In one of the most exciting 5,000 meter races that I have seen, the crowd at the AVIVA Birmingham Grand Prix was entertained by some serious middle distance racing. It was not just the fast pace, but the gutty running between 2,000 and 4,000 meters when the pace could have dropped.
None other than Aussies Craig Mottram, bronze medalist from 2005, who has been bravely coming back from injuries. Abera Kuma lead through 2,000 meters in 5:17.79. Imane Merga lead through 3,000 meters, and then, “Buster” Mottram and fellow Aussie Collis Birmingham went to the fore and kept the pace honest!
I was in Athens in September 2006, when Mottram, for the second time in a row, took Kenenisa Bekele down in the World Cup 3,000m, going to the front and making Bekele hurt. That is what Mottram did tonight, for the first time in nearly four years.
They were rewarded with both making the A standard and both of their seasonal bests! Craig Mottram ran 13:11.51, and Collis Birmingham ran 13:15.70. For Craig Mottram, that is his fastest time since 2006!
Mo Farah has been racing with a confidence that he did not have a year ago. His run at the Nike Pre Distance Gala was a real eye opener, as were his 2010 European Championship wins at 10,000m and 5,000m. His 3:42 last 1,500 meters, 2:25 last 1000 meters and 54.03 last 400 meters is what one has to do to win the big ones today.
Galen Rupp has been developing his kick. His 1:52 for the last 800 meters in Eugene for the 10,000m championships is the type of finishing that a world class distance runner needs to play in this world of uber talented distance runners. Kick or be destroyed ( I seem to remember a coach, who coaches a 12.89 hurdler reminding us of that way back in about 1977 in old RW?).
Galen Rupp is showing some serious guts. Mo Farah’s training partner, Rupp was perfectly positioned over the last 1,000 meters and helped push the pace as well (Collis Birmingham lead at 4,000m, in 10:41.45, which really kept that race fast). Buster Mottram and Collis Birmingham put it all on the line to keep the pace honest, and they did!
Mo Farah has won the two 5,000m in Birmingham this year-the first in February at the NAI and the second, last night at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. And guess who was second in both races? Of course, his training partner, Galen Rupp!
The crowds loved the gutsy racing and the tough finishing of all! What a fun race to watch last night!
This has been one of my highlights of my second part of the European tour!
BOLT RETURNS TO STOCKHOLM, BUT FOR 200 M
STOCKHOLM (SWE): Usain Bolt added a new race into his
pre-Daegu program. He will run for first time 200 m at DN Galan meeting in Stockholm on July 29.
Bolt, who last year lost an epic 100 meters battle in the Swedish capital, with
the currently injured Tyson Gay, made a very clear statement to mark the
announcement of his return to Stockholm:
“I will be back – and I will not lose.” Meet director Rajne Soderberg was
satisfied: “It is a great pleasure to confirm Usain Bolt’s return to DN Galan.
sports channel Universal Sports voted last year’s 100 meters race at the
DN Galan between Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay as the top performance of the year in
2010. It will be interesting to see Bolt run the 200 meters.” Bolt will
also be challenging the meeting record of 19.77, set by former World record
holder Michael Johnson in 1996. He is unbeaten at 200 m since September 14,
2007. Before Stockholm
which will be his last race before Daegu he will compete in Monaco Herculis 100 m on July 22. With help
HEIDLER LEAD UNBEATABLE
MONTE CARLO (MON): The IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge is now
having a break after Madrid meeting until
post-Daegu period (Zagreb
and Rieti). Currently leading in women standings is clearly world record holder
Betty Heidler 228.09 (three results). Second Zalina Marghieva has 214.58 and
third Tatyana Lysenko 213.33. The leading margin of Heidler is so big that is
hardly to imagine somebody could be better. Her average of three marks is
impressive 76.03. In men situation more close. Krisztian Pars has 238.46 ahead
of Sergey Litvinov 234.56 and third Dilshod Nazarov 230.62. More changes in men
rankings possible also due to the fact that both Zagreb and Rieti are planning menÂ´s
competition, whereas women will be only in Rieti.
TAMGHO PROMISES A BIG ONE
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): World record holder Teddy Tamgho had
long fouls in Birmingham
and promised top mark in next competition. “I lost today but I’m very happy
because I had two jumps that were very, very long. I think in the next competition
I can get a long one. I’m not worried about today. I’m close to doing something
amazing. I just have to wait. It was good for Phillips to win today in his
home, but I am in good shape,” he said after Sunday competition. His next
meeting is this weekend at European U23 Championships in Ostrava. Triple jump qualification is
Saturday morning and finals on Sunday afternoon. Stadium record is 17.29 by
Czech Jiri Kuntos from 1999, the Czech all-comers record is 17.61 by at that
time Soviet athlete Oleg Protsenko in 1987 and meet record 17.57 by Dmitriy
Valukevich (at that time representing Belarus, now Slovakia) from 2003 edition
PARIS (FRA): Jamaicas
and 1500 m
national record holder Kenia Sinclair hurt her calf and was unable to finish
Friday’s Meeting Areva in Paris.
“I hurt my calf…but I will be okay. It was a bit congested for the first
200m. A girl just came over and cut in before me and I had to cut my stride.
The girls who were behind me, one of them kicked me in my calves, and when I
stepped down I felt something pop. I couldn’t make another step,” she said for
Track Alerts. She planned to visit Germany on during the week to see
GERMAN WOMEN NEWS
MANNHEIM (GER): European indoor hurdles champion German
Caroline Nytra again postponed the begin of the season. She wanted to run in Birmingham on Sunday but
was forced to delay the season mainly due to back problems. She still plans to
compete this summer. In another German news European 100 m champion Verena Sailer
ended her season already because of an achilles injury. She wants to be healthy
for Olympic Games 2012.
LONDON (GBR): South Sudan,
the world’s newest nation, faces a race against time to be able to compete in
next year’s London Olympics after officially gaining its independence
yesterday. Sudan, a former
British colony has been plagued for the last 50 years by famine, military
coups, terrorism and a conflict between the Muslim north, which includes Darfur, and the Christian south that cost nearly two
million lives. Earlier this year, following a 2005 peace agreement at the end
of the civil war, the southern states held a referendum to separate. Many
western countries, including Britain,
the United States and Russia, recognized South
Sudan yesterday and the United Nations is expected to vote to
recognize them as its 193rd member later this week. South
Sudan is now one of the poorest and least developed countries in
the world but it is oil rich and expected to expand rapidly. The best-known
athlete to have been born in South Sudan is
British basketball captain Luol Deng. Currently no track names are known. Then
they need to have at least four National federations to allow them to have a
founding session of the National Olympic Committee. Only after that can the
country be represented in London 2012. A more likely place for South Sudan’s
debut as an independent country on the major international stage is the
Commonwealth Games at Glasgow
in 2014. The country has already applied to join the Commonwealth. Informs
insidethegames. EME NEWS checked with good sources and no one from current top
Sudanese athletes belong to southern part. But it is important to note that the
south has good ties with Ethiopia
HOUSTON (USA): RRW informs that the
organizers of the 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston
Half-Marathon announced last week that both events had sold out with a total of
24,000 participants. The event used a new lottery system this year to manage
demand, and that selection process was completed on June 27. Next year’s event,
which will be held on Sunday, January 15, occurs one day after the USA Olympic
Trials Marathon which will be run on a different course in Houston. That contest will select the
American Olympic team for the London 2012 Olympics based on order of finish.
The 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon recorded 6899 finishers, while the Aramco
Houston Half-Marathon saw 9351 athletes cross the finish line. The 2011 edition
was held in rainy conditions, with a threat of lightning, which likely
depressed athlete participation on race day.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA) Sowetanlive informs that in a dramatic turn of event,
the medical doctor at the Caster Semenya gender controversy could bounce back
at Athletics South Africa – this time as its president. Harold Adams, who is
the president of Boland Athletics and a former ASA board member, is one of nine
administrators nominated for the position. The position of ASA president became
vacant after Leonard Chuene was banned along with his deputy Kakata Maponyane
and board member Simon Dlamini for their handling of Semenya debacle.
DURBAN (RSA): Insidethegames writes that Sweden’s
Gunilla Lindberg returned to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ruling
Executive Board, becoming the second woman on the 15-member body (with Nawal El
Moutawakel). Lindberg was elected unopposed to the single position on the Board
after Lebanon’s Toni Khoury abandoned plans to stand, filling a spot vacated by
Norway’s Gerhard Heiberg, who stood down after the completion of his four-year
mandate. Three new members were also formally elected to the IOC, having
previously been nominated by the Executive Board during SportAccord in London in April. They
were Jose Perurena, a Spaniard who has been President of the International
Canoe Federation since 2008; Gerardo Werthein, the President of the Argentinian
Olympic Committee and one of his country’s most successful businessmen; and
Barbara Kendall, a New Zealand
sailboarder who has won three Olympic medals, including gold at Barcelona in 1992. Britain’s Sir
Philip Craven, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC),
was also formally re-elected as a member of the IOC as is required under the
Olympic Charter. The election of the three new members takes the on the IOC to
113. But that will be reduced at the end of the year when six members will
reach the compulsory retirement age and have to step down. They are Australian
Phil Coles, Japanese duo Chiharu Igaya and Shun-Ichiro Okano, Swede Arne Ljungqvist, Croatia’s
Antun Vrdoljak and Lassana Palenfo of the Ivory Coast.
PARIS (FRA): David Monti of Race Results Weekly points out that the
outcome of the men’s 1500m at the Meeting Areva in Paris
cemented the United States’
middle distance squad for the IAAF World Championships. After a very tactical
1500m final at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugen none of the top-four
finishers–Matt Centrowitz, Bernard Lagat, Leonel Manzano, or Andrew Wheating–had
achieved the IAAF “A” standard of 3:35.00 this season. All four men ran in Paris race, and each got
under the “A” standard, led by Lagat who finished third in 3:33.11. Manzano was
sixth in 3:33.66, Wheating ninth in 3:34.39, and Centrowitz 11th in 3:34.69.
Lagat, who won the USA 5000m
title, had already said that he would only contest that event in Daegu, leaving
Centrowitz, Manzano and Wheating to represent the USA in the 1500m in Daegu. The USA women’s
team for 1500m had already been decided. American champion Morgan Uceny ran a
swift 4:03.91 in her final in Eugene,
well under the 4:05.90 “A” standard for women. Runner-up Jenny Simpson clocked
4:05.66 to lock-up her spot, and third place Shannon Rowbury–the 2009 World
Championships bronze medalist–got under the “B” standard of 4:08.90 when she
ran 4:06.20. Since full teams can have two “A” standard athletes and one “B,”
Rowbury is also guaranteed a team spot because she finished in the top-3.
PARIS (FRA): Ethiopian former olympic and world gold medalist Meseret
Defar ran 8th sub-14:30 5000m of her career on Friday in Paris. She is way ahead of the runners with
second most sub-14:30 5000m; Tirunesh Dibaba and Vivian Cheruiyot both have 3
sub-14:30 5000m. She plans a 10
000 m race later this month in Italy. Stats
from Ken Nakamura.
BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Mo Farah last lap was even better as
reported, the photo-cell time showed 54.03 for the last lap. Also transponders
from ST-Sportservice of Omega were in operation, Farah passed 3500 in 9:23.0 and Rupp
9:23.1. Therefore their final 1500s were 3:43.2 and 3:43.8 respectively.
Informs Mark Butler.
MOSCOW (RUS, Jul 9-10):
At Moscow Championships fast 800 m by Yekaterina
Kostetskaya 1:58.25 what is second fastest in the world. Yevgeniya
clocked 1:58.49, Irina Maracheva 1:58.71, Svetlana Klyuka 1:58.96 and
Tutayeva 1:59.83 to have five runners under 2 minutes. Fast 1500 m time
Anastasiya Vosmerikova beating returning Yelena Soboleva 4:06.64 and
Golovkina 4:06.75. European champion Tatyana Firova achieved 51.53 at
400 m. In the 3000 m hand-timed 8:53.0 for
Natalya Popkova and in the steeple 9:36.78 for Lyubov Kharlamova. New
watch at high level in sprints is Yelizaveta Savlinis who improved to
(twice in heats and finals) and won the 200 m in windy 22.63 (+2.3) but
faster in the heats with 22.62 (+1.9). It is third fastest time this
year in Europe. Good results also in women technical events. Anna
Nazarova leaped to 673 (+0.3) and Olga Zaytseva to 671 (+1.6) in the
Anna Pyatykh achieved 14.24 (-0.6) in the triple. In throws European
champion 2007 Vera Ganeyeva improved hugely to 63.61. Irina Tarasova won
shot put (18.51) and Tatyana Lysenko was the best in hammer (71.58).
Mnatsakanova cleared 192 in
high jump. From men events to note 3:39.12 at 1500 m for Vyacheslav
Sokolov, 560 by Sergey Kucheryanu un pole vault and 78.90 of Kiril
hammer. Solid depth in shot put when Maksim Sidorov achieved 20.66,
Tsirikhov 20.40 and Valeriy Kokoyev 20.06.
HALIFAX (CAN, Jul 10): US champion Walter Dix clocked 10.08 (+1.8) while
winning the 100 m
at the fourth leg of Canadian National Track League which was in Halifax as
Aileen Meagher Invitational. Second Canadian Justyn Warner 10.28. Impressive
improvement for Canadian Phylicia George at 100 m hurdles to 12.76
HENDON (GBR, Jul 10): During second day of jumps and throws fest Samson
Oni cleared 227 in
high jump to beat Tom Parsons 224.
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