Yelena Isinbayeva opens for outdoor 2009 with a new major sponsor, as she dropped adidas for the Chinese brand Li Ning. Isinbayeva is at the top of her game, and she does not see any true competition. While it is understandable, as Ms. Isinbayeva just won the Laureus World Sportswomen of the year and she is defending World Champion and Olympic champion as well as holder of twenty-two world record holders, Yelena should be cautious. As all athletes know, on any given day, there are always surprises. Track & Field is not WWF, we are in a sport, and in truth, no one in athletics is exempt from the refrain, “We are only as good as our last race.”
Photo by PhotoRun.net.
BOLT ARRIVED TO OSTRAVA
OSTRAVA (CZE): Worlds fastest man Usain Bolt arrived on Saturday morning to Ostrava, Czech Republic. He will be the main star of WednesdayÂ´s Ostrava Golden Spike IAAF Grand Prix Meeting. â€œI want now a fast time after in Toronto we were running in bad weather. I m definitely ready to achieve it. The flight from Canada was smooth, I m really looking forward to my next race,â€ said Bolt who will face in the field three sub 10 sprinters (Ronald Pognon, Marcus Brunson and Samuel Francis) and British 2007 Ostrava winner Craig Pickering. He recieved while arriving a symbolical key from the City of Ostrava to be the ruler until Wednesday.
In other start list improvements the men steeple race will look like something special. Fast runner Paul Kipsiele Koech will face two last olympic winners Ezekiel Kemboi and Brimin Kipruto. Specially Kemboi is looking forward to clock a fast time and asked for a world record pace after his sub 8 clocking in Doha. Female steeple world record holder and olympic winner Gulnara Samitova-Galkina will come to Ostrava to compete at 800 m with the aim to improve her personal best to sub 2 minutes level. She has so far 2:00.29 from May this year.
ISINBAYEVA FEELS SECURE
BERLIN (GER): Olympic champion and world pole vault record holder Yelena Isinbayeva isnâ€˜t boasting when revealing she doesnâ€˜t have any any serious rivals in an event she has dominated for the last six years. The one million jackpot feat is a tough assignment for any athlete but Isinbayeva is convinced that after the final event in Brussels on September 4, she will have achieved that ambition. Isinbayeva who has set 26 world records indoors and outdoors, said: â€œMy main rival is myself. My motivation now comes from people, and especially children, who love sport â€“ my spectators and fans.â€œ
Kenenisa Bekele the Olympic 5000m and 10000m champion given his vast superiority ahead of his opponents, is likely to emerge as another candidate to maintain a clean sheet in his six GL outings. But there is a minor question mark about the the Ethiopian star scheduled to race either 3000m or 5000m at the various venues and who starts over the longer one in Berlinâ€˜s Olympic stadium. Bekele dropped put of a 1500m race at the FBK Games in Hengelo at the beginning of June with a suspected thigh injury and it remains unknown what effect this will have had on his preparations before emarking on a very tough programme. Another jackpot favorite Sanya Richards the worldâ€˜s fastest 400 metres runner this year admitted that achievement paled into insignificance after losing the Olympic title to Christine Ohuruogu in Beijing last summer. â€žOf course winning the Olympic gold medal would have meant 100 times more to me than being world number one,â€œ said Richards who starts her international 2009 campaign at the DBK-Istaf Golden League meeting in Berlin tomorrow.
GOLDEN LEAGUE ANALYSIS
BERLIN (GER): In analysing the one million jackpot chances clearly the best possibilities to win all meets are for pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. Very good chances also for Kenenisa Bekele in combination 3000/5000 m who is coming slowly back to the shape. Blanka Vlasic in high jump is also having pretty good records to attempt the jackpot, but here the home rival Ariane Friedrich is the dangerous part (and also because she is not planning all Golden Leagues). Sanya Richards at 400 m is in good position too. In javelin the best are in Berlin, but the rivalry Thorkildsen-PitkamÃ¤ki could produce different results at six occassions. The remaining five events are looking as without jackpot considerations because the best ones are simply not contesting the first leg (menÂ´s 100 m, 400 m and 110 m hurdles and womenÂ´s 100 m and 100 m hurdles).
VCB FOR RETHYMNO
RETHYMNO (GRE): Olympic 200 m winner Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica confirmed her first meet of European season in July. It will Vardinoyannia in Rethymno on Island Creete in Greece (European Athletics Premium) on July 20. She is going to run both sprints (100 m and 200 m) there.
RAWLINSON FOR MALAGA
MALAGA (ESP): Australian 400 m hurdles world champion Jana Rawlinson is again ready to compete after series of injuries and changes in her private life. She will run her event at European Athletics Premium meet in Malaga, Spain on June 27.
DUBLIN (IRL): Sonia Oâ€˜Sullivan the 2000 Olympic 5,000 metres silver medallist, has been appointed as the Deputy Chef de Mission for Irelandâ€˜s team to compete at the European Youth Olympic Festival. Informs Insidethegames.com. The 40-strong squad to compete in Tampere, Finland, from July 18 to 25, includes the cream of Irelandâ€™s young athletic talent in four sports â€“ athletics, cycling, gymnastics and swimming â€“ and is hoping to take home many medals in what is Europeâ€™s top competition for under age athletes.
LONDON (GBR): Reformed drug cheat Dwain Chambers has been included in a strong Aviva Great Britain team for the inaugural European Team Championships in Leira next weekend.
Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu who opened her campaign at the distance with an impressive victory at the French meeting will run over 200m while Beijing Games triple jump silver medallist Phillips Idowu is also included. Several younger athletes who have shone with breakthrough performances abroad in recent weeks headed by Rikki Fifton, David Greene, Ashlee Nelson, Hannah England, Stephanie Twell, Eilidh Child and Kate Dennison, have earned selection for their efforts.
ZURICH (SUI): World marathon medalist Viktor Rothlin will marry on June 27 as Swiss media are informing. Blick informs that his wife will be Renate Hotz. After health difficulties which are now solved, Rothlin is also doing important steps in his private life.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Triple jump olympic winner Nelson Evora and Briton Jessica Ennis were voted European Athletes of the Month of May. The runners-up in the womenâ€˜s poll were Norwegian sprint hurdler Christina Vukicevic and Portuguese long jumper Naide Gomes, while Italian European Cup 20km Walk champion Giorgio Rubino and German decathlete Michael Schrader were the runners up in the menâ€˜s poll.
ROME (ITA): Italian leg of AF Golden Gala in Rome has beside the centrally contracted athletes (Isinbayeva, Vlasic, Bekele, Thorkildsen, Pitkamaki, Richards) also great long jump field with both current best in the world Dwight Phillips and Irving Saladino. More olympic winners will also come. Dawn Harper at 100 m hurdles, Nancy Lagat at 1500 m and Gulnara Samitova-Galkin in her speciality steeple. With her current improvements in shorter distances she can well attack her world record. Home star Antonietta Di Martino will be in high jump field.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Athletissima of Lausanne added to stellar field (Bolt, Robles, Saladino, Hooker, Spotakova) four new olympic champions. Hurdlers Angelo Taylor and Dawn Harper, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser at 100 m and Kenyan Nancy Lagat at 1500 m. She will face world champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain who feels in Lausanne like home. At 400 m hurdles also other olympic medalists will be there (Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson). Fraser will face Kerron Stewart and Harper Australian Sally McLellan, both silver winners from Beijing.
CHEBOKSARY (RUS, June 13): Winners of todayÂ´s 20 km races at Russian walking championships in hot weather qualified for World Championships in Berlin. Andrey Krivov won in 1:23:23 ahead of Andrey Ruzavin (1:23:57) and Aleksey Bartsaykin (1:26:29). The same for female winner Vera Sokolova (1:27:33) beating Tatyana Shemyakina (1:29:33) and Olga Mikhaylova (1:31:56). Already before selected were Valeriy Borchin and Pyotr Trofimov at 20 km for men and Olga Kaniskina (title defender), Anisiya Kirdyapkina and Anastasiya Yemelyanova at 20 km for women. On Sunday 50 km for men will be staged.
FAYETTEVILLE (USA, June 12): Two college records highlighted the third day of NCAA Championships. Texas AM with all-US runners (Carter, Lucas, Duncan, Mayo) achieved 42.36 at 4×100 m. It is also new world leading mark. Jenny Barringer confirmed her excellent sub 4 from Eugene here to new college steeple record 9:25.54. In other women events Destinee Hooker cleared 195 in high jump and attempted collegiate record 198. Alexandria Anderson confirmed her 100 m status but due to -0.5 and changeable weather she was not so fast with 11.20 as in prelims. Nicole Leach achieved 55.39 at 400 m hurdles and Canadian Brianna Theisen 6086 PB in heptathlon. Trindon Holliday equalled his best from heats to win the 100 m with 10 flat (+0.3) ahead of Ahmad Rashad (10.10). In great 400 m hurdles duel as winner Jeshua Anderson posted fourth fastest time in the world 48.47 ahead of Johnny Dutch 48.62. Texas AM at 4×100 m were disqualified and the win went to Florida (38.58) ahead of LSU (38.67) and Clemson (38.77). Galen Rupp got his second gold after 10 k when he dominated also the 5k in 14:04.12. In technical finals Chris Hill achieved 81.80 in javelin,Jason Colwick 570 in pole vault, Scott Sellers 226 in high jump. Marcel Lomnicky of Slovakia is following in the footsteps of his country-man Libor Chafreitag as hammer NCAA champion with 71.78.
KONIGS-WUSTERHAUSEN (GER, June 12): Russian Olga Kucherenko proved her great shape in bad weather conditions at traditional meet here with new meet record 671 (-1.1). Swedish star Carolina Kluft was only fifth with 607. Canadian Angela Whyte clocked 13.00 (+1.7) at 100 m hurdles and PolandÂ´s Anita Wlodarczyk 72.39 in hammer. On the men side world leading 2:18.95 at 1000 m by Latvian Dmitrij Milkevics, Markus Esser got solid hammer (76.71) over Belarus 80 thrower Yuriy Shayunov (75.91). Kenyan favorite Collins Kosgei dominated the steeple (8:31.14). Most of the sprints were wind-aided. Nigerian Chinedu Oriala achieved 10.29 (+2.5) at 100 m and US Hurdles Ty Akins (13.43) and Fred Townsend (13.54) with +2.1. Bahamian 400 m runner Michael Mathieu had more luck with wind at the 200 m with 20.84 (0.0).
LUGANO (SUI, June 12): US hurdler Aries Merritt clocked excellent 13.29 (+1.9) at 110 m hurdles to win the Swiss Meeting here. Best female result was 197 by Spanish Ruth Beitia in high jump. Australian Ben Harradine tossed the discus to 64.97 m. Eritrean Issak Sibatu improved to 13:24.10 at 5000 m and Italian Giovanni Tomasicchio clocked 10.34 (+1.3) at 100 m.
BUCURESTI (ROU, June 12): Veteran discus thrower Nicoleta Grasu achieved good 63.46 at 54th International Romanian Championships. Cristina Toma improved in triple jump to 14.29 (+0.5). Also solid Viorica Tigau in long jump (664, +1.9). Good men sprints as Catalin Cimpeanu clocked 10.30 (+1.5) and 20.86 (+1.3). Alexandru Mihailescu achieved 13.69 (+1.9) at 110 m hurdles.
RANCHI (IND, June 10): National record holder Joseph Abraham clocked 49.87 at 400 m hurdles during 5th national Grand Prix meeting.
JIAXING (CHN, June 13): World and olympic hammer medalist Zhang Wenxiu won her event at National GP meet with 70.20 m.
ALYTUS (LTU, June 12): PolandÂ´s Grzegorz Sudol won the 20 km walk at 35th Alytus meet in 1:22:12. Home Brigita Virbalyte was the best woman with 1:33:52.
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