Alfons had some comments on the Weltklasse from Friday night. TV in US was very good on ESPN 2 and ESPN. My time zone issues continue, so I was up for the 6 am showing on Saturday as well!
EME NEWS (AUG 30, 2008)
ZURICH (SUI): Two world leading marks, both also new meet records, one of
them world junior record, 26 000 spectators, compact well prepared programme
that was Weltklasse at usual highest possible level. Winner of Andreas
Brugger Youth Award was Pamela Jelimo.
Megastar Usain Bolt despite a poor start and clearly under the weather with
a cold was still never under any pressure when winning the 100 metres easily
with 9.83, his ninth career sub 10 and 7th sub 9.90. Also the second fastest
ever at Weltklasse. Jeremy Wariner returned to LaShawn Merritt the Olympic
defeat with his 43.82 season best and his 9th career sub 44. Their
head-to-head is now 3:3 and they will still meet twice in Brussels and
Stuttgart. Outsider Haron Keitany won with 3:32.06 PB the 1500 m ahead of
Olympic winner Rashid Ramzi (3:32.86 SB), interesting PB for world champion
at 800 m Alfred Kirwa Yego (3:33.69, 8th). Kenenisa Bekele without signs of
fatigue after three races in Beijing trip back home and speedy return to
Europe with world leading 12:50.18. Paul Kipsiele Koech had his Olympics and
won the steeple in 8:04.26, behind him French Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad
with European leading 8:08.95, as 14th European ever sub 8:10. The only one
who beat Olympic winner Dayron Robles this year US David Oliver (in Berlin
at ISTAF) again came close to him with 12.98 just 0.01 behind the Cuban. For
Oliver second fastest career time, for Robles 7th sub 13. Only Allen Johnson
has more with 11. Angelo Taylor defended his Olympic win at 400 m Hurdles
(48.07) and promised next year to concentrate only on hurdles. Saudi Arabian
Hussain Taher Al-Sabee likes Golden League at every meet ended in top 3, and
three times won. Also in Letzigrund when equaling his four years old PB 835.
Andreas Thorkildsen was another succesfull Beijing gold medalist winning
here with his 5th career 90 m competition (90.28). In tough finish Darvis
Patton held Richard Thompson and US beat Trinidad 38.01 to 38.03 to win the
In women events world champion Allyson Felix dominated the 200 m in 22.37
and the same for Sanya Richards who improved her season best to 49.74 but as
it looks she will not have the chance for revenge against Christine Ohuruogu
as their plans are not foreseeing a head-to-head race. Something special was
women 800 m with Pamela Jelimo clocking her fifth world junior record
1:54.01, the third best ever and best in last 25 years! She even went ahead
of pacemaker Svetlana Klyuka of Russia before the 600 m mark (1:25.12).
Fourth Maria Mutola ended her international career at high note (1:58.71 as
4th). Lolo Jones this time did not made any mistake and won the 100 m
Hurdles (12.56) over all three Olympic medalists. Yelena Isinbayeva remained
unbeaten this summer after clearing 488 in first and Blanka Vlasic returned
to winning ways with 201 as Beijing gold medalist Tia Hellebaut managed only
190 as 8th. In U23 Nations Match Challenge win for home Switzerland (39)
ahead of Italy (38) and Germany (37).
HOME MEN AND GUEST WOMEN
HELSINKI (FIN, Aug 29-30): The classical match Finland-Sweden ended at the
end of the day with 43rd win for Finland men (25 for Sweden in the past) and
30th win for Sweden women (23 for Finland). The final scores were 215:193 on
men side and 197.5 : 209.5 on the women. Former Olympic winner Carolina
Kluft helped Sweden women with two individual wins (644 and 13.83) and
anchored the relay to 45.15 first place. Anna Soderberg achieved 61.87 in
discus, Emma Green 190 in High Jump coming from Zurich. Good win for the
home team as Mikaela Ingberg achieved 59.51 in javelin. On the men side
during first day nice High jump duel which the younger Linus Thornblad won
with 228 in cold conditions over Stefan Holm who cleared 226 (and tried once
at 228 and twice at 230). Good Swedish win also for Robert Kronberg after
13.57 (+2.0) at 110 m Hurdles. Oli-Pekka Karjalainen got for home team the
hammer (77.31), Frants Kruger the discus (63.08) and European champion Jukka
Keskisalo the steeple (8:36.08). In high quality javelin coming from 3rd in
Zurich Tero Jarvenpaa beat with 84.53 the world champion Tero Pitkamaki
(84.00) with Magnus Arvidsson third (80.52).
LONDON (GBR): Double olympic winner from Athens 2004 Kelly Holmes has urged
athletics to change if it wants to achieve success at the 2012 London
Olympics. In a hard-hitting interview published in The Sun that will put
further pressure on UK Athletics performance director, Dave Collins, Dame
Kelly has admitted the British team in Beijing badly underperformed with
just four medals. She has held discussions with Niels de Vos, the chief
executive of UK Athletics, about the future direction the sport needs to
take and wants her sport to adopt the blue print pioneered by British
Cycling, which won eight gold medals in Beijing. Informs insidethegames.com.
ZIMBABWE: Among succesfull athletes rewarded by President Robert Mugabe was
also 4th sprinter at 200 m Brian Dzingai. Mugabe bestowed the reward on
Beijing athletes despite Zimbabwe’s political unrest that has worsened an
economic crisis with official inflation at 11.2 million percent which
analysts say is a fraction of the real figure. Dzingai got 10,000 USD.
Zimbabwe finished as the fourth highest African team on the medals table
after Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt.
LAUSANNE (SUI): The International Olympic Committee has taken action to try
to get the coach of former Greek Olympic champion 2004 at 400 m Hurdles Fani
Halkia, who tested positive in out-of-competition for drugs during the
Beijing Olympics, to face criminal charges. In a move unprecented in the
112-year history of the Modern Games, which were revived in Athens in 1896,
the IOC has asked Greek prosecutors to bring charges against George
Panagiotopoulos for allegedly breaking the country’s anti-doping laws.
GATESHEAD (GBR): Olympic 400 m gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu is more
than likely to make her last appearance over the distance in the Aviva
British Grand Prix at Gateshead on Sunday. Ohuruogu although having other
races in the pipeline, refused an invitation to compete over one lap at
Friday’s Weltkasse Golden League meeting in Zurich and, at the sixth and
final GL meeting in Brussels next Friday, will race in the 200m. She could
turn out at the money spinning World Athletics Final in Stuttgart on
September 13-14, but the indications from her camp for the present, are that
400m races will not figure in her schedule.
UKRAINE: Initially silver medalist in Olympic heptathlon but then
disqualified for doping Lyudmila Blonska was banned by Ukrainian Athletics
Federation for life. Also banned is her husband Sergey who is former
decathlon athlete with 7890 best from 2001.
PRAHA (CZE): The best decathloner ever Czech Roman Sebrle decided to end his
season and not compete this year. After injuries he managed to finish as 6th
at Olympic Games. He still is having plans for future and mainly 2009 World
Championships in Berlin.
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Olympic double long distance winner Tirunesh Dibaba plans
to repeat her golden double at the world athletics championships in Berlin
next year. “God willing, I hope to attempt it,” Dibaba said during a
reception this week at the Ethiopian embassy in Beijing. Agencies are
reporting. She expects to marry another world class runner, the ever silver
holder Sileshi Sihine. Her rival Meseret Defar might have same thoughts on
the double, as she considers to debut next year at the longer distance.
BATON ROUGE (USA): After dominating at NCAA level for the past two seasons,
Jamaican LSU hurdler Nickiesha Wilson has decided to forgo her senior year
of eligibility and join the professional ranks after signing a lucrative
contract with adidas. Her coach remains Denis Shaver. She ended already the
season and will start soon preparation for 2009 with main goal the World
Championships in Berlin. In Beijing she was first non-qualifier from semis.
BOTTROP (GER, Aug 30): The second international meet here saw hammer Olympic
winner Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia winning with 77.50. Olympic fourth placer
Robert Harting was best in discus (65.40). Cuban silver holder Yipsi Moreno
won the women hammer with 74.36 ahead of Slovak record holder Martina
Hrasnova and German world champion Betty Heidler (70.28). GhanaÂ´s Aziz
Zakari clocked good 10.15 (+1.3) to win the 100 m and Seth Amoo from the
same country was the best at 200 m (20.54, +2.5). Slovak long jumper Jana
Veldakova made for Beijing disappointment (no mark in qualification) as she
won with 668 (+1.9).
MERKSEM (BEL, Aug 30): At 44th international meet here in Belgium Kenyan
Sammy Kipruto won the 5000 m with good 13:24.78 as former Olympic medalist
in marathon Meb Keflezighi of USA was third (13:33.29). Mimi Belete clocked
4:10.46 at 1500 m and IrelandÂ´s Deirdre Byrne 9:13.82 at 3000 m. Best
technical result from Latvian Karlis Alainis who improved in javelin to
80.43 ahead of US Mike Hazle (80.32).
RIED (AUT, Aug 30): Marathon Olympian Eva-Maria Gradwohl won today the
national 10 km road race championships with 33:36 ahead of steeple record
holder Andrea Mayr (33:43). Only 20 years old Valentin Pfeil was the best in
men category after 30:35.
SLUBICE (POL, Aug 30): Former European Indoor Champion Pawel Czapiewski
achieved today a fast 800 m with 1:45.87. This years national champion was
out in heats at Olympic Games.
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK, Aug 30): At local meet two Olympians achieved solid
results. Matej Toth 41:25.95 at 10 000 m track walk and Miloslav Konopka
STELLENBOSCH (RSA, Aug 30): Sibusiso Nzima won the South African 10 km road
championships clocking 28:52. The winner in 2006 Boy Soke secured silver
with 28:56 ahead of Stephen Mokoka in third in 28:57. In spite of the rain
and wind which only started as the gun was fired, Gauteng’s Phalula twins
de-throned Rene Kalmer with impressive front running that saw them just fail
to break the 33 minute barrier. Lebogang was a mere second behind at the
finish when Lebo took the gold in 33:01. Third place went to Kalmer in a
time of 33:16.
MOSCOW (RUS, Aug 28): 8 km road race was won by track 10 000 m national
record holder Sergey Ivanov in 23:38. The Pudov Memorial saw Dmitriy
Safronov second (23:39) and Aleksey Reunkov third (23:47).
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.