Geoffrey Mutai in Good Shape, running RAK, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Geoffrey Mutai takes 2011 ING NYCM, photo by

Geoffrey Mutai won two of the most important races of 2011: BAA Boston and ING New York City Marathon! He is not only talented, but driven. Mr. Mutai is racing the RAK half marathon on Friday morning, February 17, 2012 in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Vivian Cheruiyot, World Champ at 5,000m and 10,000m, has pulled out of the AVIVA Grand Prix, due to illness.



RAS AL KHAIMAH (UEA): In RAK half marathon on Friday this year, both men's and women's elite fields are strong enough to justify optimism once again of, at the least, two fast and highly competitive contests, and at best perhaps more record breaking runs. The elite men's field lost Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa with a knee injury late last week, but the intention to break the 59 minute mark, first achieved here in 2009 with Patrick Makau's then world record of 58:52 just 7 seconds ahead of Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (another returnee this year) is clear and accepted by the best men with the pacemakers tasked to reach 10km in 28:00 (59:00 pace). Favourite perhaps amongst the men is the champion of last year's Boston and New York Marathons, Geoffrey Mutai. The 30 year old, fresh from a comfortable 82 second winning margin in a preparatory run (63:53) in the San Blas Half Marathon on February 5th, is rumoured to have picked up well at his Kapng'tuny training camp following a two week break post Big Apple last November. His counterpart as women's race favourite, Mary Keitany, has had other distractions and the proof of her ability to cope with them begins in RAK. The world record holder got married on December 31st, just six weeks ago, and has apparently been training just once a day to feel her way back to full fitness after a momentous 2011 on the roads that saw her RAK run followed by a sub 2 hours 20 minute run in the London Marathon. The truth will out early this Friday morning with the starter's gun sending the field of almost 3,000 off shortly after sunrise. Organizers are informing in a release.



STOCKHOLM (SWE): More top names for XL-galan indoor meet in Stockholm (IAAF Indoor Permit, February 23). Pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva added this meet as fourth competition for her this winter after Volgograd, Bydgoszcz and Lievin. She will face again Holly Bleasdale and Polish duo Anna Rogowska with Monika Pyrek. World champion Olha Saladukha is the star of women triple jump and another Daegu gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada will have in the Globen Hall his European indoor debut. He will face reigning world indoor champion Chris Brown of Bahamas and local hero Johan Wissman. South African 2008 World indoor champion Khotso Mokoena is the leading name in the men´s long jump. Already earlier announced was Liu Xiang at 60 m Hurdles (against Dayron Robles) and Anna Chicherova in women high jump.



VAL DU REUIL (FRA): The third edition of Meeting National Indoor is having as main star the European Champion Christophe Lemaitre who will run the 60 m. In women 60 m in-shape Laverne Jones-Ferrette will run against another Barcelona winner German Verena Sailer. Ethiopian junior Tizita Bogale is the main name in women 1500 m, in men´s 3000 m home European U23 Champion Florian Carvalho. The specialty of the meet is the indoor 400 m hurdles race. Holders of the all-time bests will run. Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic (49.25 this year in Mondeville) against Briton Richard Yates and Cuban Yasmani Copello on the men side. US Sheena Tosta (56.41 last year here) against in shape Sara Petersen of Denmark.



GENT (BEL): Saturday´s IFAM meet in Gent (this is another meet, not the international event with IAAF sanction in the past) will have World indoor champion Dwain Chambers at the 60 m as the main star. His main rivals will be Canadian Justyn Warner, Norway´s Jaisuma Saidy Ndure and Cuban Yuniel Perez. Suprising entry is jumping legend Russian Tatyana Lebedeva who had last full season back in 2009, had two meets in 2010 and did not compete in 2011 as she gave birth to her second child. She is entered into the long jump. Pole vault will see German Raphael Holzdeppe, Ukrainian talent Hanna Shelekh in the women version of the event. Czech Karlsruhe winner Pavel Maslak runs the 400 m and former world indoor champion Derval O´Rourke of Ireland is in the women 60 m hurdles.







BUDAPEST (HUN): informs that Liévin Meeting du Pas-de-Calais is the new leader in the Competition Rankings in the ‚Indoor competitions' category. The French meeting took over Düsseldorf to get the first position. Fayetteville USATF Classic is now in third place ahead of Moskva Russian Winter, Karlsruhe Internationales Hallenmeeting and New York Millrose Games. In the special meetings category Arnstadt high jump leads over Donetsk pole vault, Bydgoszcz Pedros Cup and Banska Bystrica high jump.


SANTO DOMINGO (DOM): Former olympic and world gold medalist Felix Sanchez was awarded with the title Dominican Republic Athlete of the Year 2011. On the women side also 400/400m hurdler Yolanda Valerio got the title. Both athletes will be honored at the traditional Gala Olympic awards planned for April 22. The 2012 season looks to be last for Sanchez and he plans to attack the podium at London Games. Currently injury-free and in top shape already improving world indoor best at his distance. Next Saturday Sanchez will again compete indoors in France, at the meet in Val du Reuil. Sanchez plans to be involved in athletics after his career, considering also the position of an agent.


LONDON (GBR): UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has given a major indication that he would like to see his top British athletes, including the likes of Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu, compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Many of the world's top athletes, including Jamaica's triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt, did not compete at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 with the likes of Idowu citing safety and security fears in the Indian capital as his reason for missing the event reports Insidethegames.


ZURICH (SUI): European marathon champion Viktor Rothlin became a father for the first time on Tuesday. His wife Renate gave birth to a daughter named Luna.


KARLSRUHE (GER): The difference between the top two runners clocking the identical world lead 7:29.94 in the 3000 m at Karlsruhe meet on Sunday was 0.005. Winner Augustine Choge had 7:29.934 and second Edwin Soi 7:29.939.


LONDON (GBR): informs about interesting fortunes of 100 m African record holder Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria, former world indoor champion. Olusoji nicknamed „Flash" by his shipmates has just completed nine months of training to become a logistics specialist in the Royal Navy. The sailor, 27, whose mother was born in Jamaica, decided to retire from professional running to provide a more settled life for his wife and baby daughter. „My ambition is to represent Britain at bobsleigh at a Winter Olympics," says Fasuba.


SYDNEY (AUS): The 2012 Sydney Track Classic on Saturday is featuring no less than three reigning Olympic and seven Commonwealth champions as well as five world and two world indoor gold medallists. Leading the charge on the track are Asbel Kiprop (1500m), David Rudisha (400m), John Steffensen (400m), Sally Pearson (200m, 100mH) and Tamsyn Manou (800m). Collis Birmingham and Craig Mottram will be joining Kiprop in the 1500m while Rudisha will face opposition from Steven Solomon, Sean Wroe, Ben Offereins and Kevin Moore. He aims to improve his personal best 45.50. in the field, Valerie Adams (shot put), Stephanie Brown-Trafton (discus), Dani Samuels (discus), Benn Harradine (discus), Fabrice Lapierre (long jump) and Alana Boyd (pole vault) will shine. Reports


DUBLIN (IRE): Ireland's top athletes got a stark warning from the Sports Council (ISC) to expect some heavy cuts to individual grants in the next two years. Hit with consecutive Budget cuts of 5% annually, and forewarned of the same in 2013 and ‚14, the ISC is undergoing a major review of both the individual schemes and all sports' high performance (HP) programmes. As a result, it is expected that there will be fewer grants for athletes next year, and those grants will be reduced, because the qualification standards are about to get even stricter according to


LONDON (GBR): The British Olympic Association will tell each of the 560 athletes hoping to represent the host nation this summer they must sign a confidential 34-page rule book, titled the 'Team Member's Agreement', or they will not be allowed to take part. The agreement, seen by The Telegraph, contains guidelines on everything from banned drugs to political tattoos, and athletes who do not follow its strict rules will be punished with fines or even be removed from the team.


PORTLAND (USA): Oregon runners Jordan Hasay and Matthew Centrowitz swept the Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year category. Hasay was previously also named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association indoor track and field athlete of the year while Centrowitz won the bronze medal at the IAAF World championships in Daegu writes







PRAHA (CZE, Feb 15): Fresh national record holder Jirina Ptacnikova won the 16th edition of Prague Pole Vault (winter edition) with 452 cm clearance. Second German Anika Roloff achieved 432 cm. In the men competition Daegu finalist Jan Kudlicka improved to indoor PB 562 cm and tried at 572. Second Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk with 550. Third in a tie Stanislav Tivonchik and Hendrik Gruber with 535. Tim Lobinger cleared 520 this time. In accompanying long jump in the Strahov Hall Roman Novotny bettered his season best to 802 cm.


KINGSTON (JAM, Feb 11): Former national Junior discus representative thrower Traves Smikle attained the „B" qualifying mark for this summer's Olympic Games after throwing 63.75 meters to win the men's discus open at Saturday's King of the Ring throws meet held at St. Hugh's High School.


MOSCOW (RUS, Feb 15): At Grigoryan Memorial meet what is EA Indoor Permit junior event solid 60 m by Yevgeniy Kharin (18) in 6.82. 17-years old Oganesyan Satenik leaped to 613 in girls long jump and only 16-years old Anna Chkhaidze cleared 410 in the pole vault. As guest jumping senior Lyudmila Yeremina cleared 440 cm.

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