Jessica Ennis to compete in AVIVA GP (Birmingham), by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Jessica Ennis, 2011 adidas NYGP, photo by

Jessica Ennis, the 2011 WC silver medalist in the heptathlon, and World Indoor Champion, will be competing in the AVIVA GP on February 18, 2012 in Birmingham. The AVIVA GP is one of our favorite indoor meetings of the year, for many reasons. How do we describe our enjoyment of the meet? Well produced, great fields, knowledgable fans, and timed to the minute (live BBC broadcast as well)....this weekend, RBR is off to Millrose, then next week, Birmingham.



MOSCOW (RUS): Some 3500 spectators watched so far the best meet of the current indoor season in Moscow (also first place in rankings of Interesting to note that walking world and olympic champion Olga Kaniskina, who did not lost a race since February 2010 did not finish the 3000 m competition. „It happened to me for first time in my career that I was not able to finish my race. I gave up some 100 m before the finish line. I was not feeling well at all, it is hard to describe what happened. Simply not my day, possibly I started too fast and when Anisya went over me there was no power to respond," said Kaniskina.



INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Track connections to Super Bowl. New York Giants Aaron Ross is the husband of 400 m world champion Sanya Richards-Ross and the game was played in Indianapolis where also USATF sits.



MOSCOW (RUS): European walking champion Yohan Diniz of France plans for spring 20 km races in Lugano and Dudince. He will also compete at the World Race Walking Cup in Saransk, but is considering to do this event from full training as main objective is Olympic Games.



BIRMINGHAM (GBR): World Indoor Champion Jessica Ennis has added her name to the star cast of athletes bound for the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham this month as she steps up preparations to secure a historic major championships double in 2012. Ennis' inclusion in the Birmingham meet, where she will compete in both the 60m hurdles and long jump events, emphasizes its billing as the world's premier indoor athletics competition. Former World Record holder Asafa Powell, 5000m World Champion Mo Farah and dual World gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot will also feature in a stellar line-up at the NIA. "I'm feeling in really good shape after the winter, everything has gone well and I feel strong and ready to get out there and compete. I'd love to repeat the success I had in Doha and defend my World Indoor title and I will give it my best shot." Ennis will compete in the shot put and high jump on Saturday during this weekends UK Trials - the latter of which she has won three times in her career - before taking on the 60m hurdles and long jump on Sunday.



ISTANBUL (TUR): All six invited combined eventers based on 2011 results confirmed their participation at World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. For men´s heptathlon US Ashton Eaton, Cuban Leonel Suarez and Estonian Mikk Pahapill. For women pentathlon Tatyana Chernova of Russia, Briton Jessica Ennis and German Jennifer Oeser. Three more will be added based on 2012 indoor results by February 20. Currently in the qualifying positions Ukrainian Oleksiy Kasyanov (6237), Belarus Andrey Kravchenko (6205) and Russian Ilya Shkurenyov (5985). In women situation Russian Yekaterina Bolshova 4745, Dutch Remona Fransen 4553 and Ukrainian Hanna Melnychenko 4513. US College athletes have better scores but they will prefer to compete at NCAA Championships in the same time as World Indoor Championships (US Gunnar Nixon and Canadian Brianne Theisen). Two more in each event will be invited by IAAF decision. There are still lot of competitions until February 20 so the situation will most probably change also in the 2012 rankings.



KARLSRUHE (GER): Sunday´s IHM Meeting of Karlsruhe confirmed stellar women 3000 m line-up. World record holder and world indoor champion Meseret Defar after winning in Boston will clash with Kenyan Sylvia Kibet and home rival and world medalist Meselech Melkamu. Kibet is also twice World medalist at 5000 m and current meet record holder with 8:41.24 since 2010. Defar who was regular name in Stuttgart in the past will have her debut in Karlsruhe.







CHIBA (JPN): IAAF permit CC race in Chiba, Japan on Sunday has international runners invited only for women 8 km. Ukrainian marathon record holder Tetyana Hamera-Shmerko, Belarus Aliaksandra Duliba, US Natasha Le Beaud and Portugal duo Rafaela Almeida with Carla Martinho. Megumi Kinukawa leads the home cast.


BRUSSELS (BEL) : Tia Hellebaut is very confident about her comeback to the high jump and confirmed that her 197 jump in Arnstadt shows she is in very good shape. Hellebaut failed three times at 200 and told Belgian media that height might still be out of reach for now. The defending Olympic champion believes she could win a medal for Belgium at the IAAF World indoor championships in Istanbul writes Her next meet is in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia on Wednesday.


BERLIN (GER): German high jumper Raul Spank is happy with his indoor after jumping 227 in Arnstadt last weekend. Spank is confident more is to come after his training was slowed down with a minor knee injury. Spank, who previously announced he would double at the German national championships, also told that he is not going to compete in the triple jump at the national championships but will focus on the high jump instead.


CLEMSON (USA): Queen Harrison confirmed she will be attempting to qualify for both the 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles at the London Olympic Games. With the hope of making this dream come true, she moved to Clemson to train with her former coach at Virginia Tech, Lawrence Johnson, and added that she has fully recovered from the toe injury that cost her part of the 2010 season reports Richmond Times Dispatch.


TORONTO (CAN): Canada is planning to launch a bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and has already been approached by a number of cities interested in being the candidate, it has been revealed by Brian MacPherson, the chief executive of Commonwealth Games Canada writes Insidethegames. Canada has hosted the competition on four occasions, including in Hamilton in 1930, the first time the event was staged when it was called the British Empire Games.


LONDON (GBR): Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning actor Clive Owen is to host the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards. Kenyan long distance athlete Vivian Cheruiyot, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the World Championships in Daegu last year, is a leading contender for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award, with also Carmelita Jeter shortlisted for the award. For the men's award Usain Bolt is the only athlete on the list reports Insidethegames.


ORLANDO (USA): World 100 m bronze medalist Kelly Ann Baptiste will not compete during the indoor season. Confirmed her agent Cubie Seegobin. She is concentrating on the olympic summer. Interestingly, she never competed indoors outside USA. Her 60 m best is 7.13 from her NCAA time in 2008.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Relay olympic winner Mark Lewis-Francis competed at Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena and 6.83 to win his opening heat before effectively calling it a day in the semi-finals. He went slower in 6.87, feeling his hamstring and also his shoulder, and with there now less than a week before the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships his participation in Sheffield is doubtful. „The Birmingham Games were about seeing if I could do three races in one day and basically I can't," said Lewis-Francis - who suffered a groin injury at the Birmingham Grand Prix this time last year. UK media are infoming.


HAUGESUND (NOR): Fifth Norwegian indoor arena with 200 m track was opened in Haugesund. It is called Deep Ocean Arena.







MELBOURNE (AUS, Jan 31): Former world champion Jana Pittman tried at 400 m hurdles with 59.13.


NAGOYA (JPN, Feb 5): Toyota Motors won the 6 stage Meigi Ekiden at 52.6 km from Ogaki to Nagoya. Final time was 2:30:45.


VADODARA (IND, Feb 5): Ethiopian Andulam Shiferaw won the International Half Marathon here in 1:01:02 ahead of Melkebu Ayele 1:01:02 and Kenyan Silas Muturi 1:01:06. More than 40 000 participants were registered.


MASHAD (IRI, Feb 3): Two national indoor records by Iran athletes at 20th Fajr Indoor Competition. Mohammad Rabbani cleared 530 in the pole vault and Mohammad Arzandeh leaped to 774 in the long jump.


CHICHESTER (GBR, Feb 5): Benedict Whitby won in a PB 29:37 here just three days after arriving back from the UKA/London Marathon training camp in Iten, Kenya. Charlotte Purdue who has been back in training just three weeks after an injury which kept her out of the European Cross Country Championships, went top of the women's rankings with a time of 33:19.


NEW YORK (USA, Feb 4): At New Balance College meet new US HS record in the 600 m by Stymar Livingston 1:17:58.


LINCOLN (USA, Feb 4): New Big 10 heptathlon record by Japheth Cato with 5939 score.


RIGA (LAT, Feb 3): Elvijs Misans leaped here to exact 8 meters. He equaled so his indoor/overall best.


GENT (BEL, Jan 5): Universiade decathlon 4th placer Cedric Nolf convincingly took the Belgian national heptathlon title with a total of 5669 points, placing him 5th on the Belgian indoor all time list. Belgian decathlon record holder Hans Van Alphen sustained a slight abdominal injury and had to pull out after the 60m.







BUDAPEST (HUN): At age of 60 died former hammer thrower Gabor Tamas, he competed at the European Champs 1978 (10th) and at the World University Games 1975 (4th) & 1977 (6th). 23 internationals between 1975-82. He broke Gyula Zsivótzky's national record (73.76 WR) 14 years later in 1982 to 73.86 and 74.74. On February before an operation also the death of former discus thrower Marta Bacskai also aged 60 was registered. As a thrower she was 6th in SP & DT at the World University Games 1985. 13 internationals between 1983-88. National records in DT 65.34 (1985), 65.64 & 66.48 (1986). She is the recent HUN record holder.

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