How Fast will Kara Goucher run? by Larry Eder, EME News by Alfons Juck


Kara Goucher is in the middle of her training for the Boston Marathon, which she hopes to win, in April 2009. After a great fall marathon, a good indoor season, and some strong training this winter, Kara and her coach, Alberto Salazar, are in Lisbon for the half marathon tomorrow. Salazar has been quoted as noting that Kara Goucher is in fine shape, and should be able to run in the 1:06 range. Do not be suprised is Goucher runs 1:05 and change, she is that fit. (My pick is 1:05:30).

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The start of the Lisbon course has been changed and a $50,000 bonus has been set for a world record on the course. Samuel Wanjiru is running there, looking for a world best as well on the men's side.

For the first time in many years, the US has top prospects on the men and women's side at Boston. While Lisbon is important in Kara Goucher's training, the focus is on Patriots' Day in Boston, in less than one month, when Kara Goucher lines up with a formidable field, to race, and with luck, to win at the 103rd version of the BAA Boston Marathon.


BRISBANE (AUS, Mar 20): Despite cool weather and headwind the 400 m finals proved to be real highlights during second day of Australian Championships. Sean Wroe got his second title and improved PB to 45.07 with Commonwealth Games winner John Steffensen clocking his fastest in 2 years 45.51 as second. World 800 m indoor title holder Tamsyn Lewis got her 14th national title and improved to 51.42 at 400 m. New Zealand´s Monique Williams also achieved a PB 51.88 as second. Hurdles Olympic medalist Sally McLellan won the 100 m in solid 11.32 (-0.1) taking the conditions into consideration. Joshua Ross returned to winning ways with his fifth national title 10.34 (-0.4) ahead of training partner Aaron Rouge-Serrett (10.36). High quality also the new meet record 49.26 by Tristan Thomas at 400 m Hurdles. Favorite wins in distances. Sarah Jamieson with 4:16.15 at 1500 m, Donna MacFarlane 9:57.14 in steeple and Nick Bromley 1:47.76 at 800 m. Kimberly Mickle confirmed javelin 60+ shape with 60.69 effort. Husband of Olympic shot put champion Bertrand Vili scored a win for France (61.81) in discus. 20 years old High Jumper Liam Zamel-Paez improved to 223 cm to win the title.


BERLIN (GER): IAAF Council will have a two days weekend meeting in Berlin and will receive reports from the General Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer and eight Committees and Commissions. The meeting will later discuss preparations for this summer’s 47th edition of the Congress – the IAAF’s highest decision making body – and of course for the 12th World Championships in Athletics. Other important subjects on the agenda will see further discussion this weekend about the ongoing restructuring of the IAAF Competitions programmes including one day meetings in connection with creation of Diamond League. Progress reports will also be presented by the local organising committees for Berlin 2009, and the World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki (GRE) and World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham (GBR), and there is a decision expected regarding the venue for the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships where a candidate is coming from Poland. Also expected is a discussion in Dwain Chambers case after he published his book. Another point in technical recommendations discussion could be the no false start rule.


SOFIA (BUL): Current 400 m European Champion Bulgarian Vanya Stambolova will be able to compete after April 9 this year after her two years doping ban will end. Bulgarian media are informing. In the reports they say, that IAAF cleared her to compete. Her coach Georgi Dimitrov confirmed that she underwent the necessary number of doping controls during the ban. She should for first time compete during the last May weekend (30 and 31) at European Champion Clubs Cup for a Turkish side. High Jumper Venelina Veneva still did not return all the money won from the period connected to her two years ban, if she will do so, she might be also able to return and plans to compete end of May. 800 m runner Teodora Kolarova is expected to return in August.


BILBAO (ESP): Under the name ‚Night Bilbao Marathon‘, the Basque city will host on Saturday October 26 the first night marathon which will be sanctioned by IAAF. European champion Chema Martínez will participate in the race and took an active part in the pre-race campaign. The race will depart from the museum in Bilbao at 8 pm and the closing time will be six hours with capacity of 3000 runners. The prize money distributed will total 30,000 euros. Registration only via website ‚‘, starting March 25 and until September 20 will be for 25 euros. Later it will be 40 euros.

FRANKFURT (GER): European long jump record holder Sebastian Bayer is not too worried about the discussion concerning his 8.71 leap in Torino. “When somebody is doubting it for me that means nothing, I m remaining quiet,” he was quoted by German Media. “That will always be the case when something special happens. For me it does not matter,” he said. Bayer also pointed out that he is not sure whether he would be able to repeat such a mark, for him still the goal remains jumping constantly over 8 metres. “But I hope nobody will say that I disappointed with 8.30, that would be not good for our sport.”

SARANSK (RUS): Last year disqualified Russian walkers are continuing with training, no one from them is thinking about retirement. All-Sport informed about it based on informations from their coach Viktor Chegin. Olympian Viktor Burayev, Olympic bronze winner Aleksey Voyevodin, former world record holder Vladimir Kanaykin, also Sergey Morozov who achieved the fastest 20 km mark last year, and Igor Erokhin. Coach Chegin hopes that they will be ready for Olympic Games 2012. In the meantime president of Mordovia Republic continued with support to the walkers during their ban. He also added that world and Olympic winner Olga Kaniskina is not planning to compete at European Cup in May in France, but possibly at summer Russian walking championships in June or even only at World Championships in Berlin where she is qualified as title defender.

LISBON (POR): Olympic marathon winner and HM world record holder Samuel Wanjiru will test his abilities in the half-marathon race on Sunday at EDP Lisbon race. All in terms of his preparation for London Marathon. Also in the field other great Kenyan marathon stars Martin Lel and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot. Already last year the runners went on to a new course which didn’t include the bridge, starting instead in a small town near the finish line with that same altitude at sea level. With the course adjustment also a US$ 50,000 World record bonus is offered. Also in the field Moroccan Jaouab Gharib who is the Olympic Marathon silver medalist, and former World champion. In the women pack, two headliners are US Kara Goucher the 10,000m World championships bronze medallist who was third at last year’s New York City Marathon; and Latvia’s Jelena Prokopcuka, the 2005 and 2006 New York champion and the winner of 2009 Paris Half Marathon.

LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics announced that Russian Pole Vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva and Russian High Jump star Ivan Ukhov have been selected as the European Athletes of the Month for February. The peerless Isinbayeva set her 26th World Record for the Pole Vault with a 5.00m clearance at her favourite indoor meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine organised by her here Sergey Bubka. The double Olympic champion competed sparsely over the indoor season but nonetheless maintained her long unbeaten run with victories in Birmingham and Prague along with Donetsk during February. The 26-year-old, who was voted the European Athlete of the Year for the second time in 2008 will now seek to win her third successive World Championship crown at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August. Ukhov continued to raise the bar for High Jumpers worldwide with a stunning month of February. With two victories in Moscow along with one in Arnstad and a runner up spot in Birmingham, he cleared a stunning 2.40m in Athens, a height only two Europeans have previously bettered. The runners up in the men‘s poll were Italian 400m runner Claudio Liccardello and Britain‘s Mo Farah while German high jumper Ariane Friedrich and Italian 800m runner Elisa Cusma were the runners up in the women‘s poll.

WARSZAWA (POL): Poland is sending to World Cross Country Championships two female runners. Senior Mariola Konowalska and junior Katarzyna Broniatowska.

VAXJO (SWE): Combined events star Carolina Kluft is back in jumping training. Sweden´s media are informing. Her coach Agne Bergvall confirmed that she is now doing long jump in training and hopes to compete already in May. Indoors she was not able to do jumping and appeared only in the 60 m sprints.

DONETSK (UKR): The city of Sergey Bubka Donetsk in Ukraine recently launched a new indoor hall for athletics called “Metalurg”. Ukrainian media are informing. It will be a base for Olympic preparation, includes 200 m track and 60 m straight and possibility for all technical events. The crowd capacity is currently 1000, but plans are existing for enlargement of the whole facility into 7000 spectators with soccer field and also possibility to throw for example discus there.


CAMAGUEY (CUB, Mar 14): Sensational addition from Rafael Fortun Memorial. Young sprinter Roberto Skyers (18) improved in 200 m heat the national junior record to years fastest 20.24 (+1.4). It is also 8th fastest junior perfomer ever. He confirmed that in the finals with 20.42 (+0.6) and anchored Cuba to 39.40 4x100 m relay time. Also fast was Roxana Diaz in women 200 m with 23.11 (0.0) where even younger, still 17 years Dulaimi Odelin achieved 23.45 as third. Also to note that the 12.90 by Anay Tejeda was wind assisted (+2.8), she clocked 13.02 (+1.2) in the finals.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck.

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