2012 Lisbon Half Marathon: Zersenay Tadese returns, Jeter to open at Mt.SAC, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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Zerzenay Tadese, Shalane Flanagan, Lisbon Half PC,
23 March 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Lisbon Half Marathon, now in it's 22nd year, is a showcase for some of the top elite marathoners in the world as they prepare for April marathons. Zerzenay Tadese is looking to break his WR, we have been informed, and the fields, in both men and women are quite good. Shalane Flanagan is there, and as her coach, Jerry Schumacher would tell you with that his thoughtful Wisconsin smile, Shalane would not show up if she was not ready.

Carmelita Jeter will open up at the Mt.SAC Relays on April 21. Kirani James has pulled out of the May 5 event in KIngston, and will open later in May in Asia.



LISBON (POR): World record holder Zersenay Tadese will return on Sunday, March 25 to the 22nd edition of Lisbon Half Marathon and will try for his third win in a row. He won here in 2010 with current world record 58:23 and returned in 2011 with another fast time of 58:30. Other top names include from Eritrea Teklemariam Mehdin and Kidane Tadese, from Ethiopia Dino Sefir and from Kenyans Lucas Rotich, Peter Kamais, Titus Masai, Gideon Ngatuny and John Mwangangi. Home runners will be headed by Youssef El Kalai and Manuel Damiao. Winner from 2010 Peninah Arusei, Rita Jeptoo (winner here in 2007), Lineth Chepkurui, world medalist Priscah Jeptoo, Joyce Chepkirui and Pauline Njeri are the top women. Ethiopian top name is Aselefech Mergia. US Olympic 10k medalist and marathon trials winner Shalane Flanagan is leading the non-African entries, also there Italian Nadia Ejaffini and Dutch Lornah Kiplagat. Group of home runners with Dulce Felix, Analia Rosa, Ines Monteiro and Leonor Carneiro. The race has since 2008 new course which is according to the rules. And on that the fastest women time is 1:08:28 by Aberu Kebede last year. But in 2001 at the former course (considered excessive aided by the drop and possibly tail winds) Susan Chepkemei achieved 1:05:44.



LOS ANGELES (USA): The 100 m world champion Carmelita Jeter plans her first 100 m race of the season for the MtSAC meet in Walnut on April 21. She did not compete during the indoor season, but she regularly informs on her twitter that the training is going well. Jeter will also compete in relays in US spring season. Last year she also opened in Walnut with high quality 10.99.



OSTRAVA (CZE): Fresh world indoor champion Pamela Jelimo confirmed her attendance at 51st Ostrava Golden Spike meeting on May 25 in the Czech Republic (IAAF World Challenge). The Kenyan olympic winner from Beijing competed this winter for first time indoors and confirmed she regained international level after some years of difficulties after her olympic gold medal. Jelimo may well attack the meet record of another legend Maria Mutola who clocked in Ostrava 1:57.72 back in 2004. It will be her first meet of the summer season in Europe.



SOPOT (POL): 2009 World champion Anna Rogowska will open the summer season at home. Special pole vault meet „Tyczka na molo" which means Pole Vault on the Pier will be held near to the beach of her home town Sopot on May 26. She competed during the indoor season (471) but was not at World Indoors in Istanbul.



POTCHEFSTROOM (RSA): Yellow Pages series continues on Saturday in Potchefstroom. World champion 2009 Caster Semenya plans to run her first 800 m of the year. It will be actually her first 800 under new coach Maria Mutola. Athletics South Africa also informed that 400 m hurdler and 2011 world bronze medallist L.J. van Zyl will line up in the 400. Sunette Viljoen, the South African who won bronze in the women's javelin at the worlds, also will compete on Saturday. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, a former world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist, will run in the men's 800 and target 1:45.6, the olympic standard.







FRANKFURT (GER): German top female walkers will compete soon during early spring walking season. Two possible olympic starters are clear. Melanie Seeger achieved the standard already last September with 1:29:20 and will travel end of March to Chinese leg of IAAF Challenge in Taicang. She must confirm her olympic nomination with 1:33 time. For German record holder Sabine Krantz the standard should not be a problem (1:31:15). Her competition for that is Rio Maior on April 14 in Portugal. On the men side Andre Höhne, Carsten Schmidt, Maik Berger and Nils Christopher Gloger will fight in Dudince on Saturday to achieved the German standard for London 3:53 at the 50 km distance. Gloger will debut at the distance.


SYDNEY (AUS): Athletics Australia announced an initial Australian Spark team of 57 for the IAAF world junior championships to be held in Barcelona from July 10-15. The team is on track to become the biggest ever.


BERLIN (GER): German sprinting legend Armin Hary is celebrating his 75th birthday on Thursday. He is not organizing a party for his birthday but talked to leichtathletik.de about his double Olympic victory and his career in which he went from playing handball, to being a decathlete to becoming the first athlete to run 10.0 seconds over 100m.


BERLIN (GER): World half marathon champion Wilson Kiprop is the strongest athlete to start in the Berlin half marathon on April 1st. After an injury had slowed Kiprop down, he is now back in top shape and happy to take on fellow Kenyan athletes Denis Koech and Gideon Kipketer as well as Ethiopian Habtamu Fikadu. German hopes are represented by Stefan Koch and Robert Krebs. Kenyan Philes Ongori (1:07:38) could possibly attack the course record of Edith Masai from 2006. 30.000 athletes will be running the Berlin half marathon this year and the event will be live streamed on the internet.


LAUSANNE (SUI): The activities of the newly constituted Education Commission and Clubs Commission will be among the main topics for discussion when the European Athletics Development Committee meets in Amsterdam this weekend. The commission will also discuss the European Athletics Education Programme, European Athletics Awards System, the upcoming Communication Seminar to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, 29-30 March and the CEO Conference in Neusiedl am See, Austria, 20-22 April writes European Athletics.


AUCKLAND (NZL): Defending Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis is eyeing double glory in London as he considers adding the 5000m to his schedule. The 1500m specialist will only race the longer distance at this weekend's New Zealand athletics championships in Auckland and said adding it to his schedule would provide the perfect pressure release at the Olympics reports stuff.co.nz.


MADRID (ESP): Spanish police have arrested 10 suspects in Madrid and Barcelona and smashed an international sports doping ring allegedly linked to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Police said the network was implicated in competitors' positive doping tests at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, cycling's 2010 Tour of Spain and 2009 Tour of Portugal, as well as the 2010 Spanish athletics championships while adding they swooped on the group ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The operation began last year when police were investigating a shop in Mataro, near Barcelona, that sold anabolic steroids to sportspeople. The shop was allegedly linked to a Catalan athlete's positive test for EPO in the 2010 Spanish athletics championships writes The Daily Telegraph.


NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyan runners scheduled for the London Marathon next month will also participate in another charity competition organized by the Kenyan community in Bedfordshire. The London Marathon takes place on April 22 and the Bedfordshire community run the following day, where Kenya marathon runners and Kenyan community have established a close relationship since 2010, when the athletes participated in a similar event reports The Standard.


NAIROBI (KEN): Athletics Kenya received support from National Bank of Kenya worth of Sh33 million. The sponsorship is Sh3 million more than last year. The sponsorship will cover both the Junior and youth teams, which are slated to grace various events on the continent and world arena. The donation will cater for the Olympic preparations for the London 2012 Olympics Games, Eastern branch track and field meeting and AK Gala dinner to fete Kenya's top athletes.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Speaking at her old primary school at Arundel on the Gold Coast, 25-year-old Sally Pearson said she feared no rival as she strives to go one better than her silver medal from Beijing four years ago. „I'm so far ahead of the other girls at the moment," she said. „If they want to beat me they have a lot of catching up to do." According to Courier Mail.


PERTH (AUS): Steve Hooker is considering putting his rebuilt confidence and reworked technique to the test in a self-made pole vault competition in a Perth eastern suburbs warehouse in May to score a qualifying mark for the London Olympics. Athletics WA has been asked by Hooker's camp to sanction a three-man competition at an undetermined time in May in an effort for the Olympic champion to clear the London qualifying mark of 572. The 29-year-old previously announced he was taking time away from competition to work on his technique and confidence according to The West.


GLASGOW (SCO): Glasgow 2014 faces key risks in delivering some of the major developments for the Commonwealth Games, including the Athletes' Village, according to a major report published by independent public spending watchdog Audit Scotland. Although suggesting that Glasgow 2014 are on track and within their 830 million dollar budget, reports also showed the Athletes' Village is due to be completed less than five months before the Games begin on July 23 and that if difficulties arise, more money may be needed to ensure it is ready in time reports Insidethegames.


LONDON (GBR): London 2012 organizers have launched an objection to Indian opposition to Dow Chemical's controversial sponsorship of the Olympics, the country's Sports Minister Ajay Maken has admitted writes Insidethegames. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have been involved in a campaign for the American company to be dropped as an Olympic sponsor because of its link to Union Carbide, whose Indian subsidiary ran a pesticide plant in Bhopal at which a gas leak allegedly killed up to 25,000 people in 1984.


DUDINCE (SVK): The organizers of EA Permit walking meet in Dudince on Saturday will provide live stream from the competition at the federation website. That will be for first time in the country from a walking event.


BILBAO (ESP): According to the preliminary entries, 108 athletes including 57 men and 51 women from 27 European Athletics Member Federation nations will participate at the 2012 European Cup 10 000 m in Bilbao on June 3. The Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) will host the event, in co-operation with the City of Bilbao and Atletismo Santutxu club, on 3 June 2012.


MONACO (MON): Dai Greene the 400 m hurdles world champion revealed for IAAF also his plans for the summer opening race: „As for competition plans I'm going to sit down with my coach, Malcolm Arnold, in the next week or so and draw up a schedule for the season ahead. This is not confirmed yet but I'm likely to start my season at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Rome on May 31. I may take a look at one international competition the week before, but Rome is the likeliest option for my first competition of Olympic year."


MOSCOW (RUS): Rusathletics.com informs that IAAF confirmed the time table for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Also first set of standards was approved. For 10 000 m races (27:40 and 28:05 for men and 31:45 and 32:05 for women), marathons (2:17 and 2:43), decathlon (8200/8000), heptathlon (6100/5950), 20 km walk (1:24/1:26 and for women 1:36 and 1:38), 50 km walk (4:02 and 4:16). In the relays 39.20 and 44.00 and for the longer one 3:05 and 3:33.


ABIDJAN (CIV): AIPS informs that the end of March 2012 will herald a new chapter for African female athletes as the continent's Women Sports Reporters congregate in the Ivorian capital Abidjan to reward and recognise the achievers of the year 2011. The historical awards ceremony which will be held under the auspices of the Union of African women sports reporters,UFRESA will seek to celebrate the achievements of its talented African female athletes like the three times African football of the year Nigerian Perpetua Nkwocha, Kenyan track star Vivian Cheruiyot, Malian basketballer Djenebou Sissoko among others nominated for the award.

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