Shalane Flanagan, 2012 Olympic Trials-Marathon,
photo by PhotoRun.net
The truth is, the two teams named may be our best yet. Both the men and the women are in top form, or, will be there shortly. The testament on how tough they are can be seen in the highest quality of the fourth placers: Dathan Ritzenhein is one of our most talented and gutsy male runners and Amy Hastings showed her stuff here: a class act showcasing a future in our sport, that is, without limitations. Watching the TV coverage afterwards, especially the battles by Dathan and Amy, put tears in my eyes. But, that is what great sports challenges are supposed to be.
Keflezighi and Flanagan
HOUSTON (USA, Jan 14): Meb Keflezighi and Shalane Flanagan won the
Olympic Trials Marathon on a chilly, picture-perfect day in
southern Texas. All six podium finishers earned spots on the USA
Olympic Team for the London Olympics in the world’s only binding
Olympic marathon trials which pick an entire team on one day. Off of
a fast early pace set by his key rival Ryan Hall, Keflezighi,
eventually broke away from Hall and
three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman in the 24th mile. Keflezighi,
who also ran the ING New York City Marathon last November, broke the
tape in a personal best 2:09:08, making his third Olympic team.
“This race was all about 1-2-3,” the 36 year-old father of three
daughters told the crowd assembled at the finish area. He added: “I
just wanted to make my third Olympics for my girls.” Hall, the
defending Trials champion who had the pack on a sub-2:07
pace in the early miles, finished second in 2:09:30. Abdirahman,
who dropped off the lead pace in the final miles, struggled to hold
his form and take third place in 2:09:47, just 8 seconds ahead of
the closing Dathan Ritzenhein 2:09:55. For Abdirahman, his
today puts him on his fourth Olympic team. Four more runners went
under 2:12. In the women’s race, which started much more conservatively
men’s, an early pack of nine dwindled to four in the 15th mile:
Flanagan, Amy Hastings, Kara Goucher, and Desiree Davila. Hastings,
fell back, rejoined the group then fell back for good and would
finish fourth (2:27:17). At the front, Flanagan and Davila worked
together to drop the slightly under-trained Goucher, then Flanagan
spurted away from Davila at the 40-K mark. Her long blonde hair
pulled back in a ponytail, Flangan strided smoothly to the finish in
an Olympic Trials record of 2:25:38, which was also a personal
best. It was also her first marathon victory. “These are dreams,”
Flanagan, who lives in Portland, Ore., told the
crowd in her post-race interview. “We fulfilled dreams today.”
Davila finished a close second in 2:25:55 making her first Olympic
team, and Goucher –who like Flanagan is coached by Jerry Schumacher
under the Nike Oregon Track Club program– was third in 2:26:06.
All four of the top finishers smashed the Trials record of 2:28:25
set by Colleen De Reuck in St. Louis in 2004. Fifth former Kenyan
Janet Cherobon-Bawcom improved hugely to 2:29:45 and beat 2004 Olympic
medalist Deena Kastor (2:30:40, her fastest since 2009). Informs Race
Pearson opens with 11.25
BRISBANE (AUS, Jan 14): At the Brisbane Track Classic, Australia’s
golden girl of the track Sally Pearson opened her domestic campaign
in blistering fashion. She clocked 11.25 to win the women’s 100 m
(+0.1) and was 0.2 s faster than her first 100 m event last year.
The IAAF World Athlete of the Year and 100m hurdles world champion,
Pearson is confident in the strength of her body and keen to
continue her strong domestic form across the Qantas Australian
Athletics Tour. Pearson said: “That was really, really good, it’s a
sign that what I did last year worked as I am already undertaking a
similar plan and the results are starting to come. I know that I
need to listen to my body to keep it healthy and I know that this
year is about bringing home an Olympic gold medal, even if it’s in
13 seconds. After the world championships I was in perfect shape and
that has carried over. I got straight back into it and am ready to
go, this time underlines that more for me.” Earlier in the evening
for the women’s 4x100m relay, Pearson led teammates Melissa Breen,
Charlotte Van Veenendaal and Hayley Butler to a comfortable victory
ahead of Australia Junior (45.52) and Australia ‘B’ (45.62) in
44.01. Australian men achieved 39.66 in the 4×100 m and 3:05.84 in
the 4×400 m. Australian women including Jana Pittman got 3:34.12.
Lauren Boden won also the 300 m in 38.20 ahead of Jana Pittman
39.02. New South Welshman James Gurr ran a solo final lap in the
men’s 800m to cross the line in 1:47.31, almost half the straight in
front of his nearest rival. Aaron Rouge-Serret won the men’s 100m in
10.34 (+0.6). Australian Flame Henry Frayne leapt 791 cm (0.0) to
win the men’s long jump. Next meet of the Australian series will be
Hunter Track Classic in Newcastle on January 21. Informs Athletics Australia.
Marathon hero G. Mutai wins, E. Kiplagat beaten
NAIROBI (KEN, Jan 14): The world’s fastest marathoner Geoffrey Mutai
and Lucy Kabuu unleashed speed and power to beat their opponents at the
Kenya Police Cross Country Championships on Saturday. Informs The
Nation. Mutai broke away from Moses Masai and Titus Mbishei at the
half-way mark, creating a gap of close to 200 metres on his way to
retaining the men’s 12km title in 37:38 at the Ngong Racecourse. Masai
was second 38:03 and Mbishei third 38:07 with Josephat Bett fourth 38:36
and Levi Matebo fifth 38:40. Top steeple runner Paul Kipsiele Koech was
9th 39:02 ahead of Sammy Kitwara 39:04 as 10th. Making her comeback to
big time local competition after a two-year battle with a tendon injury
and maternity leave, Kabuu also surged ahead just before the sixth
kilometre mark to win the women’s 8km race in 28:22, beating among
others, world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat to third place by close to
150m (28:59). Second was Margaret Wangari in 28:45.
Fedoriva 36.54 at the 300 m
MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 14): At Christmas Cup indoor meet fast 300 m by relay
olympic winner Aleksandra Fedoriva 36.54. It is 12th best perfomer of
all-time. Natalya Nazarova posted another 500 m win in 1:10.15. Natalya
Murinovich was the fastest in the 60 m (7.34, faster 7.31 in heats).
World medalist and European Champion Ineta Radevica of Latvia as guest
leaped to 651 in the long jump. Anastasiya Savchenko went over 445 in
the pole vault. In the distances Yevgeniya Zolotova clocked 2:38.92 in
the 1000 m and double European U23 Champion Yelena Arzhakova 5:48.85 in
the 2000 m. In men events to note Yuriy Kovalov and his 17.00 in the
triple jump, Pavel Karavayev got 793 in the long jump and Sergey Mudrov
227 in the high jump. Roman Smirnov was the best at the 300 m (33.80)
and national record holder Yevgeniy Borisov achieved 7.84 at the 60 m
Ahoure 7.09 at the 60 m
HOUSTON (USA, Jan 13): US National team member Trell Kimmons posted
so far the fastest 60 m of the season at the Leonard Hilton
Invitational. His winning time was 6.62 ahead of Carlin Isles 6.65 PB
and Daegu relay bronze winner from St. Kitts Antoine Adams who improved
to 6.67. Even more impressive the women 60 m where Murielle Ahoure
clocked fast national record for Ivory Coast 7.09. In 2011 it would
equal the best time of the season. Returning Laverne Jones-Ferrete of US
Virgin Islands was also fast in 7.14 ahead of Alexandria Anderson 7.32.
Aries Merritt got 7.80 and Seun Adigun of Nigeria 8.12 in the hurdles.
MOSCOW (RUS): Reigning British world indoor champion Dwain Chambers
is scheduled to compete internationally during the indoor season. He is
set for Russian Winter IAAF Indoor Permit in Moscow on February 5. In
Russia he will face double world medalist from Daegu Kim Collins of St.
Kitts and US sprinters Josh Norman with Rakiem Salaam. From Italy
entered are Fabio Cerutti and Emmanuele Di Gregorio.
INNSBRUCK (AUT): With barely 200 days to go to the London
Olympics, the International Sports Press Association, AIPS remains
hopeful that the Local Organising Committee will change its policy
regarding the rate card for the 25,000 Journalists accredited to
cover the Games. Addressing AIPS delegates attending the 75th
Congress on the opening
day on Friday January 13 in Innsbruck, President Gianni Merlo was
optimistic that favourable solutions are still at hand. Said Merlo:
“I remain hopeful that there will be a solution to
on-going negotiations. Because I believe the organisers and even the
IOC recognise the important role-played by the Sports Press. Free
internet connection will be a big plus to our work in London.” The
deadline for application for the valued Press rate card was
December 31,2011. Jane Pearce, LOCOG Head of Press Operations
presented to the
delegates key updates on the Press Operations and the on-going
accreditation for the Games which runs from 27th July through to
August 12, 2012. The Accreditation cards will grant the journalists
United Kingdom until November 8,2012. So far the organisers have
earmarked the Opening/ Closing Ceremonies
and the Swimming Finals as the high demand events where media
personnel will need tickets to access the venues. Informs AIPS.
LONDON (GBR): Worlds fastest man Usain Bolt will inspire people and
businesses to invest in superfast broadband that supports the latest
technology, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solutions.
Businness media are informing. The Jamaican sprinter has been confirmed
as the new face of Virgin
Media and he has dressed up as the brand’s founder Sir Richard
Branson for a multi-million pound advertising campaign. Virgin Media
is presenting broadband offerings and the new
Â£110 million project the company unveiled this week, which is
designed to double speeds for its users.
DUBLIN (IRL): Irish Times writes that potential London Olympic qualifier long distance runner Martin Fagan is facing a
two-year suspension for a doping offence. The 28-year-old marathon runner from Mullingar, was
informed by Athletics Ireland of an “adverse analytical finding”,
the technical term for a positive drugs test. Fagan is due to attend an adjudication hearing in Dublin on Monday
to explain why traces of the blood-boosting drug erythropoietin were
found in the A-sample of an out-of-competition doping test taken at
his US training base in December.
AUBIERE (FRA, Jan 14): At the Capitale Perche indoor pole vault meet UK
record holder Holly Bleasdale jumped 452 in second attempt and tried at
462. She beat on count back French record holder Vanessa Boslak (452
also in second but had also miss at 443). Third British junior record
holder Katie Byres (433). Roman Mesnil won the menÂ´s competition with
LEVERKUSEN (GER, Jan 14): Karsten Dilla cleared impressive 572 in pole
vault during first day of the regional championships and achieved the
Istanbul standard this winter as first from strong group of German pole
vaulters. Second Greek guest Konstantinos Filippidis 560. For Dilla it is his indoor PB.
KARLSRUHE (GER, Jan 14): European 100 m champion Verena Sailer achieved
7.33 in heats and 7.34 in finals of regional championships. It was her
comeback after nearly seven months. Tobias Unger won the menÂ´s 60 m in
BLACKSBURG (USA, Jan 13): Local sprinter Keith Ricks posted 6.64
improvement at the 60 m during first day of Virginia Tech Invitational.
Torrance Womack achieved 33.42 in the 300 m. In women races last year
one of top US juniors Octavious Freeman won the 60 m in life-time best
7.27 and Brianna Rollins clocked 8.07 at the 60 m hurdles.
FAYETTEVILLE (USA, Jan 13): World youth shot put champion 2009 Ryan
Crouser started his collegiate career with 19.72 win and personal best
with senior implement. At the Dual meet long jumper Marquise Goodwin won
the 60 m in 6.72, Jamaican Keiron Stewart clocked 7.77 in the hurdles
and Andrew Irwin cleared 550 in the pole vault.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY (USA, Jan 13): Canadian indoor pole vault record
holder Kelsie Hendry cleared 440 at the Air Force All Comers meet.
LEXINGTON (USA, Jan 13): Slovenian pole vault record holder Tina Sutej started with 435 at the Kentucky Invitational.
CHAPEL HILL (USA, Jan 14): New national record for Puerto-Rico at the 60
m by Marquis Holston with 6.70 at the Dick Taylor Invitational.
Jamaican hurdler Leford Green won the 600 m in 1:19.41.
CARBONDALE (USA, Jan 13): World best holder Brittany Riley got third
best mark of all-time at Saluki Open with 25.12 in the weight throw. Two
better marks are also from her, 25.56 in 2007 and 25.34 in 2008.
ALLENDALE (USA, Jan 13): US Champs finalist Jeff Porter opened with 7.75
at the 60 m hurdles during the Bob Eubanks Open meet. Mark Hollis
cleared 535 in the pole vault.
NEW YORK (USA, Jan 13): Reggie Dixon clocked fast 6.64 at the 60 m
during Gotham Cup meet. Also impressive the 46.51 by Lalonde Gordon of
Trinidad at the 400 m. Ugandan Julius Mutekanga posted 1:18.38 in the
600 m and Tevan Everett 2:19.78 at the 1000 m. In the women 600 m World
youth champion Ajee Wilson (17) achieved fast 1:30.36.
BIRMINGHAM (USA, Jan 13): Relay world champion indoors Tavaris Tate was
timed with good 20.96 in the 200 m at the Blazer Invitational. South
African Lehann Fourie won the 60 m hurdles in 7.72.
BIRMINGHAM (GBR, Jan 14): Good start to year for Ostrava European
U23 100 m medallist Andy Robertson who won the 60 m at Birmingham
Open in 6.68. That means equalling his best.
SHEFFIELD (GBR, Jan 14): European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis
won the shot put here at the Northern Championships with 13.95 m.
Her indoor best is 14.61 m.
PRAHA (CZE, Jan 14): Talented 16-years old sprinter Marek Bakalar posted
6.80 in the 60 m, Oldriska Maresova cleared 187 in the high jump.
GENT (BEL, Jan 14): European junior medalist Jamile Samuel of
Netherlands improved her 200 m indoor best here to 23.64. She also won
the 60 m in 7.40.
GERMISTON (RSA, Jan 14): Czech talent Pavel Maslak started at the
local meet with hand timed 46.0 at the 400 m. His personal best
despite this was considered more as a training run.
PERTH (AUS, Jan 13): Olympic winner Steve Hooker cleared from short
approach five meters.
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