The elite season indoor season in the US is underway. Millrose (Jan. 30), Reebok Boston Indoor Games ( Feb. 7) and Tyson (Feb. 13) are three of the four key elite events. All three have the assistance or management of the Globa Athletics & Marketing team. One week after handling the gargantuan Millrose Games, GAM is home in Boston, putting on the meet that made them famous-Reebok Boston Indoor Games, which they founded in 1996.
The two plus hours that GAM manages in Boston are two of the most entertaining hours in all of track & field. The Reggie Lewis Center, the Mondo 200 meter track, the crowd, already sold out of 6,000, and the art of putting together great competitions show that our sport is about the competition!
For more on Reebok Boston, please check out http://www.BostonIndoorGames.com
EME NEWS (FEB 5, 2009)
HOWE TO MISS TORINO
ROMA (ITA): One of the biggest medal hopes of the host country will miss it. Reigning European Champion 2006 and title defender from Birmingham 2007 Long Jumper Andrew Howe will not be able to compete at the European Indoor Championships in Torino. He will need 20 days of rest to treat a muscular lesion in his right thigh. â€žI have no tears to cry. I am very disappointed. It is not possible. I don’t know what I can do”, said Howe for La Gazzetta dello Sport. He got the injury in Moscow during the Russian Winter where he won with 802 last Sunday.
PAVLIY AS FIRST EUROPEAN UNDER 8 SECONDS THIS YEAR
KRASNODAR (RUS, Feb 4): At Gubernator Cup the Russian winter winner Tatyana Pavliy clocked 7.99 PB at 60 m Hurdles and is the first European this winter with sub 8 seconds. Second Anastasiya Solovyova improved to 8.06 and 2004 olympic finalist Irina Shevchenko achieved 8.15. World leader Olga Kucherenko confirmed great shape with second best of the season 680 cm. World indoor champion Yevgeniy Lukyanenko cleared 550 to win the Pole vault. Former world indoor medalist Andrey Yepishin was beaten to third at 60 m (6.75 â€“ Aleksandr Volkov 6.73 and Sagim Gamzatov 6.75) but clocked 6.67 in heats.
HAMMER THROWING IN SNOW
STAIKI (BLR, Feb 4): Belarus Winter Throwing championships were held in Olympic Sports Facility in Staiki (near Minsk) in snowy and cold (below zero) conditions. Despite this reigning European U23 Champion Yuriy Shayonov won the men competition with PB 78.69 already in first throw. From top throwers only Valeriy Svyatokho was competing (5th, 70.67). Olympic finalist Darya Pchelnik was the best woman with solid 71.30, also in first throw. Marina Bukhsa won the women javelin (57.27). The event was the main qualifier for European Cup Winter Throwing in March in Spain. Interestingly, during first day when junior competition was held, the temperature was 18 degrees below zero.
LOS ANGELES (USA): With a new Memorial Day date and under new ownership, organizers of the City of Los Angeles Marathon announced a 200,000 USD guaranteed prize money purse, clearly signaling that elite athletes would be an important part of their race formula for 2009. The 24th edition of the event is scheduled for Monday, May 25, twelve weeks later than its traditional date on the first weekend of March. The male and female race winners will each earn $20,000 in cash, and receive a 2009 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L V6 with a retail value of $28,705, organizers said. Informs Race Results Weekly. The race will also retain its “challenge” bonus of 100 000 USD awarded to the first athlete, male or female, to cross the finish line based on an as yet undetermined headstart for the women. Organizers also announced that the race would revert to the loop course used for the 2005 and 2006 editions of the event, which starts and finishes downtown. Kenya’s Benson Cherono (2:08:40) and Russia’s Lidiya Grigoryeva (2:25:10) established the event records on this course in 2006.
AUCKLAND (NZL): Shot Put Olympic and world winner Valerie Vili received New Zealand’s ultimate sporting prize, the Halberg Award, for the second consecutive year. The 24-year-old emerged as the big winner at the awards dinner, repeating her performance of last year by winning the sportswoman of the year category and then claiming the supreme award. She is only the third female to twice capture the big prize in the 60-year history of the awards, first won by cricketer Bert Sutcliffe in 1949. Informs nzherald.
VALENCIA (ESP): Ciudad de Valencia indoor IAAF permit on February 14 will see great female 3000 m race. Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu who holds the second best ever indoor 3000 m will clash with Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot who is the silver winner from Osaka 2007 World Championships.
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK): Spanish High Jump record holder Ruth Beitia (this season 198) is the latest edition to the field of 16th Europa SC High Jump meet in Slovakia (February 11). She will be the right rival for world leader Blanka Vlasic of Croatia who is in Banska Bystrica like at home, coming there for fourth time in a row. Vlasic achieved here her still valid national record 205 back in 2006. Beitia missed very closely two metres on Wednesday in Brno. Also jumping Ukrainian Olympic medallist Vita Styopina, best Czech Iva Strakova and French record holder Melanie Skotnik. In the men competition the three favourites are SwedenÂ´s Linus Thornblad, US Malmo winner Jesse Williams and German Olympic fifth placer Raul Spank. Also in the field recent Ukrainian improvement Viktor Shapoval (233) and Briton Samson Oni who missed 233 in Glasgow last weekend.
LIEVIN (FRA): After reconstruction of the hall the top French indoor fixture Meeting du Pas de Calais is returning next Tuesday (last time held in 2006). In the rich history 8 world indoor records have been broken in the hall in the past. This year it will be the 20th edition. Special highlight could be the mile with world champion Bernard Lagat, European champion Mehdi Baala and world indoor champion Deresse Mekonnen. Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles should run against world champion 2005 Ladji Doucoure. New European record could be realistic at 300 m in case the oval will have the same qualities as the previous one. Current record holder Johan Wissman of Sweden (32.61 in Lievin 2006) competes against current world leader Maksim Dyldin of Russia (32.93). Canadian Olympic medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep is the star of 60 m Hurdles and menÂ´s 60 m will have interesting additions to the classic field with long jump world champion Dwight Phillips and fast from US (6.55) Carlos Moore along with home European record holder Ronald Pognon (he opens in Stuttgart during the weekend). Two jumping events will be of high quality. WomenÂ´s triple jump will see world champion Yargelis Savigne, Slovenian record holder Marija Sestak, Yamile Aldama of Sudan, Magdelin Martinez from Italy and Russians Anna Pyatykh with Oksana Udmurtova. In the men Long jump top Cubans Ibrahim Camejo (Olympic medallist) and Wilfred Martinez will jump against home Salim Sdiri and Czech Olympic 8th placer Roman Novotny.
PREVIEWS OF TOP MEETS FOR THIS WEEKEND
BOSTON (USA): Mark WetmoreÂ´s Global Sports Management did not have too much time to rest, after Millrose Games another US top meet (and VISA Championship series event) will be staged in Reggie Lewis Center this Saturday. The Reebok Boston Indoor Games are offering plenty of interesting moments. Millrose Mile winner Kara Goucher will run the 3000 m, but clearly stated her main goal is to win the Boston Marathon in spring. The organizers announced that 25,000 USD record bonuses are being offered for a World Record in men’s Pole Vault, a World or American Record in the women’s Pole Vault and an American Record in the women’s 5000m. Australian Steve Hooker after his 601 season opening in New York is full of confidence: “I had a really good training session here. I think I can jump higher than on Friday, need to improve some technical points and we will have the same runway what is good,” he was quoted. Also Jenn Stuczynski will be ready to attack the US record in women Pole vault and Shalane Flanagan at 5000 m (against Ejegayehu Dibaba as her sister Tirunesh is missing). Here the target is 15:07.33 what could be highly possible for Flanagan. AustraliaÂ´s Sara Jamieson is the top name in women mile and the men race should see a battle between Olympic medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand against Allan Webb. Kenyan talent Boaz Lalang will clash with Nick Symmonds at 1000 m. In the sprints the men 60 m has similar field as in Madison Square Garden with world leader Mike Rodgers but also Travis Padgett after false starting in NY and new addition is Olympian Darvis Patton. Bianca Knight at 60 m for women and Terrence Trammell at 60 m Hurdles are on the best way to repeat Millrose wins. It will be also interesting to see 2005 world champion Tianna Madison in Long Jump as she recently showed an excellent speed improvement.
STUTTGART (GER): The Sparkassen Cup in the Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart is one of the best indoor meets in the world (IAAF Permit) and so are the fields for this years edition (the meet started in 1987). It is clear that the world lists 2009 will be dramatically changed. Very strong the distance races. MenÂ´s 800 m will see the battle of last two Olympic winners Wilfred Bungei and Yuriy Borzakovskiy along with Beijing silver medalist Ahmed Ismail of Sudan. His team-mate and world junior record holder Abubaker Kaki runs the 1000 m in attempt for world indoor record against European champion Mehdi Baala of France. World champion 2007 Bernard Lagat competes at 3000 m and current world leader and world indoor champion Derese Mekonnen of Ethiopia the 1500 m. Meseret Defar aims to improve her own world indoor record at 3000 m. But that is not all.Lolo Jones the world indoor champion is the star of the women 60 m Hurdles race. Men race should see David Oliver as the main name because Dayron Robles is a late cancellation. Good quality group of sprinters can aim for breaking 6.60 at 60 m (the fastest this year from them is Craig Pickering with 6.57). In technical events the biggest star is Croatian High Jump world champion Blanka Vlasic. In both pole vaults also very solid fields. Russian Yevgeniy Lukyanenko and French Romain Mesnil will fight against home armada and fresh South American record holder Fabiana Murer is the favorite in women competition. Late cancellations are both top 1500 m women runners Gelete Burka and Gulnara Samitova-Galkina.
GENT (BEL): The jubilee 20th edition of KBC Indoor Vlaanderen (IAAF Permit) in Gent will see as top highlights the womenÂ´s 60 m Hurdles where Olympic medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada will run against another Olympic finalist Sara Claxton of Great Britain. Fast 1500 m is expected because Kenyans Haron Keitany (recently world leading 1000 m in Moscow) and Daniel Kipchirchir Komen will be there. Russian Natalya Yevdokimova is the star of women mile, menÂ´s 800m will see nice European participation against Ali Bilal Mansour of Bahrain. BahamaÂ´s Chandra Sturrup is the main name for women 60 m and Russian relay Olympic winners Yulia Guschchina and Yulia Chermoshanskaya at 200 m. Former world champion Vyacheslav Voronin is the top name for High Jump and his team-mate Pavel Gerasimov for Pole Vault. Here home Kevin Rans is planning to confirm his qualification mark for Torino. Unfortunately top stars of Belgian athletics finished their careers (Kim Gevaert, Tia Hellebaut) but, both will be there supporting the meet.
ARNSTADT (GER): The traditional German high jump fixture in Arnstadt is considered one of the best in the world in its category. This Saturday it will be already the 33rd edition. The fields are not big but of high quality. World leader Ivan Ukhov (235) is the top name in men competition, but also in the field Olympic medalist Yaroslav Rybakov, home star Raul Spank, SwedenÂ´s number one Linus Thornblad, US Jesse Williams who cleared 232 in Malmo, sensationally improved Ukrainian Viktor Shapoval (233 this season) and two Czechs Jaroslav Baba with Tomas Janku. In the women competition all eyes will be at German star Ariane Friedrich who jumped already twice two metres and is unbeaten in her three competitions of the season. Ukrainian Olympic medalist Viktoria Styopina competes along with strong Russian group headed by Svetlana Shkolina, Czech Iva Strakova is not missing too along with French record holder Melanie Skotnik. Only number one Blanka Vlasic is not there as she competes in Stuttgart on the same day.
TALLINN (EST): The Reval Hotels Cup this weekend in Tallinn, Estonia is the only one international meeting date for combined eventers in the indoor season. The 12th annual of the European Athletics Indoor Permit will have strong line-up in men heptathlon. As five athletes can qualify to European Indoor Championships based on this year results it is very important for some of the participants. Mainly for Estonian Andres Raja. Other favorites like German world indoor champion 2006 Andre Niklaus and Russian European medalist Aleksey Drozdov have the possibility to qualify based on their last year decathlon score. Belarus Aleksandr Parkhomenko is another favorite. Not fighting for Torino, but for win will be Cuban group headed by Olympic bronze medalist Leonel Suarez along with his team-mates Yordani Garcia and Yunior Diaz. In women pentathlon Czech record holder Denisa Rosolova who won last weekend the match in Spain along with SwedenÂ´s Jessica Samuelsson and Dutch Yvonne Wisse are the top names. Organisers had bad luck with cancellations the days before the meet as Andrey Kravchenko, Roman Sebrle and Maurice Smith all withdrew due to injuries.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME NEWS.
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