Boston Field is Loaded! by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Boston Marathon elite coordinator Pat Lynch is a man of few words. His actions do all of the talking. And his travels this past fall and winter, show the depths to which he has searched to make the 2009 Boston Marathon a tremendously competitive field on the elite level.

(Kara Goucher racing this winter, photo by

Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher will have their hands full in Boston this coming April! It is one thing to load the field, but the 113th running of the Boston marathon will feature the likes of defending champions Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and Dire Tune of Ethiopia, but also, Evans Cheruiyot (Bof A Chicago), Deribe Merga (09 Chevron Houston), plus Lidia Grigoryeva and Galina Bogomolova.

I will go out on the limb here and say that Hall and Goucher will bring more excitement to the 113th running than anyone in the past twenty-five years. Yes, it is because they are American athletes. An American winning at Boston, NYC, Chicago, London, Berlin is a huge thing, but especially Boston!

(Ryan Hall racing in London, 2008, photo by


Fields for Boston

BOSTON (USA): Organizers of the Boston Marathon announced that they have completed their elite fields for the 113th edition of the race scheduled for Monday, April 20. In addition to defending champions, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and Dire Tune of Ethiopia, and key USA challengers, Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher, who had been previously announced, elite athlete coordinator Pat Lynch has signed an additional group of strong challengers. On the men's side, 2008 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya (2:06:25 PB), has been added along with Beijing Olympics fourth-placer and 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon champion Deribe Merga of Ethiopia (2:06:38). Other men who will toe the race's famous starting line in Hopkinton include Kenyans Daniel Rono (2:06:58), Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (2:07:21), Timothy Cherigat (2:09:34), and Stephen Kiogora (2:08:24). Ethiopians Gashaw Melese Asfaw (2:08:03), Solomon Molla (2:08:46) and Abebe Dinkesa (debut) are also in the field. On the women's side, two Russian stars, Lidia Grigoryeva and Galina Bogomolova, should offer Tune a strong challenge. Grigoryeva won Chicago in 2008 and Boston in 2007, and has a personal best time of 2:25:10. The tiny Bogomolova is the Russian record holder with a 2:20:47 to her credit. The 2009 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon champion, Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia (2:23:09 PB) is definitely a contender for victory, and so is veteran Salina Kosgei of Kenya (2:23:22) who finished 10th in the Beijing Olympics. Helena Loshanyang Kirop of Kenya (2:25:01 PB), Atsede Habtamu of Ethiopia (2:25:17) and Alice Timbilili of Kenya (2:26:45) are also in the field. Informs Race Results Weekly.

Nartov wins Ukrainian High Jump title

SUMY (UKR, Feb 19): During second day of Ukrainian national indoor championships tough high jump battles were expected. But as Vita Styopina and Vita Palamar did not compete the title went to Natalya Gapchuk with 186. On the men side European Junior Champion 2007 Oleksandr Nartov prevailed on count-back with 225 (all heights in first) over World Champion 2005 Yuri Krimarenko and Andriy Protsenko who tied for second also with 225 (both two misses at 220). Only tied for fourth Viktor Shapoval with 220 (he jumped 233 already this year) along with Vitaliy Samoylenko. Sixth World junior medallist 2008 Bohdan Bondarenko and seventh veteran Andriy Sokolovskiy also achieved 220. In long jump Oleksiy Kasaynov got the title for 782 and in pole Vault Oleksandr Korchmyd for 550. Good 400 m winning times for hurdler Stanyslav Melnikov (46.97) and Natalya Pigida (52.72). Multi events titles for Evgen Nikitin (5740 in Heptathlon) and Viktoriya Dobrynska (4298 in Pentathlon with good high jump 188).

Latest cases confirmed

MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF confirmed lately 8 doping cases. Already known three from Bulgaria headed by world class sprinter Tezdzhan Naimova who is banned until end of September 2010 what means she will miss 2009 World Championships and 2010 European Championships. Also confirmed Vania Netova and Raya Stoynova from Bulgaria for two years. Hungarian veteran walker Ferenc Major was positive at Austrian Walking Championships in September last year and is banned for two years. Chinese male athlete Qi Zhang was banned for four years for anabolic agent in his sample taken out of competition. Iranian 400 m hurdler Taher Gerafar (53 seconds level) was banned for two years and remaining two cases are minor offences (1 and 3 months).

New director in Hengelo

HENGELO (NED): Jan Arie Bijl follows Fedde Zwanenburg as director of the FBK Games in Hengelo (IAAF Grand Prix Meet). Informs the Dutch federation website.
The 42-years old Bijl is since 2001 Head of Communications at the municipality of Hengelo and from that function has been involved in international athletics competition in Hengelo. Bijl will begin on April 1, 2009 at FBK Games and will work together with Fedde Zwanenburg until 2010. The current director of the event is working on behalf of the meet since 1981.

Bolt again running

KINGSTON (JAM): The UWI Gatorade Invitational Meet, focusing on post-secondary athletes for the development of collegiate sports will feature such stars like Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser this Saturday at National Stadium, writes Jamaica Observer. The 12-hour-long invitational will have MVP Track Club president Bruce James as meet director. Bolt is scheduled to run again a 400 m race. Last Saturday he clocked 46.35.

Hurtis ends the season

PARIS (FRA): French sprinter Muriel Hurtis has endeed her season after feeling pain in her left quad, last Friday in Bercy. She'll now move her focus on the World Championships in Berlin, but her near future is not clear. Her coach Jacques Piasenta is threatening not to work with her any more, angered by a federation's rule making all relay training camp mandatory for a sprinter to qualify as an individual. "I've nothing against Muriel, but this rule is an "ukase". I can't coach her properly in these conditions. For the athletes and the sponsors, individual events matter" Piasenta declared. A former relay coach until 2000, he added that he knows from experience that so many gatherings are not necessary to be ready for the relay. Relay coach Vincent Clarico stands on his ground: "The rules are clear and have to be respected. And it only reprensents 14 days in a year", l'Equipe informs.

Critical Perec
PARIS (FRA): Former Olympic champion Marie-José Pérec has joined French Caribbean sportsmen voicing their concern about unrest in Guadeloupe and asking for more government involvement to solve the matter. On the subject of sport she declared "We all know the good level of sportsmen in Guadeloupe and France's overseas territories. But why haven't we been able to keep those talents and offer them good training conditions at home? They are sent to mainland France and uprooted instead. When I see that Swedish heptathlete Carolina Klüft comes for training camp in Martinique... and we don't even have the idea to set up a training camp for our own athletes in Guadeloupe !", L'Equipe informs.


SHANGHAI (CHN, Feb 19): During second day of National Indoor Grand Prix meet Yin Jing equalled his 60 m Hurdles PB with good 7.64. Su Xiangfeng improved to 795 in Long Jump and on women side Li Li achieved 17.25 in Shot Put. Informs Tilastopaja.

ADLER (RUS, Feb 18): Bogdan Pischalnikov won the men discus at Russian Winter Throwing Championships with 59.35 m.

YALTA (RUS, Feb 19): Foreign guests dominated during Thursday programme at Ukrainian Winter Throwing Championships. Moldavian record holder Zalina Marghieva won women hammer with 70.40 over Iryna Sekachova (67.00). In men hammer Tajikistan Olympic finalist Dilshod Nazarov got 75.62 and won by 2 cm over Artem Rubanko (75.60). Solid marks in women javelin as world junior champion Vira Rebryk achieved 59.43 and Margarita Dorozhon 59.32 m.


LEIPZIG (GER): At the German championships which will take place in Leipzig on February 21st and 22nd, the pole vault is - as usual - the most exciting event as not only titles can be gained but it is also the trial for Torino. The lists for the men's pole vault (four qualifiers so far) are headed by Tobias Scherbarth (5,76m), followed by European indoors champion Danny Ecker, ex-World indoors champion Tim Lobinger and U20 World champion Raphael Holzdeppe. There are not less than six women who have already achieved the qualification for Torino. The list is headed by Silke Spiegelburg, Carolin Hingst and Anna Battke. Carsten Schlangen and Antje Moeldner will try to run the qualification time in the 1.500m event whereas Charles Friedek and David Storl hope to get a ticket to Torino in the triple jump and shot put respectively. The high jump is another highlight with Raul Spank and Tim Riedel (new PB 2,27m) in the men's competition and top star Ariane Friedrich with a recent new PB of 2,05m. The 60m hurdles promise a hot duell between Carolin Nytra and Nadine Hildebrand. The 800m title will be battled between Rene Bauschinger and Sebastian Keiner. After seven months absence due to ruptured achilles, long jumper Bianca Kappler is supposed to come back and face Melanie Bauschke, Urszula Gutowicz-Westhof and Sophie Krauel. The German Athletics Federation (DLV) will send a team of approximately 30 to 35 athletes to Torino.

TORINO (ITA): This weekend at Torino, the Oval Lingotto with a capacity of 5.000 spectators and the site of European Indoor Championships will stage the 40th edition of the Italian indoors championships. Eight years ago, in 2001, they were held at the Palavela. The highlights will be the 60m with Fabio Cerutti who recently ran 6,58s in Karlsruhe and who will face Simone Collio. Pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco is in good shape after a training camp with Gennady Potapovich. As world star Andrew Howe cannot participate because of an injury, 800m runner Elisa Cusma could become the star of the National indoors championships and Italy's big medal hope for the European indoors championships.


The French indoor championships will be held this weekend in Lievin and not in Aubiere as previously stated.

-- Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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