Mario Pescante Resigns from IOC, "Embarrassed" over Italian Government's Refusal to support Rome 2020 bid, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder


Bolt-Powell1-Rome11.jpgUsain Bolt, Asafa Powell, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala, Roma, by

The cost, not only in dollars, but in national energy, to host an Olympic Games, is huge. Recently, the Italian government recently refused to support the Italian Olympic committee bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Citing uncertain economic times, the Italian PM, Mario Monte, refused to provide the government support in order for the Applicant city files to be completed. Per, Mario Pescante, the long time former Italian sports minister, found the government decision embarrassing, and resigned as a VP on the International Olympic Committee.   

This opens the 2020 Olympic Games race...more details to come, probably after the World Indoors in Instanbul, Turkey, mid March....



NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya selected 9 runners for World Indoor Championships. Olympic winner Pamela Jelimo will compete in the 800 m, Sylvia Kibet and Helen Obiri in the 3000 m on the women side. In the men events Boaz Lalang with junior Timothy Kitum in the 800 m, mile world leader Silas Kiplagat and Bethwel Birgen in the 1500 m and another strong duo Augustine Choge with Edwin Soi in the 3000 m.



KYIV (UKR): Ukraine selected 27 athletes for Istanbul. Strong are combined eventers Oleksiy Kasyanov for heptathlon and Natalya Dobrynska with Hanna Melnychenko for pentathlon. In total 18 women, also in the 3000 m European leader Svitlana Shmidt with Natalya Tobias, in the 1500 m national record holder Anzhelika Shevchenko, 800 m runner Natalya Lupu is also included. Natalya Pigida runs the 400 m and Viktoriya Pyatachenko the 60 m. The top ones Olesya Povkh and Mariya Ryemyen did not plan for World Indoors. Remaining women are Oksana Okuneva in the high jump, talented junior Ganna Shelekh for pole vault, Inna Akkhozova for long jump, Ganna Knyazeva and Ruslana Tsikhotska for triple jump and Galina Obleshchuk for shot put. On the men side in the team Oleksandr Borisyuk at 1500 m, Andriy Protsenko in the high jump and European U23 Champion Sheryf El-Sheryf for triple jump. Both 4x400 m relays will be also entered (women: Bryzgina, Zemlyak, Pristupa, Olyshevska with Pigida and men: Hutsol, Butrim, Knysh, Byrakov and Bikulov). Also still having chance in case fulfilling the standard until Monday high jumpers Olena Kholosha and Viktor Shapoval and pole vaulters Maksim Mazuryk with Denis Yurchenko.



MOSCOW (RUS, Feb 22): Russian Indoor Championships started in CSKA Hall with a tie in the men´s 60 m hurdles. Improved Konstantin Shabanov and Yevgeniy Borisov clocked 7.64 to get both the gold medal. Shabanov achieved faster 7.59 in the semis. The same situation happened last year as both tied with 7.63. Also close 60 m final, winner Aleksandr Brednev and second Mikhail Idrisov achieved identical 6.72. Yegor Nikolayev was the clear 3000 m winner in 7:53.93. In women finals Yekaterina Galitskaya improved to 8.04 to win the 60 m hurdles ahead of Svetlana Topilina 8.08. Faster in semis was heptathlon world champion Tatyana Chernova with big PB 8.02 and a non-finish in the finals. She showed top shape with best mark in the long jump qualification (661 cm). In absence of Yelena Isinbaeva and Svetlana Feofanova, the pole vault title went to Anastasiya Savchenko (452) beating Aleksandra Kiryashova (442). Top three got sub 9 minutes in the 3000 m, Yuliya Vasilyeva 8:53.02 over Kristina Khaleyeva 8:57.37 and Olga Golovkina 8:57.52. European U23 2011 relay champion Yekaterina Filatova was the best in the 60 m in 7.29 (and 7.25 PB in semifinals). Former European indoor champion Yevgeniya Polyakova scratched from the finals. From heats to report European leading time in women´s 800 m by Marina Pospelova 1:59.45 (her first sub 2 ever) ahead of Yelena Kofanova 1:59.63. Eliminated European U23 Champion Yelena Arzhakova (2:01.04). Aleksandra Fedoriva was the fastest in women 400 m heats with 51.80. Fastest men in heats Pavel Trenikhin at 400 m (46.80) and Ivan Nesterov at 800 m (1:48.32).



PIRAEUS (GRE, Feb 21-22):During the first day of the Greek Indoor Championships Dimítrios Hondrokoúkis achieved the standard for Istanbul by clearing 229, equaling so his indoor pb. Konstadínos Baniótis, competing as guest, also jumped 229. Both athletes failed three times at 231. Loúis Tsátoumas improved his season best by 1 cm, winning the long jump in 805. Yeóryios Tsákonas followed with 800, an indoor best. His brother Likoúrgos-Stéfanos won the 60m with a 6.74 personal best. Mihaíl Stamatóyiannis posted another season best with a last round 19.70 in the shot put. In the absence of Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou, Stélla-Iró Ledáki claimed victory in the pole vault with 410. During second day Kostas Douvalidis improved his own 60 m hurdles national record by 0.01 to 7.63. Triple jumper Niki Paneta bettered her indoor PB to Istanbul standard 14.47. Kostas Filippidis won as expected the pole vault, this time with 570 and tried at new national record height of 580. Eleni Filandra came close to her 800 m national mark with 2:02.62 win.



NIJMEGEN (NED): Ethiopian long distance star Kenenisa Bekele is healthy and in good preparation for summer. Confirms his agent Jos Hermens. There are no details known yet, but he plans to compete during the track season before Olympic Games. Some reports informed about possibilities that Bekele would train in Oregon with Alberto Salazar. „It is not a real possibility, because Kenenisa with whom I have not discussed the issue, would not move to USA. But it is true I discussed with the coach a bit about training and this also came up. But was very quick a non item," says Hermens.



JOHNSON CITY (USA): Daegu 110 m hurdles world champion Jason Richardson switched his management company. He is now represented by Total Sports US headed by Chris Layne. Richardson passed the indoor season in order to be ready for the summer.



ALBUQUERQUE (USA): The USATF Championships over the weekend at high altitude will be the selection meet for World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Highlights could be expected on the women side from world champion Jenny Simpson (is entered in both 1500 m and 3000 m) and Tianna Madison whop is the 60 m favorite as current world leader. In technical events the leaders Chaunte Lowe in the high jump (also declared for long jump), Jenn Suhr in the pole vault and Jill Camarena-Williams in the shot put. Great battle could be expected as last year in women long jump with world champion Brittney Reese, Janay DeLoach and Funmi Jimoh. Kristi Castlin and Yvette Lewis are looking for the two spots in the 60 m hurdles. Natasha Hastings looks to be the top favorite in women 400 m. In the men events world champions competing Jesse Williams in the high jump, Christian Taylor in the triple jump (against Will Claye who is also long jump favorite) and former world winner Brad Walker in the pole vault. Traditional shot put battle is expected, for two places four top names: Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting and Adam Nelson. Hurdles duel of David Oliver and Terrence Trammell at 60 m hurdles could be marred by improving hurdlers from the second row. World medalist Matt Centrowitz is entered into the 1500 m and Galen Rupp into both 1500 and 3000 m. Gil Roberts, Frankie Wright and Calvin Smith jr. are the 400 m favorites. Interesting to see here the 500 m improvement from last weekend Brycen Spreatling. In the 60 m Trell Kimmons and Justin Gatlin are the options for Turkey. Heptathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton is entered into 60 m hurdles and long jump.



NEW YORK/CHICAGO (USA): Two-time World Marathon Majors series champion and three-time Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova of Russia will open her 2012 season at the NYC Half on Sunday, March 18, followed with a run at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago on Sunday, March 25, it was jointly announced by NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg and Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle 8K Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. Shobukhova an favorite for the Olympic Games Marathon in London this summer said of her spring trip to the U.S., „This Olympic year will be the most important of my career, so I am choosing all of my competitions carefully. The NYC Half will allow me to test my fitness and compete against some of the same runners I will face in the Olympic Marathon, while going to Chicago for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will allow me to connect with all of the great fans and runners there on a course that feels like home to me in the city where I have had so much success. It's the perfect trip."







KARLSRUHE (GER): Long jumper Bianca Kappler will not compete at weekend´s German championships due to flu, pole vaulter Carolin Hingst due to achilles injury.


TOKIO (JPN): European marathon champion Viktor Rothlin arrived to Tokio for Sunday´s Marathon in good mood. In 2008 he achieved here course record and Swiss record 2:07:23. „Training in last weeks was according to my plan, also the half marathon test in Granollers was a confirmation of good preparation. I want to attack a result which will be at level of my top 3 marks (that means sub 2:10)," says Rothlin.


ROME (ITA): Mario Pescante has resigned as vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), claiming that he feels „embarrassed" after the Italian Government refused to back Rome's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. The 73-year-old former Italian Sports Minister is one of the most influential and respected members of the IOC and had been the biggest advocate of Rome's campaign, which he was leading as President. But the bid was killed by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti last week when, because of the economy crisis currently engulfing the country, he refused to give the Government guarantees necessary for the capital to be able to complete its Applicant City file. Informs insidethegames.


KINGSTON (JAM): The inaugural Howard Aris Memorial/ Gibson Relays Lecture, hosted by the Organizing Committee of the 36th Gibson Relays, is scheduled for the G C Foster College on Thursday. The Lecture will be of particular interest to athletic coaches, trainers, sports writers, sports commentators, mass communications students, dieticians, nutritionists, practising athletes, and all persons interested in fitness and nutrition, both professionally and for recreation. The Journalism segment will be conduced by one of television's foremost track and field analyst, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster with ESPN and ESPN2 Larry Rawson. The Nutrition segment of this eagerly anticipated Howard Aris Memorial Lecture will be covered by highly respected licensed Nutritionist and Dietitian Sandra Ortiz Rosado.


NAGOYA (JPN): Brett Larner informs on his blog that the organizers of the reformatted Nagoya Women's Marathon have announced the elite field for the final Japanese women's Olympic selection race to be held March 11. The all-but-negligible international field features veteran medalists Kenyan Catherine Ndereba and Lidia Simon of Romania returning for their perpetual Japanese invites along with Eastern Europeans Albina Mayorova, Olena Shurkhno and Rasa Drazdauskaite. Fifteen Japanese women are on the invited list to contend for the Olympic team spot or spots still available. General opinion has two places available, with Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Risa Shigetomo a lock after her 2:23:23 victory but Yokohama winner Ryoko Kizaki given little chance of making the Olympic team with only a 2:26:32. Those shooting for places include the current and former national record holders Mizuki Noguchi and Yoko Shibui, 2011's top two women Yoshimi Ozaki and Yukiko Akaba, past World Championships marathoners Yuri Kano, Remi Nakazato, Yoshiko Fujinaga and Mai Ito.


DESSAU (GER): The 11th Dessau Jumping indoor meet will be held on March 2, one week before the World Indoor Championships. Two events will be staged. In men´s pole vault home elite headed by Malte Mohr, Raphael Holzdeppe, Fabian Schulze, Karsten Dilla, Tim Lobinger and mainly in-shape Bjorn Otto. International jumpers will be represented by Daegu medalist Cuban Lazaro Borges and former world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco from Italy. Mohr is the title defender, last year he improved the meet record to 583 cm. In the women high jump Russian favorites Irina Gordeyeva and Svetlana Shkolina.


NAIROBI (KEN): In an effort to improve the quality of future olympic participants Athletics Kenya announced that trials for the two longest track competitions will now be held in Eugene, Oregon, USA, at the annual Prefontaine Classic track and field meeting on June 1. That is one day before the main programme day. AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat strongly defended the decision, saying there will be an elaborate elimination programme in Kenya which starts when a select group of Olympic prospects set up camp in Eldoret from next month. The decision to divorce the 10 000 m and 5000 m selection from the traditional national trials - to be held at the Nyayo National Stadium from June 21 to 23 - has met with mixed reactions, but Kiplagat maintains something has to be done to bring the elusive Olympic medals. Informs The Nation.


NEW YORK (USA): When US sprinters Walter Dix and Carmelita Jeter line up in the starting blocks in London this summer, they'll do so wearing recycled plastic bottles. Marathoner Abdi Abdirahman will wear running shoes that look like they were crocheted by grandma. That, of course, is a simplistic way of describing some of the most high-tech, sustainable, performance apparel and footwear Nike has developed to date. On Day one of a two-day Olympics innovation summit held at Basketball City in New York City, Nike revealed innovations in basketball and running, including the uniforms that will be worn by the U.S. men's and women's basketball teams and track athletes in all events. US media are reporting.


NEW KINGSTON (JAM): The PanCaribbean Sigma Corporate Run on Sunday on the streets of New Kingston, had over 16,000 registered participants and over 33 million JAD being raised to date for Chain of Hope Jamaica to improve the cardiac unit at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Present and supporting this charity event was also world record holder Usain Bolt. Informs Trackalerts.







YALTA (UKR, Feb 22): During first day of Ukrainian Winter Throwing Championships Alyona Sharotina improved the U17 national mark in girls hammer throw to 61.65 m (4 kg).


PRAHA (CZE, Feb 21): At open meet Jan Kudlicka cleared 552 in the pole vault and tried at Istanbul standard of 572.


NASSAU (BAH, Feb 17-18): Reigning World Youth and Junior 400 m champion Shanae Miller showed her speed at the 9th Annual Club Monica Athletics Track and Field Classic when she captured the women's sprint double 11.50 (+0.4) and 22.95 (-0.2). Both times are personal bests for her. Informs Trackalerts.


BOGOTA (COL, Feb 18): At Colombian walking championships Freddy Hernandez won the 35 km in 2:40:59, James Rendon was the best in the 20 km (1:28:43) and Sandra Galvis in the women 20 km (1:39:41). Continental junior champion Eider Arévalo was the best in the 10 km (43:04). It should be noted that Bogota is in high altitude.


KISUMU (KEN, Feb 19): Victor Kipchirichir won the 40th anniversary Half-Marathon at Kenya Technical Teachers College with fast 1:00:27. Kamiu Wanjiku closely followed him a second later with 1:00:28. Joseph Kiptum finished third after clocking 1:00:55. In the women race Mercy Chemtai was the best in 1:12:51 ahead of Caroline Chepkemoi 1:13:59 and Winfrida Nyansikera 1:14:02.


CLAREMORRIS (IRL, Feb 19): Colin Griffin won the 35 km national walking championships in 2:15:17.







STOCKHOLM (SWE): Of course Hellebaut and Chicherova are competing in the high jump (not long jump).

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