Recently in IAAF Category

Hurdles-Worlds16.JPgHurdles in Portland, photo by PhotoRun.net

The World Indoor Champs, March 17-20, held in Portland, were fantastic. For a World Indoor champs in an Olympic year, the fields were quite good. A nice combination of new and veteran. The crowd was enthusiastic and the US team was rewarded with many medals.

After the last session, on the last day, I turned on my micro recorder and opined on the World champs, the facility and the top performances.

I hope you enjoy it.

Gebrselassie_HaileR1b-Tokyo12.jpgHaile Gebrselassie and Jos Hermans, February 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

Happy Thirtieth to Global Sports Communications and Jos Hermans. While we could not be at the celebration, we were there in spirit. Jos Hermans was the long haired runner from the Netherlands who broke the one hour world record in May 1976, just before the Montreal Olympics, that I read about in Track & Field News. Watching Jos Hermans manage and develop some of the finest athletes around the world, and attending meetings that his company sponsored showed a man and a fine team who loves the sport of athletics. I posted the photo above as it is one of my favorites of Jos Hermans and one of his key athletes. Jos and his team have always been helpful and Hermans understood, more than many, the need of the media, athletes and sport to work together.

30th anniversary of GSC
PAPENDAL (NED): Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication at the National Sports Centre here. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of track meets and road races, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens. GSC in the words of today's keynote speakers--Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis--is the past, present, and future of athletics. And the keywords are ethics, values, integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation. The binding theme of the day and conference was "past/present/future of the athlete". Haile Gebrselassie said during the conference about 2 hours barrier in marathon: "It is no longer a matter of if but rather when". In summary 44 World Championship & Olympian athletes and 23 nationalities attended the celebration.

dennis mitchell .jpgDennis Mitchell, photo courtesy of www.sportscoachradio.com

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Dennis Mitchell will stay on as the American relay coach for the Rio Olympics after officials at USATF decided to delay implementing a new policy for the job, informs Reuters. Mitchell, who coached Justin Gatlin, said in February he stepped down from the role due to a conflict of interests. USATF added a provision that prohibits a person from being the national relay coach if they coach someone with a member of the relay pool.

Larry Eder comments:

Dennis Mitchell was controversial when he was named to this position as relay coach. Frustrating to Dennis Mitchell, most members of the media note that Dennis had a drug positive in 1998. So does the social world. USATF spent much time defending Mitchell.

Is Dennis Mitchell a good coach? Sure seems so. He coaches Justin Gatlin, and Gatlin continues to improve. But a coach is more than someone good at coaching technique. A coach is a role model, for both young and veteran athletes. In the U.S., we are big on second chances. Dennis Mitchell has developed a fine coaching business and is developing fine athletes. This was all after he tested positive nearly twenty years ago.

As USA Track & Field represents the best of our sport, from the young kids running relays to our Olympic teams, they have to realize that EVERYTHING that they do is under the microscope. Sometimes, that microscope is not fair, but, that is the world. USATF teams are the role models for a million plus teenagers running track 46 weeks a year, six days a week. Sometimes, it seems like that is forgotten. I question whether USATF should have considered Dennis Mitchell in the first place. The message is winning is winning.

Then, a rule change comes and, in February 2016, Dennis Mitchell tells Reuters that he is not longer relay coach, due to the new USATF provision regarding the prohibition of a coach being made relay coach if they coach someone on the relay pool.

Many think, that this issue is over.

But, wait!

On April 4, 2016, we read that: 1) Dennis Mitchell never did ACTUALLY resign, and 2) USATF has decided, in their magnifiscence, to not institute the rule until the NEXT Olympic cycle.

I am no doctor, but what is going on here? Not a conspiracy suggestion, but someone made an error here. USATF had a proverbial focus of the media go away, and now, they have to justify why Dennis Mitchell is still around.

I am not sure that this is very good for our sport.

It makes USA Track & Field look like they will do anything to win a medal. It also makes USA Track & Field seem like they are above any rules, unless those rules work for them. As Rolling Stone magazine said years ago: Perception is reality.

USATF shot themselves in the proverbial foot here.

To read the original stories from Reuters, click here:

March 1, 2016: Dennis Mitchell resigns as Olympic relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-athletics-usa-coach-idUSKCN0W33CZ

April 4, 2016: Gatlin Coach to remain relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters (posted on Newsday)

http://newsdaily.com/2016/04/gatlin-coach-to-remain-as-u-s-relay-boss-for-rio/

Cunningham_Vashti-WorInd16.jpgVashti Cunningham, photo by PhotoRun.net

Vashti Cunningham's indoor season in 2016 is one for the ages. Her win at the USATF Indoors was exciting and record breaking. Then, her victory in the World Indoors surprised many. Less than 24 hours later, Vashti was a pro athlete, competing for Nike.

Now, her pro career will debut at the Nike Pre Classic, the meet that has given generations of track fans a chance to see the best athletes in the world in Eugene, Oregon. The meet, which celebrates the late iconic Steve Prefontaine, is, once again the only major European style meet in North America, as it is the only Diamond League member in 2016 on our continent.

For most of the past four decades, I have been watching track meets, cross country races and road races. For most of the first decade, I actually ran in them. Then, for much of the next decade, I coached athletes who ran in them. For the past two decades, I have written about them. I have to admit that I still get excited to going to meets and races, as I enjoy the competitions at all levels. It is all about the competition.

The Carlsbad 5000 is one of the few races on the elite circuit that I have not visited. It is in its 31rst year. It is on my bucket list. Each year, the race provides some exciting racing and celebrates both elite and fitness running, over a fun distance, the 5k.

Defar_MeseretFV-Carlsbad16.JPgMeseret Defar, photo by PhotoRun.net

It was nice to note (I watched the races via Periscope) a new champ and a renewed champ at this year's Carlsbad. Watch for Meseret Defar to make a big splash again in 2016, and watch Joshua Cheptegei. Elite Athlete coordinator for Carlsbad, Matt Turnbull told RunBlogRun that Joshua Cheptegai is one to watch.

And Mr. Turnbull knows talent.

Cheptegei_JoshuaFL-Carlsbad16.JPgJoshua Cheptegei, photo by PhotoRun.net

Barber_Shawn1b-World16.JPGShawn Barber, photo by PhotoRun.net

Barber, Oliver, top relays
AUSTIN (USA): A strained calf muscle might force Jenn Suhr to scratch a planned appearance at the Texas Relays this weekend, informs MyStatesman.com. "I'm not going to make a poor decision and push it if I shouldn't," she said Likewise, world youth champion Khalifa St. Fort is also a doubt for the 100m at the Texas Relays, informs World-Track.org. She sustained a hip injury at the Carifta Games in Grenada at the weekend. It will be one of the biggest track meets in the nation as more than 7500 athletes are set to compete at Mike A. Myers Stadium for the 89th running of the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Another star of women pole vault is Demi Payne, in men´s World champion Shawn Barber. Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago is entered for 100 m and 200 m. Her national team is scheduled for women 4x100 against two US teams (Red and White). The same in men´s 4x100 m, here against St. Kitts, Antigua and Nigeria. Wallace Spearmon is entered in the 200 m. In the 100 m Ryan Bailey, NCAA Indoor champ Ronnie Baker and Cameron Burrell along with Japanese star Yoshihide Kiryu. Former World champion David Oliver is listed in the 110 m hurdles.

Tamqho_Teddy1a-Worldi10.jpg

Teddy Tamgho, photo by PhotoRun.net

GAINESVILLE (USA): Teddy Tamgho will compete in the triple jump at the Florida Relays this weekend, informs World Track. Tamgho made his comeback from an Achilles rupture with victory at the French Indoor Championships last month in 16.98 m.

Eaton_AshtonSH-Worldi16.jpgAshton Eaton, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dusseldorf added
MONACO (MON): Six meetings will be incorporated into the IAAF World Indoor Tour by 2018. Dusseldorf will be added to the calendar in 2017 while an as-of-yet unconfirmed non-European meeting will be part of the tour from 2018. "We are excited to be joining the IAAF World Indoor Tour. As a relatively young meeting we are especially keen to be a member of this new global athletics brand. Together with the other meeting organisers we will work to promote the attraction of indoor athletics. As public recognition of the IAAF World Indoor Tour grows the individual meetings and indoor athletics as a whole will all be winners," said Dusseldorf meeting director Marc Osenberg. The dates for 2017 are provisionally Jan 28 for Boston, Feb 1 for Dusseldorf, Feb 4 for Karlsruhe, Feb 14 or 15 for Stockholm and Feb 18 for Birmingham.

517616906.jpgBedan Karoki, Geoffrey Kamworor, Mo Farah, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

The 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Champs was part roller derby, part cross country weather and part road race. Those familiar with Cardiff, Wales would tell you that it was just a normal spring day in Wales!

Here is our third piece this afternoon, from Race Results Weekly's David Monti, who was in Wales to give us his unique view of the tough half marathon.

616209769JM025_IAAF_Cardiff.JPGGeoffrey Kamworor, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

After the World Indoor Championships, I was worried my friend, Justin Lagat, aka @thekenyanathlete, was concerned that his fellow countrymen and women would not be winning any more medals. Then, the World Half Marathon Champs come, and Kenya wins both team title and takes five of six individual medals.

Justin Lagat got this to us in record time, as Kenya celebrates a fine day in wet and windy Cardiff!

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