May 2016 Archives
Larry Eder comments: Candace Hill's debut is one of the most anticipated debuts in our sport in some time. Her deal with ASICS America is for a decade, and includes her education and coaching needs. In the following release, Global Athletics & Marketing, her management team, provides the reader a good synopsis of her career and her plans for the near future. We wish Candace Hill much luck in 2016 and beyond!
Larry Eder comments: The women's steeplechase was the best women's steeplechase that I have seen anywhere. Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Kiyeng are two of the most gifted and hard working athletes in our sport. They ran all out and gave the fans a great performance.
Running the smartest race of her young life, Emma Coburn took third and set the AR of 9:10.76, a feat she had accomplished in 2014 in July on a glorious Glasgow afternoon. Since the time in Glasgow was not ratified, due to a lack of drug testing, Emma had to wait two more years, and a wonderful race, to set the official AR.
Here is Lindsay Rossmiller's fine piece on the race and the amazing performances that the crowd of nearly 12,500 was treated to at the Pre Classic.
Justin Gatlin has started the 2016 season off quietly. His first race, in Shanghai, was a 10.03. Afterwards, Justin told the media about turning his ankle back in November and how long it has taken to get back to normal.
In the interview, conducted at the Nike Pre Presser, I teased him a bit about being the old man sprinter. Gatlin admitted that he does not need as many 200 meters, because he has performed well there, and he wants to concentrate on the 100 meters.
Concentrate he did. Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters going away, running 9.88 and winning over Asafa Powell in 9.94. One thing is for certian: Justin Gatlin has his eyes focused on Eugene and Rio.
Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce is the Jamaican Pocket Rocket.
One of the finest sprinters of her era, Shelly Ann is always a fun interview and always speaks her mind. I asked her about her new hair colors for this meet, her fitness ("this is my first race") and her concern about her Jamaican competitors.
One thing is for certian. SAFP loves to race, and she does not miss the Nike Pre Classic. Her 11.18 was not that impressive, nor was her last place in the 100 meters. But, mark my word, as the races gain importance, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce wills herself into racing form. Her fitness comes around, but her racing psyche is like few others. If she wants to be defending her titles, she will.
This interview was done by Larry Eder at the Pre Classic Presser on May 27, 2016.
David Hunter wrote this piece on Clayton Murphy for his weekly column on the athletes in our sport. The men's 800 meters will be a barn burner and Clayton Murphy should be in the thick of it.
Read David Hunter's revealing piece on this fine young runner, who is also the Pan Am and NCAA Champion.
Larry Eder comments: Asbel Kiprop is, in my mind, the finest miler active today. He is the man to beat in Rio, and he knows it. His performance at Pre Classic yesterday was playful. Kiprop has the ability to change gears over the last 300 meters like no one else. On Saturday, May 28, 2016, Asbel Kiprop won his fourth mile title. Here is how David Monti saw the Pre Classic...
KIPROP SNAGS FOURTH BOWERMAN MILE WIN AT PRE CLASSIC
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2016 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission.
EUGENE, Ore. (27-May) -- In 2012 Asbel Kiprop came here to race the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic. He was the reigning Olympic and world 1500m champion and he prevailed over 18 other top milers in a world-leading 3:49.40. It was his third victory here, but he had hoped to run faster.
"I'm happy I won and I like to win," Kiprop told Race Results Weekly in 2012, lamenting his time. "Sometimes it happens that way."
Fast forward four years, and at today's 42nd Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field a similar race played out for Kiprop, now 26. Off of a slow first quarter (58.0 seconds), the lanky Kenyan once again got the win with a powerful stretch run, but he was disappointed with his time of 3:51.54. Like in 2012, he had hoped to run a career best.
"I feel good," said the always serious Kiprop, squarely meeting this reporter's gaze. "However, I'm a little bit disappointed because I wanted to run my personal best here today. It didn't happen."
Kiprop, who made his eighth appearance at what is now America's only IAAF Diamond League Meeting, stayed near the front of the race the entire way, avoiding trouble. When Morocco's Abdelaati Iguider surged on the backstretch in the final lap, Kiprop tracked his move with confidence, then powered past the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist after rounding the Bowerman Curve. Iguider got second (3:51.96) and Kenya's Elijah Manangoi clinched third in 3:52.39.
"This is my fourth win," Kiprop said proudly. "I'm really excited to claim the victory. However, what I expected actually was to run a PB."
Well behind Kiprop, American high schooler Drew Hunter finished 12th (and last), but once again broke four minutes, clocking 3:58.88, his third sub-4:00 clocking of the year. That left Alan Webb, who watched today's race trackside with Hunter's parents, still the USA high school record holder. Webb, now 33, ran 3:53.43 at this meeting back in 2001.
"I thought I was pretty tough in there," Hunter told reporters, looking woozy. "I've never had that bad of lactic acid the last 100 meters in my entire life."
In the undercard International Mile, Britain's Charlie Grice continued his winning ways, streaking away from the field to win in a personal best 3:52.64. Grice also won the 800m at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic two Fridays ago in Los Angeles, also setting a PB (1:46.95).
"I was really happy with it," said Grice who looks forward to qualifying for the British Olympic team next month. "I knew my speed was there, and like I was saying to you earlier, I was in Flagstaff for the last six weeks, and I knew my strength. So, I knew I'd be on for a good mile time."
Another American high schooler, Michael Slagowski, ran the second sub-4:00 of his career, clocking 3:59.78 to finish fourth. He finished just ahead of 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Leo Manzano (4:00.27).
In a fast women's 1500 --superbly paced by Chanelle Price, the 2014 IAAF World Indoor 800m champion-- Kenya's Faith Kipyegon rocked the house with a Kenyan and USA all-comer record of 3:56.41, breaking her own mark from the Shanghai Diamond League meeting two weeks ago. A pair of Ethiopians took second and third, Dawit Seyaum (3:58.10) and Gudaf Tsegay (4:00.18). American Jenny Simpson, the 2011 world 1500m champion, took fourth in a season's best 4:01.57.
"I was not expecting to run quicker than I did in Shanghai," said Kipyegon who clocked 3:56.82 in China. "I thank God because I won this race, and it was a good race." Looking forward to the Kenyan Olympic Trials next month she added: "I have the confidence to make the team for Rio."
Also running fast was Bahrain's Ruth Jebet in the women's steeplechase. With a spirited sprint finish against Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng, last year's world champion, Jebet ran the fastest time ever in North American: 8:59.97. She became just the second woman to break nine minutes for the steeplechase. Kiyeng was just a whisker behind in 9:00.01, shattering the Kenyan record.
In third place, Emma Coburn broke training partner Jenny Simpson's American record of 9:12.50, clocking 9:10.76 in her first steeplechase since last September. Coburn --who had previously run faster than Simpson (9:11.42), but was denied a national record because she wasn't drug tested-- was pleasantly surprised by her performance today. She said in an interview yesterday that she wasn't expecting to run fast in her season opener.
"Today was great," a beaming Coburn said, hands on hips. "I saw after Shanghai that the Kenyans were going to be running fast, so I was happy to just run conservative in comparison to them early on, then just start clicking it off. Luckily, they ran fast enough that it got single file at about halfway. So, I had a clear track but also had the benefit of someone to chase."
Simpson, who hasn't run a steeplechase since 2009, was genuinely thrilled for her teammate.
"There's not a bigger fan of her in the world than me," said Simpson, whose voice cracked with emotion. "It's just really sweet to see her do so well. I said this before --and I feel this way-- you don't get to watch the person prepare to break your record, and I get to see that every day. I'm just really happy for her."
In the men's 5000m, two-time world half-marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor nearly won the race, leading the final laps after the pacemakers had retired. But Kamworor, second at last November's TCS New York City Marathon, had to settle for the runner-up position in a personal best 12:59.98 after being out-kicked by Ethiopia's Muktar Edris who clocked 12:59.43. Canada's Mo Ahmed --who made a last lap effort to win the race but was chased down-- finished third in a new Canadian record of 13:01.74. Hassan Mead was the top USA finisher, clocking season's best 13:04.17 in sixth place.
"I was not sure (if I would win), but I knew I was going to run a personal best," said Kamworor.
The only home country distance or middle distance victory came in the men's 800m. Newly-crowned world indoor champion Boris Berian muscled his way to victory, holding off a charging Ferguson Cheruiyot of Kenya in the homestretch, 1:44.20 to 1:44.56. His was the fastest time run outside of one meet in Kenya so far this year.
"I'm out here to run," said Berian who refused to engage the media about a pending lawsuit from former sponsor Nike, also the sponsor of the Prefontaine Classic. "That's my job. That's what I love to do." He continued: "Coming up the last stretch, I just give it all I got."
For 41 year-old Bernard Lagat, his 15th and final appearance at the Prefontaine Classic was disappointing. Battling a cold, he was forced to drop out of the 5000m.
"The thing is I've been having a bad cold, as you can hear, since Monday," he told reporters. "I saw a doctor two nights ago and, let me tell you, I've been trying to run really hard here, but I couldn't. My chest was burning like crazy."
Many of the American athletes who competed here today will be back in Eugene for the USA Olympic Trials which run from July 1st through the 10th.
The sub four minute mile has been one of our sport's holy grails. The 1300 men who have broken the mark are most respected in the U.S. and GBR. At Oregon, Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger developed many. Lindsay Rossmiller, writing for RunBlogRun, wrote about the Sub 4 Reunion held on Friday night, May 28. Here is her story.
Farah WL, Kovacs WL
EUGENE (USA, May 27): Great night of athletics at Hayward Field on Friday. Mo Farah fulfilled the expectations and won the 10 000 m in World leading 26:53.71 in his first track race since Beijing World Champs. It was his 11th race at the distance ever, third best, he lost only twice. After nice duel with surprise second Kenyan William Sitonik 26:54.66 (debut at the distance) he said: " "I got the crowd behind me. I was just going to go win it. I don't want to lose a track race here." Three more clocked sub 27, third Tamirat Tola 26:57.33 PB (only his 2nd race at 10k), fourth Stephen Sambu 26:58.25 and fifth 2011 World champ and last man to beat Farah at 10k Ibrahim Jeilan 26:58.75 PB. Half marathon WR holder Zersenay Tadese was 6th 27:00.66. In total 19 athletes went sub 28 (8 of them with PB´s). Second World lead of the night in shot put by World champion Joe Kovacs 22.13 who clearly dominated over the rest of the field with Tom Walsh second 20.84. Another World champ Pawel Fajdek confirmed his clear hammer number one position 80.28 ahead of Dilshod Nazarov 78.12. Also Sandra Perkovic left no doubts in discus with 68.57 win ahead of Nadine Muller 65.31 and Melina Robert-Michon 63.69. Another Beijing winner Tianna Bartoletta did not had her day in long jump as she was the victim of new rules only 7th 648 (+1.0). Winning Brittney Reese leaped to 692 (+1.1), third best of 2016. Shanghai winner Ivana Spanovic was 2nd 688 (+1.1) and Lorraine Ugen third 676 (+1.4). Kenyan Hellen Obiri confirmed she is back in right shape after maternity with 14:32.02 PB in women 5000 m. Viola Kibiwot 14:35.13 second ahead of World champion Vivian Cheruiyot 14:35.69 and Mercy Cherono 14:37.08. Best Ethiopian Ostrava winner Belaynesh Oljira 14:42.57 PB. The USATF High Performance 800 m winner was Alysia Montano 2:00.78.
Larry Eder comments: The Pre Classic 10,000m is a place where young Kenyan, Ethiopians and Bahranians get a chance to knock on the door of greatness. Mo Farah was challenged more here than he has been in years. He also knows that Ibrahim Jelian just ran his first PB since 2006, when was a young one of 17. Mo also knows that Zersenay Tedese did quite, well, having run his first 10,000m in at least five years. Rio will be competitive, to say the least. Here is a another view of the 10,000m and Distance night from our friend, David Monti.
FARAH BATTLES TO PREFONTAINE 10,000M TITLE
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2016 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission.
EUGENE, ORE. (27-May) -- Coming into tonight's Distance Night at Hayward, the first session of the two-day Prefontaine Classic, double Olympic champion Mo Farah hadn't lost a 10,000m race since 2011. That streak included his Olympic title in London in 2012, IAAF World Championships victories in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing in 2015, and the European title in Zurich in 2014.
Here tonight at historic Hayward Field, Farah kept his undefeated streak alive with a world-leading 26:53.71, but had to beat back surprising challenges from two athletes he admitted he didn't even know: Kenyans William Malel Sitonik, a Japan-based runner who competes for the Honda corporate team, and Nicholas Mboroto Kosimbei, the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships bronze medalist.
"I didn't know who he was!" Farah told reporters after the race, not specifying which man he was referring to. "It was very surprising."
After early pacemakers, German Fernandez and Titus Mbishei, dropped out, the field of 28 men was towed around the track by Bahrain's Albert Rop. The Kenyan-born Rop settled the field down and took them through half way in 13:23.2, slightly slower than the 13:20 which organizers had targeted. Farah stayed nestled behind Rop, and the race seemed to be going to form.
But a lap later, Farah hit a mid-race slump, falling back to eighth position.
"Honestly, I felt good in the beginning, but mid-race I kind of felt sluggish," Farah said. "Just didn't quite get moving."
Rop dropped out after hitting the 8-K point (21:36.2), and then the race got interesting. With a 63.5-second lap, Kosimbei gapped the field, leaving Farah in his wake to tow along the chase pack. Farah wasn't happy with his position.
"I had to make a decision," Farah explained. "Continue pushing with the guys sitting behind me, or try and win the race."
Kosimbei still had the lead with four laps to go, but Farah would soon reel him in and draw even. The two men shared the lead with three laps to go, followed closely by Sitonik and all-purpose road racer Stephen Sambu, another Kenyan. Farah now seemed poised to squeeze down the pace for the last two laps, and put the race away, but Sitonik had different ideas. With 250 meters to go, Sitonik shot ahead, catching Farah off guard. Farah started to recall what happened in the 2011 IAAF World Championships when another athlete unfamiliar to him, Ethiopia's Ibrahim Jeilan, went past him and won the gold medal.
"Daegu, I remember, Jeilan was like, I'd never heard of him," Farah recalled. "He comes to the World Championships in the 10-K and he run past me. You can't take it for granted."
Clad in white kit, Sitonik flew around the Bowerman Curve into the homestretch leading by a few steps. Farah's pride was on the line now, he he didn't want to lose at Hayward. The Briton began to sprint furiously in lane-2, and swept past his much younger rival inside of the last 60 meters to get the win.
"I was just testing the guy to see what he's got," Farah joked with reporters. Then he added: "No. I got the crowd behind me. I was just going to go win it. I don't want to lose a track race here."
Sitonik finished a close second in 26:54.66 (his first-ever sub-27:00 clocking), followed by Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia in 26:57.33. Sambu was the fourth and final athlete to break 27-minutes (26:58.25); Kosimbei finished seventh in a career best 27:02.59. A total of 19 men broke 28 minutes, including the USA's Eric Jenkins who got an Olympic Games qualifying mark of 27:48.02 in 16th place.
"That was hard," said Jenkins who ended up leading the race's second group for most of the distance. "Definitely hard, but that's what we were expecting. I did a lot of the work, a lot of work."
Despite getting the victory and a world leader, Farah wasn't pleased with his time.
"To be honest, I was kind of disappointed to run that time," he said. "I was hoping to run a lot faster than than. I'm in great shape."
In the other big race here tonight, Kenya's Hellen Obiri used her 3:57 1500m speed to run away from a stacked field in the 5000m in 14:32.02. Obiri beat a trio of top Kenyans --Viola Kibiwot, Vivian Cheruiyot and Mercy Cherono-- with a powerful last lap move.
"One lap to go," said Obiri when asked when she knew she had the victory. "Because Viola Kibiwot was behind me, so I started to move with 200 meters to go."
Kibiwot finished second in 14:35.13, and Cheruiyot was third in 14:35.69.
Back in 11th position, Molly Huddle made a credible attempt to break her own American record of 14:42.64. She fell short, but nonetheless ran a very solid 14:48.14, the fastest 5-K by an American woman this year.
"I thought I had nothing to lose, so I stuck my nose in there," Huddle said. She added: "Like a little bit on the rusty side, but hopefully I can sharpen up from there."
In the USATF High Performance 800m, Alysia Montano held off a late charge by Kate Grace to get the win in 2:00.78 to 2:01.16.
"It was awesome!" said the always bubbly Montano. She added: "For me, tonight was great."
Grace, who won the 1500m at the Hoke One One meet last Friday in Los Angeles, was also pleased with her performance.
"I'm happy to always finish every race this season on the podium," Grace said. "If I keep doing that, I'll be alright."
This interview was done at the Nike Pre Classic Presser on Friday, May 27, 2016. Renaud Lavillenie was one of the Nike stars at the press conference. I asked Renaud if, perhaps, he made pole vaulting high too easy?
Renaud smiled and agreed, that perhaps jumping six meters looked way too easy. In fact, Renaud Lavillenie had cleared 5.80 meters 105 times so far in his career!
In a race that portends Rio, but also shows the continuing growth of our sport, Mo Farah was challenged by William Sitonik Malel with 250 meters to go, and won, going away, over the last 75 meters, in 26:53.71, the second best time ever by a British athlete. It also should be noted that Mr. Farah owns the first best time by a Briton as well!
Updated May 28, 2016
This story has been reposted on May 27, 2016. I wanted people to remember one of the prime reasons that the Pre Classic is around was because of my late friend, Geoff Hollister. A man of much complexity, Geoff Hollister loved his family, friends and his brand, Nike. The Friday Night at Hayward is here in honor of this guy, who fought every day of his nearly 40 years at Nike for the importance of his brand's core, or as Mark Parker, CEO of Nike calls it, "Nike's DNA is running."
The Pre Classic and Friday night at Hayward Field are the yearly affirmations of Nike's beginnings and Nike's DNA: athletics. Helping people run, jump and throw with some form and function. For much of that, we need to take a moment and think of Geoff Hollister, reminding me that Bill Bowerman did not like the word 'Coach', among other things.
I miss our friend.
Hollister, who took his degree in art from the University of Oregon, was, along with his friend, Nelson Ferris, the keeper of history of the company with the swoosh. Much of that history, Hollister was involved with personally.
Starting in 1967, Hollister sold running shoes out of the back of his car at track and cross country meets. Hollister's interview with Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike (with Bill Bowerman), is that of legend. Knight offered Hollister a job, commission only, over lunch at the Dairy Queen then on U of Oregon campus. Hollister had run the steeple while at Oregon, Knight, a decade older than Hollister, had run the mile. Only one issue, Knight had forgotten his wallet, so Geoff paid for lunch.
In 1968, Geoff founded the BRS West store, in Eugene, Oregon. He then served three years in the US Navy, on the USS Guadalupe, as a navigator. Goeff returned in 1971 to BRS, when it was at a crisis point.
Phil Knight & Bill Bowerman were in a epic struggle with Onitsuka Tiger, and the little BRS was faced with the challenge that many small companies have-financing. Knight was able to develop a financing arrangement with Nissho Iwaii, which allowed Knight the capital to develop their own product and break away from Onitsuka Tiger. (There was a lawsuit between the two, which Knight & Bowerman won).
Hollister was one of the people who got Bill Bowerman. He understood, that beneath the curmudgeoness, was a brilliant educator, who, with all of his foibles, was a hell of a track coach, and businessman. "Never, ever call Bill Bowerman a coach, he hated that word, " Geoff once told me. Hollister was the keeper of the flame.
Geoff Hollister was the Nike promotions department for the 1972 Olympic Trials, held in Eugene, Oregon. He gave out many of the Nike shoes to young American athletes, especially about three dozen members of the Olympic Trials marathon participants.
Hollister worked closely with the late Steve Prefontaine, and developed a strong friendship. It was coming home from a party at Geoff's home, after a Hayward Field Restoration meet, that Steve Prefontaine, who had been the promo guy for Nike, died. Hollister then took over Prefontaine's job of sending notes in boxes of Nike running shoes, to athletes across the world, asking them to try the new shoe brand.
Prefontaine's death in 1975 was tough for Hollister. Most had thought that Steve would be Nike's first Olympic medalist in 1976. It was not to be.
By 1976, Nike was established, but the brands such as adidas, PUMA and Onitsuka did not give Nike an easy time. Hollister did prepare running shoes for Frank Shorter, who had legendarily difficult feet, and while Geoff did prepare shoes for Shorter, it is a matter of some conjecture, to this day, whether Shorter actually wore those shoes.
Between 1976-1980, Geoff Hollister developed his promo team, and helped develop Athletics West, a club that provided not only running gear, massages, sports psychology and nutrition, but helped get the athletes ready to race in Europe so that they could be prepared for 1980. No one could have known that President Jimmy Carter, in reacting to Russia's involvement in Afghanistan, would boycott those Olympics.
It was in 1980, that Nike had its first Olympic medalists, none other than Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. Geoff Hollister had brought Sebastian Coe and Bill Bowerman together in Eugene, during his build up to the Moscow Olympics.
Hollister had become the man who knew Nike's history, the man who protected the soul of Nike, the man who remembered what Steve Prefontaine was really like. Geoff took those roles seriously, and his love
for Nike was immense.
1984 was a watershed year for Nike. They were a global sports power by then, and the LA Olympics were tremendous, both good and rough. Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first women's Olympic gold medal. Sebastian Coe became the only man to defend 1,500m titles and also win consecutive silvers in the 800 meters. They also had the tragedy of Mary Slaney falling down in the 3,000m and not finishing. Nike had gone big time, and there was a bit of a let down after the 1984 Olympics.
From 1984 to 1996, Geoff Hollister was really the man behind the scenes, using his relationships to help athletes compete, get into better coaching relationships, and continued to show off the Nike brand. He always saw himself as a runner. And he looked at the world through the tinted glasses of an athlete. It was one of his best qualities.
Geoff Hollister & Nelson Ferris became the guys who protected Nike's legacy, probably in the 1990s. Geoff knew that Bill Bowerman was not getting any younger, and did a video with Arthur Lydiard and Bowerman,
which is said to be a classic.
As Nike became a bigger and bigger sports power, there were people who just did not get that Nike was founded by runners, and as basketball, soccer, baseball eclipsed some of the early track & field days, Geoff spung back into action, fighting to keep grass roots promotions going in the late 1990s. It was no mean task at the then $10 billion company.
Some of Geoff's longest lasting influences will be on grass roots promotions, his documentary film, " Fire on the Track" and his work on the film, "Prefontaine" kept the story of Steve Prefontaine alive. It also allowed there to be a recognition, perhaps a rekindling of concern for where running was to live in the Nike culture.
Hollister supported the development of several generations of grass roots promotion guys, some still at Nike, some in other companies, who realize, that it is still about getting a kid who just broke five minutes for the mile to see the newest shoe and dreaming about running a 4:55 mile, or long jumping twenty feet, or throwing the shot forty-five feet.
Geoff Hollister kept the soul of Nike alive. He was a complicated man, who was quick to tell us a story, and to talk about his family, and also quick to make sure that the legacy of Nike was remembered. He was not in it for the bucks. He loved his sport and the people involved.
While Geoff retired in 2002, he consulted for Nike for several years after that. His friends were lucky to have updates from his wife, Wendy, who cared for him with love and concern. Geoff had three children, his son Tracy, daughter Kaili and step daughter, Abi .
Over the weekend, Galen Rupp, AR holder in the 10,000m, a man coached by Alberto Salazar, who was signed to Nike by Geoff Hollister, told the media at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, that Mo Farah , Galen and Ciaran O'Lionaird (winner of the mile), would be wearing GHAC gear in honor of Geoff. Geoff would have liked that....
Please keep Geoff, his wife Wendy, and their family in your thoughts and prayers.
And, what would make Geoff most happy? Go, take a walk or run, and consider how lucky you are, on this small planet.
Here is an article on Geoff Hollister, from OregonLive.com:
The press conference for the Prefontaine has the longest press row of the many meets I attend on the Diamond League schedule. Meet Director, Tom Jordan smiles a wonderful smile, of a man bereft of sleep as only a meet director of a major athletic meeting can.
On his stage, a line of stars including Asbel Kiprop, Renaud Lavillenie, Vashti Cunningham, Justin Gatlin, Christian Taylor, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Sonya Richards Ross, Aries Merritt and Dafne Schippers. I reached all of the press stars, which is an interesting dodge and weave move.
Watch for our audio interviews over the next weekend! Here is the schedule for the weekend. Watch our live coverage and enjoy!
2016 Pre Classic Schedule ( all Pacific time)
6:51 p.m.: Welcome
6:55 p.m.: Men's hammer
8:00 p.m.: National anthem
8:03 p.m.: Preview program
8:11 p.m.: Women's long jump
8:15 p.m.: Women's discus
8:18 p.m.: Men's shot put
8:23 p.m.: Girls 400 meters, high school
8:30 p.m.: Boys 400 meters, high school
8:37 p.m.: Women's 800 meters, USATF High Performance
8:42 p.m.: Introduction of sub-4 legends
8:52 p.m.: Women's 5,000 meters
9:18 p.m.: Men's 10,000 meters
12:00 p.m.: Welcome/national anthem
12:03 p.m.: Preview program
12:15 p.m.: Men's triple jump
12:18 p.m.: Men's pole vault
12:20 p.m.: Introduction of legends
12:33 p.m.: Men's 110 hurdles
12:42 p.m.: Men's mile
12:53 p.m.: Women's 100 meters
1:00 p.m.: Start of international signal
1:03 p.m.: Men's 400 hurdles
1:09 p.m.: Women's high jump
1:12 p.m.: Women's steeplechase
1:26 p.m.: Men's 800 meters
1:32 p.m.: Men's javelin
1:35 p.m.: Men's 400 meters
1:43 p.m.: Men's 5,000 meters
2:04 p.m.: Women's 200 meters
2:13 p.m.: Men's 100 meters
2:22 p.m.: Women's 1,500 meters
2:33 p.m.: Women's 100 hurdles
2:42 p.m.: Women's 400 meters
2:51 p.m.: Men's Bowerman Mile
TOKYO (JPN): The 2004 Olympic hammer winner Koji Murofushi said he will compete at next month's national athletics championships to try to qualify for his fifth consecutive Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 41-year-old Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion and a bronze medalist four years ago in London, won his 20th successive national title in 2014 but has not competed since then.
When Jessica Andrews headed down to the track for Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PBs she scarcely could have imagined the scenes that would follow later that evening. Based outside of the country, with a PB of 33:21.53, the former Aldershot Farnham & District athlete was well and truly under the radar. While pre-race previews (including my own) focused on the chances of European Champion Jo Pavey and those already holding the qualifying standard, Andrews name was barely even mentioned, despite a number of impressive performances on the cross country scene.
Yet, exactly 31 minutes and 58 seconds after the starters gun had exploded for the biggest race of her career, the Spain-based runner had shocked onlookers and journalists alike, crossing the line in 1st place with her hands raised in adulation to become the British champion and more importantly an Olympian.
While a few began to scour Power of 10 to find out her 'stats', most applauded her fantastic efforts. Continuing to hold up her hands for the photographers, Andrews wore a grin that represented a combination of delight and disbelief. Not only had she won the race, but she had done it comfortably, defeating 2009 world champion Linet Masai in the process.
"I'm am just so happy, I have no words to describe how happy I am right now." she told RunBlogRun shortly afterwards. "I came into the race with nothing to lose today. I knew I was in great shape and training was going crazy good" she added.
If ever there was a night for Andrews to make a her name for herself on the British track and field scene, it was last night. As the cheering crowds flooded to Hampstead Heath and into lane three of the Parliament Hill track to roar on the athletes and see who could convert their Olympic dreams into Olympic realities, Andrews made light of her underdog status.
Bidding her time in the race, the runner initially snuck tightly within the British chasing pack of herself, Beth Potter, Kate Avery and Pavey as Masai pushed the pace at the front of the field in the opening stages. Soon after 6k, Pavey, who had been suffering with a chest infection dropped off, leaving the three athletes to battle it out for two places.
With the pressure on and the pace beginning to fluctuate, Andrews' challenge strengthened. Knowing her rivals need only to finish in the top-two to qualify, she made her decisive break, pushing up the pace and driving away from them, turning her focus on Masai with four laps to go.
"I saw four laps to go and I thought 'ah, it's only four laps to go and still feel good, just go for it, what can go wrong'" she said.
After closing the gap almost instantly, she stuck to the heels of the Kenyan for 800m, before asserting her authority and pushing to the front.
As the bell rang the gap remained small, then as they hit the back straight marquee, Andrews unleashed an incredible surge to go away from her rival and leave her for dead. Arms pumping, teeth gritting, the gap got bigger and her achievement got greater, bounding down the home straight to raptors applause, against the odds she had done it.
Speaking on the emotions of the last lap she told RBR "I was terrified, I thought 'wow, I've made a point, I'm here, I'm in an amazing position I need to not lose this now I need to just keep going and I just kind of just ran as if everyone was behind me and thought, just get to the end."
Having got there in the end, Andrews will now head into the unknown once more as prepares for Rio 2016 where she will be joined by Potter, after the Scotswoman pulled away from Avery in the home straight, who will now have to wait and see if she if awarded the final discretionary place.
Before Brazil, the 23 year-old must now decide where to race as part of her pre-competition build-up, having admittedly only planned up to this race. It will not be the only planning she has to do either, with her wedding to Irish Pro-cyclist Dan Martin, who will also be competing in Rio also scheduled for this year.
Though a few cynics were quick to question such a brilliant performance, Andrews' pedigree is far greater than they might suggest, as shown by her New Balance kit sponsorship. A winner of Southern Cross Country championships in 2014, finishing fifth in the national championships in the same year, after a low key 2015, she was a brilliant second at the Cross Internacional Zornotza finishing narrowly behind World silver medalist Mercy Cherono. Either way, it's unlikely she'll ever be overlooked in the future.
Whatever issues continue to face the world of athletics in this current climate, it's moments like this that make any fanatic's commitment to the cause seem worthwhile. No matter how much you think you can predict the outcome of an event, someone or something will always surprise you. Usually for the better.
STOCKHOLM (SWE): Kenya's 2015 world champion Julius Yego and his Czech predecessor Vitezslav Vesely will be part of an outstanding javelin competition at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on 16 June, organisers of the BAUHAUS-Galan 2016 meeting announced. Also throwing Ihab Abdelrahman and current World leader Thomas Rohler. Also in Stockholm will be the new Czech star, Jakub Vadlejch. Japan's 2015 world championships finalist Ryohei Arai and top local thrower Kim Amb are also in the field.
Will we see the most fascinating comeback this summer?
Susanna Kallur, 35, will finally race again at 100m hurdles - Stockholm 16 June
It has been eight years since Susanna Kallur, from Sweden set the still standing World indoor record at 60m hurdles, 7.68, and six years since her last race at 100m hurdles. A leg injury put her athletics career on hold but she never gave up. Despite several surgeries she kept the dream of competing in another Olympic Games and has now reached the moment of now or never. On 16 June, she will be back on track racing at Stockholm Olympic Stadium at Bauhaus-Galan Diamond League facing among others Olympic champion Sally Pearson and the two fastest so far this year, Kenni Harrison (12.36) and Kristi Castlin.
"I have only a couple of opportunities to qualify", says Kallur about her Olympic dream.
"I have never been in this kind of alarming situation before. I am approaching the end of my journey and it is really nerve wracking!"
In 2007, Kallur set a personal best of 12.49 at 100m hurdles and was ranked second at the event by Track&Field News. The following year, she won all her six indoor races including breaking the World indoor record 7.68 in Karlsruhe on 10 February. But at the World indoor championships in Valencia she injured her leg after the semifinal and never started in the final.
She managed only two races during the summer and ran her first race in ten weeks in the Olympic heat in Beijing. In the semifinal she crashed into the first hurdle and the Games was over. She had a major surgery on her lower right leg in November 2008 but complications with the wound forced her to several other surgeries the following years.
Kallur ran three races in May-June 2010 - the fastest 12.78 in New York's Diamond League - but have since then only raced a few times at 100m flat and only one meet at 60m hurdles (8.14 two times in Karlsruhe in 2015).
What is pointing towards an Oly qualifier?
Kallur turned 35 in February, she is the mother of a two year old girl, Majken, and she hasn't raced at the event in six years.
What are her chances to qualify for Rio?
The entry standard is 13.00 but the Swedish Olympic Committe's qualification mark is 12.80. That's a tough one but not out of reach. If she stay healthy she definitely have a chance.
Could she reach the final?
At the World championships in Beijing last year 13.14 was needed to reach the semifinal, 12.86 for the final and 12.66 to get a medal.
This winter Kallur raced three times at 60m flat with 7.34 as her fastest time. That's only 0.10 from her PB which was set at the European indoor championships in 2007 when she was seventh. Kallur spent April in Florida and that was when she started to run over hurdles in full speed. She did several block starts against 2015 World bronze medallist Alina Talay and also beat her a few times! Kallur ran over six hurdles a few times and she was fast.
At the end of April she had a small setback when she felt pain in her knee. But the problem went away and she is now hurdling again and ready to compete.
Is any of Kallur's old compatriots still racing?
More or less a whole hurdle generation has passed since Kallur's prime days and it's just a few on the top list of today she have raced. Two of them are Lolo Jones, 33, who was second in Kallur's World indoor record race from 2008, and regaining Olympic champion Sally Pearson who will meet Kallur in Stockholm on 16 June.
Few athletes, if any, have been injured for such a long time as six years and comeback and reached an Olympic final.
Could Kallur do it?
She has 39 races at 12.80 or faster during her career and during her first comeback in 2010 she ran 13.14, 12.78 and 12.88 despite poor preparations.
It will be interesting to follow the woman who never give up and see how fast she can go before 11 July when the Olympic qualification period ends. And it will for sure be an emotional moment at Stockholm Olympic stadium on 16 June.
PRE CLASSIC NEWS
EUGENE (USA): The Friday evening programe at Hayward Field will see three Diamond League events. Women discus with Sandra Perkovic, women long jump with Tiana Bartoletta against Ivana Spanovic and Brittney Reese and men shot put with US elite Joe Kovacs and Kurt Roberts against Tom Walsh and Tomasz Majewski. Men hammer will be staged as part of IAAF HT Challenge with World champion Pawel Fajdek as the top name. Men 10 000 m will see Mo Farah against a large group of Kenyans and Ethiopians. In the field also Half Marathon World record holder Zersenay Tadese and going for his first quick 10k will be Augustine Choge. In the women 5000 m Kenyan´s are the strongest group with Vivian Cheruiyot, Viola Kibiwot, Sally Kipyego and Betsy Saina with Helen Obiri. US record holder Molly Huddle and in-shape Belaynesh Oljira are in the field too. USATF High Performance 800 m is headlined by Alysia Montano, Chanelle Price and Lara Roesler.
EUGENE (USA): World Indoor champion Matt Centrowitz scratched from Bowerman Mile.
EUGENE (USA): Italian high jump star Alessia Trost will open her road to Rio at Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.
EUGENE (USA): Just Gatlin before his Saturday 100 m race confirmed to media that he wants to continue with his career until 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
EUGENE (USA): World champion Dafne Schippers will clash with Jamaican Elaine Thompson who was just behind her last year in Beijing at Pre Classic 200 m. But current 100 m world leader Tori Bowie could spoil the party. Also running US sprinters Candyce McGrone, Kimberlyn Duncan, Jenna Prandini, Jo Atkins and young Kaylin Whitney.
Larry Eder responds: All respect to Elaine Thompson. With Elaine Thompson, Tori Bowie and Dafne Schippers, do not be surprised if it takes 21.85 to win at Pre!
Dafnes Schippers has run 10.83 (second in Doha, May 6), 10.94 (win at CityGames, May 20) and 22.02 (first, Hengelo, May 22 ). Elaine Thompson has a 10.71 under her belt this season as wwTori Bowie has a 10.80 (win, Doha), plus a 10.91 in chilly Herzogenaurach (May 14) and an earlier 22.23 for 200 meters. The battle for the Pre Classic 200 meters is on!
The 2015 PreClassic 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net
EUGENE (USA): World and Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah will run the PreClassic 10 000 m on Friday night. First outdoor track race since winning gold in the 5000 m at World Championships in Beijing.
Larry Eder writes: Mo Farah has raced three times so far in 2016. His cross country race in January, where he placed third in Edinburgh. Then, there was his 3000m win in Glasgow in February, and in March, his bronze medal in the monsoon that was Cardiff. Looking forward to seeing his 10,000m from Hayward Field! Mo Farah may be the best 10,000m tactician of his generation.
Greg Rutherford is the best long jumper of his generation. He is also the current World Outdoor Champion, Olympic Champion, European Champion and Commonwealth Champion. In cool and windy conditions on May 20, Greg won the Long Jump with a leap of 8.20 meters in Manchester for the CityGames 2016. This was only a week after a windy 8.36m and a legal 8.24m jump.
Greg Rutherford gets it. To be part of the elite of athletics, to make a living from the sport, one must work with the media to help promote it. This is one of the enjoyable and relaxed interviews it has ever been my pleasure to complete.
Greg Rutherford is the Rodney Dangerfield of the long jump. He does not get the respect that he deserves from some competitors. Truth is, day in, day out, Greg Rutherford knows how to compete in the big ones. He credits much to his coach, Dan Pfaff, who keeps him on a very even keel.
We look forward to seeing Greg Rutherford in Rio this summer.
For several years now, the early June meeting of the Adrian Martinez meeting is a fixture on my schedule. It is a celebration of fast and not so fast, it is a time where, like the good old days, you found a track, got some people together and ran some races. It is classic New England early summer meets a neighborhood sports day. And it is, a legacy, to a wonderful young man taken away too soon.
Here is the release on the June 2, 2016 meeting. See you there.
LOUGHBOROUGH (GBR, May 22): Olympic winner Jessica Ennis-Hill sounded a positive note about her fitness as she began the build-up to the defence of her Olympic title in Rio with a low-key performance
in the javelin in Loughborough with 41.69. CJ Ujah beat Great Britain team-mate James Dasaolu to win the 100 m A race in 10.07, inside the Olympic qualifying time with Dasaolu 10.14. Andrew Pozzi, in only his second outdoor race since 2012 because of awful injury problems, clocked a new PB of 13.32 to win the 110 m hurdles. In a windy 200m, Ojie Edoburun ran an impressive 20.50 with junior Cameron Tindle 4th with a PB of 20.75 inside the World Juniors standard. In a competitive 100m Rechmial Miller, the IAAF World Youth bronze medalist, took 4th in 10.34 in a race won by Harry Aikines Aryeetey in 10.29. In the hammer Jake Norris threw 78.54 a new PB (5 kg). In senior 4x100 m Britain clocked 38.64 to win with Dasaolu, Aikines-Aryeetey, Kilty and Ujah.
Georganne Moline, photo by PhotoRun.net
Gwenn Berry (with indoor weight), photo by PhotoRun.net
Moline 53.97 WL, Berry 76.31 NR
TUCSON (USA, May 21): Georganne Moline opened in high style at 400 m hurdles during Elite Classic meet, her 53.97 is new world lead. Second Dalilah Muhammad 54.64 and third Canadian Sage Watson 54.82 PB. In women hammer new US record Gwen Berry 76.31, second best in the World behind Anita Wlodarczyk. Also good shot put won by Jordan Clarke 21.11 over Darrell Hill 20.94 PB with Reese Hoffa third 20.83 and Ryan Whiting fourth 20.11. Tavis Bailey topped discus 64.94 ahead of Nate Moses 64.26 and Cyrus Hostetler javelin 83.83 ahead of Benjamin Woodruff 80.86 (for all four life-time bests).
This interview took place on May 19, 2016. I was seated at the table with Lucy Hatton and Tiffany Porter, along with fellow journo Stuart Weir. The interview quickly went from the 100 meter hurdles being the toughest event, weekly race by weekly race on the entire women's athletic program, due to the fact that hurdlers never hide from the competition.
Lucy Hatton and Tiffany Porter are hurdlers and athletes with approaches that work for them. Both love their events and are proud of their athleticism and the message they are givng young women. Take a few moments to listen to this one. Lucy Hatton talks about women being fierce competitors-one of my favorite comments ever by an athlete!
LONDON (GBR, May 21): Jessica Andrews created a huge surprise by winning the Olympic 10,000m Trials held in Highgate in North London last night. The 23-year-old lowered her lifetime best from 33:21.53 to 31:58.0 to secure qualification for the Olympics. Andrews defeated former world 10,000m champion Linet Masai (32:02.5) and Beth Potter (32:05.4) who also secured qualification for Rio. European champion Jo Pavey has been suffering from a chest infection and dropped back to tenth in 33:22.8. She will turn her attention to securing the qualifying time for the 5000m. Ross Millington won the men's race in 28:28.2 ahead of Spain's Juan Antonio Perez (28:30.1) and Dewi Griffiths (28:34.4) with pre-race favourite Andy Vernon fourth in 28:48.8.
To learn more, read Sean Ingle's fine article in the GuardianUK: Fantastic ieces by Sean Ingle from #GuardianUK!https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/may/22/hampstead-heath-athletics-british-10000m-trials
Dafne Schippers is the fastest women sprinter in Europe over 100 meters and 200 meters. She is also the World Champion over 200 meters, winning that race in the exciting and scintilating last meters, perhaps last centimters of the race.
The former heptathlete is now a focused sprinter and continues to battle the best athletes in the world. In Doha, Dafne battled Tori Bowie, loosing 10.80 to 10.83 in a fine race.
At the City Games, Dafne Schippers ran 10.94 in not so great conditions, on Friday, May 20. On Sunday, May 22, Dafne ran 22.02, breaking the MR at the FBK Hengelo meeting and running a world leader.
Here is my interview with Dafne on Friday, May 20, 2016. Thanks to Dafne for her time and patience with my questions.
Ayana until 4 km on WR pace
RABAT (MAR, May 22): African IAAF Diamond League debut with four World leads and meet records in 10 events. Ayana was well on pace for WR until 4km and Semenya showed what she can in fast race. Long jump drama and Iguider can now think whether to do 1500 or 5000 m in Rio.
Event by event
200 m: No problem for Edward 20.07 (+3.8).
400 m: Merritt went over Makwala in last 60 m with 44.66 to 45.38. The latter beaten also by K. Borlee 45.26.
800 m: They did not follow pacemaker, Bosse won in 1:44.51 ahead of Makhloufi 1:44.91 and Tuka 1:45.41.
1500 m (non-DL): T. Cheruiyot 3:33.61 PB over S. Kiplagat 3:33.68 and fast finishing Gregson 3:34.43. Comeback of German Tesfaye 3:35.05 as 5th.
3000 m (non-DL): A home win for Iguider 7:36.85 also WL and MR. Sub 7:40 for European runners Ibrahimov 7:37.76 and Mechaal 7:39.51 PB.
Steeple: C. Kipruto has the shape 8:02.77 WL and MR, pity he did too much celebration, could run a PB. Birech 8:03.90.
110mH: Oliver in close finish beat Ortega 13.12 MR to 13.13 (+1.4). Alkana PB 13.28 third.
HJ: It looke for Kynard (228) but Bondarenko cleared 231 and won. Tamberi only 225 as 6th.
LJ: Drama here as Samaai equaled MR and PB 838 (+0.8) with Lapierre just 2 cm behind 836 (+5.2, legal 831 -0.4).
DT: Malachowski is the king, in last round 67.45 MR.
100 m: Thompson was clear 11.02 against -1.3 was still a MR.
800 m: Semenya ruled with WR, ML and third best time of her career 1:56.64. Niyonsaba 1:57.74 and PB for Lamote 1:58.84 still ahead of Sum 1:59.32. World champ Arzamasava 8th.
5000 m: Very fast 14:16.31 by Ayana, fifth best all-time and MR. She was ahead of Tirunesh WR at 2 km (5:40.5 to 5:43.6) and 3 km (8:32.4 to 8:38.8) and 4 km (11:26 to 11:28).
Steeple (non-DL): Diro clocked 9:16.87, 3rd fastest in 2016.
400mH: Russell is the name to watch, she won in 54.16 PB.
PV: Stefanidi 475 outdoor PB and MR over Buchler 470, Silva only 3rd.
TJ: Ibarguen again, 14.51 (-0.4) was enough.
SP: Adams 19.68 but she missed her MR by 1 cm.
JT: Palameika got MR 64.76 ahead of Laasma Estonian record 63.65.
Mark Winitz wrote the following piece on the Big Bear Track Club, one of the new and impressive clubs on the US running scene. Kudos to Brenda Martinez and her husband, Carlos Handler, for putting the time and effort into providing another important opportunity to develop young American athletes.
Kim Collins is 41 years old.
He is also a world class sprinter, still capable of running under 10 seconds.
He proved his metal on Friday night, at the CityGames in Manchester, England with his come from behind victory. He got out behind Richard Kilty, 2014 World Champ Indoors, and held off Travyon Bromell, 2016 World Champ indoors, winning in a cool 10.08.
This interview was done on May 20, 2016, in the Media Center post City Games, as Kim Colins, in wonderful form, spoke about sprinting, running as a world class sprinter at 41, and his desire to break ten seconds once again!
Trust me, Kim Collins will break ten seconds once again!
Trayvon Bromell is really something special.
When I saw him run in Beijing, where he took the bronze in the 100 meters, I was quite impressed. Then, late in the fall, it was announced that New Balance had signed the young sprinter.
His win in Portland, at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, was quite impressive. I noted then, that Trayvon might just be as good as he thinks. I stand corrected. I think Trayvon Bromell is not only a fine sprinter, but, after watching him visit the New Balance UK offices and observing him film some social media videos, I am even more impressed.
This interview was done on May 19, over a quick lunch, before Trayvon, dealing with a slight cold, kept on his schedule. It was fun watching him purchase a bag load of NB sneakers, which he had quite a lot of fun doing. An obvious sneaker hound, Trayvon loved finding models not available in the US.
The interview covered a wide range of topics, from what other events he likes (long jump) to events he will not run (400 meters, and 4x400m relay). New Balance has found a worthy ambassador for the brand in Trayvon Bromell. Trayvon took second in the Great City Games, upset a bit by 2003 World Champ and 2011 Bronze medalist Kim Collins. Trayvon recovered from a slow start and battled into second.
The Road to Rio continues...
Schippers windy sub 11
MANCHESTER (GBR, May 20): The rain stayed away for the majority of the programme and the sprinters enjoyed a strong tailwind along Deansgate for the Great City Games in Manchester city centre on Friday evening. Dafne Schippers powered to victory in the 100m in 10.94 (2.7 m/s) ahead of Tianna Bartoletta (11.19) while super veteran Kim Collins powered to victory in the men's 100m in 10.08 (3.2) ahead of Trayvon Bromell (10.14) and Chijindu Ujah (10.15). "My personal goal is to be the first over-40 under 10 seconds in the 100m and then retire," said Collins. Tiffany Porter streaked away to win the 100m hurdles in 12.89 (2.2) ahead of Lucy Hatton (13.15), Ryan Wilson won the 110m hurdles in 13.62 (2.9) while Germany's Laura Muller upset the Brits to win the 200m in 23.11 (3.6). Winners at unusual distances: Seb Rodgers in the 200m hurdles in 22.66 (no wind reading), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey 15.10 (4.8) in the 150m. Greg Rutherford won the long jump held in Albert Square with 8.20m (0.6). "I've opened the season better than I've opened before," said Rutherford. Katie Nageotte cleared 4.50m to win the pole vault.
Merritt and Thompson for fast times
RABAT (MAR): LaShawn Merritt and Elaine Thompson are expected to clock fast times at the African IAAF Diamond League debut. Piotr Malachowski, Caterine Ibarguen and great men high jump are expected to be the technical highlights.
Event by event
200m - Alonso Edward starts as the favourite after finishing second in Doha
400m - LaShawn Merritt should dominate with James and Van Niekerk both absent.
800m - Top field assembled including world medallist Amel Tuka, Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos plus Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi.
110m hurdles - With Jamaican stars Omar McLeod and Hansle Parchment absent, Orlando Ortega starts as the favourite but was DQ'd in Shanghai.
3000m steeplechase - Top Kenyans Jairus Birech, Conseslus Kipruto and Paul Kipsiele Koech compete while Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad makes his comeback from injury.
High jump - Top three from the World Indoors will be in action (Tamberi, Grabarz, Kynard) along with former world champion and Shanghai DL winner Bohdan Bondarenko.
Long jump - World-leader Marquise Goodwin starts as favourite after jumping a world-leading 8.45m last weekend.
Discus - Top three from the World Championships (Malachowski, Milanov, Urbanek) are in the line-up along with former Olympic champion Gerd Kanter.
100m - Elaine Thompson is in great form with a windy 10.71 in Kingston. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a late scratch again.
800m - World champion Maryna Arzamasava opens her season. Excellent field also includes four more world finalists (Sum, Arrafi, Oskan-Clarke, Lamote), plus world indoor champion Francine Niyonsaba and world-leader Caster Semenya.
5000m - Almaz Ayana won the 3000m in Doha in a world-leading 8:23.11. She should smash the world-lead of 14:46.61.
400m hurdles - Cassandra Tate vs. Kemi Adekoya for the win.
Triple jump - Another head-to-head between Caterine Ibarguen and Yulimar Rojas is anticipated after a great contest in Doha.
Javelin - Kathryn Mitchell arrives fresh from a 64.37m win in Beijing and also finished second in Doha. European silver medallist Tatjana Mirkovic (nee Jelaca) returns from maternity leave.
Pole vault - Yarisley Silva, Ekaterini Stefanidi and Nicole Bucher are the favourites with Sandi Morris likely out.
Shot put - Valerie Adams is back in form with a 19.52m season's best but will be challenged by world indoor silver medallist Anita Marton.
Bolt gets sub 10
OSTRAVA (CZE, May 20): A thrilling sixth round of the men's javelin, in which the lead changed hands three times, capped the 55th edition of the Ostrava Golden Spike at the sold out stadium. Germany's Thomas Rohler led from round one, but Marcin Krukowski (84.74) and then Ihab Abdelrahman (84.85) moved to the lead in the final series. But in the final throw of the competition, Rohler unleashed a world lead of 87.37 to take the win. The headline act, Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt, left the rest of the field well behind to win the 100m in 9.98 (-0.4). Second position went to Ramon Gittens of Barbados with 10.21. Unfortunately, world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton did not line-up against Bolt, as he was forced to pull out of the meet after experiencing quad pain during the long jump. Another star on show was Renaud Lavillenie, who topped the pole vault with 583, beating world champ Shawn Barber's 570. Further down the field, Greek Emmanouil Karalis set a world u18 best of 555. There was another age best in the men's shot, Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki putted 21.01, a world outdoor u20 and European all-time junior best with the senior implement. Tomasz Majewski (20.84) was his closest challenger. Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen was another young athlete to excel; she won the 1500m in 4:06.91, the 13th best time ever by a European junior. The men's 1500m brought a surprise, as Czech Filip Sanisek won in big PB 3:36.32, beating Timo Benitz (3:36.40) and Chris O'Hare (3:36.58) in a thrilling sprint finish. Czech favourite Jakub Holusa finished 7th. In the women's 3000m, the favourite did prevail: Ethiopia's Belaynesh Oljira won in 8:38.55 ,eet record from compatriot Haftamnesh Tesfay (8:40.80). There was also an African winner in the men's 400mH, LJ van Zyl upset world leader Johnny Dutch to win in 48.65 to the American's 49.01. There were home wins in the men's long jump, Radek Juska 7.92 (-1.2), and the women's pole vault, in which Jirina Ptacnikova beat Cuban favourite Yarisley Silva on countback, both cleared 460. Sandi Morris could only manage 440 on this occasion. In a separate ranking blade jumper Markus Rehm get 803 as best mark of the day. There was another surprise in the women's 400mH, as Joanna Linkiewicz ran 55.40 PB to see off Kaliese Spencer (55.43) and Zuzana Hejnova (55.69). In the 110mH, Jarret Eaton (13.25 PB) and Jeff Porter (13.42) made it a US 1-2. Jamaicans ruled the 400m, with Javon Francis (44.87) and Christine Day (51.09) both winning. James Ellington just won his duel with Likoúrgos-Stéfanos Tsákonas in the 200m, 20.35 to 20.36.
This is the interview that I did with Kenenisa Bekele on Thursday, May 19 at the Great Run Manchester Presser.
Kenenisa Bekele is one of the finest distance runners of all times. The world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, Kenenisa has focused over the past two years on the marathon. I watched him race his debut in Paris in April 2014, when he ran 2:05:02. His second marathon in Chicago was the beginning of his injury cycle and it was not until London 2016, when he ran 2:06, and finished a gutty third, that Kenenisa was able to break that cycle.
Kenenisa was quitely confident in this interview. Again, it was just hours before the Ethiopian selectors surprised many, including Jos Hermans, Kenenisa's manager, by placing Kenenisa as part of the Ethiopian athletes in reserve for London. Note that the reserves are many times used by Ethiopia.
Kenenisa Bekele needs to show his fitness. This race, the Great Race Manchester 10k, takes on a stronger importance for the would be Rio marathoner.
RABAT (MAR): Caster Semenya's coach Jean Verster has said her pupil won't contest the 400m at the Olympic Games as it could jeopardise her chances in her specialist event, informs Independent Online. "No, it's not going to be possible (to do both). You don't want to take chances, so we won't be going for the 400 as well. If the 800 had to be first at the Olympics, then of course, it wouldn't have been a problem," he said ahead of the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday where Semenya will contest the 800m.
Lucy Hatton is one of Britian's finest hurdlers. In March 2015, she had her moment of zen, and took the silver medal in Prague, at the European Indoor Champs.
At the Manchester City Games presser, I intereviewd Lucy Hatton and Tiffany Porter, and what an exciting conversation ensued.
Here is my feature on Lucy Hatton.
Pre Classic 100 m
EUGENE (USA): An all-star line-up has been assembled for the men's 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on 28 May, informs organisers. Seven of the eight sprinters boast lifetime bests under the 10 second-mark led by American record-holder Tyson Gay (9.69) and former world record-holders Asafa Powell (9.72) and Justin Gatlin (9.74). The line-up also includes Mike Rodgers (9.85), in-form Femi Ogunode (9.91), world 100m bronze medallist Andre de Grasse (9.92) and leading Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian (9.99). The only sprinter in the field without a wind-legal sub-10 second is Ameer Webb (10.03) but the 25-year-old ran a slightly wind-aided 9.90 at the Mt. SAC Relays and won the 200m at the Doha Diamond League in a 19.85 PB.
Dibaba for Monaco
MONACO (MON): World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba will return to the Stade Louis II for the Monaco Diamond League on 15 July, informs organisers. Dibaba broke the long-standing world 1500m record last year with 3:50.07 but the Ethiopian will contest the 3000m this year. She is expected to challenge the meeting record of 8:21.42 which has stood to Gabriela Szabo since 2002. Dibaba's best time outdoors stands at 8:26.21 but she holds the world indoor record with 8:16.60.
Reese Hoffa is one of the finest throwers of this or any other generation. His love of the sport, his sense of humor, his competitve nature, and his willingness to speak to media are all of part of why he is so popular.
David Hunter wrote this week's feature on the grand old man of the shot, Reese Hoffa.
Sensation is Ghazal
BEIJING (CHN. May 18): Highlight of the IAAF World Challenge meeting was a terrific performance in the high jump by Majed El Dein Ghazal who set three Syrian records. The 29-year-old improved his record by one centimetre with a first-time clearance at 2.32m before second time clearances at 2.34m and 2.36m respectively. Sam Kendricks also cleared a world-leading height outdoors of 5.92m in the pole vault (world champion Shawn Barber was sixth with 5.60m) while world indoor champion Dong Bin went out to 17.24m in the triple jump. On the women's side, there was also a world-leading mark from Zhang Wenxiu in the hammer with 75.58m. As expected there were fast times in the sprints in the Bird's Nest: Justin Gatlin 9.94 and Mike Rodgers 9.97 in the 100m, Murielle Ahoure 11.06 and Ivet Lalova 11.11 in the women's 100m while Veronica Campbell-Brown returned to form with victory in the 200m in 22.29. Aries Merritt set a season's best of 13.24 to win the 110m hurdles while world champion Danielle Williams won the 100m hurdles in 12.80. Middle distance highlight was Hellen Obiri's 4:02.11 victory in the 1500m ahead of a national record of 4:03.70 from UAE's Betlhem Desalegn, 18-year-old Kipyegon Bett won the 800m in a photo-finish over Erik Sowinski in 1:45.80 while championship master Ezekiel Kemboi won the 3000m steeplechase in 8:14.19 after a heavy defeat in Doha. Elsewhere, Gao Xinglong 8.23m in the long jump, Mirela Demireva 1.93m in the high jump (Levern Spencer just fifth with 1.90m) and Yulia Leantsiuk 18.76m in the shot put ahead of Anita Marton 18.60m. Chinese sprint quartets won both relays in fast times: 38.21 for the men and 42.65 for the women.
The Shanghai DL is a fantastic way to bring global athletics to China. In 2016, it delivered, but there were some snafus. Beyond the issues, Faith Kipyegon showed that she should be able to battle with Genzebe Dibaba over 1,500 meters with her fine run.
David Rudisha was not happy, and after his difficult race, packed up and left for home. Renaud Lavillenie had a strange night, finishing second to Sam Kendricks, who scored an outdoor PB.
Here are the full results from the meeting.
Updated May 18, 2016
Jeff Shaver is a long time contributor to American Athletics, American Track & Field and RunBlogRun. Sometimes, you might not see a piece from Mr. Shaver for a year or two, but they are always memorable.
I believe his first was about 1994-95, where he provided a wonderful piece on the SuperToto Meetings, and provided us a first hand experience of sitting in a Toto toilet that did everything for the inhabitant but tie said person's shoes. I believe Mr. Shaver may have felt violated after said experience, but his article was priceless.
There is the rumor that Mr. Shaver possesses a picture of me, asleep in Beijing, with perhaps sixty Heineken bottles around me. While it is a picture of me, I did not consume all of said beverages of an adult nature. Mr. Shaver was able to join me in the Bird's Nest Stadium nearly every night of track & field in Beijing 2008. He was good company and also his sense of humor was helpful in our long days and nights in said stadium.
A special thanks to Mr. Shaver and his sardonic wit, plus his photography skills.
I am fortunate to be able to call him also a friend.
And finally, special thanks to Global Sports Consulting's team and Jos Hermans for their kean support of our coverage of the meeting.
The author watching the men's 5000m with the eyes in the back of his head. (Photo by Yan Yuzong)
Super 5000 m field
EUGENE (USA): World 1500m recor)d-holder Genzebe Dibaba headlines a stellar 5000m line-up at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on 27 May. Dibaba won at this meet twelve months ago in 14:19.76 before lowering her best ever time to 14:15.14 in the Paris Diamond League. Dibaba faces top opposition from world 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot (14:20.87 PB), Sally Kipyego (14:30.42), Gelete Burka (14:31.20), Viola Kibiwott (14:33.48) and Mercy Cherono (14:34.10). Molly Huddle could be looking to lower her American 5000m record of 14:42.64 while Hellen Obiri (15:21.8) could surprise at her first serious attempt at the distance. In total, the line-up includes eleven runners with sub-15 minute lifetime bests.
The photo above is from one of the most exciting US Marathon Trials in recent memory. Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, training partners, supported each other until they could no longer do it. Amy Cragg was encouraged early by Shalane Flanagan, and they, the roles were reversed.
After mile 24, Amy Cragg had to take off to preserve the win. Desi Linden went by Shalane Flanagan, taking second, and Shalane Flanagan made it exactly to the finish and wilted at the finish line.
Now both training well, as we get closer to Rio, Amy and Shalane will be running at the Suja RNR San Diego Half and Full Marathon. Here is the press release!
The story of this article is another example of the potential with our sport. Jeff Benjamin, an early adaptor if there ever was one, began writing for American Athletics back in 1991, I believe. Jeff then did articles on Jim Spivey, the Dream Mile and Abel Kiviat. Jeff loves the sport, and has suggested articles and ideas for the past two decades. I always enjoy his notes.
What does a running geek with two daughters (Amanda & Brianna) do? Encourage them both to run, of course. Well, Amanda, his oldest, has joined her father at Millrose for the past several years. Amanda Benjamin wants to write about sports, and she is now a second generation in the Benjamin family to write for our publications and website.
The Dream Mile is a magic moment in our sport. Jeff and Amanda have captured the scene, the zeitgeist tremendously well. Sports fans watch the Dream Mile on ABC Wild World of Sports! In an era when track & field is fighting with professional walleye fishing for money, 1971 was a time of promise, but also a time of challenges. The fact is, the sport missed continued chances to resonate.
With many of our new sports stars, track & field has some tremendous opportunities. So, dear readers, who will be running the next Dream Mile?
OSTRAVA (CZE): Meet record holder at 400 m hurdles LJ Van Zyl said for media in Ostrava that his target for Friday in Ostrava is to break the 49 seconds. He will face World leader Johnny Dutch and also in-shape Patryk Dobek of Poland with Jamaican talent Jaheel Hyde. Late withdrawal because of an injury is 2011 World champion Dai Greene. Michael Mathieu and Tony McQuay are also looking forward to fast race in the men 400 m against local hero Pavel Maslak. Organisers were all set for Wednesday arrival of main star of the meet Usain Bolt who will have an international press conference in Praha after meeting kids at the Chocholate Spike. Hammer World record holder Anita Wlodarczyk also arrived on Tuesday evening with hope to break the meet record of 78.07 in her season opener. Also the record holder Betty Heidler will compete. Hammer competitions will be staged on Thursday.
RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): US high jumper Chaunte Lowe traveled to the Olympic test event last weekend at her own expense to familiarise herself with the arena, informs AP. "I feel like it's an investment if you want to succeed and do well here," she said. "Every time I go I have a really hard time adjusting to the new surface. So I wanted to come early and feel it. There are adjustments that needed to be made, and I made those adjustments. Now I feel very confident going into the Games." Lowe, who will be looking to make her fourth American Olympic team this summer, cleared a world-leading 1.96m.
HERZOGENAURACH (GER, May 14): Adidas Boost Athletics Meeting had a third World lead in two days as Senbere Teferi won the women 5000 m in 14:46.61. Behind her Sentayehu Lewetegn 15:20.55 and top German Sabrina Mockenhaupt 15:40.03. 2011 World champion Yohan Blake was the 100 m winner in 10.03 (+1.1) over Warren Weir 10.20 and Keston Bledman 10.27. In women 100 m high quality 10.91 (+1.2) by World leader Tori Bowie over Michelle-Lee Ahye 11.07 and Briton Desiree Henry 11.23. Best German time by Gina Luckenkemper who equaled her best as winner of the B race in 11.25 (+1.4). In the 800 m Kenyan Willy Tarbei won in 1:44.84 over World leader Jonathan Kitlit 1:45.87 and Nicholas Kiplangat 1:46.83. Tigist Assefa from Ethiopia topped women 800 m in 2:02.28 over Kenyan Nelly Jepkosgei 2:03.14. Nixon Chepseba won the 1500 min 3:39.18 and among women Maren Kock 4:11.96.
Tyson Gay twice 10.03
CLERMONT (USA, May 14): Former World champion Tyson Gay showed top shape at NTC Pure Athletics meet with twice 10.03 times, in heats (+1.9) and finals (+0.4). Second in the final Saniel Bailey of Antigua 10.14 (10.12 in heats). Dedric Dukes won the other final in 10.13 (+1.4). German Aleixo Platini Menga improved in the 200 m to 20.27 (0.0) ahead of Dukes 20.41. Julian Reus won the other race in 20.41 (+2.0). Women sprints had Kelly-Ann Baptiste 11.14 (+0.3) in the 100 m ahead of Jo Atkins 11.22 and German Rebekka Haase 11.22. In the 200 m Atkins clocked 22.40 (+1.4) beating Baptiste 22.73. German Alexander John achieved in heats 13.38 (+0.6) at 110 m hurdles, in the final Milan Ristic of Serbia was the winner in 13.39 (+2.0) national record. Jamaican Monique Morgan won women hurdles in 12.80 (+0.6) PB. From technical events to note national triple jump record for Guyana 17.18 (+1.7) by Troy Doris. Sweden´s Erika Kinsey cleared 190 in the high jump, Amanda Bingson 71.90 in hammer and personal best for Ireland´s Adam McMullen 784 (0.0) in long jump. Mexican Ivonne Trevino improved in women long jump to 652 (+1.8) national record.
Goodwin 845 WL
BAIE MAHAULT (FRA, May 14): World leading long jump 845 (+0.8) by Marquise Goodwin (also a PB) highlighted the Meeting Region Guadeloupe in Caribbean area. Second Mike Hartfield 834 (+0.3) PB and third World indoor champion Marquise Dendy 819 (+0.7) over Jarvis Gotch 807 (+0.7). Asafa Powell, who won the men's 200m last week in Kingston dominated the 100 m with 10.04 (+0.3) new meet record. Second Diondre Batson of USA 10.15 and third Canadian World Championships bronze medallist Andre De Grasse, 10.20. World leader Kirani James continued his promising start to the 2016 campaign, after he ran away with the men's 400m event with an impressive 44.15. The Grenadian Olympic champion beat compatriot Bralon Taplin, 44.54 and Javon Francis of Jamaica, who ran a season's best time of 44.77. In the half-lap event, World leader LaShawn Merritt stopped the clock at 20.15 (-0.2) to win. Behind him BeeJay Lee 20.31 and De Grasse 20.46. Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica topped the women's 400m hurdles in 55.34, while USA's Jordin Andrade ran 49.52 to defeat a pair of Jamaicans - Roxroy Cato (49.98) and Leford Green (49.98) in the men's hurdles. Kristi Castlin took the women's 100m hurdles in a new meet record of 12.69 (+0.1), as she led an American top three sweep. Sharika Nelvis ran 12.76 for second and Queen Harrison finished third with the same time. On the men's side, Ronnie Ash of USA came out on top in the 110m hurdles, after running 13.33 (+0.1). He defeated Aleec Harris, also of USA, 13.43. In the women's 100m, Americans English Gardner 11.04 (meet record, -0.3) ahead of Alexandria Anderson 11.28. Francena McCorory of USA won the women's 400m in 50.73. US Kenyattia Hackworth leaped to 661 to win women long jump. Bahamian Donald Thomas, the 2007 world champion, cleared 231 to beat fellow team-mate Trevor Barry (225) in the men's high jump. Felisha Johnson of USA won the shot put 18.34. With the help from Trackalerts.
Bolt starts with 10.05
GEORGE TOWN (CAY, May 14): World record holder Usain Bolt opened up his 2016 campaign on a winning note after taking the men's 100m in 10.05 (+0.1) at the 5th Cayman Invitational at the Truman Bodden Stadium. The world record holder wasn't particularly happy with his overall performance, as he wanted to add to his collection of 45 sub-10 seconds, but the Jamaican was satisfied with getting his season off to a winning start. His next start on Friday in Ostrava at the 100 m. Second Dentarius Locke of USA 10.12 and third Kemar Bailey-Cole 10.18. World leader Kendra Harrison of USA who flashed to victory in the women's 100m hurdles in 12.42 (+0.1), the second quickest time this year behind her own world-leading mark of 12.36 and best result of the meet. YSecond Canadian Phyllicia George 12.74. The women's 100 m went to American sprinter Jenna Prandini, who clocked 11.16 (-0.2) to beat a solid field Kerron Stewart 11.20 and Carmelita Jeter 11.34. Prandini returned an hour later to complete the double with 22.63 (+0.7) in the 200 m. The men's 400 m was impressively won by Trinidad and Tobago 2014 World Junior champion Machel Cedenio, who crossed the finishing line in 45.10 beating Demish Gaye of Jamaica (45.30). USA's Phyllis Francis cruised home in 50.71 to take the women's 400m (second Italian Libania Grenot 52.09). Miguel Francis of Antigua & Barbuda, who trains with Bolt at the Racers Track Club under coach Glen Mills, dominated the men's 200m - winning in a time of 20.16 (+0.3). Jamaica's Ristananna Tracey topped the 400 m Hurdles in 55.97 and US Spencer Adams men 110 m hurdles 13.48 (+0.1). With the help from Trackalerts.
The Shanghai DL had some fine races, some amazing performances, and an amazing miscue in the 800 meters. While it is in the nature of our events that some things happen, the 800 meters seemed to be a miscommunication from the start.
Here is the view from Kenya on the Shanghai DL distances, from our own Justin Lagat.
From my first walk around the adidas Headquarters to my thoughts walking across the campus, I try to give you, our readers a view from my eyes and ears during my travels. Our audio diaries, the brainchild of my brother, Brian, give you the sounds and thoughts of your athletics pilgrim as he travels around the world. These are from the week of May 8-15, 2016.
The first elite meet held in the Adi Dassler Stadium is now half over! And two world leads out of the first night as well. Most importantly, the rain gods held off until just after the end of the meeting. This is how I saw it!
HERZOGENAURACH (GER, May 13): Two 10 000 m world leads highlighted the first day of adidas Boost Meeting here. Both by Ethiopian runners. African Games silver medalist Leul Gebresalase won the men race in WL and PB 27:19.71. Behind him this years Kenyan Army champion Emmanuel Kipsang 27:22.99 also PB and third African Games winner Tebalu Zawude from Ethiopia 27:25.10. With margin behind but still under 28 fourth Kenyan Vincent Chepkok 27:54.99 and fifth Hassan Chahdi running for Bahrain 27:56.48 PB. World CC medalist 2015 Netsanet Gudeta topped the women race in WL and PB 30:56.26. Two seconds behind Genet Yalew 30:58.26 also PB and third World youth champion 2011 Goytetom Gebreslase 31:39.73. In sprints in cold weather Alonso Edward won the 200 m in 20.73 (+0.1) ahead of German Alexander Gladitz 20.79 PB. US wins in the 400 m by David Verburg 45.41 (over Tony McQuay 46.11) and Jessica Beard 52.78 (over Kenyan Maureen Jelagat 54.20). Regine Kramer was the best in the pole vault (430).
Event by event
100 m: Gatlin won in Kawasaki with 10.02 but the fastest this year is Ogunode with a world-leading 9.91 although Gatlin has run a windy 9.90 this year.
800 m: Rudisha is aiming to challenge the meet record of 1:44.63.
5000 m: Top Ethiopians Alamirew, Kejelcha, Gebrhiwet and Edris are in action but Kenyans Choge, Longosiwa and Soi will challenge. Will the meet record of 13:04.83 fall? WL for sure.
110 m H: Climax of the programme. McLeod will be looking to break 13 seconds after wins at the Drake Relays (13.08) and Doha (13.05). Top six from Doha will return for Shanghai.
400 m H: Wide open race featuring world champion Bett and world bronze medallist Gibson, who is the fastest on paper this year with 48.96. Van Zyl already won the national title this year.
HJ (non DL): Bondarenko opens the season against top home duo Zhang and Wang.
LJ: Samaai leads the rankings with 834 but this is a wide open contest with Lapierre, Henderson and Chinese elite.
PV: Season debut for Lavillenie, World champ Barber also wants to win.
JT: Czechs Vadlejch and Vesely are in action but world silver medallist Abdelrahman and world fourth placer Rohler will also contend.
SP: World champion Joe Kovacs has already thrown a 21.47 WL and will go head-to-head with in-form world indoor champion Tom Walsh.
200 m: An expected head-to-head between VCB and Ahoure with Shelly-Ann FP a scratch.
400 m: World silver Miller has been in excellent shape this season and holds the WL at 49.69. Will she break her PB of 49.67 tomorrow?
1500 m: With Hassan injured, world silver holder Kipyegon is the favourite but Ethiopians Seyaum and Tsegay will be dangerous in a sprint finish. Former world champion Simpson will also compete while Obiri returns to Diamond League action after maternity leave. WL should fall.
Steeple: World champion Kiyeng leads the Kenyan group with Assefa and Ayalew their Ethiopian challenge. Fastest in the field this year is India's Babar (9:27.09).
LJ: World champ Bartoletta faces world bronze medallist Spanovic. Surprise from Nettey and Ugen possible.
HJ: Spencer and Simic are the favourites in a competition without 2 m jumper.
DT: Beijing rematch Caballero vs Perkovic. But also Perez has the shape this year.
Last weekend, in DOHA DL, I was fortunate to see Tori Bowie battle Dafne Schippers, and win 10.80 to 10.83.
This week, I have been in Herzogenaurach, Germany, observing the athletes at the Adi Dassler Stadium, as they train for the adidas BOOST Meeting this weekend, on May 13-14.
Top names in Germany
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): The Saturday programme offers plenty of action at the adidas Boost Athletics Meeting in Herzogenaurach. Mainly Yohan Blake in the 100 m, Tori Bowie in the 100 m, Alonso Edward and Nickel Ashmeade in the 200 m, David Verburg and Tony McQuay in the 400 m, Winnie Nanyondo in women 800 m, World leader Jonathan Kitlit of Kenya in the men 800 m, Nixon Chepseba in men 1500 m, Vincent Chepkok and Muktar Edris in the 10 000 m. Ethiopian Olympic winner Meseret Defar has pulled out with a minor injury. Defar had been planning to run the 10 000 m where she was targeting a sub-30 minute clocking. Also out with an injury is Pole Vault Olympic winner Jenn Suhr who was suppose to compete on Friday on a street.
Will many of the best runners in the world be banned from Rio? With WADA's decision today, it seems that the days are getting close for Kenya to clean up its act. But, how does that also affect Russia, Ethiopia, and the Rio Olympics? Will the IOC support the good fight or compromise to keep the almighty TV dollars in place?
The BBC has just writtten that WADA has voted that Kenya has continued to be non compliant, surprising some around the world and many in Kenya http://www.bbc.com/sport/
The truth be told, the issue with doping has reach proportions that questions the entire system, both in Kenya and Ethiopia. How will this turn out?
Here is my belief. Finally, WADA, IAAF and IOC realize that doping has gotten out of control. While there are major stars in Kenya that are tested on a very regular basis, many have not. And as running and track and field are a business, the opportunity to make money clouds this for everyone. If one wins a major marathon, gets sponsorship of a footwear brand, and with a modestly good agent, one can see several hundred thousand dollars over the average elite career of three to four years.
Just about two years ago now, I listened to taped conversations of medical professionals allegedly involved in doping in Kenya. It was eye opening. The games played, the rationalizatinzations used, all are the same whereever one goes.
Kudos to WADA for holding up their part of the program. If Kenya is not protecting its finest export: great Kenyan athletes, then, Kenya needs to be reminded that participating in our sport is an opportunity.
But there is one caveat. If WADA is doing this to Kenya, after Russia, how will they respond to Ethiopia and the other countries that it has warned? And how will the IOC respond, as having a RIO olympics without Russia and Kenya track teams will be a TV mess.
Will the almighty dollar win out?
SHANGHAI (CHN): Justin Gatlin has said the ankle which he rolled in the off-season is improving, informs AP. "Every day it's gotten stronger and better. I think if I had to roll my ankle, the best time was to roll it in the off-season or fall, so now getting into competition, I just need to worry about keeping my muscles loose and be able to perform well," he said ahead of the Shanghai Diamond League where he will contest the 100m.
SHANGHAI (CHN): 800 m World record holder David Rudisha is aiming to break the meeting record of 1:44.63 in Shanghai on Saturday, informs AFP. "I'm also looking forward to improve from my last time in Australia. I'm looking forward for something like 1:43-and-a-half," he said. Rudisha ran 1:44.78 in Melbourne and 1:44.89 in Perth in March.
SHANGHAI (CHN): Ruswahl Samaai has said he is not in peak shape despite topping the world long jump rankings with 8.34, informs Independent Online. "My coach (Jenny Kingwill) and I planned to jump 8.30 and more at the nationals, but we were not yet at that stage of going all out in terms of my speed training. So that's why I'm not in peak form as yet, as the Olympics is the main focus," he said. Samaai will compete in Shanghai where he faces the likes of Jeff Henderson and the top Chinese jumpers.
SHANGHAI (CHN): The main press conference of the IAAF Shanghai Diamond League on May 13th, can be followed online via a live stream. The athletes who will attend the press conference are 110m hurdlers Aries Merritt (world record holder), David Oliver (2013 World Champion) and Omar McLeod (world leader and World Indoor Champion). Renaud Lavillenie (Olympic Champion pole vault) will also attend the press conference. China will be represented by Zhang Peimeng and Xie Zhenye who won the silver 4x100m medal at the World Championships in Beijing.
Update May 12, 2016
Jenn Suhr has had some achilles issues and is seeking treatment. She has decided, with her coach, Rick Suhr to withdraw from the meet and seek the treatment. Too much on the line this season for athletes to take chances. from Larry Eder
Updated May 11, 2016
On May 7, in Austin, Texas, Jenn Suhr cleared 4.75m for the win. She made three game attempts at 4.93m. Jenn Suhr will be competing in the pole vault at the adidas Global HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany on May 13. We look forward to seeing the Olympic gold and silver emdalist as well as the World Indoor Champion performing this weekend!
Suhr in Germany
HERZOGENAURACH (GER): Pole vault Indoor World record holder and Olympic winner Jenn Suhr is the latest top name confirmed for adidas Boost Meeting in Herzogenaurach on May 13. She will face top Germans Silke Spiegelburg with Kristina Gadschiew. The competition will be held before the entry to adidas factory outlets. In the stadium on the track on Friday and Saturday Yohan Blake will run the 100 m against Marvin Bracy, Keston Bledman and Gerald Phiri. In the 200 m a top clash between Warren Weir, Nickel Ashmeade and Alonso Edward could be expected. US David Verburg and Tony McQuay are the stars of the 400 m. In women 100 m Tori Bowie will run with Octavious Freeman, Trinidad´s Michelle-Lee Ahye and British Desiree Henry. The top names for long distance races have been already announced with Meseret Defar competing in the 10 000 m.
Larry Eder responds: Jenn Suhr is part of the exciting new two day meeting in Herzogenaurach, Germany, to be held on the Adi Dassler track on May 13-14, 2016.
Gatlin before Shanghai
KAWASAKI (JPN): Justin Gatlin has said he is "smarter and wiser" after his defeats to Usain Bolt at the World Championships in Beijing, informs AFP. "Definitely it's given me motivation, but also it's made me smarter and wiser," said Gatlin. "Usually you can come with a strategy that can combat the whole field, but when you go against someone like Usain, who is unique in stature and talent, you've got to come with a contingency plan, a plan B." Gatlin also said his preparations for the Olympics have been far from perfect due to an ankle injury. "I rolled my ankle in November, it was almost a break," he said. His next competition will be on Saturday in Shanghai at the Diamond League the 100 m against US team colleagues Mike Rodgers and Tyson Gay with Asian record holder Femi Ogunode.
Updated May 11, 2016
Mike McManus updated RunBlogRun last night that Flotrack will be providing a feed for the adidas BOOST Meeting this weekend. We will update you on tha ton Thursday, May 12. The athletes are starting to arrive, so watch for some fun interviews from RunBlogRun!
adidas will be hosting and introducing two new events in May and June. The adidas BOOST Athletics Meeting in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on the Adi Dassler Stadium track, on May 13-14. In June, adidas will host, with Global Athletics, a two day adidas BOOST Boston meeting on June 17-18. RunBlogRun caught up with Mike last week to discus the two new events on the athletics calendar, and why you should be interested.
On April 25, adidas announced the adidas BOOST Boston Games, to be held June 17-18. Today, on May 3, adidas announces in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the hometown of their adidas Global HQ, the adidas BOOST Athletics Meeting, to be held at the Adi Dassler Stadium, on adidas campus on May 13-14.
Updated on May 11, 2016.
Flotrack will be producing a live streaming video production of the two day meet, watch for details on Flotrack! RunBlogRun will product its live social media feed for both days as well, watch for the links!
What follows is the announcement and information on how the global crowd of athletics fans can follow the meet!
One of the finest women distance runners in history, is looking to make some more history herself. While she has two gold medals in the 5000 meters in Olympic Games, she has not won a medal over 10,000 meters.
As part of that journey to Rio, Meseret Defar is going all out on May 13, to run a fast 10,000 meters at the Adi Dassler Stadium at Herzogenaurach, Germany, the headquarters of her sponsor, adidas. Here is a piece, done prior to that race, by Sabrina Yohanes, a long time correspondent for RunBlogRun, who has close ties with the Ethiopian running community. Enjoy the story and watch Meseret race this weekend! Details will be coming on RunBlogRun!
Thompson 10.71 with +2.4
KINGSTON (JAM, May 7): Jamaican Elaine Thompson ran one of the fastest 100m times in history at the Jamaica International Invitational (IAAF World Challenge). Marginally wind assisted at 2.4 m/s, Thompson stopped the clock at 10.71 for the joint fastest time in all conditions set in May. English Gardner was second in 10.85 ahead of Michelle-Lee Ahye (10.98) and Jenna Prandini (11.08). With Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce a late scratch, Shaunae Miller dominated the 200m with another marginally wind-assisted 22.14 (+2.2). The men's sprints were wind legal: Kemar Bailey-Cole won the 100m in 10.01 (+1.0) ahead of Mike Rodgers (10.03) and Tyson Gay in fifth (10.08) and Kim Collins Masters WR for 40+ category 10.09 while Asafa Powell won the 200m in 20.45 (+0.9). There was also a home win in the men's 400m courtesy of Javon Francis (44.85) but American Francena McCorory won the women's race in 50.52 ahead of home favourites Novlene Williams-Mills (50.87), Stephenie-Ann McPherson (51.20) and Christine Day (51.91) with former world and Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu fifth (52.00). Brianna Rollins won a top-class 100m hurdles in a wind-aided 12.52 (+2.9) ahead of Queen Harrison (12.54) and world champion Danielle Williams (12.55) while Jamaicans Janeive Russell and Ristananna Tracey took a one-two in the 400m hurdles in 54.61 PB (2nd best of 2016) and 55.31 respectively. On the men's side, Jarret Eaton won the 110m hurdles in 13.45 (+1.9) while world medallist Jeffery Gibson won the 400m hurdles in 48.96 ahead of Jamaican junior Jaheel Hyde (49.16) and Bershawn Jackson (49.29). Other highlights: Wesley Vazquez 1:46.15 to win the 800m, Brittany Smith 18.41m to win the shot put and current world-leader Gwen Berry 73.82m to win the hammer. US junior Alexa Efraimson won the 1500 m in 4:08.37.
Elliott Denman likes to put events, athletes, relays in perspective. From his many years of observing and competing, we get a unique view into the focus of his writing. His piece, "The Structure of Matter", regarding the Penn Relays, is no exception.
In my world, there are competitive events and then, there are COMPETITIVE, GUT WRENCHING EVENTS. The Men's 110 meter hurdles is in the second classification. Perhaps our friend, Jason Richardson said it best, at an adidas New York Presser. Jason noted that 110m hurdlers compete against each other, week in, week out, as they are not the most popular of track events.
I believe that is changing. The 110 Meter Hurdles combines sprinting and hurdling, two yin and yang activities. "One must control your speed in the hurdles, " is how Renaldo Nehemiah noted the hurdles' distinction.
My affinity for the hurdlers, both men and women, is that they battle each other, and have fun with each other, all at the same time.
The presser below features Hansle Parchement, Omar McLeod and David Oliver, three of the finest practicers of their craft. This interview was done on May 5, 2016, in Doha, Qatar.
A well respected meet in Japan was one of the three global meetings of the weekend. Justin Gatlin opened here in 10.02. Aaron Brown of Canada won the 200m in 20.32. While Julian Walsh was winner over the 400m in 45.68, note 2004 Olympic champ Jeremy Wariner in 46.04 in third. Big Javelin with five guys over 83.59, Andre Vadlejch winning in 86.76m).
Women's side had Tianna Bartoletta over Blessing Okagbare, 11.23 to 11.30, with Barbara Pierre, World Indoor Champs, third in 11.30. Tianna Bartoletta also won the LJ here, something I believe she did in 2015 as well.
This meet always has deep fields and should be on upcoming bucket list.
The Doha Diamond League meeting was a near perfect meet to launch 2016. While there were less fast times than in 2015, there was much richer competition.
My favorite race was the women's 100 meters. Dafne Schippers got out well, and was clearing leading by 40 meters. Tori Bowie had the self described "best start of my life" and pulled even by 50 meters. What you had for the next forty meters was pure track geek nirvana. Two very different athletes, Schippers, strong and technically profiscient, still discovereing her speed, and Bowie, talented, and finally understanding that she must study her sport to be a batter athlete. With less than ten meters to go, Dafne Schippers began to lean and at that point, Tori Bowie, moving at full speed, went by, to take the win.
For both women, it was a fine race. For Schippers, her 10.83 was her second best ever. For Bowie, it was equal to her best ever.
My belief: Schippers and Bowie should be in the thick of it for Rio, in less than four months!
With the recent drug controversy, I will keep my comments on the IAAF Walking champ to a minimum, suffice it to say he served his four year ban. Where I want to write this morning is about Erin Talcott. Elliott Denman did a fine piece on her on Friday, May 7. Erin Talcott made history on Sunday, May 8, completing the longest Olympic and World Champs distance in 4:51. We congratulate her on her trail blazing.
This is an early season meet. Kemar Bailey Cole, the 2014 Commonwealth Champion, won the 100 meters in 10.01. Asafa Powell won the 200 in 20.45. But the real news was on the women's side of the meet. Elaine Thompson won the 100 meters in 10.71, with English Gardner second in 10.85! In the 200 meters, Shaunae Miller, from the Bahamas ran 22.14! In the women's 400m, Francesca McCorory won in 50.52. But the depth department winner was the women's 100m hurdles, with Brianna Rollins in 12.52, Queen Harrison in 12.54 and Danielle Williams, JAM, in 12.54!
Also nice to see Alexa Efframson winning the 1,500 meters in 4:08.37. Just part of a busy weekend in athletics!
Late on Saturday night, I found a quiet row of seats in the Doha Terminal, near A 11, and recorded the event by event coverage you will listen to below. This is done on SoundCloud, a service we have used for several years, thanks to my brother, Brian, who manages RunBlogRun and provides us new ways to reach out to you, our readers. I am calling in RunBlogRun Radio, as I am now really pushing FB video, our RBR TV video and audio, as well as text pieces, to give you a fuller view of the global aspects of the sport. Tell us what you think, by emailing me at [email protected]!
The 2016 Payton Jordan Invitational was an amazingly long day of great athletic performances. It is as if the entire middle and long distance community from around the world begins to wake up, noting it is Spring 2016.
Here is the fine piece that Mark Winitz wrote to capture the essence and importance of the 2016 Payton Jordan Invitational. Please enjoy!
The 50,000 meter Race Walk is the longest event on the Olympic platform. It has much history and deserves much respect. Race walkers possess the VO2 Max of cross country skiers. Think about walking for nearly four hours at 7 minute per mile pace, and keeping form!
Erin Taylor-Talcott is a trail blazer. 1956 Olympian Race Walker Elliott Denman wrote this piece on Ms. Taylor-Talcott, who will make history in Rome the weekend of May 7-8!
Ibarguen beats Rojas in top duel
DOHA (QAT, May 6): Great start of 7th IAAF Diamond League with World leads in 12 out of 16 main events. Also four meet records (200 men, 100 m, pole vault, triple) and one Diamond League record equaled in women pole vault. TV Broadcast selected as performance of the day the 483 by Sandi Morris in pole vault. Also 15.04 in triple jump ties the third best ever in the series and ties second best ever in May. Best male result the 13.05 by Omar McLeod despite technical mistakes. Bowie´s 10.80 is the fastest so early in the year as May 6 but not fastest of May. Surprise of the day the improvement of US Ameer Webb in the 200 m and on the negative side only 7th position for Mutaz Essa Barshim on home ground in high jump.
200 m: Webb beat them all with 19.85 (+1.9) MR and PB.
400 m: L. Merritt was the clear winner in good 44.41 but youngsters Cedenio and Haroun were coming close to him at the end.
1500 m: King Kiprop ruled with expected WL 3:32.15.
Steeple: C. Kipruto sent his warning towards other countrymen in 8:05.13. Kemboi was not in shape.
110mH: McLeod made some mistakes but 13.05 was still another WL for him (+1.4). Parchment 13.10 and Ortega Spanish record 13.12 were close.
HJ: Kynard as only one managed 233 WL, overall possibly more over 230 were expected.
TJ: Taylor topped the competition with two World leads 17.19 and 17.23 (+1.4 and +0.3).
DT: Drama in last series, Malachowski 68.03 WL over Milanov 67.26 NR.
100 m: Bowie kept her lead and equaled PB 10.80 (+0.7) over Schippers 10.83 (just 0.02 behind her NR) and VCB 10.91.
800 m: Semenya did what she need for win and WL (1:58.26). Alemu was trying, her reward Ethiopian junior record 1:59.14 and she beat World champ Sum (1:59.74).
3000 m: Ayana was on her way for first non-Chinese outdoor sub 8:20, but remained alone with 8:23.11 WL. 3 under 8:30, 7 under 8:40, 11 under 8:50.
400mH: Doyle (formerly Child) was the only European winner in running events in 54.53 WL in first race since September 2015.
PV: Morris on her way to 5 m. This time 483, WL, MR, and equaled DLR. Surprise Swiss record by Buchler 478.
TJ: Great battle between Ibarguen and Rojas, WL and MR switched for several times. At the end Ibarguen remains unbeaten in 32 finals with 15.04 (+1.5) WL and MR. Second Rojas windy 14.92 and legal 14.79 NR.
SP: Brooks improved to 19.49 PB, Marton 2nd and Dereli third Turkish record 18.57.
JT: Viljoen had four throws better than the 2nd placer with 65.14 from first round as the top one.
High Jumpers are a rare lot.
Trying to see how close they can get to the sun, high jumpers win their event by making the highest clearance in their event. They are stopped when they miss three attempts at the attempted clearance. Each time a jumper attempts a height, they are overcoming a wall of negativity.
But still, there are athletes who choose to devote their athletic careers to the event and their are fans who are always situated by the high jump apron, wanting to see those rare athletes who can clear the bar, higher and higher, and who, dare to try and get closer to the sun than other human beings.
Yesterday, on May 5, 2016, in Doha, Qatar, we were fortunate enough to speak with Erik Kynard, Derek Drouin, the World Champion, and Robbie Grabberz, and talk high jump. A great group of athletes, all three had interesting comments on their craft and how our sport, the sport they love, should be presented. A good listen.
Tori Bowie is racing the 100 meters in Doha tonight. As the US champion in 2015, and World Champs bronze medalist, Tori Bowie has continued to develop as an elite sprinter.
In a relaxed interview yesterday, a few journalists, including me, had chance to speak with Tori on her training, racing and development as an athlete.
Updated May 11, 2016
On May 6, Tori Bowie and Dafne Schippers dueled over 100 meters. Bowie, with her best start ever, was with Schippers just after 40 meters, and proceeded to accelerate, as they battled for nearly ffity meters. We are in Herzogenaurach, Germany, two days before the adidas BOOST Meeting, and have been fortunate to watch Coach Braumann and his team work out, including Tori. We are looking forward to seeing her race this weekend. Please listen to the interview that Nicholas Herbelot and I did with Tori on May 5, just before the Doha DL. Note that I believe, Bowie and Schippers will, more than likely be two of the major players in the women's 100 meters this summer in Rio! Remember to watch Tori Bowie and other adidas stars race this weekend! Flotrack will cover it live and it will be on streaming German site, leichatletik.de.
Nicholas Herbelot of L'Equipe and myself were fortunate to interview Tori Bowie, one of the finest sprinters to come out of the U.S.
What was interesting with Tori is the changes for her, between her college training and her elite training.
Tori was the bronze medalist at the 100 meters in Beijing last summer. She has also won the 100 meters at the US Champs and the NCAA's. What is fascinating in this interview is Tori Bowie's journey as an elite athlete. She does not brag, but she does believe in herself.
Like many, this writer is curious to see how she can put all the knowledge she has learnt into her starts and her racing. Tori Bowie will be racing the 100 meters tonight in Doha.
The first presser of the Doha DL week was Femi Ogunode, Qatar's finest sprinter and a four time Asian Games champion. Matched with Femi was LaShawn Merritt, one of the finest 400 meter runners of his generation, Olympic and World Champion as well.
While LaShawn Merritt has been to the top of the food chain in the 400 meters, and he has tremendous competition, he presented himself as a man renewed, with a new coach, with strong speed over 200 meters and his finest start ever over 400 meters (44.2).
Femi Ogunode is the best sprinter of his region. His goal? " To be in the top three in both the 100 meters and 200 meters in RIO." Tall goals. In the 200 meters in Doha, in front of his home crowd, Femi Ogunode wants to win and win big.
Here is the interview we did with Femi and LaShawn on May 3, 2016, in Doha, Qatar.
David Oliver has been world class for a decade. Early in his career, while battling in his event, he sold shoes at FootLocker. Oliver has a low key, almost devil may care attitude, but that is not David Oliver.
David Oliver is the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and 2013 World Champion. In between those races, he has had highs and lows. Oliver knows that comes with the territory.
When you are a world class athlete in athletics, and you choose the 110m hurdles, you are always on the brink.
Larry Eder comments:
The Doha DL is the opening meet of outdoor athletics around the world for 2016. This is the beginning of the Road to Rio for many. With such top rivalries and such loaded fields, the events in DOHA not only produce world leaders but give fans and media and the athletes a good indication of what needs to be done in the early season.
This is my third time in DOHA for a Diamond League meeting. The facility is top notch, the support of the media is fantastic and the excitement has been brewing for several days now.
Here are the short previews from Alfons Juck! Enjoy!
DOHA (QAT): LaShawn Merritt believes Michael Johnson's world record of 43.18 could be broken this summer. "This year is going to be fast, it makes the event a lot more interesting. Is the world record in danger? I believe so, with so many athletes running in the 43 low," he said. Merritt hopes a new diet will be the key to challenging the likes of Wayde van Niekerk and Kirani James later this summer. "I want to stay sharp, be ready for the US Trials and always improve. I am training hard, I am on a more strict diet that I've ever been on and I keep learning more. I am more passionate than ever and there's a lot of untapped potential in me," he said. From organisers.
DOHA (QAT): World high jump champion Derek Drouin is looking forward to returning to competition in the Doha Diamond League on Friday where he will face the likes of Mutaz Essa Barshim, Robbie Grabarz and Erik Kynard. "I suffered from some injuries which prevented me from competing indoors. I'm excited about being in Doha because this is the first proper competition for me this year. I roughly know at what level I'm at, but it's still exciting to finally have a go at a competition. I'm slowly getting into the competitive spirit," he said. From organisers.
DOHA (QAT): Omar McLeod didn't expect to run 13.08 for the 110m hurdles at the Drake Relays last weekend. "I really was kind of surprised knowing that it was my season opener, and with the weather really cold and windy. I know that it will be completely different on Friday," he said. Similarly, he didn't expect to run 9.99 for 100m to become the first athlete in history to break 10-seconds for 100m and 13-seconds for the 110m hurdles. "It was my first 100 in five or six years. I didn't know what I was doing out there. I didn't even know what to do in the last 20 metres. I was over-striding, and was wondering, 'What the heck is going on?' Because it feels so awkward when you don't have barriers in the way," he said. McLeod will face team-mate Hansle Parchment and 2013 world champion David Oliver on Friday. From organisers.
DOHA (QAT): Members of Qatar's Girls' National team spent part of Wednesday afternoon meeting with international sprint stars at Doha's landmark Museum of Islamic Art. Among them Tori Bowie, Dafne Schippers and Veronica Campbell-Brown.
DOHA (QAT): Main press conference on Thursday will be streamed live, guests IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Asian Athletics President Dahlan Al Hamad with world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asian 100m and 200m record-holder Femi Ogunode.
The presser for LaShawn Merritt was with Femi Ogunode, the fine sprinter from Qatar. Two different athletes, Merritt is established, but looking for his legacy, Ogunode, coming up, with the hopes of making top three in 100 meters and 200 meters in Rio.
LaShawn Merritt has run 19.78 and 44.22 for the 200 meters and 400 meters this season. Will he double in RIO, more importantly, Eugene? Only time will tell.
Here is my piece on LaShawn, from the Doha DL Presser on 4 May 2016.
Morris to attack Spiegelburg´s MR
DOHA (QAT): Women pole vault has a clear favorite in in-shape US World indoor silver medalist Sandi Morris. She already competed four times outdoors with 481, 480 and twice 470. At Drake Relays where the competition was moved indoors due to bad weather after 470 on Saturday she went to try at World record height 504. The Doha meet record of Silke Spiegelburg 470 from 2010 will be under threat. Spiegelburg herself is also jumping as are the Greek co-favorites Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou and Ekaterini Stefanidi.
Haroun with Falcon, but Merritt to chase own MR
DOHA (QAT): A very tough race awaits Qatar's latest hot prospect Abdalelah Haroun on Friday evening on Qatar Sports Club's track, with LaShawn Merritt, Luguelin Santos and Isaac Makwala, among others, taking part in the 400 m. In the field of 8 runners two have sub 44 personal best and the rest under 45 seconds. Trinidad´s talent Machel Cedenio also has already this year a sub 45 in his records (44.79). Another New kid on the block is Bahamas Steven Gardiner representing the up and coming generation. US runners are filling the remaining two spots David Verburg and Tony McQuay. Here the meet record will not be easy but it is not impossible to break the 44.19 of Merritt from 2012. In the meantime the 400 m world indoor silver medallist Haroun enjoyed some relaxing moments, between training sessions, playing with a female falcon. Falcons are Qatar's national birds.
Larry Eder comments: Mr. Haroun is quite brave. I was fortunate to hold a falcon (with eyes covered) in the lobby of the InterContinental in 2013, and I just about wet myself. I was told that if the eyes were uncovered, the falcon would gladly chew up an arm. As I only have two arms and same number of eyes, I was glad that Madame Falcon was covered. In all seriousness, this is a formidable field in the 400 meters.
Following my note is the third blog from Phoebe Wright. We are getting some high praise for our favorite 800m runner (well, I did see her run 1,500m at the Payton Jordan, but that is for another day).
Well, enjoy Phoebe's new blog and let us know what you think! Email me at [email protected].
5 World leads
PALO ALTO (USA, May 1): The usual long distance paradise at Payton Jordan Invitational brought also this year 5 World leading marks, plenty of Olympic standards, also some national records and many personal bests. On the men side Bernard Lagat debuted in the 10 000 m with big masters World record 27:49.35 over Japanese Suguru Osako 27:50.27 and two Eritreans with personal bests Futsum Zienasellasie 27:52.70 and Abraham Habte Ghebrezghi 27:53.38. Sixth Luis Fernando Ostos national record for Peru 27:54.80. Canadian Matt Hugues clocked steeple World lead 8:22.31 ahead of Kenyan Stanley Kebenei 8:22.85 PB. Kenyan 5000 m winner was Shadrack Kipchirchir 13:18.52 ahead of Briton Andrew Butchart 13:18.96 PB, David Torrence 13:19.42 and Australian Sam McEntee 13:20.72 life-time best. Also Kenyan Eliud Rutto won the 800 m 1:46.24 and Izaic Yorks 1500 m in 3:37.74 PB over European Champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen of Norway 3:38.33 and US steeple record holder Evan Jager 3:38.67. Australian Linden Hall surprised with 1500 m World lead 4:04.47 (also PB) ahead of Canadian Gabriela Stafford 4:07.91. Kenyan World leads in 5 and 10 km. Sally Kipyego 14:58.60 followed by personal bests by other runners within top five. Nicole Tully 15:04.08, Dutch Maureen Koster 15:07.20 and Brits Laura Whittle 15:08.57 with Eilish McColgan 15:09.94. Irene Cheptai posted 31:15.38 in the 10 000 m ahead of Caroline Chepkoech 31:16.38, Japanese Ayuko Suzuki 31:18.16, Marielle Halla 31:37.45 and Norway´s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal 31:37.91. For all in top 5 life-time bests, in total 18 runners went sub 32 minutes. Among them Greek record 31:46.85 by Alexi Pappas as 11th and Burundi record 31:57.99 by Diane Nukuri as 16th. Last WL in women steeple by Courtney Frerichs who improved her personal best to 9.29.31. In the 800 m Chrishuna Williams 2:00.58 PB over French Justine Fedronic 2:00.64 and Maggie Vessey 2:00.82. Talented junior Alexa Efraimson was 6th 2:01.64. Daye Shon Robinson won the 400 m in 51.42 and was second in 22.65 PB over the 200 m. Here the winner Ashley Henderson 22.64 (+1.0) personal best.
Doha's 1,500 meters in 2015 was amazing! photo by PhotoRun.net
DOHA (QAT): According to the organisers, 38 reigning and former global champions from the Olympic Games and World Championships will be competing in the first leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on Friday. The programme includes eight Olympic champions: LaShawn Merritt, Aries Merritt, Christian Taylor, Asbel Kiprop, Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Olga Rypakova. In total, 206 athletes from 50 countries will be represented in Doha with Kenya (29) the most represented nation. The oldest meeting records on the books are: James Beckford 841 in the long jump and Ionela Tirlea 54.27 in the 400 m hurdles which were both set in 1999.
DOHA (QAT): Men´s 110 m hurdles at DL opener in Doha on Friday will have a special flair around as everybody will expect the result of Jamaican World indoor champion Omar McLeod after his recent results (sub 10 in the 100 m and WL in the hurdles in rain and cold). But nothing is for granted, in the field other four sub 13 hurdlers. Orlando Ortega who will debut into the season and David Oliver, Hansle Parchment with Olympic winner Aries Merritt all clearly beaten by McLeod on Saturday at Drake Relays. Not to understimate French Dimitri Bascou who improved indoors at 60 m hurdles. The field is completed by South African champion Antonio Alkana and US Spencer Adams. Oliver´s meet record 12.95 from 2008 will be under threat.
The Payton Jordan Invitational is a day and night of fast races, where many open their seasons. For the elite, it is a perfect place to get a qualifier for the Olympic or World Champs. For the college athlete, it is a good place to get a mark or a race in before the conferences start.
I am here for many reasons. For me, the Payton Jordan invitational is about seeing many of my athlete friends for the beginning of the season. But, the big reason I go?
I has the funniest, most cerebral crowd of any meet in the world. Sitting down about the 100 meter start is the place to be. For nearly two decades, the ASICSAggies have made this meet their opening of the season and a time to laugh, tell stories, snack and, did I say, tell stories?
Ibarguen opens with 14.43
MEDELLIN (COL, Apr 30): World triple Champion Catherine Ibarguen started her season at Grand Prix Ximena Restrepo with 14.43. Second Yorsiris Urrutia 14.08. Diego Palomeque won the 400 m in 45.25, also to note Bernardo Baloyes 20.42 in the 200 m, Brigith Merlano 13.04 at 100 m hurdles. Jhon Murillo attacked his Colombian triple men record with 16.70 (jumped last week 16.74). Marisol Landazuri from Ecuador won the 100 m in 11.43 and Christian Morton from Nigeria 400 m hurdles in 50.26.