August 2011 Archives

Olga Kaniskina, from WC 2009 20k, photo by

Day five had the 20k women's Race walk in the morning and a break in the afternoon, to allow the media, athletes, coaches, officials to sleep, rest, tour, have a warm meal. That morning, Olga Kaniskina showed why she is to the 20,000m walk what Usain Bolt is to the sprints (well, most of the time).  Kaniskina won her third straight 20km Race Walk.

What follows is thoughts on Day five from Alfons Juck, our man around the world. We hope that you enjoy his pithy comments as well as his updates on all things track & field.
Old guys rule! Kim Collins, photo by

The fact is, Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champ, almost won the 2011 World Champs 100 meters. Yohan Blake and Walter Dix ran him down over the last half of the race. That Kim is still running, eight years after his first World Champs victory, and now in his eighth World Champs, is amazing. And as someone told me that night, "Every old fart in the world should be happy for Kim Collins. At 36, the guy is still sprinting! " I could not have said it better!

Jeilan-Farah-Worlds11.JPGJeilan catches Farah, photo by

The men's 10,000 meter race was one for the ages! Mo Farah and Ibrahim Jeilan battled unto the end and, and the crowd in the stadium was mesmerized. What else could have Mo done? He was totally spent afterwards and Ibrahim Jeilan was, well a photographers dream. Check the following photo out, and you will get my drift.

Jeilan_IbrahimFL1-WorCh11.jpgIbrahim Jeilan, What can you say? photo by

Ibrahim Jeilan won the gold in the 10,000 meters, and then he became a dancing machine. Well, an Ethiopian dancing machine. He had the crowd going wild and photographers snapping for fifteen minutes. His dancing may have overshadowed his 10,000m win!

Christophe Lemaitre, photo by

ASICS and Christophe Lemaitre have extended their contract for five years, though London 2012 and Rio 2016. ASICS has worked with Lemaitre since 2007.

The following answers were translated from Lemaitre's original French answers in the press conference at the ASICS Casa Italia.

Q. Were you happy with your performance in the 100 meters?  

" I would have been happy a year ago with my performance the other night (in the 100 meters), but I will have other performances. " noted Lemaitre in regards to the 100 meter final which was held on Sunday night, August 28, 2011.

Q. Do the Jamaican sprinters and their performances make it tougher for you?

" In regards to the Jamaican sprinters, No, No, they are dominating since a few years, and if I am reducing the gap with the main ones, then, that is good.  I want to reduce this gap, even if Powell and Bolt are still ahead, I am reducing the lead step by step, and I am improving."  noted Lemaitre when inquired about the Jamaicans.

Q. You have said that the 200 meters is your main distance, is that still true?

" I feel very confident (about the 200 meters) about this distance because it is my main race. I had tough winds this season or I would be under 20 seconds this year. But it should be great conditions on Friday, so I am quite excited," noted Lemaitre.

Q. You said the 200 meters is the main race for you, so the 100 meters is less of a race? 

" No, because I said that it (the 100 meters), took the pressure off. My main chance is the 200 meters, but, no, I did the 100 meter strongly, and will do the 200 meters the very same we." noted Lemaitre.

Q. You have said that certain lanes are better for you in the 200 meters, what are the perfect lanes?

"I would say the best lanes for me are five to seven, the inside lanes are difficult for me because of the curve. The eighth lane means you are running blind, which means you can not race your competitions." noted Lemaitre.

Q. How did your 200 meter training session go yesterday?

"The first 200 meter training went well yesterday. I made a few mistakes, but can correct them." noted Lemaitre.

LeMaitre_ChristopheQ-World11.JPGChristophe Lemaitre, 2011 WC 100 meters, photo by

Pierre Carraz, the coach of Christophe Lemaitre, had a small bicycle accident, and injured his back. He is in France. Lemaitre and Carraz speak by SKYPE each day, about workouts, the World Champs, the regular things. This is first time Lemaitre has not traveled with his coach, who has been with him since he started the sport at the age of 15.

Carraz knew that Lemaitre was 'quite special" when he broke Ladji Doucoure's French record for the 200 meters at the age of 17.

Look for Lemaitre to run in the 200 meters on Friday night.

Yulivay Zaripova of Russia left nothing to chance. Leading from the start, she lead at the first kilometer in 3:00.70, two kilometers, hit in 6:04.36 and sprinting to the finish, she took the gold in a world leading 9:07.03.

Zaripova_YuliyaQ-World11.JPGYuliya Zaripova, 2011 WC Steeplechase, gold medalist, photo by

Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia follwed Zaripova, and the pack of Kenyans and ran a national record of 9:11.97.

Zaripova_Yuliya-Worlds11.jpg Zaripova leads steeple final, 2011 WC steeplechase final, photo by

In third place, Milcah Chemos Cheywa, of Kenya, who had won all of the major events this year that she ran, ran behind Njorge for several laps and took the bronze, running 9:17.16.

Zaripova_Yuliya1-Worlds11.jpgZaripova leads, 2011 WC steeplechase, photo by

In fourth place, Mercy Wanjiku Njorge of Kenya ran 9:17.88, without the benefit of two shoes-she lost one early on. In fifth place, Lydia Rotich of Kenya ran 9:25.74. In sixth place, Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa ran 9:28.24. In 13 th place, Emma Coburn of the US, finished in 9:51.40.

Zaripova_YuliyaLeds-WorChps11.jpg Zaripova leads, Ghribi, Njorge (w/o shoe), 2011 WC steeple final, photo by

Hats off to the Russian. Zaripova ran away from the field and was rewarded with the gold and the world leading mark in the steeplechase!

Habiba Ghribi, 2011 WC Steeplechase, photo by

Yuliya Zaripova won the race the only way she really could, by breaking the speed of her persuers, and making it the strongest women wins. This was a quite physical race. Notice Njorge, the fourth placer, lost a shoe early on in the race, and just toughed it out!

GGhribi-ZaripovaFL-Worlds11.jpgGhribi, Zaripova, 2011 WC steeplechase, silver, gold, photo by

In a 400 meters that was an all out battle, Kirani James, all of 18 years old, ran his personal best and won the gold medal, catching LaShawn Merritt, the 2009 World Champion, and 2008 Olympic champion, with less than ten meters to go, running 44.60!

James_KiraniQ-World11.JPGKirani James, 2011 WC 400 meters, gold medalist, photo by

LaShawn Merritt, who ran three 44 second quarters in three days, ran out of gas with about thirty meters to go, fought to the finish and ran 44.63, nearly falling at the finish.

In third, Belgian Kevin Borlee ran 44.90 to take the bronze over Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica, who ran 44.99.

In fifth place, Jonathan Borlee, Kevin Borlee's brother, ran 45.07. And in sixth place, Rondel Barthlemew, also of Grenada, like our winner, ran 45.45.

The young man from Grenada gave his country its first medal, and showed that he will be a power in the 400 meters for some time to come! Brilliant race!

Fabiana Murer, 2011 World Champs gold medalist (photo from 2010 World Indoor),
photo by

This was a strange pole vault competition.

Tonight, in sixth place, World and Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva cleared one height, 4.65, on her first attempt, then took one attempt at 4.75m and her last two attempts at 4.80m, trying to win the meet. She did not. Her second World Outdoor Champs in a row where she did not win a medal.

In fifth place, Yarisley Silva set a national record tonight at 4.70 meters. She cleared 4.45m, 4.55m, 4.65m, and took three to clear 4.70m, her new National record. She missed three times at 4.80m.

In fourth place, Jenn Suhr, of the US, who has cleared 4.91m this year, cleared 4.65m on her first attempt, 4.70m on her second attempt, and then missed three times at 4.80m.

In third place, the grand dame of the women's pole vault, Svetlana Feofanova, who won her first medal back in 1999, took the bronze tonight. She cleared 4.45m, 4.55m, 4.65m, an 4.75m, all on first attempts. She then missed three attempts at 4.80m.

The silver medalist was the real star of the event. Martina Strutz of Germany, with her sunglasses and tattoos, cleared 4.45m on her second attempt, 4.55, 4.65m, 4.70m, on her first attempts, then, two attempts for 4.75m, and 4.80m on her first attempt! A new German National record! She then took one attempt at 4.85m, and two final attempts at 4.90m.

In first place, with the gold medal was Fabiana Murer of Brasil. Fabiana cleared. 4.55m and 4.65m on her first attempts, passed at 4.70m, then cleared 4.75m on her first attempt, cleared 4.80m on two attempts and 4.85m on her first attempt, took two attempts at 4.90m and then one final at 4.92m.

She won at 4.85 meters, and adds this to her gold medal from the 2010 World Indoors!

Robert Harting, 2011 WC Discus, gold medalist, photo by

Robert Harting, when we met with him in Hengelo, told us that he was not happy with his throwing at the time. " I need some more training," Harting noted. He was focused, he told us, on the World Championships and was quite concerned about his competitors.

Well, Robert Harting just did it. In his first attempt, he threw 68.49m, went into first place. He held it all night. His series, 68.49m, a foul, 68.10, 68.97m, 66.33, and a foul, gave him three throws that would have taken the gold medal.

Kanter_GerdWideQ-World11.JPGGerd Kanter, 2011 WC discus, silver medalist, photo by

Gerd Kanter of Estonia, took the silver, throwing 66.95m in his second throw. His series was 62.79m, 66.95m, 66.13m, 66.90m, a foul, and then, 65.83m.

Hadadi_Ehsan1-Split10.jpgEhsan Hadadi, 2011 WC Discus, bronze medalist (photo from Split 2010), photo by

Ehsan Hadadi of Iran took the bronze, with a seasonal best of 66.08m. His series was 65.29m, 64.07m, a foul, a foul, then 66.90m, foul, and finally, 65.83.

In fourth, Mart Isreal of Estonia threw 65.20m. In fifth, Benn Harradine of Australia threw 64.77m. And in sixth, Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania, two time World and Olympic champion, threw 64.09m.

Harting, as is his custom, ripped off his singlet after winning the gold medal. And why should'nt he? He is the gold medalist in the discus?

David Rudisha, 2011 WC 800 meters, gold medalist, photo by

A very thoughtful man, David Rudisha was difficult to hear when he did an interview at the AVIVA London Grand Prix in early August. Rudisha was very clear on one thing: he wanted to win the World Championship 800 meters title.

Running a very focused race, David Rudisha lead from the start, and did not look back. Hitting the 200 meters in 23.81, the 400 meters in 51.33 and the 600 meters in 1:17.99, David Rudisha won his first World Championships in style, taking the gold in 1:43.91.

Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, who had barely moved on after a disasterous first round in the 800 meters, went by Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia, taking the silver in 1:44.41. Borzakovsky took the bronze in 1:44.49.

Marcin Lewandowski of Poland was fourth in 1:44.80. Nick Symmonds of the US, who was boxed in with 100 meters to go, fought his way up from seventh to fifth, but could not get any closer, running 1:45.12. In sixth place, Adam Kszcot of Poland, the European Indoor champ, ran 1:45.25. Alfred Yego of Kenya was seventh in 1:45.83 and Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia, was eighth in 1:45.93.

Tuesday was David Rudisha's night: he not only won his first World Championships, he did it with style!

Watch for a world record attempt in the next few weeks!

The seventh and final event of the heptathlon is the 800 meters. Tatyana Chernova had 153 points on Jessica Ennis before the 800 meters. Either Chernova was going to get sick and run 2:30 or Jessica Ennis had to put nine seconds on Chernova. Was not likely to happen.

Karolina Tymisnka of Poland won the 800 meters in 2:05.21, a personal best. Jessica Ennis just followed her, in a personal best of 2:07.81. And right behind her, Tatyana Chernova, who ran a seasonal best of 2:08.04. Jennifer Oeser of Germany, who was in a battle with Hyleas Fountain of the US, ran 2:10.39, her personal best, and retained the bronze, as Hyleas Fountain did not finish, we do not think she started the 800 meters.

Tatyana Chernova scored 6,880 points to win the gold, the best score since Caroline Kluft scored European record of 7032! Ennis score of 6,751 is better than her score in Berlin, and Jennifer Oeser scored 6572 for the bronze.

In all, a tremendous event, and a great battle for the medals.

The heptathlon is two days, with seven events. It is grueling, and in this god awful humidty (97 percent ) and heat (about 90 F), it had to be absolute crazy on track. No shade anywhere.

Chernova_TatyanaHJ-World11.JPG Tatyana Chernova, Russia, 2011 WC heptathlon, photo by

Long jump

Tatyana Chernova jumped 6.61meters to lead the long jump. Jessica Ennis responded with her personal best of 6.51m in the long jump. Hyleas Fountain of the US jumped 6.45m for fourth, and Aiga Grabuste of Latvia was third with a jump of 6.45m.

Jessica Ennis lead after five events, with a score of 5,088. Tatyana Chernova was in second with 4,970 points. Hyleas Fountain of USA in third with 4,878 points. In fourth Karolina Tymisnka of Poland had scored 4,815 points. In fifth, Natallia Dobrynska of Ukraine scored 4,773. And in sixth, Jennifer Oeser of Germany scored 4,728 points.


Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida of France had best throw of day with pb of 55.79.  Margaret Simpson of Ghana was second with throw of 53.13m. And in third, Tatyana Chernova scored a Pb with a throw of 52.95. This was not good news for Jessica Ennis.

In group B, Hyleas Fountain threw 43.98m, and Jessica Ennis threw 39.95m about six meters below her best.

After six events, Tatyana Chernova of Russia leads with 5,887 points. 153 points down is Jessica Ennis of Great Britain, who has a score of 5,754 points.

In third is Jennifer Oeser of Germany with 5,613 points. In fourth is Hyleas Fountain with 5,611 points.

For Jessica Ennis to win? She need nine seconds or more in the 800 meters and Hyleas Fountain needs about .3 of a second to take the bronze. This will be tough!

Hyleas Fountain, Jessica Ennis, 2011 WC 100m hurdles, 1/7 Hep, Day 1/2 photo by photo by

In the first event, Hyleas Fountain took the lead with a time of 12.92 for the 100 meter hurdles . Jessica Ennis, defending champion was second in 12.93,  and in heat 2, Tatyana Chernova of Russia hurdled 13.32.

After one event, Hyleas Fountain of the US, the Olympic silver medalist, lead with 1135 points. In second, Jessica Ennis had 1133 points and Tatyana Chernova was sixth in 1077 points.

Ennis_JessicaHJ-World11.JPG Jessica Ennis, 2011 WC, high jump, 2/7, heptathlon, Day 1/2, photo by

In event two, Jessica Ennis cleared 1.86 meters but Hyleas Fountain cleared 1.89m and Austra Skujyte of LIthuania cleared 1.86m.  Tatyana Chernova of Russia cleared a seasonal best of 1.83m.

Hyleas Fountain lead, after two events, with 2,228 points. Jessica Ennis was second in 2,187 points and Tatyana Chernova of Russia was third with 2,093 points.

Fountain_HyleasHJR-World11.JPG Hyleas Fountain, 2011 WC high jump 2/7 , heptathlon, Day 1/2, photo by

In event three, the shot put, Austra Skujyte of Lithuania threw 16.71 to win the event. Natalia Dobrynska was second in 16.14m throw. Jessica Ennis was seventh overall with a throw of 14.67m, her personal best.

Ennis_JessicaSH-World11.JPG Jessica Ennis, 2011 WC shot put, 3/7, heptathlon, day 1/2,
photo by

Tatyana Chernova of Russia was second in Group B, with a throw of 14.17m. Hyleas Fountain threw 12.20m, for ninth in Group B.

After three events, Jessica Ennis took the lead, with 3,026 points. Austra Skujyte of Lithuania was second with 3,014 points. Natalia Dobrynska of Ukraine was third with 3,013 points. Anna Bogdonova was fourth with 2,904 points. Hyleas Fountain was fifth with 2,902 points and Tatyana Chernova of Russia was sixth with 2,898 points.

In the final event of day one, Jessica Ennis ran 23.27 to win the 200 meters. In second, in a pb of 23.50 was Tatyana Chernova of Russia. In third was Karolina Tyminska of Poland, who ran 23.87. And in fourth was Hyleas Fountain of the US, who ran 23.96.

Jessica Ennis lead day 1 with a score of 4,078 after four events. Tatyana Chernova of Russia was second in 3,927 points, Hyleas Fountain was third in 3,887 points. Natalia Dobrynska of the Ukraine was fourth in 3,868 points and in fifth was Karolina Tyminska of Poland, who scored 3,843 points. And in sixth place was Austra Skujyte of Lithuania, who scored 3,808 points.

What would day two bring? 

The women's 100 meter final played up to the hype. The Jamaicans, from Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, versus the US sprinter duo of Carmelita Jeter and Marshevet Myers. Add in Kelly Ann Baptiste, and perhaps a surprise qualifier, and  you have a final!

Jeter_CarmelitaQ-World11.JPG Carmelita Jeter, 2011 WC 100m, qualifying, photo by

In the first semi-final, Kerron Stewart of Jamaica won, in 11.26. Marshevet Myers of the US was second, in 11.38. Both moved on to the final.

Baptiste_KellyAnnQ-World11.JPG Kelly-Ann Baptiste, 2011 WC 100m, qualifying rounds, photo by

In the second semi-final, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica won in 11.03. Veronica Campbell-Brown was second in 11.06 and Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria was third in 11.22. All three moved on to the final.

In the third semi-final, Carmelita Jeter of the US ran 11.02, the fastest time in the semi-finals. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad ran 11.05. In third, Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria ran 11.23. With those three, we have our final.

Xiang, Robles, Olver, Robinson, WC 110m hurdles, FInal, Quote & Surprise of Day 3, photo by

Adam_ValerieR1-World11.JPGResult of the Day 3: Valerie Adams 21.34m shot put! photo by

Pistorius_OscarQ1-World11.JPGOscar Pistorious: Fan Favorite Fails to Advance, photo by

Bekele_Kenenisa-Worlds11.JPGBekele out of Daegu: Kenenisa has withdrawn from 5,000m, focus is now London 2012, photo by

All that is know, not known and surmised, from Alfons Juck, our man on the global streets:

Hurdle races are about controlling one's speed before, after and on the hurdles. Hurdling is precise. It can be a thing of beauty. When hurdlers get tired, and get close, it can look more like a roller derby race.

In the 2011 World Championship final in Daegu, such was the case. And what a final it was! European Champion Andy Turner, who tells everyone he doesn't want to be the best hurdler in Europe, he wants to be one of the best in the world. David Oliver, he of 19 straight wins in 2010, who has had a tough second half of the season. Lui Xiang, the 2007 champion, who is back in form. Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic champion, who is, also back on form. Aries Merritt, the World Junior champ, who, one day, will win everything, he is that talented. Dwight Thomas, World Champion medalist, and one Jason Richardson, World junior champ over 400 meter hurdles, who has had a superb August and had a tremendous semi final earlier in the evening.

Liu-Robles-Oliver-RichardsonHand-World11.JPG the hand; WC 110m hurdles, Xiang, Robles, Oliver, Richardson, photo by
Montsho_AmantleSF-World11.JPGAmantle Montsho, 2011 WC Champs, 400 meters women, gold medalist,
photo by

The 400 meters is a test of wills. The scientist will tell you that the average human can not run all out more than perhaps 250 meters, the well trained human perhaps 300 meters. The last 100 meters is not only a test of wills but proper energy conservation.

Felix_AllysonSF-World11.JPG Allyson Felix, 2011 WC 400 meters, silver medalist, photo by

To be an epic 400 meters, two competitors have to be matched well, and then, over the last fifty meters, one sees what the two competitors have; guts, endurance, luck, and more guts. When one sees a national record and two personal best, that race has to be pretty special.

The women's 400 meters was about eight runners lining up, and putting it all on the line. No false starts, No disqualifications, this race just came down to Amantle Montsho and Allyson Felix showing their best over the last very long, very challenging fifty meters.

In the end, Amantle Montsho set a national record and won the gold. Allyson Felix, pushing Montsho to the end, took the silver and set a personal best.

And it was a beautiful race....

Renaud Lavillenie, 2011 WC Pole Vault, bronze (photo from qualifying), photo by

So the men's pole vault, as is the norm, did not follow the form charts. The pole vault is one of those most curious events, where luck, focus and fitness play roles, but not always in the same weights or percentages.

Different stadiums have different challenges, from swirling winds, to humidity, to just plain hot and humid conditions.

The winds in the Daegu Stadium change at a moment's notice and there was some frustration. In the end, the Men's pole vault was a huge chess game, where the leaders changed several times, based on heights cleared, attempts needed to clear said heights, and then, when it game down to the final three, well, it was all about the heights.

Here is how we saw it:
Koji Murofushi, 2011 WC Hammer, photo by

Koji Murofushi won the gold medal in the men's hammer throw tonight, with an excellent throw of 81.24m, his seasonal best. Murofushi is one of the most popular athletes in the sport, and had a tremendous series: 79.72m, 81.03m, 81.24m, 79.42m, 81.24m, and 80.83m.

Murofushi_KojiWide-World11.JPGKoji Murofushi, 1/4, photo by

Murofushi_KojiWide1a-World11.JPGKoji Murofushi, 2/4, photo by

Murofushi_KojiWide1b-World11.JPGKoji Murofushi, 3/4, photo by
Murofushi_KojiWide1-World11.JPGKoji Murofushi, 4/4, photo by

Krisztian Pars of Hungary just missed taking over the gold medal, with his last effort of 81.18 meters, the first time since 2008 that two men have thrown over 80 meters in the same competition. His series was 77.26m, 78.84m, 79.14m, 79.97m, 60.34m, 81.18m.

Pars_KrisztianWide-World11.JPG Krisztian Pars, 2011 WC Champs hammer,
silver, photo by

Pars_KrisztianWideR-World11.JPGThe big throw (81.18m, just behind winning 81.24m), Krizstian Pars, WC 2011 hammer throw, silver medalist,
photo by

Primoz Kozmus of Slovania took the bronze, with a throw of 79.39m. His series was 77.50m, 79.39m, 78.93m, foul, 76.01m, 78.19m.

In fourth, Markus Esser of Germany threw 79.12m. In fifth, Pavel Kryvistski of Belarus threw 78.53m. In sixth, Krill Ivannikov of Russia was in 78.37m.

Pars-Murofushi-KozmusA1-World11.JPGKrisztian Pars, Koji Murofushi, Primoz Kozmus, 2011 WC Hammer, silver, gold, bronze, photo by

The hammer throw never gets it due. A sixteen pound steel ball on a short chain with handle, with four to six revolutions, depending on whose technique you use, spinning like mad and throwing between 260 and 285 feet (world record is 284 feet, seven inches). These guys are consumate athletes, who compete like crazy, yet are gracious and friendly with their competition. The hammer has a great tradition in Europe and Asia, and has had some tremendous throwers from U.S., with huge history in Irish American community. Lance Deal was our last Olympic medalist (1996), and guys like Kevin McMahon, Dave Popejoy (same high school, Bellarmine Prep, Georgetown, Stanford for college) kept tradition going. Kibwe Johnson had some great throws this year. We have some great young guys in US, where will next WC or Olympic hammer finalist from US come from?


Valerie Adams: The big one! 1/3, 2011 WC women's shot, gold,
photo by

Adam_ValerieR1-World11.JPGThe big one, 2/3, Valerie Adams, 2011 WC shotput, gold,
photo by

Adams_ValerieFL-World11.JPGValerie Adams celebrates her victory! 2011 WC shot put, gold,
photo by

Well, Valerie Adams found herself in a strange place after round one of the women's shot put final-she was in fourth place!  Lijia Gong had thrown 19.64m, Jillian Camerena Williams had opened with 19.63m, and Nadezya Ostapchuk had opened with 19.58m. Valerie Adams opened with 19.37m. She must have asked, what is wrong with this picture?

Adams fouled in round two. Ling Li, the second best shot putter in China, popped a 19.71m throw to take the lead.

In round three Valerie Adams woke up from her slumber and popped a nice 20.04 meter throw, taking the lead for the first time. Natalia Mikhnevich threw 18.47m, but did not bet into the top 8. Michelle Carter could muster 18.76m, not getting into the top 8.

my virtual office, Daegu.jpg
My virtual office, Daegu Stadium, 8.29.11, photo by Larry Eder's iphone

The Stadium in Daegu is amazing. Great track, and huge facility. This morning's session was humid, sunny and just plain hot. The stadium was full of Korean junior high students who would come up and say 'Hi" or a few other words in English and they were amazed to see Americans at the track meet. They also seem to like the credentials we have, big thing over here.

I am having a great time. We are in a neighborhood about fifteen minutes from the stadium, and I take my walks in AM and find places for dinner in evening. The sleep deprivation does get to you, but we are at the World Championships, what do you expect?

Here are Alfonz Jucks' thoughts on the Day three morning session!

The second day will go down as the day that Usain Bolt fell down from the heavens and did not make the 100 meter final.

It will also be the day that the men's 10,000 meters transfixed the stadium as Ibrahim Jaelin ran down Mo Farah in a tremendously exciting distance race.

Special thanks to the team of PhotoRun photographers, who provide us with most of our major photos from key events around the globe. As always, thanks to Chuck Bartlett, our Digital Manager/Web deity, who produces the RN Photo Galleries and keeps me sane from five thousand miles away!

The Men's 20,000m walk was held in humid and tough conditions. Valeriy Borchin of Russia let the leaders go, and caught them later on, winning in 1:19.56!

Countrymen Vladimir Kanaykin of Russia was second, with a walk of 1:20.27, and Luis Fernando Lopez of Columbia gave his country their first medal in any World Championships in Athletics: a bronze!


Usain Bolt, 2011 WC 100m DQ, photo by

I am not sure what I can say about these photos that can not be revealed by looking at the photos themselves. Usain Bolt, the WR holder in the 100m and 200m, false started and was DQed from the 100 meter final. 

In the final, Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion, flew out of the blocks and was leading at 60 meters, until he was caught by Yohan Blake, who won the 100 meter gold medal. Walter Dix won the silver medal for the 100 meter and Kim Collins, won the bronze medal in the 100 meters.

Here is the statement issued by Usain Bolt, from his agent, Ricky Simms:

The 10,000 meter men's race, won by Ibrahim Jeilan in a fight to the final meters over Mo Farah, the false start of Usain Bolt, the the subsequent win by Yohan Blake in the men's 100 meters, will all go down as one of the races for the ages. And then, the unprecedented 1,2 by Trey Hardee and Ashton Easton in the decathlon. Eaton gutted out 5.8 seconds to take the silver out of the hands of Leonel Suarez of Cuba! 

All caught by the PhotoRun team of photographers, who have been our key photo team since 1987! We hope that you enjoy the Photo Gallery, prepared by our non-sleeping Web director, Chuck Bartlett, in his office in Seattle, WA.
The decathlon will be one hundred years old in 2012. It is an event, at least for the United States, steeped in tradition. Jim Thorpe, Glenn Morris, Bob Mathias, Milt Campbell, Bill Toomey, Bruce Jenner, Dan O'Brien, Dave Johnson, Steve Fritz, Chris Huffins, Bryan Clay are some of the names that are part of the fabric of this great event. Add Trey Hardee's name to that list. And make sure you watch Ashton Eaton.

Eaton-HardeeFL-World11.JPG Ashton Eaton, Trey Hardee, 2011 WC Decathlon, silver, gold, photo by

Trey Hardee showed, with this meet, that he gets it. The decathlon, is all about mental toughness.  " Everybody's training had to be leading up to this. We all know what it takes to make our bodies peak. We all just missed the boat. To miss the boat and score 8600 points is pretty impressive." noted Trey Hardee.

Ashton Eaton won the silver by gutting out a brutal 1,500 meters, and putting just over five seconds on Leonel Suarez in the 1,500 meters. " I let my coach do the thinking (Harry Marra). He told me that I had to beat the Cuban by five seconds to get the silver." And that is what he did!

Here is how we saw the second day of the decathlon:

Yangfeng Li, 2011 WC, Discus gold medalist, photo by

Yangfeng Li surprised Nadine Muller of Germany to take the gold. Muller took the silver. Yarelys Barrios of Cuba took the bronze in the women's discus. Here is how RBR saw it:
Here is the video of Brittney Reese's long jump victory, courtesy of the IAAF:
Brittney Reese, 2011 World Champs/Daegu, Long Jump Champion, photo by

Brittney Reese is a very talented athlete. A former basketball player, Reese took up the long jump near the end of high school. She loves to compete and is always working on improving her craft.

Earlier this season, we were talking about what she wanted to improve this year. At the indoor champs, Brittney gave me the list of things she wanted to improve in her long jump.

Well, in her qualifying round, she had a bit of a scare. a 6.41m jump put her 14th after two rounds. She got herself together, composed herself and leaped 6.79m, putting her in the top three, and she was in the final!

Well, there are lots of ways to win a field event. Brittney Reese took the, leap so far they all have to chase you, route and Voila, Brittney Reese defended her 2009 title from Berlin. That medal sure looks good right now!

The 10,000 meters men's race lived up to all of its expectations: Great tactics, long kick by Tadesse, run to the finish by Mo Farah. What it did not tell us was that Ethiopian Ibrahim Jeilan, who has run 13:09 for the 5,000 meters, and won a race in Japan this year in 27:09, would catch a tiring Mo Farah with literally meters to go. Kenenisa Bekele, the defending champion for 2003,2005, 2007 and 2009, retired from the race just past 6,000 meters. Tadesse pushed the pace, with Rupp, Merga, Jeilan and Farah waiting to move. Perhaps Mo Farah moved too early, but his game move got him the silver medal, a first in the World Champs for Great Britain. For Ibrahim Jeilan, he keeps a tradition of Ethiopia's hold on the 10,000 meters at the World Championships and Olympics.

In this video, one can see Usain Bolt, realizing that he has false started, taking off his jersey and walking away from the starting line.

One can also see Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion, getting a great start and superb lead, only to be drawn back by Yohan Blake, who goes on to take the gold medal in the 100 meters, and Walter Dix, who takes the silver in the 100 meters.

Kim Collins, the 2003 gold medalist, and in his eighth World Champs, takes the bronze medal!

In the end, Yohan Blake, Walter Dix and Kim Collins, did follow the rule, and while the rule may be bad, it is enforced at this time. Bolt showed his class by not screaming and hollering. It is tragic, but it is our sport, at this time.

We have heard that some TV sources claim that Bolt was reacting to some one elses move, we will have to see how that controversy is resolved. The timing system does not appeared to have malfunctioned, so the 100 meter final was run, and Yohan Blake is the 2011 World Champion at 100 meters, Walter Dix is the silver medalist and as one keen observer noted, " making all old farts feel good about themselves", Kim Collins took the bronze! 

The controversy began right after the race, and will not finish for the next fifty years. Sad that the best sprinter in the world did not run the final. We will have to look forward now  to the 200 meters!
Usain Bolt's jersey, 2011 World Champs 100m final, photo by

We are involved in a sport that dates back to the dawn of man. We have always thrown, jumped and run. It is in that simplicity, and that history that much of the identity of our sport is founded. Yet, for a long time, we have put rules upon rules and minutae into our sport that thrills some, and turns off others.

While well meaning, the false start rule was a disaster from the beginning. It was done to placate TV and keep the producers from pulling their hair out even more, as they tried to cover track & field in a way that TV audiences would enjoy and flock to. Well, Eurosport seems to do it, BBC seems to do it, but American TV, which has strong productions and weak productions, does not seem to really get or appreciate the sport.

The disqualification of Usain Bolt was by the book last night, but, apparently, TV shows differently. The controversy, could, if Bolt runs the 200 meters, make that race one of the most watched events in TV. Right now, the 100 meters will be re-run around the world, time after time, and we will let you see who flinched first.

Track & Field has some superstars, two of them had rough nights last night: Kenenisa Bekele and Usain Bolt.

There were also tremendous competitions. The duel between Ibrahim Jeilan and Mo Farah over the last lap of the 10,000 meters showed what a great race can be: moving, emotional, superb drama.

The 100 meters last night was, in many ways, strangely good for the sport. It continues to highlight the vast difference between what the perception and reality of the sport are. In the end, Track & Field has the potential to be the global sport of global sports-it is the largest draw at the Summer Olympics-yet, it continues to shoot itself in the foot.

My suggestion: Instead of criticizing and pointing fingers, I am asking our readers to suggest ways to improve the sport. I will supply the compete responses to the IAAF and USA Track & Field.

The point we agree on is: we love the sport and do not want it to whither away. Then, we have some common ground. The next part is the hard part-what do we do about it?

Send your suggestions to [email protected]

The official emblem of the 2011 World Champion...

The 20,000 meter Men's race walk was held Sunday morning in brutal conditions, with Valeriy Borchin of Russia taking the gold in 1:19:56. Vladamir Kanaykin of Russia took the silver in 1:20:27 and Luis Fernando Lopez of Columbia took the bronze, in 1:20:38, giving Columbia their first EVER medal in the World Athletics Championships. In 23rd place, Trevor Barron, the lone American, finished 23rd in 1:24:33, the youngest competitor in the Championships.

We asked 1956 Olympian in the 50k, Elliott Denman, one of our top contributors, to give us his expert view of one of the toughest endurance events in the championships. Here is his view of the race:

No one could have written this one better. Grand theatre! The no false start rule has bitten our sport in the butt and will not let go!

Blake_YohanQ-World11.JPGYohan Blake, 2011 WC 100m gold medalist, photo by

As one producer just told me, that the whole 100 meters just makes great TV, and it will! For the ages!

Jeilan_IbrahimFV_WXC08.jpgIbrahim Jeilan, World XC 2008, photo by

In a race that had all of the drama that a great middle distance race can have, it came down to the last few meters, where Ibrahim Jeilan overcame Mo Farah, winning 27:13.81 to 27:14.07. Image Merga was third in 27:19.14.

Here is how we saw it:
David Rudisha, 2011 WC 800m: will he break the world record?
photo by

Rudisha, Amman, Symmonds impressed us in the semi-finals. This is how we saw the 800 meter semi-finals:
This event is tougher to call each and every day! Suffice it to say, the names to watch in the final are Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Christophe Lemaitre, and now, 2003 World Champ Kim Collins! Read on!

Blake_YohanQ-World11.JPGYohan Blake, 2011 WC 100m rounds, photo by

What a morning Session! The performance of the morning had to be LaShawn Merritt's 44.35! Here is how we saw it!

Bolt_UsainQPre1a-World11.JPGUsain Bolt, 2011 WC, 100m qualifying, photo by

Well, Tyson Gay and Maurice Greene were asked about the 100 meters to be held tonight. Tyson could not vote against Usain Bolt. But Mo Greene? Well, he thinks Yohan Blake is the new star of the sprints. We shall see in just a few hours!

Dix_WalterQ-World11.JPGWalter Dix, 2011 WC 100m qualifying, photo by

RBR's picks for the men's 100 meters: Bolt, Thompson, Dix, Spoiler: Christophe Lemaitre for a medal

LeMaitre_ChristopheQ-World11.JPGAto Boldon picks Lemaitre to medal, do you? photo by

RBR's picks for the men's 10,000m:
Farah, Bekele, Rupp, Spoiler: Any of the Kenyans running out of their minds

Jenn Suhr is a pole vault prodigy. She cleared 4.60m only after thirteen months of pole vaulting. She won her first US title just months after that. And in 2008, Jenn Suhr cleared 4.92m/16-01.75, the first American women to clear sixteen feet and the second highest vaulter of all times. She won the Olympic silver medal in 2008 in Beijing.

As with all great athletes, Jenn has had challenges. She has fought injuries for the past two years, and she is now getting healthy once again. She discovered a gluten intolerance that was causing her energy issues in the early summer. She fought back from some terrible back and stomach spasms over the past two months.

In August, Jennifer won the pole vault at the AVIVA London Grand Prix, and just before that, cleared 4.91m/16-1.25, the highest vault of the year. This morning, Day 2, Session 1 of the World champs (August 28, 2011), Jenn missed her first two attempts at 4.50m, then cleared 4.50m and then 4.55m on her first attempt, all she needed to make the final. Anyone of six vaulters can win this one and the medals should come from this pool too. "There are some great vaulters out there, and Jenn will just have to perform," noted coach Rick Suhr. In that light, Jenn 's video is pretty fascinating, check it out, as it was done at the adidas press conference on Friday night, August 26, 2011.

Brittney Reese had a scare in her qualifying, but her clutch 6.79m jump gave her the third best qualifying jump in the qualifications. Here, Brittney speaks on the long jump and what she needs to defend her titles from 2009! Brittney gave up basketball to long jump. She is one of the most competitive and talented athletes in our sport. Watch for some big jumps tonight in the Long Jump final!
Vivan Cheruiyot, 2011 WC 10,000m, photo by

K. Ken Nakamura, one of our favorite track geeks, waxes geekily on the number of sweeps in various events, and why Saturday night, August 27, 2011 was such a magical night!
Vivian Cheruiyot, 2011 WC 10,000m, Quote of the Day, photo by

Bolt-LeMaitre-ParisDL11.jpgUsain Bolt, (shown at 2011 AREVA Paris), Session 2 Performance of Session, photo by

Here are a couple of Alfons Juck's notes on the second session of Day 1 of the World Championships in Daegu, Korea!

Steve Hooker, 2011 WC Day 1 Surprise of the Day, photo by

Kiplagat_EdnaFV1-WorChp11.jpgEdna Kiplagat: Result  of the Session, 1:11:57 for second half of marathon! 2011 WC Champs, Marathon, photo by

Jock_CharlesQ-World11.JPGFavorites Fall: US sensation Charles Jock did not advance in 800m, photo by

Here are a few of the observations that make Alfons Juck, aka the Juckster, so popular with RBR readers:

Probably the biggest surprise in the evening session of qualifying was the disqualification of Christine Ohuruogu, the 2007 WC at 400 meters and Olympic gold medlasit at 400 meters. She had not had a good season, fraught with injuries, and her race at AVIVA London was just a nightmare.

WomenLeaders-WorCh11.jpgWomen's Marathon, Saturday morning, 2011 WC Daegu, photo by

The first session of Day 1 really got the World Champs going, we hope you enjoy!
The first session was amazing. Some great performances. Here is a synopsis of the first session, day 1. Day 1, second session coming later tonight, need some dinner and sleep! Thanks for following our blog!

Kiplagat_EdnaA-WorChp11.jpgEdna Kiplagat won first medal of WC 2011, and lead Kenya to sweep! photo by

Cheruiyot_VivianFV1-WorChp11.jpgVivian Cheruiyot, 2011 World Champs, 10,000m, photo by

Oh, what a summer Vivian Cheruiyot has had so far! At the DN Galan Games on July 29, Vivian dusted the field, running 14:20 for 5,000 meters. The reigning World, African and Commonwealth Champion was not even in her best event!

Vivian Cheruiyot took sixty seconds to run the last lap and win her World Championship gold medal, running 30:48.98, her personal best. In second Sally Kipyego, the multi NCAA champion, ran hard, and took the silver in 30:50.04. In third, Linet Masai, the defending champion, who lead much of the race, ran 30:53.59 for the bronze, and Priscah Cherono took fourth for Kenya in 30:56.43 for a personal best. Meselech Melkamu, the silver medalist from Berlin, finished fifth in 30:56.55, with Shitaye Eshete of Bahrain set a national record of 31:21.57 for sixth.

Cheruiyot_VivianFV1c-WorChp11.jpg Vivian Cheruiyot, the moment of victory, 2011 WC 10,000m, photo by

Such was the domination of Kenyan women today that they won all six of the World Championship medals contested so far! Former WC gold medalist Steve Cram noted that Britain's goal for the entire champs is seven medals!

This is where we will update the Decathlon all day, so check it often! 

The decathlon is ten events that test the will, the strength and the speed of the world's greatest athletes. Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic gold medalist noted that the decathlon gives an athlete ten different ways to make a mistake. The key is, to make as few errors as possible.

Hardee_TreySH_WCh09.jpgTrey Hardee, 2009 WC, photo by

In this event, defender Trey Hardee of the U.S. is competing against Ashton Eaton, the newest star in the Decathlon pantheon.

Eaton_AshtonSH1-USout11.JPG Ashton Eaton, 2011 US Champs, photo by

We will cover all ten disciplines in the decathlon, and try to give you a good feel for the competition and the competitors. If you have questions, email us at [email protected]!

Kiplagat_EdnaFV-WorChp11.jpgEdna Kiplagat, 2011 World Champs Marathon winner, photo by

Edna Kiplagat, overcoming two falls, some spirited competitors, and 84 percent humidity, lead a Kenyan sweep of the marathon, the first time that any country had swept the marathon before at a World Champs.

Here is how I saw the marathon. Special thanks to the World Marathon Majors for hosting a reception at the start/finish area of the marathon!
Jenn Suhr, 2011 NB Indoor, photo by

Jenn Suhr is the second highest women vaulter of all times. She has cleared 4.92m, and she is the Olympic silver medalist. She has had more than her share of injuries, but she is vaulting here and is in the medal fight.

Her interview was done at the adidas media center at the Daegu complex on Friday evening, August 26, 2011.
Morgan Uceny, 2011 Lausanne, photo by

Morgan Uceny, U.S. 1,500m champ, has been burning up the track circuit this summer. She is definitely in the hunt for a medal. As one WC medalist told us, " you know how it is, one mistake at this level, and you are in the stands watching the final." Uceny, to this point, has not made any grave errors.

This interview was done in the adidas media center at the Daegu Stadium complex on Friday, August 26, 2011.
Ennis_JessicaJavH-Gateshead10.jpgJessica Ennis, 2010 AVIVA Gateshead, photo by

Special thanks to adidas for interview opportunity with 2009 WC defending champion Jessica Ennis. This interview was done on Friday evening, August 26, 2011 at the adidas media center in Daegu, Korea.

Desi Davila leading 2011 BAA Boston, photo by

Desi Davila finished second in the 2011 BAA Boston Marathon. In doing that, she continued her meteoric rise through the ranks of U.S. women marathoners. Desi, who took 11th in Berlin 2009 WC, will not be running in Daegu, Korea. We asked Elliott Denman to follow up with Desi and see what she is doing as she prepares for the 2012 U.S.A. Olympic marathon Trials, January 15, 2011 in Houston, Texas.

Veronica Campbell-Brown is the two time Olympic champion at 200 meters, World champion at both the 60 meters indoors and 100 meters, and is in tremendous shape in 2011. Her 10.76 for the 100 meters at the Ostrava meeting showed that her fitness was back and she was ready to roll. The women's sprints should be nearly as exciting as the mens, with VCB, Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix all in the battle (of course with the other Jamaican women stars)!

adidas provided us this video on Blanka Vlasic and her aspirations for defending her World Champs title from Berlin. Vlasic has had some injuries this year, but she decided to come and do battle. We wish her the best! Blanka Vlasic is one of the best athletes in the world, and is very popular with the championship crowds. She jumps with emotion and is entertaining. That diva-ness about Vlasic makes Blanka one of the most popular athletes in our sport! The women's high jump should be one of the most competitive of the championships.

This is the press conference for the Usain Bolt before the World Champs. Over 250 media representatives were there and you are now there, courtesy of our friends at That Bolt is the biggest draw in our sport is true, and it is reinforced at the major meeting press conferences.

Usain Bolt is done a disservice, I believe. In our eternal need to have world records at each and every championship, we degrade the quality of the competition. Even with the withdrawals of Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay, Mike Rogers, both the 100 meter and 200 meter fields are still quite deadly. Getting to the semi-finals will be tough for many. Usain Bolt has mentioned all season that it takes a huge effort to run at his 2008 and 2009 level, this year is about competing and winning.

I am not sure that this is a WR year in the sprints. It might be the year of digging down deep and fighting for the win. And we, the track fans, should see some memorable races!

Here is the IAAF story on the Usain Bolt Press conference, written our 's Mike Rowbottom, who is writing for the IAAF here in

Asafa Powell, 2011 Shanghai DL, photo by

After the notice went out on twitter last night that the fastest sprinter of the year was indeed, out of the 100 meters in Daegu, someone noted that the 100 meters had become, and I quote, "a war of attrition."

Here's an observation: all World Champ and Olympic races are wars of attrition. To get one's body into world leading shape is one thing, to keep it there is entirely another matter. Asafa has run 76 sub 10 second 100 meters races in his career. He felt a twinge in Budapest, and then withdrew from London, and he has not recovered.

The 100 meter and 200 meter fields have been decimated, but still, they will be deadly fields. The women's 10,000m field is looking more and more like a good place for Shalane Flanagan to get a medal.
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While I was traveling from Fort Atkinson, WI to Daegu, Korea (24 hours), there was some real drama in the IAAF World Congress. The electronic voting system was malfunctioning, and so, a more primitive means of voting was used in the second go round. Hersh, Al-Hamad, Coe and Bubka were elected IAAF Vice Presidents, but in the first, malfunctioning round, Mr. Bubka was not in the top four. There was also a difficulty in the election for treasurer as well., the top watcher of all things federation and all things Olympic and World Champs caught the story and it must be read in its entirety to truly appreciate the situations and frustrations of all involved.

The facilities in Daegu are top class. Staying in a fun little hotel called Geo-gi (Sincheon, Dong gu, Daegu), with nice rooms, and an easy walk to the train station and bus. I am now working in the Media Center and it is organized, cool and close to all that we need. Signage is all over the city and you would have to be blind not to know or see it. Winds could be a problem during the Champs, as they have been quite high and reportedly adverse during the practice event held the other day.

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Image via Wikipedia

The press release from the IAAF's 48th Congress, which opened local time in Daegu, Korea on August 24, 2011. The IAAF Congress will be a two day affair, preceding the World Athletics Championships, which starts on Saturday, August 27 and ends on Sunday, September 4, 2011. 
Ryan Hall is preparing in earnest for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We asked long time contributor Elliot Denman, 1956 and 1960 US Olympian in race walk and one of the sports most prolific writers, to help us catch up on Ryan.

Hall_RyanLeds5mile_Houston11.JpgRyan Hall, 2011 Aramco US Half Marathon Champs, Houston, photo by

Hall is one of our sports most gifted and mercurial athletes. At Boston, when he needed to deliver, Ryan Hall delivered and then some. Now, he has a fast, flat course in Chicago, and how fast can the guy run? 96 days later, Ryan Hall will line up with about 130 other men, intent on making the 2012 Olympic team. The difference is, Ryan Hall can make the team in his sleep if the right Ryan Hall shows up in Houston, and it looks like Hall wants to put his mark on the marathons in both Chicago and Houston.
The official emblem of the 2011 World Champion...

The IAAF Council is meeting in Daegu, Korea on the eve of the World Championships in Athletics.

With several important matters to be discussed, including the election of  IAAF President, the naming of a new General Secretary and the sites of upcoming championships on the docket,the IAAF Council had many topics to consider.

The election of Lamine Diack to a third term will be unopposed, and Essar Gabriel will be the new General Secretary, replacing countryman Pierre Weiss, who is retiring from two decades of dealing with the politics of sports.

Well, gentle readers, it's almost that time! Track geekdom has come to this: Nine days & nights of the best track & field around! Yes, for the 2011 World Athletics Champs in Daegu, Korea! I am nearly packed, one more load to put in the dryer, and my travels from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin to Daegu, Korea begin! From car to Janesville, then bus to Chicago, then fly to SFO and SFO to Seoul, and a lovely one hour train ride to Daegu, Korea!

Kaki-Rudisha-LondonDL11.jpg Rudisha vs Kaki, 2011 AVIVA London Grand Prix, photo by

There should not be a bad day on the schedule. Weather will have highs in the mid 80s and lows in mid sixties, with several days with some rain.

Most of the athletes are in Daegu, Korea as the World Champs, August 27 to September 4, will showcase the best athletes in our sports. With only four athletes not defending their titles, the competitions should be superb!

Runblogrun and the RunningNetwork looks forward to keeping you up to date on all things World Champ related. If you want to reach us, try [email protected] or twitter us at runblogrun!

updated August 23, 2011

bu.jpgJohn J. Kelley,
courtesy of Boston University

Amby Burfoot introduced me to John J. Kelley at a RW booth, I believe, at either the New York or Boston Marathons. It was early on
in Rodale's ownership of Runner's World. After meeting Kelley I just remember noting how humble John J. Kelley was-this guy had won Boston! 

I knew about John J. Kelley. He was the first American Boston Marathon winner of the modern era, winning in 1957. It was not until Amby Burfoot, who was coached and advised by John J. Kelley, who won in 1968, that a second American won Boston in that era, and it would not be again until 1975, when Bill Rodgers (called Will Rodgers in newspaper reports of the time) put his American feet up on the victory stands.

John J. Kelley was, a paradigm changer. He rejected much of post war modern America, and encouraged those around him to question authority, and embrace the independent thinkers. Amby described meetings in Kelley's home, with writers, songwriters, thinkers, and young distance runners like Amby, trying to figure out the world he was inheriting.  As singer John Prine would say, "it's a big old, goofy world", Kelley always seemed to see the humor in a situation.

Kelley was a runner, coach, advisor, friend, philospher, literary enthusiast, father, husband, so many things. What is fascinating to me is how many facets of John J. Kelley that Amby got to see. Burfoot's column is a homage to a man who obviously changed his life and the lives around him. So, in the end, John J. Kelley, the first modern American road runner, was, perhaps a mixture of New England indepdence and zen master. A true individual.  

Amby and I ran together a few times over my two years at the Rodale offices. I remember his stories and John was one of his focal points. When I read his moving history of  John J. Kelley, I learnt things about Mr. Kelley that I did not know. More than obituary, it was a celebration of Kelley life. 

Please read Amby's column and pass it around. Amby calls John J. Kelley our first modern road runner. I liked that. I hope you will too! Then, go do your run or walk and consider a life well lived, and well loved. 

Amby Burfoot's tribute to John J. Kelley:

Let's Run on John J. Kelley:

Isinbayeva_Yelena-WCh09.jpgYelena Isinbayeva, 2009 WC:photo by

The Weltklasse, held four days after the ending of the 2011 World Champs, has some amazing fields! The women's pole vault, with Jenn Suhr, Anna Rogowska, and Yelena Insibayeva, will be surely one to watch, as that event in the World is one of the most onerous to pick a winner!

Suhr_Jenn-USind11.JPGJenn Suhr, 2011 NB Indoor, photo by 

Anna Rogowska, reigning world champ, verus Olympic silver medalist Jenn Suhr, and 24 time world record holder, Olympic gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva.

My gut tells me Isinbayeva would not be out there without the desire to climb the wr charts and top of the podium. Suhr has the wheels and guts to take it all, and Rogowska, she knows how to win, and is just great to watch vault. 

Pick that one, my friends!

Anna Rogowska, 2009 Berlin WC: photo by
Polo Ralph Lauren

Image via Wikipedia

So, Erica Kerner, head of adidas Olympic programme in London 2012, will become the vp of marketing at Polo/Ralph Lauren.

Erica Kerner has a tremendous street rep. Big move for her, and the success and failure of adidas Olympic programme, quite frankly, much of the heavy lifting has been done already by Erica and her team. Building an Olympic programme as adidas or other major brands do is a herculean feat. Lots of heaving lifting, planning, and four years of long nights, long days, so that, in fact, the 18 days of the Olympics and subsequent Para Olympics is almost a zombie walk.

Please read subsequent article by our friends at If you are not signed up for the RSS feed, well, you are just not serious about the Olympic biz, now are you?

Daegu is six days away now, and the news continues. Usain Bolt is 25 today. Bryan Clay, due to knee injury, is out of the Daegu decathlon. Chris Solinsky, AR at 10,000m, has withdrawn from the 5,000m, due to a hamstring injury that flared up.

Solinsky_Chris-USAout11.jpgChris Solinsky, 2011 USA Outdoor 5,000m, photo by

Per a twitter announcement from Doyle Management group released on Saturday, August 20, manager of Bryan Clay, the 2008 Olympic champion has withdrawn from the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, August 27-September 5, due to a knee injury.

Bryan Clay, 2011 USA Outdoor , photo by

I started this column after the AVIVA London meeting, trying to see what we could pick from the last major meeting before Daegu. I will be writing about many of the events this week before Daegu, so tell me what you think, email me at [email protected].

Kaki vs. Rudisha, 2011 AVIVA London DL, photo by

Trell Kimmons, 2011 New Balance Indoor, photo by

Trell Kimmons has been added to the USA roster in response to Mike Rodgers withdrawal from the US team. Rodgers tested positive to a stimulant, per USADA and Reuters story. Rodgers comment was that he did not want to be a distraction for the US team. Mike McNees, the acting CEO of USA Track & Field, commented positively on Rodgers action.
Blanka Vlasic, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala Roma, photo by

Blanka Vlasic, the 2009 World Champion, 2008 Olympic silver medalist, has had a tough year, with some injury issues, and she had a very tough decision to make about whether to go to Daegu. Blanka Vlasic noted on Friday that she was going to Daegu, Korea to compete at the World Championships. We wish her the very best.

Liliya Shobukhova, 2010 Virgin London Marathon, photo by

Liliya Shobukhova is running the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, hoping to win an unprecedented third time in the Windy City. Shobukhova, who has won three of her five marathons, is the current Russian national record holder, and has the amazing ability to run the second half very strong in her marathons.
Thumbnail image for Shobukhova_LiliyaFV-_Chicago10.Jpg
Liliya Shobukhova, 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon,
photo by

Carey Pinkowski, Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced that Liliya Shobukhova, the winner of the 2009 and 2010 B of A Chicago marathons will not only be returning to the streets of Chicago in 2011, but she will also be attempting to win three races in a row.  Carey noted that he was " excited to make this announcement this morning. If you observed the last two performances in Chicago, if you look at the history and champions of this event, Liliya Shobukhova has performed extraordinarily in Chicago and London. She is trying to win three times in a row in Bank of America in Chicago, something never done here before!"

Shobukhova is one of the best women marathoners on the planet. Her modus operandi is a very tough second half, where she catches her quarry, and runs by them over the last several kilometers.  She has run five marathons and won three of them with those tactics. In her last two ventures, she has set Russian national records and has come tantalizingly close to break the 2:20 barrier. (Liliya Shobukhova took third in London in 2009, won Chicago in 2009, won Chicago and London in 2010 and took second in London in 2011).

Kenenisa Bekele, 2009 WC Berlin, photo by

Only three defenders of Berlin titles will be missing from next week's World Championships. Kenenisa Bekele, who has not raced in over a year, I believe, will be defending his 10,000m title, among others. Word is the Blanka Vlasic, who is having some injury issues, will make her decision in the next few days.
SPAR logo

Image via Wikipedia

SPAR, a group of 12,200 stores, the largest voluntary group of convenience stores in the world, has extended their sponsorship with the European Athletics Association through 2015. I am fascinated for two reasons: one, SPAR, is a fascinating business model on its own, and their obvious satisfaction wit the European Athletics events! Nice Job, EAA! Sponsorship in this day and age is pretty difficult to engage, but it is, more than likely, the uniqueness and the opportunity to get grass roots support that makes SPAR and the EAA work together.

And on top of that, love that logo! 
Richard Thompson's 9.85 seconds for the 100 meters woke a few people up. Mr. Thompson, the silver medalist from 2008, is one of the best sprinters in the world. The problem for Richard is that he gets caught in the fireworks when Usain Bolt, the world record holder at 100m, 200m and on the 4 x 100m relays, wins a major championship.

Here is the interview he did for Trinidadian CTV. We hope that you enjoy it!

Big Sur Marathon Bixby Bridge ee3.jpg

The Big Sur International Marathon has been noted as one of the most beautiful marathons in the world, and one of the top ten destination marathons in the world. As someone who has lived near the Monterrey Penninsula for much of my adult life (well, until my fifteen year sojourn to Wisconsin), and traveled extensively,  it is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

That the Big Sur International marathon sold out so quickly is a testament, once again, to the health of our sport, in general, and in particular, to the team, such as Julie Armstrong, and Race Director Wally Kastner, who make the race what it is, one of the grandest marathons in the world.

Richard Thompson, Usain Bolt, Christophe Lemaitre, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala, ROMA, photo by

Sorry, gentle readers, missed this one! (Posted August 16, 2011)

Richard Thompson ran 9.85 at his national championships (Port of Spain) on August 13, which established a new national record and placed him near the top of the sprinter food chain for Daegu, Korea. The Trinidadian is one of the most dangerous and effective sprinters active today. As one Olympic bronze medalist reminded me, " If you do not consider everyone in a final as potential medalists, you are making a huge mistake." Thompson is running into shape perfectly.

Caterine Ibarguen, the Columbian record holder in the triple jump, is looking like a real threat in Daegu, with her fine 14.99m NR, WL triple jump. Should be a fascinating event.

And the NB Falmouth Mile, which was won in a new course record by Jordan McNamara, from the Oregon Track Club, who blasted a 3:54.89 mile, leading nine other runners under the 4:00 mark. Canadian Nicole Sifuentes won the women's mile in 4:31.98 (she won the 5,000m at Payton Jordan Invite on May 1).

Piotr Malachowski, Split 2010, photo by

Teams are being announced today for the World Championships in Daegu. We have all of the listings submitted, courtesy of EME News . We will update the teams as we get them each day unitl the Champs are over.

Thorkildsen_Andreas-Lausanne11.jpgAndreas Thorkildsen, photo by

Andreas Thorkildsen threw a superb 90.61, his third farthest EVER, and a world leader as his third throw in his National Champs.

Mike Rodgers, who tested positive for a stimulant, will have his fate decided by USADA this week, per Reuters.

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Lucas Rotich overcame a strong challenge by Micah Kogo, the 2007 champion, and Magdelena Lewy Boulet won the women's race, the first American women to do so since 2003 (Jenn Rhines), in the 2011 version of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race.

A long term sponsorship with New Balance will allow the iconic race to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year in fine fashion. This year, with cloudy, windy conditions, and near 100 percent humidity, the crowd of 11,000 plus championed the seven mile course in one of the true rights of New England summer.

Boulet_Magdalena-NYmini11.JPGMagdelena Lewy Boulet, 2011 NYRR Mini, photo by

Along with that, New Balance held a media summit, where many of the top sports editors and freelancers were shown New Balance footwear and apparel, and met with some of the key players in the resurging New Balance Athletics shoes. New Balance is on a role, with some key awards from both the Running Network and Runners World, and increasing support from the retail community.

But for today, it was all about the NB Falmouth Road Race. Last night, the NB Falmouth road mile and nine American men under the magical four minute barrier, which RBR believes may be the largest number of Americans in one race under four minutes in some time (yes, we are checking).

Full results are linked below and we look forward to seeing many of you there in 2012!

Majewski_Tomasz-Brussels10.JPGTomasz Majewski, 2010 Belgacom Van Damme Memorial, Brussels,
photo by

Tomasz Majewski, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2009 Silver medalist in World Champs, threw 21.30 meters, in his final preparations for the World Champs in Daegu. The shot put should be one of the highlights of the meet.

Fascinating conversation in Falmouth today with some distance runners who told me that the men's shot put is one of their favorite events, because the guys just put it all out there when they compete. Distance runners and throwers get along because they a) work hard, b) appreciate beer, among other things.

The official emblem of the 2011 World Champion...

With just two weeks before the start of the World Champs, the IAAF announced that all athletes will be blood tested in Daegu. This is first time a group of this size has had blood-testing, in conjunction with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Association.

RBR is in Falmouth this weekend for the famed summer race, NB Falmouth Road Race. I hope to see some of you there! 
Jessica Ennis, 2010 AVIVA Gateshead, photo by

Jessica Ennis, the defending champion at the heptathlon from the 2009 World Champs is in great form two weeks from Daegu. She hurdled 12.79 for a personal best, winning the race as well. Ennis is at top form and will need to use those skills and her focus to battle the best multi-eventers in the world.
Jesse Williams, AVIVA London GP, photo by

Jesse Williams is one of 129 athletes on Team USA heading to Daegu, Korea for the World Championships, August 27-September 4. Jesse is at the top of his game right now, with some superb jumping in Stockholm on July 29 and London, on August 6. RBR will be in Daegu covering the world championships. This weekend, I am off to the New Balance Falmouth Road Race.
Jessica Ennis, 2011 adidas grand prix NYC, photo by

Phillips Idowu, 2011 Lausanne, photo by

Farah_Mo-LondonDL11.jpgMo Farah, 2011 AVIVA London GP DL, photo by

Jessica Ennis, Phillips Idowu & Mo Farah are three of the sixty-seven that were named to the Great Britain team for the World Champs to be held August 27-September 5 in Daegu, Korea. UK Athletics announced the AVIVA Great Britian & Northern Island team today. A team replete with European champions from 2010, the Great Britain team should have some strong success in Daegu, Korea. With the most inquiring media outlets on the planet Earth, GB sports teams are among the most closely watched on afore-mentioned planet. 

Kirani James, 2011 AVIVA London GP, photo by

Kirani James was congratulated by his country's government for his sportsmanship and representation of his country, Grenada.  Sergei Bubka, world record holder in the pole vault and IAAF Vice President, gave Korea much praise for hosting the World Champs in 2011, the Winter Olympics of 2018 and his fond remembrances of his gold medal performance from the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Keep the shopowners of Tottenham and other areas in London in your thoughts as they clean up from the riots and mayhem from this past few days. RBR spent a week in London, doing the tourist thing, visiting East London, East Croydon, Victoria Station, Tower Bridge, St. Katherines Way and enjoyed what we saw.


Farah_MoFV_Pre11.JpgMo Farah, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

The 2011 AVIVA London Grand Prix, the only two day meeting on the Samsung DL fourteen meeting tour, exceeded expectations. From the first night, with Jenny Meadow's stunning win over Kenia Sinclair, Kiriani James 44.62 WL and victory over 400 meters, Jenn Suhr's pole vault win,  and Mo Farah's evening ending victory over 3,000 meters, meet records were falling and the crowd was cheering!

Taylor_Christian-USout11.JPG Christian Taylor, 2011 USA Outdoor, photo by

Saturday's tremendous session featured some tremendous performances. Sally Pearson continues to thrive in the 100m hurdles, Christian Taylor's 17.68m triple jump was the NCAA champion's personal best and a shot across the bow to the triple jump world that Phillips Idowu, the 2009 WC will have to be on his best game for Daegu. It was great to see Virgilijus Alekna, the two time Olympic and Word Champion, winning the discus with a strong throw-the 39 year old is still dangerous!

Pearson_Sally-LondonDL10.JPG Sally Pearson, 2010 AVIVA London GP, photo by

I have to admit the Emsley Carr Mile, with a hard fighting Leonel Manzano, was thrilling. The most traditional and historic mile race in the world, in my mind, Manzano showed that, if he can get himself safely through the heats, he can do well in a tough race, which is to be expected in the World Champs 1,500 meters.

The women's 5,000 meters was a great race. Lauren Fleshman, who has had a series of ups and downs over the past three plus years ran perhaps the best race of her life. Running 15:15 pace through 4 kilometers, Fleshman and Davila charged away, pushing the pace way down, and Lauren Fleshman took off with 500 meters to go and blew open the race, running 15:00.57 and Helen Clitheroe took second, running 15:06.75, with seven runners under the A standard!

In the sprints, Yohan Blake's win 9.95 in a headwind and Carmelita Jeter's 10.93 win in similar conditions show that the sprint wars in Daegu should be thrilling.

Jeter_CamelitaR_Lausanne10.JPG Carmelita Jeter, 2010 Lausanne, photo by

The last meeting before Daegu lived up to its hype, and in three weeks we will see the thrilling answers to this season-who is, in track & field, the champions du monde?

Stay tuned.
RBR will be there, covering the World Championships in three short weeks!


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A critical race in the world of athletics as the World Championships is less than one month away. Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic champion, is rounding into form. In his second race against David Oliver, Robles came out on top with strong hurdling and a great finish. Robles ran 13.04, to break the meet record of one Colin Jackson, way back from 1992! Jason Richardon, who defeated David Oliver last weekend in Stockholm, ran a personal best here in 13.08, his personal best, and again finished ahead of a sluggish David Oliver. David Oliver, who was undefeated 19 straight races in 2010, had a slow start and did not seem to engage until the final four hurdles, where he was able to run 13.09, but a full five tenths behind Dayron Robles.

What does this portend for Daegu? Well, more than likely, Dayron Robles, Lui Xiang, David Oliver, Jason Richardson, Andy Turner have three weeks to do their final preparations for the best series of 110m hurdles races in four years.


Day two of the 2011 AVIVA London Grand Prix will be covered here! Stay tuned! My battery is working, so watch for updates on each event, as they finish, so almost live!

Meadows_Jenny-Gateshead10.jpgJenny Meadows, 2010 AVIVA Gateshead, photo by

The AVIVA event of Day 1 was the thrilling run by Jenny Meadows, where she won the women's 800 meters from Kenia Sinclair, in 1:58.51. Meadows could not have times it better for her win! Let's see what today brings in the Crystal Palace!

Dayron Robles, 2011 FBK Hengelo, photo by

The first night of the AVIVA London Grand Prix was tremendous. From the amazing 800 meter battles, the first between Abubaker Kaki and David Rudisha, and then the crowd-pleasing victory of Jenny Meadows over Kenia Sinclair, to the blazing last 200 meters of Mo Farah, who ran 25.9 over the last furlong to take victory in 7:40.15 for the 3,000 meters!

The AVIVA London GP is the last big meeting before Daegu. Some questions on fitness, many times, the focus, of some top athletes still remains. Dayron Robles hurdled a meet record of 13.04, to win the 110m hurdles. Kirani James, who won the 400 meters so convincingly gives me the time to note that in RBR's mind, the mens' 400 meters will be decided between Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt.

The men's 100 meters is fascinating. Yohan Blake showed he is fit with his run this past evening. Steve Mullings, Mike Rodgers, Nesta Carter, Walter Dix, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell? The battles over 100 and 200 for men should be fascinating.

Well done, AVIVA London GP-what will we see in Day two?

Farah_MoFHH-Pre11.JPGMo Farah, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

This is where we will update each event of the 2011 AVIVA London GP  LIVE, as they happen. Stay tuned!

All events were updated, but a bit later, due to a difficulty with my battery! Sorry folks! On Saturday, will do live off twitter and updates on runblogrun!

LeMaitre, Powell, Frater, 2011 Lausanne GP DL, photo by

It is down to the last several weeks before the World Championships, to be held in Daegu, Korea, August 27-September 4, 2011. It has been a long season for many of the athletes, and in the past few weeks, Teddy Tamgho withdrew, as did Jeremy Wariner this very week.

Asafa Powell, who RBR interviewed yesterday, has pulled out of the AVIVA London GP as a precaution, per his manager/agent Paul Doyle. " This is just a precaution, his achilles was a bit tight and he wants to be ready for Daegu." was how Paul Doyle spoke to us this afternoon as we took the bus to the AVIVA London GP.

A great day, with a sold out crowd, the meet should be tremendous. The womens on camp with Kelly 800 meters just finished, which was won by Jana Hartmann of Germany in 2:01.97.

Mo Farah and US fans, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

The last big meet before the Daegu World Champs is only hours away and here is how Alfons Juck sees the races! RBR will twitter out the live results and comments this pm and tomorrow!
2012 London Olympic stadium.jpgView of the 2012 London Olympic Stadium,
from the Forman & Field offices, photo by Larry Eder

The East Croydon Hotel lobby is constantly busy now, with the arrival of athletes, managers and media for the 2011 AVIVA London Grand Prix. Meet Director Ian Stewart can be seen speaking to athletes, greeting managers and he looks remarkably relaxed, considering that the AVIVA London is the only two day event on the Samsung Diamond League circuit.

RBR arrived on Tuesday from Stockholm. On Wednesday we went to the press conference, held at Forman & Field, near the 2012 London Olympic stadium,  with British athletes Andy Turner, Laurence Okaye, Tiffani Porter Offili and Dan Greaves. Andy Turner is always a good interview.

Payne-Turner-Gateshead10.JPGAndy Turner (left of center), 2010 AVIVA Gateshead, photo by

Having run his best this year, Andy has focused on seeing how great of an hurdler he can become. " The European championships was a great honor. Being the Euro champ is good, but I want to be good enough to be one of the best hurdlers in the world. I have to up my game. The focus now is on getting the small things right. " noted Turner. That afternoon, Andy was heading out to workout with David Oliver, under the watchful eyes of Oliver's coach, Brooks Johnson.

Okoye_LawrenceWide-WJunior10.JPGLaurence Okaye, 2010 World Juniors, photo by

Laurence Okaye is a huge man, like Virjilijius Alekna size! A former rugby player, Okaye took up the discus sixteen months ago. Now, he is the current British Record holder! Okaye told RBR, " the key for me is to get more experience. I need to learn how to throw in competition, following up a good throw with another good throw. I look up to Robert Harting, Alekna and the American thrower, John Powell...I had a rough British Trials, where I placed fifth, but that is part of the experience." noted Okaye. Okaye is one of those athletes that RBR says is on the MUST WATCH list-this young man has the ability to just put the discus way out there!

Tiffani Offili-Porter is running for Great Britain. The young women had the choice of running for dual US/British citizenship and is running for the GB. " I have been pretty well received here, as you would expect, there are a few people who have criticized my decision, mostly in the UK. But, I am proud to run for Great Britain and my new British record of 12.60 for the 100 meter hurdles shows where I can go." noted Offili-Porter.

Para olympian Dan Greaves was a refreshing interview. Greaves holds the ParaOlympic record of 59.28 meters for the discus. He is competing in the elite Discus competition this coming weekend, hoping to extend that record. " I think I have 62-65 meters in me before London, and lets see where it can go! " noted Greaves. He also noted how exciting it is to see Oscar Pistorius run 45.07 for 400 meters and make the A standards for Daegu and London!

The two days of competition will start on Friday afternoon and end on Saturday afternoon at the sold out Crystal Palace! RBR will be coming back later tonight with pieces on several of the top athletes we interviewed today! 

Wariner_JeremyPC-NYCDL11.JPGJeremy Wariner, 2011 adidas Grand Prix NYC, photo by

Jeremy Wariner has withdrawn from the 2011 World Championships due to a torn toe ligament. The most dominant 400 meter runner from 2004-2010, Wariner had run 44.88 this season. While many think this puts the 400 meters way open, RBR considers that LaShawn Merritt may be the one to take up Wariner's mantle.

Suhr_Jenn-USind11.JPG Jenn Suhr, 2011 NB GP, photo by

Jenn Suhr, the 2009 WC silver medalist, jumped 4.91meters, per EME news, with several attempts at five meters. Perhaps, Yelena Isinbayeva will have competition in Daegu!

Keflezighi_Meb-SanDiego11.JPG Meb Keflezighi, 2011 RNR San Diego Half, photo by

And Meb Keflezighi has signed with the shoe company Skechers, as a sponsored athlete. Skechers is one of the most creative and marketing driven footwear companies, with huge support among women with the "toner" type shoe.

Farah_MoFV1a_Pre11.JpgMo Farah, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

Mo Farah, the 2010 European champion at 5,000m/10,000m, has decided to focus on the 10,000 meters in Deagu for the 2011 World Championships. He noted that he needs to focus his energy on one event.

1976 Olympian from the U.S., Jim Bolding, has died from cancer. Bolding was WR holder at 440y hurdles.

RBR is now off to London for the AVIVA London GP. Special thanks to the team at DN. Galan Stockholm for making our visit so enjoyable.
Thanks to all of the new friends we have met in Stockholm as well!

Powell_AsafaPC-Lausanne11.jpgAsafa Powell, 2011 Lausanne, Photo by

Asafa Powell has run his 72nd and 73rd 100 meters under ten seconds! No one is actually even near him. Powell ran these in Budapest on Saturday, July 30 at the Istvan Gyulai Meeting! Powell goes into Daegu as the fastest man in the world!


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