Jacques Rogge is the President of the IOC. His tenure, since 2001, has been noted for the man’s sincere concern about performance enhancing drugs and their effects on the Olympic movement, increasing the standards of ethics in the IOC, and his belief in the importance of the Olympic movement. My biggest issue with M. Rogge is his underestimation of the Beijing LOC, the involvement of the Chinese government in the 2008 Games and the unexpected (for him) media response from the catering to the Beijing LOC.
My hope is that M. Rogge and the IOC has learnt from their experience in China. We shall see how much they learnt from future decisions, n’est-ce pas?
At this time, no candidate to compete with M. Rogge, so it could be a done deal…
YEGOROVA WOULD BE ALSO ALLOWED IN 2009
MOSCOW (RUS): Former 5000 m World champion Olga Yegorova is in latest Russian case banned in the same time frame as the other six. She was earlier this week banned for two years by Russian Federation, her ban starts on April 7, 2007 and so will be able to compete next year in summer. But as some sources are saying at 36 years of age she is considering a retirement. This year she was running only three 1500 m races, two in Spain (4th in Jerez and 11th in Madrid) and the heats at Russian Championships in July. In 2007 she will have cancelled seven big meetings appearances (best result 4:01.2 in Athens at Tsiklitiria).
KINGSTON (JAM): No sooner had Beijing Olympics 100m winner Shelly Ann Fraser delivered her plea to criminals in her Waterhouse community to silence their guns and seek to â€žlift up themselves” that those same guns barked again. Informs Laurie Foster. After the smoke had cleared there lay two dead bodies in the area called Moscow a stone’s throw from where the new champion used to live on Ashoka Road and where her Mother Maxine and two male siblings still call home. It all stemmed according to area police sources from a gang feud and the theft of a gun from men from one section and the double strike was the result in retaliation. Both men are from Penwood Road off which runs Ashoka Road at a point and from a distance covered in Beijing by Fraser in 10.78.
GREAT WALKS IN CHINA
XINTAI (CHN, Oct 23): Chinese walking championships started with having all male Olympians competing at 20 km. Best was 14th from 50 km race in Beijing Li Jianbo who clocked 1:20:47. The other participants from Olympic 50k were not so succesfull with Zhao Chengliang beeing 21st (1:26:39) and Ji Tianfeng did not finish. Second in the actual race was world junior best holder Li Jianbo who is still junior and achieved 1:21:06. Third place for Olympic 10th placer Chu Yafei (1:21:46). Dong Jimin who is also 20 km Olympian was 8th (1:23:12).The best Chinese walker at Olympics (4th at 20 km) still junior Wang Hao competed in his category at 10 km and won in new world junior road record 39:32. Second Wang Kun went also below the former mark (39:57 by Russian Aleksey Bartsaykin at World Cup in Cheboksary in May) with 39:35. There is to be noted that track world junior record is better 38:46.4 by Viktor Burayev of Russia in 2000. Also before IAAF started officially to ratify junior road records faster times than 39:32 are registered, the best 38:16 by another Russian Vladimir Kanaykin from 2004 (interestingly he is currently banned for doping). In the Youth category also very fast 40:03 by 15 years old Wang Zhen which equals the fastest road youth time 40:03 by Russian Aleksandr Strokov in 1999. But faster on the track was this year Chinese Ding Chen (39:47.20 as second in Bydgoszcz at World Juniors) who did not compete at the nationals.
In the women 20 km Athens Olympian Jiang Jing won in very good 1:27:23 (11th place in yearly world lists) and missed her best from 2005 only by four seconds. Shi Na who was 13th at Olympics was second in 1:28:50. The best Chinese female walker at Olympics Liu Hong (4th) did not compete. The third Olympian Yang Mingxia (dq in Beijing) was second in junior 20 km with 1:31:37. She was beaten by World Juniors bronze medalist Li Yanfei who improved to 1:31:26. Youth winner at 10 km Li Hua achieved 47:36. Informs Tilastopaja.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CLUB CUP ROAD RACING
ALMEIRIM/MELFI (POR/ITA): This weekend not only strong marathons will be staged but also European Champions Club Cup events in road racing. Men will compete on Saturday in Half-Marathon in Almeirim, Portugal (21st edition) and women at 15 km in Melfi, Italy (23rd edition). In the men section home title defenders, the runners of Maratona Clube de Portugal (for example Rui Pedro Silva) and Conforlimpa (Paulo Gomes) are the main favorites. Also to note the Spanish team of Guadalajara and French of ASC Francophone. Italian Corradini Excelsior will be headed by 2004 Olympic marathon winner Stefano Baldini.
In the women race home Italian Runner Team 99 from Volpiano will boost on Bahraini Nadia Ejjafini. Also here to note Maratona Clube de Portugal, they will be lead by Jessica Augusto. Second Portugal team will be Sporting Clube de Braga. Russian Club from Moscow is another favorite with 2:24 marathon runner Irina Timofeyeva and bronze medal winner from European marathon in Goteborg 2006 Irina Permitina.
VIENNA (AUT): Austrian Anti-doping agency NADA banned runner Susanne Pumper for two years. The 38-years old athlete was twice last spring tested positive for EPO. The ban starts on March 9, 2008. She is European Indoor silver medalist 2005 at 3000 m and has a marathon PB 2:32:21 from 2006. Her first positive test was after a Half-Marathon in Wien on March 8 where she was second in 74:12. She is also national track record holder at 3000, 5000 and 10 000 metres. Pumper thinks she is innocent and wants to take her case to CAS in Lausanne.
ISINBAYEVA WOMEN OF THE YEAR
MOSCOW (RUS): Pole Vault Queen Yelena Isinbayeva was named Woman of the Year 2008 by Russian version of the magazine Glamour. First time ever a track athlete got this title, the ceremony was organised in one of top hotels of Moscow Metropole. IsinbayevaÂ´s photo is also on the cover of the latest (November) issue of the magazine (www.glamour.ru).
ROGGE WANTS TO CONTINUE
LAUSANNE (SUI): As agencies are informing IOC President Jacques Rogge informed that he intends to stand for a second term in office. He was first elected in 2001 for an eight-year term and he had sent a letter to all members saying he would run for a second term during the election to be held next year in Copenhagen, Denmark. No other IOC member has announced intention to run for the position of president and Rogge is likely to win unopposed.
LONDON (GBR): Disgraced sprinter Dwain Chambers admitted he would have continued taking banned performance-enhancing drugs if he had not been caught. The Londoner champion was the first high-profile victim of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (Balco) scandal when he tested positive for the previously undetectable designer anabolic steroid Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) after being exclusively exposed by Duncan Mackay, the publisher and editor of insidethegames, five years ago today. At a doping symposium hosted by the London law firm Charles Russell, Chambers was asked if he would have still been on a drugs regime devised by Balco founder Victor Conte if scientists had not found a test for THG. Chambers said he would not wish anybody to experience the agony he had gone through since the positive test.
But Chambers is pleased that Charles van Commenee, the new head coach of UK Athletics, has said that he will be welcomed back next year if he qualifies for the World Championships in Berlin. Chambers said: â€žIt’s pleasing to know that we can move forward and people are not just concerned with the question of whether Dwain should be here or not. I just want to get back on the rostrum again and hopefully be invited to British meets.”
LONDON (GBR): England Athletics are to make between 15 to 20 staff redundant in a restructuring of their nine semi-autonomous regional business units into a single national team designed to boost the sport in the build-up to London 2012. The decision, which comes after intensive consultation across the sport in the past 12 months, will allow approximately GBP 500,000 to be made available to clubs and includes a new coaching initiative. Three main future objectives after reorganisation are aimed at attracting more participation across a wider cross-section of the community, improving the quality of experience of every participant and supporting the development of the next generation of champions. Informs insidethegames.com.
NEW YORK (USA): The average runner or sports fan has no hope of winning the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 2, but under a new promotion announced today by race organizers he or she could win a new car on race day nonetheless. The promotion, called Pick & Drive, invites fans to pick the top-3 male and female finishers of the race by logging on to http://www.pickanddrive.com, reviewing a list of the race’s top-10 entrants, and locking in their selections for the podium. Fans who select the top-3 in order will be entered into a drawing for a new Toyota Prius hybrid. The winners will be announced on Monday, Nov. 3, at the race’s traditional post race press conference. Informs Race Results Weekly.
LONDON (GBR): Sebastian Coe and his former great rival Steve Ovett head the inductees into a new Hall of Fame for England’s greatest-ever athletes.
Coe and Ovett, whose middle-distance rivarly in the late 1970s and early 1980s has been credited with helping turn athletics into the global multi-million pound industry it is now, are among six athletes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame established by England Athletics. As insidethegames.com informs, the others are Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to break four minutes for the mile, David Hemery, the 1968 Olympic 400 metres hurdles champion, Sally Gunnell, the 1992 Olympic and 1993 world 400m hurdles champion, Daley Thompson, the 1980 and 1984 Olympic decathlon champion, and David Holding, one of Britain’s most successful ever wheelchair athletes who won the 100m at the 1996 Paralympics and four London Marathon titles.
NEW DELHI (IND): India announced that it plans to invest R678 billion (GBP 8.4 million) to try to help its country’s sportsmen and women be successful at London 2012. The country’s Sports Minister M S Gill today told the Indian Parliament that the Government will make the investment during the next three years for strengthening the country’s infrastructure and hiring foreign coaches to train athletes. India has set a target of 10 medals for 2012.
NEW YORK (USA): In an e-mail to RunningTimes.com, former world class track runner Zola Budd-Pieterse confirmed that she’ll be running the New York City Marathon on Nov. 2. â€žI guess I cannot say I will be racing it, but something between a run and a jog,” the South African former great talent wrote. Now a resident of Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, the 42-year-old mother of three recently won a half marathon in 1:25. She’ll be profiled in the May issue of the magazine.
OAKLAND (USA): Former, University of Louisville, All-American runner Wesley Korir (25) joined Elite Athletes Network yesterday and will be represented by Karen Locke. Korir is a native of Eldoret, Kenya. He resides in Kentucky. Earlier this month while testing his fitness, he finished the Chicago Marathon in a respectable debut in tough condition. He ran a time of 2:13.53 to record the fourth best time of the day, while winning the citizen’s race. Wesley began his race 5 minutes behind the elite field. He managed to catch up and pass most of them, despite being five minutes behind.
PARIS (FRA): After 8 years of long administrative procedures, the trial of Carmen Hodos and her husband Silvio for violation to the anti-doping laws was set to start this morning in Paris. Carmen Hodos is a former Romanian international athlete (long jump and sprints) who settled in France in 1977 where she became a successful combined events coach in the 1980s (with athletes like William Motti and Christian Plaziat). The pair, who is also known for managing some leading athletes from Romania, was arrested for possession of illegal substances during the spring 2000. They are facing several months in jail and a big fine, l’Equipe informs.
FRANKFURT (GER): Germany’s oldest city marathon, the Dresdner Kleinwort Frankurt Marathon is fast on its way to becoming one of Europe’s best. Writes Pat Butcher. Favourites for Sunday’s 27th race are led by William Kiplagat and Vincent Kipsos of Kenya, both of whom have run sub-2:07, and colleague Ben Maiyo, whose best is 2:07:09. But the sub-60min ‘half’ (59.41) by another Kenyan, Benson Barus in Italy a month ago suggests that his best of 2:08:34 is in for revision. And there is also the intriguing prospect of a match betweeen two former steeplechase world record holders, Bernard Barmasai and Wilson Boit Kipketer. The course record, 2:07:32 is held by three-time winner, Wilfrid Kigen, who has opted for New York this year. But anyone beating his time collects close to a six-figure sum, ie 95,000 euros, with the overwhelming likelihood that it will be a Kenyan for the seventh year in succession. The women’s race is shaping up to be a Germany v Russia contest. The two nations are just about the only European countries with more than one elite marathoner, on the women’s side. And Frankfurt pitches 2007 winner, Melanie Kraus, best of 2:27:58, and German colleague, Sabrina Mockenhaupt (13th in the Beijing 10,000m) against the Nurgalieva twins from Perm in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Olesya won in 2004, with Yelena a second behind. This will be a welcome return, since they have spent the interim period exchanging victories in the South African ‘ultra’ races, such as the Comrades Marathon, and the Two Oceans event. Mockenhaupt made her marathon debut last year, winning in KÃ¶ln (Cologne) in 2:29:33. But Mockenhaupt admits she has other targets. The ‘family’ record is 2.24.59, set by her father Alfred almost 20 years ago. The race is expected to draw over 12,500 runners, with over 20,000 in all events, for the first time.
VENICE (ITA): Aniko Kalovics from Hungary and Kenya’s former Venice marathon winner Raymond Kipkoech are the main names at the 23rd edition of the Venice Marathon Trofeo Casinoâ€š di Venezia on Sunday. Writes Diego Sampaolo for IAAF. In total 6000 runners are expected. Funds are being raised by the race for the charitable project – Run for Water- Run for Life. Prominent guests will be 50 km walk Olympic winner Alex Schwazer and â€žBlade Runner” Oscar Pistorius. Kalovics is a well-known name at Italian marathon. The Hungarian, who holds the national record which she set in Carpi 2006 when running 2:26:43, will attack the course record which was established by Lenah Cheruiyot in 2007 (2:27:02). Her main challenge should come from Kenyan Anne Kosgei, who knows the course from Straâ€š to Venice very well since she finished second in the Venice Marathon in 2002 and 2007 with a PB set in the last edition with 2:28:27. Another major contender is Russia’s Natalya Volgina who set her PB of 2:27:10 in the Paris Marathon in 2006.
Raymond Kipkoech, who took a very narrow win over Italian Danilo Goffi in the 2004 edition with a time of 2:09:54, returns to Venice. Kipkoech ran his best marathon race in 2002 when setting a PB of 2:06:47 to win the Berlin Marathon. In Venice, Kipkoech will face compatriot Daniel Yego, whose PB of 2:08:16 was clocked when he finished third in Rome in 2005. Ethiopia’s Teferi Wodajo Kure who finished fourth in Seoul in 2:08:11 in 2004, is another possible challenger for top honours. Francesco Bennici, second in the Turin Marathon in 2:11:15, carries Italian hopes.
ISTANBUL (TUR): The jubilee 30th Eurasia Marathon of Istanbul will have this Sunday a special guest. The best marathoner ever Haile Gebrselassie will be the prominent guest of the event. The Intercontinental race starts from the Asian side of Istanbul, and ends on the European side, on route passing the most beautiful sights of the city. The prize money offered is huge 1 million USD with first prize beeing 60 000 USD. Great motivation is set for home runners, for new Turkish record is offered a car and if a home runner will be in top 3 his prize money will be doubled. Last year Kenyan David Cheruiyot clocked a new course record 2:10:56, this year he is not competing but a strong group of his team-mates will be of course there. Laban Kipkemboi for example is 6th from this year Hamburg (2:09:46) and has a 2:08:38 PB from last year in Seoul. Others to note are Paul Lokira (2:10:18), Matthew Sigei (2:09:17), Belgrade 2007 winner John Katio, Stockholm 2008 winner Willy Korir and Mexico-bound Isaac Kimaiyo. Leonard Mucheru of Kenya (2:11:08 PB last year here), formerly Musir Salem Jawher of Bahrain who had difficulties with his citizenship and passport after winning a marathon in Israel earlier in 2007.
Another strong group will be the Ethiopians with this years Marrakesh winner Debele Lemma (2:10:48), Houston 2007 winner Feyissa Katera (2:11:39) and Asnake Fekadu with 2:10:27 PB. Top home runners with national title defender Abdil Ceylan will vie for the best European placing along with Moldavian record holder Iaroslav Muschinski who achieved his mark last year in Istanbul as 6th (2:11:59). In the women race course record holder and 2006 winner Russian Madina Biktagirova is returning. The 44-years old runner clocked here before two years 2:28:21. Second from last years PolandÂ´s Malgorzata Sobanska (39, 2:26:08 PB) is also running along with second from 2006 and fourth in 2007 here another Russian Lilya Yadzhak (2:29:22 best here in 2006). From the Africans 3rd and 4th from this year Paris Marathon are Kenan Lenah Cheruiyot (2:26:00) and Ethiopian Shitaye Gemechu (2:26:10). Last year winner Atsede Bayisa from Ethiopia (2:29:05) is not competing.
Also strong 15 km race will be staged. Home runner Selim Bayrak and Romanian Luminita Talpos are the top names against group of Kenyans.
Also to note marathons in Nairobi, Lausanne, Porto, Ciudad Real, Ljubljana, Brabant, Chuncheon, Marine Corp, Niagara Falls and on Monday the Dublin Marathon. Also to mention is the Portsmouth ten miler with Paula Radcliffe and Luke Kibet and a 30th classical race Marseille-Cassis at 20.308 km (men favorites Kenyan Wilson Chebet and Dieudonne Disi of Rwanda and women Kenyan Ines Chenonge with Ethiopian Merima Hashim), both on Sunday.
On the behind the scenes note, Tirunesh Dibaba and Sileshi Sihine will be married this weekend and agent Paul Doyle is organising a big end of the season party for his athletes in Las Vegas.
Used with permission of Alfons Juck.
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