Congrats to USA for ranking as top track & field country in the country rankings by www.All-Athletics.com. The Team USA team, with 29 medals, was one of the best teams that the US has fielded in years. A hearty congratulations to the coaches, officials, athletes, sponsors, and USA Track & Field (oh, yes, and the USOC).
EIGHTH OLYMPIC WINNERS NOT LEADING
MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): In 8 events Olympic winners from London are not leaders in the traditional Track and Field News World Rankings for 2012. Six are men cases. Second positions for Stephen Kiprotich in marathon (leader Wilson Kipsang of Kenya), Felix Sanchez at 400 m Hurdles (top place for Javier Culson) and Tomasz Majewski in shot put (leader is Reese Hoffa). Third is steeple winner Ezekiel Kemboi (ahead of him Paul Kipsiele Koech and Brimin Kipruto), fourth 1500 m winner Taoufik Makhloufi (first Silas Kiplagat, second Asbel Kiprop, third Mekonen Gebremedhin) and fifth Keshorn Walcott in javelin (Vesely, Pyatnytsa, PitkamÃ¤ki and Ruuskanen in top 4 places). In all other men events olympic winners are leading the rankings. In women events only two are not having London winners at the top. In 400 m hurdles Kaliese Spencer is number one ahead of Lashinda Demus and Zuzana Hejnova with London winner Natalya Antyukh only fourth and in hammer Betty Heidler is leading before Anita Wlodarczyk with Tatyana Lysenko third. Rest of women events has olympic winners as leaders.
HOUILLES (FRA, Dec 30): Ethiopian wins at the 41st edition of Corrida de Houilles road race. Berhanu Legesse clocked 28:23 to win at the 10 km over Kenyan Olympic medalist and triple winner here in the past Micah Kogo in close sprint also 28:23. Third another Ethiopian Moleta Baisa 28:24. Edwin Soi finished 6th in 28:42. Youssef El Kalai of Portugal was best European as 8th (28:42 also) and best French El Hassane Lkhainouch 28:55 as 10th. In women race world junior medalist Ruti Aga won in 31:50 ahead of team-mate Afera Godfay 31:52 and Debele Degefa as another Ethiopian 31:53. Fourth best European Marisa Barros of Portugal in 32:16 and top French Laurane Picoche 6th in 32:46.
ST. PETERBURG (RUS, Dec 28-29): Solid marks at indoor season opener here. Triple jump London Olympian Veronika Mosina improved her lifetime best in women long jump to 671 cm. The same for Irina Gumenyuk in triple jump 14.24. Aleksandra Kiryashova cleared 430 in the pole vault. Valentin Smirnov clocked 2:23.96 in the 1000 m, Yelena Kozlova 38.02 in the 300 m. Ukrainian Anzhela Shevchenko achieved a double with 1:29.92 at 600 m and 2:40.01 in the 1000 m.
JABLONEC (CZE, Dec 27): Czech world juniors 6th placer Anezka Drahotova (17) achieved in 5000 m indoor walk 22:54.7 in a mixed race with men.
ANTEQUERA (ESP, Dec 29): Maurys Castillo clocked Cuban indoor 1500 m record 3:44.99 here.
TRNAVA (SVK, Dec 30): Slovak 2010 European champion Libor Charfreitag won the 30th jubilee edition of the weight throw (10.5 kg) outdoor meet in his home town. It was already 18th win for him at this event with 40.39 m. Second Croatian Andras Haklits 32.78. European medalist Martina Hrasnova won the women competition with meet record 27.24 m.
MADRID (ESP): The 48th San Silvestre Vallecana on Monday will have Tariku Bekele against Ayad Lamdassem on the men side. In the women 10 km Linet Masai will clash with Ethiopian Gelete Burka and Jessica Augusto of Portugal.
MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian The Age informs that the 400 m Olympic finalist, Steve Solomon, will not be back home in time to compete against visiting South African star “Blade runner” Oscar Pistorius. Solomon will only return to Australia from the US for the national titles and will miss the rest of the domestic season. Pistorius, who became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics when he ran in the 400m in London, will compete in the Sydney and Perth meets of the Australian Athletics Tour in March.
BUDAPEST (HUN): Once again United States atop the final Overall Rankings of the Countries in 2012 both in the men’s and the women’s lists by All-Athletics.com. In the Men’s Overall Ranking there is no change in the top six places compared to last year. Kenya is in the runner-up position, followed by Russia, Great-Britain, Germany and France. Jamaica overtook Poland for the 7th spot. China and Spain complete the top 10. In the Women’s Overall Ranking the gap between the first (USA) and the second (Russia) is similar to last year while Kenya is in third. Great Britain and Ukraine moved up one place each as Germany dropped from 4th to 6th. They are followed by Jamaica and China. Last year’s 9th, Poland is now in 12th while France went up to 9th (from 10th) and Canada to 10th (from 14th).
BUDAPEST (HUN): All-Athletics.com also announced the Sprinters and Hurdlers of the Year 2012 in the World as well as in the different Areas. On the global level they are Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce for sprints and Aries Merritt and Sally Pearson as hurdlers. In Africa top sprinters are Rabah Yusif (400 m) and Amantle Montsho, top hurdlers Lehann Fourie and Ajoke Odumosu. In Asia sprinters are Chinese Su Bingtian and KazakhstanÂ´s Olga Bludova, hurdlers Liu Xiang and Satomi Kubokura, the Japanese 400 m hurdles specialist. Leaders in Europe in sprints Churandy Martina with Christine Ohuruougu and hurdlers Dai Greene with Zuzana Hejnova. Steven Solomon and Melissa Breen are the sprinters of the year in Ocenia, male hurdler is Tristan Thomas. Female hurdler in North and Caribbean America is Dawn Harper. South American top names are sprinters Alex Quinonez and Rosangela Oliveira, hurdlers Mahau Sugimachi and Eliecith Palacios from Colombia.
RABAT (MAR): Olympic bronze medal winner at 1500 m AbdelaÃ¢ti Iguider and the Moroccan handicapped sports champion Najat El GarÃ¢a were elected best Moroccan athletes for the year 2012, according to a survey conducted by MAP Agency sports desk.
LONDON (GBR): Telegraph.co.uk informs that Team GB’s Olympic hero Mo Farah’s two gold medals could not prevent him being held by US customs officials on suspicion of terrorism as he returned home to Portland, Oregon for Christmas. He was detained for questioning after the US border force saw he was born in Somalia. The 29 year-old came over to Britain with his English-born father as a child and is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but this did not stop officials from grilling him at the border. Farah moved to Portland last year to work with his coach Alberto Salazar at Nike’s HQ in the Pacific Northwest and was travelling back to spend Christmas with his wife and children. And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.