadmill on board the International Space Station some 400km above the Earth. The event will have a royal flavour too when HRH Prince Harry, Patron of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, presents trophies to the top three elites and IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup racers. From organizers release.
Schippers two world leads, Ogunode 9.91
GAINESVILLE (USA, Apr 22): Tom Jones Memorial registered three World leading marks of the fresh season. World champion and European Athlete of the Year Dafne Schippers clocked in the 200 m 22.25 (-0.2) beating 400 m specialist Quanera Hayes 22.89 PB. Qatari Femi Ogunode posted 9.91 (+0.6) in the 100 m, that means he equaled his own Asian record. Behind him Isiah Young 10.03, Jamaican 200 m specialist Nickel Ashmeade also 10.03 and Canadian Aaron Brown 10.10. Fastest European time was Dutch Hensely Paulina winning his heat in 10.23 (+0.5) PB, also PB for another Dutch Solomon Bockarie who won another heat in 10.27 (+0.4). Third World lead in women 4x100 m by an special team of three nationalities 42.22, Briton Desiree Henry, Schippers, another Briton Anyika Onuora and US Tianna Bartoletta. Second British Virgin Islands 44.05 national record. Also to note other fast sprint times, Trinidad´s Machel Cedenio 44.79 in the 400 m over Arman Hall 45.17 and Mike Berry 45.35 with David Verburg winning another heat in 45.11 where Belgian Jonathan Borlee was third 45.87. In women 400 m Italian Libania Grenot posted 51.63 ahead of Shakima Wimbley 51.75. Women 100 m had Jamaican Simone Facey winning in 11.00 (+0.4) ahead of Murielle Ahoure 11.06 and Candyce McGrone 11.13. Kyra Jefferson clocked in her heat personal best 11.17 (+0.2). Also European champion Tiffany Porter was pretty fast with 12.72 (+1.0) over the hurdles ahead of Belgian Anna Zagre 12.95 (but 12.94 +1.6 in heats) and Dutch Nadine Visser 12.99 (but 12.89 +1.8 in heats). British Meghan Beesley won 400 m hurdles in 55.72 and another British win for Richard Kilty in the 200 m 20.60 (-0.4). Jason Richardson was the best in 110 m hurdles 13.33 with Ronnie Ash second 13.47. Florida clocked 39.11 in men 4x100 m ahead of Netherlands 39.27. World Indoor champion in long jump Marquis Dendy won the triple 16.36 (+1.7) and new Slovak name in women hammer Veronika Kanuchova 69.48 PB as the winner. Train Gang got 3:02.28 win in men 4x400 m.
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Genzebe Dibaba has pulled out of the President's Cup in Dubai where she was due to make her 10,000m debut, informs Sport 360. Her coach Jama Aden has said she has a left foot injury which requires two weeks' rest. "Genzebe wanted to come but she suffered a slight injury at the last minute and was forced to pull out because the doctor recommended she rest for two weeks," he said. Aden also suggested that Dibaba might have attacked the world record of 29:31.78 which has stood since 1993. "She wanted to test herself in the 10,000m and perhaps go for the world record or run the distance in Rio this summer. This injury is a small setback and we haven't decided yet which events she'll be doing in Rio, be it the 1,500m or the 5,000m or the 10,000."
It is early evening in London, on the Saturday before the London Marathon. The lobby of the Guoman Tower Hotel is loud with many conversations, in many languages.
Media are busy posting final articles and the technical meetings are over. I have had a busy day, and am preparing for dinner with a friend, but first, some thoughts on the reality of global marathons in 2016.
LONDON (GBR): Wilson Kipsang has said he doesn't believe a race such as the London Marathon is conducive to setting world records, informs ESPN. "There is a high possibility that we could run a world record, but our approach probably doesn't allow this. It's mental torture. A world record does not happen in that kind of scenario. Everyone is strong and tries to make sure they beat this guy or that guy. Our minds are not relaxed. You cannot take that kind of approach to a world record. Once it's not a relaxed environment, you just see how you can win the race." Kipsang will be aiming to score his third victory in London tomorrow morning and is hoping to approach his course record of 2:04:29.
Bolt says things coming together
NEW YORK (USA): Jamaican fastest man on earth Usain Bolt said that things are coming together again and he was happy with his progress. "I'm feeling OK. My coach (Glen Mills) says my fitness is exactly where he wants it to be," Bolt said. The 29-year-old added that his main aim is to be sharp for the championships, including the Jamaica National Championships in June. "I have two months before trials and three and a half months before the Olympics," he said. He is going to open at Cayman Islands meet on May 14.
Updated April 22, 2016
We asked Sabrina Yohannes, a long time correspondent who frequently writes for us on Ethiopian Athletics, to check in with Genzebe Dibaba.
Here is her piece on Genzebe Dibaba contemplating the 5,000m and 10,000m double for 2016.
LONDON (GBR): Aselefech Mergia will be looking to regain her London Marathon title on Sunday after claiming the title in 2010 but only after the subsequent disqualification of Russians Liliya Shobukhova and Inga Abitova, informs Athletics Weekly. "Of course I can look back six years and say if I had won the race then, that would have made a bit of difference, maybe in terms of bonuses that I would have got from my sponsor or other opportunities if I had been recognised as the winner six years ago. But that is not the most important thing: the most important thing is that people who are cheating are taken out of the sport. My general position on doping is that I am completely against doping. Doping should just not be part of the sport," she said. Mergia trains in the same training group as Atsede Baysa and Tirfi Tsegaye, who finished first and second in Boston on Monday.
Bob Ramsak writes from the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon to provide us a preview of the exciting battle between Komen and Tadese on April 24!
Watch for a review of the race and photos from one of the most scenic and historic cities in the world, Istanbul!
Cover of John Disley Memorial pamphlet
On the afternoon of April 21, I was fortunate to have gone to the Memorial for the late John Ivor Disley. Anyone who has run the London Marathon or viewed the marathon has been influenced by Mr. Disley. To say that John Disley was a Renaissance man would be an understatement. The 1952 Olympic bronze medalist at the steeplechase was also a mountaneer, orienteer, husband, father, and co-founder of the London Marathon with the late Chris Brasher.
In 1981, there were 7,500 runners in the London Marathon, in 2015, there were 37,000 plus.
Here is the 14th report from our friend, Carles Baronet, who manages Track In Sun blog. Carles is from Catalonia, and is a wonderful and detailed statistician who loves our sport. He compiles European indoor, outdoor, cross country and now, USA Indoor and Outdoor. We are most grateful to his labors of love for our sport of athletics.
The London Media room is one of my favorite places to be in the world. The pressers, the interaction with fellow scribes, and the quality of the interviews all make it a week where I double my workload to write about the sport we love.
Here is some quick news on London Marathon. Watch for my columns later this evening.
LONDON (GBR): Hugh Brasher has said the terrorist threat for Sunday's race is low, informs The Guardian. "At the moment London's security risk is 'severe'," he said. "That security risk hasn't changed over the last few years, even after the tragedy of Paris and Brussels. The threat to our event is low. That also hasn't changed. We work very closely with the Metropolitan police, the emergency services, the boroughs and that dialogue is always ongoing."
Larry Eder responds: The world did change after 9/11, but, by that time, the London Marathon had already taken many precautions to insure the protection of its fields and fans.
Boston 2013 did open all road races eyes to the need of security.
Part of the difference in the UK is a proper mixture of old fashioned police work and digital surveillance. Nothing is 100 percent safe, but the British approach with police and security teams on the street, use of digital surveillance, and an informed public make the event safter.
It was Saturday night, April 16. LIke most years, on the Saturday of the Boston Marathon Weekend, I spend it with about one hundred of so of my closest friends in the sport at a bar, where we talk about the sport, talk about our lives, do a few toasts, and catch up on the past year.
Many of the conversations brought me back to my early days in Boston. The week long gathering of the sport, from consumer, to elite to business member is constant in Beantown.
How has the sport changed, how has Boston changed? I write this from the coffee shop in London, jet lagged after a long first day at the Guoman Towers hotel.
This was the newspaper that many awoken to, noting that a woman had run the marathon. When coaches of the time, such as Percy Cerutty, the famed coach of Herb Elliott, noted that women who could run a sub five minute mile or sub three hour marathon were "less than a woman", and other medical experts spoke of prolapsed uteri, Roberta 'Bobbi' Gibb was pretty damn alone in 1966, when she ran Boston for the first time. I equate Bobbi Gibb with the woman in the suffragette society (hence the homage to Susan B. Anthony in the title), as she not only challenged norms, but, with 164,000 women following her lead in Boston, Bobbi Gibb changed lives.
Here is a wonderful feature on Bobbi by Sharon Barbano, another trailblazer in womensports. This is Sharon's first piece for RunBlogRun, and I hope that she will write more for us.
Updated April 20, 2016: At the final press conference of the BAA Boston Marathon for 2016, Atsede Baysa gave her newly won Boston Marathon trophy to Bobbi Gibb. In her own way, Atsede was overcome in hearing the story about Bobbi's Boston run in 1966. Now, fifty years later, the women who dared all, including possible body part collapse, to run her favorite marathon.
Enjoy Sharon's story.
Meselech Melkamu is one of the most bemedaled athletes in the history of our sport. Melkamu is one of a handful of women (six, I believe) who have broken 30 minutes for 10,000 meters. Her 29:53.80, in 2009 set the African record.
This interview was done by our dear friend and compatriot, Andy Edwards of Race Results News Service, prior to the HASPA Hamburg Marathon on April 17, 2016.
On April 17, Meselech Melkamu, whose PB, in her debut, mind you, is 2:21:01, destroyed the Hamburg CR of 2:24:14 (Netsanet Abeyo, 2012), with her fast from the start, 2:21:58.
Meselech went out in 1:11:04, coming back in 1:10:50! This, despite, tough winds, Meselech built on her lead over Sarah Chepchirchir, to the finish. Meselech told the IAAF afterwards that the Hamburg race was the "best of her career". She now waits, with much hope for the Ethiopian selectors to reward her fine run with membership to the elite of the elite: the Ethiopian women who will run and represent their county in Rio!
The fans in Eldoret were treated last weekend to some fine racing, as the last meet of the Athletics Kenya Spring series drew to a close. Our man in Kenya, Justin Lagat was there, and he followed the meet for RunBlogRun, providing the following highglights piece on the Athletics Kenya meeting and some of the fine performances from Kenyan athletes, both on and off the track.
The Boston Marathon and London Marathon days are two of our busiest days of the year. We manage nine hour live coverage via our social media channels, plus six to eight stories a day for the week preceeding.
We asked Carolyn Mather to provide a critique of the coverage of the Boston Marathon via streaming or digital. We think that you will enjoy the piece from the long time scribe for Racing South, one of our partners in the Running Network.
I write this from London, England. As I was setting up my ibook, I found a note from Bob Ramsak, one of the true pilgrims of athletics. Bob wrote the following piece on the top elite athletes racing in Bengaluru, India.
Peres Jepchirchir was not even selected on her Kenyan World Champs team for Cardiff, she was a final selection. Peres then went on to win the World Half Marathon title!
Good luck to all of the runners in Bengaluru, India in the TCS 10k!
Bedford hopes for WR
LONDON (GBR): Elite race coordinator Dave Bedford is hoping for a world record at this Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon when some of the greatest male marathon racers of all time go head-to-head through the streets of the British capital in pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in global running. Bedford's line-up for 2016 pitches last year's in-form winner Eliud Kipchoge, recently crowned the Series IX Abbott World Marathon Majors champion, against the speed of former and current world record breakers, Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto, plus the racing nouse of world champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, the emerging talent of New York champion Stanley Biwott and the unpredictable brilliance of track great Kenenisa Bekele. "The ideal circumstances is a fast race and what you really want is people being competitive," says Bedford. From organizers release.
Larry Eder responds: The fields are there, hopefully, the weather will help, but London has fantastic fields. David Bedford and his team know how to put together great fields that battle each other. RunBlogRun is looking forward to watching the battle on April 24.
Bowie, Weir, Defar
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): Provisional entry-lists have been released for the inaugural Adidas Boost Athletic Meeting in the Adidas HQ of Herzogenaurach on 13-14 May. Some of the standout names in action include Yohan Blake and Tori Bowie in the 100m while Warren Weir goes head-to-head with Alonso Edward in the 200m. World champion Almaz Ayana goes in the 5000m along with world silver medallist Senbere Teferi while Meseret Defar will be looking to qualify for the Ethiopian team for Rio in the 10,000m. Nixon Chepseba and Collins Cheboi are the leading names in the men's 1500m while the 10,000m features Ethiopians Muktar Edris, Tamirat Tola and Guye Adola and Kenyans Vincent Chepkok and Emmanuel Kipsang. Also in the 400 m US runners Tony McQuay and David Verburg, on the women side Jessica Beard. In the 800 m World Youth champion 2015 Willy Tarbei. Ugandan Willie Nanyondo is in the women 800 m.
Larry Eder responds: Mike McMannus, adidas Sports Marketing, told us that the goal of the adidas BOOST meeting is to give athletes a chance to run fast early in the season, without the need of having to go to North America. The meet will be featured on the adidas Global Headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany on May 13-14. Watch here for more details!
BOSTON (USA): The Boston Marathon marked the beginning of Series X of World Marathon Majors and that means athletes have now entered the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series X leaderboard. Both Lemi Berhanu and Atsede Baysa are the leaders with 25 points each. The 10th series will continue with London, Olympic Games Marathon, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo and end with Boston 2017.
Larry Eder responds: The 2016 BAA Boston marathon was one of the finest events that this viewer has ever witnessed. The combination of long lasting sponsorships and community support, plus nearly 29,000 runners who focus all year long on making it to the streets of Boston. Both races came down to the final 2.2 kilometers before they were decided, making something unusual, a road race that even a normal sports fan can appreciate.
Blake does not want to be the beast anymore
KINGSTON (JAM): After his World leading 9.95 on Saturday, an emotional Yohan Blake thanked God for helping him through the tough times, adding that he wants to be referred to as 'The Beast' no more. "I don't want to set any expectations but as I say God is good. Oh my God it has been really tough, but thank God my friends who have been there, my coach they have been talking to me, you know you have to get rid of that name (Beast), the beast, that's holding you back so I get rid of that name now so it has been good," Blake said for Jamaica Gleaner. His manager Cubie Seegobin said Blake will compete in Germany on May 14 at the adidas Boost meet in Herzogenaurach (100 m) and then the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston on June 11.
Ethiopian day in Boston
BOSTON (USA, Apr 18): It was Ethiopia's day in the 120th Boston Marathon. They achieved a clean sweep for the first time in history in the men's race courtesy of Lemi Berhanu (2:12:45), reigning champion Lelisa Desisa (2:13:32) and Yemane Tsegay (2:14:02). Desisa made an aggressive move on the Newton Hills just after the halfway mark but Berhanu went with the surge before pulling away in the 25th mile. Kenyans filled the next four slots: Wesley Korir (2:14:05), Paul Lonyangata (2:15:45), Sammy Kitwara (2:16:43) and Stephen Chebogut (2:16:52) while Abdi Nageeye from the Netherlands was the top European finisher in eighth in 2:18:05. Notable DNFs included Kenya's Wilson Chebet and Ethiopia's Deribe Robi. There was an upset in the women's race with Atsede Baysa coming from behind to beat pre-race favourite Tirfi Tsegaye, 2:29:19 to 2:30:03. Baysa didn't go with the big break in the second half initiated by Kenya's Valentine Kipketer and was 26 seconds down on the leaders at the 30km mark but the former Chicago and Paris Marathon winner made up the ground in the last five miles to claim victory on her debut in Boston. Last 12.2km: Baysa 42:21, Tsegaye 43:31. Kenya's Joyce Chepkirui finished third in 2:30:50 while Latvian veteran Jelena Prokopcuka, who lost a shoe in the early stages according to the broadcasters, came through to finish fourth in 2:32:28. Reigning Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelana had a disrupted preparation and faded back to 14th in 2:42:38 while defending champion Caroline Rotich from Kenya dropped out before the 10km with injury. Top American finishers were Zachary Hine (2:21:37) and Neely Spence Gracey (2:35:00) in tenth and ninth respectively. Both winners will get 150 000 USD each.
The B.A.A. Miles and 1000s have become quite popular on the Saturday before the Boston marathon. On a wonderfully windy and sunny day, the ten thousand finishers of the 5k finished, and the miles and thousand meters began.
The two following stories were written for the Boston Athletic Association, the first, on Chris O'Hare, by James O'Brien and the second, by Barbara Huebner, on Brook Handler.
Both are used by RunBlogRun, courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association.
The 2012 Olympic silver medalist at 5000 meters, Dejen Gebremeskel won the mile last year in Boston. This year, this fine athlete, with a PB of 12:46.81, battled Ben True for the BAA 5k title.
Last Thursday morning, I came upon Dejen walking down Boylston, heading to hit hotel. We exchanged pleasantries, and I wondered, How can such a nice guy be such a beast racing? Enjoy the story from James O'Brien, on Dejen's victory at the BAA 5k!
James O'Brien wrote this piece for the Boston Athletic Association. RunBlogRun uses this piece courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association.
The most dominating American women on the roads is Molly Huddle. Watching her dominate the race yesterday, this viewer was once again convinced of Molly Huddle's talent and focus. In the cold and win, Molly Huddle won, with fourteen seconds margin!
Next race for the winner of twenty-one U.S. championships: Molly Huddle is racing the 5,000 meters on the track in Eugene, Oregon, on May 27.
Here is a fine story on the B.A.A. 5k by Barbara Huebner, for the Boston Athletic Association.
When Atsede Baysa started showing up on the TV, we were, well, stunned. Running in the shade, this women was flying. Forensic analysis of her splits, post race, showed a 5k of 16:44. Running the last three miles between 22 and 25, Atsede just flew by Tsegaye, putting 44 seconds of prime real estate between Baysa and Tsegaye.
As David Hunter expressed to me earlier today, "if you were a Boston fan, standing at 40k, you saw pivotal moments in both races!"
That is the beauty of competition. A glorious day, with strange winds, some heat, and some fabulous racing.
Here is David Hunter's fine story on the womens' race!
The 2016 Boston Marathon is the 120th verison of the iconic event. And while the races were not the fastest, they were two of the finest competitive events upfront that we have seen in several decades of marathong viewing.
We asked David Hunter to write this fine piece on the battle for Boston, on the men's side. He found the need to use pugalistic terms to describe the tight, difficult battle between the top two men.
Tori Bowie is one of the fine athletes who will challenge for the US Olympic team over 100 meters and 200 meters. With PBs of 10.80 for 100 meters, (Eugene, 2014) and 22.18 for 200 meters (Eugene, 2014), Torie Bowie is one of those athletes with huge potential. Oh, and her third event is the long jump, where she scored a 6.95m leap (Naperville, 2014)!
In the World Outdoors, Tori won the bronze medal for the 100 meters in Beijing in 2015! Her win at the 2015 US Outdoor over 100 meters, in 10.81 woke a few up to her talent.
Well, Tori is running well, once again, with her 22.26 (+0.3 wind) at the Chris Brown Invitational in Nassau was a nice way to open 2016.
Tori Bowie, an adidas athete, will be racing in Herzogenaurach, Germany at the adidas Global HQ track on May 13-14, 2016. The meet is called the adidas BOOST meeting. Watch for more details! Website is www.lac-quelle.de.
Yohan Blake is back! He is healthy once again! Yohan Blake will be racing at adidas HQ track in Herzogenaurach, Germany (near Nurnberg) at the adidas BOOST Meeting on May 13-14, 2016 with many of adidas top athletes!
Blake is back 9.95 WL
KINGSTON (JAM, Apr 16): 2011 World champion Yohan Blake is back to fast times. He won the 100 m at MVP meet in National Stadium with World leading 9.95 (+1.4). His fastest since 2012. Behind him personal bests for 200 m specialists Rasheed Dwyer 10.10 and Britain´s Zharnel Hughes 10.10. In another heat Warren Weir clocked 10.07 (+1.6) and is also back as this is his second fastest ever. Behin him 33-years old Michael Frater with decent 10.17. Interesting to see Hassan Said winning his heat in 10.33 (+1.9), national record for Maldives. Antigua´s Miguel Francis posted pretty fast 20.11 (+0.6) in the 200 m with 100 m specialist Oshane Bailey second 20.42 PB and 400 m specialist Javon Francis third 20.54 also PB. Ronald Levy clocked life-time best 13.53 (+0.8) in the 110 m hurdles and Jura Levy won women 100 m in 11.25 (+1.1). In the 200 m Anneisha McLaughlin-Wilby 22.78 (+0.7) ahead of Anastasia Leroy 22.85 PB. Another personal best for Rhonda Whyte 55.58 in the 400 m hurdles. Annsert Whyte won men hurdles 49.39 as 35-years old former 800 m runner Riccardo Cunningham in his second ever race at the distance shaved two more seconds from first race and won his heat in 50.28 PB. Fredrick Dacres won discus 63.88 and Racers TC clocked fast 38.45 in the 4x100 m.
Merritt improves to 19.78, five other World leads
NASSAU (BAH, Apr 16): Six World leading marks highlighted the 2nd edition of Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational meet at the Ted Robinson National Stadium. Most impressive improvement for 400 m World champion and Olympic winner LaShawn Merritt in the 200 m to 19.78 (+0.9). He destroyed the field as Wallace Spearmon and Mike Rodgers as 2nd and third clocked 20.40 and 20.42. Grenada´s Olympic winner Kirani James opened with 44.36 World lead over 400 m also as clear winner. Second Tony McQuay more than a second behind 45.34 and Jeremy Wariner 45.55. Johnny Dutch posted another WL in the 400 m hurdles 48.36 with Javier Culson 49.12 and home star Jeffery Gibson 49.16 distant 2nd and 3rd. Christian Taylor opened the year with 17.11 World lead in triple one cm ahead of Troy Doris who got national record for his new country Guayana 17.10. On the women side two world leads. Tori Bowie 22.26 (+0.3) in the 200 m ahead of 400 m specialist Natasha Hastings 22.57 PB. Shaunae Miller made the crowds happy with home 400 m in season´s fastest 49.69 (missed her PB by only 0.02 from Beijing Worlds) with sensation Quanera Hayes improving to 49.91 (previous best 50.84). Two other fast times could not be world leads due to wind. Justin Gatlin 9.90 (+2.3) in the 100 m over Asian record holder Femi Ogunode of Qatar 9.94 and home Adrian Griffith 10.03. 2013 World champion David Oliver clocked 13.30 (+2.7) ahead of Aleec Harris 13.32 and Jason Richardson 13.33. Queen Harrison won the 100 m hurdles in 12.64 (+2.6) over Sharika Nelvis 12.66 and Jasmin Stowers 12.74. Close 100 m was won by Trinidad´s Michelle Lee-Ahye 11.14 (+1.4) ahead of Murielle Ahoure 11.16, Veronica Campbell-Brown 11.17 and Candyce McGrone 11.18. Home wins in remaining jumping events. Donald Thomas 223 in high jump and Bianca Stuart 669 (+3.6) in long jump.
Updated April 17. Looking forward to seeing Allyson compete in Doha on May 6! An example of an athlete with a career that transcends high school, young adult and seasoned competitor, Allyson has been a pro athlete for sixteen years!
Allyson Felix is the focus of this feature by David Hunter. In the article, Hunter asks the reader if Allyson Felix is the greatest ever? Truth is, many can not remember a time when Ms. Felix was not racing on the global level.
Allyson has graced covers of American Track & Field, Athletes Only and California Track & Running News, three of our titles.
Her move from high school phenom to professional athlete has been tried by many, but only successfully by a few.
I remember speaking with Allyson and her brother Wes, on a bus from the Doha airport to our hotel for the Doha DL last year. Allyson is poised, thoughtful and focused.
This year should be fascinating for Allyson Felix, and as our friend and fellow writer, David Hunter knows, could go a long way into answering if Allyson Felix is the greatest ever.
The number of young Ameican athletes who are excelling, going from high school to the pro ranks is slowly expanding in athletics. You have seen the success of Alan Webb, and Allyson Felix. But, the real new story is how young women distance runners, from Mary Cain to Alexi Effraimson, and all of those in between are excelling. Cait Chock, in the following piece, notes the growth among young women athletes and their level of prowess, as she speaks with Nicole Blood. Nicole, who is in her most recent comeback, has seen the success of young American women distance runners in her career.
Jos Hermans influenced my early running with his fearless world record for the hour run. I remember seeing him in a RW book on the 1976 Olympics, with long hair and his glasses. That he had run two 10,000 meter runs, both under 29 minutes, blew my mind. His level of fitness then was amazing.
Over the last three decades, Jos Hermans built a business in sports marketing and athlete management that was celebrated earlier in the month. Many of the greatest runners in the world competed for Jos's company.
In this interview with Andy Edwards, Jose Hermans speaks about how the Ethiopians will pick their teams for the 2016 Olympics.
Philemon Rono is interviewed by Andy Edwards of Race News Service in a Pre race interview before the Hamburg Marathon. Andy Edwards provides RunBlogRun with interviews all over the world of marathons.
Kiprop 1:44.6 WL
ELDORET (KEN, Apr 15): Sportsnewsarena.com informs that World Champions Asbel Kiprop and Nicholas Bett headlined the second day of competition at the Athletics Kenya fifth track and field meeting at Kipchoge Keino stadium in Eldoret. The 1500 m specialist Kiprop clocked World leading 1:44.6 while winning his semifinal. Thursdayheat time was officialy corredt to 1:45.2. Elijah Manangoi won heat two in 1:46.9 while Ferguson Rotich heat three 1:46.1. Kiprop said he will not run Saturday final at the distance. Bett won his 400 m hurdles heat in 51.8, his brother Haron Koech clocked 50.7 in another one. Timothy Cheruiyot won the men's 1500 m semi-final one in 3:44.1, ahead of Edwin Kiptoo (3:44.4) and Mathew Kiptanui (3:45.7). Thomas Longosiwa, a 5000 m specialist, clocked (3:44.4) as the fastest qualifier. Eunice Sum topped her 800 m semifinal in 2:03.6 and Lucy Cheruiyot won the 10 000 m in 33:57.6.
Reposted 15 April, as timing was re posted, and Asbel ran 1:45.2 in semi final!
A. Kiprop 1:44.7-corrected to 1:45.2!
ELDORET (KEN, Apr 14): Last Athletics Kenya track series meet started with superb 1:44.7 in the 800 m by Asbel Kiprop. It shows the top shape of 1500 m World champion who broke the stadium record here. He also equaled the World lead of another Kenyan Jonathan Kitilit. His first top international race of the year is planned for Doha Diamond League on May 6. Fastest in 1500 m heats was Edwin Kiptoo 3:43.3, interesting to see steeple legend Ezekiel Kemboi winning his 1500 m heat in 3:47.7. Best time in 5000 m heats by Emmanuel Kipsang 13:53.8. Other heat winners Nixon Chepseba in 14:29.0, Conseslus Kipruto 13:47.5 and Mathew Kimeli 13:55.0. Informs Kip Evans.
The first presser of the 2016 Boston Marathon was held on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Thomas Grilk, the Executive Director of the B.A.A. introduces Janinn Flaminio, President of the BAA, David and the focus of the presser.
This excerpt is from David McGillivray, who has the job of his dream, managing the race course and his team. A guy who loves running, and his city, David always gives us a bit on the upcoming race and how Boston is faring in 2016. I thought you might enjoy his comments!
I worked with the late and great James Dunaway for nearly two decades. Managing a writer you admired for two decades before was, well, intimidating.
For much of the last fourteen years (James died in February 2015) of our working relationship, James Dunaway was editor for American Track & Field. We spoke nearly every day and there were days of much contention. But, from those discussions, I always learnt something from my friend.
I always knew I was in trouble when the conversation began as follows: " Larry, have you had a coffee? Then, get one and call me back." I would get the prescribed coffee and then, " You are probably are going to fire me after this conversation." I would smile, and the battle would begin.
Those were exciting days.
Many of our discussions, however, were about the changing state of media. James became more and more incensed about the increasing amount of lying in general culture. One of things he and I were still discussing near the end of his life was a book about Lying. He had tentatively called it the Art of Lying.
I have used the title, The Art of Lying, in his honor, as part of a continuing series of articles on changes in the media world and our modern global culture.
L. Merritt, Gatlin, VCB, Bowie
NASSAU (BAH): Top 400 m runners LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James are returning to Nassau for 2nd Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. They won the first edition in 2013, Merritt in the 200 m 20.34 and James the 400 m in 44.72. Both will run the same events this Saturday at Tom Robinson National Stadium. Merritt will face Wallace Spearmon, Mike Rodgers with home in shape runner Michael Mathieu. Main rivals for James should be Americans Tony McQuay and two veterans Jeremy Wariner and returning Angelo Taylor. Also to mention home stars Steven Gardiner and LaToy Williams. World silver medalist Justin Gatlin will have his 100 m opener of 2016 against Isiah Young and Qatari record holder Femi Ogunode. 2013 World champion David Oliver runs the hurdles against 2011 World champion Jason Richardson, Jamaican Andrew Riley and Barbados duo Greggmar Swift and Shane Brathwaite. World bronze medalist Jeffery Gibson hopes to win the 400 m hurdles in a race against 2013 World champion Jehue Gordon, Puertorico star Javier Culson, Johnny Dutch of USA and Jamaican duo Leford Green with Roxroy Cato. In women sprints Veronica Campbell-Brown is planning her season opener at 100 m against Ivory Coast World medalist Murielle Ahoure and fast Trinidad´s relay World medalist Michelle Lee-Ahye. Local crowd will look for the 400 m where Shaunae Miller is expected to attack the World lead in duel with Ashley Spencer and Jessice Beard from USA. Top names in women 100 m hurdles are Sharika Nelvis, Jasmin Stowers and Queen Harrison from USA. Beijing World 100 m medalist Tori Bowie is scheduled for the 200 m against Candyce McGrone, Jo Atkins and Natasha Hastings with Charonda Williams. Olympic 2012 finalist Terea Brown is the top name in the 400 m hurdles with Jamaican Shevon Stoddart, Canada´s Fawn Dorr and Nigerian Ajoke Odumosu.
The World Indoor Champs, March 17-20, held in Portland, were fantastic. For a World Indoor champs in an Olympic year, the fields were quite good. A nice combination of new and veteran. The crowd was enthusiastic and the US team was rewarded with many medals.
After the last session, on the last day, I turned on my micro recorder and opined on the World champs, the facility and the top performances.
I hope you enjoy it.
Updated April 14, 2016
These past few weeks just have not been good for WADA. After the IAAF debacles in November and January, WADA seemed poised to be taking over the global anti-doping business. That just does not seem like the trend anymore.
So, my question, perhaps more focused: What the hell is WADA doing? Now, after the recent revelations on Meldonium and the huge, gaping hole that WADA has opened in their investigative procedures, are we back at square one?
I asked Carolyn Mather, a long time columnist for Racing South and Running Journal, to write up her thoughts on the NYRR Media Center.
I reposted this on April 14, 2016, as NYC and Boston have two of the finest media set ups in marathon world ( I give London as best on global scale). Carolyn Mather is one of my favorite writers and this piece deserves a good read.
Reposted April 14, 2016 for your enjoyment over Boston Marathon weekend. Amy Cragg started her run for Rio last Boston marathon, April 2015! Here is a wonderful behind the scenes piece by Carolyn Mather, who has written for Racing South and Running Journal for three decades, we believe!
The Women's Trials race was a very intruiging race. The battle between Amy Cragg, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Kellyn Taylor and Desi Linden was intense.
Kara Goucher said it afterwards, " I gave it all I could." And she did, and she praised her competitors.
Watching Amy Cragg make the team, and Desi fight it out and then, Shalane keep herself on her feet, which she did with more guts than I have seen in ages.
The women's race teared me up. I respect athletes who put it on the line and the women's field did, with more stories than I can write.
Here is Carolyn Mather's story on the women's race!
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): New event will be organised in May, the Adidas Boost Athletics Meeting on May 13-14. There are events for broader participation, but also invitational ones. For example on first day men and women 10 000 m races which could give the possibility to achieve Olympic standards. During second day for example, invitational 100 m for men and women. The meet will be held in Adi Dassler Arena in Herzogenaurach.
Larry Eder comments: We are hearing word of some pretty impressive fields in the 100 meters and 10,000 meters so far! Watch for some exciting updates coming this weekend!
Top women 1500 m field
EUGENE (USA): This year's Prefontaine Classic will bring together eight global championship medallists to compete over 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 28 May. With a best of 3:56.05, Dutch record-holder Sifan Hassan is the fastest in the field. Kenya's Faith Kipyegon is senior national record holder. Compatriot Hellen Obiri has twice broken the US all-comers' 1500m record in Eugene, first with her 3:58.58 victory in 2013 and then with her 3:57.05 triumph one year later. USA's Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury have an intense rivalry going back seven years. Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay is the world junior silver medallist and world indoor bronze medallist at 1500m. Earlier this year, the 19-year-old set a world indoor U20 record of 4:01.81. Also running Exumawit Embaye of Ethiopia, US Brenda Martinez, Britain´s Laura Weightman and Morocco´s Rabiba Arafi. The field also includes six-time Polish champion Renata Plis and USA's Kerri Gallagher.
The Boston Marathon will be held on April 18, 2016. The two-time champion, and defending champion, Lelisa Desisa wants to three peat in the city of Boston.
Here is how he spoke to Sabrina Yohannes on his focus for Boston in 2016 and the changes he has made into his program.
Lavillenie vs Barber
OSTRAVA (CZE): Also here a return of the French star. Renaud Lavillenie has signed up for the Golden Spike in Ostrava on 20 May (IAAF World Challenge) where he will be aiming to win for a fourth time, informs organisers. The world record-holder opened his previous Olympic campaign with a victory in Ostrava in 2012, setting a meeting record of 5.90m which he improved to 5.92m the following year. He will face in a top duel of the day the 2015 World Champion Shawn Barber and home elite Jan Kudlicka with Michal Balner. Also in the field the best youth jumper ever, Greek Emmanouil Karalis who improved during the indoor season the youth all-time best to 554 cm.
Last summer, I watched Asbel Kiprop run all of his races outside of Kenya, up to, and including his World Champs. I have interviewed the mild mannered middle distance warrior twice. I like Asbel. He is both a student of the sport and a tactician.
His Monaco race was breath-taking. Kiprop churned down the track, his high knee lift and arm action making him look slow, but deliberate. His speed is that of a fine 800 meter runner.
Then, came Beijing. The men's 1,500 meters was one of the toughest races that I have ever seen, and Asbel Kiprop's move over the last 100 meters gave him the gold.
What will we see in 2016?
Felix for relay this weekend
WALNUT (USA): This weekend´s 58th MtSAC Relays in Walnut will have some top names competing. Allyson Felix is scheduled for 4x400 m relay. Sprints will have Jena Prandini, Jasmine Todd and English Gardner along with British Jodie Williams. Also in the 100 m and 200 m flat hurdles World champion Brianna Rollins. 2011 World champion Carmelita Jeter is listed for the 200 m. Jamaicans Kaliese Spencer and Christine Day are listed for women 400 m along with Phylis Francis. Brianne Theisen-Eaton is listed for two events, 100 m hurdles and long jump. In the same combination also Janay De Loach.
European calendar to be restructured
MINSK (BLR): Work is underway on restructuring the competition calendar in order to create a clear and compelling narrative in the qualifying process for the European Championships, said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen at the European Athletics CEO Conference in Minsk, Belarus. Hansen hopes to have the changes approved by the European Athletics Council in time for qualification to the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. "Rebuilding the value of our brand calls for positive stories that grab the attention of our fans and the public. Innovation linked to our major events and other competitions will do just that," said Hansen. This edition of the CEO Conference Hansen called the "best ever". Participants representing 50 Member Federations heard several top speakers addressing issues around brand and brand building such as product development, governance, communications and social media strategy. After outlining the first steps he has taken to restore trust following the doping and corruption scandals that have rocked the IAAF, President Sebastian Coe said a package of reform proposals is currently being prepared for consultation and votes by the IAAF Member Federations, possibly at a Special Congress later this year. Coe also spoke about the need for the IAAF to be proactive in helping clubs and other grassroots organisations to impart the history and values of athletics to youngsters to give them the foundation for making good decisions as a part of the overall fight against doping.
Yego will throw this week
ELDORET (KEN): World champions Asbel Kiprop, Julius Yego (his only meet in Kenya before he travels to Europe), Nicholas Bett and Vivian Cheruiyot are pencilled in to compete at the sixth and last Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field Weekend Series Meeting which begins on Thursday, informs Citizen Digital. The event will take place at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium. Against Kiprop also Nixon Chepseba, Silas Kiplagat and Elijah Manangoi in the 1500 m. Special entry is the fresh World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor also in the 1500 m. In the 800 m Timothy Kitum and Ferguson Rotich are expected. World steeple champion Hyvin Kiyeng is also expected to participate. World Cross Country champion Agnes Jebet will compete in women's 5000 m as she makes her first appearance since winning gold in China in 2015. Adds Daily Nation.
Andre De Grasse, photo by PhotoRun.net
De Grasse at MtSAC
WALNUT (USA): Canadian World bronze medalist from Beijing Andre De Grasse is entered for both 100 m and 200 m for Saturday section of the 58th MtSAC Relays in Walnut. In the meet which is also called as the one "Where the World´s best athletes compete" offers in men events also Decathlon star Ashton Eaton for 110 m hurdles and long jump. Former European Champion Andrew Howe from Italy is another interesting long jump entry. Fresh Ivory Coast record holder Wilfred Koffi is scheduled for the 200 m, his national record here is 20.25 from 2014. In the 400 m hurdles fresh World leader Jeshua Anderson will clash with Olympic and World silver medalist Michael Tinsley. In Pole vault Mike Arnold and Sweden´s Melker Svard Jacobsson is the duel, in high jump 2011 World champion Jesse Williams against Canadian Mike Mason. Already on Thursday hammer competitions are scheduled with Slovak World finalist Marcel Lomnicky as top favorite.
The Air Max Con NYC took place a few weeks ago. Jeff Benjamin and his daughter, Brianna Benjamin, visited this salute to all things Air Max.
My first experience with the Air Max was at Boston in 1987. Keith Peters, the long time Nike Pr Manager, provided me with a pair, as Nike was launching the product. I still have my first pair of Air Max's stored away along with Mariahs, and my 1975 Nike Waffle racers.
Here is Jeff's story...
So, I have a confession to make. One of my really enjoyable moments in social media was when I found Phoebe Wright's blog. I was not sure what I was expecting, but, I was blown away. I see something new each time I read one of her pieces. I am introduced to a view that I had not experienced before. That, to me, is good writing.
Moments of clarity and grace (I am not sure where I grabbed that from), moments of candor, moments of frustration, and moments of zen. Phoebe Wright captures all of those. More importantly, she writes about those experiences for you, our reader.
She also captures her experiences of running, and her style is unencumbered, like an e.e. cummings poem, which is the greatest compliment I can think of right now.
So, I asked Phoebe to write a weekly column on anything on running. I want to see where she goes with it. I want you, dear and kind readers, to do the same.
Phoebe Wright (blue shorts) and Zeyituna (Green sweat top)
BOSTON (USA): Ben True and Molly Huddle will defend their B.A.A. 5K titles on Saturday. True will face 2013 and 2014 winner Dejen Gebremeskel and European 1500m bronze medallist Chris O'Hare while Huddle takes on world indoor 1500m silver medallist Dawit Seyaum.
Men hammer returns after 11 years
EUGENE (USA): The men's hammer throw returns to the Prefontaine Classic after a hiatus of 11 years in what will be the event's best collection of talent on U.S. soil since the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The field includes the reigning Olympic and World Championships gold medalists, just part of the top 6 from last year's world rankings by Track & Field News. World champion Pawel Fajdek, Olympic winner Krisztian Pars, World silver winner Dilshod Nazarov along with bronze winner Wojciech Nowicki. Also in fhe field Mostafa Al-Gamal, Marcel Lomnicky and Kibwe Johnson. The event will be staged on Friday May 27.
This is the digital version of the 2016 Winter Club Running, sent to the 177,000 members of the Road Runners Clubs of America in digital form and print options. Published since 1958, Club Running is the oldest continuously published running pub in the US and the second largest. All members of the 2,500 running club members of the RRCA provide Club Running to their members four times a year. Please enjoy the publication. If you want to learn more about the Road Runners Clubs of America, please go to rrca.org or email [email protected].
Kendra Harrison had a rough race in the 60m hurdle final in Portland at the World Champs.
What a difference 40 meters and a month make.
Running at the Spec Townes Invitational, Kendra Harrison ran 12.36, not only a world leader, but the fastest time ever for a hurdler in her yearly debut!
I tweeted Kendra and congratulated her on the race. I asked her one question, how did she feel? did she know she was running fast?
Kendra told me that she hit two hurdles and still ran that fast! Think about that! In the one of the most competitive events in track & field, Kendra Harrison has started off her 2016 season in a screamingly fast fashion.
Successful hurdle racing requires two different skills, sprinting and hurdling. Mastering them takes years for some. The U.S. has, for 2016, six of the top ten in the world. Who will make it through Eugene? That waits to be seen, but know this, Kendra Harrison is on her way to some very fast times for 2016.
Some have suggested that the WR of 12.21 could be in danger. One thing is clear to me, if Kendra Harrison can get those last two hurdles in control, she should go very, very fast.
Valerie Adams, photo by PhotoRun.net
WELLINGTON (NZL): Olympic shot put winner Valerie Adams hopes Russian athletes will remain suspended for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, informs the New Zealand Herald. "I'm open to it. People talk about 'the innocent athletes' but it's bigger than that. If you don't hold a chicken by its neck and tell it to stop, then you'll never sort the situation out. If people high up the ranks of a federation are helping with this naughtiness, you can't clean the sport up," she said.
NASSAU (BAH): Olympic 400 m gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada is set to open his outdoor campaign at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational on April 16. Another top star scheduled to run is Justin Gatlin for the 100 m, LaShawn Merritt is listed for the 200 m, also in the featured athletes category Veronica Campbell-Brown, David Oliver, Christian Taylor and Sanya Richards-Ross. Home star Jeffery Gibson is in the 400 m hurdles with Javier Culson. Informs the meet website.
OTTAWA (CAN): Newly crowned world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will return to the Ottawa 10K on 28 May, informs organisers. The 22-year-old finished second in this race last year in 31:18 behind Gladys Cherono. Her goal is to break her PB of 30:55.
Lisbon (POR): 2008 Olympic winner in Triple Jump, Nelson Evora dreams of breaking the 18 metre-mark, informs The Record. "My biggest goal was always to overcome the barrier of 18 meters and I still dream about it. Now, I feel good and I will fight to get it," he said.
Running indoors was one of my first running activities. Running 22 laps on a track was one thing, running 211 laps on a track is a bit more than most run on an indoor 200 meter track.
The NYC Armory Indoor Marathon is a great idea. Here is a fun release on the new World Indoor Record marathons set today.
NAIROBI (KEN): Geoffrey Mutai has admitted that he won't be selected for the 2016 Olympics after withdrawing from the Boston Marathon due to poor form, informs Xinhua. "It is disappointing for me because I expected to regain my fitness in time for Boston. As you know Kenya will be picking its marathon team in London and Boston and my inability to compete in either races, certainly rules me out of the Olympics," he said. Mutai is thinking about making his comeback in the Berlin Marathon this September.
I really admire the European Athetics Association. They have reached out to young track fans quite well, and they are championing doping education, coaching education and great social media and video.
Svein Arne Hansen, photo courtesy of European Athletics
It was great to see Brooks sponsor the European Championships in 2016. The good work that the association does for the sport across Europe needs support!
Congrats to Svein Arne Hansen on his efforts to bring a new approach to doping eduction and sports and ethics in his European partners.
Justin Lagat writes about a discussion his coach had with the team regarding the challenges that Geoffrey Kamworor and Eliud Kipchoge overcame in major races. Both had reasons to give up. Neither did.
Lessons learnt the hard way are the best lessons.
Frank Gagliano is a man among men. His assistant coach, John Trautmann, a supremely talented athlete, was haunted by injuries during his top competitive years, but has come back to enjoy his own running and coach another generation of fine athletes.
Gags is a special man, and those who are coached or influenced by him, know that love and understand the responsibility of giving one's best.
Jeff Benjamin, one of my long suffering writers, wrote this piece about Millrose time (mid February). In my own way, and own time, I am publishing this piece in March.
Alexi Pappas makes me smile. I read her writing a few times before I met her in person. I liked her creative spirit and her joie de vivre. Then, I watched her run the 10,000m last summer in Eugene. In my notebook, I noted that she looked pretty natural over 25 laps.
Here is a piece by Lindsay Rossmiller on Alexi, done in February 2016.
Taylor vs Tamgho
EUGENE (USA): Reigning world champion Christian Taylor leads a stellar triple jump field for the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. Taylor is joined by the 2013 world champion Teddy Tamgho who has made a promising return from an Achilles rupture which forced him to miss the majority of the summer season last year. Team-mate and European champion Benjamin Compaore is also in the field along with recently crowned world indoor champion Dong Bin. Americans Omar Craddock, Will Claye and Marquis Dendy are also due to start next month. From organisers.
Will Claye is one of our most versatile athletes. His medals in the LJ and TJ in 2012 was the first time since 1932 that an American had done such a feat. Claye is a thoughtful, spiritual man who speaks with his athleticism and his positive attitude.
Hy-Vee is doing a great thing by their support of the Drake Relays. We salute them for supporting one of the most important meets in the country. Their Rio Previews are brilliant, and the support that they are putting into Drake is one of the largest investments in our sport in North America. If you are a track fan, make it a point of purchasing products at Hy-Vee: they are doing good things for our community.
Bolt to open at Cayman meet
GRAND CAYMAN (CAY): Jamaican sprinting star Usain Bolt will open his season at the Cayman Invitational on 14 May where he will contest the 100m, informs Track Alerts. "I am pleased to announce that I will be competing in the 100m at the Cayman International T&F meeting on May 14. It will be my first international competition in 2016 and my second time to run in Cayman. I always enjoy competing in the Caribbean and look forward to meeting my fans in Cayman," he said. The other confirmed meets Bolt has for the moment are the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston on June 11 and the London IAAF Diamond League on July 22. In-between he will compete at Jamaican Olympic Trials. The meet has also attracted Allyson Felix, although she hasn't confirmed which event she will contest yet. Other big names in action includes Carmelita Jeter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Machel Cedenio, Natasha Morrison, Jenna Prandini and Zharnell Hughes. The women's 400m hurdles will have World Championships fourth place finisher, Janieve Russell and American Kori Carter.
In a recent piece from the Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2016/03/16/ethical-grounds-only-way-to-pursue-alberto-salazar/, the never ending story of the pursuit of Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon project was continued.
I have watched this piece develop over the past several years. I understand and appreciate the concerns about how doping has ravaged our sport. I have also watched inuenndo and rumors destroy people, and major news organizations use rumors, without proof, to publish pieces that, quite frankly, were never proved.
So, at this time, it seems that WADA and USADA have no real proof that can show that Alberto Salazar has violated doping protocals. Some athletes, who may have legitimate gripes with their former coach, have suggested actions by Mr. Salazar, but have not provided proof to authorities that doping violations actually happened.
Now, the recent media reports are that USADA will focus on Alberto Salazar to see if he violated USATF coaching rules and regulations, as they have not found any proof of doping violations? Am I getting this right? Two to three years of accusations, dozens of media articles, and still no proof?
Well, either the guy is way smarter than all those chasing him, or the rumors and accusations did not pan out. Now, this is part of the way doping damages our sport.
My humble suggestion is as follows: until there is proof, let it go. The damage has been done.
WADA and USADA have looked at the situation for nearly two years now, perhaps longer and it seems that we are no closer to a resolution than we were two years ago.
This hurts the process.
Let it go.
We asked Cait Chock to catch up with Desi Linden, after the Olympic Marathon Trials, and write about Desi's thoughts during and after the marathon.
This was done after Desi's trip to Bali for a vacation, which is a good thing after the heat and pressure she endured during the Los Angeles Trials.
De Grasse plans to attack Canadian records
GAINESVILLE (USA): Canadian 100 m World medalist Andre De Grasse who turned pro said after Florida Relays his next meet will be MtSAC Relays in Walnut in April. He will still decide about the event. His first international meet is planned to be the Jamaica Invitational on May 7 in the 200 m against Asafa Powell. De Grasse confirmed that it will be his second visit to Jamaica after he was part of photo-shoot in January with Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell. He also said in an interview with trackalerts.com he may target the Canadian records this year. It is 9.84 by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin in the 100 m and his own 19.88 in the 200 m from last year.
Hejnova opens in Doha
DOHA (QAT): World 200m champion Dafne Schippers will go head-to-head with world 400m champion Allyson Felix over 100m at the Doha Diamond League on 6 May. Felix has won eleven successive races in Doha and holds the meeting records at 100m (10.92), 200m (21.98) and 400m (49.83). The line-up also includes Tori Bowie, Murielle Ahoure and Veronica Campbell-Brown. The 110m hurdles has also attracted an excellent line-up including world indoor 60m hurdles champion Omar McLeod, Olympic champion Aries Merritt, world silver medallist Hansle Parchment, Frenchmen Dimitri Bascou and Garfield Darien and 2013 world champion David Oliver, who is looking for his fourth victory in Doha. Elsewhere, two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova will compete in the 400m hurdles where she will face opposition from Kemi Adekoya, Kaliese Spencer and world bronze medallist Cassandra Tate. In the 200m, home favourite Femi Ogunode takes on Alonso Edward and Nickel Ashmeade.
I always watch Christian Taylors' jumps. I especially watch his last jumps. I do after I missed a big one in Lucerne last summer. Watching Christian in Beijing, I was rewarded by his 18.21m or 59-1 jump that gave him the second longest jump in history!
The Pre Classic exhausts me. One field after another of great competitors, ready to run, jump and throw!
Gatlin international opener in Japan
KAWASAKI (JPN): Prodigious Japanese sprinters Yoshihide Kiryu and Abdul Hakim Sani will meet for the first time over 100m at the Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki on 8 May (IAAF World Challenge) but the overwhelming favourite is former world 100m record-holder Justin Gatlin. For him first international race of the season. Also in the field Chinese record holder Su Bingtian. Sprinters Kenji Fujimitsu and Kei Takase are scheduled for the 200 m and top Japanese Chisato Fukushima for women 100 m. From IAAF.
Larry Eder opines:
Justin Gatlin has taken more vitriol from media, especially British media, than any athlete in modern memory. Gatlin has never noted he was a saint, but he did note that he has paid his time, per IAAF rules. He has gotten upset a few times, but, put yourself in his sweatsuit. Would you have fared any better?
I disliked immensely the term "drug cheat" used in front of anyone's name who tests positive. It is just a moniker that, in light, especially of the recent allegations that a British doctor has been dispensing " age enhancement therapy" to one hundred plus athletes, with the UKA's knowledge, seems a bit disengenious.
Justin Gatlin will always deal with the drug positives he has recieved. The first, I still believe is a bit of a joke, as it was for Attention Deficit Disorder.
The point is, Justin Gatlin was caught, and everything he does is suspect, and he knows tat. Gatlin continues to draw fans everywhere he goes, that is the fact that meet directors acknowledge when they invite Mr. Gatlin to their meets.
It is right? I am not sure.
I think that we are at a crossroads. Either we take drug testing seriously and fund it, or we just give it up. Right now, the system does not work. Some drugs are banned that were used for a dozen years by both the sick and the elite. Not sure what that is about.
It seems, sometimes that the only people interested in doping controversy are in British media and German media.
Happy Thirtieth to Global Sports Communications and Jos Hermans. While we could not be at the celebration, we were there in spirit. Jos Hermans was the long haired runner from the Netherlands who broke the one hour world record in May 1976, just before the Montreal Olympics, that I read about in Track & Field News. Watching Jos Hermans manage and develop some of the finest athletes around the world, and attending meetings that his company sponsored showed a man and a fine team who loves the sport of athletics. I posted the photo above as it is one of my favorites of Jos Hermans and one of his key athletes. Jos and his team have always been helpful and Hermans understood, more than many, the need of the media, athletes and sport to work together.
30th anniversary of GSC
PAPENDAL (NED): Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication at the National Sports Centre here. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of track meets and road races, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens. GSC in the words of today's keynote speakers--Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis--is the past, present, and future of athletics. And the keywords are ethics, values, integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation. The binding theme of the day and conference was "past/present/future of the athlete". Haile Gebrselassie said during the conference about 2 hours barrier in marathon: "It is no longer a matter of if but rather when". In summary 44 World Championship & Olympian athletes and 23 nationalities attended the celebration.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Dennis Mitchell will stay on as the American relay coach for the Rio Olympics after officials at USATF decided to delay implementing a new policy for the job, informs Reuters. Mitchell, who coached Justin Gatlin, said in February he stepped down from the role due to a conflict of interests. USATF added a provision that prohibits a person from being the national relay coach if they coach someone with a member of the relay pool.
Larry Eder comments:
Dennis Mitchell was controversial when he was named to this position as relay coach. Frustrating to Dennis Mitchell, most members of the media note that Dennis had a drug positive in 1998. So does the social world. USATF spent much time defending Mitchell.
Is Dennis Mitchell a good coach? Sure seems so. He coaches Justin Gatlin, and Gatlin continues to improve. But a coach is more than someone good at coaching technique. A coach is a role model, for both young and veteran athletes. In the U.S., we are big on second chances. Dennis Mitchell has developed a fine coaching business and is developing fine athletes. This was all after he tested positive nearly twenty years ago.
As USA Track & Field represents the best of our sport, from the young kids running relays to our Olympic teams, they have to realize that EVERYTHING that they do is under the microscope. Sometimes, that microscope is not fair, but, that is the world. USATF teams are the role models for a million plus teenagers running track 46 weeks a year, six days a week. Sometimes, it seems like that is forgotten. I question whether USATF should have considered Dennis Mitchell in the first place. The message is winning is winning.
Then, a rule change comes and, in February 2016, Dennis Mitchell tells Reuters that he is not longer relay coach, due to the new USATF provision regarding the prohibition of a coach being made relay coach if they coach someone on the relay pool.
Many think, that this issue is over.
On April 4, 2016, we read that: 1) Dennis Mitchell never did ACTUALLY resign, and 2) USATF has decided, in their magnifiscence, to not institute the rule until the NEXT Olympic cycle.
I am no doctor, but what is going on here? Not a conspiracy suggestion, but someone made an error here. USATF had a proverbial focus of the media go away, and now, they have to justify why Dennis Mitchell is still around.
I am not sure that this is very good for our sport.
It makes USA Track & Field look like they will do anything to win a medal. It also makes USA Track & Field seem like they are above any rules, unless those rules work for them. As Rolling Stone magazine said years ago: Perception is reality.
USATF shot themselves in the proverbial foot here.
To read the original stories from Reuters, click here:
March 1, 2016: Dennis Mitchell resigns as Olympic relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters
April 4, 2016: Gatlin Coach to remain relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters (posted on Newsday)
Justin Lagat has written about the sport of athletics in Kenya for RunBlogRun for several years now. This is his piece, from February, about his joining one of the elite marathon training gorups, and what that experience is like to do 2000 meter and 1000 meter repeats with the best marathoners in the world.
Vashti Cunningham's indoor season in 2016 is one for the ages. Her win at the USATF Indoors was exciting and record breaking. Then, her victory in the World Indoors surprised many. Less than 24 hours later, Vashti was a pro athlete, competing for Nike.
Now, her pro career will debut at the Nike Pre Classic, the meet that has given generations of track fans a chance to see the best athletes in the world in Eugene, Oregon. The meet, which celebrates the late iconic Steve Prefontaine, is, once again the only major European style meet in North America, as it is the only Diamond League member in 2016 on our continent.
Australian Olympic team
SYDNEY (AUS): New faces and seasoned track and field performers have been selected on to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team today for the Rio Games. In total 28 new athletes have been announced at a Gala Dinner at Sydney Olympic Park, following the conclusion of the four day Australian Championships. Seven athletes across the 10,000m and walks who have already been named were also recognised. Eloise Wellings who was named in the 10,000m previously adds the 5000m to her race program for Rio 2016. By mid-July the Athletics Section of the Team could be 50 athletes - the largest of any sport wearing the green and gold in Rio. Commonwealth high jump champion Eleanor Patterson is the youngest member and 3000m steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell is the eldest of four 33-year-olds. Of the 28 new additions to the Team selected 17 will make their Olympic debut, seven are at their second Games and four (Alana Boyd, Benn Harradine, Pearson, Dani Samuels) are off to their third. All three available spots have been filled in the women's javelin (Kim Mickle, Kathryn Mitchell, Kelsey-Lee Roberts) and women's steeplechase (Madeline Hills, Genevieve LaCaze, Victoria Mitchell), while in the men's long jump (Fabrice Lapierre, Henry Frayne), women's 100m hurdles (Pearson, Michelle Jenneke) and women's long jump (Brooke Stratton, Chelsea Jaensch) two positions are currently filled.
For most of the past four decades, I have been watching track meets, cross country races and road races. For most of the first decade, I actually ran in them. Then, for much of the next decade, I coached athletes who ran in them. For the past two decades, I have written about them. I have to admit that I still get excited to going to meets and races, as I enjoy the competitions at all levels. It is all about the competition.
The Carlsbad 5000 is one of the few races on the elite circuit that I have not visited. It is in its 31rst year. It is on my bucket list. Each year, the race provides some exciting racing and celebrates both elite and fitness running, over a fun distance, the 5k.
It was nice to note (I watched the races via Periscope) a new champ and a renewed champ at this year's Carlsbad. Watch for Meseret Defar to make a big splash again in 2016, and watch Joshua Cheptegei. Elite Athlete coordinator for Carlsbad, Matt Turnbull told RunBlogRun that Joshua Cheptegai is one to watch.
And Mr. Turnbull knows talent.
Barber 591 WL
AUSTIN (USA, Apr 2): World champion Shawn Barber cleared World leading 591 in the pole vault during final day of Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. He also tried at 601. Behind him with 570 Sweden´s Melker Svard Jacobsson (PB) and Japanese Hiroki Ogita (equaled PB). Jarvis Gotch won long jump with 824 (+1.7) PB, in the high jump 226 for Jeron Robinson and Trey Culver (PB). Interesting in women high jump life-time best for Rachel McCoy 193 (her first 190+ result). Nigerian Stephen Mozia won shot put 20.14. In hurdles David Oliver topped the invitational race in 13.44 (+1.1). Windy 9.99 (+3.0) for Tevin Hester in men 100 m. In the invitational first section Abdullah Mohammed of Saudi Arabia 10.12 (+2.1) and in the second Japanese Yoshihide Kiryu in 10.24 (-1.4) beat NCAA stars Ronnie Baker 10.30 and Cameron Burrell 10.33. More luck for Morolake Akinosun in women 100 m with +1.9 wind and 11.07 a World lead. Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad won the Invitational 100 m in 11.25 (-0.1) and Natasha Hastings 200 m in 22.84 (+2.7). TCU in 39.08 and LSU in 3:01.83 topped men relays, on the women side LSU 43.25 and Texas 3:26.54. Trinidad and Tobago won the invitational women section in 43.06 over USA Red team (Alexander, P. Francis, Prandini, Todd) 43.16.
Mungara Masters WR
MILANO (ITA, Apr 3): Kenneth Mungara finished third in the Milano Marathon in 2:08:38 to break the world over-40 record for the third time in twelve months. The 42-year-old won this race last year in 2:08:44 and improved to 2:08:42 last July in the Gold Coast Marathon. Mungara helped to comprise an all-Kenyan podium with Ernest Ngeno and Ishmael Chemtan first and second in 2:08:15 and 2:08:20 respectively. Martin Lel was a DNF after passing through halfway in 67:35. Brigid Kosgei dominated the women's race with a big lifetime best of 2:27:45. Special guest and race starter was Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic.
Kotut wins jubilee Paris
PARIS (FRA, Apr 3): Cyprian Kotut broke clear with two kilometres remaining to win the 40th edition of the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon in sunny and cool conditions in a 2:07:11 PB. "I was just a 2:08 guy so I'm surprised to win this race," said Kotut after the race. Kotut is the younger brother of former London and New York Marathon winner Martin Lel. Kenyans were 1-2-3-4 in the men's race with Laban Korir (2:07:29), Stephen Chemlany (2:07:37) and Micah Kogo (2:08:03) the next across the line with Ethiopia's Gebretsadik Abraha, who made a break with four kilometres remaining, fifth in 2:08:18. The top eight finishers broke the 2:10-mark. Visiline Jepkesho made a break with over 10km remaining to make it a Kenyan double in the women's race in 2:25:53 ahead of Ethiopians Gullume Chala (2:26:14) and Dinknesh Tefera (2:28:12). Top French finishers: Timothee Bommier (2:15:37) and Sarah Klein (2:34:07) in 13th and 7th respectively. Paul Tergat was among the special guests in the French capital. Interestingly 91% humidity at the start.
NAIROBI (KEN): World record holder at 800 m David Rudisha fears Kenya might be excluded from the Rio Olympics with the country likely to be deemed non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency, reports the Washington Times. Kenya was given a second deadline of April 5 by WADA to prove its commitment to anti-doping but the Kenyan government failed to pass new legislation to criminalise doping before it went on a monthlong recess last week. "We are training hard and it is a pity if all this will go down the drain if Kenya is banned from the sport," said Rudisha. "We were given enough time to do all these things. I don't understand why these people are not treating the matter with a lot of seriousness. It's really unfortunate because the ball was thrown to them - the government and the (sports) ministry."
GAINESVILLE: World 100 m medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada won his race at Florida Relays with wind-assisted 9.99 (+3.3). Behind him Ivory Coast´s Wilfried Koffi 10.04 and Cayman Island´s Kemar Hyman 10.14. World indoor long jump champion Marquis Dendy was 6th in 10.37. In other race Christian Coleman 10.16 (+1.7) PB. But there have been World leading marks. Ali Ahmed 20.16 in the 200 m (+2.0), he is former US sprinter but from 2015 represents Sudan (also national record). Previous PB was 20.46 from last year. Also Wesley Vazquez of Puertorico 1:44:75 in the 800 m ahead of his country-mate Andres Arroyo 1:45.78 PB and Isaiah Harris 1:46.05. Another WL 12.85 (+1.4) for Jackie Coward in the 100 m hurdles with Raven Clay second 12.94 PB. Eddie Lovett posted 13.39 WL for Virgin Islands in men hurdles beating Jamaican Deuce Carter 13.41 PB, Cayman Island´s Ronald Forbes 13.41 national record, former World champion Jason Richardson 13.50 and Olympian Jeff Porter 13.51. Nigerian Kunle Fasasi won the 400 m (45.43 PB), NCAA Indoor Champion Henry Wynne 1500 m in 3:38.35 PB and Jonathan Addison 790 (+1.8, outdoor PB) long jump. In women events World indoor champion Chanelle Price 2:01.72 in the 800 m, Gabrielle Thomas 22.75 (+0.6) in the 200 m and Shayla Sanders windy 11.15 (+2.7) in the 100 m. Also Caribbean wins for Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados 56.34 PB in the 400 m hurdles, Diamara Planell from Puertorico 440 in pole vault (equalled NR) and Chantel Malone of British Virgin Islands long jump 666 (+0.8). Here second French European Indoor champion Eloyse Lesueur 647 (+1.8), her first long jump since European Indoors 2015. In the High School girls 100 m hurdles Chanel Brissett (belongs to U18 category) clocked excellent 13.19 (+0.2), so far the top junior result in 2016.
PALO ALTO: Early World leaders at Stanford Invitational first day include Kenyans Leonard Korir 27:58.65 in the 10 000 m with Hillary Bor 8:30.70 steeple, South African Dominique Scott 15:25.10 in the 5000 m and Laura Thweatt 31:52.94 PB in the women 10 000 m. Also to note that another Kenyan Shadrack Kipchirchich clocked sub 28 (27:58.91) ahead of Scott Fauble 28:00.43 huge PB and Luis Fernando Ostos from Peru 28:03.42 national record with debuting German Fernandez 5th 28:06.64. In women 5k second Ireland´s Mary Cullen 15:26.53 and third New Zealand´s Kim Smith 15:32.77 in her first track race since 2013. Kenyan Alphine Bolton dipped also sub 32 in women 10k 31:54.20 PB and Tara Welling third 32:02.80 PB. Also fourth Beth Potter 32:03.45 life-time best and fifth Ireland´s European CC Champion Fionnuala McCormack 32:05.08. In other events Paul Chelimo won the 5000 m 13:36.63 and 400 m hurdles specialist Dalilah Muhammad 52.64 PB in flat race.
I first heard that something was amiss with Max Siegel and the team around the US Olympic Trials. For the first time, Max had a security detail with him. A very large, imposing man, who I noted following Max around.
Sometime over the weekend, it first came out that the USOC had encouraged governing bodies to up their security details. Made sense in this age. Later, I heard something about some screwed up people, using the web to verbally attack Max, but also some threats. From the demeaner of the person, I knew this was not made up.
Read Alan Abrahamson's feature below, and just contemplate that there are still evil people in this world. The web just makes their racist blurbs easier to dispurse.
Ironic that they are coming after a sport that celebrates diversity as one of its strengths.
W. Kiprop in Berlin
BERLIN (GER): Former world half marathon champion Wilson Kiprop will make his comeback from injury at the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday. Kiprop was second in this race in 2012 in a PB of 59:15. "On Sunday I want to run a good race again; it is my aim to achieve a sub-60 minute time. I suffered of a calf injury in 2014 and could not compete, but now it is all fine," he said. Team-mate Richard Mengich, who clocked 59:59 in this race last year, will be his main rival. Arne Gabius will also be looking for a good performance in the build-up to the London Marathon with the aim of running inside 61 minutes. "It is my goal to clearly improve this time. I want to run sub 61 minutes and I will go with the first group. But I am not sure if I will be able to get near to the German record," cautioned Gabius. Having already achieved the Olympic qualifying standard for the marathon, Philipp Pflieger, Julian Flügel and Gabius could all make a major step towards Rio on Sunday, if they run below a very moderate 66:30. This is the time asked by the German federation to confirm their form during the spring of the Olympic year. The favourite in the women's race is Elizeba Cherono, who has a 70:10 PB and was second in this race last year. From Race News Service.
LaShawn Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net
L. Merritt 20.23 WL
GAINESVILLE (USA, Mar 31): World and Olympic winner at 400 m LaShawn Merritt is early in top shape with World leading 20.23 (+0.7) over 200 m at the Florida Relays. Merritt was not competing in the indoor season. Behind him fast Brazilians Aldemir Junior 20.47 and Bruno de Barros 20.51. Canadian Gavin Smellie won another race in life-time best 20.43 (+1.6). In the 400 m Mike Berry clocked 45.51 ahead of Hugo de Souza of Brazil 45.76. In the 400 m hurdles former World champion Kerron Clement posted 50.17 ahead of Puertorico´s Eric Alejandro 50.18. In the women 200 m Tiffany Townsend beat Jamaican star Veronica Campbell-Brown 22.38 to 22.46, but wind-aided +3.7. Third Shalonda Solomon 22.58 over Cambrya Jones 22.76 and Francena McCorory 23.04. In another race legal personal best 22.86 (+0.3) by Kianna Gray. Claudia Francis won the 400 m hurdles in 56.43 PB and Ebony Eutsey 400 m in 52.08 ahead of British short sprinter Desiree Henry who improved to 52.25.
Justin Lagat is our Kenyan correspondent and great friend. He provides, "A View from Kenya" each and every week. His insights into his beloved country and his fellow countrymen and countrywomen are some of our most popular columns around the world! We are honored to work with Justin.
This is his piece on the Paris Marathon and Bernard Koech's return to form. Will Mr. Koech be ready to shine at the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon this coming Sunday?
As Justin Lagat noted, "only time will tell."