Alfons Juck, publisher of EME News, gets us caught up on the global event and track celebrity front….
LILLE (FRA): The French city of Villeneuve d’Ascq (north of France, close to Lille) is the only candidate for the 2011 World Youth Championships to be awarded on November 22.
RABAT (MAR): In a press conference in Rabat Said Aouita the new Moroccan technical director anounced that he wants to built a plan and strategy to win 15 medals for Morocco at the next olympics in London. He says that he has this idea for more than 10 years and that is the same strategy adopted by Jamaica in sprints. Also Rabat is biding to stage the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2010.
ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Keys from new cars from the prime minister were received at home celebration by distance double Olympic winners Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba. In one of the most memorable performances of the 29th Beijing Olympics, Ethiopian runner Tirunesh Dibaba rewrote history by winning the 5,000m and 10,000m double in the Chinese capital. But Ethiopia’s athletic darling received far less headlines and airwaves than her historic achievement deserves an international freelance athletics journalist and public relations expert writes. Minutes after Tirunesh Dibaba won the women’s 5,000m gold to complete her remarkable double at the Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing, China, only a dozen reporters waited to hear what the star had to say. Even by her own admission, Tirunesh is a woman who likes to do most of her talking on her track. Her fluid, efficient running style and her never-say-die attitude even at the most testing times make her a hero for her compatriots and the envy of other runners. Her careful and chosen words off it, however, are doing very little to add to her reputation. Despite her achievements, which continue to push back the the boundaries of women’s distance running, her shy and introverted demeanour could very well cost her the opportunity to be crowned the 2008 IAAF World Athlete of the Year in the short term and many sponsorship deals in the years to come. The scope of the problem is not narrow and its consequences are far-reaching. A lack of real personalities creates frustration, followed by hardly any interest among journalists. This in turn contributes to the athletes failing to commend airwaves or newspaper headlines, which is of course detrimental to the athletes’ earning power and leads to a lack of interest in athletics.
STUTTGART (GER): Two great absentees from IAAF World Athletics Final are the injured 110 m Hurdles record holder Dayron Robles. He injured his foot while running in Zagreb and was forced to fly home for treatment and his season is over. 200 m Olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown is not running here, plans to compete in Shanghai next weekend.
STUTTGART (GER): Former 100 m world record holder Asafa Powell thinks that a 9.5 is a possibility. “Wherever Usain takes it, I’ll be there right with him. When I ran 9.74 I thought my limit would be 9.69. Then when Usain ran 9.69 after stopping 20 meters before the finish, it’s possible to go even faster. I think 9.6 is possible. I think next year you’ll see 9.5,” he was quoted before WAF.
WIESBADEN (GER, Sep 10): Discus thrower Sabine Rumpf achieved here a solid personal best 61.81.
TALENCE (FRA): The Olympic champion Bryan Clay will not compete at last IAAF Combined Events Meeting of the year in Talence, France. He was too tired after all celebrations and functions at home and had no time for training or preprations. The women Olympic winner in heptathlon Natalya Dobrynska of Ukraine is there.
LONDON (GBR): The Guardian informs about following facts concerning the 100 m world record of Usain Bolt. Had the world record sprinter Usain Bolt not begun his chest-beating celebrations 20 metres before the finish of the Olympic 100 metres final in August he would have smashed his world record by a further 0.14 seconds, according to physicists who have analysed the race. The researchers have calculated that had he kept running he would have clocked up a time of 9.55 seconds.
ZURICH (SUI): The 7th Zurich Marathon 2009 will see an attractive change of the course. On April 26, 2009 the around 4500 participants will run through new Uetliberg Tunnell (4.4 km long) even before it is officially opened.
LONDON (GBR): Former excellent runner Brendan Foster, the founder of the world’s biggest half-marthon, is hoping that his latest venture will help him achieve his goal of using the 2012 Olympics to encourage more people to take up sport. Foster’s company Nova International are expecting 2,200 competitors to take part in the Great North Swim, a one mile across across Lake Windermere in Cumbria and the first mass-participation swim of its kind ever staged in Britain.
But to Foster the most important thing is the amount of ordinary people who are taking part in an event that joins an already impressive portfolio organised by Nova that includes the Great North Run, the half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields founded in 1981 and which now has a record 52,000 entrants, and a range of other road running events across the country that are held over a variety of distances.
LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics is pleased to announce that the Portuguese city of Leiria has been chosen to host the first ever SPAR European Team Championships in 2009. The Estadio Dr. MagalhÃ£es Pessoa stadium in Leiria (capacity 29 900), which previously hosted the second divisions of the European Cup in 2005 & 2008 was fully renovated for the soccer EURO 2004. The venues for the other leagues will be announced in October. Competing in Super League are Russia, Great Britain, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Ukraine, Greece, Sweden, Czech Republic and Portugal.
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, publisher.