The spring marathon season has gone Paris, London, Rotterdam, and now, BAA Boston plus the US Olympic Trials. The Trials for women are on Sunday and the Boston Marathon is on Monday. A busy weekend for the sport.
Deena Kastor is the odds on favorite,and your blogger humbly picks Blake Russell, Kate O’Neil and Magdelena Lewy Boulet to spoil. Our emotional pick is Elva Dryer and as always, if Joan Benoit Samuelson runs in top 20, that will make the world right.
I am on my way to Boston, and will see some of your at our party on Saturday, from 4 to 6pm at the Jurys Hotel (RSVPS closed today). A media conference with Ryan Hall precedes this, hosted by the Running Network and the announcement for the class
of 2008 for the Distance Running Hall of Fame, also hosted by the Running Network, will happen at 4 pm at the Beckett’s room at Jurys. For info, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
EME NEWS (APR 16, 2008)
LEBEDEVA TO COMPETE IN MAY AFTER BREAK
MOSCOW (RUS): Olympic and world gold medalist Tatyana Lebedeva announced her first competition of the summer. She will compete on behalf of Finpromko Yekaterinburg Club at European Champion Clubs Cup on May 24-25 in Portugal. She missed the entire indoor season after Achilles surgery. First competition will be in long jump and her more beloved event the triple will be on the program only rarely before Olympic games. She plans to do triple only at Russian championships in Kazan in July because of Olympic trials. She said she must not qualify in Long Jump and has a wild card as world champion.
CAMPBELL-BROWN AGAINST EDWARDS AT 200 m, DEMUS AGAINST ROSS-WILLIAMS AT 400 m HURDLES
WALNUT (USA): The 50th jubilee running of MtSAC Relays in Walnut, California will offer some special things to see this weekend. One of the best traditional spring relay meets in US will offer great relays with many top runners representing USA Teams, but also HSI or Bobby Kersee squads added by Jamaica with world record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson on the women side. Thursday and Friday are reserved for college action, Saturday for High School and final Sunday will offer the open invitational events. World and Olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica will open her individual season with 200 m race and will face former world champion at 100 m Torri Edwards who was last year in Osaka twice fourth. Also in the 200 m Osaka bronze holder at 100 m Carmelita Jeter. The husband of VCB Omar Brown is scheduled to run the 400 m, on the women side interesting 400 m entry by best Asian sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe from Sri Lanka. Two world top 400 m hurdlers will face each other and the current world lead looks like to be deleted. Lashinda Demus will face Tiffany Ross-Williams. Famous male 400 m hurdler, former world and reigning Olympic winner Felix Sanchez will as usual in spring test his endurance at 800 m. Other former Olympic or world champions competing are Allen Johnson at 110 m Hurdles, Bryan Clay also running the hurdles and Dwight Phillips in Long Jump. Chinese long distance Athens gold medallist Xing Huina will appear too, it remains to see whether she will run 5000 or 10 000 m. From Caribbean sprinters TrindidadÂ´s Darrell Brown and Jamaican Michael Frater are going to run the 200 m and Brigitte Foster-Hylton the 100 m Hurdles. Also a pair of European sprinters will be on site. Norwegian Jaisuma Saidy Ndure is entered for relay, Irish European indoor champion David Gillick with British Martyn Rooney should run the 400 m. The event will feature a historic first in live web streaming.
BOSTON WITH BIGGEST FIRST PRIZE AWARD
BOSTON (USA): MondayÂ´s 112th edition of the oldest marathon in the world in Boston will offer more prize money then in the past. Male and female winners will receive 150 000 USD, last year it was 100 000. Thanks to the sponsorship of John Hancock Financial, the Boston champions will now receive the largest prize money check of the five commercial events of the World Marathon Majors, points out Race Results Weekly. Total prize money will be also the highest ever with 796 000 USD. The other WMM marathons have smaller prizes but also offer time bonuses. New York paid last year 130 000 (plus car), Chicago 125 000, London 55 000 and Berlin 50 000 E. The biggest marathon first place bonus was paid this year to Dubai Marathon winners (250 000 USD).
BOSTON ON WCSN
LOS ANGELES (USA): WCSN, the premier destination of Olympic and lifestyle sports, announced it is joining forces with Adidas and MarathonGuide.com to provide a free, first-ever global webcast of the 112th Boston Marathon. On WCSN.com, running fans can also access Marathon Madness, a special editorial package that features original content, articles from road racing experts, interactive maps, results, highlights and more. Furthermore, WCSN.com will be offering special commentary from running legend and four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers. â€žAdidas is proud to join WCSN.com in providing a free internet broadcast of the 112th Boston Marathon,” said Spencer Nel, head of global sports marketing for running and track and field at Adidas. â€žAs a Boston Marathon sponsor, Adidas is especially pleased to help bring the oldest continuing annual marathon in the world to as many viewers as possible in every corner of the world. With its proven track record WCSN.com is the ideal partner to make that happen.”
KIRUI TO RETURN TO VIENNA
VIENNA (AUT): A group of strong Kenyan runners has been signed for the 25th edition of The Vienna City Marathon to be held on 27th April. Organizers are informing in a release. Among them is Abel Kirui with 2:06:51 best from Berlin 2007 as men headliner. He was third here last year and in warm weather achieved high quality 2:10:41. He was beaten by later world champion Luke Kibet. Fellow Kenyan Wilson Onsare has a personal best of 2:06:47. The 31 year-old had achieved this when he was third in Paris in 2003. Other names to watch are Paul Biwott (2:08:17) and Dubai 2007 winner William Rotich (2:09:53) who was also fourth at Berlin Half-marathon this spring (PB 60:12). Marathon debut for other interesting Kenyan names â€“ Duncan Kibet (60:22) and Stramilano double winner Philemon Kisang (60:55). Japan’s Tomo Morimoto, who had won the Vienna City Marathon 2006 in a personal best of 2:24:33, will head the women’s field. Including races at shorter distances and a relay event more than 28,000 athletes have entered the Vienna City Marathon so far. That means a first record is already broken (last year 26 249).
EIGHT NAMED FOR BEIJING
WELLINGTON (NZL): Shot put world indoor and outdoor champion Valerie Vili leads the New Zealand Olympic track team. The federation website informs that four men and four women were named to compete in Beijing. Other three women are former discus world champion Beatrice Faumuina, long distance national record holder Kim Smith (5000 m and 10 000 m) and marathon runner Nina Rillstone (13th at World Championships in Osaka). Male quartet is headed by middle distance runner and Commonwealth 1500 m gold winner Nick Willis who already competed in Athens 2004, Adrian Blincoe for 5000 m, sprinter James Dolphin for 200 m and javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar. Marathon runners Michael Aish (2:13:21 this year) and Liza Hunter-Galvan (2:30:40 last year) who met the selection time were not nominated for selection by the Athletics New Zealand selectors. A further six athletes have been given an injury extension to 30 June to post a qualifying performance. Three distance athletes will attempt to qualify over the next two weeks. Tony Sargisson will be competing in a 50 km walk on the Olympic Games course in Beijing this Sunday, Jonathan Wyatt will run the Zurich marathon on Sunday and Scott Winton will compete in the Hamburg Marathon on 27 April.
LAUSANNE (SUI): World Indoor 1500m record holder and world champion Yelena Soboleva from Russia and World Indoor High Jump champion Stefan Holm from Sweden have been voted the European Athletes of the Month for March based on their outstanding results at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia. Soboleva has been the revelation of the indoor season, breaking the world indoor 1500m record on two occasions including when she struck gold at the IAAF World Indoors in Valencia, along with Russian records in the mile and in the 800m. She was also voted world athlete of the indoor season by Track and Field News (USA). Stefan Holm confirmed his reputation as the â€žmajor championship king” with his fourth victory at the World Indoor Championships, this time clearing an impressive 236 in Valencia. Currently the defending Olympic champion, Holm is also defending European and now World Indoor champion and will be looking to become the first man in history to defend his Olympic High Jump title in Beijing in August. He lost only once during the indoor season (in Arnstadt to Russian Andrey Silnov). The runners-up in the women’s poll were Portugal’s Naide Gomes who achieved seven meters to win the Long Jump title in Valencia and Belgium’s Tia Hellebaut who won the pentathlon while Britain’s World Indoor triple Jump champion Phillips Idowu and Italian hammer thrower Marco Lingua took the minor placings in the men’s poll.
PARDUBICE (CZE): SaturdayÂ´s Czech Half-marathon championships will have also international participation. Prague Half-marathon winner Elijah Karanja (PB 60:57, in Prague 62:08) with his teammate Gordon Mugi (second in Prague with 62:23 debut) are the headliners of Pardubice Vine Half-marathon. For breaking 1:01 (Czech all-comers record of Patrick Ivuti in Prague 2007) bonus of 100 000 Czech crowns is offered (around 4500 E). The main female runner is Anastasiya Padalinskaya of Belarus with 2:34:08 marathon best from this year in Rome.. Nearly 1000 runners are expected to participate. Both Czech title defenders Robert Stefko and Iveta Sekyrova will be running also.
DRESDEN (GER): Fresh German London Marathon winner Irina Mikitenko already knows her next competition. On May 3 she plans to run the German track 10 000 m championships in Menden. “The legs are ok, but I m still missing enough sleep. This week only light training, but the next one will be again harder,” she was quoted by www.leichtathletik.de. Her best at the distance is 31:29.55 back in 2001 and last time she ran it was 32:42.95 in May 2007 at the championships in Zeulenroda.
CHEBOKSARY (RUS): The organizers of 23rd IAAF Race Walking World Cup are reporting that 58 countries are planning to compete in Cheboksary on May 10-11 at the event. In the local republic of Chuvashia walking is sport number one. Even for parents of Australian walkers who were trying to order tickets for FridayÂ´s opening ceremony it might not be that easy. The stadium capacity of 15 000 is expected to be filled. First day on Saturday May 10 will see both junior competitions at 10 km and 20 km for men, on Sunday then men 50 km and women 20 km.
TALLAHASSEE (USA): Injury worries in FSU Camp. Sprinting hero Walter Dix is injured after he felt a familiar pain about 20 meters before the finish line during the weekend at Seminole Invitational. He still finished clocking 10.41 as second. “It feels like when I got hurt my sophomore year, a strain or something,” said Dix per local media. He is qualified for Olympic trials, but needs to qualify for the NCAA regional meet at 200 m.
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): News from around 16th African Championships are that Sudan will compete without their 800 m star Abubaker Kaki, but still some athletes are hoping for medals. Former Cuban Yamile Aldama in triple jump, African games winner Muna Jaber at 400 m Hurdles. Nagmeldin Ali Abubaker could hope for finals at 400 m, the same goes for Nawal El Jack in the same women event and Ahmed Ismael at 800 m. Egypt sends also junior High Jumper Karim Lofty who was in winter preparation in Germany and improved to new national record 224 cm. Experienced Agnes Samaria will be the main name in Namibia squad. She plans to compete at 1500 m, she won silver in 2002 edition of this championships (800 m) and was also last year bronze holder at African Games (1500 m). She competed during last weekend in Windhoek and clocked 2:06.25 at 800 m (after collision with one of the officials) and 4:24.00 at 1500 m. But she is in dispute with her national federation. The officials want from her another confirmation of Olympic standards in this year, despite the fact she achieved the required marks last season (1:59.76 and 4:05.44 what is also national record).
PYONGYANG (PRK): Please correct that the results of third woman Beata Naigambo of Namibia (2:33:17) who won this year the South African Championships and achieved another PB was not national record. The record was achieved earlier at Seoul Marathon in March by Helalia Johanes who clocked 2:33:06.
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