Xing Huina is the Chinese women who won the Athens 10,000 meters. She has announced that she will not defend her gold medal in Beijing! Huge news in China is my guess, as many thought that the Chinese would do quite well in the women’s events. I still think that they will, with some strong medal performances in track & field.
But consider for a moment, the outpouring of pride in being Chinese after the Olympic torch protests. The Beijing Organizing Committee and the Chinese government see 2008 Beijing as a great showcase of the country. They have, however, lowballed the medal numbers. I think this is a smart and politic thing to do, however, I do believe that China will have excellent results from Beijing.
The other news is the sprint wars. Go to facebook and find the video of Usain Bolt and his 9.76! It is something to behold. I still think, however, that while speed attracts the fans and the writers, it will come down to Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay, lining up in Randalls Stadium on May 31, 2008 to determine who is the king.
The adidas Track Classic was an excellent display of our sports talent. Congratulations to observant reader Steve Vaitones who noted on my incorrect height , ” The 39″ hurdles really would spell trouble, but might make a nice race for those fans wanting blood and guts and tumbles, since the height at 400M is generally 36″. Thanks, Mr. Vaitones, I owe you an adult beverage at our next meeting. I would like to make it clear that I did not go around and move the hurdles up to 39 inches to make it more interesting for our fans. The hurdles were actually at 36 inches, they might have felt a bit higher for Mr. Jackson, however.
EME NEWS (MAY 19, 2008)
BOLT THINKS 9.7 WAS AGAIN POSSIBLE
PORT OF SPAIN (TRI): World leading sprinter after the weekend (Tyson Gay achieved 10.05, but Richard Thompson 9.93) Usain Bolt said that a 9.7 was again possible. He was quoted by Trinidad Express after his weekend 9.92 run. â€žI wasn’t really happy, because I had a real bad start and the blocks did not feel comfortable at all, so when I got in front I just shut it off because I wasn’t feeling very happy with myself. Maybe if I had a good start, maybe 9.7 again, because I felt great and it was easy running 9.9 I think I did well and I’m really proud of myself. I just wanted to go under 10 seconds. We haven’t actually decided what we’re going to do. We had a plan for the season and we’re still working on that plan, up towards the our trials. Coach says to give him a few weeks or so and he’ll let me know, so I’m just working off his schedule. I haven’t started 200 training yet, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ll be doing that, starting Monday.” His first 200 m of the year will be at Golden Spike of Ostrava on June 12 in Czech Republic. During Sunday program of Hampton Games former world champion John Capel of USA won the 200 m (20.66), Tiffany Williams clocked 55.24 at 400 m Hurdles and High Jumper Laverne Spencer of St. Lucia went over solid 192 cm.
XING HUINA WILL NOT DEFEND
BEIJING (CHN): Despite being listed in provisional entries at 5000 m for this weekÂ´s Good Luck Beijing pre-Olympic meeting reigning Olympic champion at 10 000 m Xing Huina will not aim to defend her title from Athens 2004. She informed Chinese media that she will not compete this season anymore. The 24-year-old runner had injuries since the end of 2005 which have made training difficult.
LONDON (GBR): Paula Radcliffe has been named in Great Britain’s Olympic marathon team for this summer’s Games in Beijing despite currently having to use crutches due to a hip injury. The world record holder for the distance will be joined in the women’s squad by fellow Bedford athlete and former training partner Liz Yelling, plus Japan-based Mara Yamauchi. Informs David Martin. Only Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dan Robinson has been named in the men’s team which will be a huge disappointment for Tomas Abyu.
Ethiopian-born Abyu thought he had achieved the qualifier in last autumn’s Dublin marathon (2:10:37) only to learn his time was not acceptable as it had not been included by IAAF in the list of qualifying races. Jo Jackson who broke the UK record earlier this year in Australia, has been named for the 20 kilometers women walk.
SLESARENKO TO OPEN IN BERLIN
MOSCOW (RUS): Another reigning Olympic winner Yelena Slesarenko of Russia changed her mind. The Russian high jumper will start to compete earlier then previously announced. She will compete already on June 1 at DKB-ISTAF AF Golden League opening in Berlin. Informs All-Sport Agency. She also plans Bislett Games on June 6. She is the last athlete who defeated world champion Blanka Vlasic in Oslo last year.
KLUFT TO SCOTLAND
EDINBURGH (GBR): SwedenÂ´s world’s greatest-ever combined events athlete will compete in the long jump at the 2008 Bank of Scotland Cup in Grangemouth on July 1. Carolina Kluft wants to concentrate on Long Jump and Triple Jump this year. In Scotland she will compete in Long Jump.
VIREN TO START LONDON 10 000 m
LONDON (GBR): The Olympic distance running legend Lasse Viren of Finland will start the inaugural BUPA London 10,000 on 26 May and then take part in the capital’s newest road race alongside his son Matti. Some 12,500 people are expected to start the BUPA London 10,000 which will begin in Birdcage Walk and take in Parliament Square, Victoria Embankment, the City, St Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square before finishing in The Mall. This year’s London Marathon champions Martin Lel and Irina Mikitenko head the two strong elite fields that also feature British runners Mo Farah, Dan Robinson, Mara Yamauchi and Liz Yelling, as well as the double World 20km Road Race champion Zersenay Tadese and Swiss world champs medalist Viktor Rothlin..
FIRST THIS YEARS ALEKNA-KANTER
TURNOV (CZE): Despite not very good weather forecast tommorrowÂ´s Ludvik Danek Memorial Meet (former discus Olympic winner and world record holder) could see something special in men discus. First this years clash of world champion and world leader Gerd Kanter with Olympic winner Virgilijus Alekna. The duel of Baltic giants could see first ever 70 m throw in Czech Republic. The all-comers record is 69.92 by Imrich Bugar in 1983 in Brno. Bugar himself is the athlete liaison of the meet and is responsible that this duel is happening. Their career head to head record is clear with 44:4 in favor of Alekna (per tilastopaja). Also interesting to follow in Turnov the season opening by javelin world champion Barbora Spotakova.
MEY FOR TURKEY
PRETORIA (RSA) South Africa’s long jump record holder Karen Mey may soon accept international selection, but it seems unlikely that it will be for South Africa. Mey, who achieved her career’s best of 6.93m last July in Bad Langensalza has repeatedly declined selection in 2007 (All-African Games and Osaka World Championships) and announced last January that she was not available for Olympic selection. She belongs to Istanbul’s Fenerbahce Athletics team and is apparently hoping to represent Turkey in the Olympics and future championships, informs Sapa.
SEC: THOMPSON 9.93 AND 20.23, JUNIOR DUTCH 48.68 AT 400 m HURDLES
AUBURN (USA): TrinidadÂ´s Richard Thompson confirmed that he and Usain Bolt are the new Caribbean 100 m forces. The LSU sprinter improved to 9.93 (-0.1) and 20.23 (+0.6) to win two SEC conference titles. Trindon Holliday as second was also fast with 10.05. Jason Richardson did not had such a luck as his 13.21 would-be PB at 110 m Hurdles was aided by +2.4. Great 400 m Hurdles improvements for Justin Gaymon (48.53), Johnny Dutch (48.68, fourth on all-time world junior list), Reuben McCoy (48.86) and FinlandÂ´s Jusi Heikkila (49.52). Jamil Hubbard clocked his first sub 46 seconds with 45.24 to win the 400 m. 70 meters hammer thrower Cory Martin is world class in shot put too because he improved here to 20.31 m. LSU clocked 38.67 to beat Tennessee (38.82) at 4×100 m. On the women side TrinidadÂ´s 100 m record holder Kelly-Ann Baptiste recorded great 11.09 (+1.6). At the 200 m she was beaten into second (22.87) by Natalie Knight (22.84, +0.7, PB). LSU with Baptiste achieved high quality 42.80 at 4×100 m.
BIG 12: JONAS SENSATIONALLY JUNPED 236 cm
BOULDER (USA): Favorable altitude of 1655 m helped sprinters to excellent times during final day of Big 12 conference championships. Jamaican relay medalist from Osaka Simone Facey clocked excellent 10.95 (+1.8, second fastest in the world this year) at 100 m and Porscha Lucas improved to world leading 22.29 (+1.4) at 200 m. Actually she was quicker by 0.01 as Muna Lee in Carson. Facey as second improved to 22.45. At the 100 m Lucas was third in another PB of 11.15, still before her Alexandria Anderson (11.11). New bests also for Jessica Beard at 400 m (51.09) and World Youth 2003 medalist Latoya Greaves at 100 m Hurdles (12.99, +0.6). Texas AM had excellent 42.88 time at 4×100 m.
World leading 236 cm in High Jump by Dusty Jonas was the best male result. The NCAA indoor champion (231 his overall best before Sunday) cleared first best 233 in first try and then another one and meet record 236 in second attempt. New Zambian 200 m record by Gerald Phiri (20.29, +0.7) was the male sprinting highlight. Phiri was denied also the 100 m record as his 10.03 mark was aided by +2.2. LeJerald Betters continues Baylor tradition with 45.01 (PB) 400 m win. Robert Griffin also improved at 400 m Hurdles to 49.22. Solid relays by Texas AM 38.85 and Baylor 3:03.82. In the altitude Leonel ManzanoÂ´s 3:41.80 at 1500 m is having a high quality.
ZARAGOZA (ESP): European Indoor Triple Champion Carlota Castrejana from Spain will start her Olympic season at the Gran Premio in Zaragoza (Spain) on May 31st after eight months of not competing. Castrejana did not take part in the national indoors championships nor at the world indoors to make sure that the inflammation at the ankle-bone of her left foot was totally healed. Further competitions will be in Greece at the beginning of June, in Huelva on June 13th and the European Cup in Portugal on June 21st.
MONTE CARLO: The IAAF’s innovative online game Fantasy Athletics is now open for its second exhilarating season. With just 13 days left to go until the start of the game’s first competition of 2008, fans have the chance to mentally limber-up and prepare their team selections to do battle across the one day outdoor circuit including the A*F Golden League. For 2008 the IAAF has extended the scope and the duration of Fantasy Athletics to cover 12 major one day meets, including all six A*F Golden League fixtures with the action starting in Berlin, Germany on 1 June. Informs IAAF.
VALLADOLID (ESP): Osaka 800 m bronze medallist Mayte Martinez from Spain is getting used to the possibility of not taking part in the Olympic Games. She still has not fully recuperated from an operation on March 17th at the instep of her right foot. The next two weeks of physiotherapy will be decisive whether she will give everything to make a participation possible and to seize her last chance â€“ or not. After a quick and satisfactory phase of rehabilitation in Madrid, Mayte Martinez had started to feel pain in her heel which had made training impossible despite several analgetic treatments. Information by Spanish media.
CHAMPAIGN (USA, May 18): During final day of Big 10 conference championships windy sprints by Ibrahim Kabia (10.29, +3.9) and Aleesha Barber (12.83, +2.1 at 100 m Hurdles).
LEVELLAND (USA, May 17): TrinidadÂ´s Renny Quow clocked at JUCO Championships 45.54 at 400 m. New Kenyan revelation Boaz Lalang clocked easy 1:46.58 to win the 800 m. His first career big meeting outing will be at Golden Spike of Ostrava on June 12.
KITYAKUSHU (JPN, May 18): Half-marathon world record holder Samuel Wanjiru won the Kyushu Corporate Championships at 10 000 m and achieved 27:56.79. Asian junior record holder Ryuji Ono improved his best to 27:56.86 as second.
TOKYO (JPN, May 18): Kenyan Mekubo Mogusu improved at Kanto College Championships dramatically at 10 000 m to excellent 27:27.64. Yuzo Kanemaru clocked good 45.47 at 400 m.
KUMAGAYA (JPN, May 17): Another great men 10 000 m from Japanese weekend. Kenyans Josphat Ndambiri and Gideon Ngatuny clocked 27:38.13 and 27:39.27. For Ndambiri already third 10 k on track with sub 27:40 in less then one month. Japanese record holder Yoko Shibui achieved very good 31:21.92 and on May 18 also 15:20.13 at 5000 m but in mixed race with men. Shinji Takahira clocked 20.62 at 200 m and Yuhi Ohashi came close to Japanese national 110 m Hurdles record (13.39) with windy 13.44 (+3.3).
SOCHI (RUS, May 16): 22 years old Aleksandra Butvina for first time in her career scored 6000+ in Heptathlon. At Russian Combined Events Cup her final total was 6058 points. Vasiliy Kharlamov won the decathlon (7574).
ONESTI (ROM, May 18): Hungarian shot putter Lajos Kurthy achieved for first time in his career 20+ mark. His 20.18 is new national U23 record.
BUDAPEST (HUN, May 17): National 10 000 m titles for Albert Minczer (29:33.12) and Krisztina Papp (33:40.22).
BARDEJOV (SVK, May 18): PolandÂ´s marathon runner Henryk Szost won the 13 km road race in Bardejov, Eastern Slovakia. He clocked 37:08 to beat Morrocan Said Azouzi (37:12) and Kenyan Joel Komen (37:44). Former steeple world record holder Justyna Bak of Poland won the women section (45:15) ahead of best Slovak long distance runner Katarina Beresova (45:36).
LODZ (POL, May 18): Kenyan Richard Rotich won the 5th Lodz Marathon after 2:21:14. In close finish home Adam Dobrzynski was second (2:21:19). Arleta Meloch of Poland was the best woman (2:47:24).
INOWROCLAW (POL, May 18): Olympic games participant Malgorzata Sobanska of Poland won a half-marathon here with 1:16:03. Kenyan Michael Karonei was the best in men race (1:06:03).
WIEN (AUT, May 18): German Sabrina Mockenhaupt won the 5 km Women Run in Vienna as she clocked 15:57.6. Belgian Nathalie de Vos was second (16:08.1) and Australian Victoria Mitchell third (16:42.9). In total new record participation 16 144 runners.
CARSON: Shannon Rowbury world leading 1500 m time is fifth performer position in US all-time list (not sixth). Also the time of Megan Metcalfe was a new world lead at 3000 m. Allyson Felix did not double after 100 m: â€žI just had a rough week. My boyfriend’s father passed away. I got back from Doha and went to the funeral Tuesday. Just an emotional week, up and down. Bobby decided to pull me (from the 200). I was definitely a little disappointed. I would definitely like to be in that 200, but I just have to trust him. I would have liked for the week to be happier for the graduation, all my family was there. It was a really special moment,” she was quoted by USATF website.
PONCE: There is no new 400 m top runner from Trinidad. In unusual male change of name Ato Stephens is actually Ato Modibo. The 28 years old runner clocked on Saturday 45.01 his second fastest after 44.87 best back in 2001.
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