2012 Sydney Track Classic: Sally Pearson hurdles 12.66, Henry Frayne clears 8.27m in Long Jump, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

You could read it all in Mitchell Watt's twitter this morning: "Congrats to my training partner, Henry Frayne for his A-qualifier in the long jump tonight! 8.27. Might have to change his twitter name (@HenryFrayneTJ).

Pearson_Sally-LondonDL10.JPGSally Pearson, LoLo Jones, 2010 AVIVA London, photo by PhotoRun.net

So, Henry Frayne popped a wonderful 8.27m, and Sally Pearson opened her 2012 hurdle wars with a fine 12.66!

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SYDNEY (AUS, Feb 18): Lauren Boden ran an impressive 400m hurdles at the Sydney Track Classic and was rewarded with an Olympic qualifying time tonight, as was Sally Pearson  in the 100m hurdles and 200m, Youcef Abdi in the 3000m steeplechase, Henry Frayne in the long jump, and Alana Boyd in the pole vault. Boden opened her domestic campaign in Canberra with a time of 56.62 and has since consistently improved. Here, she ran over a second faster than that opener and crossed the line in 55.45, 0.05 faster than the coveted Olympic qualifying mark of 55.50. Also impressive in the hurdles was world champion Pearson, who won the 100m event in 12.66 (+1.6 m/s), her fastest ever in Australia. She returned also with 23.06 in the 200 m.  Abdi's performance of 8:22.01 adds a third qualifier to his burgeoning resume in the 3000m steeplechase. He now just needs to win at the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic to secure his nomination for London 2012. The race was won by Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge (8:19.04). In the field Frayne jumped a huge personal best of 8.27m (+1.4m/s) in the long jump tonight to make him the second Australian to have the all important Olympic mark. His performance added 28 centimeters to his previous career best. It also set a new best Australian long and triple jump double, beating Phil May who boasts marks of 8.04m and 17.02m. World indoor champion Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) came second in 8.04m. Over in the pole vault, Boyd entered the competition at 4.40m and then bowed out at 4.60m, her seventh Olympic qualifying mark. It followed her training partner, Liz Parnov (WA), recording her first Olympic mark 24 hours earlier in Perth (4.50m). In arguably the most competitive track race on the schedule, the men's 400m had some international flavour in the shape of David Rudisha. The 800m world record holder and world champion hadn't run the one lap since he set a personal best of 45.50 in Sydney two years ago. He once again was a threat, as he pushed John Steffensen to the line in 45.61. Steffensen backed up his win last week with the win in Sydney and while Rudisha couldn't set another personal best, he did finish second in 45.82. Ben Offereins came third in 46.09 and Kevin Moore fourth in 46.25. Also on track, world and Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop won his first race on Australian soil, in the 800m in 1:45.91.  The women's 800m was equally thrilling, when Tamsyn Manou won by 20m in 2:01.53. Collis Birmingham ran a thrilling 1500m but had to take second in 3:35.74 after US David Torrence pipped him on the line to win in 3:35.66. World and Olympic champion Valerie Adams dominated the shot put with a winning heave of 20.67 and Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton won the discus with a best mark of 63.23m, with Dani Samuels second (60.98). Informs Athletics Australia. 

POTSDAM (GER, Feb 17): Cuban Yarisley Silva won the women part of special pole vault meet in Potsdam at Sterncenter with 470 clearance. It was a new meet record, she then tried at 480 cm. Second Caroline Bonde Holm of Denmark improved the national record to 442 ahead of German Annika Roloff also 442.

SOCHI (RUS, Feb 18): The 2009 European junior champion Elmira Alembekova won the 20 km Russian Winter Walking title in fast 1:25:27. That brings her into top ten of all time. Second Elena Lashmanova 1:26:30 ahead of Irina Yumanova 1:26:46. In the men´s 35 km the 2009 World Champion Sergey Kirdyapkin won in 2:25:41 beating Mikhail Ryzhov 2:25:58 and Ivan Noskov 2:26:32. 


NAIROBI (KEN): Ahletics Kenya will field a solid squad in the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Instanbul next month. AK secretary David Okeyo said Kenya will only compete in the men's and women's 800 metres, 1,500m and 3,000m at the March 9-11 championships. "We have a deadline of February 27 to hand in our entries and are waiting for the final indoor meet on February 23 then we will send in the entries," Okeyo said. He noted that, with a two-athletes-per-country limit for the meet, Kenya's team will not exceed 12. Okeyo spoke after AK met with all the registered athletes' representatives, or agents, at the association's headquarters in Nairobi amid controversy over athletes signing double contracts with different managers, an issue that almost brought some of the managers to blows at Riadha House. Okeyo nonetheless said the meeting was "cordial. The meeting went on well and we discussed several issues, including preparations for the African Championships, World Junior Championships and Olympic Games."

BERLIN (GER): Three top German meetings will not be held in 2012. The events of Biberach, Cuxhaven and Kassel are cancelled not only because of financial reasons but also communication problems with the main organiser.

LOS ANGELES (USA): The 5th World Conference on Women and Sport got under way this week with over 700 delegates from around the world gathering in Los Angeles, California. Discussions begin with plenary and dialogue sessions associated with the efforts to strengthen women's representation both on the sports field and in leadership positions.

DEINZE (BEL) : European U23 decathlon champion Thomas Van der Plaetsen will receive more support from his city Deinze it was revealed at a press conference. Van der Plaetsen can count on more financial input thanks to a newly launched project which should help him in his preparations towards the London Olympic Games. Local businesses are financially supporting the project which includes different events and promotional activities. Van der Plaetsen's agency Wafel Sports Management will organize the project along with the city of Deinze they revealed.

RAS AL KHAIMAH (UAE): With her time of 1:11.07 at the RAK half marathon, Hilda Kibet has confirmed to be in solid shape in preparation of the London Marathon. Kibet, who has already run the Olympic standard, had to run a time of at least 1:13.00 in order for the Dutch athletics association to select her for the London marathon reports losseveter.nl.

LAUSANNE (SUI): Layes Abdullayeva, Azerbaijan's 5000 and 10,000m gold medallist at the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships last summer, will bid for a medal at in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki. "I have been doing more speed work in recent months so my coach and I have decided I will do the steeplechase in Helsinki," the 20 year-old runner told European Athletics.

LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics Director General Christian Milz met with Lazar Popovski, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Agency Director for Youth and Sport, to discuss the promotion of athletics among young people in the country. Milz took the opportunity to discuss the topic during a site visit to Skopje to check on preparations ahead of the 2013 European Athletics Congress to be hosted in the country's capital reports European Athletics.

RAS AL KHAIMAH (KEN): Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai was not competing at RAK HM at the end of the day. His agent Gerard Van de Veen explains: "He decided not to start because of a little irritation problem at his feet. The prepartion for the Boston Marathon is the priority."

TORONTO (CAN): Athletics Canada announced the athletes that will travel to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad for the 2012 North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships to be held Saturday March 17. Port-of-Spain was good to the squad which competed at last year's edition with the junior men and women taking gold and the senior men and women winning silver. 2012 returnees Cameron Levins (senior men) and Maria Bernard (junior women) won silver and bronze respectively.


SUMY (UKR, Feb 17): Second day of Ukrainian national championships saw good women high jump when Vita Styopina beat on count back Oksana Okuneva, both 193 cm. In the 400 m finals wins for Natalya Pigida 52.23 and Evgen Hutsol 46.80. Igor Bodrov clocked 6.71 in the 60 m final. Close duel in men´s long jump won by decathlete Oleksiy Kasyanov 773 over Oleksandr Soldatkin 773 and Andriy Makarchev 772. Halina Obleshchuk won the women shot put with 18.02. 

NEW YORK (USA, Feb 17):  At MAAC Champs Kenyan Leonard Korir posted good 7:51.83 in the 3000 m.

GOLDEN (USA, Feb 17): Egyptian Amr Seoud came close to his national record 6.69 at 60 m with 6.70 at college open meet here.

LAMONI (USA, Feb 17): Unexpected fast times in the 60 m semifinal at Heart of America Champs. Keith O´Neal clocked 6.56 and Carey Nolan 6.58. Looks like this results should be re-confirmed.

BATON ROUGE (USA, Feb 17): Rynell Parson clocked 6.66 at the LSU Twilight Meet, former world champion Walter Davis achieved 16.65 in the triple jump. And good news from Lolo Jones, she was able to run and clocked 8.12 in heats and 8.15 in the finals of 60 m hurdles.

FLAGSTAFF (USA): Great 460 national record in the pole vault for Canadian Kelsie Hendry ahead of Ireland´s Tori Pena 430.

HANGZHOU (CHN, Feb 17): During Chinese National GP meet Guo Fan won the 60 m in 6.66.

BUCURESTI (ROU, Feb 17): Top high jump 221 for Mihai Anastasiu during first day of Romanian junior championships.

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