New Indoor Facilities in Norway, Asafa Powell starts Training, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Norway is working on improving its infrastructure for athletics, with six indoor facilities opening or about to open. Pretty impressive, noting the world economy that Norway can add new facilities.

Asafa Powell is working towards London 2012, and is in week two of his training towards the next  Olympics. The man who has run the most sub ten second hundred meters, 74 at the end of this season, is working to what may be his next Olympics.

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




OSLO (NOR): Norway is lately very active in improving the infrastructure of athletics in the country. As federation president Svein-Arne Hansen points out no less than six indoor halls were or will be open lately in Norway. And this summer up to 9 new 6 lanes outdoor tracks were opened too. In October 2010 Trondheim hall was opened, in June this year Sandnes indoor (outside of Stavanger), in September Bergen. In October the hall in Steinkjer is opened. With 6 lane track it will be the venue for an very interesting indoor match Norway-Sweden-Finland on February 11 next year. Haugesund indoor hall will be opened in February 2012 and Baerum (outside of Oslo, also with 6 lanes) will open late 2012 or early 2013.


ARONA (ESP): IAAF World Challenge, the second tier circuit of one day meetings is having the calendar for its third season in 2012. The meetings remained the same as in 2011, newcomer in the calendar is the Ponce Grand Prix of Puerto-Rico planned for May 12. Ponce was included into the series initially also for 2011, but then did not confirm due to lack of finances. Another change is that the Znamenskiy Memorial in Zhukovskiy (near Moscow) will be replaced by Moscow Challenge on June 11 directly in Moscow as test meet for 2013 World Championships in Luzhniki Stadium. Concerning the dates to note is the fact that the Dakar Meet in Senegal is switching from early season date to June 16. The circuit starts traditionally in Australia, has the majority of the meets in May and June, only one in July (Madrid) and is ending with traditional post top championships meetings in Berlin, Zagreb and Rieti. This platform could be used also for Samsung Diamond League possible changes of meetings in future, specially Golden Spike Ostrava and FBK Games Hengelo had expressed their will and desire to bid for a place in the top category at any times. The series is worldwide with 15 meetings representing 15 countries on all five continents. Samsung Diamond League has 14 meetings in 11 countries and 3 continents. The dates for 2012 - March 3 Melbourne, May 5 Kingston, May 6 Kawasaki, May 12 Ponce, May 16 Daegu, May 20 Rio de Janeiro, May 25 Ostrava, May 27 Hengelo, June 3 Rabat, June 11 Moscow, June 16 Dakar, July 7 Madrid, September 2 Berlin, September 4 Zagreb, September 9 Rieti.



KINGSTON (JAM): Another sprinting star Jamaican Asafa Powell is already in second week of training for 2012. He started earlier than his national team colleagues Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake who began their road to London on Tuesday this week. Powell ended his season after winning the Diamond Race while being second at Weltklasse meet of Zurich clocking 9.95, his record 74th sub 10 of the career.



MADRID (ESP): Steeple world champion from 2009 Marta Dominguez of Spain will return to racing for the first time after giving birth to her daughter in May at the Divina Pastora Carrera of Madrid, to be held on 30 October in the streets of the capital. The runner from Palencia, who also will go for a seat in the Senate (on behalf of Partido Popular) next month will announce on Thursday at the press conference during the presentation of the race her return to competition after the motherhood. In July she was cleared by a judge from administering drugs without a prescription.



KYIV (UKR): Kyiv recently opened Olympiysky National Sports Complex where UEFA EURO 2012 final match will be played next year. What is important for world of athletics, the stadium will have the track. That opens for future the door for Kyiv to bid for top international events like World Championships, European Championships or European Team Championships. In Ukraine that was possible, in Poland the second country to host EURO 2012 no. The new stadium in Warszawa where the opening match will be staged is without running track. Positive influence of the IAAF Vice-President and National Olympic Committee President Sergey Bubka was clearly seen. "We witnessed a really epoch-making event in last days. Olimpiysky NSC is a major sport venue in Ukraine. The stadium has rich and eventful history. I have no doubt that its close future will be even more bright and memorable for Ukrainian and world sports history. Both design and technical characteristics of the arena make it worthy the final match of the UEFA Euro-2012 tournament - it was a common thought of all the guests of the Opening ceremony. On behalf of Ukrainian athletes I would like to praise all people and institutions involved for including the track and field infrastructure in the arena's reconstruction plan. This fact gives us evidence that Ukrainian government is really keen on growth of the popularity of athletics and building modern athletics facilities in the country. I wish more and more countries to show their support to athletics by including the track and field into stadiums. Running surfaces and other track and field equipment for 'Olympiysky' NSC has been already delivered to Ukraine and now ready for the installation at the stadium. If the weather conditions are favorable the equipment would be installed in the following weeks. A short additional reconstruction is planned on the arena after the end of the UEFA Euro 2012. In six months after Euro final match it's venue will be ready to host the world-class athletics competitions," said Bubka for Ukrainian Federation website. He also added that more detailed plans for bidding with athletics for top events will be announced after the football tournament.







BERLIN (GER) : Double Olympic Champion in high jump Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth has made her debut as actress in a German movie. The 55-year old plays a psychologist in the movie 'Natural disaster' that will be released in Germany writes


ROME (ITA): Italian sprinters Emanuele Di Gregorio and Aurora Veniero married in Palermo announced the Italian Athletics Federation FIDAL. Both sprinters have been engaged for over five years and finally tied the knot. Their honeymoon is a cruise on the Mediterranian sea.


MONTEGO BAY (JAM): World 100-meter champion Yohan Blake has received the keys to the city of Montego Bay at a Heroes Day ceremony. He was recognised for his outstanding performances in 2011, which he ended with a stunning 19.26 seconds run over 200m, the second fastest ever time in the history of the event. World junior champion Dexter Lee, who is also from Montego Bay, was also recognised at the function reports


NEW YORK (USA): Women long distance runners Lauren Fleshman and Rosin McGettigan have launched a new website The pair provides a blog as well as motivational quotes, clothes and other items.


DUBLIN (IRL): Irish visually impaired sprinter Jason Smyth is aiming to compete at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. Smyth, who will continue to spend his winters in Florida to train along with Tyson Gay, is hopeful he can get both standards. In an interview with The Score, Smyth credited Gay for helping him in training and pushing him towards better times.


NEW YORK (USA): British distance runner Chris Thompson has been added to the field of the inaugural NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K on November 5th. The 2010 European Championships 10.000m silver medallist has raced in New York before, finishing fourth in the 2010 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K,and in 2006 on Randall's Island at 5000 meters in the adidas Grand Prix. Thompson will join Olympians Deena Kastor, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Matt Tegenkamp, and Olympic hopefuls Molly Huddle, Sally Kipyego, and Ben True.


LONDON (GBR): London's bid to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships will not be affected by Navyblue, the company chosen to produce its bid book, going into voluntary liquidation, organizers claimed. The company had built its reputation in the highly competitive world of bidding during London's successful campaign to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics when it produced the bid book.


PERTH (AUS): Back home in Perth, Steve Hooker writes, in his latest IAAF Diary, that the same old things are a little bit different, for a little while, at least. "It's a strange feeling for a little which after you come home. You're in a place that's familiar, but it doesn't feel all that familiar yet. It takes a couple of weeks to get back into regular routines, but I'm just about back there now. I got back into training at the start of October. I'd had three or four weeks 'pre-training' while I was in Europe after worlds, so that made it a lot easier when I resumed. I'm in reasonable shape already. My immediate goal is to get ready to jump for the start of the domestic competition season. I'm able to do all parts of my program - I can work on running, work on jumping - which is something I missed last preparation. It's all going smoothly, especially compared to the same time last year," the reigning olympic and 2009 world champion said for the IAAF.


LOS ANGELES (USA): The 100 m world champion Carmelita Jeter thinks already about 2012 London Olympic Games. "I missed the 2008 Olympics, so this is definitely the Olympics I have to be at. I can't wait," she said for local media. "I plan on being on the podium. Now I feel mentally ready, I just have to be physically ready for London," Jeter added. She plans to skip indoor season in order to prepare well for the games. 


NAIROBI (KEN): The Nation writes that the organizers of the Kass Marathon have introduced a cash award of US$ 10,000 (Sh1 million) for top foreign finishers to attract international athletes to the fifth edition of the event set for November 20 in Eldoret. Kass Media Group chairman, Joshua Chepkwony, said the first foreign finishers in the men and women's categories will each pocket US$ 5,000 (Sh500,000). Overall winners, in both men and women's categories, will each get Sh1.5 million. Winners of the 12km race will pocket Sh50,000 while the winning team in the corporate 5km race will get Sh100,000. Over 4000 marathoners are expected to take part, with 20 athletes from Rwanda having confirmed. Organisers have said either Olympic winner Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia or women's World Marathon record holder, Paula Radcliffe are expected to be the top guest of the race.





MANAMA (BRN, Oct 19): Last day of athletics at GCC Games (6 countries participating) saw Qatar Asian Games winner and Daegu finalist Femi Ogunode winning the 200 m in 20.55 (+1.3) with 100 m top placer Barakat Al-Harthi beeing now second but with another national record for Oman 20.77. In the last event 4x400 m win for Oman and another national mark 3:07.79 ahead of Qatar (Ogunode as anchor) 3:07.80. Qatari high jump top name Moataz Essa Barshim won his event with 216 and did not continue afterwards. Kuwaiti record holder Ali Mohamed Al-Zankawi was the best as expected in hammer (76.72). Hussein Jamaan Al-Hamdah of Saudi Arabia won the 5000 m in 13:56.20 ahead of 10k winner Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain 13:57.32. Good quality in men´s 1500 m as Abubaker Ali Kamal clocked 3:37.38 ahead of 2010 world U19 medalist and still belonging to junior category Mohamed Al-Garni (both Qatar) 3:37.50. In medal stats Kuweit was the best 8-4-3 with Qatar second 5-5-0 and Oman third 4-2-0. With help from Heinrich Hubbeling.

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