Will Yelena Isinbayeva Set WR in Praha on Thursday? by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Yelana Isinbayeva has one more indoor competition, in Praha, the Czech Republic on Thursday, February 26, 2009. As Isinbayeva is not going to Torino for the European Indoor Championships, but taking a break before the long outdoor season, she is planning her attempt to break her own world record of 5.00 m, with attempts at 5.01m and perhaps, 5.02m! Stay tuned! Photo by PhotoRun.net


ROTTERDAM/TOKYO (NED/JPN): Both the Fortis Marathon Rotterdam on April 5, and the Tokyo Marathon on March 22, will feature very strong international fields, organizers informed. Rotterdam race director Mario Kadiks has recruited three men who have run sub-2:07, and will play host to the marathon debut of one of the world's top half-marathoners. Course record holder William Kipsang (2:05:49 PB), Abel Kirui (2:06:53) and Richard Limo (2:06:45) are the top entrants. The three Kenyans will be joined by countrymen Duncan Kibet (2:07:53) and Jackson Kipkoech (2:08:07) amongst others. But the Rotterdam race favorite has yet to run a marathon. Two-time IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist Patrick Makau will make his debut in Rotterdam. With two sub-59 minute half-marathons to his credit, Makau is the second-fastest half-marathoner of all-time. He just won last Friday's RAK Half-Marathon in the United Arab Emirates in a course record 58:52. Kenyan Lydia Cheromei (2:25:57 PB) and Romanian Adriana Pirtea (2:28:52) are the top women's entrants in Rotterdam. The marathon in Tokyo will be historic. Not only it will be the largest-ever marathon in Japan with about 30,000 runners, but it is the first to have both elite men's and women's fields in the same race, combined with publicly disclosed prize money. Kenyan veteran Sammy Korir, the third-fastest marathoner of all-time with a 2:04:56 PB, leads the entry list on time, but compatriots Daniel Njenga (2:06:16) and Salim Kipsang (2:07:29) may be bigger threats for victory now. Other international entrants include Ukrainian Dmytro Baranovsky (2:07:15), Kenyan Julius Gitahi (2:08:57), Ethiopian Moges Taye (2:09:21), and American Justin Young (2:13:54). The Japanese squad is very powerful, led by national record holder Toshinari Takaoka (2:06:16), Atsushi Fujita (2:06:51), and 2005 World Championships bronze medalist Tsuyoshi Ogata (2:08:37). Arata Fujiwara (2:08:40), Tomoyuki Sato (2:09:43), and Kurao Umeki (2:09:52) are also in the field. Last year's Boston Marathon runner-up, Alevtina Biktimirova of Russia, leads the list of top international women with a 2:25:12 career best. Kenya's Pamela Chepchumba (2:25:36), Ethiopia's Shiteye Gemechu (2:26:10), Romania's Luminita Talpos (2:26:43), and China's Chen Rong (2:27:05) are also part of the inaugural women's field for this event. Two-time World Championships medalist Reiko Tosa (2:22:46) is the top Japanese entrant on the women's side. Her teammates include 40 year-old Harumi Hiroyama (2:22:56), Hiromi Ominami (2:23:26), Kiyoko Shimahara (2:26:14), and Mizuho Nasukawa (2:29:49).Tokyo is widely viewed as the most eligible event to join the five commercial marathons of the World Marathon Majors. The WMM series begins again on April 20 with the Boston Marathon. Informs Race Results Weekly.

photo by Photorun.net.
STUCZYNSKI BIDS FOR FOURTH US INDOOR TITLE BOSTON (USA): Jenn Stuczynski will chase a fourth successive pole vault title when competing at this weekend's USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Boston. Stuczynski since her first win has grown annually in stature as a world class performer culminating in winning the Olympic silver medal in Beijing last summer. The 27-year-old's improvement has seen her prove herself as a worthy successor to fellow countrywoman Stacy Dragila, who was acknowledged as the pioneer of women's pole vaulting, now in the age of 37 competing in her final season. Stuczynski has made a great start to her season winning all three Visa Championship Series meets - the 102nd Millrose Games, Reebok Boston Indoor Games and Tyson Invitational in positive style. She has taken attempts at American-record heights at all three meets, and in Boston earlier this month, deposed Dragila of the US indoor record with a clearance of 4.82metres. Informs David Martin.

Isinbayeva in good mood, Pickering and Rutherford added to start list

PRAHA (CZE): The World record holder in pole vault Yelena Isinbayeva arrived to Prague as the biggest star of „Prague Indoor“, the first edition of indoor track and field meeting taking place on Thursday February 26th in the modern O2 Arena. „I want to try to attack the World record – to jump 501 cm. If I will not be successful at first two attempts then I will probably try 502,“ the Double Olympic Champion confirmed her plans for the last competition of the indoor season. “I feel really pretty well and looking forward to competition. I still remember my start in Prague in 2003 when I jumped on Venceslav´s Square my personal best – 446 cm… And what do I need on Thursday? Very loud music and the fans to scream on me as much as possible. This is what I love! Some adrenalin. I don´t like to compete in silence. Latest additions into the start list are British European Indoor medalist Craig Pickering at 60 m, Ethiopian 5000 m world leader Bekane Daba, US winner of last indoor hurdles clashes Dexter Faulk along with current European champion Stanislav Olijars of Latvia, British Frank Rutherford in Long Jump along with triple star Jadel Gregorio. In women events world indoor champion Angela Williams from USA, Poland´s Lidia Chojecka at 2 miles aiming coming close to European best of Jo Pavey (9:32.00), French record holder Melanie Skotnik in High Jump. More and live results at www.pragueindoor.cz

Fast 1500 m expected, Ukhov in High Jump

ATHENS (GRE): The “Athina 2009”, the last IAAF indoor permit meeting of the 2009 season takes place on Wednesday 25 February with many interesting names on its start lists. There will be 5 men´s and 5 women´s events to be seen in the Greek metropolis. In the men´s high jump, the recent world leader Ivan Ukhov (237cm this season) from Russia will face his compatriot Andrey Tereshin. The pole vault has its favorite in German 2007 indoor world champion, Danny Ecker, as his indoor PB lays on the exclusive mark of 6m. There will be two more German athletes in the pole vault in the Hall of Peace and Friendship in Pireaus: Bjorn Otto and Lars Borgeling. The presence of Frenchman Romain Mesnil, together with Denys Yurchenko from Ukraine, makes the pole vault competition very attractive. In long jump, home athlete should have been the leader: Luis Tsatoumas with the world lead 820cm, but he will not appear due to illness. Germany’s Nils Winter is now the best of the remaining cast having jumped 8.02m this year, while Spain’s Jose Felipe Meliz, who was 7th last year in Beijing and has a career indoor best of 8.21m opens the season in this meeting. 60m Hurdles has Dexter Faulk (USA), Gregory Sedoc (NED) and Yevgeniy Borisov (RUS) who shares the top spot of the season’s list with two more hurdlers, on the start list. 25-year-old Kenyan, the winner of World athletics final 2008, Haron Keitany, who ran 3:33.96 in Gent (8 February), is on the start list at 1500m together with his compatriot Shedrack Korir. But his biggest rival should be Bahraini Belal Mansoor Ali, who has a season’s best of 3.38.06. Among women, the flat 60m should be a duel of 29-year-old American Angela Williams and bronze medalist from World indoor championships in Valencia 2008, Tahesia Harrigan (IVB). Women´s triple jump should be the next exciting event with names like Marija Sestak from Slovenia, 3rd from WICh Valencia 2008 with a PB of 15,08m (2008), Anastasiya Taranova-Potapova from Russia, who leads the world this winter with a jump at 14.67m in Volgograd, or former Cuban athlete Yamilé Aldama (SUD) with a PB of 15.28m (2004). 400m has its favorite in Russian Athens 2004 Olympic silver medalist, Natalya Antyukh.


REDUIT (MRI, Feb 21) – Mauritius sprinter Stephan Buckland, winner of the 200m at the 2008 World Athletics Final, opened his season with a 100m in 10.52 last Saturday in Réduit and his now heading to South Africa to compete at the Yellow Page meets in Stellenbosch and Germinston.

GUADALAJARA (MEX, Feb 22): The 23rd Guadalajara Half-Marathon had its big hero in Kenyan Genoveva Jelagat Kigen, while she achieved a new course record 1:12:16 and earning the equivalent of USD 6424 prize money. The home crowd was very satisfied with second place of Margarita Tapia Garcia (MEX) clocking also great 1:12:20. Men's winner Julius Kipyego Ketter got within 19 seconds of the men's course record, but had to settle for the win with 1:02:55.

SEVILLE (ESP, Feb 22): The 25th Maratón Ciudad de Sevilla took place last Sunday (22) in the Spanish city of Seville with the number of 2828 finishers. Both course records were broken as Kenyan, Ethiopian and home athletes established quite fast pace. Ethiopian Abebe Dogaga Haylu gained the victory and the prize money of together 9000 Euros for his new PB and course record of 2:10:31. His compatriot Jemal Hussein Adem achieved also new PB in 2:11:23 and the third place and national title went to 30-year-old home Rafael Iglesias Borrego for 2:11:51. With his time he also directly qualified for the World championships in Berlin. Silver medal for Asier Cuevas and bronze for Elias Dominguez. Among women, Marisa Barros from Portugal was the surprising record breaker clocking 2:26:03 (also a PB). Spanish Maria Jesus Gestido Rodriguez finished 4th and got national title in 2:40:26 in front of Ana Casares and Maria Jose de Toro.

HAVANA (CUB, Feb 19-20): Oscar Cisneros clocked excellent 45.76 at another local meet in Cuba at 400 m. Yasmani Copello achieved 49.56 at 400 m Hurdles. As usual good triple jump with Osniel Tosca (17.09, 16.92w) and Yoandri Betanzos (17.09, 16.63). Cuba ran 39.34 at 4x100 m. In women events Misleidys Gonzalez got 18.60 in Shot Put and Italian Clarisa Claretti won the hammer (68.75). Yanet Cruz achieved 59.90 in javelin and Yarisley Collado PB 61.09 in discus.

ADDIS ABABA (ETH, Feb 22): The 26th Jan Meda International Cross Country last Sunday (22) had its biggest surprise in beating Meselech Melkamu (2nd) and Gelete Burka (3rd) in the women's senior race by Wude Ayalew Yimer on the 8km track. Gebre Gebremariam nabbed a comfortable victory in the men's contest at 12km long track. Due to an equipment malfunction, times were not immediately available.

VALENCIA (ESP, Feb 22): Andrés Micó Martínez was the fastest man at the Valencia marathon with 2:26:43h. Maxine McKinnon from Great Britain won the women's competition in 2:50:46h.

National teams for the European indoor championships

LONDON (GBR): This winter’s UK record-breaking athletes Mo Farah and Kate Dennison are included in a 36-strong Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team for the European Indoor Championships in Turin, Italy on 6-8 March. Farah has enjoyed an excellent start to 2009, breaking the indoor 3000m record twice already this winter, most recently at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham with 7:34.47 to go top of the European rankings. Dennison has also twice bettered the existing UK indoor best, setting a new mark of 4.46m for the women’s pole vault, also in Birmingham. There is also a place in the team for the evergreen Donna Fraser who has been named in the women’s 400m and 4x400m following an excellent indoor campaign that has seen the 36 year old win a 200m/400m double at the Aviva European Trials & UK Championships, the latter with an indoor personal best of 52.83.
Fraser will be competing in her 14th senior major athletics championship in the period of in 1998 and 2005. At the last European Indoors in Birmingham in 2007, GB & NI topped the medal table with 10 medals including four gold. Kelly Sotherton (Pentathlon) has been struggling with injury and will decide in the coming week whether to compete in Turin. From the other interesting names: 60m: Dwain Chambers, Craig Pickering, 800mW: Jennifer Meadows and Marilyn Okoro. “It is important for us to sustain our standing by committing ourselves to the challenges in Turin and competing fiercely in order to meet our individual and collective goals,” Head Coach Charles van Commenee said.

60m: Dwain Chambers; Craig Pickering; Simeon Williamson;400m: Richard Buck; Nick Leavey; 1500m: Neil Speaight; Chris Warburton; 3000m: Mark Draper; Mo Farah; Nick McCormick; 60m hurdles: Allan Scott; Andy Turner; High Jump: Martyn Bernard; Samson Oni; Pole Vault: Steve Lewis; Long Jump: Greg Rutherford; Chris Tomlinson, Shot: Carl Myerscough; 4x400m: Buck, Dale Garland; Leavey, Nigel Levine, Phil Taylor WOMEN
400m: Donna Fraser, 800m: Jennifer Meadows; Marilyn Okoro; 1500m: Hannah England, Susan Scott, 3000m: Katrina Wootton; 60m hurdles: Gemma Bennett; Sarah Claxton; Pole Vault: Kate Dennison, Long Jump: Jade Johnson, Pentathlon: Kelly Sotherton; 4x400m: Vicki Barr; Tara Bird; Fraser; Kim Wall; Dawn Wilson

PARIS (FRA): 2005 world champion Ladji Doucouré and 2008 world junior champion Teddy Tamgho are heading the team of 37 athletes (25 men, 12 women) selected to represent France at the European indoor championships in Torino (ITA).
60m: Christophe Lemaitre; 400m: Yannick Fonsat, Yoann Decimus; 1500m: Guillaume Erraud, Yohann Kowal; 3000m: Nourredine Smail, Bob Tahri, Mohamed Belabbas; 60H: Ladji Doucouré, Garfield Darien; JH : Abdoulaye Diarra; PV: Romain Mesnil, Renaud Lavillenie; LJ: Salim Sdiri, Kafétien Gomis; TJ: Teddy Tamgho, Karl Taillepierre, Jules Lechanga; SP: Yves Niaré, Gaëtan Bucki; 4x400m: Nicolas Fillon, Brice Panel, Ali Bounoua; Heptathlon: Franck Logel, Gael Querin
60m: Ayodele Ikuesan, Lina Jacques-Sebastien; 400m: Thélia Sigere, Symphora Behi;
3000m: Elodie Olivares; 60H: Patricia Girard, Cindy Billaud; TJ: Teresa Nzola Meso Ba, Amy Zongo; SP: Laurence Manfredi, Jessica Cerival; Pentathlon: Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida

TORINO (ITA): 23 men and 15 women will represent Italy at the 'home' championships in Torino. Part of the team is vice World champion Antonietta Di Martino, 2003 World champion Giuseppe Gibilisco, 2003 bronze medallist Magdelin Martinez and Birmingham 2007 medallists Assunta Legnante, Maurizio Bobbato and Silvia Weissteiner and world leaders Claudio Licciardello and Elisa Cusma.
60m Fabio Cerutti, Simone Collio, Emanuele di Gregorio
400m Matteo Galvan, Claudio Licciardello
800m Maurizio Bobbato, Lukas Rifesser
1.500m Christian Obrist
3.000m Yuri Floriani, Daniele Meucci
60m h Emanuele Abate
HJ Andrea Bettinelli, Fillippo Campioli, Nicola Ciotti
LJ Stefano Tremigliozzi
PV Giuseppe Gibilisco, Giorgio Piantella
TJ Fabrizio Donato, Daniele Greco
Heptathlon William Frullani
4x400m Isalbet Juarez, Jacopo Marin, Domenico Rao (reserve: Roberto Donati)
60m Anita Pistone, Maria Aurora Salvagno
400m Daniela Reina
800m Elisa Cusma
3.000m Elena Romagnolo, Silvia Weissteiner
60m h Micol Cattaneo
HJ Antonietta Di Martino
LJ Tania Vicenzino
PV Anna Giordano Bruno, Elena Scarpellini
TJ Magdelin Martinez
SP Assunta Legnante, Chiara Rosa
Pentathlon Francesca Doveri

LEIPZIG (GER): The German Athletics Federation (DLV) will send a team of 38 athletes to the European indoors championships in Torino. It is one of the youngest teams DLV has ever sent with an average of 25,3 years. Around 30 athletes had been expected, but due to the great results at the National championships there will be 24 men and 14 women travelling to Torino. Pole vaulter Danny Ecker is the only athlete who is defending his European title from Birmingham.
The German team:
60m: Stefan Schwab, 800m: René Bauschinger, 1500m: Wolfram Müller, Carsten Schlangen, 60m hurdles: Erik Balnuweit, Willi Mathiszik, Helge Schwarzer, High jump: Raul Spank, Tim Riedel, Pole vault: Danny Ecker, Alexander Straub, Malte Mohr, Long jump: Sebastian Bayer, Nils Winter, Christoph Stolz, Shot put: Ralf Bartels, Marco Schmidt, Andy Dittmar, Heptathlon: André Niklaus
4x400m: Thomas Goller, Simon Kirch, Eric Krüger, Miguel Rigau, Thomas Schneider
60m: Verena Sailer, 60m hurdles: Nadine Hildebrand, Carolin Nytra, High jump: Ariane Friedrich, Meike Kröger, Pole vault: Silke Spiegelburg, Anna Battke, Kristina Gadschiew, Long jump: Melanie Bauschke, Triple jump: Katja Demut, Shot put: Denise Hinrichs, Petra Lammert, Pentathlon: Sonja Kesselschläger, Christine Schulz.

THE HAGUE (NED, Feb 23) : Netherlands will send 15 athletes to Torino, 9 men and 6 women, with hurdler Gregory Sedoc as the best medal chance.
MEN 60m: Patrick van Luijk; 800m: Wouter de Boer; 1500m: Dennis Licht, Ate van der Burgt, Bas Eefting; 60H: Gregory Sedoc; HJ: Martijn Nuijens ; Heptathlon: Eugène Martineau, Eelco Sintnicolaas
WOMEN 800m: Yvonne Hak; 1500m: Marije te Raa; SP: Denise Kemkers, Melissa Boekelman; pentathlon: Jolanda Keizer, Yvonne Wisse

BERN (SUI): Swiss Athletics has nominated five athletes for the European indoors championships:
Irene Pusterla (Long jump), Lisa Urech (60m hurdles), Nicole Büchler (Pole vault), Pascal Mancini (60 m) and Andreas Kundert (60 m hurdles). Andreas Baumann (60 m) and Julien Fivaz (Long jump) are given another chance to achieve the qualification limit next weekend, most likely at the meeting in Chemnitz, Germany.

VIENNA (AUT): The Austrian team for Torino has become bigger due to the nomination by EA of Roland Schwarzl (5.746 points, fifth place in European indoors ranking 2009) for the Heptathlon. The other members of the Austrian team are:
Ryan Moseley (60m), Bettina Müller-Weissina (W,60m), Clemens Zeller (400m), Andreas Rapatz (800m), Martin Pröll (3.000m), Martin Steinbauer (3.000m).


THE HAGUE (NED): Dutch channel NET5 has produced a reality show on running, Runners Life, in cooperation with Runners world. From March 1, every Sunday during 8 weeks, the program follow the preparation of 16 runners as they prepare for a 5km race, the half-marathon of Naaldwijk on March 28, or the Paris Marathon on April 5. The Dutch federation is also involved in the project.

WINDHOEK (NAM): Confusion still prevails at Athletics Namibia after the IAAF, denounced the Interim Committee running AN and insisted that the former executive board of Athletics Namibia organize its general assembly to elect a new president on February 28. The Interim Committee had earlier declared the proposed February 28 congress invalid and illegal, saying that it would only recognize its own special elective congress set for March 14. A member of the Interim Committee, Abner Xoagub however said they would not recognize the February 28 elections, even if it meant that Namibia would be banned from the IAAF, Namibia Sport informs.

ALGIERS (ALG): Algeria will only send team in the junior categories at the World Cross-Country Championships in Amman next month. The national champion only will be selected in the senior ranks.“We don’t have a team homogeneous enough compared to last year, we couldn’t just come to have a token role and get”, technical director Ahmed Boubrit justified his choice not to send a senior team, La Tribune informs.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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