Walker Clears 5.90m, Greer Might Still go to Beijing, EME News, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder


Brad Walker set the American record of 6.04 m on June 8 at the Nike Prefontaine. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, in swirling winds, Brad made the team, taking third. The key at the Trials was making the team.

Breaux Greer, the enfant terribleof the U.S. javelin, hurt his rotator this spring trying out for American gladiators. He threw 220 feet in the US Trials, and did not make the final. Yet the American record holder, may get a chance to throw in Beijing. Read on....



GRODNO (BLR, July 9): Triple world champion in hammer throw Ivan Tikhon showed impressive shape during second day of national championships with world leading 84.51 m. He did not compete so far in the summer season and in first meet bettered the best mark of the season by nearly 3 meters. Valeriy Svyatokha was second (80.73) and Andrey Vorontsov third (79.60). Darya Pchelnik got the women title (72.91) and Dmitriy Sivakov was best in discus (63.23).


SYDNEY (AUS): Australian star and last year world champion Jana Rawlinson after running her first race of the year last Tuesday in Bydgoszcz announced that she will not compete at Olympic Games due to her injury. Also before four years in Athens she was handicapped by an injury and ended only fifth. „I've got to work out when my health comes first, because this has gone beyond the point of no return and I'm worried that if I don't try and rehabilitate my body I'm actually going to be finished," Rawlinson admitted for The Australian. „And I love my sport too much to risk permanent injury. But at the moment my body won't take the work, every day something else blows up. I just want to go home and try to pick up the pieces and work on next year. I know this is not my last Olympics." She wants to try for London 2012. After world record holder YUlia Pechonkina is having health problems and fastest in the world this year Lashinda Demus did not qualify and now Rawlinson out of picture, the event is wide open.


LONDON (GBR): Former world triple jump indoor champion and record holder Ashia Hansen after a distinguished career has announced her retirement from athletics. She took the decision after losing her fitness battle to be ready for this weekend's Aviva National Championships and Olympic trials in her home city of Birmingham. The former European and Commonwealth champion has struggled to regain her best form after picking up a serious knee injury at the 2004 European Cup final. That effectively wrecked her Olympic ambitions that summer where she was expected to be a strong gold medal contender.

Now the 36-year-old American born star has decided it is the right time to call time on a glittering career which saw her twice win the world indoor title. Informs David Martin. "I now hope to put some of that back as part of the Norwich Union performance advisor programme, but the immediate aim is to enjoy a rest and look forward to getting married next May," she was quoted.


BUCURESTI (ROM): Romanian media started already last week before national championships inform about doping problems of best this years home middle distance runner and 1500 m world leader Liliana Popescu. At the end she did not compete at the national event and was dropped from Olympic team. As agencies are reporting she failed a test at African Permit Meet in Algers on May 29. According to an Agence France-Presse report, Romanian athletes face a stiff 100,000 euro ($156,000) penalty if they test positive at the Olympic Games. According to the country's Olympic committee, Popescu was removed from the team because officials don't want any athletes suspected of cheating to compete in Beijing. As Bob Ramsak reports Popescu, who was sixth in the 1500m at the World Indoor Championships in March, has produced the finest season of her career. A few days prior to the Algiers meet, she clocked career bests of 1:59.34 and a world-leading 4:00.35 at a national grand prix meet in Bucharest. She won the 1500m at the Super Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar, on May 9, and the 800m at the European Cup First League competition in Istanbul late last month. Her coach Daru Rosca said that she is innocent. The Olympic team with only male athlete the triple jumper Marian Oprea looks as follows: Angela Moroşanu - 400 mH, Ionela Târlea - 400 mH and 200 m, Mihaela Neacşu, Cristina Vasiloiu, Elena Antoci - 1500 m, Ana Groza - 20 km walk, Cristina Casandra and Ancuţa Bobocel - 3000 m SC, Constantina Diţă Tomescu, Lidia Şimon, Luminiţa Talpeş - marathon, Nicoleta Grasu - discus, Anca Heltne - shot put, Felicia Ţilea Moldovan, Monica Stoian - javelin, Adelina Gavrilă - triple jump, Bianca Perie (fresh world junior champion) - hammer.


BYDGOSZCZ (POL, July 9): Sensational 10 000 m race for Kenyan juniors during the evening session of second day of global championships. Josphat Kipkoech Bett clocked new event best 27:30.85 ahead of Titus Kipjumba Mbishei (27:31.65), Ethopian co-favorite Ibrahim Jeylan was far away third (28:07.98). Turkish Vedat Gonen as 10th was the best European (30:03.87). Also new championships record for Romanian world youth champion Bianca Perie in hammer (67.95) ahead of Czech senior record holder Katerina Safrankova (63.13). Sprint wins for overseas favorites. In boys 100 m Jamaican junior record holder Dexter Lee clocked 10.40 (-0.8) beating South African Wilhelm van de Vywer (10.42) and US champion Terrell Wilks (10.45). Jamaican record holder Yohan Blake was fourth 10.51 and only European in the finals Benjamin Olsson of Sweden fifth (10.67). US could celebrate gold in girls dash as Jeneba Tarmoh achieved 11.37 (-0.6) beating Briton Ashlee Nelson (11.49) and Bahamian Sheniqua Ferguson (11.52). Another gold for USA in long jump for Marquise Goodwin (774) ahead of two Europeans Dmitriy Astrovskiy of Belarus (764) and Spanish record holder Eusebio Caceres (759). Sensation in discus. World record holder Mykyta Nesterenko did not win and was only third with 61.01 (had only two valid throws) nearly ten meters behind his best mark (70.13). Winner was so 18-years Gordon Wolf of Germany (after Storl in Shot Put another throwing gold, 62.00 PB) and Croatian Marin Premeru (61.85). Belarus Eduard Mihan leads the decathlon (4155). In men´s 400 m semis (fastest US O´Neal Wilder 46.08) three Europeans qualified (Niklas Zender of Germany, Brian Gregan of Ireland and Briton Jordan McGrath). One less European representative (Fabienne Kohlmann of Germany and Yulia Baraley of Ukraine) qualified to girls 400 m finals with Nigerian Folashade Abugan the fastest (51.92). Four European women runners qualified to 800 m finals including the Turkish favorite Merve Aydin. In boys 800 m semifinals Adam Kszczot of Poland (1:47.16 PB) and Italian Giordano Benedetti will be the two Europeans. The field is headed by world junior record holder and world indoor champion Abubaker Kaki of Sudan (1:46.71 in semifinals).


KARLSRUHE (GER, July 9): At the pole vault special meeting US-American Brad Walker cleared 5,90m in his third attempt. Behind him placed Jerome Clavier from France (5,75m) and Jeff Hartwig (USA) with 5,70m. The women's event was won by Jillian Schwartz from the USA with 4,50m. Lisa Ryzih (4,27m) and Martina Strutz (4,27m) from Germany placed second and third.


PRAHA (CZE, July 9): At 43rd Praga Academica Meeting young Czech Jan Kudlicka improved in Pole Vault to Olympic A-qualifier 570 cm and tried three times at new national record 581 cm. Canadian guests won the 4x100 m in 39.38 (Palmer, Henry, Connaughton, Browne) and Bryan Barnett was fastest at 100 m with 10.42 (+0.8). Petr Stehlik won the shot put (19.71).


THESSALONIKI (GRE, July 9): The highlight of today´s European Athletics Premium Meeting in Thessaloniki in windy conditions before 3000 spectators was the world leading triple jump by home world medalist Hrysopyi Devetzi with 15.22 (+1.5). It is her third best mark ever after two better from Olympic Games 2004 (15.32 in qualification and 15.25 in finals). World champion Yargelis Savigne was second (15.15, +1.5) ahead of world indoor medalist Marija Sestak of Slovenia (14.90, +2.9) and Ukrainian Olha Saladuha (14.74, +2.4). Too much wind in some cases helped the athletes. World champion Veronica Campbell-Brown could not celebrate a personal best as her 10.85 were aided by +2.6. The same in men´s 100 m where Aziz Zakari of Ghana (10.08, +3.0) beat US Olympic qualifier Darvis Patton (10.09). Also Brian Dzingai´s 20.06 (+3.0) win was not an national record with Brendan Christian of Antigua second (20.17) and Paul Hession of Ireland third (20.26). Jamaican champion Ricardo Chambers won the 400 m (45.37). Czech Petr Svoboda confirmed his recent improvement (13.29 NR at Czech Champs) with 13.32 (+2.4) win. Also no national record for Laverne Jones of US Virgin Islands as her 200 m win 22.47 was aided by +3.6. Ghana also won the 4x100 m in 39.17, Kenyan Jonathan Komen got the 3000 m (7:53.20). Women´s 400 m winner was Shareefa Lloyd from Jamaica (51.34), Czech record holder Zuzana Hejnova was the best at 400 m Hurdles (56.22) in close battle with US Latosha Wallace who had the same time, Olympic winner Fani Halkia was only fifth (57.57). Ukrainan Zoya Nesterenko was clear 800 m winner (2:02.48).

In technical events home crowds were happy to see national record holder Louis Tsatoumas to win the Long Jump with windy 836 (+2.8). Olympic winner Stefan Holm was the best in strong high jump as he cleared his season best 232 cm. World medallists were behind him Russian Yaroslav Rybakov second (230) and Cyprean Kyriacos Ioannou fourth (227), third was another Swede Linus Thornblad with 230. Ukrainian champion Natalya Semenova won the discus (63.06) ahead of Vera Soderberg of Sweden (62.19), Czech Vera Cechlova (62.14) and second in the world lists Nicoleta Grasu of Romania (61.33). African record holder Justine Robbeson won the javelin with solid 62.95 m.


NEW ORLEANS (USA): US Javelin record holder Breaux Greer still has the chance to compete in Beijing. As www.nola.com reports the Monroe native went through team processing and an appeal over the weekend and is expected to be added to the U.S. Olympic track and field team when it is announced Monday, according to a USATF source. The eight-time American outdoor champion appeared to lose his chance at a third consecutive Olympic appearance when he failed to make the javelin finals at the Trials last Friday in Eugene, Ore. Only second-place finisher Mike Hazle and fifth-place finisher Leigh Smith had achieved the „A" qualifying mark in previous competition.

LONDON (GBR): Latest Pat Butcher´s blog about selection policies at: http://www.globerunner.org/blog

Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.

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