It is late on Thursday night in Houston. The official marathon and half marathon weekend in Houston begins tomorrow with the press conferences at 11 am. Ryan Hall is here, so is Jorge Torres, Jason Lemkuhle, Sergio Reyes, Dan Browne & Patrick Smythe. On the women’s side,
Magdelena Lewy Boulet, Jenn Rhines, Katie McGregor, Colleen de Reuck and Serena Burla, Terra Moody and Zoila Gomez are all running the half marathon.
They will get a chance to race the new Olympic Trials marathon course under tough conditions on Saturday. Will this give them just that little bit of extra assistance to put one or more of them on the Olympic team for 2012? Only time will tell.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials will be a war of attrition. No one is guaranteed a place on the team, and quite frankly, no one is that far ahead to be considered a definite for the squad, on the men or women’s side. This may be the most open Olympic Trials marathon since 1984.
This is not a bad thing. The truth is, many of our men and women have been focusing on the 10,000m and the half marathon, which is where they need to be. The marathon is not an easy event, especially at the rarefied paces that elite men and women run the races these days.
The good news is that we have athletes, on both the men and women’s sides, who can play with the world’s best. Meb Keflizighi has been our best championship marathon runner for the guys. Why? Because Meb understands that the race starts at 22-24 miles. On the women’s side, Deena Kastor‘s 2004 run is still, well, the standard. Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Magdelena Lewy Boulet have all run tough marathoners, got dirtied a bit, and have run some good times, but, to be in the top three in a World Champs or Olympics is a totally different story. That is what the next year is about. Who will take the time, to not only do the miles, and the tempo runs, but get their heads and spirit in the right place?
First, making the U.S. team will take a supreme effort, and then, eight months later, an effort that could not earlier be imagined, or one will be so agonizingly close….the road to London will begin this coming weekend, and not be answered until the middle of January 2012.
Svoboda 7.55, Chepseba 3:35.78
CHEMNITZ (GER, Jan 27): The Erdgas Hallenmeeting in Chemnitz was
returning on the renewed track with German triple jump record as Katja
Demut improved the 14 years old mark of Petra Lobinger by 9 cm with
14.45. PolandÂ´s national record for second placer Malgorzata Trybanska
14.16. From international point of view the best result came from Kenyan
Nixon Chepseba who won the 1500 m in impressive indoor life-time best
3:35.78 ahead of William Biwott 3:36.02 and Moroccan Abdelaati Iguider
3:36.29. European champion Renaud Lavillenie won again after Cottbus
when he cleared 580 as the winning mark. The Frenchman tried afterwards
at 603 and the attempts were not bad. Malte Mohr was best German as
second (560). Czech Petr Svoboda improved his own world leading mark by
0.01 with 7.55 at 60 m hurdles. Second US Jeff Porter 7.66 and third
former European indoor champion Gregory Sedoc from Netherlands (7.67).
Nigerian Egwero Ogho-Ogene dominated the 60 m with twice 6.64 (heats and
finals). Second French junior world medalist Jimmy Vicaut improved to
6.66. His older country-mate and former European indoor record holder
Ronald Pognon was only 4th in B-finals (6.82, before that 6.79 in
heats). German sprinter Christian Blum clocked Paris standard 6.67 in
heats. Another German Alyn Camara won the long jump with 786 (780) ahead
of GhanaÂ´s top jumper Ignisious Gaisah 786 (778). Ralf Bartels got
20.24 over Marco Schmidt 20.20 and Croatian Nedzad Mulabegovic who
registered national indoor record 20.04. In remaining women events new
Swiss star Lisa Urech won the 60 m hurdles in 8.06 (European champion
Eline Berings only 4th 8.17). Former African Champion Vida Anim of Ghana
won the 60 m in 7.30 ahead of Ailis McSweeney of Ireland who improved
her life-time best to 7.34, third Italian Manuela Levorato 7.35 (but
7.31 in heats). Czech 400 m hurdles specialist Zuzana Hejnova won the
flat distance with solid 53.40 and qualified for Paris. French Linda
Marguet (27) won the 800 m in good quality career indoor best 2:02.87
ahead of Czech Barcelona finalist Lenka Masna (2:02.99). Ethiopian world
junior medalist from steeple in Moncton Adamu Birtukan in her first
ever indoor competition won the 3000 m in 9:07.11. Home win for
Christina Schwanitz in shot put 18.05.
Udras, new name at 190+ level
TARTU (EST, Jan 27): Grete Udras was the sensation at the first
Kuldliiga series meet in Estonia. The 22-years old jumper had as indoor
best 184 but cleared here 192 and qualified for European Indoors.
Russian Aleksandra Kiryashova went over 451 in pole vault and another
Russian Tatyana Voykina leaped to 654 in long jump. Reigning European
long jump indoor champion Ksenija Balta came close to her own national
60 m hurdles record 8.16 with 8.22. Former European champion Stanislav
Olijars won the 60 m hurdles in 7.74 ahead of multi-eventer Andres Raja
7.87. Latvian Maris Urtans was the best in shot put (19.69) and Cuban
Freddy Mayola was the fastest at 60 m (6.78).
Povh 7.15 at 60 m
ZAPORIZHZHIYA (UKR, Jan 27): Relay European gold medalist Olesya Povh
confirmed current world number one position. She won the 60 m in fast
7.15 during first day of National Cup meet. Second Mariya Remen improved
her best to 7.21. 800 m specialist Yulia Krevsun won the 1500 m in
4:16.09. Andriy Semenov got 20.12 in shot put and combined eventer
Oleksiy Kasyanov was impressive long jump winner (760). Inna Akhozova
scored world leading 4308 points in heptathlon.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): South African 800 m world champion Caster Semenya claims
she is unfazed by the high profile row that forced her to undergo a
series of gender verification tests to prove her sex. After her Berlin win she faced widespread accusations
regarding the legitimacy of her gold medal because of questions over
her gender. Despite the obvious turmoil, Semenya said she is
unconcerned. “I didn’t see it as a big deal, I know people talk but I don’t
care,” the 20-year-old told BBC Newsnight. Now allowed compete again, Semenya has her sights firmly set of the
future. Her goals now are defending her World Championship crown at the 2011
World Championships in Daegu later this year and ultimately winning
gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Informs insidethegames.
ZARAGOZA (ESP): Spanish record holder at 100 m hurdles Josephine
Onyia returns to competition after her two years doping ban. The world
indoor 2008 finalist will run at the
Zaragoza meeting on Saturday. The indoor best of former Nigerian is
high quality 7.84.
KARLSRUHE (GER): The German BW-Bank Meeting in Karlsruhe (February 13)
announced the participation of World Indoor Champion Lolo Jones of USA.
She will aim to win for the third time in a row here at 60 m hurdles.
AMSTERDAM (NED): Both Dutch 800m athletes Arnoud Okken en Bram Som
will not run at the Dutch national indoor championships on February
12 and 13. The reconstruction of the indoor track in Apeldoorn will
take longer than expected and therefore the 800m will be run on a 4
lane track. Both athletes gained permission by the KNAU to run
international competitions in that weekend writes losseveter.nl.
LONDON (GBR): Dathan Ritzenhein has withdrawn from the 2011 Virgin
London Marathon on April 17th with a persistent ankle injury. The
28-year-old American was aiming to smash his personal best of 2:10:00
but an ankle injury sustained while training indoors in December has
been slow to heal writes Insidethegames. The men’s field for the
London marathon is one of the best in history with defending
champion Tsegaye Kebede, the Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru and the
world champion Abel Kirui.
LONDON (GBR): World indoor 60 m champion Dwain Chambers will open his
2011 season at the Birmingham Indoor Games on February 5th and 6th.
Chambers just returned from warm weather training in South Africa
and believes he is in good form. In Birmingham Chambers will take on
Leon Baptiste, Craig Pickering, Allyn Condon, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
and Denmark’s Martin Krabbe. Marylin Okoro will also start her
season in Birmingham by running a 400m against Ireland’s Marian
Heffeman and Denmark’s Sara Petersen, reports Athletics Weekly.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Hurdlers David Oliver and Lolo Jones will lead
Team USA at the Five Nations Match in Glasgow on January 29th. Also
on the team are sprinter Ryan Bailey, high jumper Jesse Williams,
Lejerald Betters for the 400m, Duane Solomon in the 800m, Dan Huling
for the 3000m, and Kenta Bell in the triple jump. The women’s team
is completed by Alexandria Anderson in the 60 m, Consuella Moore in
200 m, Shareese Woods for the 400 m, Molly Beckwith in the 800 m, Karly
Hamric in the 1500 m, Allison Kieffer for 3000 m, Jenny Soceka in the
pole vault and Funmi Jimoh in the long jump, reports USATF.
LONDON (GBR): Olympic Gold medalist Linford Christie will stand
trial on a charge of dangerous driving following a car crash with a
taxi in Buckinghamshire. Both drivers and two passengers needed to
be hospitalized after the crash. A police investigation found
Christie to be at fault writes contactmusic.com.
NEW YORK (USA): American decathletes Bryan Clay, Trey Hardee and
Ashton Eaton hope to achieve a 1-2-3 at this year’s IAAF World
Championships in Daegu. All three athletes believe strongly in their
chances and hope their performances might help them commercially in
the build up to the London Olympic Games in 2012 reports Universal
Sports. They will compete on Friday at 104th Millrose Games in New
York in a special multi challenge (shot, 60 m hurdles, high jump). It is
the first IAAF Indoor Permit of the 2011 season. Arrivals on Thursday
were affected by snow. USA-Jamaica in sprints is another attraction.
World indoor winner Veronica Campbell-Brown is the star for women 60 m.
Hurdler Bershawn Jackson is the top name for menÂ´s 600 y. Bernard Lagat
will try for his 9th Wanamaker mile win. World champion Christian
Cantwell is the top name for menÂ´s shot put and Brazilian Fabiana Murer
in womenÂ´s pole vault. Galen Rupp runs the 2 miles.
LAUSANNE (SUI): Double Olympic 400 m hurdles champion Ed Moses has spoken of his
concern for the future at a reception at the Beau- Rivage Hotel in
Lausanne to launch the World Fair Play Awards and the AIPS Power of
Sport Awards in Lausanne. IOC President Jacques Rogge, speaking at
today’s AIPS Symposium “Integrity in Sport – Illegal Betting, the
Threat,” announced he will host a summit in March focussed on the
issue of the growing problem of illegal sports betting.
DRESDEN (GER): The jumping meeting in Germany on Friday in Dresden will
see a battle in womenÂ´s pole vault among the Germans Kristina Gadschiew
and Julia Hutter against the Barcelona fourth placer Anastasiya Shvedova
of Belarus and best Czech Jirina Ptacnikova. Former world indoor
medalist Andrey Tereshin from Russia is the top name for men high jump
competition. Mikhail Tsvetkov who cleared this season already 230 is the
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): The USA Running Circuit (USARC) gets underway
Saturday with the running of the 2011 USA Half Marathon
Championships, presented by Aramco Services Company. Returning to
Houston for the first time since his American Record
run in 2007, Ryan Hall, headlines a field
that includes fellow Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet and a
host of top U.S. athletes competing for a
total prize purse of $59,500. Joining Hall in his reconnaissance
mission in Houston will be Jorge
Torres, a 2008 Olympian at 10,000 meters; Patrick
Smyth, the 2010 Half Marathon Championships
runner-up; 2004 Olympian Dan Browne (Chula Vista, Calif.); Jason
Lehmkuhle (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2008 Half Marathon runner-up; and
Sergio Reyes the 2010 USA Marathon Champion. The women’s race will
see 2009 champion Boulet face a deep field
that includes 2010 USA Running Circuit champion Katie McGregor;
three-time Olympian Jen Rhines; 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon champion
Reuck, 2010 runner-up Serena Burla; and Zoila Gomez and Tera Moody
the fourth and fifth place finishers from the
women’s 2008 Olympic Trials Marath
MONCTON (CAN): Local media are informing in Canada, that the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton last summer
generated $127.5 million in gross economic impact throughout New
Brunswick, according to figures released by the Canadian
Sport Tourism Alliance. The event was held in Moncton from July 19-25 and saw an estimated
75,000 spectators attend the 11 sessions of the championships, which
were held at the newly constructed Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium.
ROTTERDAM (NED): Dutch Hilda Kibet will run the 31st ABN AMRO Marathon
Rotterdam on Sunday, April 10th. Also top Dutch male runner Koen
Raymaekers is contracted to run. Kibet so far completed 3 marathons, her
best from last October is 2:26:23.
HOUSTON (USA): Teshome Gelana of Ethiopia will defend his title at
the 39th edition of the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday. Gelana
set a new course record to win last year’s race in 2:07.37,
along with $35,000 prize money. The previous record was held by
fellow Ethiopian Deriba Merga. Teshome will be supported by
countryman Hussein Adelo, who came in
fourth at Houston last year running a personal best time of 2:09:09.
In the women’s marathon, Ashu Kasim of Ethiopia holds the No. 1 seed
after winning the Istanbul-Eurasia Marathon in Turkey last October,
setting a course record of 2:27:27. Joining her will be three other
Ethiopian female athletes: Belainesh
Gebre (2:32.12), who won the 2010 Honolulu Marathon on her debut;
Mamitu Daska, winner of the 2010 Dubai Marathon (2:24:18), and
newcomer Tigist Tufa.
JIMMA (ETH, Jan 26): The final race of the 2011 MDG Races Series
concluded colorfully in Ethiopian Jimma. Around two
thousand participants took part in the 7km and 1.6km children races.
Dessie Indris from Amhara Region won the elite men race at a time of
19:29 and Birhanit Migbaru from Oromia Region won the elite women
race at a time of 22:51.
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