Recently in IAAF Category

Kipyegon_Faith1-Brussels15.jpgFaith Kipyegon, photo by PhotoRun.net

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.

This is our third report on the European Outdoor Athletics season for 2016. This report was compiled by our friend from Catalan, Carles Baronet.

Kilty_RichardFL-Worldi14.jpgRichard Kilty, photo by PhotoRun.net

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SI Cover courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

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?

erin talcott34378cb6-21f5-4961-b415-479bb75a99b4.jpgErin Taylor-Talcott, photo courtesy of USATF.org

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!

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.

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