Sammy Wanjiru: I am running in Abu Dhabi, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder



Sammy Wanjiru, 2009 Bank of America Chicago marathon champion and record holder, photo by

In the past two weeks, I have been fortunate to interview Sammy Wanjiru twice. Sammy told me at B of A Chicago, that he wanted to set the record-world record and win too. At the Nike Summit, he told the assembled masses that he wanted the world record in the marathon, and would run Berlin next fall to do that. He also will run in Abu Dhabi in January with $300,000 on the line for a half marathon....

EME NEWS (OCT 19, 2009)

Wanjiru for January HM

ABU DHABI (UAE): The Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, which hosts the final race of the Formula One season in two weeks’ time will be put to further sporting effort on January 7, when Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru and former world cross champion Lornah Kiplagat defend the titles they won in the Zayed International Half-Marathon in 2008. Writes Pat Butcher on his blog With the same $300,000 each first prize on offer, a successful run in Abu Dhabi for the 22 year old Wanjiru will mean winnings of close to one million dollars in a little over two months. His victory in Chicago last weekend not only won him $175,000, but it also wrapped up the World Marathon Majors’ jackpot of $500,000, which he will formally pick up in New York in two weeks’ time. The young Kenyan won the inaugural Zayed International Half-Marathon in January 2008, but the race was cancelled in early 2009, while waiting for finalisation of the Yas Marina circuit. Wanjiru is world record holder for the half-marathon, with his 58:33 in The Hague in 2007. But his translation to the marathon has been the most successful in history, with victory in his last four races, including the Olympic Games, in superfast times. His spring marathon 2010 should be London, he said earlier. It won’t be an easy $300,000 in Abu Dhabi however. His colleague, Patrick Makau has run two sub-59min times, and five more under the once-unbreachable one hour; and four-time world champion, most recently in Birmingham nine days ago, Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea will also be on the start line. The women’s race will also feature a stellar line-up. Kenyan born Kiplagat, now of the Netherlands, and aged 35, is women’s world record holder, with her 66:25 in Udine, Italy in 2007 and should be ok at that time after struggling with injury. But the woman in form is 27 year old Mary Keitany of Kenya, who has the top two times in the world this year, including the second best ever, 66:36, which won her the world title in Birmingham.

Bolt as cricketer

TRELAWNY (JAM): Triple Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt returned to his first love, cricket, on Sunday and showed that he certainly knows how to handle both bat and ball. In a charity match, just down the coast from his home town of Trelawny, Bolt bowled West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle after earlier delighting a packed crowd by smashing his Jamaican compatriot for a straight six.

Euromeetings Assembly

BUDAPEST (HUN): To start with IAAF Diamond League and IAAF World Challenge in the 2010 is the perfect year as there are no major global events on the programme. That was said at traditional autumn general assembly of the Euromeetings group in Budapest last Friday during the European Athletics Convention. Top European one day meetings representatives met to discuss the seasons 2009 and 2010 and also look into the future. Euromeetings president Rajne Soderberg in his report mentioned, that 2009 was even better for meetings than 2008. „Athletics has now a real super hero in Usain Bolt and it has put our sport in the forefront of all sports in the general public´s eye,“ Soderberg added. But he also pointed out that if the meetings are spending too much of its budgets on one person it may affect the possibilities to have the dramas and competition that the spectators enjoy in all events during the event. The financial crisis was seen at many of the meetings, mainly with less spectators in some cases due to their personal cuttings on expenses. The Euromeetings wants to continue as actively as possible in the war against doping. Euromeetings is also involved in new concepts prepared by European Athletics for its continental one day meetings. This new guidelines valid for Europe will start already in 2010 with further improvements planned in 2011 etc. The Assembly also recommended that the Euromeetings should be more involved in Calendar coordination looking forward not only to next year but working at least with two years in advance. For Spring 2010 a Seminar is planned devoted to Event Presentation.

Euromeetings is the group of organizers of European athletics meetings. Currently there are 54 meetings in the group. All European IAAF Diamond League and IAAF World Challenge meetings are members, most of the European Athletics Permit Meetings are also members.

L. Kibet for Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH (GBR): Former world marathon champion Luke Kibet after a lean spell is aiming to regain his Bupa Great South Run title in Portsmouth next weekend. Kibet returns to the south coast venue on Sunday for the 20th staging of Europe's leading 10 miles road race determined to win back the crown he claimed two years ago. The 26-year-old Kenyan on that occasion was in a vintage streak of form having earlier surprisingly claimed the world championships marathon gold medal with a runaway victory in Osaka. Writes David Martin. But a combination of injuries and illnesses combined with being attacked by mobsters and receiving head injuries during the Kenyan riots in 2007/2008, has seen him struggle this year. Kibet denied the opportunity to defend his world title in Berlin two months ago because of fitness doubts, is now rebuilding his career and the Great South Run will be a critical stepping stone in his comeback. Two-time world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya and Australia's former world cross country champion Benita Willis head the women's field in the Bupa Great South Run's record entry of 21000.


BARCELONA (ESP): About 60 delegates of all principal European TV and radio stations, representatives of European Athletics (EA) and the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) as well as members of the Organising Committee Barcelona 2010 will unite in the Catalan capital beginning Tuesday in order to getting to know the production plan presented by the Championship’s host broadcaster TVE. The congress, called World Broadcaster Meeting, will last until Thursday and has symbolic character as it is the first event organised by the Barcelona 2010 team. Organisers are informing in a release.

MONTE CARLO (MON): SPORTELMonaco has celebrated its 20th annual event in high style last week, with 2247 participants, representing 938 companies from 68 countries worldwide taking part in the 4-day mix of market, conferences and special events that wrapped up this week, it was announced today by David Tomatis, CEO of MONACO MEDIAX / SPORTEL. The packed exhibition space in the Grimaldi Forum featured 159 stands, kiosks, displays and exhibits. Also top athletics events were discussed and offered. The next SPORTEL event will be SPORTELAsia 2010, March 8 - 10, 2010 at the world-famous Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore. The 21st annual SPORTELMonaco 2010 will return to the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, October 11 - 14, 2010.

LAUSANNE (SUI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced an agreement with ELTA Technology Co. Ltd. (ELTA), for the broadcast and exhibition rights within Chinese Taipei to the XXI Olympic Winter Games (2010) in Vancouver and the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. In other development IOC also called on USA to change mind over Youth Olympic Games and possible non-participation.

KINGSTON (JAM): Prime Minister Bruce Golding has come out in defense of his decision to afford three-time Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt, 23, the Order of Jamaica - the nation's fourth-highest honor. After just 3 sports personalities as Merlene Ottey, Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh, Bolt will become the youngest -ever recipient on Monday, 23. "I felt that because of the extra-ordinary achievements of Usain Bolt that he deserves the award of the Order of Jamaica,” Golding said. "That decision has been criticized and people have said that he is too young and that we should wait. I don't think Usain is a superman, I believe he is a superhuman. But he is not going to remain a superhuman forever. I don't think that he is going to be able to break any world records when he is 35 because I don't think that it is physically possible." Informs Jamaica Gleaner.

KYIV (UKR): Happy Birthday! Double sprint olympic winner from 1972 Munich Valeriy Borzov will on Tuesday celebrate his 60th birthday. He is IOC member, President of Ukrainian Athletics Federation and Vice-President of Ukrainian National Olympic Committee.


HOLE (NOR, Oct 17): Norwegian running talent Sondre Nordstad Moen (will be junior still next year) clocked impressive 28:50 on the road 10 km and course record.

TACHIKAWA (JPN, Oct 17): Akinobu Murasawa won the 20 km qualifying race (for Hakone Ekiden) in 59:08.

YOKOHAMA (JPN, Oct 18): Masato Yokota the Japanese 800 m champion (and fourth placer from Universiade in Belgrade) improved the national record at the distance with 1:46.16.

SHIMONSEKI (JPN, Oct 18): At Tajima Memorial meet world javelin medalist Yukifumi Murakami achieved 77.77. Good long jumping by Rikiya Saruyama (793 with wind) and Sachiku Masumi (648 with wind).

INDJIJA (SRB, Oct 17): At RTS Cross Country race in Serbia Kenyan win for Joseph Kiptoo at 6 km, best home runner Mirko Petrovic was fourth. Youth athlete Amela Terzic won the women´s 4 km.

MADRID (ESP, Oct 17): Another road mile win for Dutch Adrienne Herzog in Spain. She was the best at Mille de Vallecas with 5:04. Male winner Arturo Casado clocked 4:20 ahead of Sergio Sanchez who had the same time

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