Tomaz Majewski is Training at Chula Vista, Haile Gebrselassie racing Bupa Manchester Great Run, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Olympic shot put champion Tomasz Majewski with Fernando Botero's ‘Adam’, Casino Gardens, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Photo by Bob Ramsak

EME NEWS (MAR 12, 2009)


ATHENS (GRE): First edition of a new competition, the World Military Indoor Athletics Cup, will be staged in Athens (Peania Indoor Arena) on Saturday under the auspices of CISM. The final entry lists show the participation approximately 230 athletes representing 17 countries. Italy sends the strongest team, which boasts four Torino meda lists, Fabio Cerutti and Emanuele Di Gregorio (60m), Claudio Licciardello (400m) and Elisa Cusma Piccione (800m), and three other Torino finalists, Filippo Campioli (HJ), Anita Pistone & Maria Aurora Salvagno (60m). The biggest name from host nation Greece is Hrisopiyi Devetzi, who is entered in the long jump and it will be interesting to see her clash with another triple jump specialist and Torino medallist, Marija Sestak from Slovenia. Periklis Iakovakis is also expected to help anchor the 4x400m relay squad, making a very rare indoor appearance. Slovenia sends also Torino 1500m bronze medallist Sonja Roman, who will run in the 800m, and 2007 Military World Games winner Miran Vodovnik in shot put. Other notable athletes to watch are Marcin Jedrusinski (60m), Piotr Klimczak, Daniel Dabrowski & Marcin Marciniszyn (400m) from Poland, Qatar‘s Ali Abubaker Kamal (800m) and James Kurui Kwalia (3000m), Stanislav Olijar (60m hurdles) from Latvia, Andre de Oliveira (60) from Brazil and India‘s 1500m indoor record holder Chatholi Hamza (800m). Of course it remains to be seen how many of those athletes will eventually show up, given the late season date. In all, ten men‘s events will be contested (the 1500m and triple jump are the lone exclusions from the program), but only three women‘s events are scheduled, 60m, 800m and the long jump.


BARCELONA (ESP): The preparations for European Championships 2010 in Barcelona at Olympic Stadium are going well underway. The event planned for July 27 until August 1 expects around 1400 athletes from 50 countries with estimated one million spectators in the stadium and streets of the city and another 400 million TV viewers. Interestingly both walking events (men and women) and marathon races will be staged totally out of the stadium with start and finish in the city. Also the opening ceremony will be held in Avenue Reina Maria Cristina next to the Magic Fountains. The competition programme will be shortened into six days and the price for event pass (all sessions) will be from 600 E to 60 E (depending on the spectator zone). Three key events will be regarded as test with EA Classic Meet Ciutat de Barcelona (2009 and 2010) and the Spanish Championships in 2009. Another innovation is that the medal ceremonies will not be staged in center of the infield but in front of the emblematic marathon´s gate in the northern curve of the Olympic Stadium.


TORINO (ITA): Omega ST Sportservice provided for first time at European Indoor Championships intermediate times from transponders which is enabling to know every taken split from each competitor. A quick analysis shows some interesting facts. In women´s 400 m the winner Antonina Krivoshapka had the fastest second 200 m in the heats (24.6-26.96 to final time of 51.56), in the semifinal she started quicker but ended slower (24.3-27.29, 51.59) and in the finals she clearly went out too fast (23.2-27.98, 51.18). The fastest second 200 m in the final was by Ukrainian Natalya Pyhyda (second) with 27.44. In the men 400 m the winner Johan Wissman had the fastest both laps (21.4 and 24.39) in the finals. Second placed Claudio Licciardello was timed at 21.7 and 24.62, whereas his heat run was better splitted with 21.9 and 24.41 (46.31 what was faster than 46.32 in the finals). 800 m winner Mariya Savinova slowed down with each lap (28.1-28.4-29.9-31.7) and had halves (56.5-61.6) but still managed to win in 10th best of all-time indoors 1:58.10. Silver winner Oksana Zbrozhek was faster than her in the last lap with 31.1. On the opposite side was UK Marilyn Okoro who fell before the finish line and her last lap was 36.7. Totally opposite was the way how Yuriy Borzakovskiy came for men 800 m win. He started with 27.6 lap, slowed to 30.1 and then became faster 26.8 and finished with 24.95 what is worth of good 400 m runner second lap (his halves 56.8 and 51.75). Portugal 1500 m winner Rui Silva was from begin faster each 200 m (32.4-30.9-30.7-30.2-28.8-28.6-26.68). Russian female dominator at 1500 m Anna Alminova had her fastest 200 m between 1100 and 1300 m with 30.7 (the progress from begin was 34.3-33.8-34.2-33.5-33.2-30.7-31.06). Interesting to note that women 3000 m winner Alemitu Bekele was very fast in the last 200 m with 29.7, that is faster than the 800 m and 1500 m winner and even faster than male 3000 m winner. Mo Farah clocked 31.17 and Bob Tahri 32.34 for the last 200 m, but otherwise they were separated the whole race only by 0.2-0.3 each split.


ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Ethiopian running star Kenenisa Bekele returned to training last week after his injury from a road race in Nijmegen last November. He will miss this month the World Cross Country Championships and plans to return to competition at FBK Games of Hengelo on June 1 (IAAF Grand Prix) most probably at 1500 m. He has his sights also at Golden League as the combination 3000 m/5000 m is this year a golden event. L´Equipe informs.


TORINO (ITA): EA Council decided not to continue with the project of the European Athletics Indoor Cup in 2010 but to explore the possibility of a European Indoor Team Championships for future years. President Hansjörg Wirz briefed the Council about the recent launch of the IAAF Diamond League starting in 2010 and its implication on the future of one-day meeting system in Europe. He stressed the need of a general system in the continent to integrate the various levels of one-day meeting which will be announced at a later date. Following the decision of the European Athletics Council in October 2008 in Berlin to appoint one female member to the Cross Country, Race Walking and Mountain Running Commissions, Council approved the recommendations of the Executive Committee and duly appointed Celia Mendes (POR), Anne Fröberg (FIN) and Anna Pichrtova (CZE) to the respective commissions. The next Council Meeting will take place in Frankfurt in May.


LONDON (GBR): Dwain Chambers has confirmed he has linked up with BALCO founder Victor Conte, the American who supplied him with the banned drug THG, on „an educational basis“. The use of THG led to a two-year ban from athletics for Chambers who has since returned to the track and won gold in the 60metres at the European Indoor Championship on Sunday. „I am a forgiving man, I have forgiven myself, I have forgiven him. I do not blame him for anything that occurred during that period,“ Chambers told Sky Sports. „I ruined my career, nobody else did that. Again, my relationship with him is on an educational basis. The information that they require from me about when to test, I ask Victor for that and I give it to the relevant bodies.“ Chambers knows he may face criticism for remaining in contact with Conte. He is prepared for speculation about his fast times, but insists he is running without performance-enhancing drugs. Conte, according to reports, is offering Chambers guidance on legal training techniques involving breathing apparatus. Conte served a prison sentence after admitting his involvement in the world‘s greatest ever doping scandal. He was quoted today by Yahoo as saying: „The last time I gave any athlete performance-enhancing drugs was in August of 2003.“ Writes David Martin.

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): Worknesh Kidane heads a strong elite field taking part in the 2009 Confidence WOMEN FIRST 5 kilometres road race in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

The sixth edition of the women‘s-only 5km run in the Ethiopian capital, has attracted a record field of more than 8000 participants. Kidane who returned to international competition with a third place finish in last October‘s BUPA Great North Run, will be looking to make amends for her disappointment of missing out on a place in Ethiopia‘s team for the World Cross Country Championships in Amman. Meseret Defar will take a break from competitive duties to act as the starter for Sunday‘s race which has served as a springboard for upcoming athletes.

MILANO (ITA): La Gazzetta dello Sport published a photo of Sebastian Bayer 871 jump with virtual blue line (his 829 lead at that time) which clearly indicates that the measurement was correct. But it shows that runway in Torino was very soft. More than 30 NR and PB have been set in the horizontal jumps, in all four world leading marks.

MANCHESTER (GBR): Haile Gebrselassie the world‘s greatest-ever distance runner will bid to win a second Bupa Great Manchester Run title on May 17. Gebrselassie is relishing returning to contest one of the world‘s leading 10 kilometres road races where on his Manchester debut in 2005 he ran the fastest time ever on British soil of 27:25. It will be his last race before trying to improve his own one hour track world record. The 35-year-old Ethiopian who in December 2002 posted his still standing world record for the distance of 27:02 in Doha, will be bidding to regain his UK All-Comers‘ mark. Gebrselassie at the prestigious IAAF Gold Label event, will be targeting the time of 27:21. Writes David Martin.

MINSK (BLR): Belarus team for European Cup Winter Throwing this weekend at Tenerife Island is headed by Olympic medalist Nadezhda Ostapchuk in Shot Put. Also experienced enough is the male shot putter Yuriy Belov, in hammer Pavel Krivitskiy will compete and in javelin Aleksandr Ashomko. In the U23 category Aleksandr Salabuto in discus, Yuriy Shayunov in hammer and Anatoliy Adakhovskiy in javelin will be there with Yelena Kopets in shot, Anastasiya Kashtanova in discus, Natalya Shayunova in hammer and Marina Buksa in javelin.

PARIS (FRA): French Team for European Cup Winter Throwing is headed by high level women hammer athletes Manuela Montebrun and Stephanie Falzon. In men hammer Nicholas Figere and Frederic Pouzy will compete, in javelin Lucas Leroy and experienced Olympic finalist Melina Robert-Michon in women discus.

BERLIN (GER): The opening IAAF Golden League meeting of the 2009 season, the ISTAF of Berlin started with campaigning for the tickets. The organisers will also prepare a special Fax Mixed Zone where the spectators will be able to see closely the top stars of athletics. The bookings until April 10 can save for the interested as much as 50 % of the cost. In reality that means from 29 E to 14.50 E in the third category. The other categories will be sold later. The most expensive category one will cost 69 E per ticket.

CHULA VISTA (USA): Olympic shot put winner Tomasz Majewski with Magdalena Sobieszek travelled on Tuesday to training camp in USA. They will spent there 25 days. Also in the mini-team coach Henryk Olszewski and physio Szczepan Figat. They will train in Chula Vista, famous throwing place.

TORINO (ITA): The representatives of national federations of Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Netherlands informed EA Council members that they are considering not to send athletes to the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singaporte. They are saying that there already World U17 Championships in place and they do not want to have more pressure for young athletes in that age.

JACKSONVILLE (USA): The 32nd edition of the Gate River Run will take place on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., and will serve as the USA 15 km championships for both men and women for the 16th time. A prize money purse of $58,000 is on the line, and eight Olympians have committed to the race, USA Track & Field reported. Defending champion Andrew Carlson leads the men‘s field. In extremely winding conditions last year, Carlson won by nine seconds over Dan Browne, 44:12 to 44:21. Carlson‘s key challengers will be Olympians Jorge Torres, Ian Dobson, Anthony Famiglietti and Dan Browne, who won this championship back in 2000. Other top athletes include Tim Nelson, Ed Moran, Fernando Cabada and Jason Lehmkuhle. Olympian Amy Yoder Begley, the recently crowned USA indoor 3000m champion, leads the women‘s field. Her most significant rivals should be Olympians Elva Dryer and Amy Rudolph, plus former USA 10,000m champion Katie McGregor and the reigning USA cross country champion Emily Brown. Forty-four year-old Olympian Colleen De Reuck is also in the field.


BRISBANE (AUS, Mar 7): Olympic medalist Sally McLellan continued also last weekend in her busy schedule with 23.18 wind aided (+3.1) 200 m win. Oceanian record holder Patrick Johnson won both sprints in 10.48 (+1.6) and 20.90 (+1.2).

SAO PAULO (BRA, Mar 8): Angelina Mutuka of Kenya won here the half-marathon in 1:14:14. Male winner Damiao Ancelmo de Souza clocked 1:05:18.

ANTALYA (TUR, Mar 8): The fourth Runtalya Marathon saw fast times for winning Kenyan John Kioko in 2:17:57 ahead of Russian Roman Yefimov (2:18:21) and Ethiopian Tesfaye Bogale (2:18:38). Russian Nadezhda Semiletova was the best woman in 2:44:15 beating Kenyan Rose Chesire (2:44:24). Bekir Karayel won the 10 km men race in new national road record 29:30. Kenyan Moses Too was best in half-marathon in 1:04:02 beating his team-mate Hosea Tuei (1:04:08). Turkish Bahar Dogan was the best woman in 1:12:39.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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