Virgin London Vs. the Volcano, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

Robert Cheruiyot, 2010 Boston Marathon victor, photo by

After the press conference today for the Boston 2010 winners, I reminded Guy Morse, about the year that Boston had to decide whether to cancel the race due to bad weather. In Chicago. CareyPinkowski had his tough year, where he had to close the course due to terribly hot weather. Now, Dave Bedford, and his team in London are facing an Icelandic volcano.

Per CNN, it seems like the volcano may be slowing down, but this series of eruptions could affect travel in Northern Europe, Russia and Scandanavia, per CNNs weather department. Some athletes still have not gotten there. The Virgin London staff has been working to get the elite athletes to London.

Also, this coming weekend, are the Penn Relays, with USA vs. the world and the Drake Relays, two of the top track & field carnivals in the U.S. Usain Bolt is running at Penn, and that should help fill up the stands!

Good luck to our friends in London this weekend!


LONDON (GBR): London Marathon Organizers are in tough position to organize the travel of their top names to Sunday´s race due to difficulties of air-travel. Irina Mikitenko traveled by train to Calais, France on Tuesday. From there she should be jetted by a private plane to London. For the Kenyan male stars Samuel Wanjiru and Duncan Kibet with Emmanuel Mutai a special travel plan is organised. They should fly on Tuesday from Kenya with a stop-over in Djibouti to take Ethiopian and Eritrean runners. They should fly to Spain and there another jet should bring them to London.  On Monday night the Japan-based British runner Mara Yamauchi, who came second in the race in 2009, was halfway to Paris after driving a hire car from Madrid, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper. She has a reservation for a train from the French capital on to London on Tuesday. Marathon organisers are also monitoring the air pollution levels in London for any change caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, writes BBC.



PHILADELPHIA (USA): Incredible line-ups are announced for the 114th Penn Relays and mainly the 11th edition of USA vs. World relays. 12 nations are set to compete with its teams, but most awaited is the participation of fastest man on earth Usain Bolt. Jamaicans announced names for two teams, it might come out that one team will be composed by coach Glen Mills of Racers TC (except of Bolt also Blake, Forsythe, Marvin Anderson, Kenroy Anderson) and MVP of Stephen Francis could have another one (Powell, Frater, Carter, X. Brown) added by hurdles record holder Dwight Thomas. USA announced its top names with national champion Mike Rodgers, olympic medalists Walter Dix and Shawn Crawford and current 100 m world leader Ivory Williams. In the 4x400 m it looks for clear US win with such a talent like world gold medalists Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson, olympic winner Angelo Taylor, olympic medalist David Neville.  Men of Canada and Trinidad can be fast in the 4x100 and men of Bahamas and Jamaica in the 4x400 m. In the women 4x100 m US will have Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix and Melisa Barber but Jamaica with Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson will be tough to beat. In the 4x400 m Jamaica with Rosemarie Whyte, Shericka Williams and Novlene Williams-Mills looks like not having a big chance to US headed by Sanya Richards and Allyson Felix with fresh world indoor champion Debbie Dunn.  From other team interesting to note Australia and Kenya (with olympic winner Asbel Kiprop and world champion Alfred Yego) men for distance medley relay, Great Britain women for the same race with Christine Ohuruogu, Nicola Sanders and Jemma Simpson.  



DES MOINES (USA): More top names for 101st Drake Relays this weekend. In the men 200 m world medalist Wallace Spearmon will make his debut here against former olympic medalist Bernard Williams and French Martial Mbandjock. In men´s 400 m hurdles world medalist Javier Culson of Puerto-Rico should compete with Jamaican Isa Phillips and US Justin Gaymon. Derek Miles is the pole vault headliner, Renny Quow, best Trinidad athlete is scheduled for 400 m. In the women high jump US Champion Chaunte Howard-Lowe will face two strong American opposition in Canadian Nicole Forrester and Lavern Spencer of St. Lucia. In four days 7227 athletes from 58 countries are scheduled to compete. Already previously announced were Lolo Jones and Christian Cantwell.



GATESHEAD (GBR): Reigning women's 100m World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser will be lighting up the track when she competes at the Aviva British Grand Prix, Britain's first IAAF Diamond League event, at Gateshead International Stadium on Saturday 10 July. Informs IAAF. She is one of the ambassadors of the series and is expecting to compete in all women 100 m races. First in Shanghai on May 23.



ELDORET (KEN): Olympic 800 m winner Pamela Jelimo is planning two more local Kenyan meets before deciding on her international schedule. The world junior record holder plans for Eldoret competition in two weeks. Miler Haron Keitany was unlucky at last meet in Mumias when he was spiked in the 800 m heats and was not able to run the finals next day. Now he is ok with excellent training time trial at the 800 m. Keitany who clocked last year 3:30.20 at 1500 m and won bronze in Doha at World Indoors in March plans also fast 800 m this year.







LONDON (GBR): The BBC is launching a major new project that will follow 25 athletes around the world as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Four-time Olympic Gold medallist Methhew Pinsent will front the multi-platform project that goes across television, radio and the internet. The biggest name involved in the project is triple gold medallist Usain Bolt, the project will also follow Chicago Bulls basketball star Luol Deng, Kosovan judoka Majlinda Kelmendi; Afghani taekwondo fighter Rohullah Nikpai and Iraqi rowers Hussein Hamza and Nozad Haider. It will stretch across five continents and feature athletes in 20 different sports, Viewers will be given a real insight into each of the athlete's unique stories and very different personal circumstances while they all work towards the same goal of Olympic success. Writes


BARCELONA (ESP): The Barcelona 2010 organising committee has announced its agreement with ONA FM, a sports radio station connected to the Catalan network Cadena SER. Almost five million people listen daily to the Cadena SER network stations.


KINGSTON (JAM): Sherone Simpson, the Olympic Games 100m silver medallist, confirmed her participation for the Jamaica International Invitational on May 1 in Kingston.


KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican media are writing that world's fastest man Usain Bolt tried his hand at the golf, managing to hit the ball on his first swing, after he made a quick stop at last Saturday's final day of the Mojo6 LPGA Speedway golf tournament at Cinnamon Hills course in Rose Hall. Bolt posed for photos with players as well as a number of those who turned up to watch the golf.


MOSCOW (RUS): Russia named its teams for IAAF Race Walking World Cup in May in Mexico. As already previously announced world champions from Berlin (Borchin, Kirdyapkin and Kaniskina) are having byes for European Championships in Barcelona and are not selected. In the women 20 km team former world and european junior champion Vera Sokolova is the headliner with 2008 world junior champion Tatyana Mineyeva, 2008 world cup silver winner Tatyana Sibileva and Lyudmila Arkhipova. In the men 20 km squad Sergey Bakulin will compete with Denis Strelkov, Piotr Trofimov, Andrey Ruzavin and Andrey Krivov. 50 km team is composed of Sergey Sergachev, Yuriy Andronov, Sergey Melentyev and Ivan Zhbanov. Junior selections - boys: Valeriy Filipchuk, Konstantin Kulagov and Dementiy Cheparev, girls: Anna Lukyanova, Nina Okhotnikova and Svetlana Vasilyeva.


SOFIA (BUL): Bulgarian world indoor bronze medalist at 400 m Vania Stambolova is in preparation for summer. Her main aim is European Championships in Barcelona and Continental Cup in Split. She remains undecided between not only 400 m, 400 m hurdles but is also adding 200 m into her list of main events. She is title defender in the 400 m from Goteborg 2006.  


BARCELONA (ESP):  Spanish top marathoner Chema Martinez is delighted about the European championships marathon circuit in Barcelona.  Martinez tested some of the circuit during a 10 km Cursa Bombers last Sunday and believes he could get the gold at this summer's championships. Martinez' personal best stands at 2:08.09, he already won a European gold medal in 2002 when winning the final of the 10 000m in Munich.


ARNHEM (NED): This year's Papendal Games have been cancelled due to the difficulty of finding sponsors to support the event, the organization has announced in a press release. It's the second year in a row that the meet cannot take place and if the  organization is to continue the name might change into the Arnhem Games. The Papendal Games have been staged since 1975 and once had big names such as Carl Lewis, Nelli Cooman and Rutger Smith on the startlist.


BUDAPEST (HUN): Boston Marathon is in latest 2010 rankings 8th, leaders are Rotterdam, Dubai and Paris. In separated men rankings sixth place for Boston, in separate women 9th position. More at


RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Brazilian May circuit added one more into the programme. The schedule looks now as follows: May 16 Fortaleza, May 19 Belem, May 23 Rio de Janeiro (IAAF World Challenge), May 26 Uberlandia and May 30 Maringa.







PANAMA CITY (PAN, Apr 19): During last day of Central American Games Jonathan Williams of Belize clocked 50.53 to win the 400 m hurdles. Best country on medals in athletics was home side Panama (13-14-15) ahead of Costarica (10-11-5). Cuba was not participating.


DALIAN (CHN, Apr 18): Chinese champion won the marathon here. Chen Rong clocked 2:30:09 to be the best woman. Informs Tilastopaja.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME news.

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