The World Indoor Champs in Valencia, Spain happen March 7 to 9 and we will be there! I have attached some info on the teams coming from EME news. More updates tomorrow. I am finally on the way to Boston after no equipment Saturday night from Vegas!
EME NEWS (FEB 25, 2008) VALENCIA TEAMS SPECIAL (first wave of team announcements, others to follow on Tuesday)
GREECE: Tsatoumas and four women
ATHENS: Greece will be represented by national record holder Luis Tsatoumas in Long Jump as the only man. Women star is the Osaka triple jump bronze holder Hrisopiyi Devetzi who improved this year her national indoor record to 14.89, she is also entered to Long Jump. Athanasia Perra competes in Triple Jump too, Flora Redoumi at 60mH and new national record holder Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou in Pole Vault.
SWITZERLAND: Only Weyermann
BERN: Switzerland will send only sprinter Fabienne Weyermann (7.44 at 60 m) and so use the possibility that each country can enter one male and female athlete (in technical events if confirmed by IAAF). MenÂ´s one place possibility will not be used.
SLOVAKIA: Valukevic the hope
BRATISLAVA: Slovakia is sending four athletes, quite a good number in comparison to previous editions. The main hope for finals is Triple Jumper Dmitrij Valukevic (17.13), currently fourth in world indoor lists. 800 m runner Jozef Repcik (NR this year at 800 m and 1000 m) with Hurdler Miriam Bobkova (four national records this winter from 8.15 to 8.04) are representing the up and coming group. In the shot put only Milan Haborak will travel as the European Indoor Champion Mikulas Konopka did not achieved the necessary standard 20.05 m.
AUSTRIA: Two sprinters
WIEN: Bettina Muller-Weissina at 60 m and improved Clemens Zeller at 400 m (46.58 this year) will be two Austrian athletes in Valencia.
POLAND: 17 members Team headed by Pole Vaulters
WARSZAWA: Apart of both relay teams other 8 individual competitors were named to represent Poland in Valencia. Pole Vaulters Monika Pyrek and Anna Rogowska are the medal hopes. Also Karolina Tyminska in absence of Carolina Kluft could be a medal threat in Pentathlon. Ewelina Setowska-Dryk will compete at 800 m, Artur Noga and Dominik Bochenek at 60 m Hurdles. Good final chances also for long jumper Marcin Starzak and Shot Putter Tomasz Majewski. Relay team members â€“ men: Kedzia, Chylinski, Sobinski, Klimczak, Zajaczkowski, women: Karpiesiuk, Lukasik, Wojcik, Pskit.
PORTUGAL: Evora the main name
LISBON: Triple Jump World Champion Nelson Evora is the headliner of Portugal 8 athletes strong team. Other medal hope is the Long Jump national record holder and reigning European indoor champion Naide Gomes. Double European champion Francis Obikwelu is entered at 60 m. Olympic 1500 m medalist Rui Silva runs the 3000 m. Sandra Teixeira will compete at 1500 m and Jessica Augusto at 3000 m. Two this years national record breakers are the last two names Shot putter Marco Fortes and Pole Vaulter Elisabete Tavares.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Leader is Sebrle
PRAGUE: World champion Roman Sebrle is the medal hope of Czech Team for Valencia which consists of 13 athletes. The strongest group is the high jump one. Osaka finalist Barbora Lalakova and Iva Strakova on women side and Olympic medalist Jaroslav Baba as the only man. Former champion Pavla Rybova will be alone in Pole Vault as Osaka medalist Katerina Badurova is after surgery. Surprise of the team is the young runner Jakub Holusa who achieved in his first senior year the standard in two events, but most probably will prefer 800 m in place of 1500 m at the championships. Both named high hurdlers improved this season to personal bests. Petr Svoboda to 7.63 and Stanislav Sajdok to 7.65. Hurdles specialist Zuzana Hejnova runs flat 400 m and Czech Republic will have also the women relay. On member is also versatile Denisa Scerbova who still waits on her options. She is also qualified for 60mHurdles and Long Jump and waits for possible invitation from IAAF for pentathlon. If that would happen she would prefer the five-events clash to other ones. Relay members: Hejnova, Bergrova, Scerbova, Bartonickova, Eidrnova.
NETHERLANDS: Three men
AMSTERDAM: Sprinter Maarten Heisen, 800 m runner Rob Lathouwers and world class shot putter Rutger Smith are the three men (and only) athletes who will represent Netherlands in Valencia.
SWEDEN: Kallur and Holm top stars
STOCKHOLM: World record holder Susanna Kallur at 60 m Hurdles is the biggest star of Swedish Team in Valencia. But also both High Jumpers Stefan Holm and Linus Thornblad are having the highest ambitions. High jumper Emma Green and Pole Vaulter Alhaji Jeng are also having plans to achieve the finals. The same goes for Osaka finalist at 400 m Johan Wissman. Other members, men: 800 m: Claesson, 60 mH: Kronberg, PV: Fritz, women: 60 m: Berntsson, 1500 m: Haglund, Shot Put: Engman.
RUSSIA: Isinbayeva and Soboleva two fresh world record breakers
MOSCOW (RUS): Fresh world record holder Yelena Soboleva will run her favorite event the 1500 m in Valencia. In Spain she will be accompanied by Yulia Fomenko who also run excellent PB in the record race. Only Yelena Isinbayeva got the wild card and was not competing at the Nationals. Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy will run relay only. Other contenders for titles are defending champion Yaroslav Rybakova in High Jump and other world leaders Yevgeniy Lukyanenko in Pole Vault, Yevgeniya Polyakova at 60 m, Olesya Zykina at 400 m and Irina Simagina in Long Jump. WomenÂ´s 4×400 m team could be again ready for world record attempt.
Men â€“ 60 m: Yepishin, 400 m: Dyldin, Alekseyev, 800 m: Bogdanov, Koldin, 1500 m: Ivanov, 60 m Hurdles: Borisov, Peremota, HJ: Rybakov, Tereshin, PV: Lukyanenko, Gerasimov, TJ: Burkenya, Plotnir, SP: Sofin, 4×400 m: Dyldin, Alekseyev, Frolov, Kokorin, Buzolin, Borzakovskiy. Wom â€“ 60 m: Polyakova, Nabokina, 400 m: Zykina, Nazarova, 800 m: Ignatova, Savinova, 1500 m: Soboleva, Fomenko, 3000 m: Sidorchenkova, Komyagina, 60mH: Antonova, Kondakova, PV: Isinbayeva, Feofanova, LJ: Simagina, Kucherenko, TJ: Pyatykh, Bufalova, SP: Omarova, Avdeyeva, 4×400 m: Zykina, Nazarova, Levina, Gushchina, Firova, Forsheva (formerly Krasnomovets)
FRANCE: Arron, the star
PARIS: French Athletics Federation confirmed 15 athletes for Valencia. Star sprinter Christine Arron is included, also the new long jump record holder Eloyse Lesueur and fresh triple jump record breaker Teresa Nzola Meso Ba. Four top athletes already before announced they will prepare for Olympics and will not got to Spain (Pole Vaulters Romain Mesnil and Vanessa Boslak, injured hurdler Ladji Doucoure and 800 m runner Elodie Guegan). Men â€“ 60 m: Mbandjock, 400 m: Decimus, 1500 m: Eraud, Yemmouni, 60mH: Coco-Villoin, Pole Vault: Clavier, Lavillenie, Long Jump: Sdiri. Women â€“ 60 m: Arron, 1500 m/3000 m: Ghezielle, 60mH: Okori, Billaud, Long Jump: Lesueur, Triple Jump: Nzola
ITALY: Di Martino the name to watch
ROMA: Thirteen Athletes will compete in Valencia to represent Italy. The main medal hope could be the indoor high jump record holder Antoinetta Di Martino. Simone Collio is the co-leader of European lists at 60 m, Fabrizio Donato could surprise in Triple Jump and Assunta Legnante is the reigning European Indoor Champion in Shot Put. Team â€“ men: 60 m: Cerutti, Collio, 800 m: Rifesser, 1500 m: Obrist, 3000 m: Caliandro, HJ: Campioli, TJ: Donato, women: 800 m: Cusma, 3000 m: Weissteiner, 60mH: Cattaneo, HJ: Di Martino, SP: Legnante, Rosa.
BELARUS: Ostapchuk wants to attack the first place
MINSK: Shot put world leader Nadezhda Ostapchuk, heptahlete Andrey Kravchenko and women 4×400 m relay are the biggest medal hopes of Belarus Team for Valencia. Also included are former Shot Put world champion Andrey Mikhnevich, hurdlers Yevgeniya Volodko and Maksim Lynsha. In the relay Svetlana Usovich, Ilona Usovich, Anna Kozak and Irina Khlyustova are named with alternate Anna Tashpulatova.
FINLAND: Three to go
HELSINKI: Shot putter Robert Haggblom leads the Finnish three athletes team for Helsinki. Other two are sprinter Johanna Manninen and 1500 m runner Mari Jarvenpaa.