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.
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.
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!
PSD TO ATTACK A FAST TIME
LONDON (GBR): Newly-crowned double British champion
Perri Shakes-Drayton insists a win at the Aviva London Grand Prix this weekend
can provide the fuel to fire her to glory at this month’s IAAF World Championships
in Daegu. Only days after taking both the 400m and 400m hurdles titles at the
Aviva UK Trials and Championships, Shakes-Drayton lines up in the hurdles
competition at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre this Friday night. The
London-born runner, who claimed bronze at last year’s European Championships in
Barcelona, battles with reigning Olympic
champion Melaine Walker, before jetting off to South Korea for the first senior
major championships of her career. Also competing in hurdles competitions at Crystal Palace this week are European and
Commonwealth champion Andy Turner and British champion and British Record
holder Tiffany Ofili-Porter. Turner joins an all-star 110m hurdles line-up
featuring world number David Oliver and reigning Olympic champion Dayron Robles
on Friday night, while Ofili-Porter, who claimed gold at her first national
championships last weekend, faces world number one Sally Pearson in the women’s
ANOTHER PARALYMPIAN IN THE
LONDON (GBR): European Under 23 champion Lawrence
Okoye and Paralympic World champion and World Record holder Dan Greaves will
compete in an enthralling discus competition at Aviva Grand Prix. Both athletes
compete in the Samsung Diamond League for the very first time, and Greaves
becomes only the second Paralympic athlete after Oscar Pistorius to feature in
the global athletics tour Greaves said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity. The only
other person to have done this is Pistorius. And to have the opportunity to
compete against Lawrence Okoye and the other fantastic competitors is like a
dream come true. I’ve had such a magical year, what with winning the World
Championships and breaking my World Record three times. I’m really looking to
throw 60m. I’ve taken the last five weeks off and just trained, focusing on
this competition. It’s a massive opportunity to break the barriers down between
Paralympic and able-bodied sport. Hitting that elusive 60m is what it’s about.”
TOP MENÂ´S LONG JUMP
LONDON (GBR): The FridayÂ´s menÂ´s long jump
competition at Aviva Grand Prix will have the one of the best fields of the
whole season. Not only the top Britons Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford will
jump but also world champion Dwight Phillips and olympic winner Irving
Saladino. Not to mention world leader Mitchell Watt, former world indoor
champion Khotso Mokoena and this year US champion Marquise Goodwin. New meet
record looks like very possible, the current is held by Dwight Phillips with 830 cm.
LONDON (GBR): Top sprinters activities. Asafa Powell
visited before his Friday 100
m the Chelsea football
ground, while Usain Bolt met at Brunel
University with students
NEW YORK (USA): Universal Sports website informs that Ethiopia has
drafted its provisional list of athletes for Daegu, and double Olympic champion
Kenenisa Bekele is due to be entered in the 10 000 m defending
champion’s slot that’s permitted in addition to three selected athletes, but
his readiness for competition after a long absence due to injury is still
uncertain. Double Beijing champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who qualifies for Daegu
entry based on her 2010 African 10 000 m title, may appear as a fourth athlete
on the tentative list – with only three competing – but her having been injured
and pulled out of her only competition this season makes her participation
improbable. New York champion Gebre
Gebremariam and women’s world bronze medalist Aselefech Mergia and Berlin champion Aberu
Kebede lead the marathon teams.
LAUSANNE (SUI): The month of July saw the outdoor track
& field season in full flow with two weeks of superb action during the
European Athletics U23 Championships and the European Athletics Junior
Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and Tallinn, Estonia,
respectively. The 10th European Mountain Running Championships and a number of
top one-day meetings also dotted the busy calendar of July and provided a
perfect lead-up to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics scheduled to take
place later this month in Daegu,
Following this, European Athletics is pleased to announce the nominations for
the European Athlete of the Month for July representing 12 countries. The
voting will close on Wednesday 17 August at noon CET.
BEVEREN (BEL): Paula Radcliffe told Dutch media she is not just
competing in the Berlin
marathon later this year but is aiming to win the marathon. Radcliffe is
currently injury free and has high hopes of qualifying for the London Olympic
Games when running in Berlin.
She has her eyes set on a time around 2:20. The British athlete claimed the
Olympic Games are still a major motivation to keep training but admitted she
will most like put up her spikes after the 2012 Olympic Games. Radcliffe was in
for the re-opening of a running store where she has been a client for over 15
BERLIN (GER): On Friday August 12th the best athletes of four nations
will compete at the ‘Berlin flies’ event in front of the Brandenburg Gate in
Berlin. The best male athletes from Russia,
France, Germany and The
United States will compete in the long jump, while the female athletes are set
to compete in the pole vault. The women’s long jump and men’s pole vault are
not included for the team results. Germany’s Sebastian Bayer and
Bianca Kappler will take on France’s KafÃ©tien Gomis and Eloyse Lesueur. World
leader Renaud Lavillenie is announced in the pole vault. Russia and The
United States will release their teams later this week. US entry in
women long jump will be world champion Brittney Reese. The promotional event in
the streets of Berlin
has free entrance, while Eurosport will broadcast, reports Leichtathletik.de.
NAIROBI (KEN): More Daegu bound Kenyan athletes
continued to arrive into residential training camp early this week as training
for the global event entered the second week. Some of the runners who starred
at Friday’s Stockholm Samsung Diamond League meeting including world women
5000m champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, opted to report to camp before asking leave
to travel home. “So far we have 16
in camp but 23 have reported. Others are on the way and
this is the week we shall embark on serious training and tactical shaping,” an
BERLIN (GER): European indoor 60m hurdles champion
Carolin Nytra will not compete in 2011. The German athlete has been suffering
with injuries since winning the European indoor championships in Paris earlier this year
and will not be healed in time to still compete in 2011.
ROME (ITA): The Italian Athletics federation
increased the number of selected athletes for Daegu to 33 with inclusion of
hurdler Emanuele Abate (110 m
RIETI (ITA): The traditional top Italian second part of the season
fixture in Rieti (last year 800
m world record by David Rudisha) changed its date from
Sep 11 to Sep 10 (Saturday). This move will avoid direct clash with ISTAF of
Berlin which will be staged on Sunday September 11. The meet offers the final
competition for women IAAF HT Challenge and the penultimate for menÂ´s hammer
(followed by Zagreb).
The meet is also part of IAAF World Challenge.
PARIS (FRA): On Thursday French Athletics Federation will decide about
the disciplinary sanction after the brawl at Herculis Meet. Mehdi Baala and
Mahiedine Mekhissi will know whether they can compete in Daegu or not. The
Disciplinary committee of French Athletics Federation can decide about not
allowing them to run in Korea.
DONETSK (UKR, Aug 3): Second day of Ukrainian
Championships saw excellent long jump by Viktoriya Rybalko who leaped to 687
(+2.0) and qualified to Daegu. Andriy Semenov won the shot put with good
quality 20.63 m.
In womenÂ´s high jump the title for Oksana Okuneva with 193 clearance but second
Iryna Mikhalchenko at age of 39 achieved 190, new world best for that age. The
40+ world best is 178 cm.
Andriy Makarchev got the long jump after close battle with Taras Neledba, both
781. Lyudmyla Yosypenko scored high quality 6318 points in heptathlon
title with 7795 points. Fast heat times for Anastasiya Rabchenyuk at 400 m hurdles (54.75),
Stanyslav Melnykov (menÂ´s 400
m hurdles 49.81) and Tetyana Petlyuk 1:59.79 in the 800 m.
BIALOGARD (POL, Aug 3): Teresa Dobija improved in long jump to 678, also
a Daegu standard. Malgorzata Trybanska was second (651) and won the triple jump
KUTNO (POL, Aug 30): Former world medalist Marek Plawgo is seeking a
better shape and clocked 50.81 400
m hurdles win here. Polish athletes will have next week
their national championships.
WEDNESDAY: It marked 75 years after Jesse Owens won his first gold medal
at 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin
(at 100 m)
and one year to go until athletics at Olympic Games 2012.
OORDEGEM (BEL): In the Tuesday meet results in the 1500 m we mistakenly stated
that Jeroen DÂ´Hoedt is from Netherlands,
he is from Belgium.
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