Track & Field athletes are quite versatile. Bernard Lagat, at the relatively advanced age (in elite track racing) of 37. Anyone who witnessed Lagat racing this past winter knows that Bernard is at the top of his form and that London 2012 should be a race to behold.
Lars Riedel, the great German discus thrower, has shown some versatility. Lars is now entering a variety of athletics and semi athletic endeavors. He recently competed in lost a boxing match, then came back and moved to the next round with his dance partner in the German version of Dancing with the Stars!
VAN ZYL OPENS WITH 49.42, MAGAKWE 10.15
(RSA, Apr 5): Last year fastest 400 m hurdler LJ Van Zyl started the
season in his special event at Yellow Pages Interclub meet with 49.42.
Top 100 m time for Simon Magakwe 10.15 (0.0), just 0.01 behind his
life-time best. Second Roscoe Engel 10.30. Impressive also another fast
time by female 400 m runner Tholofelo Thipe 51.52. In the menÂ´s 400 m
Shaun de Jager clocked 45.97. Solid win for Daegu semifinalist at 400 m
hurdles Wenda Theron 56.69. Zaarck Visser was the best in the long jump
(787, 0.0). World medalist in javelin Sunette Viljoen has withdrawn from
the meet due to a minor back injury.
26 COUNTRIES FOR CARIFTA
(BER): Bermudan federation president Donna Watson, chairman of the
organising committee, has been involved in countless meetings over the
past several months in a bid to make this a memorable 41st Carifta Games
which will begin with competition on Saturday through Monday. It is
anticipated that 550 athletes from 26 countries will participate in the
Games, including a record 55 from Bermuda. Specially Caribic sprinting
talent will be displayed here.
BATMAN TO OPEN ON FRIDAY
(USA): Hurdles and relay world champion Bershawn Jackson is planning
his first 400 m hurdles race of the year for Florida Relays on Friday.
Last year he was running his first meet at Kansas Relays with 48.98.
Last weekend Jackson already ran his first flat race in Raleigh (46.33).
THORNBLAD ENDS HIS CAREER
(SWE): 27-years old Swedish high jumper Linus Thornblad is ending his
career. He did so after several difficulties, not only injuries, but
also mental problems which stopped his jumping back in 2010. His last
indoor season was already one year earlier 2009. His bests are 234
outdoors (2006) and 238 indoors (2007). “After a long consideration, I
decided not to think about the return. It has been a difficult decision
considering all the amazing things I’ve done during ten years as high
jumper,” he was quoted as saying. Thornblad won world indoor bronze in
2006 and European indoor silver in 2007. His average of ten best results
is 234.4 (per Tilastopaja). After the European Championships in
Barcelona 2010 (4th place) he was confronted with mental problems. He
became depressed and could not train.
TUCSON (USA): Fresh world indoor champion at 3000 m Bernard Lagat confirmed his next races for letsrun.com.
Lagat plans to compete at Penn Relays in one of the relay. First
individual race should be the 2 miles at Pre Classic followed with
possibility at adidas Grand Prix in New York. For US Olympic Trials he
plans to contest only the 5000 m.
SARANSK (RUS): Organizers of 25th IAAF Race Walking World Cup
in May in Saransk are informing that 67 countries confirmed their
interest to compete. That looks like a new participation record, so far
the highest number of countries was registered in La Coruna 2006 with
58. Russian organizers are hoping that at the end of the day at least 60
countries will arrive. Final entries will be closed on April 30.
STAWELL GIFT (AUS): The track has been measured, the hallowed
Central Park turf has been manicured to perfection and a stellar cast
has been assembled for the 131st running of Australia’s richest and most
prestigious footrace – the Australia Post Stawell Gift. On Easter
Monday at 2:45pm, one lucky runner will take home the 40 000 AUD first
prize and write their name into the history books of one of the nation’s
most iconic sporting events. Kicking off this Friday night at the
Calcutta, it’s shaping up to be a blockbuster 2012 carnival. This year’s
Gift field is headlined by two of the fastest men on the planet – 2003
world 100m champion Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis) and world 4x100m
relay world record holder Michael Frater (Jamaica). Frater will attempt
to become just the third man history to win the Gift from scratch,
whilst Collins, off one metre, is looking to settle unfinished business
after being knocked out in the semi finals last year. Both believe they
are in the form to chase down the field and take Australia’s biggest
athletics prize back home to the Caribbean. And not forgetting top class
Australian athletes led by Craig Mottram, John Steffensen, Aaron
Rouge-Serret, Brendan Cole, Lauren Boden, Melissa Breen, Jeff Riseley
and Kaila McKnight all wanting a slice of the total $120,000 in prize
money on offer across the weekend’s events. Organizers are informing.
NAIROBI (KEN): Group of leaders met in Eldoret to resolve that
they will urge runners from the region to withdraw from Olympics as a
sign of protest to the impending trials of four Kenyans at the
International Criminal Court. That came as a shock to many a sport
lover. Sports officials have reacted over a threat to bar Kenyan
athletes from taking part in the London Olympic games over the
International Criminal Court (ICC). On Tuesday, Kalenjin community
elders said they would prevail upon athletes from their community to
boycott the Olympics in case their attempt to delay trials at the ICC
are ignored. But reacting to the threats, NOC chairman Kipchoge Keino
urged politicians to keep off sports and said they will urge all
athletes to ignore such utterances. Athletics Kenya (AK) Secretary
General David Okeyo said sports should never be politicised. Sports
Secretary Wilson Langat dismissed the threats and said it does not
represent the true picture on the ground. “What the Kalenjin elders said
is not representative of the situation on the ground and the athletes
are advised to ignore them,” he said. East Standard informs.
EUGENE (USA): Athletes and spectators say historic Hayward
Field is a great competition venue, but it could use a few upgrades.
Right now, the stands seat about 9,000. By the end of June, Hayward
needs to be ready to hold around 16,000 fans for the Olympic Trials.
Wednesday, new grandstands arrived; the kind you typically see at golf
tournaments. More seats, more suites, plus extra TV monitors, and video
boards are on the way. Hayward will be transformed into a world-class
professional athletic venue. informs kmtr.com.
AUBURN (USA): Assistant coach Henry Rolle at Auburn
University, was named the head relay coordinator for Bahamas for London
Olympics. As head relay coordinator, the two-time Bahamas Athletics
Association Coach of the Year is tasked with selecting athletes for the
men’s and women’s 4×100 and 4×400 relays that give them the best chance
to win a medal. First chance to compete will be at Penn Relays.
NAIROBI (KEN): 2007 800 m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei who
won last summer bronze in Daegu confirmed she plans to switch for a
longer distance for 2013. “For now, I’m not even thinking about
retirement but I guess when its all over, I will take a break and after
that, I always wanted to be a nurse and I want to be in touch of people
and I think I will go back to school to learn how to do it.” Although
widely said to be engaged to her Italian coach Claudio Berardelli, the
Olympics silver medalist is coy when it comes to discuss about wedding
bells and establishing a family. “We will talk about it after the
Olympics. Maybe I will want to be in Moscow to take on the Russians at
home during the World Championships in 1500m,” she expertly side-steps
the query. Informs capitalfm.
CINCINNATI (USA): Procter & Gamble , a Worldwide Olympic
Partner, announced its sponsorship of 28 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic
hopefuls for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These
athletes will represent 13 iconic P&G brands. From athletics Ashton
Eaton, Allyson Felix, Tyson Gay, Lolo Jones and Lopez Lomong.
ATHENS (GRE): The decision to suspend all activities of SEGAS
(Greek Athletics Federation) was explained at a press conference on
Thursday. President Sevastis made it clear that the last thing they will
do is to cut the support for the athletes who are in preparation for
the Olympic Games. SEGAS hopes that the new government that will emerge
from the elections will be able to resolve the issue of funding cuts
from 2011 and now in 2012.
HENGELO (NED) : The IAAF World Challenge meeting, the 30th FBK
Games in Hengelo will surely be staged this year, announced organizers
who were missing over 150,000 euro in their budget to stage the event on
May 27. Thanks to the help of current sponsors and some minor changes
in the costs of the event now make sure that the budget is sufficient.
Organizers are informing in a release.
LONDON (GBR): Long-distance runner and marathon world record
holder Paula Radcliffe insists Great Britain should get behind their
Olympic athletes, even if they were born abroad. Selectors have been
criticised for choosing athletes who have switched nationalities in
order to represent Britain at this summer’s Olympics. But Radcliffe
said: “They are going out there giving their absolute best to represent
Britain, so get behind them.” She was quoted by the BBC.
AUSTIN (USA): Allex Austin, son of Olympic high jump champion Charles Austin, told reporters of maxpreps.com he
is hoping to one day become Olympic high jump champion as well. Allex
Austin also added he is hoping to play for the NBA. He is currently
coached by his father Charles Austin, the 1996 olympic gold medalist.
PRAHA (CZE): Czech media are informing that legendary Dana
Zatopkova who won olympic javelin gold in 1952 in Helsinki was not able
to accept the invitation of 2012 Games organizers and will not travel in
the summer to London. Her late husband Emil Zatopek won in London 1948
the 10 000 m race. Zatopkova who is 89 in the mean-time said she does
not want to travel too much. “I will watch it on tv with my friends,
will have something to eat and drink some wine,” she said.
TOKYO (JPN): Brett Larner on his blog informs that Team
Tenmaya announced that its runner Tomo Morimoto, 28, the alternate for
the 2008 Beijing Olympics women’s marathon team, has retired from
competition as of the end of March. A native of Hyogo prefecture,
Morimoto joined Tenmaya in 2002 after graduating from Shujitsu H.S. Her
abundance of stamina and mental fortitude giving her a competitive edge,
Morimoto won the May, 2006 Vienna Marathon in 2:24:33 in only her
SAO PAULO (BRA): New Brazilian top triple jump name Jonathan
Henrique Silva (last weekend improved to 17.39) who is coached by
renowned expert Nelio Moura confirmed he will compete at three Brazilian
Athletics Tour meetings in May. Uberlandia on May 13, Sao Paulo on May
16 and Rio de Janeiro on May 20. Also with him jumping will be Pan Am
Games bronze winner Jefferson Sabino.
DESSAU (GER): The German meeting of Dessau on May 25 added
men’s high jump into the programme. The meet director Ralph Hirsch did
this addition because Raul Spank (233), the best german high jumper
asked for that. His agent Gunther Eisinger spoke with Hirsch about it
and the response was positive. Spank was 9th in March at the World
Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
KOLN (GER): Former discus hero Lars Riedel after losing a
boxing match last weekend succeeded on Wednesday in the next round of
Let’s dance. He was able with partner Marta Arndt dance to the next
round. They danced at the Dirty Dancing movie music.