Will Jessica Ennis become the face of London 2012? by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Jessica Ennis is competing in Gateshead on Monday, August 31, 2009. After her flawless performance in Berlin, where she secured the gold medal in the heptathlon with a superb two day performance, Ennis is very popular in Great Britain. Our man in the streets, Alfons Juck, writes about Ms. Ennis chances of being the face of London 2012.


Jessica Ennis, August 17, 2009, gold medalist, heptathlon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

EME NEWS (AUG 29-30, 2009)


MADRID (ESP): Fastest man on earth Usain Bolt made a ceremonial kickoff of start of the Spanish League at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday. It was before 80 000 fans before the match Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna. On Sunday he was planning to watch a bullfight in Madrid and on Monday supposed to fly to London. Agencies are reporting that he said he can go faster in future than his fresh world records in Berlin. His next competition is the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels on Friday where he will run the 200 m as was confirmed by the organizers. His goal will be to improve the meet record of Tyson Gay 19.79 from 2006 in his last European meet of the year and last 200 m of the year. Gay will run the 100 m on Sep 4 against Asafa Powell in Belgium.


GATESHEAD (GBR): World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis takes what could be the first step in establishing herself as the face of the London 2012 Olympics at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead on Monday. Ennis, after her superb win in Berlin makes no secret it is an accolade she would relish, although east Londoners Olympic 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu and world triple jump gold medallist Phillips Idowu are also admirable candidates. The Sheffield star whose own Olympic hopes last summer were wrecked when missing them with a serious foot injury, made an unbelievable recovery to become the world‘s number one multi-events performer. Ennis is now determined to maintain that form in the build up to London in three years time.“Having the year that I‘ve had and after a horrible year last year, I think I‘m just taking everything in my stride and appreciating and enjoying everything a little bit more now,“ Ennis said. „So if people are talking about me being the face of 2012 then I‘ve not got a problem with that at all. It‘s great and it‘s something to really look forward.“ Ennis along with other British medallists from Berlin will receive a great welcome when competing in the 100metre hurdles at Gateshead International Stadium. New British hurdles revelation William Sharman again faces David Payne of the United States at the Gateshead venue which is part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour. 5000 m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya will run the 3000 m where double olympic winner Tirunesh Dibaba is finally not running (as per latest IAAF start list). Tyson Gay is the star of men´s 100 m.

ZAGREB (CRO): Monday´s Zagreb Grand Prix 2009 meet will be seen in 59 countries. World champion Primoz Kozmus said that he did not celebrate too much his title as he still wants to achieve long throws this season. 110 m hurdles world champion Ryan Brathwaite will not be thinking of meet record 12.98 but Dawn Harper after PR in Zurich could well attack the meet best 12.60 at 100 m hurdles. Another meet record attacks at women´s 400 m (50.37) mainly by Shericka Williams and in the men´s 100 m (10.08) by strong group of sprinters (Frater, Patton, Rodgers, Carter). Main rival for home star Blanka Vlasic is the Russian silver medalist from Berlin Anna Chicherova, she hopes to attack her season best. Latest withdrawal is US 400 m hurdles silver winner from Berlin Lashinda Demus who was to face world champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica.

GLASGOW (GBR): Dave Collins sacked last year as UK Athletics‘ performance director after Britain failed to reach its medal target at the Olympics, has applied for a top post at the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU). Informs insidethegames.com. He is among the favourites to be appointed as the new Director of Performance Rugby to assist with the strategic development of the sport in Scotland.

ABUJA (NGR): Former Commonwealth Games shot put champion, Vivian Chukwuemeka is still in regrets and crying that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria has accused her of using anabolic steroid during the Mobil Track and Field championship. Nigerian media are informing. The news of her use of drugs was broken during the IAAF World Championship in Berlin, Germany and the Delta State born shot put champions said she never used drugs, but described the development as a calculated attempt by someone to smear the image she has built the past 10 years. She said AFN is corrupt.

„During the World Athletics Championship in Berlin, my doctor and secretary called me and said that I have tested positive to drugs. They asked me to sign the paper which I refused. They did not hear from me and just asked me to sign. Latter, they said I should write on how the drugs came to be in my sample. IAAF rejected my letter and I wrote another one which I submitted to the AFN secretary on August 14 and she did not submit it till on the 15. There is a lot of violation in the process. I think AFN is trying to cover up. Everything will come out. During the Mobil Championship we were all tested, but the result did not come out. There are lots of errors in the process. I have contacted my lawyer and he is putting up my defence. I have been an athlete for 10 years and how can they just come and say I tested positive for drugs. I hope the committee set up is going to be fair because I am clean. I made a mistake coming home for Mobil Championship,” she was quoted.



SAPPORO (JPN, Aug 30): By running away from their competitions soon after 10Km into the race, Daniel Njenga and Kiyoko Shimahara won the men and women’s division of 2009 Hokkaido Marathon. More than 8000 runners started in Sapporo, city of 1.9 million in the northern island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido marathon is one of the few races in Japan, in which both elites and non elites, men and women all run together in a single race. Kenyan Njenga clocked 2:12:03 ahead of Ryo Yamamoto (2:12:10) and another Kenyan Laban Kagika (2:12:24). 32 years old Kiyoko Shimahara achieved very solid life-time best 2:25:10 ahead of Akemi Ozaki (2:27:23. PB).


GOTEBORG (SWE, Aug 29-30): Home teams won all matches during the traditional Finnkampen at Ullevi Stadium. Men with 208:200, women 213:197, youth boys 117:89 and youth girls 110:91. Johan Wissman achieved two good wins 20.56 (seasons fastest, -0.4) and 46.33. Fresh Finnish record holder from Zurich Jukka Keskisalo posted 8:33.12 steeple win. Linus Thornblad fulfilled favorite role in high jump (225), Christian Olsson also won with 16.61 in triple jump. Michel Torneus leaped to 797 (+2.5, 775 legal) surprise win over Finnish favorite Tommi Evila in long jump (786, -0.6). Finnish throwing wins for Olli-Pekka Karjalainen (78.70 season best in hammer) and Ari Mannio (80.01 in javelin). Emma Green went over 190 to win the high jump. World youth champion Angelica Bengtsson (16) improved her own swedish junior record to excellent 435 cm in pole vault in youth competition. Senior winner Minna Nikanen cleared 430 for Finland.


PADOVA (ITA, Aug 30): Jamaican sprinters showed impressive shape at 23rd International Citta di Padova meeting (EA Classic). Olympic medalist Sherone Simpson clocked her seasons fastest 11.15 (+0.5) in women´s 100 m. Another athlete coached by Stephen Francis Ainsley Waugh was the best in men´s sprint with 10.18 (-0.1) just edging home Simone Collio who got 10.19. Third US Ryan Bailey achieved 10.20. But US wins were registered by Funmi Jimoh in long jump (660, -0.5) and world medalist Bershawn Jackson at 400 m hurdles (49.25 over Jamaican Markino Buckley 50.18 and Briton David Greene 51.27). Fans celebrated Elisa Cusma winning the 800 m in 2:00.05 (Slovenian Jolanda Ceplak was 5th in 2:04.62). Russian wins for Tatyana Polnova in pole vault (452), Pavel Sofin in shot put (19.54) and former world record holder Tatyana Lysenko in hammer (on Saturday) with 73.12 (she beat other Berlin finalists home Cristina Claretti 71.12 and German Kathrin Klaas 70.41). Surprise in men´s long jump as Ukrainian Andriy Makarchev leaped to 795 over Berlin silver winner Godfrey Mokoena of South Africa (792). Belarus Natalya Mikhnevich won women shot put (19.27) beating Cuban Misleidys Gonzalez (18.57). In remaining running events Kenyan Reuben Bett clocked 1:45.21 at 800 m, Alian Pompey of Guyana 51.40 at 400 m and Cuban William Collazo in men´s 400 m (45.67) over US David Neville (45.79). Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius of South Africa was 6th in 47.07. Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson won the 100 m hurdles (12.93, -0.8) over Russian Yulia Kondakova (12.96).


EBERSTADT (GER, Aug 29-30): Non-Berlin starter Russian Irina Gordeyeva cleared third best mark of the year 202 while winning the 31st special high jump meeting here. It was also life-time best for the fifth placer from European Indoor Championships this year. Home star Ariane Friedrich was only sixth with 191. It was her opening height and then could not clear the following 194. Before 1800 spectators Marina Aitova of Kazakhstan was second (197) and another Russian Viktoriya Klyugina third (194). On Saturday home fans celebrated win by Raul Spank who achieved life-time best 233 cm. It was first home win after 20 years (Carlo Thranhardt 234 in 1989). Spank then tried at 235. Russian Ivan Ukhov cleared 230 as second ahead of US Jesse Williams (227).


BAD KOSTRITZ (GER, Aug 30): World Champion Robert Harting is continuing with winning and triumphed at 15th throwing meeting here with 65.93 m. Another win for Ralf Bartels in shot put (20.78). Mark Frank achieved good 82.03 in javelin. Shot Put world champion Valerie Vili also won again with 20.41 ahead of Nadine Kleinert (19.49). Nadine Muller was best in discus (61.30).

JABLONEC (CZE, Aug 29): Czech Club Champions are men of AK Kromeriz (168 points and one point ahead of long-time champion Dukla Praha) and women of USK Praha (207.5). Hurdler Petr Svoboda after early morning flight from Zurich clocked 13.51 (+2.0). Javelin world record holder Barbora Spotakova saved power for Gateshead with 57.87 win. Also to note in women events the 13.17 (+1.2) by hurdler Lucie Skrobakova, Zuzana Hejnova achieved 57.20 at 400 m hurdles and Vera Cechlova 61.20 in discus. On the men side Michal Balner cleared 551 in pole vault, Stepan Wagner leaped to windy 796 (+3.9) in long jump, Antonin Zalsky 19.60 in shot put, Lukas Melich 76.15 in hammer. Slovak guests won their events Dmitrij Valukevic (16.19 in triple jump) and Matej Toth (19:27.35 the 5000 m track walk).

MERKSEM (BEL, Aug 29): At 45th Gala meet in Antverp part excellent new meet record at 5000 m by Kenyan junior John Cheruiyot with 13.18.43. Other young Kenyan Nixon Chepseba won the 1500 m in 3:39.14 ahead of Daniel Salel (3:39.31). Briton James Ellington won the 100 m in 10.32 (+3.0) just edging US Thomas Hunter who was credited with the same 10.32. Hunter won later the 200 m in good 20.56 (+1.7). US Hurdler Jeff Porter dominated his event in 13.80 (+2.2). In technical events 77.32 for Tom Goyvaerts in javelin and 221 by Bahamian Trevor Barry in high jump. In Belgium living Ethiopian Almensch Belete won the 1500 m in 4:13.43.

BECKUM (GER, Aug 30): Brazilian Berlin fifth placer Fabiana Murer won special Pole Vault meet here with 463 clearance. British Kate Dennison achieved 440 ahead of home Anna Battke (440). Berlin silver winner Chelsea Johnson no heighted at 440.

WOERDEN (NED, Aug 30): Canadian Susan Coltman achieved new personal best 5895 points in heptathlon while winning the 7th edition of international combined events meeting. Norwagian Hans Olav Uldal was the best in decathlon (7560).

BREDA (NED, Aug 29): At 9th International track meet home hurdles star Gregory Sedoc achieved 13.73 (-1.5) but lost to Nigerian record holder Selim Nurudeen (13.71). Shot putter Denise Kemkers improved her outdoor PB to 17.30 (she has 17.66 from European Indoor championships in Torino this March).

BIELSKO-BIALA (POL, Aug 29-30): At Polish U23 Championships Adam Kszczot clocked very solid 1:46.03 at 800 m, Kamil Krynski improved to 20.95 (+0.8) at 200 m.

ODENSE (DEN, Aug 29-30): Morten Jensen won two events at Danish Championships. He was the best in long jump (772, 0.0) and 200 m (21.47, 0.0). Best female athlete the 400 hurdles specialist (semifinals in Berlin) Sara Petersen won four events. 100 m (11.93, +3.0), 200 m (24.48, +0.6), 400 m (55.08) and 400 m hurdles (63.45).

LAGE (GER, Aug 30): German heptathlon champion Christine Schulz scored 6030 points. Jan-Felix Knobel was the best in decathlon (7738).

BUZAU (ROU, Aug 29): Romanian Half-marathon champions were Cristinel Irimia (1:05:22) and Alina Istudora (1:15:36).

Special thanks, once again to our man in Central Europe, Alfons Juck, EME News.

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